Where’s My Royalty Check?

ZDNet: Last week I decided to install a new operating system on one computer in my lab. Not a big deal, really. I install, uninstall, and reinstall various Windows versions all the time. But this particular installation was just a little different. See how much of this sounds familiar: […] Even though I had installed the very latest version, I saw that there were 98 separate updates available, designed to “correct errors, eliminate security vulnerabilities and provide new features.” It took approximately a half-hour to download and install everything over my high-speed connection. […] Sounds like a typical Windows installation, with all the usual complaints: too many security updates, forced restarts, hardware that can’t be configured easily? And it must have been Windows Vista, because of those annoying User Account Control prompts.


Wrong. I was installing Ubuntu Linux.

I want a royalty check; I said all of this first!

11 thoughts on “Where’s My Royalty Check?”

  1. Welcome to the world of unlimited and unrestricted porn viewing with no risk of spyware. Your complimentary box of kleenix and jumbo sized bottle of hand lotion are in the mail.

  2. Riiiiiight. No risk of spyware. Three months ago it was “there’s too many updates for Windows”. Now it’s “there’s spyware!”? Interesting notion.

    99% of Spyware comes from trojen horses. That means you install something. Install ANY downloadable application and you risk spyware. At some point I was using an “ad engine” in one of my Shareware products. That included a tracking cookie which made it spyware. I removed it instantly (and gave users a way to clean it out). Ain’t no OS that’s going to prevent that. It’s not Windows fault that a third party library was tracking usage. Just like it’s not Windows fault that there’s no Unix flavor of Weatherbug, which is also known for its snooping.

    Or is it because it’s so hard to install anything on Unix boxes that you can’t possibly install anything on yer own, so the school of thought is that you don’t expect end users to do anything without hand holding?

  3. It’s the truth; it’s a bitch to install shit on Linux. If you don’t have to compile the source code yourself, you’re stuck searching for dependencies for the RPM or DEB packages. You’re pretty much just picking your poison. Use an OS that is secure, but is very hard to use, or use an OS that is easy to use, but is fundamentally flawed to the core. I choose the former, because the porn is worth the extra trouble.

  4. And yet I’ve used the easy to use OS for over 15 years across at least over 200 systems and have yet to have a virus, trojen horse, or a spyware attack… for a flawed system, I think that’s a pretty good run, no?

    Maybe it’s high time the OS Warriors realize what I did years ago: the biggest security flaw in ANY computer system or OS is between the monitor and the computer chair.

  5. Yeah, but that’s the point that I’ve been making for like 8 years now… the hobby isn’t building computers or designing OS’s or tweaking the OS… it’s what I can do WITH the computer that’s the hobby, be it coding, writing, blogging, drawing or other wise.

    The computer (and the OS) should be as invisible as possible.

    I mean hell, I could write Word using punchcards. Doesn’t mean it makes sense to :)

  6. I came from the world of Unix – got my teeth cut on Unix System V almost 20 years ago in college on an AT&T 3B2, and for most of the 1990s I developed exclusively on SunOS and Solaris. I took to Linux like a fish back in water, but I still got really frustrated during my first Debian Linux install. That was six years ago. The smoothest Linux install I ever had was from using Xandros 3.0 Desktop. Xandros is pretty good and got most things right. I remember paying $50 for it last year, but you can download the open circulation edition for free.


  7. Yeah Xandros is really user friendly. Probably the easiest to use distro around. I use SuSE myself. Its easy, but still powerful. And Randy, as much as say that the OS or the PC isnt the hobby your wrong. It just depends on your point of view. My favorite part of computers is the hardware. I love tweaking and overclocking as much as I can. And so I like tweaking my OS to my liking to. And Im pretty damn sure your XP configuration is not at the default settings. I would almost bet my arm that if I opened your control panel, it wouldnt be in “Category View.” But it is a matter of opinion, and in mine,just using a computer, isnt a hobby. Its just work. Tweaking and building is the actual hobby.

  8. But that is not the hobby of the mass populous and that’s exactly my point.

    When PC’s were in 10% of the homes, 95% of those [basement dwelling geeky] people wanted to tweak with computers. That was the hobby; people used to put IEEE HDD’s on their Christmas lists. Glorious time to build and tweak machines.

    Now that PC’s are in 95% of the homes, only 10% of those people want to tweak with computers. Which is probably the subscriber list of MakeMagazine. And that’s fine, but it’s that same 10% that constantly causes me gout. They’re the first to come out with “LINUX IS T3H ANSWER” but they don’t realize that the other 90% of the market doesn’t WANT to devote the same amount of time to setup a computer or to keep running. For that 90%, the computer is a tool – not a hobby.

    That’s what the Linux camp can’t seem to realize. And that’s the point of the ZDNet article, way up at the top of this…

  9. Right, and I agree with you, but this is a blog from a Geek. Hence, I speak to you as a power user, I wouldn’t tell everyone to use Linux. Hell, I don’t even recomend it to most people I know. But your blog seems more aimed at the 10%, because most of the 90% couldnt even tell you what version of Windows they have. I used to work doing tech support, I know. I usually had to ask them, “Is it the one with the little green button in the corner?”

  10. Actually, my gut reaction on seeing that was “What?!? Only 30 minutes to download and install 98 patches??? No way that’s Windows”… That would have been download, install, restart, check for more patches, (repeat about 6 times).

    To be fair, though… if you visit Secunia, and navigate to where it shows the quantity of previous patches that were deployed for a particular product, you see that things like Ubunto, Debian, and the other popular various flavors of Linux have hundreds upon hundreds of patches too… nobody’s immune from needing patches.

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