January 23, 2009

Why linux can never replace windows

I have rather jumped into murky water talking stuff about Linux. I am a Luser myself and I still stand by everything I said about Linux. Allow me to present my views on why Linux would never replace windows as a desktop favorite.

My theory is When things are going fine, people would rather not have a choice. This is kind of a fairly obvious observation. Imagine you are really thirsty and you go to a juice shop to have some orange juice and the person taking the order goes like this, "Do you like your orange juice organic or regular, with or without calcium, or with minimal or maximal pulp, Do you want it with regular sugar or low calorie sugar?..." and the list is endless... I have been through circumstances where I just felt like yelling "ANYTHING... As long as it looks orange in color and is served in a glass(which need not necessarily be transparent may I add!).

This is the same thing that happens with Linux. The same flexibility that made it such a big hit on the server side is putting off novice users. Why else do you think IE still happens to have 60% of the share? I agree a lot of people don't know, but they don't want to, because IE works and as long as it gets work done, people don't care..

This is precisely the point I tried to make in my previous entry. Just look at the installation process. For every layer, I have to choose out of 6 or 8 alternatives that look and sound similar and all of them make absolutely no sense to me. I cannot be sure if something that works for someone else works for me. Go to any Ubuntu forum, that is what you find. It puts off people. Then there are dependencies, fancy libraries, and worst of all desktop widgets. Unless all the distributions agree upon some basic guidelines to make the installation and running the basic system easy, Windows is going to rule.

PS: No more Luser posts from me.

January 17, 2009

wanna be Linux user a.k.a Luser

I was curious about Linux ever since I saw it for the first time after coming to IIT. I was curious, not impressed. I didn't really get a chance to play around with it much. I was intrigued by the passion with which linux users hate windows and Microsoft. I am fully aware of the consequences of what I am going to say. Just for the record...
I know I am a Computer Science student.
I know that as a CS student, it is blasphemy to say something like this.
I know this blasphemy might result in me being shunned by my own tribe.
But I have got to let this out.

All I have is this little piece of advice:
If there are any newbies out there planning to try linux Please don't.
I agree it is beautiful but Please don't.
I know it is faster but Please don't.
I admit it is a little masterpiece in itself but please... Please don't.

My bad blood with linux started almost an year back 2 days after I bought my computer. I put ubuntu in it and it just wouldn't play sound. I googled for a weekend to figure out the problem and after a LOT of effort, I managed to get some sound out my speakers but the headphone port still didn't work. Then I tried Fedora and it is even worse! I settled with opensuse which has this real good looking desktop with absolutely no functionality. I ditched and used windows peacefully for nine months and then the linux bug got into me again. Every time I install linux and it doesn't work, I say to myself, "The installation is the tough part, once I install and configure everything, it is a piece of cake. So I better not give up..."

The results of this futile unbreakable resolve summarized:
1. I have installed 7 different operating systems in my comp in the last 1 week and still nothing works the way it is supposed to.
2. A pissed off me blogging about it.

So All ye Linux lovers who say "A world without boundaries doesn’t need Windows or Gates", I have only one thing to say:
sudo apt-get a life :p

January 9, 2009


The year so far has been uneventful for me. I don't like the word uneventful, so lets just say I raised the bar for what I consider "eventful". Like in the past few years, I haven't done anything on new year's eve. The last time I had "fun" on new year's eve was when I was in this hell-hole-hostel preparing for IIT-JEE. We had a "grand" dinner. I tasted meat for the first time in my life; didn't really like it. Then we saw a couple of movies, broke my new glasses in the excitement of smearing cake on someone else's face, stayed awake till 7 AM and went to my uncle's place to sleep. That new year was special because I knew I would be a different person leading a completely different life by the end of that year and would forget everything I had been through the last one year. I had just one resolution.

That hell hole hostel I was staying breached all acceptable forms of human dignity and they still do. There is not much we can do about it as long as all those pseudo-ambitious parents want their kids to be engineers only because their neighbor's kids are engineers. Fighting that system would take a life time, So for a start, I wanted to start with something where results are quicker.

In institutes such as these, Child labor is rampant. Little kids all of eight or nine are made to do menial chores like cleaning up the premises, washing utensils etc. They were exploited; made to work for 15 hours a day, often trashed and abused for "laziness" all for 800 rupees a month. The money was sent to their parents. The kids themselves got nothing, they slept in rag sacks under the stairs and were given 10 rupees a week to watch the latest movie. Yet no one cared or complained. The people who own these institutes are big in political circles themselves, So they were never charged for anything as far as I know. I couldn't make any noise about this when I was in there because I had important personal goals that needed complete focus and also I was on a scholarship. That new year's eve I resolved that I will do something to stop child labor there.

It was one of the first things that I did after coming to IIT later that year. I contacted this famous organization called Child Relief and You (CRY). I gave them the details of what was happening there and they sent me back an html form to fill. It was mandatory in that form to give details about the children and their parents. I mailed them back explaining my position and got no reply. I made a couple more half attempts and gave up. No one else knows of my futile attempts or how strongly I feel about this because I gave up so easily. This time I wont.

If any of you guys want to help me do this. Please mail me your contact details to jayanth@cse.iitb.ac.in

Over the moon :)