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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

XP, Vista, Ubuntu and then back home


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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD

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Originally Posted by NaplesBill View Post
I agree with DrQuincy about Ubuntu being the most advanced OS. I also agree with mac57 in that OSX offers the best compromise. I would add that as a younger man with a lot more free time I loved "tinkering" with OSs. I remember having to replace my BIOS chip with a new one in order to load OS/2 2.0. I also messed with Slackware 1.x distros at that time. I have loaded many distros over the years but I no longer have the time to HAVE to configure every aspect of Linux. This is why I think Ubuntu is great. You have the ability to go to that level if you like but you don't have to. This also means that you can just load and use it but improve it when you have the time. The lack of an easy path to iTunes and Windows Media is the biggest downfall to Linux. The Windows Media can be done but it's not perfect.
Let me start off by saying that I like Ubuntu (and Linux in general) quite a bit. However, I wouldn't go so far as to call it the most "advanced OS". In terms of Linux distributions, it is perhaps the easiest to configure and use for someone who is new to Linux or computing in general.

That said, it still has a number of kinks to work out. For one, Ubuntu doesn't come out of the box with WPA support for wireless networking. If you want to enable WPA, there are a number of tutorials that explain how to do so - but it isn't anywhere near as easy as it should be. Typing paragraphs of commands to install up to date wireless drivers (assuming there is even a Linux driver that has support for WPA for your given Wireless card) and getting the WPA-supplicant working can be quite an ordeal.

In addition, Ubuntu also suffers the same weaknesses that most Linux distros do as it relates to correctly determining and using screen resolutions. In many cases, even after reconfiguring X, my Ubuntu installations still were never able to either detect or configure the correct native screen resolution for my laptop's widescreen display.

These are just a few examples of problems that are very simple to correct on other platforms, but can be a nightmare on Linux (and Ubuntu) if you don't know what you're doing or don't feel like dredging through forums and reading countless articles.

In my opinion, Linux's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness - and that is that there are very few facets of the operating system that are standardized. If you like tinkering, that can be a very good thing. But if you're an average Joe who wants something that "just works", it can be maddening.
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NaplesBill

 
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Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Let me start off by saying that I like Ubuntu (and Linux in general) quite a bit. However, I wouldn't go so far as to call it the most "advanced OS". In terms of Linux distributions, it is perhaps the easiest to configure and use for someone who is new to Linux or computing in general.

That said, it still has a number of kinks to work out. For one, Ubuntu doesn't come out of the box with WPA support for wireless networking. If you want to enable WPA, there are a number of tutorials that explain how to do so - but it isn't anywhere near as easy as it should be. Typing paragraphs of commands to install up to date wireless drivers (assuming there is even a Linux driver that has support for WPA for your given Wireless card) and getting the WPA-supplicant working can be quite an ordeal.

In addition, Ubuntu also suffers the same weaknesses that most Linux distros do as it relates to correctly determining and using screen resolutions. In many cases, even after reconfiguring X, my Ubuntu installations still were never able to either detect or configure the correct native screen resolution for my laptop's widescreen display.

These are just a few examples of problems that are very simple to correct on other platforms, but can be a nightmare on Linux (and Ubuntu) if you don't know what you're doing or don't feel like dredging through forums and reading countless articles.

In my opinion, Linux's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness - and that is that there are very few facets of the operating system that are standardized. If you like tinkering, that can be a very good thing. But if you're an average Joe who wants something that "just works", it can be maddening.
I think advanced can be taken in many ways so point taken.

Also, I have never used Linux on a laptop so I guess that is why I've never realized the issues with WPA. I have never had any serious problems with video drivers or screen resolutions. Installation of video drivers is definately more complicated than it should be though. Also, enabling 3d accelleration can be a bit of a chore on some systems.
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Kenotic

 
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I would have to disagree with you on WPA support specifically. All you have to do it get "easy" WPA support is to install networkmanager. The display issues can be a problem if you are using intel hardware or nvidia/ati with out the 3d drivers.

I do agree that OS X is very simple to use and you do not have to do all that. It just works out of the box.
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,636
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Originally Posted by Kenotic View Post
I would have to disagree with you on WPA support specifically. All you have to do it get "easy" WPA support is to install networkmanager. The display issues can be a problem if you are using intel hardware or nvidia/ati with out the 3d drivers.

I do agree that OS X is very simple to use and you do not have to do all that. It just works out of the box.
networkmanager is the gui front-end that allows you to use WPA, but you have to have wpa-enabled drivers installed first, which are not native to Ubuntu. This means that you'll need to identify the specific chipset in your wireless card (not too hard if you have a Centrino machine, but very difficult if you're using a name brand card that doesn't identify the chipset), then locate the drivers package (if it exists) and install and configure it. Either way, it's not an easy thing to do for the average user and compared to Windows and MacOS, it's a nightmare.
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NaplesBill

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
networkmanager is the gui front-end that allows you to use WPA, but you have to have wpa-enabled drivers installed first, which are not native to Ubuntu. This means that you'll need to identify the specific chipset in your wireless card (not too hard if you have a Centrino machine, but very difficult if you're using a name brand card that doesn't identify the chipset), then locate the drivers package (if it exists) and install and configure it. Either way, it's not an easy thing to do for the average user and compared to Windows and MacOS, it's a nightmare.
That sounds like a Linux issue not just Ubuntu. Or am I missing something?
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Supercooled

 
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Alice said it best -- there's no place like home.
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