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Is Windows Ready for the desktop? May 28, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Very Humorus article by Robin Roblimo on Newsforge. He was very funny.

” My primary desktop monitor is a 15″ LiquidVideo LCD monitor purchased from mainstream electronics retailer Circuit City. It has always had the slightly annoying habit of going through a short “AutoAdjust” routine on every startup, but it happily accepted the generic framebuffer video input used by most versions of GNU/Linux during their bootup and installation processes. During my attempts at Windows XP installation, the combination of the LiquidVideo monitor and the HP Compaq d220 microtower’s onboard video produced constant, totally annoying screen blinking that made it almost impossible to do things like type in the long, so-precious “Product Key.” Note that this “Key” is not a simple, English-language password, but a 20-character string of apparently random letters and numbers. It took me several tries to type the “Product Key” correctly without being able to see it on screen because of the constant blinking. I doubt that most users would put up with this problem. I suspect that most would simply return their copy of Windows XP to the store where they bought it and go back to familiar, user-friendly Linux”

This is a problem probably better associated with the Onboard video card or maybe it was Windows XP Home, I use Windows XP Pro but I do have an iLo LCD monitor, which is a very no-name Wal-Mart LCD and I had no problems installing either Windows XP, Sun java Desktop or Solaris with the monitor, UnixWare doesnt work with it but most other OS’s I use I have had no problems. The 20 string product key is actually 25 {cheapshot} the guy obviously cant count, so I can see where he would have difficulties only using 20 characters in a 25 character product key {/cheapshot}

” I could not get Windows XP to detect the HP Compaq d220 microtower’s onboard Broadcom NIC. I used another computer to download XP drivers from HP’s site, and burned them to CD for installation on the d220, but still no luck. This same NIC was detected and automatically set up by MEPIS, Knoppix, and Mandriva Linux during their installations. I was surprised that Windows XP was not able to do the same. In the end, I bought a $15 “generic” PCI NIC from a local retailer and installed it. This solved the Windows XP network interface problem. But I doubt that most home or small business users would want to add hardware to a working computer just to convert from Linux to Windows, especially after paying $199 for their new operating system. ”

Once you get it working, you should have no problems. but expecting a 5 year old OS to have the same driver support as a present day Linux distribution in my opinion is pretty unreasonable. Also i would hate to see a non-techie try to configure networking on any computer, you may wind up with something you cnt fix.

” The SimplyMEPIS version of GNU/Linux I run on my “workhorse” laptop computer includes a full-featured office suite, ftp, chat, and graphics software, and dozens of other useful programs on its installation CD. Windows XP included none of these, and most of the equivalent packages available for Windows are costly. Some, like Microsoft’s Office software (which is similar to OpenOffice.org but doesn’t read as many file formats and won’t directly save your work as PDFs), cost more than the operating system itself. ”

If you need Office to print PDF’ files PDF Creator on Sourceforge is free, and doesnt cost as much as the OS itself.

” I found that the tools needed to give the Microsoft Explorer Web browser included with Windows XP some of the same modern features that are standard in the Firefox Web browser that comes with SimplyMEPIS are pay-for add-ons, which seemed somewhat silly. Even the “better” version — Outlook — of Microsoft’s email software costs extra, as do most of the ftp clients available for Windows XP. ”

Granted IE sucks, so why use it. Download Firefox and use it. If you need IE, use the AOL Explorer or Netscape. Both of which work fairly well. Also Filezilla, is a Free FTP client for Windows and is better than most of the commercial software out there. you also have Putty and SCP available for Windows if you are more familiar with those interfaces. If you are truly a geek, Microsoft does include a free command line FTP client.

” Yes, Firefox, the Thunderbird email suite, GAIM, GIMP, and many other well-regarded open source programs are now available for Windows XP, but each must be downloaded and installed individually. They are not included in the base Windows XP install. This makes no sense. If you pay more for Windows XP than for a typical Linux distribution, shouldn’t it come with the same — or better — software on its installation CD? ”

Not unless, Microsoft makes it. Not even Mac OS X, Netware or even Solaris contain alot of 3rd party software. Simply put they dont want to support it. It also helps with competition, Other vendors can make these add-on and extra software and make money, improving the economy and allowing others to participate. Therefore its benefical that Microsoft Apple and Sun dont make all these extra packages. Common Linux distributions include the software but you also get no support, unless you trust a mailing list or newsgroup.

The last part of the article just gets silly so Im not going to comment on it. But for everyone, check out your OS choices and make the best choice for yourself. Dont let yourself get talked into a switch without checking it out thouroughly and dont ever let anyone tell you any OS is more beneficial. they all have their flaws and annoyances. So while Windows XP has some, Linux, mac and others have their own little quirks that you will find annoy you.



1. Anonymous - February 12, 2006

Hi Richard,

I’m thinking of getting an ilo monitor….how do you like yours? I would love to hear your opinion.

Thanks in advance!!


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