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Thread: Linux desktop OS a no go

  1. #11
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    Jan 2008
    Linux is great if you look like Gore but with thick rimmed glasses... and you collect boogers as a hobby.

  2. #12
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Shawnee country
    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    Anyway, I see the thick client desktop rapidly becoming a thing of the past, so Linux is well and truly stuffed in that area.

    However, with the advent of thin client architecture, and server/cloud based applications, I see Linux as a winner, because the OS is transparent to the user, and Windows is a very entrenched thick client OS.
    Hi, Nihil. Is the thick client desktop really becoming a thing of the past? Rapidly? Are there thin client alternatives yet? Netbooks, the closest I've seen to a thinner client, have essentially failed on the home user market. In the enterprise, I see no alternative to more powerful computers yet. I'd like to see Dassault's CAD software run on a thin client.
    Last edited by brokencrow; October 21st, 2010 at 02:03 PM.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  3. #13
    THE Bastard Sys***** dinowuff's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Third planet from the Sun
    CAD will never run on a thin client. As BIM architecture becomes standardized (AutoDESK - Rivit leading the way) 3D modeling will increasingly become the standard for global Architects and General Contractors. 2D Drawings are going the way of the dinosaurs.

    Though it can be done, I would never do video editing remotely. Sure the hardware is available (Rack Space - Amazon) however, I'm not paying for 20+ M of bandwidth needed to do that efficiently.

  4. #14
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    In my experience CAD has always been run on dedicated thick clients because that is how the applications are designed and written. You only use hardware and operating systems approved by the vendor of the CAD application.

    I have seen both Sun and PCs running CAD applications. The PCs had twin Intel Xeon processors and more RAM than you could shake a stick at.

    The operating systems were NT 4.0 SP6a and Solaris.

    I "inherited" one as one of my desktops............twin Xeon 998MHz and 8GB of RAM. It would piss all over the PIII and P4s that were standard issue

    I don't know anything about video editing (and I would imagine music is much the same?) But it would make sense that they were thick client.

    Having said that, you can count the number of users of that highly specialist software in thousands whereas users of standard office and business software are counted in their multi-millions. It is those users I am referring to when I predict the demise of the thick client desktop. Sure, the thick client will remain in home and small business environments, but that is not where the money or market penetration really comes from.

    In terms of global desktop operating system penetration they are totally insignificant.

    Also I doubt if you will find any top range professional CAD system that will even run under Linux or OS-X for that matter.


    Hi, Nihil. Is the thick client desktop really becoming a thing of the past? Rapidly? Are there thin client alternatives yet?
    Well, I remember working at a client in the mid 1970s who were located just outside London. Their applications and file servers were in Houston TX and belonged to NASA. That was cloud computing as I see it.

    In the 1970's and 1980s a typical commercial or institutional set-up would have a mainframe or mid-range computer with dumb terminals attached (eg IBM 5250s). And you cannot get a thinner client than a dumb terminal!

    More recently I have used Citrix Meta-frame (there are others). I was in London and the applications and fileservers were 500 miles away in Scotland. All I had on my desktop was the Citrix software and a few icons.

    All the people currently trying to persuade you to use their cloud computing services will supply you with thin client software to connect to them.

    Actually, it is very easy to do it yourself. All you need to do in install the apps on a server and create an icon with the network access path, then deploy the icon across the clients.

  5. #15
    Antionline's Security Dude instronics's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post

    Computers are commonplace these days, and MS have positioned themselves to satisfy the dumb user. I know of a fair number of non-computer types who go into a store and buy a PC on price, just like a washing machine, refrigerator, microwave or TV. And they expect it to work like those domestic appliances. They are not interested in OS choices, they just want it to work!

    Another aspect is that MS is a multi-billion dollar corporation, and it has a marketing budget to match............... Linux isn't and doesn't.

    There are far too many Linux distros........ that makes people nervous. With Windows there is just the current version and older ones that are still supported or not. A much simpler and easier to understand scenario for your average user.
    I totally agree. My point is not to get linux to overthrow windows as a desktop computer, but to just stop trying to kill it off. Linux as a desktop 'can' be just fine in many scenarios. Its true that if you take a windows user and try to convert him to linux, he will spend most of his time comparing the two, and whatever is different from their past experience and knowledge, would be a negative for linux in their point of view. However, if you take 2 people who never saw or touched a computer before, and you give one of them windows, and the other linux (they would both have to learn from scratch), the windows user would at some point start going nuts about all the issues that windows makes you go nuts about. Whereas the linux user, would have to deal with a lot less problems and would be more satisfied with his computer and also save alot of money in the long run.

    Yes, there are some categories that do not fit in my scenarios, such as gamers, or graphic designers (although gimp is not too bad for an average home user), and ofcourse some special applications that run only on windows.

    However, the point is here, is the linux OS as a desktop really dead? Ofcourse they can not compete with M$ who have the multibillion dollar advertisement and corporate tactics, but linux does have enough advantages to not die out. And its not only about a free alternative. There are also commercial applications in the linux world. Its not about free in the sense of money (although it does play a role to some people), people who need stuff done are willing to pay, be it for software, service, support, that should not be a reason to differentiate these two OSs'.

    As for the WHY there are not so many applications or the same ones available for linux, is NOT because linux would not be able to run them (from a technical point of view), but its that the software vendors dont offer their products for a native linux environment. The only company that would suffer if software vendors were to write their apps for linux TOO, and not JUST for windows, would be M$.

    Why dont software vendors write apps for linux? It doesnt have to be free, and linux users would also pay the price for applications. I sure as hell would pay for some application if i really wanted or needed it. Heck, they dont even have to make it open source.

    So its not about linux not being able to cope as a desktop computer (again from a technical point of view), its about the big and greedy corporations not wanting this to ever happen.

    And when it comes to simplicity, linux is really not harder. Take suse, bubunuti, or its sub flavors like linux mint, or some other of those neat desktop distros. Full GUI, much easier to navigate, much easier to add applications to the system, much easier to maintain the systems. Not all linuxs' are like slackware, bsd, gentoo where you need alot more shells and knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    And Windows will update itself automatically; Linux doesn't, so the user has to do something
    That is not true. You can set a variety of linux distros to automatically update, with official support from the GUI of choice. How ever, in general (no matter which OS) i find that automatic updates are bad. How many times has the auto update messed up a windows box? Not to mention after ever auto update, the windows box wants to reboot itself, sometimes even more than once. I have seen game servers go down during peak hours, wheres the linux counterparts didnt need to reboot after they updated their systems automatically.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    And each Linux distro has its zealots, fan bois or whatever, so they don't even agree amongst themselves. As Jesus said "a house that is divided against itself will surely fall", and your own comments on Ubuntu do seem divisive to me, to say the least
    Very true, however the reason i hate bubunuti is of a personal nature, which came from a personal bad experience. I hate bubunuti cause it takes you away from having to learn anything. It tries to become dumber than windows is. Installing bubunuti is MUCH easier than installing any windows OS. Working on it is also easier than any windows OS. Dont ask someone who uses windows to make that comparison. Ask someone who started out with linux, and moved to windows (like that ever happened ). I remember when SuSE was still a german product (before novell bought it), it had the most terrific hardware support any linux had, and it was very user friendly, and very easy to use. Now that novell has it, the hardware autodetection sucks, US laws such as codecs, encryption, etc... have severly crippled it (the security section in the repos of suse are 1/3 of what used to be there before novell bought it). SuSE was the perfect OS for any linux newbie. Ubuntu, just took the menus and some ready scripts and the debian repos, and tries to make it perfect system, whereas the hardware detection and support is very poor.

    My point here is, that ubuntu is too confusing, to many different bubunutis, fueling the argument of too many different versions of linux, and to many problems in its functionality to make it 1/2 as good as the bubunuti people advertise it to be, and the truly great linux distros out there are left in the shadow suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    Microsoft have won the desktop battle but they have not won the war. They are currently badly positioned because their OS is heavily thick client orientated and inflexible. If Linux cannot take advantage of that situation then you might as well wipe it from your drives and join the herd
    Again, you are right, and again, my point was (maybe badly put in my first post) is not to get linux to take over the desktop world. Its about the false and bad reputation given to it with statements such as 'Linux is dead as a desktop', where i can bet that m$ has their fingers in that article somehow. However linux cannot take advantage of that situation, due to the lack of finances, and support since its not a multibillion dollar corporation.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post

    Another thing just came to mind........... when you get run down by a short bus; who the hell is going to support these systems you have set up?
    Well.... until their hardrive dies and they need a reinstall, they are pretty much alright. They know how to update and backup their stuff, and apply patches. The systems will never crawl, or crash, or annoy them. However if they systems die (hardware wise), then they are pretty much screwed since they only know me for those issues in the location where i operate. They dont have root access, but only sudo access for what they need to keep their systems patched, updated, and running. Lets hope nothing happens to me, and if something does.... im sure m$ had their hands in it too
    Ubuntu-: Means in African : "Im too dumb to use Slackware"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Its about the false and bad reputation given to it with statements such as 'Linux is dead as a desktop'
    But its not false. People don't use it.

    Even computer hobbyists only do so out of peer pressure or pity. Then they spend their time emulating software and devices it doesn't support... or just letting the entire thing lay in their partition practically untouched.

  7. #17
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by The-Spec
    But its not false. People don't use it.

    Even computer hobbyists only do so out of peer pressure or pity. Then they spend their time emulating software and devices it doesn't support... or just letting the entire thing lay in their partition practically untouched.
    I consider myself a "computer hobbyist," and I use Slackware on a desktop because it comes with everything I need to run a webserver and a secure file server right out of the box. I never used it out of peer-pressure or pity - I began using Linux back in the Windows 98 days because I needed something that wouldn't BSOD every time I looked at it the wrong way.

    Using XFCE, it provides me with just as comfortable a desktop home-user experience as Windows 7 - and uses less resources.

    I have Firefox to browse the web (admittedly, it's not as good as the Windows version, and a bit trickier to install certain plugins) and the Linux version of TeamViewer works great for my support calls. There are multiple multimedia players that run under Linux flawlessly.

    Using Wine, I can use my day-to-day Windows applications such as µTorrent and Microsoft Office. I wouldn't mess around trying to play any kind of graphic-intensive games on it though.

    Linux can provide a user-friendly desktop experience for the common user. It takes some tweaking... anyway... I've lost my train of thought now...

    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  8. #18
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by The-Spec View Post
    Linux is great if you look like Gore but with thick rimmed glasses... and you collect boogers as a hobby.
    Look like me with glasses? Really? I don't look like any form of the stereotypical nerd.

    I also know what a Vagina looks and feels like in person instead of pictures. And I haven't ever lived in my Mom's basement. I also hate Battlestar and... Whatever else star. I hate Star Trek, I hate any movie about space and ships flying around and making up bullshit languages.. (Looking right at YOU **** heads who actually learned "Klingon" before learning how to shower)...

    I'm hurt Spec! And after all the times I've stood up for you! I should cry, and moan and...

    Yea so anyway, "Linux is dead on desktop" is kinda dumb.... I mean I have a point now:

    Let's say that a very average user needs a computer system. They are going to use this system for average uses, like setting up their bills, keeping track of their bank account, "surfing the web" (Which is average user code for "I'm gonna download porn every day of the week and open every ****ing HotGirlsTakeItInTheButt.avi.exe" and wonder what happened)....

    And so, the average user needs to have a web browser, an email client, a client for Instant Messaging, and maybe IRC, and they need Office software so they can type out documents, do Spread Sheets, maybe the odd presentation for their kids school, and of course, MP3 players, CD players, CD Rippers, Encoders, video players, and a few arcade games, and in general, not much else.

    Well, let's see now:

    Spending a down payment on a BMW would get that a Mac, with OS X, but let's pretend they don't WANT to. Of course a Mac can do all of the things listed, and more, but who cares?

    They could go to their Super Duper Screw you in the ass mart and buy a brand new top of the line gaming rig they don't need.... Salesmen usually love idiots.... But let's look at the PC option:

    The Average user decides to by a Computer from Company "Whatever Inc". They order the machine, and decide that since they need it on a daily basis, and so will their kid to do school work, so they buy TWO computers. (Hey, it's still cheaper than the Mac).

    Computer A has the same Hardware as Computer B. Computer A is running Windows, and Computer B, they had it come with Linux pre-installed.

    Now we can find out something can't we? With Linux coming pre-installed just like Windows, we've essentially removed the BS lines Microsoft tells people. The machine is running OpenSUSE, and the other, Windows 7.

    Both are good OSs, and both can do everything listed and required of them...

    So, where's the "Hard learning curve, have to be a virgin that looks like a bridge troll" mentality? The computer's both came with the OS installed, so they both get set up, and both are being turned on for the first time.

    Computers A and B, get turned on, and the Linux machine boots up as does the Windows machine. Let's look at a common task or two now:

    they both want to try out that new CD burner, and make a CD for the car. They have an external HD full of their music files, and transfer them.

    Windows and Linux both do this task, and then they begin:

    The Windows user pops in a CD, and starts making the CD after using paid for software.

    The Linux user sticks a CD in, and K3B does the same.

    OK, nothing there...

    Now what if they wanted to take a Linux .iso file and make a bootable CD?

    Windows machine cries and says "Buy this and this" or "Well you can use THIS CD burning software, which looks and acts nothing like the other 50 on the shelf, and costs money"...

    The Linux user Double Clicks on the ISO file, and K3B opens up, checks the MD5 sum for you, and then you click ONE button, and it's done.

    I've personally installed Linux on a lot of machines for people who are **** with computers in general. I got so tired of cleaning up viruses and trojans that I just installed Linux on their machine, put KDE and Gnome on there, told them to use KDE, and made the Desktop have a few Icons on it only:

    A Firefox Icon so they would have a browser they already knew how to use, a Pidgin / Gaim Icon to get on AIM, an AMSN Icon for that, just in case they didn't want to use the other one for it, an Email Client,and added a portion of the "K Menu" to the quick launch so they could click on the button, and it would show them all their office and work apps, and then put XMMS on their desktop.

    The updates showed up in the taskbar just like on Windows, no change there, and after I did this, I didn't have to ever fix it again.

    they had no viruses, no trojans, they no longer had infections, and Xine let them watch all the porn they wanted.

    So how is there a difference? The reason people say Linux won't work on a desktop is that they always assume Linux was downloaded and installed by hand, even though a BUNCH of companies will gladly sell you a Linux only preinstalled Computer for a cheaper price than the Windows one, and with only the Web Browser and a few things on the Desktop, there is literally no way to not understand it.

    Seriously, if you get a Computer, and see the desktop with a Firefox Icon and it's named "Web Browser" and the Email Client marked as such, and so on, and you think this is a learning curve...

    You REALLY need to grab the manual your machine came with, call the tech support number, and when they ask what the problem is and how they can help you, simply say "Yes, I bought a computer recently from you, and would you please take it away from me, as I'm to ****ing incompetent to use it?".

  9. #19
    rebmeM roineS enilnOitnA steve.milner's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Just for the record...

    Before getting my mac I was using Linux as a desktop OS in a generally M$ office environment, and I had been for over 10 years. RedHat, Fedora & CentOS

    I could do anything I wanted it to do in the corporate environment and tons of stuff my M$ peers couldn't.

    I did use a VM to run the deep and complicated Excel stuff I worked on - Mainly pivot tables hooked to evil database queries.

    There is nothing wrong with Linux as an OS for the desktop.


    IT, e-commerce, Retail, Programme & Project Management, EPoS, Supply Chain and Logistic Services. Yorkshire.

  10. #20
    THE Bastard Sys***** dinowuff's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Third planet from the Sun
    At this point I have only two things to say.

    1: HOLY **** nihil - a 5250? I knew you were old but damn man; exactly what did Christ look like?

    2: My google language preference is set to Klingon.

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