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Date:         Wed, 13 Jun 2001 22:18:26 -0700
Reply-To:     kmself@IX.NETCOM.COM
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@IX.NETCOM.COM>
Subject:      Re: was "running SAS": is "shame on SAS"
In-Reply-To:  <sb275773.013@SLCM02.firsthealth.com>; from
              JackHamilton@FIRSTHEALTH.COM on Wed, Jun 13,
              2001 at 12:06:59PM -0600
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on Wed, Jun 13, 2001 at 12:06:59PM -0600, Jack Hamilton (JackHamilton@FIRSTHEALTH.COM) wrote: > There are various GUI's available for Linux, but KDE is pretty good. > A Windows user would find it a bit strange because the graphical > widgets are different, but it wouldn't be scarily unfamiliar - > certainly no bigger than the change from Windows 3.1 to Windows 98.

KDE's a nice interface, and it's what I'd recommend to people making the jump from current versions of Legacy MS Windows. However my own preference is WindowMaker -- rock solid (my desktop session's been up since April 11), clean, fast, useful, and unobtrusive. Screenshots:

http://kmself.home.netcom.com/Images/Desktop/

> The problems I see are

> (1) that you have to know more about the guts of the operating system > than you do with Windows,

It generally helps. As someone wrote recently: you don't have to know more, but you can -- the OS lets you go deeper. And there's benefit in the knowledge.

At a site offering support for GNU/Linux, the guts knowledge can be offloaded very effectively to your IT staff.

> (2) that the Unix line commands are very different from the > Windows/DOS line commands,

...but very similar among flavors of Unix. Actually, for some tasks (particularly networking), the GNU/Linux and Legacy MS Windows commands are very similar.

> (3) that Linux does not support as wide a range of hardware, so it's > not usable on some machines which can run Windows (it doesn't > recognize the modem on my machine at home, for example, so I can't > dial out) (this is using SUSe Linux 7.1), and (4) that the > applications aren't there yet, or at least aren't as easy to find and > install.

I'm hearing mixed stories on this. For bleeding-edge consumer hardware, GNU/Linux support may lag. Some people are reporting better HW support under GNU/Linux than under Legacy MS Windows -- and there's always the question of which flavor of the ever-growing MS Windows franchise you're referring to. NT has always had significantly less supporte hardware than the 9x series, I believe 2K and ME follow similar trends. As for Winmodems, support (referred as "Linmodems") is increasing, with some recent vendor news on this -- and vendors are the key in most areas. If you find yourself with unsupported hardware, let your voice be heard.

In my own case, my desktops use jumpered modems (Best Data, about US $60-70, and US Robotics, came with the box). My laptop has a built in Lucent Winmodem for which there is a GNU/Linux driver, but I prefer the more reliably supported PCMCIA modem. Currently doing marvelously. Also noted recently in someone's comments: you can buy several non-Winmodems for the price difference between GNU/Linux and Legacy MS Windows ME.

> I agree that Linux has a ways to go before Microsoft should be scared, > but the problems aren't in the GUI. The GUI is probably much easier > to solve than the hardware incompatibilities.

Hit me off-list on your hardware issues.

-- Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/ What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? There is no K5 cabal http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/ http://www.kuro5hin.org Are these opinions my employer's? Hah! I don't believe them myself!


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