Archive for June 24th, 2005

The stupidity of some linux distros

Fedora was supposed to be “user friendly”. It’s not Linspire, Xandros or even Mandriva in terms of “home desktop-orientness”, but it IS geared towards new Linux users as well as experienced users.

Now, I was discussing Fedora-x64 with my ex-fiance over IM today (we are still good friends, yes), as he installed it two days ago on his brand new 64bit AMD machine. His previous Linux experience was only a few days with Lindows, 2 years ago.

He is very fond of Fedora, he was very surprised to see automatic support for his bt848 TV card, network, sound, graphics etc. However, he was not able to find a way to mount his NTFS and FAT32 partitions that that machine also has. I told him to “su -” on a terminal, “mkdir /mnt/fat32; mount /dev/hdb2 /mnt/fat32; cd /mnt/fat32″.

At first he said “why NTFS support is not there?”, and then he said “why do I have to use the terminal for something like this? On Lindows this worked on the file manager automatically”. And then I explained to him that Fedora simply uses /etc/fstab as its instruction to what to mount and what not. He hasn’t heard of fstab of course, and he was unhappy to hear all that mumbo jumbo and for the first time he started to think negative about Fedora. But then, the really bad thing happened. He said:

“ok, I know what to do. I will run as root, all the time. It is ridiculous to have to provide passwords or login as root every time I want to do something that XP or even Lindows would allow me to do as a user”.

I tried hard to explain to him that running as root is dangerous. His machine is connected to the internet but he said “oh, but I have the firewall enabled, and I am the only one who uses that machine”. Then, I told him that running as root he endagers the machine to crash or to misconfigure in the case of a pref panel or system app had a bug. He said “but open source does not have as many bugs, right?”.

You get the picture. From one side we have a new Linux user who has been overhyped about Linux and from the other side we have a company (Red Hat) who doesn’t wanna make up its mind of what Fedora really is and provide a solution that really works for the indended audience. Fedora might be a so-so “business desktop” solution, but it sucks ass as a home desktop. Everyone is free to not use it of course, but the HYPE is what I can’t stand in the Linux world. Fedora is a piece of shit in terms of usability when compared to OSX or XP.

Take eggcups for example, that runs on Fedora by default, it takes 40 MBs of RAM. For WHAT? For a fucking tray icon for printing jobs! And I don’t even have CUPS installed or running! And yet, when I kill eggcups it keeps coming back, relaunching itself! God help us.

The new OSNews face coming along nicely

So, Thom Holwerda and Andrew Youlle from are now joining OSNews. Thom will be the editor in chief, replacing myself. Thom was very active at EZ, so I am sure he will be the same at OSNews too. He needs to learn a bit more about programming (so he can ask interesting questions to interviewees and to evaluate programming articles) but other than that he is an excellent choice, my first choice too. 🙂

As for the new commenting system, it’s coming along nicely, it should go public beta this coming week! Adam is working relentlessy on this.

As for me, I am sitting outside in the balcony right now, something I haven’t actually done in a while! And I am reading Harry Potter.

Life is better when you don’t have any “virtual” daily responsibilities.

Except that dentist me and JBQ had to endure this morning… I had two fillings done (nothing major), but JBQ had to do a root canal. It was a terrible experience for JBQ, 2.5 hours on the drilling chair. 🙁