| The administrator is Linux is called "root". It was
| never any different. "Sudo" is a utility to elevate
| programs to "root" privilege. Same with "su". You still
| have to provide your "root" password.
OK. That's similar to Vista/7. But the original idea
with root/Administrator was that it was the person
who is not limited. You're redefining it: "It's still root.
You just have to enter passwords sometimes." That's
like saying, "Your flight has landed in Los Angeles, sir.
It just happens to look uncannily similar to El Paso. On
the bright side, this LA has less smog than the LA you're
familiar with, even if there is nothing here but dirt and
hydroponic lettuce fields."
It's not root, or Admin, or whatever
you want to call it, if you have to enter passwords
to "elevate". The "Administrator" account [hidden]
on Vista/7 is the only real Administrator on Vista/7.
It's the only one that doesn't have to elevate. That's
a radical change from NT4/2000/XP. Likewise, last time
I used Suse I had to dig to find Sudo because root
didn't have full control.
(I'm currently on XP running on FAT32, so I'm pleasantly
free of all that mess. Neither Vista/7 nor Linux offers me
that simplicity, even though I can sort of achieve it if I
know how to navigate all the secret settings.)
| > Linux, like NT, was never designed to be a Desktop OS.
| You are kidding? Linux can be a Desktop or Server depending
| on how you configure it. I do both all the time. And Xfce
| makes an excellent desktop.
I mean Desktop OS as opposed to corporate workstation.
In other words, Linux and NT are both designed to work as
servers or workstations, but neither is well designed for use
in a SOHo environment where people own their own computer.
The excessive and obscure security is a good example of that.
Actual control of the OS is intended to be available and
understood only by sys admins and the stray "power user".
Network security is difficult to maintain while local security is
excessive. (IE is similar. It's a browser for corporate use,
designed to be controlled not by the person using it but by
their corporate bosses.) A SOHo computer needs to be just
the opposite: Local security is not required, while network
security needs to be tight.
| > On the spying issue, I'd consider Linux worse than
| > Windows. I'm not aware of any Linux firewall that handles
| > detailed control of outgoing communication.
| Are you kidding? I write firewalls on Linux for a living
| and I can tell you in absolute terms that is not the
| case. I can lock down a Linux machine so tight it squeaks.
Are you saying, then, that there is at least one good
Linux firewall (reasonably priced or free), that is easy to
configure to allow full control over all incoming and outgoing
activity, on a per-program basis? Is there such a firewall
that will act like a typical Windows firewall, popping up a
window whenever *anything* tries to go online, allowing
me to decide what action to take and letting me set simple
rules to allow or block that activity? In my experience the
answer to that question takes one of two forms:
1) "You don't need to block outgoing on Linux."
2) "There's iptables, numbnuts. RTFM."
| Do you
| realize Windows 8 wakes up in the middle of the
| night an installs updates? YIKES!
Indeed. Windows is getting harder to control with each
rendition. But you're going back to the Linux vs Windows
debate. Pointing to shortcomings in Windows doesn't excuse
shortcomings in Linux.
| > I haven't tried WINE in some time, but last time I did
| > I didn't find any software I used that ran without a hitch.
| > Typical Linux scenario: It *sort of* works, but don't think
| > you'll accomplish what you want to accomplish without
| > rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty.
| > I tried to cooperate with the WINE programmers to get my
| > own software running better, but they didn't want to
| > cooperate. Their idea of cooperation was for Windows
| > programmers to report bugs. They don't provide any API or
| > real docs for Windows programmers to work with WINE,
| > despite the fact that the system works by mimicking the
| > Win32 API. They're essentially a group of overgrown teenagers
| > who want to be able to run the latest Grand Theft Auto
| > on Linux. And WINE is another case of 20 years in the
| > making. They release updates about every 10 days. For
| > 20 years!
| If you pay for it, Code Weavers will fix any problem
| you have with Wine.
I guess that would be nice to know if I were forced to run
100 copies of Ace and Acme Business Software for my
business and I had no choice but to use Linux. But the
idea that I might be able to pay someone to make the
software I need work on Linux is hardly a selling point. :)
The WINE people could improve things. If they would
provide docs and updates about Win32 API support for
Windows programmers then the software could arrive
WINE-friendly. But they can't be bothered. They just want
Windows programmers to work as testers and bug reporters.
| > I would like to be able to transition to Linux if I have
| > to give up Windows, which just keeps getting worse in
| > my view. But Windows is still fun and there's a lot of
| > software for it. Linux is not fun and there isn't a lot of
| > software for it.
| Since I work in Apple, Linux, and Windows, I have
| to tell you, Linux is closed to the assembly code than
| any of the rest. And it is a total hoot to work with.
| You just haven't learned it yet.
I'm no expert, but I have used it quite a bit. I've tried
it out periodically to see how things are developing. As
I noted earlier, I tried working with the WINE people for
a short time when they came into Windows programming
groups looking for volunteers.
Each time I try Linux I take the approach that it might
be showing promise if I can set up a good firewall (as
noted above), install WINE, and maybe set up a few
utilities/software, without having to search online for
obscure lines to add to /etc/* files, without having
to open a console window, and without getting frustrated
with software that has no help other than a man page.
So far, Linux hasn't got that good in my view. And the
last time I tried it (Suse), as I mentioned earlier, it was
getting worse from the other end: Trying to hide the real
root from me on the one hand, while requiring console
windows on the other. That's why I've been stressing the
fake root issue. Linux has always been the system with
"some assembly required". As the more polished distributions
begin to try to also protect me from myself, Linux becomes
the worst of both worlds.
| > The Linux fanatics don't help their cause.
| > They adopt an emotional us-vs-them attitude and feel
| > they need to be cheerleaders and apologists for Linux.
| > In many cases they're contemptuous toward the very
| > people they're trying to convert. I don't see Linux becoming
| > a really usable Desktop OS until it's out of the hands of
| > juvenile geeks-on-a-mission.
| Hay, that contemptuous crap goes both ways. You aught
| to see the crap Windows Tech Evangelists foist all over
| everyone that violates their religion.
Yes, but we're talking about Linux. Again you're
lapsing into us vs them. Though actually I don't find
much Windows arrogance except among MS employees
and shills who depend on the MS "ecosystem". Windows
is unexciting. It's just a tool for the people who use it.
Mac and Linux, by contrast, both attract vehement
partisans. Perhaps that's mostly just the "psychology of
the minority". Minorities have to deal with the majority,
which can cause resentment. The majority doesn't need
to notice the minority in most cases. As a Windows user
there's nothing on Mac or Linux that I feel I'm missing