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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Linux vs Windows

Truth be told, I hate Linux. Or rather, I hate using it in any significant way. It's not the kernel I hate, or the distributions, or even the interfaces. No, it's the Linux attitude.

Here's what I mean. Take your average Joe, who's trying to use computers in his own way. He's not terribly technologically-inclined, but he finds his way around. He's just installed Ubuntu, and now he's looking for a way to play his favourite MP3s. For whatever reason (we do not know, and Joe has even less clue at this point), he cannot do so.

Now, under Windows, WMP comes with a fairly complete help system, but nothing in there helps, so off goes Joe to the Internet, and starts searching for WMP troubleshooting tips. He can browse through Microsoft's immense support library, and he can see a whole lot of third party sites that may offer some advice as to why he cannot play his MP3s.

What is the situation on Ubuntu? Well, first thing Joe sees, he sees a site that looks something like this. Wow! That really reassures Joe! Let's quote a bit from here...

Eventually you need to install a current totem-pl-parser too.
But a simple download, unpack, ./configure, make and sudo make install is sufficient.
Guys, I dunno about you, but a Windows user can simply download - and in many cases, the download can automagically install itself as well (if the user selected the option). But I'm being unfair - this is not really a troubleshooting site, is it? Let's look on further.

We find this site on Fedora. But it does mention Rhythmbox (Ubuntu's media player, amongst many), and MP3s, so yahoo! However, the first few sentences say getting it to play MP3s is one hellaciously difficult task. But at least we're getting somewhere!

Now, Joe's not genius-level smart, but he figures, hey, I downloaded this Ubuntu, so maybe the people who let me download it know something about this issue. So off he goes and does what he should have done in the first place, right? Now he's at, maybe that will get him somewhere. And it kinda does, really. Joe may have to dig around, but some persistent work and he will get the answer (in this case, the MP3 decoding libraries were not installed, so Joe has to install them)

Okay, so after a bit, we can say that someone with a bit of tenacity can get somewhere. What will happen, though, if you tried to post this issue in a Linux user forum? I'll tell you what. RTFM, GTFO, STFU, RTFM, did you RTFM, you luser? Go back to Windows, you n00b!

Yes, I think Joe will be taking their advice.

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