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Why Linux will Never Win

I recently got the urge to try one of the Unix-based OSes out there.  I have lots of extra resources on my PC so I went and installed Virtual PC 2007 and downloaded the ISO of FreeBSD (www.freebsd.org).  Installation was a bit old-fashioned (reminded me quite a bit of Win95, but in an old DOS/4GW way) but it all went successfully and I was left with a good old command prompt.

I had installed X, so all I needed now was to install Gnome and I’d be on my way.  My previous Linux experience had already taught me this.  I’d hate to think what inexperienced users would do.

Anyway, I use Vista to look up how to install Gnome on FreeBSD.  It’s actually pretty easy.  One command and it downloads the latest version and installs it.  Awesome.

So now I’m back to the command prompt.  I look up how to start Gnome.  "GDM" and it’s loading.  It then proceeds to take over a full minute to get to a point where I can do something with it, and it’s in a huge resolution that’s too big for my monitor.  I find the configuration to set the screen resolution adn there’s nothing in the dropdown box.  Well, that’s great.  Maybe I’ll just try installing Firefox.  It came with Firefox 2, so I use it to download the build for Firefox 3.  It’s a tar.bz2 file.  I look up how to extract that.  I type tar -xvjf and the filename and it doesn’t work.  Says the bz2 is an invalid format.

Frickin’ fantastic.  So far I’ve spent about 5 hours with this OS and all I have is a window manager that reminds me of 1998, a resolution that’s too big, and I can’t even install the latest version of Firefox.

Explain to me again how "M$ Windoze" is worse than this?  I put the Vista DVD in, it installs everything and automatically starts the window manager automatically in a resolution that makes sense for my monitor.  I open up IE7 and download the latest setup for Firefox 3 and double-click it.  Bam, installed.  Time spent?  1 hour, most of which was installing the OS.

I’m giving up on FreeBSD and will try a Linux distro to see if it’s any better.  Maybe this Ubuntu I keep hearing about.

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