Linux is Hard!

Or is it just different?

People used to walk everywhere, which is pretty easy, right? Unless of course you can’t walk, but let’s not be too pedantic here. Eventually, most of us learned to drive or ride a motorbike. Is that inherently easy? Could ease ever be described as something that needs contrast to be so?

I’ve always said that Linux has a steep learning curve, or something to that effect. I appreciate that about Linux now. Yes, it can be a tough nut to crack, particularly when compared to the likes of Windows and Mac. I know it sucks when things don’t work, but guess what, they can get it wrong too.

It took me a while to realise this myself, but a heck of a lot of people go into Linux with Windows firmly in mind, expecting it to be Windows, however, it’s a totally different operating system; an entirely different platform! That’s like stepping into a car and expecting it to drive like a motorbike.

I watched a video recently of a guy raging because he couldn’t deal with Linux not working as he expected. I’m not going to spout nonsense about how Linux always works or something, because the truth is it can be a major PITA. That said, this comes to mind:

“You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.” – Master Ryutan.

Granted, you can’t really get a fair chance to mess with your cup if the thing doesn’t even work at all, which is why it took a while to get to the point at which I could learn all this stuff and get so involved with GNU/Linux, as some people insist on calling it.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully accept and understand that it’s not everyone’s idea of fun to fill your screen with virtual terminals and type out command after command. I know many people feel typing jargon is like going back to the days of MS-DOS, when such apparent gibberish meant you got something done.

Well, you still can get things done, and far more efficiently — why do you think the Linux command line has survived all this time, even in the age of such excessive hand-holding like the so-called “free” Windows 10? Your games and programs were created from lines and lines of code, or a program with a UI made from yet more lines and lines of code.

I loved Windows for years, but Windows 10 was the final straw. Ultimately, Micro$oft and Mac lock you down, but, provided it works on your hardware, then Linux will set you free. Is that always a good thing? No, as there are many opportunities to screw up if you overlook something, especially for a “power user” like me who loves to tinker and tweak.

I hope Linux will continue to mature and rise up to the challenge of appealing more to those whom refuse to use a terminal and want a more “user-friendly” environment. I want those things too — I’d love not to need the terminal for anything, and that’s coming from someone who loves it! I want the option not the necessity to use it.

Linux has achieved a lot, but there’s still quite the journey ahead for desktop users.

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Windows 10 Notification in the Windows 8.1 System Tray

Before I begin, “Windows 10 is coming on 29 July 2015,” to quote Microsoft on the Q&A page of their website. For those that don’t know, the offer explained below is open for a year after release, after which we have to pay for it.

I had mostly kept my distance from Windows 10, thinking it’d just be another mess that would take ages to fix, and end up a PR mess, but I saw my way to being excited when I saw the following on the system tray:

Windows 10

Windows 10 Download,” the highlighted item reads, followed by, “Reserve Free Upgrade,” “Run Windows Update,” and “Get to Know Windows 10.” I say, Microsoft, you sure do know how to whet my appetite.

Upon clicking the download option, we’re met with a nice little window:

Windows 10 2

This window tells us that this free Windows 10 upgrade can be reserved and the download will begin when the upgrade is actually available. Apparently, you can also cancel the reservation at any time, so fear not, if you change your mind, it’s all good. The window also states that the free upgrade is for the full version, and not a test version. I would assume that to be obvious, since you can already freely download the Technical Preview of Windows 10. The download will be 3GB in size, which will fit nicely onto a DVD, assuming they’ll make the ISO available.

Once you’ve set your reservation, you are you to wait for a notification, after which Windows 10 will be downloaded onto your device. Once available, and presumably downloaded, you can carry out the installation another time or immediately.

Microsoft tell us here, “Viel spaß,” German for “Have fun.” I’m not sure if I should make a sarcastic comment about how we’ll probably all have a severe headache on launch day, as opposed to actual fun … oh wait, I just did. After the installation, you’ll have Windows 10 as is currently available.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. If you don’t have Windows 7 or 8.1, then I suppose this will be an interesting read, otherwise I imagine you’ll have already read in on the window itself!

Are you excited for Windows 10?

If you observed the white title bar text atop the black border, then perhaps you might be interested in knowing how to do that. Head on over to The Return of Black within Windows 8.1, to learn how to make your cheerful Windows 8.1 go to the dark side.

Update…

Apologies, I completely missed the arrow that revealed more information!

In a nut-shell, it’s Windows selling their product; making it sound super hot. To translate the German I’m seeing: “Windows 10 is trusted and user-friendly,” Microsoft claim. “The start menu is here again and with that you can use a mouse, keyboard, or touchpad.” Apparently you’ll find, “all the trusted features and much more.”

Microsoft are claiming that Windows 10 “starts and wakes up from standby quickly,” which, to be fair, is exactly what we already have with Windows 8.1—my copy of Windows 8.1, with decent hardware and an SSD, boots up and logs in from nothing extremely quickly, and as far as standby is concerned, well, it typically wakes up and goes to sleep faster than I can sit down and stand up.

Microsoft are showing off the multitasking and ability to have 4 windows on one screen; big deal! We’ve been doing that for ages. Come on, Microsoft, show off something new. Windows 8.1 already lets you tile 4 windows neatly on the screen. Surely people don’t want to buy the same old crap—stick with the new stuff that shows it’s worth the upgrade.

Windows 10 is apparently, “full of innovations.” Microsoft says, like Cortana, your, “entirely personal, digital assistant.” Riiiiight—because we’ve never seen a personal assistent before! Totally innovative, Microsoft. Bravo. I’ll try to hold my pessimism, but it strikes me as a lot easier to do things the normal way, rather than faffing about with some “entirely personal, digital assistant,” that may or may not work reliably.

For those of you interested in apps, Windows 10 looks like it’s going app-crazy. This Windows 10 Download window isn’t really saying anything about what the new app features or the new apps actually are, but I was impressed by their claim of having 47,000,000 popular music titles on the app store, films in HD, TV series, and of course games.

So, that’s really it! We’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

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