Monday, March 2, 2009

A Waste of Bandwidth

Did you ever tried Zen computing?

Did you know that dreams can come true?

Do you know where debian meets other things?

Do you know what happens when a gnome reaches something else?

Do you want to discover the difference?

Well, you are one click away to explore these exciting things. Basically you will need a 600 to 4200 MB of bandwidth (and another 2-300MB for the gazillion of updates (there is no escape, *buntu will bombard you with the messages)).

There is nothing wrong here, you will get a lot of software:
  • a desktop environment (typically KDE, Gnome of XFCE)
  • a complete office suite: OpenOffice (don't forget to search the forums to find the well hidden speed improvement options)
  • a "Photoshop replacement" called GIMP (do NOT even try to comment the incredibly ugly UI)
  • a really good web browser: Firefox (or the same thing rebranded to Iceweasel because of some weird political reasons)
  • other 23672 software titles you never heard of.
Burn, format, install and enjoy. Not for your taste? No problem, you can go with the next.
Just download another 600MB iso. I think it's worth this price. Just imagine, you will get a lot of software:
  • a desktop environment (typically KDE, Gnome of XFCE)
  • a complete office suite: OpenOffice (don't forget to .......
Wait.... Something is wrong here? YES!#~ We are installing the same things again and again.....

This is caused by another fundamental lie in this whole penguin advocacy: the choose the right GNU/Linux distribution trap. Theoretically you are supposed to choose the right distribution, by downloading each of them from their nice website. These websites will promise you everything you have ever imagined. But looking more carefully you will notice that most of them are just clones, the differences are minor, they contain the exactly same set of software with a different desktop background and of course a different slogan. Building from the source, installing in text of graphical mode, does not matter: you will have the same results.

One thing may be different: one hardware (or software) may work with one (because they forget include a bug from upstream) and the same hardware (or software) will fail with another (because a bug passed the "community" tests).

My favorite is this *buntu clone. They are producing an elegant and comfortable distribution. You can download their 650MB / edition ISO's. But I can give you a better idea. Just add their repository to your apt list and you have Mint (in Ubuntu for example). Their whole work is only a few megabytes. No disrespect for the creators, but what is the point of this Mint thing?

Just imagine MS doing the same thing with Windows. Selling Windows under 200 different names:
  • Windows Brown Background edition
  • Windows Green Background edition
  • Windows Start Menu on Top edition
  • ...
  • Windows Satanic edition
In the real world any respected download site does not allows posting of clones of the same software. They are protecting their users from downloading them same or sligtly modified thing again.

Yes, I know. The freedom. The freedom to be stupid.