If you are an Internet addict, you are familiar with Tux, the Linux Penguin logo. All over the Internet, Linux fans are sounding off about how it, and “free software” or freeware can save you money, effort, nerves, data, time and just perhaps your soul.

Their mission: to replace Microsoft Windows and proprietary applications with the Linux operating system and freeware. Their claims are dazzling.

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Created by username 15 years 36 weeks ago – Made popular 15 years 36 weeks ago
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bogdanbiv's picture


15 years 36 weeks 22 hours 40 min ago


About Linux: "Freeware costs nothing, but disappoints"

"Linux fans begin with this claim -- that freeware costs nothing."
But even for free, free software does not add up. Much is promised, little is given, and the disappointments are many. The learning curve for Linux and freeware is enormous, because it involves relearning computing from scratch with software that is not user friendly. Add in the extensive efforts needed to install it on a DIY basis, and the time lost nullifies putative cost-savings.

This guy reiterates the argument brought up by Bill Gates in the '70: that free software doesn't pay. Come on, please let him know he should grow up!

lozz's picture


15 years 36 weeks 12 hours 56 min ago


Bill Gates Jr

He even sounds like Bill Gates. This is not the first time we've had negative reports on GNU/Linux from this site, condemning us with faint praise.

There's no doubt lawyers know which side their bread is buttered upon. How many lawyers are employed by M$? How many are employed by GNU/Linux? Game over, in their estimation.

kiba's picture


15 years 36 weeks 18 hours 38 min ago


He sound like he is living

He sound like he is living in 1998!

Plus he mixes freeware and free software liberally. Have we not state that the point of free software is freedom not free beers?

Though admittedly, free software is cheaper, but that is the direct consequences of freedom. Still, one would support the cause of all benefits, rather than the benefit themselves.
*Copyright creates monopolies. Copyleft promote the free market.

*"Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely"-- http://againstmonopoly.org

lmramshaw's picture


15 years 36 weeks 8 hours 52 min ago


The Penguin Doesn't Fly...

This guy is such a chump.
I mean, his name's ROD for a start...

"If you’re in it for the money, keep your distance from Linux and freeware."

So it's true, lawyers don't have souls, just stinking, empty cavities in their chest to stuff cash into.

jgaray's picture


15 years 36 weeks 8 hours 41 min ago



As usually in this sort of articles, the contents say a lot more about the author than about the matter itself. In other words, whoever reads this, will learn more about this lawyer (and possibly lawyers in general) than about GNU/Linux.

Indeed, he mixes freeware and free software, talks about the Linux experience many years ago, even states that computers 3 to 5 years old can work fine with Windows, whereas Linux would demand too much from them (!!!) And this I have to read from the screen of my old 1999-laptop, with a Pentium-III and 256 MB, happily running PCLinuxOS + Gnome.

And the DIY experience... :-D So if you buy Windows, a technician from Microsoft comes to your home to install it? :-D When it gets slower and slower and crappier after 1-2 years working, and you need to reinstall it, does the techie come again to you for free?

Most lawyers have trouble understanding the concepts "free" and "for free". After all, we woudln't need lawyers if there were no other lawyers out there. They are helpless.

pete_l's picture


15 years 36 weeks 6 hours 42 min ago


It seems most people haven't undersztood the article

The article is *actually* written for lawyers who might be considering trying out Linux. It's not meant for Linux people and it's not a technical assessment of various operating systems advantages or benefits.

Let me say that again: this is an article for lawyers.

The reason he says "don't do it" is because the monetary savings of installing Linux amount to 15 minutes of billable time. That's far less than the amount of time needed to install the thing - even if you don't spend any time seeking out a machine that comes without any O/S pre-installed.
It also doesn't include the time needed to "unlearn" Windows and re-learn Linux.

Never forget that the overwhelming majority of people just want to get stuff done. They don't care which solution is the more elegant, intellectually satisfying, or might pander to ideas of "freedom" or "choice". They simply have tasks to perform and want them finished with the minimum of time, fuss and complication. That's all.

allensaa's picture


15 years 36 weeks 3 hours 56 min ago


A PC without Windows is like a fish without a bicycle...

Actually, no pete. I can fully understand his point - he is obviously used to Windows and is completely dedicated to it, but at least he could be more technically correct about what he is saying and less contradictory to himself, especially about what "free software" actually is.

Strangely though, he must have picked up all of the bad distros since by dad's experience is somewhat different. He's a 70 year old mechanical engineer with hardly any computing experience. and after using Windows for about 3 years, he couldn't thank me enough when I installed XUbuntu on his 400Mhz P3/128MB RAM/3Gig HDD. Never again did he have to go through the process of putting another device driver CD whenever he added new peripherals - printers and scanners worked straight away as soon as they were plugged in, and every digital camera he plugged in showed up with a file browser displaying all photos on it with thumbnails. He too, didn't have time to learn what computers were about, but damn he doesn't know how to be quiet about how easy it is to do things on there.

Now, having a look at Rod Kovel's site (assuming that this is the same Rod Kovel at www.rodkovel.com) a statement near the bottom of the home page says:

Kovel is in the vanguard of the continuing battle over improper summonses and illegal restrictions on use of land and personal property.

That is along the lines of what proprietary software is doing. Microsoft, Adobe and others make people sign a non-disclosure agreement and waive their rights to "regular property law", where as free software is struggling to keep it for us, and when I say free I mean free as in unrestricted--not price--such as a free man or a free country.

Regular property law is what allows people to pull stuff apart and modify them (in accordance with the law) - it's all a part of owning something. It's what allows us to fix our car when it breaks down, it's what allows us to renovate our houses when we need to (assuming that we own our houses in the first place).

Proprietary software, on the other hand, aims to strip people of that right whenever they purchase from a proprietary vendor. Free software, on the other hand again, is fighting for everybody's right to own the software they have.

Free software isn't about price, it's about your rights to ownership. For example, we should be able to purchase software and be legally entitled to hack it. That's right, free software can be sold to earn a living from it.

Of course, most lawyers don't care about this, but when there is an increase in the amount of people working for information technology, programmers and system administrators will grow increasingly irritated at how restricted they are - especially when they find out how much freedom they should be having.

Again, there are lots of other points I could bring up about this article, but this is the main irritation at the moment.

arito's picture


15 years 36 weeks 3 hours 43 min ago


Re: It seems most people haven't understood the article

Did you read the whole article, pete. Only small part of it is something sensible and it's the rest 96 % that's being criticized here. The writer could have just told his colleagues his opinion that installing Linux is not worth the time spent and given his reasons.

I get the impression that after a bad experience installing Linux, the writer, to keep himself away from feeling stupid, turned his frustration into an attack against the OS. The main incentive for the article seems to be mental self processing, not taking care of colleagues.

You emphasize that the article is for lawyers. Why should the truth be distorted to them?

TtfnJohn's picture


15 years 35 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago


This got taken apart on Groklaw...

For example not only were his questions answered and suggestions given in the Mandriva Forums but there were offers of help there too.

Of course, he confuses FOSS with freeware which are entirely different things nor does it appear that he did much research as Puppy Linux for all that it's great at what it does isn't a distro I'd go to for an office environment much less one in a legal office.

And yes, he's writing for lawyers some of whom know much more about Linux and use it in their practices but if, as he appears to do, you set it up to fail then, guess what?, it will.

Another problem is that few these days have to deal with the issues around installing Windows on bare metal, as it were, he'd know that every problem he cites as a Linux problem he'd run into with Windows and then some. Including "why doesn't my wifi card work?" and many more.

As to specific legal applications I'd simply say that legal types seem to find them, among them PJ, so if he'd bothered looking he could too. (Or just asking around, I'm sure PJ would have happily pointed him in the right direction.)

It's not so much that he had a bad experience or series of bad experiences the only conclusion I could come to is that he wanted to have a series of bad experiences and, therefore,he did.



Ubuntu87's picture


15 years 35 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago


Linux DIY installation is extremely complex, convoluted ????!

Meanwhile, a Linux DIY installation like a DIY auto repair, is extremely complex, convoluted, time consuming and often dicey, something a lawyer may not want to bet his or her practice on.

Oh, come on. Excuse me, but this lawyer has no idea what he's talking about, I can bet he never even tried to install Linux by himself.

Now, an installation for Ubuntu Linux, for example, is extremely complex, confusing, and convoluted, while a Windows installation is easier than drinking water?? Is that what you're telling me?? :D

See, guys, this is the problem with most of FUD messages posted by Microsoft worshipers. 90% of them are not supported with scientific and logical evidence or personal experiences.
In fact, in my own opinion, 90%, if not 100%, of them are just repetitions of Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer's words, only in a new tone.

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