Just at a time when Microsoft screwed up Windows by coming out with Windows 8 and 8.1 which suck and suck a little less respectively, and ending support of XP; it created a window of opportunity for Linux to make it’s move into the mainstream. So what did they do? KDE and GNOME copied Microsoft to come out with new versions that really suck. In fact Linux has gone backward more than Windows in that generally Linux users want more functionality, not less.

Think about it. When you have an operating system that’s FREE and you can’t compete against an expensive operating system that sucks, what does that tell you? The Linux desktop was far better 10 years ago than it is today.

The one distribution that I like that I tested is Mint Linux. Mint agrees with me that GNOME 3 sucks and has forked GNOME 2 to create the MATE desktop. I brought it up in a VirtualBox and it’s the first time I installed a Linux distro where everything works.

It seems that stupid is the new smart these days. It’s like everything is getting worse. A lot of application software is worse. Internet is worse. Web browsers like Firefox getting worse. Yahoo email getting worse. Hotmail and outlook.com – worse.

Maybe it was a mistake to let stupid people have computers?



  1. ArtS says:

    Another example:

    Skype no longer supports screen sharing.


    • Tim says:

      “”The “modern” Skype application for Windows 8 does not support screen sharing yet.

      “”If you want to be able to use the screen sharing feature, then you need to install the “normal” desktop version.


      Windows Fedro is probably stopping it for some reason like preventing “terrorists” faking skype calls to themselves, or something. Remote applications like that can get doggy in any event — I *think* BT-sync has remoting capability, but I’ve not messed with it. Though, I will before going back to TeamViewer, I think. For some reason, if not updated to the latest then they completely throttle your session with mouse lags rendering remote support useless.

      • Tim says:


        Remote support is especially useless when I need to remotely install the latest teamviewer update on the, umm, client’s machine — talking through on the phone is why I should have made billions on “How To Cut ‘n’ Paste With Confidence”. Yes, it can get that bad.

  2. Tim says:

    I can’t even use Yahoo! mail at all now — You get attached. I’ve had that first email since 2002. First, it was having to allow their scripts to run in order to have a ‘send’ or ‘reply’ button with the *new look and feel* {your correspondance-based personal ads} — the only functionality intentionally ‘broken’ that I could tell.

    It’s the same now with it telling me my browser is out of date {UserAgentSwitcher was unfruitful} and the only two buttons missing are ‘reply’ and ‘send’. — I feel manipulated into going with the latest spybrowsers just to use their shit and thats why I hope M. Meyer gets quicky-bent over an old dodge in Chicago somewhere.

    But yea. It’s Idiocratizing. They don’t want people peaking under the hood easily. I first new I didn’t like the shape of things to come when I brought work home to the ‘new’ family computer with Win95 {yuck}. Some simple C-routines for quick ingest and display of in-field hardware data now simply choked under the DOS emulator. Recompiling was a slow, sweaty nightmare; and the recompiled code still would slowly sputter and choke. It was an instant hate-fest which lead to the quick discovery that Justice Department had beta’d Win95 for five years before its’ release. Anybody remember Back Oriface?? Hmm. How’d that get so easily implemented so quickly??

    I to used VirtualBox for my first Linux install — Ubuntu precise pangoline (12.04). It seemed smooth enough and the browser and network ‘just worked’ but I never did get around to doing with it what i’d intended {managing multiple VPN connections} because a military police force popped up out of the back yard making it difficult to swear pointedly while trying to work through the new button pushing sequence of still pretty inaccessible operating system manipulations only to finally have to look up commands anyways — typing *sudo* over and over on a personal machine is like typing www to me.

    I rather loathe 7, even though when it runs something it does seem a little less quirky than XP. I loath it because blocking it phoning home to microsoft everytime the wireless is activated would cause a popup stating “no connectivity”, even if I only needed LAN — This breaks some other applications. Also, it lacks any native search if *indexing* is disabled. Cute, Microsoft.

    ^^Anybody know how to make it not pop up and say that? or is it really baked into the Kernel??

    Life’s not fun for technically-inclined luddites these days — watching ‘tards fall in love with buttons and popups instead of any meaningful interaction that would serve to ‘train’ 90% of users into self-diagnosis and mantainence of their machines. One no longer gives the machine a ‘command’, one gives the machine a ‘request’ and it dicks around and usually finds some annoyance before going ahead and bogging it anyways.

    Pay for it? Would it be irony that the pirated versions eliminate much of the aggravation of using a retail windows install? — XP is free now, is it not? {I jest}

  3. The DON says:

    I am in the (lengthy) process of switching to Linux….. Crunchbang
    I find so-called modern Linux distros are trying to copy the Mac and windows too much, but crunchbang seems to be a little too nerdy for me – a challenge I am inclined to take up.

    Totally agree with you about Linux missing the boat, but cannot comment about MATE.

    Whatever happened to Linux being for non-new hardware?

  4. Rex says:

    I switched from XP to Ubuntu many years ago. I didn’t want anything to do with Vista. Then Ubuntu got screwed up. Gnome 3 stripped out features making it less useful. Now I run Linux Mint with Cinnamon. I love it. Once you get used to multiple desktops it’s hard to go back. Wine handles my old XP programs.
    There is always pressure for continuous change. But Windows 8 is an example of change when there was no reason for change. Programmers, make it better, don’t redo it so you can make more sales.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      A week ago I installed Ubuntu to give me some time to work any kinks out before seeing if I can avoid Win 9 upgrade from Win 7.

      I went Ubuntu to get a Media Front and Back End which is the most high tech thing I do. Still need to spend time with it to see how to edit videos and what not.

      It surfs the web just fine.

      Doesn’t have any learning curve at all….. course, I’m not doing any command entries at all.

      NOBODY cares about what OS they use. All anybody wants is the functionality of the apps.

      Marc==are you boycotting all the other Editors/Moderators/Contributers- – – -or is it Vice Versa? I think your OP’s are just fine, squirrel and all.

      We just need “more” politics, religion, perhaps a baking hint or two… more than once a week?

      • Tim says:

        “more” politics, religion, perhaps a baking hint or two

        I can’t think of the last time there was a posting on ductwork. How can I shine with a bushel held over my candle?

    • Melinda Gates says:

      “”Programmers, make it better, don’t redo it so you can make more sales.

      Right. And what are we supposed to eat? Bills’ billions?? … Wait…

    • Marc Perkel says:

      Interesting. I tried Mint/Cinimon but found it also to be too restrictive. MATE seemed far better to me.

  5. Freedom isn't FREE! says:

    I’m guessing you haven’t tried Ubuntu or a Red Hat derivative or even what the Linux people seem to all be gravitating to, like Manjaro?

    Saying “Linux sucks” is like saying all gasoline powered cars suck (which I might even agree with, but that’s hardly the issue here). Frankly, I’m a little surprised that a technical expert like Dvorak or any of his staff doesn’t know more about Linux and then makes such a ridiculous statement like that. It’s no different than taking a test drive in a 50 year old broken down Volkswagen Bug and saying you hate all cars because they all use the same kind of fuel — or have round steering wheels!

    Linux is the “core” operating system. In other words, Linux controls how things are processed NOT HOW THEY LOOK TO THE USER. As a tech expert, you should know this. You should probably even be familiar with the basic history of Linux and how it was originally intended as a replacement to UNIX when Linus Torvalds was looking for “something better” — that didn’t cost so damn much money and was also “free.” Of course, he (Torvalds) couldn’t use UNIX at the time because of the price tag. And the only other real alternative might have been MS-DOS which is what the masses of other users were still using with Windows as a sort-of afterthought “add-on”. Of course, there was also Apple to consider but it was an even bigger joke when it came to price tags — still is!

    But those outrageous price tags were only half the problem and probably not even half. The real problem was more of a LEGAL one where anything developed on those “proprietary” platforms would not be the entire property of the creator. That’s a bit over simplified, but you get the idea.

    What you seem to hate with Linux or should I say, “non proprietary” OS’s? is one of the many different SHELLS! And when you get into the GUI (Graphics User Interface) part of it, things do seem to get even more complicated where you are asked to choose what “desktop” to use like KDE or GNOME. But there ARE OTHERS! In fact, there’s even a totally other “free” (as in “free beer”) OS which isn’t even Linux called BSD. You’ll notice BSD’s mascot is a devil and not a penguin here too. But that’s a whole other discussion. However it may be noteworthy to realize that BSD is what Apple’s own OSX is most closely related to. And BSD can also use the exact same “desktop” interface (KDE, GNOME, etc.) that you might use with some other Linux distribution or “distro” like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, SuSE, Puppy, and so on too.

    The point I’ll eventually get to is that saying Linux sucks is way too over simplified. It’s no different than checking out a book at a public library and then saying the library sucks. You may even be using Linux in something RIGHT NOW (other than a computer) and not even know it. In fact, the majority of web sites STILL use a Linux OS on their servers. But I will agree that as an OS for a Personal Computer (PC) there’s much work to be done in order to bring even one of their popular GUI’s (like KDE, Gnome or even Unity) UP to the same sucky status as Windows 8.1. Buy hey! What do you want for FREE?!

    • Tim says:

      “”It’s no different than checking out a book at a public library and then saying the library sucks.

      If that ‘library’ needs to check my ‘liscence to read’ every five seconds while i’m trying to read then that place sux.

    • RayK says:

      I have to agree with you I have been using linux as my primary OS for 10 plus years and find it infinitely more stable and usable than any Win OS. The main problem I see with many of the “Modern” linux distros is the gradual elimination of the root user account hence the need to “sudo” just about every command. I use PClinuxOS which is a fork of Mandriva which was once known as Mandrake. This distro still has the seperation of “root” and “user” which makes command line usage a breeze. SU once and thats it. I use the KDE interface and have it configured exactly as I want it to function. Saying all linux sucks really is naive at best just plain stupid at worst.

    • IM72 says:

      Nice post. Too bad you ended it with the wrong word.

  6. dogphlap says:

    I agree 100% with this article.
    But I have to acknowledge the debt Linux users owe to Mark Shuttleworth for providing a solid usable distribution and a very good software repository (that Mint and many more utilise).
    Even though he is now pushing Unity it is trivial to use an alternative desktop. After spending so much of his own money it’s such a shame he went to Unity. I still run Mythbuntu 12.04 with its default XFCE desktop, though I will have to upgrade to 14.04 (still with XFCE) eventually. But it’s not just the desktop, Linux distributions are getting further and further away from their Unix inspiration (I’m thinking of how simple config text files are giving way to data bases, did we not learn anything from the Windows registry ?). Anyway well said Mr Perkel.

  7. John Ullman says:

    What makes me want to scream more than any other stupidities is are the wretched search functions in both OneNote and Evernote. If you want to search for a phrase, say “make love not war”, these brain dead search functions give you all the instances of the individual words in the phrase, like make, not, and even no. A tiny company, Micro Logic, makes Info Select which does search for phrase correctly, so it clearly is possible. http://miclog.com/software/Misc/is10overview.html Alas, there is no cloud version of Info Select. I would pay $100/year for it if there was.

    Other Windows frustrations include:

    1. I’ve not found good discussions of any issue I’ve had in the help function. Tons of irrelevant articles, nothing on what I am looking for. I always find what I want in ehow, or elsewhere.

    2. It is almost impossible to find the current day in the Outlook calendar. There is no option for giving it a distinct color. How hard could that be?

    3. File explorer is enough to piss off the Pope. If you want to scroll down the file list you have to click in the file pane, which is difficult to do because you have to avoid clicking on file names. A third party app, WizMouse, fixes that. I bet they don’t have 130,000 employees.

    4. I made a typo in and email address I typed into an Outlook message. The email didn’t send. It took going on the Internet to find out how to resend the message. When I brought it up to change the email addy and resend, Outlook wouldn’t let me edit the email address. I had to delete it and retype it. Outlook also remembered the bad addy and it took me 10 minutes to find a way to delete it.

    5. Windows 8.1 Metro apps can’t be resized. So when I brought up a pdf in Reader, I couldn’t bring up Word next to it so I could quickly transcribe the paragraph I wanted. It turns out you can pay $5 for an app that does what the Windows app should do in the first place. http://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/

  8. Mitchell says:

    FreeBSD 😉

  9. Lynux says:

    I thought you were going to talk about the whole systemd fiasco (replacement for system V style init) which is causing a lot of controversy lately. Didn’t realize they have also messed up the GUIs.

    If you want a Linux distribution for “geeks” go with tried and true Slackware oldest of the still maintained distributions and probably the purest in sticking with the traditional UNIX/Linux philosophy. Red Hat/Fedora and many others push too much custom stuff designed to trap he corporate world into licensing a specific distribution.

    • Tim says:

      So, more Xterm?

      xterm*VT100.geometry: 80×32

      Only, with the window baud rate {what does that even mean, today?}, can I get back to fonts that are computery looking or am I stuck with Comic Sans??

  10. IM72 says:

    I don’t understand what stupid people having computers has to do with the general loss of software quality. Please explain.

    • Tim says:

      Because there are billions and billions of stupid with dollars and probably 33 ‘l33t — They have no clue their software is shit. The rest of the little timmys are repressed by them until they only know how to push buttons to {a de-skilling learned by 20 years of showing people how to push buttons — no technique seems to work}… kinda the same with streetlights and 9 ft ceilings; Don’t look up, you won’t be able to see anything or touch it anyways…

      Dumming down on purpose:

      I’ve watched EX-physisists sit there and stare at a google search ‘dropdown list’ like they’re waiting for the punchline in a Simpsons rerun after typing *smi* instead of just going ahead with *smith* — This is an engineered censorship of thought already and, boy, is it a powerful dumming down.

      Aldus Huxley said something about lacking the ability to even question and loving ones’ servitude… He sort of intimated most people won’t be able to Google very effectively as time marches on, as well.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      Because the majority is stupid people and they program to the majority.

  11. pixelriffic says:

    I think it would be great if any Linux distro was a viable replacement for Windows. In trying a recent release of Ubuntu, it seemed more promising than ever. Until I noticed that Flash was broken right out of the box. Installing it was a bit less than intuitive, and the average user would have been quite confused, as attempting to install Flash via the browser does not work.

    No doubt, Linux is a great server and development platform, but combined with the much more limited app support that Linux offers, is is things like this that keep its desktop presence limited.

  12. DonW says:

    It sounds as if the Linux community has lost it’s way.

    With the unpopularity of Windows 8.x it seems like a good opportunity to expand the user base of Linux, but the kinds of problems noted in this blog will not help.

  13. Rottenham says:

    The mistake, Marc, was to have Marketing take over Product Management.

  14. HUGSaLOT says:

    For fucks sakes Marc you whine to much. Feels like I’m on someone’s personal blog whining about random stuff. This is John’s blog, not yours. This article sucks. All you do is just state how things suck with no explanation other than it’s “stupid.” So any minor change to anything you’re not used to you just automatically say it sucks. Maybe you’re the one that actually sucks Marc.

  15. JudgeHooker says:

    What stinks are the desktop implementations. The OS is fine, and this refers to Linux as well as Windows. Problem is that 1) the apps people really want are not in Linux and may never be, and 2) Linux will probably never catch on as a preferred desktop OS because the desktop experience has been defined by Microsoft and Apple. Remove these and Linux can thrive in other systems (phones and tablets are the obvious examples). I don’t expect this to change so long as my generation breathes. We like the XP desktop, even with its flaws and we have been working with it for over 10 years. Hopefully MS stops trying to make the desktop / phone / tablet experience seem the same when in fact they are not.


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