I downloaded and tried to install LinuxMCE build 0704 tonight (main wiki page here and video here). This was another attempt to install one of the Linux based media center / personal video recorder solutions -- this one in particular was interesting because of all the claims about how much better it was than Windows Media Center. The install of Kubntu was was seamless enough using the Quick Install DVD but it was all downhill afterwards. I couldn't get it to load with alpha blending or masking settings -- it kept failing due to the fact it couldn't start the Orbiter. Finally got the setup screens to launch by selecting the basic UI. That's where I got stuck -- I couldn't even get past the initial setup screens after trying to do so after an hour. Perhaps LinuxMCE is great if you can get over all of the hurdles. The video seems to have been created in the Seattle area -- anyone want to show up to our geek dinner tomorrow with this running to show it off...?

Which reminds me to remind you not to forget joining me in welcoming Scott Hanselman to Microsoft. Details here on this post about when and where: http://blog.retrosight.com/GeekDinnerOnSeptember12AtCrossroads.aspx.

Categories: Linux | Comments [10] | # | Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 7:35:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Chris and I have been having an offline, private email chat today -- all of it good discussion -- I'll leave it up to him to share what he wishes from that exchange of thoughts. Truly, thanks for engaging, Chris, both publicly and privately -- and pushing us on these issues. Chris has also been posting comments both here and here. He still can't bring himself to accept the challenge (yet). Rather, he wants to claim the following...

"We're comparing apples and oranges, discussing different qualities of each, and you're wanting me to put an orange up against your apple."

Nice subtle inflection point, by the way, comparing your Linux orange with my Windows apple. (I caught the 'wink', so perhaps not too subtle.) If I buy into this statement I would be de facto conceding Mac OS X is better than Windows Vista (or even Windows XP) -- which it isn't (in my opinion). But I digress.

Right before that statement Chris compares and contrasts the features quite boldly:

"When I rave about XGL, it's because of what it's doing - and how it does what it does. Nothing even comes close to that in Windows Vista - in pure features or implementation. If there's a challenge (in my mind), it's already been settled. Vista's new Win+Tab feature vs. the XGL shortcuts in a Linux DE."

In my way of thinking, you can't have it both ways. Either we can compare these things, or we can't. If we can't, then don't.

So, while he is deciding on whether to accept the challenge: I installed SUSE 10.1 tonight. I have *only* installed (accepting all defaults except for prompts such as user name and password stuff) and booted to the desktop -- then turned off the machine. I learned some things (you can't help but learn if you choose to install) which I will share at a later date.

Chris, you better accept (or decline) fast -- while I'm still relatively ignorant.

P.S. Hurry -- I'm downloading the Mandriva ISO now...!

Categories: Linux | Windows Vista | Comments [2] | # | Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:19:21 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Update: Chris continues the talk, but no walk yet. He added a response elsewhere: http://channels.lockergnome.com/windows/archives/20060911_windows_vista_thoughts.phtml but curiously still has not accepted the challenge.

In The Windows Vista Challenge Chris responds to my challenge, but noticeably does not (yet) accept the challenge. He asks everyone to go read John Naughton. The quote he pulls from John includes the following:

"And yet while Microsoft engineers were trudging through their death march, the open source community shipped a series of major upgrades to the Linux operating system. How can hackers, scattered across the globe, working for no pay, linked only by the net and shared values, apparently outperform the smartest software company on the planet?"

And then Chris goes on to make a few more points in support of this assetion by John and summarizes with this:

"There is no perfect operating system, and I’m certainly not suggesting that Linux and/or OS X are totally teh shiz. What I am saying, however, is that as far as cohesive, compelling user experiences go - I believe that Vista’s Aero fails (on the whole)."

But he seems to indicate with Linux + XGL you do get 'the shiz'...

'You can operate an XGL desktop perfectly without having to upgrade your video card first. To add insult to injury, XGL sports infinitely better (and reasonably more) eye candy than Aero does. Windows Vista is hardware hungry, no doubt - and I’m challenging Microsoft’s assertion that Aero is a “breakthrough user experience.”'

'XGL, on the other hand, is breakthrough...'

So, if Linux really is outperforming Windows, and XGL really is that breakthrough, this challenge should be an absolute walk in the park for Chris. Come on, Chris -- put your money (figuratively speaking) where your mouth is and accept the challenge. It totally works for me if you want to use Mandriva Linux 2007 RC1 instead of SUSE 10.1.

Categories: Linux | Windows Vista | Comments [5] | # | Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 7:44:42 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

[ Changed title -- first one was kinda / sorta over the top all by itself -- let my emotions peek through :-) ]

Normally, I find Chris Pirillo's blog an enjoyable read, but not lately. It's tough hearing you and teammates esentially being called a bunch of idiots every time you read his posts as of late. OK, he did have one semi-positive post here, but still couldn't find it in his heart to write something totally positive -- note the twist of the knife in the last post. He's got a serious bug up the ole wazoo in regards to Windows Vista, and the cream the doctor prescribed doesn't seem to be easing his discomfort.

His pointing to XGL running on Linux was seriously laughable, though. I understand Chris wants to make a point about the UI / user experience in Windows Vista, but it seems to me you have to look at the entire user experience, starting with installation. I'm downloading the distro identified by Wikipedia which ships XGL as a "a non-default in one major Linux distribution, SUSE 10.1". (I'm not clear whether the DVD ISO contains XGL -- we will have to see. I and might have to go with the Internet install which 'contains all packaged software for SUSE Linux'.)

Let's have a head to head competition on identical hardware, Chris. Windows Vista RC1 (Beta Software) vs. SUSE Linux 10.1 (Released Software).

You and Ponzi are even invited over to the house (Nancy can cook y'all some good North Carolina i.e., southern cooking the likes of which you can't find much of, if any, here in Seattle.)  I'll even let you run the Linux install, just so nobody can claim I stacked the deck against you.

Up to the challenge...?

Categories: Linux | Windows Vista | Comments [4] | # | Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 5:58:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   
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