Saturday, February 18, 2012

visiting other camps

It is a problem I face everyday, visiting other camps. I am a Linux guy and I have friends who are of the Mac camp and mostly in the MS camp. It is hard to describe to them what it is like in the Linux camp. They don't spend any time there, they really don't know. I try to say I am doing the same as they are in their respective camps, the push-back is always one of unfamiliarity. Many say "I thought, I heard........?" and "yeah but....." They expect others they meet are using MS PCs, Mac users often evoke interested surprise, but Linux users bring out the "Oh, what's that?" and the "I never messed with that!" remark. There is a geek envy but suspicious concern, "does he really think he knows more than me?" I've had MS based techs try to fix me (I should comply, conform or buy a Mac).

So to put all rumors to rest, it is all the same. There are shallow mouse clickers and deep code heads in every camp. All you know that is exclusive to your camp is similar to the same in the other camps, why? Because computers are the same. Macs design their own hardware, yes, but if the little difference was removed there'd be no difference. MS and Linux run on the same hardware, though MS is always trying to get PC hardware vendors to lock out other platforms (like Linux). How dare you buy a machine with MS on it, wipe the hard drive or repartition the drive or add a drive to install Linux along-side MS or to replace MS altogether! Then users don't want to pay for a MS they are not going to use. "Remove MS and you void your warranty!!" The typical consumer doesn't face this but this is normal for Linux users. Linux is still mostly a not on-the-shelf, after-market alternative. But, there are a few vendors that do offer Linux pre-installed on PCs (yeah man!).

Being a tech means fixing basic PCs from the MS camp. I don't mind hardware repairs, software repairs however requires me to be familiar with MS OS and software. I don't have time to live in both MS and Linux camps. My knowledge of MS stuff is limited. Usually knowing what tools finds the problem, the steps to fix it, the steps to keep it from happening again, helps big time. From my experience its fix the PC then the PC user habit (stop that!, please).

What is cool is Free Open Source Software that runs on the various platforms. Of course you can't take GIMP that runs in Linux and put it on your MS or Mac. GIMP is recompiled or re-coded to run on other platforms. The code is made platform compliant but the functions and interface or desktop you see and use are the same. So you get the version of GIMP that is made for your computer, it will run, you can use it. Mileage may vary is also the word of caution used in this cross camp pollination. The quirks of particular camps can cause camp specific glitches. It's not a perfect world. If it were there'd be nothing to fix. Hey, are you still grumbling my doing art on a Linux PC? You been in your camp too long, got to get out more.

No comments: