[talk] Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

Scott Robbins scottro at nyc.rr.com
Fri Nov 21 15:49:07 EST 2014

> >
> >	We live in a bifurcated environment. If you want to run Netflix on FreeBSD you’re doing it wrong. Go get a mac or windows pc and watch Netflix. The idea that FreeBSD/Linux/HURD/Plan9 has to run on end-user machines is, in my view, insane. Linux on the desktop hasn’t worked as a concept for almost twenty years now and it’s well past time to get over that. You want Unix on a laptop? Enjoy OS X. Works better than anything else. You want to hack a “proper” Unix on your laptop? Use ssh, or install VirtualBox or something and do it that way while you get to use web browsers that actually work, trackpads that support gestures, and consistently available copy-and-paste.

Sorry, I can't agree with that.  Let's take my earlier mention of Fedora
and RedHat.  I used Fedora on my workstation and laptops, which helped
prepare me for what I was getting paid for, seeing what RedHat was going to

Ok, a real world example, of Linux, not a BSD, but. .  I had a laptop that had come with
Windows--Vista?  No idea.  It was old. My wife's girlfriend wanted a laptop
but didn't have money enough to buy a good one. I set this up for the
friend, complete with Japanese input, and, due to some Linux developer's
work, the ability to use her Netflix account.

So, this girl couldn't afford a Mac.  Windows would have run badly on this
old computer.  If Linux weren't as popular as it is, its developers might
not have encompassed someone who put in the time and effort to get Netflix

The more I run FreeBSD, the more I learn about it--maybe the
fact that while watching a movie on it, I might be doing something else
too, whereas if I were watching it on a Windows machine, I might consider
it too much trouble to go over to another computer. 

And many of us might just do it because we can. The fact that you don't
think that's a good idea just means that for you, it isn't.  You could
say, Well, look how much time you're wasting trying to get X to work doing
Y, but who knows what might come in useful sometime down the road?  

Maybe someone else will want a computer of mine later, and it has FreeBSD
on it, and because I spent what some might consider wasted time getting
something to work, I can give it to them without having to waste the time
to install Linux on it for them to get a program they need.  :)

Scott Robbins
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