Collection of Interesting Articles on OSS

OP
Rahim

Rahim

Married!
The biggest problem I came across with Linux Developers are their attitude. Whenever someone raises some negatives or problematic areas of Linux, they become over-aggressive. I have even read some devs saying, "Linux don't need users." :shock: So what do Linux need? A ego-centric developers and hackers? Normal users don't give a damn about features in the kernel. What they want is hassle-free day-to-day working.

I have shifted to Linux completely and believe me its not a bed of roses as the devs put it out. Small pesky things like drivers, resolution, some audio problem with some Intel chips,etc makes the experience worse and non-tech users are not gonna sit and fiddle with forums to solve the problem, which shouldn't have occurred in the first place!!

Linux developers should start giving their ears to constructive criticism. Not all users are on MS's payroll :)

This philosophy is so attractive and self-consuming, I have began thinking this Linux to be MY OS :D (Jaise lagta hai mere ghar ka bana hua hai)
 
^^
The key factor IMO is that Linux is made (AFAIK) by developers without a charge. If you slap in a pay-check, I'm pretty sure these wrinkles will be ironed out.

But by charging/giving a fees, it beats the purpose of FOSS :( . So I guess either we'll have to iron things out themselves, or leave for them to gripe.

What I still dont get is that no OS, whether commercial or OSS, is completely fool-proof and without any problems whatsoever. So why do people expect Linux developers to be so efficient? I dont know.

Not to mention the myths surrounding it among the Windows users in India. The computer-maintenance guy was shock to see me running Ubuntu+XP on my PC (he came as I wanted to RMA my printer). He was told by his seniors that Linux is CLI based and spreads viruses. :?

Anyways, glad to see FilledVoid back! (I think this is the first time I'm seeing him post after many months) :)
 

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
I have shifted to Linux completely and believe me its not a bed of roses as the devs put it out. Small pesky things like drivers, resolution, some audio problem with some Intel chips,etc makes the experience worse and non-tech users are not gonna sit and fiddle with forums to solve the problem, which shouldn't have occurred in the first place!!
Exactly! This is what new folks do NOT need. How many regular people do you know that would actually spend loads of time just to get a system up. Please note I'm not saying that every Linux distro requires tons of troubleshooting. I'm just pointing out that whenever the process for the end user to use Linux becomes pain free then only can you expect people to actually give it a whirl. Considering the developments made in Linux is it too much to ask for a small percentage of time devoted just to this. Which is why I admire Ubuntu just for the fact that they have tried to make it relatively easier for most folks to just use it (Can't vouch for others since I haven't used them as much).
So why do people expect Linux developers to be so efficient?
It is human to err. The question is to what extent are end users willing to go to fix that error. Although most hobbyists would love the opportunity to give it a go at recompiling a kernel or edit rc.conf to add a new daemon a regular person would scream bloody murder.
Not to mention the myths surrounding it among the Windows users in India. The computer-maintenance guy was shock to see me running Ubuntu+XP on my PC (he came as I wanted to RMA my printer). He was told by his seniors that Linux is CLI based and spreads viruses.
Yes , I've had quite alot of those since I've put Ubuntu on pretty much all my relatives computers at this point.
Anyways, glad to see FilledVoid back! (I think this is the first time I'm seeing him post after many months)
Thanks bud. :)
 

Ratnadeep

Broken In
I think one more problem with Linux adoption in India is (near-about) compulsory requirement of Internet. My first introduction with Linux was 1.5 years ago. I tired ubuntu and OpenSuse then, but installing a single software was nightmare for me. Ubuntu .deb packages are of little help for people with no internet connection but still it can't cover a lot. Now with internet connection to my pc, the normal choice is linux.

Many of my friends are interested in using Linux and ubuntu is perfect fit for non geeks using simple day to day applications. But again if one requires an extra app it is very easy to install (easy to get as of windows majority) one in windows than that is in linux.

Again wine can't support all the windows applications that well. Let's see Ubuntu 9.10 is coming with inbuilt support for wine, hope it works very well with many of apps in windows. As ubuntu .deb installation is also as user friendly as windows (of course without license agreement). Then it will be highly easy to migrate to Ubuntu from windows.
 

Ratnadeep

Broken In
I think one more problem with Linux adoption in India is (near-about) compulsory requirement of Internet. My first introduction with Linux was 1.5 years ago. I tired ubuntu and OpenSuse then, but installing a single software was nightmare for me. Ubuntu .deb packages are of little help for people with no internet connection but still it can't cover a lot. Now with internet connection to my pc, the normal choice is linux.

Many of my friends are interested in using Linux and ubuntu is perfect fit for non geeks using simple day to day applications. But again if one requires an extra app it is very easy to install (easy to get as of windows majority) one in windows than that is in linux.

Again wine can't support all the windows applications that well. Let's see Ubuntu 9.10 is coming with inbuilt support for wine, hope it works very well with many of apps of windows. As ubuntu .deb installation is also as user friendly as windows (of course without license agreement). Then it will be highly easy to migrate to Ubuntu from windows.
 
OP
Rahim

Rahim

Married!
^Agreed. Popular Linux Distros require an active net connection to show its real jalwa. One can agree that there are many distros which comes pre-installed with the kitchen sink but most of the new users would pick up the most popular ones like Ubuntu or openSUSE. It is only after some jabs that they get the information about Sabayon, Mint ,etc.

AptonCD is "perfect" for those without net connection but it is like a lesser devil. No one wants to mess their hands with downloading apps somewhere and then make a cd and then install it somewhere else. Its only Linux fanatic who does not want to know the obvious hard truth(read: ignore) about Linux, would go to such length and toil with installing apps without a net connection.
 

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
[FONT=&quot]Definitive Guide to Viruses & Antivirus softwares under GNU/Linux[/FONT]

Article Source

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[FONT=&quot]After having travelled through the virus infested land of Windows, new Linux converts often have queries about viruses on their Linux systems. Here I will demystify all those queries related to Viruses, Antivirus software’s etc once & for all.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Which Antivirus software should I install under my Linux system? / Does Linux really doesn’t needs an Antivirus software?

[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Many veteran Linux users often get pissed off at novices asking this very question. But don’t worry let me answer this question for you if you have been bullied on forums by those veterans. I would like to say, “Linux really doesn’t needs antivirus software”. Yes that’s right. No antivirus is needed to be installed under a Linux system. The reason behind this is there are far more less viruses written for Linux than for Windows. The virus writers in search of fame often target Windows systems which is the reason behind the low number of viruses written for Linux. If I would to say the ratio is 1:10(Linux: Windows). Out of this, the real-time viruses i.e. the viruses which are currently active are very few. While Linux is gaining popularity day by day, but still the need to implement antivirus software in your Linux system is totally unwarranted as of now[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]After people get satisfied with the above answer, they ask “Will the Windows viruses cause any havoc on my Linux system?”

[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Here again the answer is No. Viruses are nothing but programs which are designed to cause damage or affect the normal functioning of a system or its software’s. A virus written for Windows will not work under Linux system simply because they are two different OS’s which work totally differently ways, have different security structure & perform every task in their own unique way. For e.g most of the windows viruses like to infect the system folders like System 32, Windows etc but these folders are not present in a Linux file system. The virus will try its best to infect but it will fail due to unavailability of favourable conditions under Linux system. So you can be assured no windows virus, malware or spyware can infect your linux box. Also the viruses are not so smart that they can run on any platform like windows or linux. Hybrid viruses are still not available, so you need not to worry about them.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Does this means my Linux system is completely safe & sound from viruses?

[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Viruses are designed by their writers to exploit a particular vulnerability in the operating system. Every operating system has its fair share of vulnerabilities which also includes Linux. But since the source code is publically available, fixing vulnerability under Linux & other open source software is fairly easy & fast. Thanks to the software programmers who are constantly monitoring the OS, software’s & even the Linux kernel. This means even if a virus outbreaks under Linux, it will be diffused sooner as the independent programmers can themselves work out on a patch without waiting for instructions from official distro patch team.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Still I feel unsafe. What should I do?

[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Paranoids will be paranoids! For those out there, you can install a copy of Clam antivirus which is a free & open source antivirus designed to protect you from Linux viruses. Even Avast! Linux Home Edition is another free antivirus package for your Linux systems. If you’re willing to go paid (You should not as per my opinion) then you can find commercial antivirus in form of Panda Antivirus & Kaspersky Antivirus for Linux workstations.[/FONT]
 
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OP
Rahim

Rahim

Married!
Who is a Candidate for Desktop Linux?
Jason Perlow

I personally do not fall into the group of people that can easily migrate away from Windows, but that doesn’t mean you or someone you know can’t make the switch.

As I said in earlier post last month, the work that I do in my professional life requires that I still need to use Windows and various Microsoft and 3rd-party Win32 applications, even though I also use Linux. I also use various applications in my personal life that have no true functional Windows equivalents, so I have both Windows and Linux computers at home.

However, my situation is somewhat out of the ordinary. I don’t expect that most regular end-users have or need more than one personal computer at home or at work. Additionally, as an Information Technology professional and as a writer who covers the industry that I work in, I choose to use multiple systems with different operating systems at home for educational purposes and also because I have a genuine curiosity about what is out there in both the Open Source and Microsoft-centric worlds. That’s not necessarily a realistic usage scenario for everyone.

There are certainly ideal groups of people who are capable of moving towards a 100 percent Open Source or Linux environment in both their professional and personal lives. I’m not really interested in discussing the political and ideological aspects or why someone would want to make that choice. That path been re-hashed over and over again and supplies far too much fodder for flame bait. Please take that into consideration when you submit a Talkback on this piece.

The greater and more important question is, who CAN switch to Linux? It should be noted that when I refer to groups of people here, I am for the most part excluding Information Technology professionals, Techies, digital content creation professionals, UNIX/Linux sysadmins and scientific academia who have much more sophisticated or specialized needs and may even be using Linux, the Mac and Windows and or a combination of these already.

As to WHICH Linux distribution any of these target users should be looking at, I am going to treat all of them equally and say that every single one of them will meet the basic usage requirements for the set of folks detailed below. For more information on Linux distributions, check out my Surviving the Recession with Free Linux Distributions roundup.

The Lower Range: The “Super-Casual Web Surfer”

These users are 98% Web and email use, with very little else. If they are using anything outside of a web-browser at all, it’s probably a rare case (they might use a game, if someone installed it for them). And if they know what a “file” is, its more in the abstract. To them a “file” is like an “inch”– it’s a unit of measurement and a description a lot of people use which doesn’t really apply to them. It might as well be made of manila poster board for all they know, or care.

Senior Citizens are an especially big component of this group — although a surprising percentage of Seniors have become quite savvy in terms of social networking, bulletin boards, and messaging (although note that if in that sub-group, they’d likely be manipulating digital photos or videos, so they’d be in another “grouping” entirely).

These people for the most part don’t understand how computers work, and don’t really have to. They’re probably perfect Linux candidates, without them even necessarily knowing WHAT Linux even is.

The Super-casual Web Surfer is also probably the same type of person who might be perfectly happy with a netbook or entry-level computer as his or her primary computing environment. They also do not use external devices with proprietary device driver and support software that doesn’t run on Linux. They have zero dependence on specialized, vertical-market applications. Virtually everything they do is web-oriented.


The Lower-Mid-Range: The “Type a Letter” User

These people do a TINY bit more than the Casual Web Users.

This group may occasionally use basic MS Office apps, but if they do its in a fairly unambitious manner for viewing purposes mostly, and they probably often have to be “babied” through any explanation more complex than “click on this”. But many of these people wouldn’t know an Excel spreadsheet from a hole in their head. They might dash out the rare letter to someone, but that’s about it. They write it and print it. They probably know how to save the file, but rarely if ever do they need to send that file AS electronic data to someone.

These users are Web-wise, but are NOT using services which require “file manipulation”, like Facebook (digital photos), iTunes (music files) or Blackberry (special hardware and software configuration).

These are the people who even this many years into the computer revolution still probably won’t understand how a hard drive works, what a “directory” is and how they are laid out and accessed, etc. They use and manipulate files, but if those files weren’t conveniently stored in areas labeled “My Music”, “My Pictures” etc. they’d never be able to locate them.

Hardware-wise, these are probably the people who use whatever comes with a PC they buy and rarely if ever expand a system.

These would be good candidates for Linux, as long as they can manage to find where their documents are on a Linux system, and if they TRULY don’t exchange documents with anyone else (most people actually DON’T).


The Middle of the Middle: The “Just Work, Dammit” User

These people usually don’t want to be troubled. They just want it to work. Most of them could get away without any custom apps, although they DO want to be able to manipulate their photos, videos, etc. So something easy has to exist to do that.

I know of a CEO of a major corporation valued in the 100 billion dollars and above range who fits in this category and uses Linux exclusively on his desktop with no Windows software whatsoever. He has five icons on it: Email, Web Browser, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentation. He isn’t concerned about interoperability with Windows users.

In order of priority of what is critical to him, he sends email, he browses the web and he opens up and prints occasional productivity documents, which places him in this category of users that happens to be significant in size. There’s absolutely no reason why these types of users cannot use Linux instead of Windows.

End-users like this have pieces of understanding of what’s behind the computer they use. They’ll know what a file is and probably have a decent idea of how to manipulate through directories and drives, but its kind of a “soft” understanding which shouldn’t be challenged. This stuff gives them headaches for the most part and the computer really IS just a tool for these folks.

They definitely use Office, and probably work in professions where they manipulate documents and might need them at home. “True” Office probably still won’t be a concern for most of them (how many people REALLY work for Law Firms, Ad agencies or the Government?) but note that there would be a subset of them where that might apply.

Like my CEO example, these people may generate “soft” work products (word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs) that are going to be printed hardcopy, are usually not of a complex nature and/or do not need to be exchanged or originate from Windows/MS Office environments. The majority of home users fit into this category, as do high school and college students.

Note that to keep things easy to categorize, we’re not including iTunes users here. We’re considering that a “custom app” and so putting people who use it into the next category.

If they buy additional hardware they’d tend to try and consult someone more technical first.

This group sometimes owns digital cameras and my need to edit or upload photos to services such as Flickr or Picasa Web Galleries, and they also own digital media players and other mobile devices which are not dependent on proprietary software or specialized device drivers that are unsupported in Linux by the originating vendor or by the Linux community.

These people CAN be good Linux candidates, but only if whoever is setting it up for them does a lot of checking in advance to make sure their usage is as casual as it seems (and also that they aren’t in the sub-group needing “True” Office).


The Upper-Mid-Range: The “Set It and Forget It” User

A slightly bigger jump.

These people probably DO install their own apps, although most of these folks still aren’t technical. They just want things to WORK. In years past, they probably bought programs in software stores, but today they likely grab software off the web, and not always wisely.

The “True Office” divide probably still exists. Some will need it but most won’t. The real issue with people like this would be something like iTunes. They want it, they want it to work, and they don’t want to think about workarounds or alternatives. If they depend on iTunes to buy their music, it may be a deal-breaker for Linux.

At work, beyond mere Office, they might also use BlackBerries or another mobile device they expect to be able to integrate at home, and they might even be handed a Citrix Remote Access install disk or a VPN client by their IT department and be expected to install it and use it at home. They’ll tear their hair out if this doesn’t all work for them.

They’d tend to buy printers right from Costco or Staples and expect them to consistently work right out of the box.

These are often bad candidates for Linux, because they can be casual AND demanding in different ways as users. They want things to be easy, and yet always work. They should probably stick with Windows and Mac.


The Upper Range: The “Power User”

They aren’t the experts by any means, but they are usually clever enough (or stubborn enough) to figure things out. They’re likely to use any number of software and hardware devices, but by the same token might accept compromises.

If iTunes doesn’t work, they might accept that if they can kludge another solution but have everything else work better. If they occasionally need “True” Office, they might be able to puzzle through something like CrossOver or VirtualBox, although not being techies they might need assistance. If a specific piece of hardware doesn’t work on Linux, they’d have the savvy (and patience) to ask what comparable hardware would instead.

These people are good candidates for Linux in many cases, but might do better with Windows or even the Mac in others. The benefits of the Linux config would have to outweigh the ones of the Windows or Mac config, although they’d be flexible and adjust either way.

Do you or someone you know fit into any of these categories? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Jonathan Lurie (jonathan.lurie@gmail.com) contributed to this article.
 

amitabhishek

Bad to the bone
Nice initiative Rahim Bhai. This will give much needed CPR to this section. I have not read the articles but will surely do in leisure.

BTW where is NucleusKore uncle :confused:? We are missing his tuts and news posts?
 
OP
Rahim

Rahim

Married!
^Thanks :)
But even I am feeling disillusioned at the state of this section now. :cry:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@wiseone: I am trying to get into "The Power User" Category :D
 
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OP
Rahim

Rahim

Married!
Five ways the Linux desktop shoots itself in the foot​

I don't just write about the Linux desktop; I use it every day. At my desk, I tend to use MEPIS and Mint, while on the road, it's Ubuntu on my Dell netbook and openSUSE on my Lenovo ThinkPad. I do this because they work well and they're as safe as a desktop operating system can get. So why aren't more people using them?

Microsoft is the biggest reason. Microsoft is a jealous monopoly that doesn't want to share the desktop with anyone. Desktop Linux is just another target in a long list that has included OS/2, DR-DOS, and -- that eternal thorn in their side -- the Mac. It's no surprise, then, to see in the history of the Linux desktop that Microsoft has always tried to crush it.

The very first attempt at a mass-market Linux desktop, 1999's Corel Linux Desktop, lasted less than a year. Why? In 2000, Microsoft paid off debt-ridden Corel to kill it.

Much more recently, Microsoft, caught by surprise by the rise of Linux-powered netbooks, brought XP Home back from the dead and offered it to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) for next to nothing to stem Linux's rise on low-end netbooks.

It's hard to beat a monopoly that will do whatever it takes to make sure people don't see there's a better, cheaper alternative. I understand that. At the same time, Linux has shot itself in the foot quite often. How?

1) Lack of Linux vendor support

Every Linux distribution has a desktop version. But how many of them actively try to sell them? Not many. Red Hat is the number one Linux vendor, but makes its hundreds of millions from the server, not from the desktop. Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, has arguably the most popular Linux desktop, but if you look closely, you'll see its hopes for making significant profits lie in server and cloud-based services.

Only Novell, with SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop), tries to make a real business out of the desktop. For everyone else, the desktop gets a lot of lip service, but it's not really part of their core business plans.

2) Lack of Linux advertising and marketing

Companies like IBM and Oracle have made billions from Linux. Along the way, they've spent some advertising and marketing dollars on Linux. But neither they nor anyone else have spent more than pocket change on promoting the Linux desktop.

Think about it. If you use the Linux desktop, chances are you're a techie who deliberately sought it out. Even now, most people have never even heard of Ubuntu, never mind any of the rest.

3) Too much bad techie attitude

In 2009, any reasonably smart person can use any major Linux distribution without much trouble. You can run Linux without ever seeing a shell or manually tuning a conf file. But what if someone new does run into a problem with installing Adobe Flash and asks for help online?

If he or she is lucky, they'll get a considerable and informative answer from an Ubuntu forum or LinuxQuestions. But all too often, I've seen such questions answered with responses like "RTFM you noob! What are you doing running that trash distro anyway! It's GNU/Linux, not Linux!"

Yeah, that's going to encourage new users. If you don't have anything nice and informative to say to new Linux users, then don't say anything. Far too many Linux users seem to confuse acting superior and being rude with how people should act online. It's not.

4) Too much infighting

In a little over a week, Windows 7 is coming out. So, what are hardcore Linux users doing to get ready for the coming of the next major threat to the Linux desktop? A lot of them are fighting about whether Miguel de Icaza, founder of the GNOME and the Mono implementation of .NET on Linux, is "a traitor to the Free Software community."

This is just the latest chapter in the ongoing fight between free-software purists and open-source pragmatists. It's an obnoxious little war that's been flaming up over one personality or issue or another for ages now. I am so tired of this bickering — and more to the point, no one outside of certain developer circles cares. What does matter that is anyone from the outside looking in sees not a group of rational people working to create great systems, but a bunch of loonies fighting over ideological issues.

While otherwise bright people continue to squabble, Microsoft keeps quietly gaining more mind-share and users every day. Good work team!

5) Not enough developer co-operation

Back in 2005, a miracle happened. Linux desktop developers from feuding camps came together in the Portland Project and found out that, when they talked to each other face to face instead of screaming at each other over IRC (Internet Relay Chat), they had more in common than they ever would have believed. The result was a lot of useful cooperation between KDE and GNOME Linux developers.

That's the good news. The bad news is, after two years of working together well, the programmers began drifting away again to work on their own little development islands. There are still efforts afoot to keep Linux desktop programming coordination going, but it's nothing as concrete as it once was.

If Linux is to attract more ISV (independent software vendors) to make desktop programs, the desktop programmers must keep working on interoperability. No ISV wants to write one version of their program for Debian, another for Fedora, and yet another for openSUSE. If the Linux desktop developers keep wandering apart from each other, we'll lose those ISVs, like Adobe, that are willing to release some programs for Linux. That, in turn, will make desktop Linux less attractive to end-users.

If Linux gets all these things right, will it stop the Windows desktop monopoly? Nope. But it will be a good start towards making desktop Linux more competitive. If nothing else, making sure that users always have a good, inexpensive alternative to Windows will always be a worthwhile goal.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Cyber Cynic
 
Most Linux users us the various distros out of choice and their own free will. It would be wrong to say that Win7 will affect this attitude. Sure, there are many who actually rip the kernel apart and code as well, but for the lay man (like most of us, or more importantly me), it'll be the curiosity to check out and make something that's different to work that will drive their interest in Linux to a higher level.

Win7 has nothing to do with it. :D
 
OP
Rahim

Rahim

Married!
^Both of you should read into the various reasons given for Linux's problem and not just Win 7 is a threat. Linux will never be a threat to Windows if simple things are not ironed out. Linux developers and users, sometimes ,live in their own fish aquarium and doesn't want to accept their own catch-22 situation.

Linux Distros should be backed by more powerful companies, otherwise the independence of the developers, would actually harm the OS as they lacks a concrete focus and path. They give their services for free, agreed; but the devs are working too much away from each other.

But yes Linux is growing, albeit at snail's pace, but it has a long way to go from being a secondary OS in one's Grub menu, to being the only OS in one's system.

Heck, good articles are so hard to find :mad:
 

Krow

Crowman
Windows 7 is not a threat to linux desktop. It is a threat to vista and xp. Most people will still prefer to boot linux as a secondary OS just to keep viruses at bay or some like me who use linux while studying so as to keep away from games. ;)

Windows 7 is a threat to mass adoption of linux yes, but linux won't lose any of the users it has already. So many who move to linux as a secondary system stick to it. I doubt if linux will lose users due to Windows 7.

On the other hand, you guys have been nice to me in my ongoing learning process, so point 3 is invalid for here at least. :)
 

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
Windows 7 is not a threat to linux desktop. It is a threat to vista and xp. Most people will still prefer to boot linux as a secondary OS just to keep viruses at bay or some like me who use linux while studying so as to keep away from games. ;)

Windows 7 is a threat to mass adoption of linux yes, but linux won't lose any of the users it has already. So many who move to linux as a secondary system stick to it. I doubt if linux will lose users due to Windows 7.

On the other hand, you guys have been nice to me in my ongoing learning process, so point 3 is invalid for here at least. :)

Not a threat for XP definitely since MS is implementing it on netbooks & have even extended its support. So you can safely say it will be with us for a long time to come. Many organisations/firms have XP in their premises & overhauling all XP machines to Windows 7 is not needed especially when all their work is being done efficiently under XP. Not to mention business don't need all those multimedia & snazzy AERO effects.

Vista will surely be affected & will phase out. Regarding Linux, they have GNOME 3 desktop coming, KDE is now a matured product & then the ultra fast 10 secs bootup of Ubuntu & to follow on Fedora 12. It can't get better than this for the OSS. :D
 

Krow

Crowman
Plus there are no attitude problems on some Indian forums too. Well, XP will go I'm sure, but maybe 7 will become ordinary later on when no one uses x86 OS anymore.
 
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