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Re: Choose Linux, Save US$4000 on Software

"Rex Ballard" <rex.ballard@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message 
>> Unfortunately, the comparisons are not always apples-to-apples.
>> Thunderbird is not the equivalent of Outlook,
>> for example (TB has no calendar),
> This is typical "Microsoft Think" - you assume that Outlook is "better"
> because it bundles e-mail, calender, and other functionality into a
> single application.

    I didn't say Outlook is better. I simply said they are not equivalent. 
What I meant by that is that a user who is happy with Outlook won't 
nescessarily be happy with Thunderbird. Sometimes the converse is true, and 
sometimes it isn't. In this case, it is true: A user who is happy with 
Thunderbird, probably won't be happy with Outlook (Outlook doesn't support 
RSS feeds, nor any of Thunderbird's plugins).

> In Unix/Linux, context switching is about 10-20 times faster than it is
> for Windows XP, and about 100-200 times faster than Windows NT 4.0.
> Which means that there is very little advantage in putting all of the
> functions into a single application that runs as a single process.
> Linux can easily run the same functionality, and do each core function
> more effectively, by putting each core function in a separate process.
> This also makes maintenance and support easier.
> Netscape Communicator/Mozilla attempted to put all of the applications
> into a single process, and it was slow, difficult to manage, and hard
> to support.  They split that core functionality into FireFox,
> Thunderbird, and plug-ins.  The components were more successful than
> the monolith.
> It's more important that the applications adhere to standards such as
> protocols and file formats, than it is for applications to be bundled
> into a single monolithic solution.

    If you say so... My advice for Outlook users: Check out Evolution. It's 
a much closer match.

>> nor is Paint.NET the equivalent of Adobe Photoshop.
> Granted.  And there are some commercial graphics applications available
> for *nix that would put adobe to shame.
> http://www.efg2.com/Lab/Library/ImageProcessing/SoftwarePackages.htm
> Yes, you can compare a free OSS application like gimp or paint.net to
> $600 photoshop and say the free one isn't quite as good.

    Right, but again, I'm not talking about "better" or "worse". I'm talking 
about equivalency. Someone who is happy with Paint.NET might not be happy 
with Photoshop either: Photoshop is much less intuive to use, and has a 
longer start-up time (or so I imagine; I haven't used Photoshop for 
something like 10 years now).

    The question, to me, is not which application has the most features, or 
is the most powerful, or whatever. The question is which application will be 
the least painful to switch to, due to its UI and workflow being almost 

> Which then begs the question
>    "If I wanted to spend $600 for an application, what could I get"?
> The point is that if you use the Linux applications for the things that
> are not "critical" or strategic, but image processing is critical, you
> now have $4,000 that can be directed to those strategic projects which
> will help you generate the most money from the least effort, in the
> area where it counts the most.

    FOSS is great. I'm not criticizing FOSS. I'm criticizing the article. It 
has two problems. The first is the implication that the author had actually 
saved $4000, and the second is substituting one application for another, 
with the implication that such a substitution could be generally made by 
other users as well, when the two applications are not really equivalent. 
That's all.

    I regularly use Paint.NET myself, and it's a great image editing 
application. However, I would not trust a consultant who told a graphics 
design company that they could save money by getting rid of all their Adobe 
Photoshop licenses, and replace them with Paint.NET. Similarly, a lot of the 
free-beer applications that the blogger lists are great products in their 
own right. But they aren't always the equivalents of the non-free-beer apps 
listed next to them.

    - Oliver 

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