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[Digg] American McGee kicks M$ to the curb. - Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-07-31 20:39
  Subject:   [Digg] American McGee kicks M$ to the curb.
Public

A few days ago Windows XP on my primary work computer decided that it wasn’t a legal copy. Strange since the copy running on there was pre-installed at the time that the machine was built by Alienware. There used to be a Windows serial number on the back of the machine, but the sticker has since fallen off.

I was angry for a moment, but then I realized: I don’t much like Windows anyway. So I wiped the offending garbage from my machine and installed Ubuntu Linux. All in all a painless process.


http://www.americanmcgee.com/wordpress/?p=171

If game developers switch en masse to Linux, MicroSoft is going to be in deep, deep doo-doo. The only reason I run Windows is for games, and the only Windows I run with any regularity is 98 SE.

Some characteristics of predatory monopolies are that they can divide the market at will and charge different prices for the same product (19 different versions of Vista, anyone?), and treat their customers like criminals (Windows Genuine Annoyance) - stuff they would never get away with if there was actual competition in the market.

I was skeptical when the DOJ moved on MicroSoft in the mid 90's. I felt like they were jumping the gun. But now the lines are bright and clear - MicroSoft is engaging in text-book behavior for a predatory monopoly. If you need further evidence, read about the EU's recent decision to fine Microsoft $600 million when MicroSoft quite intentionally refused to release some interoperability specs the EU demanded.

Monopolies are market failures. They hurt the free market, preventing competition and locking out alternatives. MicroSoft has been so successful in locking out competition that even when you give your competing product away FOR FREE, people still don't use it. This is nearly the textbook definition of a coercive monopoly. You can argue that perhaps computer operating system markets tend towards a "natural monopoly." But in such a case, I would argue that extreme regulation (such as we have on all other natural infrastructure monopolies - water, electricity, phone service) is the correct solution. And you can bet the boys in Redmond don't want THAT to happen...
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2006-07-31 23:34 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
if I switch to Linux.. what apps can I use? I think Maya runs on there.. not sure about 3DS Max, Photoshop, Painter, or other things I'm used to using. I'm getting pretty sick of M$ these days.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-08-01 01:49 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I think Maya runs on Linux

Much to my surprise, Maya DOES run under Linux!

http://www.alias.com/eng/support/maya/qualified_hardware/QUAL/maya_70_linux.html

Looks like you'll have to run Redhad or SuSe on an Intel CPU or AMD Athlon... and a pretty limited set of graphics cards... but in theory it works.


I'm pretty sure there is no PShop for Linux. And GIMP is not anywhere near as good. I wish things were better on that front, but apparently not so.

If you're really serious about moving to Linux, you may want to think about using CrossoverOffice (http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT7770280571.html) or VMWare or one of the other "virtual Windows" programs to allow you to run your old Windows apps until the companies that make them do Linux ports.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2006-08-01 21:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Hmm sounds like I may not be switching off of M$ crap as soon as I'd like then. I can't imagine that a lot of software would run very quickly under a Windows emulator.. :/
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-08-01 21:56 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Under Wine software runs about as fast as under Windows -- sometimes even faster. I have seen some annoyances like GUI flicker, and some software won't run in Wine at all, but when it runs, speed is about the same, after all Wine is a reimplementation of interface, not a virtual machine.

VMware is a virtual machine, so you have an overhead of emulating peripherals, and limited to emulated hardware (what means, you can't use 3D hardware acceleration). Calculations and disk/network i/o speed is unaffected because CPU still does what it would do under Windows (deal with virtual memory), and some of i/o is "accelerated" through vmware-aware drivers.
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Alex Belits: iskra
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-08-01 05:34 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:iskra
I use Gimp on Linux, and even though I am not a graphics designer, I have yet to find something where I hit its limitations. Its interface isn't the same as Photoshop (though someone made gimpshop, a Photoshop-like GUI for Gimp), however functionality is good -- all "complaints" I have heard recently were from trolls that claimed that they can't use CMYK in Gimp (they can't because they don't know, WTF it is) or that it doesn't come with samples of Pantone colors for calibration, or some other ridiculous shit like that. There is also Cinepaint, that was forked from Gimp long time ago to support 48-bit images and went in a different direction.

My experience with 3D design on Linux is limited to CADs, and VariCAD happened to be more than sufficient for my purposes, however it's a CAD and therefore pretty different from things like 3DS Max or Maya. Recently Blender apparently made a lot of progress while being used/improved to make Elephants Dream movie, however I haven't seen the post-movie version, and anyway I am an engineer, not a 3D artist.

For 2D vector graphics I use Inkscape for everything non-CAD, and QCad for everything CAD-like -- both are great for their purposes and bad for each other's kind of work. Oh, and when everything fails to convert something, there is always pstoedit. And when pstoedit fails, there is autotrace.

For Office-like documents editing I use OpenOffice (2.0.3 that comes with Debian Unstable is buggy, 2.0.2 that comes with Ubuntu works fine), no idea about the current state of Abiword and Gnumeric. When adding vector graphics to documents, I prefer EPS, however with this format the user has to better know what he is doing -- converters have rather obscure syntax, and export to PDF in OpenOffice doesn't properly work on them, one has to enable it as a printer. Some time ago I wrote a tutorial about that in Russian -- if anyone needs it, I can make an English version (other parts deal with simplier matters related to image compression, scanning, printing, peculiarities of digital cameras and mitigating their effects in the aforementioned Gimp).

Most of 2D-graphics things work under Wine or in VMware.
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