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PeterO
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:57 am

spcharc wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:05 am
Again, if you don't want to play with GPIO, don't buy a Pi.
For some people many of your "disadvantages" are actually "advantages" or are irrelevant (*), especially if you don't want to run Windows 10, then buy a Pi.
PeterO

(*) I've only ever put a PC into hibernation by mistake !
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davidcoton
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:46 pm

PeterO wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:57 am
spcharc wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:05 am
Again, if you don't want to play with GPIO, don't buy a Pi.
For some people many of your "disadvantages" are actually "advantages" or are irrelevant (*), especially if you don't want to run Windows 10, then buy a Pi.
PeterO

(*) I've only ever put a PC into hibernation by mistake !
Hibernation is useful on Win10 because it is so slow to boot -- it saves oodles of time especially on a low-end laptop without SSD.
However, Pi booting is so fast it doesn't matter -- especially with an SSD (OK UI'm not comparing like-for-like, but still...)
And I don't trust Hibernate to preserve work in progress -- I always save documents before hibernation, so no advantage there.

All in all, in you "need" Win10 buy x64. If you want to learn about computers, OSs, programming, physical computing, and the rest, buy a Pi.
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bjtheone
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:38 pm

Its the OS that is the key driver. If you want Windows than for the love of all you hold holy buy x86 hardware. In terms of learning to program, I am not convinced Linux holds a huge advantage over Windows. There are some very good development tools on Windows. In terms of hardware integrated projects, the available GPIO is a huge win for the Pi.

I went Windows free as I strongly object to both Mircosoft's take on open standards (though they are getting better), their totally flaky update process, and the bloody registry. Given that buying hardware that supports my OS of choice makes sense.

In terms of a Pi versus a generic mini PC I would suggest it comes down to the level of support and active development you get with each. If all you want to do is run a browser and play low end PC games, the mini PC is likely better for you. However, good luck getting support if something goes wrong.

GlowInTheDark
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm

Here's a thought experiment for y'all: Suppose that Windows (as we knew it - i.e., before the absurdity of "Windows 10" - I.e., I'm suggesting an actual, usable version of Windows) was freely available like Linux is. And assume that it would be just as easy to get it running on arbitrary hardware (e.g., the Raspberry Pi) as it is to get Linux running on arbitrary hardware. Note: I am not saying it was easy in the sense of "Oh, just an hour or so's work" or anything like that; don't bother arguing that. But let's say it was about the same.

So, given all that, can you make an argument that you'd still prefer that the Pi run Linux? Wouldn't you have to concede in that case, we'd just run Windows on it? And that, thus, we're really only liking Linux because it is there - because we can.

Mind you, I'm not saying all this out of self-interest. I actually prefer Linux for most things. But you can't deny that it just makes everything harder. Not because it is inherently inferior, but just because the general public likes and knows Windows. Surely, the stated educational goals of the Pi would work just as well under Windows as under Linux.

Discuss.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:12 pm

Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?
....well my w$ experience is getting worse and worse.... if that counts....

My HDD boot RPi3B with Raspbian Stretch desktop experience is even better than my HDD boot HP i5 7thGen laptop with wS10

RPi3B boots faster to a usable state than the i5 laptop, by at least 8 minute margin.
now replace that RPi3B with microSD boot RPi4B-2G..... its even fastererererererrrrrrrrrrr :D

I've already got Arduino IDE
and Gimp
and LibreOffice
and OpenShot
Kodi, of course
VNC server and Client
there's Double Commander too
Deluge, of course
Imager is the latest nail to w$ system

now if I can only find a replacement for AutoCAD (that can create, read, save .dwg files) and Sketchup, then my RPi4B-4G will be very busy........really really busy....
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:53 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
So, given all that, can you make an argument that you'd still prefer that the Pi run Linux? Wouldn't you have to concede in that case, we'd just run Windows on it? And that, thus, we're really only liking Linux because it is there - because we can.
Yes, I’d still prefer Linux. Windows is, and always has been (I have experience using and programming for it going back to before 3.0 was public) horrible.
I’d even more prefer a developed RISC OS but I know that isn’t going to happen.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:11 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
So, given all that, can you make an argument that you'd still prefer that the Pi run Linux? Wouldn't you have to concede in that case, we'd just run Windows on it? And that, thus, we're really only liking Linux because it is there - because we can.
No I would still run Linux.
Better software development environment, choice of desktop, relative freedom from malware/spyware/viruses (to the extent that for the average user they are a non-issue), better control of updates, better support for unusual hardware, etc etc.

I also have used Windows for many years, and DOS before that.
(UNIX, I used Version 7) was available on corporate servers in those days, but never on my own PC desktop - until Linux came along!

Now I have very usable Linux on a credit card sized $35 machine Wahoo!
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GlowInTheDark
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:06 pm

Thanks for the responses, but you (both of the last two responders) are missing the point.

OF COURSE, you and I prefer Linux, but we are not the general public.

The point is that if Windows had been freely available, I am sure it would have been used. Because the world should be about keeping the general public happy, not about geeks like us.

Linux was only used because it was available.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:15 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:06 pm
Thanks for the responses, but you (both of the last two responders) are missing the point.

OF COURSE, you and I prefer Linux, but we are not the general public.

The point is that if Windows had been freely available, I am sure it would have been used. Because the world should be about keeping the general public happy, not about geeks like us.

Linux was only used because it was available.
But, Windows is not freely available. It also MUCH easier to port Linux to run on A.N.Other board than Windows, as shown by the fact that MS support only a tiny number of non-x86 devices (they used to support more - Alpha for example). So its quite possible that even if Windows HAD been available, Linux would still be chosen because it was so much easier to get it working on the Pi. Its not just availability that is important, but easy of porting.

I have some experience in Windows programming, got on quite well with it, but when you want to install devtools, compilers etc, it's SO much easier on Linux to get something working.

MS have added Linux to Windows - they would not have done that without a lot of reasons.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:29 pm

I remember Open Desktop on a 386. Or running the Windowed desktop on a DEC alpha.

We didn't call it tearing back then, we ALL knew it was slow graphics hardware and we still got a LOT of real-world work done on it.

RaspPi may not be super glamorous for high-end GUI displays. It was designed for great video playback and for providing an incredibly low-cost entry point for students and educators world-wide.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:01 am

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:06 pm
Thanks for the responses, but you (both of the last two responders) are missing the point.

OF COURSE, you and I prefer Linux, but we are not the general public.
As far as I can tell, the reason the Raspberry Pi exists at all is because the needs of young people learning programming are rather different than the general public. In order to fill the niche it was designed for, the Pi needed to be different than the existing Windows and Macintosh computers.

Heater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:47 am

GlowInTheDark,
Wouldn't you have to concede in that case, we'd just run Windows on it? And that, thus, we're really only liking Linux because it is there - because we can.
No.

I want to own what I create. I can't do that if I build it for Windows. Making anything useful or interesting takes a lot of time and effort. I want to be sure it's mine after all that. On the rare occasion that what I do is of interest to others I want it to be usable by as many as possible.

As it happens I used Win 10 all the time. But all my developments are done in the Linux subsystem and use open source tools, both on the Linux and Windows sides. I am not dependent on MS or Windows, I can move my whole show to Linux and continue the same. Which I so a lot.

Almost all my developments are targetted at Linux. Running on anything from Pi to cloud servers with some desktop programs in between.

Other efforts are targetted at micro-controllers and FPGAs and the web. All of this is easier to do in a Unix/Linux environment.
Thanks for the responses, but you (both of the last two responders) are missing the point.

OF COURSE, you and I prefer Linux, but we are not the general public.

The point is that if Windows had been freely available, I am sure it would have been used. Because the world should be about keeping the general public happy, not about geeks like us.

Linux was only used because it was available.
No. You miss the point.

The primary motivation for the Pi in the first place was to get kids programming and tinkering. Which they were increasingly not doing when in was a "Windows world" for many decades.

The Pi was not to pander to the needs of the general public, who generally only use a computers an appliance for surfing the web, playing games and watching telly.

The Pi was created to make geeks !

Personally, I am very happy for a charitable organization in UK to not be supporting, promoting or being dependent on the closed source, commercial products of a very wealthy corporation in a foreign country.
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clicky
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:10 am

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
So, given all that, can you make an argument that you'd still prefer that the Pi run Linux? Wouldn't you have to concede in that case, we'd just run Windows on it? And that, thus, we're really only liking Linux because it is there - because we can.
Windows is 'popular' only because it is widely available and aggressively pushed on hardware makers by Microsoft. In some fairer word, Microsoft would have been given huge fines for anti-competitive behavior. (One thing would be reading about OS2 for instance). Many people that use computers learn how to use it by using Windows and by default assume that is 'good'. I'm sure that there are many examples in history where in general people behaved that way - would pick sub quality stuff over much better (maybe even cheaper!) only because 'they use to' using worse one.

I was lucky to use three different OSes before switching on Windows around 95 (where Windows 95 did look really nice in comparison to vanilla X-Windows and windows managers from that era). One of the things that next 10 years of using Windows taught me is that it was really bad from programmer's perspective if you wanted to program for the Windows (not 'on the Windows'). APIs were shabby at the best, inconsistent and woefully buggy; some concepts were crazy (COM?) and generally whole system was so unstable that annual wipe and start again was seen as the most logical way forward. Only thing that Windows then (and now) has is much bigger pool of software available for it.

Argument that it is much simpler to maintain (as non-computer literate) slowly melts down with really nice Linux distros (including Debian, PiOS is made on, I never preferred thinking it is way to simplistic and command line orientated) which do quite a lot of heavy lifting for day to day running of Linux desktop (many UI apps for 'maintenance' and setups) and Windows seems to be going in different way - I learn from people who still believe they are 'good thing' that amount of 'extra' knowledge needed for smooth running of Windows is not trivial...

So, if you remove (in same vein - for argument sake) availability of software (read games - LOL) - why would one use Windows instead of anything else more mature and more stable?

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:24 am

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
But you can't deny that it just makes everything harder.
Discuss.
Certainly I can deny an obvious fallacy.

Windows might well be easy if all one want's to do is turn it on an surf the web. Although I'm sure we all know plenty of Windows users who can't even get that far without help.

If Windows is so easy how come I constantly have Windows users asking me how to do x, y, z, trivial things?

Windows might be fine if you only need an appliance to use but as soon as you want to do something off the prescribed path things get quickly more difficult. The Pi, to me at least, is all about getting off the beaten track.

Having spent time fighting the complexity of DOS, Windows, Linux and others since forever I certainly refute your assertion.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:49 am

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
Surely, the stated educational goals of the Pi would work just as well under Windows as under Linux.
In my view; yes. Most 'learning to program stuff' doesn't depend upon the OS at all. If the Raspberry Pi and Linux disappeared tomorrow they would still continue their educational mission.

And let's not forget that Linux had been around for decades before the Raspberry Pi emerged. It wasn't lack of Linux which was holding kids back from learning to code. It wasn't Microsoft or Windows either.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:00 am

hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:49 am
GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
Surely, the stated educational goals of the Pi would work just as well under Windows as under Linux.
In my view; yes. Most 'learning to program stuff' doesn't depend upon the OS at all. If the Raspberry Pi and Linux disappeared tomorrow they would still continue their educational mission.

And let's not forget that Linux had been around for decades before the Raspberry Pi emerged. It wasn't lack of Linux which was holding kids back from learning to code. It wasn't Microsoft or Windows either.
Exactly. That's exactly what I'm saying.

There's nothing intrinsic about Linux (in 2020) that makes it central to the educational mission of the RPF.

In a totally different world - in which Windows was as open and freely available as Linux is - it could just as easily have been done on Windows. And this would have avoided all the "Yeah, that's cool, but why is it so different and strange?" (compared to what [hypothetical I] I am used to) comments from just about everyone.

P.S. I'm now trying to remember how/why I got off on this tangent (thread hijack). I'll have to go back and check...
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PeterO
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:13 am

hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:49 am
GlowInTheDark wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:00 pm
Surely, the stated educational goals of the Pi would work just as well under Windows as under Linux.
In my view; yes. Most 'learning to program stuff' doesn't depend upon the OS at all. If the Raspberry Pi and Linux disappeared tomorrow they would still continue their educational mission.
Except in my experience it's the wide range of peripherals for the PI that let you easily learn about "physical computing" (from blinking a led, to building weather stations) that get the most enthusiastic responses from youngsters, certainly more that anything just screen based. This is where (again IME) using PIs and Arduinos get much better results. And now the cost of such hardware is no longer determined by how much greedy hardware suppliers think schools will pay for PC compatible hardware. They can't rip them off like they used to do !
And let's not forget that Linux had been around for decades before the Raspberry Pi emerged. It wasn't lack of Linux which was holding kids back from learning to code. It wasn't Microsoft or Windows either.
I have to disagree. Having a computing curriculum that was dumbed down to just learning how to use MS office suite must have put off several generations of youngsters, and that was the problem for Cambridge University that the PI was intended to address. Of course it's now had a much wider impact than was originally hoped for.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:25 am

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:00 am
There's nothing intrinsic about Linux (in 2020) that makes it central to the educational mission of the RPF.
It's not a direct relationship that you should be looking for. It's several indirect consequences of the RPF choosing Linux that have made it such a success.

The RPF has only been able to pursue it's educational mission so widely because of the huge number of PIs that have been sold.

The sales of PIs in the early years created a large community that has been able to support the PI and in many cases get PIs into schools "by the back door", through STEM activities and after school clubs. RPF soon realised that the sales were to engineers and makers who saw the potential of the PI hardware and who were quite excited to use something other that Windows running on the PI.

PeterO
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"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:28 am

PeterO wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:13 am
hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:49 am

And let's not forget that Linux had been around for decades before the Raspberry Pi emerged. It wasn't lack of Linux which was holding kids back from learning to code. It wasn't Microsoft or Windows either.
I have to disagree. Having a computing curriculum that was dumbed down to just learning how to use MS office suite must have put off several generations of youngsters, and that was the problem for Cambridge University that the PI was intended to address. Of course it's now had a much wider impact than was originally hoped for.
PeterO
Don't you think it was the evangelism of Eben and the RPF, the community and the low cost that really made the difference there? If MSWin was free and running on similarly cheap hardware and a similar campaign was run I think it could have been similarly effective. Of course those are unrealistic IFs. Cost was a vital element and MS wasn't going to give away their golden goose.

It wasn't Linux that changed the curriculum.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:37 am

PiGraham wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:28 am
PeterO wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:13 am
hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:49 am

And let's not forget that Linux had been around for decades before the Raspberry Pi emerged. It wasn't lack of Linux which was holding kids back from learning to code. It wasn't Microsoft or Windows either.
I have to disagree. Having a computing curriculum that was dumbed down to just learning how to use MS office suite must have put off several generations of youngsters, and that was the problem for Cambridge University that the PI was intended to address. Of course it's now had a much wider impact than was originally hoped for.
PeterO
Don't you think it was the evangelism of Eben and the RPF, the community and the low cost that really made the difference there? If MSWin was free and running on similarly cheap hardware and a similar campaign was run I think it could have been similarly effective. Of course those are unrealistic IFs. Cost was a vital element and MS wasn't going to give away their golden goose.

It wasn't Linux that changed the curriculum.
No. Certainly if there had been another OS that a) worked on the Pi without major corporate headaches, b) was free (or reasonably priced), and c) gave you easy access to I/O functions, that might have worked too.

Don't forget that Linux wasn't the original choice during the planning stages. Instead it was going to be some sort of custom OS, possibly with a minimal Python implementation, IIRC.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:40 am

If Windows were free, Linux probably would not exist. Because to be free and easily usable on any arbitrary platform, like Linux is, Windows would need to be open source. If Windows were open source, its code base would be better, easier to use, and it would be easier to write code for. So there would be no need for Linux.

In short, it would be more like Linux than Windows.

But the entire argument is flawed, because Windows is not free.

Linux was chosen for the Pi because it was the best option available. If there was a different best option, we would probably have chosen that, but there wasn't.

This thread makes no sense.

Linux has been essential to the success of the Pi. If there had been a different OS available, perhaps that would have been essential, but there wasn't.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:42 am

PiGraham wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:28 am
It wasn't Linux that changed the curriculum.
Again you're looking for a direct cause and effect where none exists. It's all about the indirect consequences of the choices made at the start that came together to make the success story.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:15 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:40 am
Linux was chosen for the Pi because it was the best option available. If there was a different best option, we would probably have chosen that, but there wasn't.
Yes.

But any Pi owner is free to install whatever OS they like on it. So if there was a demonstrably better option than Linux, people can and probably would use it. In practice the well maintained and user friendly Linux distro called Raspbian is chosen by most users.

Historical note:
UNIX was and probably still is (I don't know) expensive to buy a license for.
AT&T provided UNIX free of charge to universities. Thus ensuring that CS students leaving Uni and moving into positions where they might influence purchases, were very familiar with UNIX ....
Of course now Linux is free.
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:40 pm

PeterO wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:42 am
PiGraham wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:28 am
It wasn't Linux that changed the curriculum.
Again you're looking for a direct cause and effect where none exists. It's all about the indirect consequences of the choices made at the start that came together to make the success story.

PeterO
Actually I'm doing the opposite. I'm agreeing that there are many 'causes' and Linux is not essential, although it is important.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:44 pm

jahboater wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:15 pm

But any Pi owner is free to install whatever OS they like on it. So if there was a demonstrably better option than Linux, people can and probably would use it. In practice the well maintained and user friendly Linux distro called Raspbian is chosen by most users.
Yes, but then if the RPF had gone with RISCOS or whatever people probably would use that, and it would be maintained and polished to similar level, and some would still be moaning that it isn't Windows while most use it happily.

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