Bryan Lunduke’s “Linux Sucks” Presentation

by Joey deVilla on April 29, 2009

Here’s a presentation that’s worth watching, regardless of what operating system you use: it’s Bryan Lunduke’s presentation from Linux Fest Northwest – a Linux conference for “Rebel Scum” deep in the heart of The Empire — and it’s titled Linux Sucks, in which he talks about what needs to be fixed in desktop Linux. His Linux laptop helped prove the point at the beginning of the presentation by stubbornly refusing to display anything on the projector and requiring some guy to noodle with the X configs:

(By the bye, hooking up multiple monitors to a Windows 7 machine is dirt easy. The Windows-P key combo toggles between main monitor-only, other monitor-only, mirrored and “extend desktop” modes. The “Linux laptops and projectors” problem is a common one; I remember gently poking presenters at CUSEC trying to get their Linux laptops to display on the projector with “If you were running Win 7, you’d be done by now.”)

I think that this is an important presentation for developers to watch, whether they develop for Windows or the Esteemed Competition, because all operating systems suck, and it’s our job as developers to make them suck less. Linux on the desktop has all sorts of problems because it’s a free-for-all run but a rag-tag fleet of development shops, but Windows has its own problems stemming from all sorts of things, such as having to maintain some kind of backward compatibility for the sake of enterprise installations at Fortune 500 companies.

The lesson to take from this video should be that we should forget the rah-rah boosterism, take a good hard look at the platforms for which we build, and do what we can to make them better. The best platform advocacy is to make the platform suck less.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Guillaume Theoret April 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Actually, the only laptop we couldn’t get working with the projector in the small room was a mac. =)

Same laptop worked fine the next day in the big room. =/

2 John April 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm

When I tried viewing your video inside Google Reader, I got some strange video I didn’t expect. But when I go to your web site, I get Bryan’s presentation.

3 Joey deVilla April 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

John: That’s weird. I have no idea what would cause that.

Was it at least an entertaining strange video?

4 aunixa April 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I don’t know, I’m sitting here on ubuntu with 3 monitors, and my living room has an hp laptop hooked up to the tv running xbmc, worked pretty flawlessly for me. Windows was running on it until it wouldn’t boot anymore and kept giving a mysterious frozen mup.sys message.

5 aunixa April 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I don’t know, I’m sitting here on ubuntu with 3 monitors, and my living room has an hp laptop hooked up to the tv running xbmc, worked pretty flawlessly for me. Windows was running on it until it wouldn’t boot anymore and kept giving a mysterious frozen mup.sys message.
PS: Forgot to mention great post!

6 aunixa May 1, 2009 at 3:32 am

That last message was not mine, it looks like some spammer

7 Michael Huff November 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

If Linux is so fantastic and you guys want people to have a real choice in the OS market, then why don’t you work on unifying the drivers, fixing the problems and maybe thinning out the forest of distributions. There are too many! You mention Linux to the average consumer then their eyes glaze over to begin with.

And don’t say it’s not for the average consumer, because I hear over and over again from the Linux community how Linux is for “everybody.”

8 The Birdmeister March 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I have tried Linux and I have to be honest here, I find it awfull in so many areas. I love the idea of open-source but it’s just not very nice to use. Windows has always caused me problems. MACS seem to be an improvement but not the flawless beautifully designed wonder that most people make it out to be.

Ubuntu seems to be the only thing left to try out, and I have heard good things.

You are right, rather than trying to always make it bigger and better looking, developers should be focusing on ironing out all the flaws to make it as easy and flawless experience as possible.

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