FreeBSD in General

V.M.Smith vmsmith at
Thu Apr 24 04:53:40 PDT 2003

Thanks for the lengthy (and largely hollow) diatribe. Well, at least you
thanked us for enduring it :)

On Wed, 2003-04-23 at 15:53, Gerald H. Kruchten wrote:
> Dear Sirs,
> 	First, a little about my background in UNIX and computers in 
> general.  Basically, I am highly qualified as pretty much of a complete 
> idiot when it comes to Unix and not much better regarding the rest of the 
> field.  That pretty much covers my background.  As for details, I am not 
> computer illiterate, nor am I any where near to being an export on any 
> operating system or computer.  I get by.  I presently run Windows NT 4.0 on 
> one computer and Windows XP pro on the other.  I make use of system 
> commander as a boot loader on both computers because I have messed around 
> with various different operating systems.  At one point in time and when I 
> only had one computer with a ton of hard drive space, I had the following 
> operating systems loaded up and working on this computer at once: DOS 5.0, 
> WindowsNT4.0, OS/2Warp 4, Mandrake's Linux 7.3, FreeBSD 4.2, and BeOS.  Of 
> all of them, I liked BeOS about the best and next after that was OS/2 as a 
> close second choice because it was so fast.  But one can no longer get the 
> necessary drivers to get anything to operate correctly.  I am not a 
> programmer and I don't intend to be a programmer because it is too late in 
> my life to try to teach this old dog a new career.  I was able to get BSD 
> going as well as the Mandrake-Linux.  Mandrake's manuals left a lot to be 
> desired and the operating system often hung.  I prefer GUI because I am not 
> a geek; never was and don't care to become one.  A person's memory is made 
> to be used for more important things than to remember UNIX commands.  The 
> prospect of sitting in a nursing home in my late years endlessly repeating 
> and reciting useless UNIX commands while sitting in a wheel chair in a 
> catatonic state sends shivers up and down my spine.  That thought alone is 
> repulsive.  It is just that I am so frustrated with Microsoft's mode and 
> method doing of business.  I would probably feel different about it if I 
> felt that they had the most reliable and efficient product, but we all know 
> that this isn't so.  They do have the easiest operating systems to 
> use.  Though I am not a programmer, I am convinced that Microsoft is more 
> concerned about snooping into my business than they are in providing the 
> fastest and most efficient software product available.  I am looking for an 
> operating system that will smoke MS in efficiency and productivity without 
> being required to have a PHD, Master's or any other college degree to 
> operate a computer system.  BeOS and OS/2 Warp came closest to meeting my 
> desired requirements, but neither of them are any longer being worked on or 
> written for.  Both OSes were truly fast and were multitasking.
> 	These days, Linux and FreeBSD seem to come closest to meet what I would 
> like see in a computer operating system.  But the three main vendors of 
> Linux software, Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE all seem to be trying to follow 
> the Microsoft business model of marketing.  In the process, all of them, 
> especially Mandrake, seem to be putting out crap versions just so one 
> vendor can claim one-upsmanship over his competitor in having the latest 
> version on the market.  While this is transpiring, MS still having all the 
> morals of a serial rapist, is working on its next big screw job.  Most 
> likely, a lot of us will be sucked in again.  The only people of this 
> industry that I'm not hearing a lot about is FreeBSD.  I haven't seen a 
> FreeBSD stable pack box at Comp USA in months, though they are still listed 
> on your site as being a retailer.
> 	If your going to continue having them as a retailer, rather than putting 
> out a FreeBSD v4.8 in a box, I think that you ought to get crackin' and get 
> a relatively bugless or debugged version of 5.0 out there.  The other thing 
> that I am looking for is a GUI windows emulator that will operate "ALL" 
> windows applications.  I request that because I am presently forced to use 
> a charting system that is programmed and designed only for the later 
> versions of Windows.  This is because companies that offer this kind of 
> specialized software are usually very small and simply can't afford the 
> capital costs that go with developing applications for multiple 
> platforms.  They develop applications for Windows  because most of the 
> businesses in the stock market industry still use MS operating 
> software.  It ends up being a vicious circle that leaves you guys, Linux 
> and me out in the cold.  I do like the simplicity with which one can 
> usually operate a Microsoft OS.  It's designed with the simpleton in 
> mind.  That's me.  However,  I personally also like some of the (I think 
> the term used is platforms) GUI platforms that Linux uses, especially the 
> use of multiple open windows.  I never got far enough with my 4.2 BSD 
> version to put any type of windows on it.  I want to also say this about 
> Linux.  There is just something about the way that the Linux vendors are 
> operating that goes against my grain.  For pretty much that reason alone, I 
> don't like them.  Maybe it's like Microsoft and dejavu all over again.  I 
> can not say the same though for some of the people that use it.  They say, 
> "It rocks and that Linux has much better support than BSD."  I can't say 
> "yea" or "nay" to either claim.  I just think and feel that you guys are 
> probably the last good hope of having a "One size fits all, super speedy, 
> super reliable operating system.  I know that BSD is used under MAC X 
> OS.  But some questions: #1, Who can afford to buy a Mac computer at the 
> prices that they want for them?  #2; I know that Mac is used quite 
> extensively in publishing businesses, but do you think that MAC is going to 
> continue or be able to remain in business?  I seriously doubt it because 
> they can't seem to get past proprietary issues.  That's the mode of 
> thinking that got them into trouble in the first place.  How many years has 
> that been the case and how far have they moved off of dead center to 
> resolve that issue?  What I perceive as an answer to that question is, "Not 
> very far."  So, unless something really Earth shattering and great suddenly 
> begins to happen, you are left as the last hope for the average Joe hope to 
> obtain a simple, fast, and dynamite operating system that works with 
> virtually every application ever made.
> 	I would suspect that by now, it is quite obvious from what I have written 
> that I have little or no clue as to what is required when it comes to 
> writing a software program and/or application.  But I shouldn't need to 
> have one.  All that I, the everyday customer, should have to tell you is 
> what I want.  Once having done so, most any engineer/technician worth 
> his/her salt, will readily be able to figure something out design it 
> according to those specs.  I just hope that it happens before I'm returned 
> to ashes.  I would like to be able to use and enjoy a universal operating 
> system that will be able to handle anything that I load onto it and that I 
> won't have to ready manuals for the next ten years just to power up and 
> sign on.  I don't think that I am wishing for too much here.  After 
> all,  when one people of the industry told other people at seminars just a 
> few years ago that the average household would have a computer and many of 
> them two or more, the majority of people scoffed at that idea.  I say, "Go 
> for all the marbles."  But don't go so slow that we can sit here and watch 
> the snails race by or watch the paint peel.  Thankyou for your time.
> 															Sincerely,
> 															Gerald Kruchten
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