Hello Douglas, DO> I'm not sure I can agree with all of this. That's OK, I'm not sure if I do either :) Explanation: my last direct experience with Linux was circa 2 years ago, so, obviously, there could have been dramatic improvements since then. My experience at that time was with Mandrake 7, I think. DO> In terms of being easier to use, it is not much more difficult to use, per se. DO> The hardest hurdle is installing it, which is usually a breeze these days. Yes DO> there is some hardware incompatibility to contend with, but more and more that DO> is disappearing with HP, Dell,IBM, and others making an effort to incorporate DO> Linux into their systems. I encountered a LOT of hardware compatibility issues, even though every single piece of hardware in my system was on the Mandrake compatibility list. I got no response from Mandrake to my questions at their official support address, and the user community on their discussion boards treated me like something the pet left on the front lawn. After spending hours, as in, rough but not overestimated guess, 25 hours, I finally managed to dig up an answer to one problem. It worked, until I rebooted the machine and then the fix had to be applied again. Finally it stopped working no matter what I did and I threw up my hands in disgust and went back to Windows. I've never had that kind of problem with Windows, and if I did I know I have people on this list and elsewhere who will treat me with respect to help me out if I need it. And if nothing else works, I can email or call Microsoft, and they'll at least treat me with respect too. On top of this, I spent extra to get the full-out Mandrake package that was supposed to include all this fantastic software. I installed everything available to install, and never did find half of what I was supposed to have received. What did get installed, all but two things didn't even work. Of the two things that worked, one was a game that looked great in the pictures and opening screen, but then looked like a low-res DOS game from 20 years ago. The other was a scientific calculator program; its fine that it worked, but <yawn> whoopdidoo. And I haven't even mentioned the utilities that apparently did nothing at all, the system settings utilities that wouldn't let you change any settings, the built in web browser that wouldn't display anything right, the... well, you get the picture. And before you ask me the obvious, yes I was logged in as root when I was trying to do all this. I have some UNIX experience, including writing shell scripts for the Bourne and Korn shells and using Oracle under UNIX. I know a little about UNIX/Linux types of file level security, and first I thought that had to be my problem. It wasn't. In fact, I felt that I knew enough from my experience working with UNIX that Linux would be relatively simple, especially since Mandrake promised so much. Too bad they delivered so little. So my experience with Linux, and especially wrt Mandrake, is very poor. However, that isn't to say that the situation hasn't improved. There is nothing wrong with Linux as an operating system per se, but in all honesty I don't think it's ready for the general populace yet. When 90% or more of all hardware is supported, and install and initial configuration is as painless as Windows typically is, and installing software doesn't require you jump through a series of hoops, and there is a wide enough variety of software -- GOOD software -- readily available, and at least one Linux company takes customer support and service seriously... yeah, Linux could be a real contender. As it is, or at least as it was a couple of years ago and as I believe it still is, I can't in good faith recommend Linux to everyone. I do believe that those who consider themselves to be "power users" on Windows should at least give Linux a look. DO> There is no such thing as a Mandrake graphical interface. All versions of Linux DO> come with the ability of using both a GUI, usually X11, and a terminal DO> interface. I think you're splitting hairs and knew what I meant, but, yeah, OK, I only went 7 yards instead of the whole 9 and spell this out :) Mandrake in particular makes, or made, at least, a big marketing thing out of their GUI. They had modified one of the GUI packages, and called it X86 (I believe that's the correct name). They also claimed a lot of other things that turned out to be not so true, at least in my case. Be that as it may, considering Mandrake's marketing rhetoric, I think calling it the "Mandrake GUI" isn't too unreasonable. Ron For a web-based membership management utility and information on list policies, please see http://nibec.com/24hoursupport/ To unsubscribe, send a blank email to 24hoursupport-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject.