Tell Them It’s Linux!!

I saw an interesting video a few days ago. I’ve already discussed it a bit with people over at the Linux Outlaws Forums ™ but figured I should write something here that might reach a slightly larger audience, emphasis being on the word “slightly” in that sentence πŸ˜‰ So here goes. First watch the video below in case you haven’t seen it…

I found it amusing that most people thought KDE 4 was Windows 7 but hardly that surprising if I’m honest. I wouldn’t expect most people in the general public to know the difference and why should they? This was obviously meant just as a joke and that’s all very well but as I watched one thought screamed louder and louder inside my head, “for god’s sake tell them it’s Linux!!!”. I know this wasn’t a Linux advocacy project and I don’t even know if these guys care at all about open source, it’s up to them but they could have said just one word to these people after showing them the software. A little word beginning with “L” and ending in “x”. As I watched these people looking at Amarok and saying “oh wow, is this included?” I got more and more irate. Far from realising they could have it all for absolutely nothing these poor folk will be rushing to hand over their hard earned cash to Microsoft when Windows 7 comes out. I know in the video they make a joke of it by saying they’ve learned nothing from the whole thing, that’s cool, I like a laugh as much as the next guy, probably more but it does bother me they’ve effectively advertised Windows on the back of KDE. It probably sound like I’m taking to seriously and maybe I am but come on guys! One word, that’s all it would have taken.

I’m off to mutter angrily under my breath in a corner, please feel free to ignore me πŸ™‚


  1. If it makes you feel any better I’m 99% certain they would have had to come clean. They will have told them after the camera stopped rolling or it will be on the editing room floor.

    • Yes that’s quite possible I suppose and a lot of people are telling me it doesn’t make any difference but to me that seems like a defeatist attitude. I’m not saying if they’d told people it was Linux they’d all have rushed off to spread the Linux name joyously. I’m not that deluded but I can’t believe how negative some people are, come on! Every little bit can make a difference and if you don’t even try you get precisely nowhere. Aim for the stars and you might hit the ceiling… and other such well known sayings πŸ˜›

    • Yeah a lot of people have compared it to the Mojave thing, how do we know that wasn’t KDE 4 as well I ask myself πŸ˜€

  2. AFAIK, KDE 4 runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X too, not to mention the other Unix-like systems (BSD and Solaris). So it’s probably a good thing they didn’t advertise that “KDE 4 is Linux”. Rather, KDE 4 is a highly portable cross-platform Free Software desktop.

    Yay for Free and Open Source Software, and nay for Linux-zealots!

    • Fair point I don’t dispute that KDE 4 is a cross platform development but that wasn’t running on Windows or Mac OS. It’s possible it was running on Solaris, BSD or something else but I doubt it. I agree that they shouldn’t say “KDE 4 is Linux” because it’s not, I didn’t mean to imply that but I do think telling people it’s Windows 7 doesn’t help, that was not KDE 4 running on Windows. Tell them it’s Free Software at least, that’s all I’m saying. Thanks for the comment

  3. I kind of had a similar experience with my father. I built him a PC which is running Ubuntu 8.04.2 and I had Compiz enabled to show some funky bling! My brother in law was there and commented on how he could get his Vista box to do the bling, when I said this is Linux, his comment was “oh! Vista Linux. Can I upgrade my Ultimate to Linux?”

    I didn’t know whether to hug him or cry πŸ™‚

    • Wow “Vista Linux” haven’t heard that one before, the answer would be “yes you can upgrade here’s a CD” I hope πŸ˜€

  4. Yeah the video was a little bit funny, but they sure were being butt holes to those poor clickity click users.

  5. Maybe you should create your own video showing off KDE4 to the crowds of Merseyside, while pretending it is the newest version of Windows.

    And then also include the reaction of people once you tell them it is KDE4 running on a Linux distro.

    • @Andrew – Yes perhaps I should, only problem being I don’t really use KDE personally. I’ll have to get a testing machine or a spare machine and demo it to people. I often show people Compiz and other cool stuff on my laptop when I’m out and about. People see me doing something on the train or wherever and ask what I’m using. Then of course, I pounce muwahahaha πŸ˜›

  6. my first thought was like yours Dan, but then i thought it’s actually better they haven’t told them. and you know why? because once they get Windows 7 and figure out it’s not possible to do all those things, they will get mad and switch to GNU/Linux. some people just have to cut themselves before they understand what’s sharp..

    • @fab – Interesting thought, I guess I just don’t want people to have to get cut first to learn. I think in reality the chances are they’ll just take whatever Windows 7 throws at them and put up with it, unless someone tells them there’s an easier and cheaper way (sigh)

  7. Dan, I was trying to do that so many times. I mean I tried so many times to tell them about alternatives. People don’t either care about linux, don’t know what you’re talking about and… think windows is cool as they can run itunes…

  8. Key in this video, is when the picture is opened at 00:36. Do you see that? How the image is garbled? That’s classic Linux sloppiness. Every single zealot I’ve pointed that out to has scoffed at it or ignored it or claimed they “couldn’t see it”.

    Also, don’t forget that videos like this are primarily made to entertain, not educate or inform. It’s not news worthy. They are heavily edited to present the side they wish to show.

  9. Yonah: Key in this video, is when the picture is opened at 00:36. Do you see that? How the image is garbled? That’s classic Linux sloppiness. Every single zealot I’ve pointed that out to has scoffed at it or ignored it or claimed they β€œcouldn’t see it”.

    “classic Linux sloppiness”?!? SERIOUSLY? You actually BELIEVE that?

    Yeah, that glitch couldn’t have anything at all to do with the “classic hardware manufacturer sloppiness” that many 3D graphic card manufacturers are guilty of with their half-arsed attempts at Linux support (KDE 4 uses OpenGL 3D quite heavily to accomplish the fancy effects you see in that video), or couldn’t possibly be related in the slightest to the fact that KDE 4 is still pretty new and many things in it are still not yet complete. Nah, it MUST be “classic Linux sloppiness”…

    Funny that I literally NEVER see that particular glitch EVER in KDE 3.5.10, yet I see it fairly often in KDE 4. I have seen that exact same glitch in several picture viewers in the KDE 4 environment and never ONCE seen it in the image viewers I use in KDE 3.5, so I’d be pretty willing to bet that it’s related somewhat directly to the almost total re-write of KDE that the 4.x series is, and that that nit-picky little glitch will likely disappear at some point in the future one way or another.

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