[Haifux] Student complaints.

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 16:31:35 MSK 2009

> 3. If they choose to use the same OS at home, they can get it absolutely
>   free. Last time I checked, students always complain about the lack of
>   money - so I find it hard to understand their desire to pay for Windows
>   and the outrageously-expensive MS-Office.
The Technion already bought all the students MS Windows, Office, and
other software. So price is not an issue. Furthermore, piracy is the
norm at the Technion and in Israel in general. Sorry, Linux cannot
compete on price when Windows is essentially free. Worse, students ask
why should they use 'free' when 'expensive' is available for the same

You don't need to lecture me about the reasons, I know them well, but
I am telling you what you are up against.

> 4. A typical Linux system has a much bigger variety of software than Windows,
>   simply because on Windows every piece of commercial software (which is
>   the type of software these students are wishing for) costs money.
>   In a software development lab, most likely nobody will purchase software
>   for photo editing, for OCR, for PDF encoding, for speech synthesis, or
>   who knows what a student might need for his or her project or personal
>   interests. On Linux, all of these things come (depending on how/what
>   you installed) already with your OS, absolutely free.

Linux has a broader selection of software, but it is the _wrong_
software. My faculty (mechanical engineering) insists upon sending us
DOC files that do not display properly in OOo. There is no viable CAD
software for Linux. No Linux video player can play the Technion's
video lecture files. Shall I go on?

I only have Ubuntu on my personal computers. That means that for all
intents and purposes, I have no computer at all. I am stuck in the
Technion computer farms at 3 am waiting for the Arabs to finish their
C homework (the Turbo C version, mind you, not GCC compatible) or
watch their lectures, or read their mail. But one good thing comes out
of this: I see that the Arab students, the only students other than us
Linux users who don't seem to have their own computers, are the most
serious students at the Technion. They work hard and they work late. I
learned a few things about study discipline from them.

Dotan Cohen



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