Ive been dabbling with a new distribution of PCLinux. Its very good,
and is about the closest thing to a windows clone out there, making
the learning curve very very easy. Its available in 3 "live cd"
versions, the Big Daddy having all the bells and whistles, Jr being
somewhat stripped down version and the MiniMi being bare bones, and
allows you to build your own version by adding the programs and
components you only want..then burning it back to cd.
All versions have the easy capability of installing to your hard drive
JR and MiniMi ran well on a 250 mhz laptop with 32 megs of ram and a
486 with 32 megs, though running off the CD was a bit slow on the 486.
Ive not yet done a HD install on the 486
If you want to try linux, the live cd of PC Linux may be fun and easy.
This is a rather nice implimentation of a Mandriva Linux and at this
point in time... I am recommending it.
A note..the MiniMi version has great hardware detection (as they all
do) but some of the drivers for the less well known wifi dongles and
so forth are not on the CD, but are downloadable from the included
Synaptic Package manager
Browsing the net has shown universal good to great reviews.
I have to admit, as a veteran Linux developer (user, programmer,
sysadmin, and salesman), I prefer Kororaa, Knoppix, or Slax for desktop
live CDs, and Ubuntu/Kubuntu, Gentoo, or Vector linux for desktop
If you're new to linux, I'd go with Ubuntu- its the most Linux you can
get for free, and has HUGE forums that deal with almost every
concievable newbie question.
Kororaa is easily the best looking, probably better looking than Macs,
and is backed by the Gentoo Portage system- probably the best way to
get and install source on the planet.
Slax and Knoppix are the old standby's of the LiveCD's- Knoppix has
better support for wierd hardware, and Slax is better looking and fits
on a business card cd.
Get Vector Linux if you want to run it on an old system- I run a full
GUI on a Pentium Pro (180mhz) computer I have, and use it for real work
Bottom line though- anything's better than windows, you can try it
without ever touching your hard drive, and its free- there is
absolutely no harm in giving it a try.
As for what it has to do with metalworking, it is a LOT easier to write
code to control hardware for linux than it is for windows- and CNC,
robotics, and automation counts.
I suppose that's a matter of opinion- OS/2 does not pull many of the
DRM-related stunts that XP and Vista do, which I consider far more
despicable than the simple limited capabilities of OS/2, and Mac OS X
is basically BSD with the Aqua interface, so is still POSIX compliant,
and a great step up from Windows, especially now that they're moving
away from PPC-only. So I would say that since OS/2 was not designed to
fill a desktop role, its comparing apples and oranges, and where they
do compare I would rather work closer to the machine than have it
tattle on me, and for Mac OS X, if you like linux the only thing you
can really quibble about is open for debate even between linux distros.
I suppose if we want to be extraordinarily anal retentive we could
construe my phrase "anything" to imply that being ripped apart by a
herd of rabid badgers would be preferable to using Windows, but being
realistic, there isn't another major desktop OS that, IMO (I'm not a
humble man), has so many serious problems, yet brings so little to the
table. <shrugs> if you'd like to debate my reasons we can do that, but
having seen both sides of the issue (something many windows partisans
have not) I have come down firmly on the side of linux in most cases
because in most cases Linux is the better tool to use- less buggy, more
secure, and way, way cheaper, with more plentiful and powerful
development tools and greater versatility under the same roof.
I had this pointed out to me earlier, and should clarify: OS/2 was
originally designed as a desktop OS, but by the time OS/2 warp was
being released, it had basically been overhauled to provide more
support for the kiosk-type applications that IBM's b2b customers were
demanding, and has been used far more as a kiosk and business OS than a
PC desktop OS, and its APIs and program selection reflect that. Sorry
for the confusion.
Mind zap every time I see gcc... GNU CC software on X11/Rn Used it plenty.
Martin H. Eastburn
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
NRA LOH & Endowment Member
NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
Well, most of my PCs are running W2K, I don't mindlessly "upgrade"
unless there is a specific reason to. My W2K PC that serves as my VRU
server, web server, mail server and central storage server is up 24 x
365, is attacked on a daily basis and has yet to be compromised or crash
so the argument that Windows is buggy, insecure and unreliable simply
doesn't hold water.
A number of applications I use regularly don't exist in the Linux world
(at least that I've found) and where something does exist it is
invariable a "you get what you pay for" item. Sure it may be free, but
UIs are inconsistent, documentation even worse than Microsoft (which
aint' easy to do) and full of strange quirks.
As for the cost, perhaps the difference between a free OS and a $200 OS
might be of consequence to some starving student or antisocial dweeb
that can't hold a job better than taco bell lackey, but for those of us
who are gainfully employed our time spent farting around to get the free
OS working properly and try to find free applications to do what we need
to do is worth more than the modest cost of the passable Microsoft OS
and the wealth of passable applications available for it.
A case in point: When building a small CNC router I compared exactly
side by side, EMC running on Linux and Mach2 running on Windows. I had
two identical surplus Dell P3/400 systems stacked up and on a KVM switch
and an old printer switch box to switch the port connections to the
I spent an afternoon installing and configuring Linux and EMC and tuning
them to run the router decently. I spent a couple hours doing the same
with Windows and Mach3. I spent a few days running test code on each,
loading and saving and editing the G code and generally running the
thing. After this analysis I tore down the Linux system and purchased a
I simply found that the Windows / Mach2 combo was much more polished and
easier to operate on a daily basis, not just the install and config.
EMC2 is supposed to resolve some of those issues, but since the Mach2/3
license is unlimited personal use, I have no reason to bother trying it.
For reference, I'm a system administrator for a large bank, so I'm not
exactly a computer novice, even so the Linux variant simply wasted too
much of my time to be worth the small cost savings.
While I know there are office type apps for Linux that are probably
acceptable tradeoffs from the MS Office ones, I'm not sure what there is
to compare to Photoshop, Premiere, TurboCAD, etc.
Oh yea, as to the OS X and OS2 thing: The last OS2 system I had to deal
with was a small voice mail system and while it was reliable, it was
pretty dang klunky. OS X on the other hand brings absolutely nothing to
the table that holds any appeal for me. I absolutely hate the UI, every
application I need is available for Windows and the Apple hardware is
overpriced. I'll run Linux or other UNIX variants long before I'd ever
consider OS X.
Your personal experience is no more valid here than is mine; I have
done quite a bit of tech work in mixed linux/unix/windows environments
and it always seemed to be the windows computers having problems, but I
recognize that that personal experience is clouded by many factors,
including the fact that those who used the windows machines were
generally less knowledgeable and less concerned about security. I will
agree that a good windows admin can make his machine more secure than a
stupid linux admin, but I think (and am reasonably sure I can fnd
statistics which indicate) that a properly secured linux or unix box is
more secure than the comperable windows machine.
The upgrade question is disingenuous on both sides- windows advocates
frequently claim that upgrades, updates, and patches mean windows is
secure, while linux advocates frequently claim that it means an OS is
insecure. Neither is true- it simply means that portions of the
codebase have changed, sometimes for security reasons, sometimes for
If you will let me know what you find lacking I will be glad to help
you, as will many individuals on the chat rooms, forums, and
messageboards devoted to linux. I do extensive development work, from
web and web services to embedded design and everything in between, and
have yet to find a significant gap in Linux program availability
outside of the gaming market.
As for documentation, the linux world is faster moving than the windows
world, and so does not publish static documents. Check usegroups, IRC
chats, and forums- trust me, the help is there for the asking, and if
in doubt- consult the source code. It is nearly universally available.
I do not appreciate the ad hominem; it is neither necessary nor
constructive. I do some work for a nonprofit group which strives to
provide low cost computers and tech education to those who cannot
afford it, helping to certify and find good jobs for people who
otherwise would be left out of this crucial part of modern life. We
could not provide that service even under the MAR license, and they
could not afford the additional software costs that come with Windows.
We therefore use linux and have had very few problems with it,
especially when it comes to educational and development software. In
short, the cost does matter.
As for the "farting around" problem, well, yeah- Linux provides the
user with power by allowing them to do a significant portion of
configuring programs and the OS itself. If you want something that will
Just Work, and are willing to settle for the hassles and costs and
outright flaws of windows- that's your business. I can run nearly every
program that windows can run on my linux box, though, so be careful
before you pose that as an issue.
I can't claim to be familiar with EMC. If you find it isn't working
properly they have a developer's email listed, and I am sure they will
help you troubleshoot if you cannot find your problem described and
resolved in the forums.
As I said, I can't personally comment on EMC, having never used it. I
can, however, say that if you don't like it, change it! Maybe your time
is too valuable- you are, after all, the system admin at a large bank-
but I've personally always like the fact that if I didn't like the
available options, I could change them.
As for time wasted- a minute of expertise is worth an hour of
ignorance, and I say that as somebody with thousands of hours of both
Windows and Linux admin and developer experience. It is idiomatic that
something strange will take time to get used to, and being more
powerful and more complex than most things, Linux will take
correspondingly longer to become proficient at. If you are unwilling to
spend that time, by all means, don't- but don't mistake it for an issue
with the OS.
Linux has a wealth of office programs, first and formost OpenOffice,
written by Sun as a direct clone of Microsoft Office. It is more or
less the exact same suite, except more scriptable, in Java, Bash
script, and Python.
Photoshop is largely replaced by the Gimp, while Cinelerra replaces
Adobe Premiere. There are literally dozens of CAD programs for linux,
some free and some not, but you should be aware that you arent forced
to make a choice between windows and linux PROGRAMS, only windows and
linux, because linux (under wine) can run almost every program that
windows can, with little or no performance hit, so if you are only
comfortable with the windows programs, then you are free to use them.
Bottom line: you seem to have two major objections to linux, the first
that it takes time to configure and learn, and the second that the
programs you want aren't on it. I can't do much about the first- either
you'll put in the time to learn how to use a new tool or you won't- but
I can tell you that if you need any help finding programs for linux, or
figuring out how to make windows programs run under wine, send me an
email- I will happily help you as much as I can, and where I can't,
there are millions of other people as or more knowledgable than me who
use linux, and who would be only too happy to help fix any issues you
might be having. In the meantime, I urge you to give linux another
shot- try a newbie distro (you never mentioned what it was that you
were actually running) or read some forums. I promise that with a
little bit of time you can get a very powerful tool at no cost.
I expect you will find that a properly secured windows system is every
bit as secure as a properly secured Linux system, otherwise they aren't
There isn't an OS out there that doesn't get patches. In many cases you
can ignore the patches though when they only affect a specific function
you aren't using.
What I've found lacking each time I've dabbled with a Linux system, is
something that is not likely to be resolved through any forums, it's the
simple lack of the consistency and neatness that comes from a
commercial, professional development operation with effective
Providing low cost computers and tech education to the poor is certainly
a good thing, however though needs to be given to insuring that they are
learning how to use a computer, not just a particular app. When they get
a job most anywhere, they will get to work on a Windows PC, not a linux
one so they need to be learning how a computer works, not just how a
particular app works.
People on Macs have a similar problem where they learn a particular
application or two without actually learning any fundamentals of how a
computer works. Without those fundamentals, when they need to work on
another platform they are rapidly lost. With a Windows PC at least until
recently they were learning some of those fundamentals, as newer
versions of Windows have been dumbed down the same problem is developing
in the Windows world.
Have you run Adobe Premiere on your Linux box? How about Mach3? If you
can successfully run those two apps on a Linux box, let me know how and
I'll start fiddling with Linux again.
As I noted below, I had no problem configuring Linux and EMC and getting
them working. The problem was in the comparison between the two options
where it was faster and easier to get the Windows / Mach2 system running
properly and also the relative ease of normal operation of each.
Examples such as tuning the acceleration ramps and max velocity for each
axis, in EMC manually editing a numeric config file (referring to a
calculator), saving and restarting the app to test vs. in Mach2 opening
the motor tuning window, moving a few graphical sliders, looking at the
velocity graph and then closing the window to test. Other examples were
the ease of stepping through the G code while testing a new program and
the ease of editing that program on the fly as you found issues with it.
Another example is the documentation where the EMC docs were very
inconsistent and in some cases missing critical information, where the
Mach2 documentation was consistent and thorough. EMC2 is supposed to
have fixed some of these shortcomings with graphical tuning screens and
perhaps complete documentation. As I noted there isn't much reason for
me to look there again since Mach3 has continued development adding
numerous features and the license is unlimited.
It should be noted that Mach2/3 is fully configurable and customizable,
down to custom screens and custom scripting, do it's not like EMC had to
sacrifice simplicity for flexibility.
See my note above. Mach2/3 is every bit as configurable and customizable
as EMC, however it is vastly more polished and makes those
customizations much faster to make.
The fact is that Linux is not any more powerful and complex than some
other "real" operating systems, but they are far easier to manage. The
inconsistencies and in some cases stupid quirks of Linux make it more
difficult than it's complexity justifies.
It's been a while since I last looked, but when I did Gimp seemed a lot
more comparable to MS Paint than to Photoshop. I've never seen Cinelerre
so I can't comment on that one.
No, I have no problem with configuring and learning Linux. I've spent
time with Tru64 and Solaris as well and I suppose it's the
inconsistencies, stupid quirks and unprofessionalism of Linux that turn
me off. That when coupled by the fact that my Windows systems run
flawlessly and the applications I need run on Windows gives me little
incentive to bother with Linux.
I think the last I fiddled with was Red Hat 6.1. The problem is that
when I've had a Linux system running, I never did much of anything with
it since I already had everything I needed running just fine on a
When I decided to put up a mail server for my domain I considered a
Linux system however I already had a W2K system up 24 x 365 for my VRU,
web server (feeble server, but feeble site so it doesn't matter) and
central storage server, so putting up another machine and spending
another $20/mo in power to run it didn't make a lot of sense.
I found a very nice mail server package for Windows from a company in
the UK and after running the demo (which took literally 15 min to
install and configure) for a month without issues I just bought the
thing for something <$100. If I were to put up a Linux server I'd need
to invest a lot of time and effort to port things over for very little
The XP system where I usually run TurboCad, Premiere and some other
stuff has a whole lot of drive space (400GB secondary disk) so if the
newer versions of Linux can coexist in a dual boot environment I could
fiddle with it there.
I would not personally certify an administrator who held that all
operating systems are equally secure.
Exactly- a disingenuous issue.
I'm not sure what you mean by "consistency"- if you mean that there are
numerous solutions to a given problem, and that many of those solutions
use different means to achieve said ends, then yes, Linux is
We offer certification courses in A+, Net+, and MCSA, as well as basic
desktop operation including OpenOffice.org, Firefox, and
Windows/Nautilus file management. I personally teach C++ and Python
I personally haven't as I have very little use for video editing, but I
asked around and under wine Premiere 5.0 is confirmed working and with
a dll workaround Premiere 6.0 is rumored to work, although it remains
unconfirmed. Besides Wine, however, you also have the options of Xen,
which is known to work with all windows programs, or VMWare or Win4Lin,
both of which are total overkill for your application, but which are
also certain to function. So yes- I can personally assure you that
Premiere and Mach WILL work on Linux.
Many people new to linux complain about the text-based configuration
files, saying they are a weakness or are inconvenient. They are
neither, since they are made to be machine parsed and are therefore
easy to machine generate, meaning that with even a basic script it is
very easy to generate very complex and flexible configurations. In some
cases this is misplaced- this may be one of them- but generally I think
it is a vastly superior method of configuration.
This is not a position born of knowledge, expertise, or experience. I
don't think I have to point out that Linux exists on both much larger
and smaller machines than Windows, has clustering capability, exists on
liveboot disks... the versatility is endless. Show me a windows HPC.
Show me a Windows liveboot disk. Show me Windows on an iPod. There's a
simple reason that you can't- windows is not as flexible or as powerful
Look again- you missed several major menus and a number of default
Tru64 and Solaris are Unix, not Linux, and the main branch of Solaris
isn't even open source. Who told you they were Linux?
If all you want is a high-priced desktop, you're right- its not going
to matter what OS you use, you can get the same basic functionality,
it's just a matter of what you're comfortable with. But if you want
more for less, Linux is the way to go- for all the reasons mentioned
There are several autoconfiguring LAMP systems with builtin mail
support and nice graphical managers. www.DistroWatch.org.
No need to dual boot- simply get a copy of Knoppix and play. It sounds
like all you're using it for is desktop stuff, no need to mess with
your hard drive for that.
Look, the bottom line here is that we can shout at eachother all day,
but I have yet to hear a convincing situation in which Windows is
actually strictly superior to Linux. You have cited vague concerns over
look n feel on systems which are similar to (but not) Linux, and I have
to admit that it seems like you are sticking with what you know because
it is comfortable, without exploring the outer boundaries of what is
possible. Linux is not windows- if you try and use it the same way you
will be disappointed. That having been said, once you learn how to use
it, it is the more flexible and powerful tool, ask Google or HP or Sun,
or MIT or Harvard or the DoD, for that matter. It is simply a question
of spending the time, and learning.
"Properly secured" extends beyond the limits of the particular system.
Some systems will be a little more dependent on firewalls than others.
It's the lack of consistency from one component / module to another.
Things don't adhere to standard conventions, components have asinine
names instead of logical ones and as a whole it comes together to feel
very clunky and amateur-ish.
Good, perhaps you can point me to good references for C++. I'm not a
programmer, my coding is largely limited to bits of ASM on little
microcontrollers. I've dabbled with Visual C++ in the past and just
never found a good text that filled in the gaps in the MS
Good to know Premiere can work. I suspect that Mach will not however as
it pulls all kinds of tricks to get around Windows and send pulse trains
directly to the parallel ports.
Mach has an XML config file behind all the convenient graphical screens
making it easy to copy to other installations. Certainly an interactive
item like motor tuning lends itself far better to a GUI. I'm a pretty
big CLI guy myself, but things like this are pretty bad on a CLI or
worse an edit, reload, test, edit again scenario.
I wasn't referring to Windows, I was referring to "real" OSes such as
VMS which pretty well sets the standard for both power and complexity
while maintaining a very consistent and professional appearance and very
logical and user friendly management. The point was not a Windows is
better, it was a Linux could be a hell of a lot better and it's power
and complexity don't excuse it's faults.
I never said they were the same, I was indicating I had plenty of
experience with other OSes and indeed ones that are similar to Linux. My
experience with "real" commercial OSes probably makes me more aware of
and biased against the inconsistencies and quirks of Linux.
I guess that's it, I don't have any real desire to for a $0 OS. The
hardware the OS runs on isn't free, and I consider the couple hundred
dollars for Windows to be a reasonable price. Certainly it's a fraction
of the price of most "real" OSes and while it is not a "real" OS, it is
functional and reliable in the hands of someone with a clue. In the
hands of someone who spends their time gaming, pirating music and
loading all kinds of questionable software, any OS will fall apart.
That system is just desktop stuff and the safest to play on.
I never said Windows was superior to Linux. I've only refuted the
"anything is better than Windows bunk". The bottom line is that Windows
is perfectly functional and reliable for a lot of applications.
No, I've cited concerns over the look and feel of Linux, not other OSes
(well besides OS X and OS2 which suck). I noted that I've spent time
with Tru64 and Solaris which while similar to Linux are produced by
commercial companies and exhibit the consistencies and professionalism
that I find lacking in Linux.
Again that wasn't the point. The point was refuting the "anything is
better than Windows bunk" which simply isn't true. Indeed along the
windows bashing line, the recent Apple commercials have made
implications ranging from grossly distorted to positively false. Too bad
Microsoft wouldn't get a fair shake if they sued for slander / libel.
We are arguing semantics here- I am using the phrase to mean "as secure
as a system can be" you are using it to mean "totally secure". A
There is a different logic to Linux than to Windows; call it illogic if
you will, it makes perfect sense to me, and if you are arguing that
Microsoft is good at standards compliance, sheesh- that's just
As for the amateur-ish comment, I go back to my previous statement. It
takes a lot more effort to make sure that something works properly and
interoperably if you aren't making all the parts of it yourself. That's
what standards are for, and Linux compliance to those standards is
admirable, since it means that there are standard ways to access and
manipulate the computer in a safe way without reinventing the wheel, as
you so often have to do in Windows programming, and of course I can't
tell you what to do about feeling clunky without knowing what you mean.
I've always been partial to teaching from the C++ Primer Plus or C++
Without Fear because of their low cost and easy availability, but if
you go on half.com you can sometimes get good deals on Savitch's C++
series or the C++: early objects and fundamentals books. Be forewarned
though that teaching yourself production-quality C++ is not easy
without production-quality source code available, which will likely
mean learning to program on, if not use, Linux.
You might also be interested in learning C, since C is more commonly
used on microcontrollers due to the lack of implicit code generation
around object oriented syntax. The C Primer Plus, cousin of the C++
Primer Plus, is a great way to learn C, and there are many free books
on programming 8051 microcontrollers online, which, combined with your
datasheets, will tell you all you need to know. There is also a GCC
crosscompiler for avr and arm for both windows and linux, and the gcc
documentation is very complete.
Supposedly Xen has a compatibility layer that allows simultaneous low
level io for hardware control; I do not pretend to understand how that
works or what impact that could have on Mach, but if all you are doing
is writing to a parport you should be fine with wine; I was under the
impression that you were driving a custom CNC board.
Again, don't know, but taking your word for it that Mach is the
superior program, try to run it on linux. I don't doubt that there are
those who would be happy to hear of your success.
The original dispute was over "anything is better than windows". VMS
is, by your apparent admission, and the only major problem you have
with linux is that you don't find it professional enough. I'll admit
that I would probably rather use windows than dos, but that doesn't
change the fact that you are essentially admitting that Linux is both
more powerful and more flexible than windows, for free and without
significant limitation on personal use of either the OS or its source
code, and as Linux and Mac OS X (unix) are the only other major desktop
operating systems, what else is there to speak about?
Still no idea what you mean by inconsistencies or quirks, besides look
n feel, which has improved significantly over the last several years
and is, in my opinion, equivalent to windows. I may be less sensitive
to these things than you are, or you may be using a poorly integrated
system. Either way- I'm not hearing any points that we can deal with on
a broader basis than personal opinion.
I don't enjoy wasting money on something I can get just as well for
free, and as I percieve no benefit to using windows, (to paraphrase
your earlier point- windows isn't better, it's just an alternative) I
If I were you, obviously somewhat into computers and looking around to
see whats to be had, I would grab a bunch of those sucky optiplexes
that go on ebay by the palletload every once in a while and see what
linux can really do. Sure, it can be a desktop, and I think one fully
competitive with and, by virtue of its additional capabilities,
superior to windows, but you start really getting a feel for it when
you start to program and do admin work with it. It really is a joy to
use for administration, and cluster computing makes short work of even
the most intensive programming or data modelling. Play around some-
trust me, its worth it, if for no other reason than being able to do
what you want without having to pray that the code matches the
Once again, "anything is better" could, theoretically, mean that being
fed feet first into a blender would be preferable to using windows;
that is clearly not the case. What I meant was that windows is the
worst of the commonly available desktop operating systems. OS/2 is now
many years old, more comperable to BeOS than to Linux, while Mac OS X
sports a clean interface and posix-compliant core, and Linux, by your
own admission, is more flexible and powerful than Windows.
To clarify, I also never said that windows was absolutely the worst
thing to ever happen in the history of the world; it's not. But it is a
weak and overutilized OS that does not stand up well to its
competitors, which I phrased as "anything is better than windows"- a
perfectly true statement, all other things equal.
I'm not sure what you find lacking in RedHat, then, as that is a
commercial product, or SuSe, which is now owned and sold by Novell, as
you cannot say that open source projects are generally worse or more
poorly managed than closed source projects with any degree of accuracy.
And I still have no idea what you mean by consistency or
professionalism, as it doesn't get more professional than Apache or
Certainly Apple overstates its case, but back to the "anything is
better than windows" question- Linux, you have essentially stated, is
in the realm of the "big boys"- HP-UX, VMS, and other enterprise OSes,
while simultaneously saying that Windows is not in that group. If you
are simply stating that many users get by with windows, ok, thats fine.
But so far I see no proof that windows is in that big league, and given
that OS X benefits from the same kind of flexibility and power that
Linux does, and Linux is superior to windows based on that precept, I
see no reason to believe that my statement was false.
Clunky and amateurish means the documentation for different components
do not follow a consistent style, utilities are named after people or
even more asinine things and there is a general feel of something
kludged together from entirely unrelated parts. I probably notice this
more from my VMS experience since VMS is the absolute opposite of all
I've done some C, including VAX C, but never found much application for
it in the little projects I do. I mostly use the PIC line these days and
even that I don't do a lot lately.
Mach2/3 produces step and direction pulse trains for up to six
simultaneous axes at up to 45,000 steps per second. This feeds to step
and direction stepper or servo drivers. I expect emulation to support
the kind of tricks necessary to get this to work under Windows would be
I may try to load up a config on a spare box and see what happens.
Should have a lot of spare time over the EOY change freezes when I can't
do a damn thing.
VMS is better than just about anything out there including Linux and
quite a few others. It's rather the gold standard. I reference it to
shoot down the argument that Linux's power and complexity in some way
justify it's faults. VMS is more powerful and more complex, but yet it
is also very logical, well documented and user and administrator
friendly. Linux is needlessly hokey.
My point is in debunking the myth that Windows is somehow garbage and is
insecure and unreliable. The fact is that it is perfectly functional,
secure and reliable when managed in a reasonable way.
Inconsistent documentation and bizarre to asinine naming of utilities
are two big complaints.
I find benefits to using Windows and I don't find much in the way of
negatives to it either. If the mythical BSOD every 15 minutes and other
complaints were actually true I'd be on Linux like stink on shit.
I have a stack of Optiplexes. One is my VRU/web/mail/storage server,
another is my CNC controller out in the shop, another is hanging around
not doing much at the moment.
Well, I have just about no need to do any programming on a Linux system,
or a Windows one for that matter. As for administration, I don't see how
it could be any better then Windows since things are pretty damn easy
there. Perhaps if I was admining for a slew of office desktops there
might be an advantage, but for the half dozen machines on the home
network little advantage.
VMS invented clustering. Oddly enough however I haven't seen many
installations that actually utilized clustering for much beyond a common
UAF and storage.
It certainly stands up well to it's competitors in market share and
acceptance. As we all know, product success is rarely a function of it's
They may be up to snuff given sufficient time, however the
inconsistencies of their past history won't evaporate overnight. This is
one of the reasons why despite being "free", Linux is so slow in making
inroads in the enterprise space despite some backing from the big
players. While all the executive types love to cut costs (so they can
give themselves big bonuses), they are wary of putting mission critical
applications onto a platform with an unproven support structure. With
the big players OSs there is something of a single point of blame and
given a maintenance contract, the expectation that when a big problem
crops up the company in question can and will throw significant
resources at resolving the issue promptly.
Linux is not even remotely in the league with VMS, probably not with AIX
and it still lags behind Solaris, Tru64 and HP-UX. Out of the tens of
thousands of systems where I work, there are only a handful of Linux
systems and none are in mission critical positions.
There are numerous Windows servers around the company, particularly the
Exchange servers, but plenty of others. I certainly don't think they are
the best for the job, but they do get the job done.
FWIW - this *is* Usenet - IMHO C++ is a language in search of a
problem. You're better off either sticking to plain vanilla C or using
Java. C++ is a half-assed implementation of an OO programming language
that still permits you to do the same stupid tricks that get you into
trouble in C, but at an enormous bloatware cost.
If it needs to be small, lean & mean, I use C. If it's a pretty big
project with a lot of modules which need to hang together, parts to be
reuseable for years in all sorts of places not even thought of in the
first instance, we use Java.
Whatever we do, it ALL goes into a CVS repository. Running on a linux
I like C++, but you are right in a lot of ways. I like it because of
the ease of writing and organizing large programs, but for smaller
programs its just much too much, and I don't use it on uc's. I don't
like Java, to me it seems like a halfway point between C++ and Python,
but I can see where you're coming from.
Can't comment on Python because I've never used it. I suspect it all
depends on your intended use. I do a lot of relational database stuff
with data streaming in real-time from instruments to terminal servers,
then tcp connections from Java programs and tcp and/or udp out to
consumer processes, with logging in rdbms's. The nice thing with Java
is every major rdbms vendor provided a Type 4 driver so you can load &
swap them on the fly. Even Microsoft eventually had to come to the
Postgresql running on linux works nicely. There are many faster dbms
engines, but it works well and I like it.
Returning to comments WRT the aesthetics of OS X vs Windows - it's a
pretty poor argument whan all you can say about a competing product is
that you, personally, don't like how it looks. Hell, there's nothing
stopping a person running X Windows as well, as I'm sure you know and
Pete C doesn't.
Shrug. I don't bother trying to convert Windows bigots. It's a waste of
time, just like when I used to tell Mac bigots that their OS (prior to
OS X) was a POS. I got my first Mac when OS X came along because I
wanted a unix based laptop without hassles. 4 years later and I have no
reason to change my mind - and I have a *shitload* of computer gear,
with the work budget to buy anything I want.
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