PcLinux

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 as well.
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.
http://www.pclinuxos.com/news.php
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.
Gunner
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wrote:

Links to the downloads
http://www.pclinuxos.com/page.php?7
Gunner
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Gunner wrote:

And what exactly has that to do with metalworking?
Nick
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Nick Mueller wrote:

    Keyrist. Lotsa people use Linux as the operating system for their homebrew CNC systems. How's that?
Pete
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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 installation. 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 every day.
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. GCC
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gcc wrote:

Wrong. There are plenty of things that are worse than Windows. Mac OS (even X) certainly is as is/was OS2.
Pete C.
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Pete C. wrote:

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. GCC
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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. GCC
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Mind zap every time I see gcc... GNU CC software on X11/Rn Used it plenty.
Martin 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 http://lufkinced.com /
gcc wrote:

-
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gcc wrote:

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 stepper driver.
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 Mach2 license.
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.
Pete C.
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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 other reasons.

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. GCC
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gcc wrote:

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 "properly secured".

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 management.

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 Windows system.
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 ROI.
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.
Pete C.
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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 inconsistent.

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 introductory courses.

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.

See above.

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 as Linux.

Look again- you missed several major menus and a number of default palettes.

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 above.

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.
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gcc wrote:

"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 "documentation".

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.
Pete C.
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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 nonissue.

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 laughable. 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 don't.

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 documentation.

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 PGSQL.

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. GCC

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didn't mean to add your name to the bottom of that one, pete- sorry. GCC
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gcc wrote:

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 those things.

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 quite difficult.

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 technical merits.

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.

Well, I do.
Pete C.
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Pete C. wrote:

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 box.....
PDW
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Peter wrote:

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. GCC
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gcc wrote:

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 party.
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.
PDW
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