Well, with a "real" OS analysis of error logs and the crash dump will
give you a good idea of the cause. With Windows or MAC OS this feature
is somewhat lacking although some of the underpinnings are there.
Yep, smoke doesn't typically come from software or user typos.
Well, the fact remains that neither Apple's OS folks nor Microsoft's
Windows folks are anywhere near the quality or scale of the engineering
groups for VMS or AIX or other high end enterprise class OS's.
When was the last time you had 700+ days of continuous reliable uptime
on a Windows or MAC system handling hundreds of users and processes
daily? Windows and MAC are simply not in the same league.
As I've said, with W2K and above and MAC OS-X and above both OS's work
reasonably well. My issue has been with Apple's overpriced hardware, and
the UI that I simply don't find useable.
By far the best history of the modern OS lineage:
Sorry, blanket statements are silly. What I have understood in our
dialogue is that you have as many pre-conceptions and lack of (good)
experience with OSX that you are just as biased.
I think you would find the memory management and multitasking
significantly better on OSX. I have never ever been able to run more
than 2 apps on windows without the one I am using suffering performance
due to a background task. I cannot download a couple files, surf the
net, and try and run SW at the same time. Where on the mac I can burn a
DVD, surf the net, get mail, download, have photoshop,, Indesign, and
other applications open and I will not feel it in my foreground app.
That drives me nuts on the PCs.
I will claim that on the speed front they are generally equal,
depending on task and program. However, I think if you sat a Dell
precisions tower next to a G5 tower, and pulled them apart and examined
them from a design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering
point of view, (objectively) the Mac would come out on top. Personally
I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I expect excellence from all
disciplines on a team. With apple, you can see that each area of
expertise is working with creativity and invention. On the Dell, you
can see accounting was creative, and the others made due. I prefer the
former approach as to my way of thinking that level or teamwork and
achievement give credibility to the reliability of the system as a
whole. Just take one look at the cable bundles inside a Dell and the
lack of cables inside the G5. Reliability.
Actually that is a history of modern GUI lineage, not OS lineage, they
are two entirely different things. As can be readily seen in the Unix
(and VMS) world a single OS can have a number of different optional UIs.
It is an excellent article though.
I am quite admittedly biased against the MAC UI since it does not fit my
though / work process.
Where I am not biased is at the OS level and the pre OS-X MAC OS, not UI
was indeed inferior to the Windows OS at the time. Today with OS-X and
the BSD OS that it really is, they are pretty comparable.
If I were to run a BSD OS system, I would choose the CDE UI over the MAC
UI since it suits my process far better. For reference, I do have VMS,
Solaris and Tru64 systems at home in addition to the Windows ones.
Significantly better than OS9 for sure, but not significantly better or
worse than on W2K or XP. Again I'm making the differentiation between
the OS and the UI. Whether you are using the OS-X UI or one of the
others available for BSD, it is still a BSD system. BSD and Windows are
both quite capable of memory management and multitasking.
As far as your performance issues when multitasking on your PC vs. MAC,
I'm not sure where that problem lies, but it is not inherent to Windows.
I regularly have TurboCAD, Mach3, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Netscape
and a couple copies of Windows explorer open and have no issues under
W2Kpro on a P3/500 other than a bit of paging activity since it only has
128MB RAM. If I open Photoshop Elements2 it will gag briefly since it
seems that Photoshop is just a giant memory hog. Once it's loaded all
it's baggage things run just fine again.
Actually I've got one of those Dell Precision towers, a 410 to be
precise. That's the machine where I have my dual display with a Matrox
G400 and do some of my CAD work. It also has my DVD burner, DLT tape
drive, flatbed scanner and a memory card reader.
I got that machine used for next to nothing and added the various bits
and pieces I had on hand to it so I've had it apart a number of times. I
also have several Dell Optiplex GXxxx machines that I use for various
things such as my web server / vru server, my CNC router control system,
and one on my electronics bench to run the PIC programmer and various
While these Dell machines don't quite compare to the physical quality of
the midrange machines I work with, I have not noticed any significant
flaws in them either.
I haven't personally taken apart a G5, but from what I've seen of them
they did not appear to be substantially better than the Dells.
Lack of cables does not equal reliability, while connectors are indeed
the largest failure point in anything electronic, quality connectors are
pretty reliable. In fact poorly done attempts to eliminate the cable
bundles can either make a system unserviceable or unreliable.
Those cables in the Dell are basically two things, connections to HDD(s)
and power connections. Either you hard solder everything and make the
system completely unserviceable, or you eliminate the ribbon cable, but
retain the connectors by directly docking onto the system board. Both
options also remove the strain and vibration buffering ability of the
ribbon cable and if done poorly can make things less reliable.
Neither the Dell or the MAC come close to the level of engineering and
quality in a $100k Alphaserver GS160 or for that matter a good old VAX
7860. The ZIF connectors on the XMI backplane in that VAX are a
beautiful thing, and that 14 slot backplane alone cost more than either
the Dell or the MAC.
Correct, my typo: best history of the modern "GUI" lineage.
You are out of my league with user interface and OS geekiness. You win
I am not sure what it is, but so far, even with clean fresh installs on
my windows boxes, I have never had the same smooth multitasking that I
have on Mac. And my 1 YO Dell is no slouch @ 3.2p4, 2GB RAM, Nvidia
FX1000..... and I am comparing it to my PowerBook Ti that is 2.5 years
old, G4 800Mhz 1GB RAM. But that is my experience and observation. It
certainly can be that somewhere I have the hand-brake on and don't know
If you get the chance, take a G5 apart. You would enjoy it.
Here is a site from a photographer who is a little bit in love with his
G5 and took lots of photos of the sexy details. You can get some sense
of the insides there (do click through each page to see).
Once you have seen that site (and do see it first) go here for a good
Don't know, not having run into those issues I can't provide any
suggestions offhand. I do know there are a number of web sites that have
good Windows tuning tips.
Not sure where / when I'll get that opportunity.
Ok, I looked at it and didn't see anything technically different from
what I see every day on PCs and various midrange systems. I see that
Apple expends time and cost on items that make no technical difference
to the machines capabilities, operation or reliability.
On a car engine a painted stamped steel valve cover performs identically
to a polished chromed one. If you get your jollies looking at the
polished internals that's fine, but they don't perform any better than
their stamped steel counterparts.
Have you ever seen the heatsinks that bolt directly to an Alpha CPU? The
CPU package has two big bolt studs coming out the top for the heatsink.
Of course that was a previous generation of Alpha, the current ones are
a leadless package that mounts in a machined aluminum socket / heatsink
assembly which clamps it directly to the PC board and makes the
connections from the chip package to the board with hundreds of tiny
gold springs held in a precision carrier.
If you like fans take a look at the fan in a Alphaserver GS140. It's
mounted in the middle of the cabinet with the CPU / Memory / IO
backplane above and the PCI adapter frames below. The fan is a
squerilcage about 24" in diameter and about 10" high. It's not silent,
but it is remarkably quiet and moves a whole lot of air.
Ayep. I guess the bottom line is whether you care if your computer looks
purty. Me, I've got my cable modem, router, Ethernet switch, big UPS and
several server machines in a 6' rack cabinet in the back corner of the
garage. Come to think of it, all the LEDs behind the smoked plex door of
the rack do look kinda purty when you open the garage door at night...
QNX is a truly crash proof fault tolerant OS for the PC. There are nuclear
power plants with controls running over QNX, medical imaging devices, lots
of other lives-at-risk on failure apps. Haven't priced it in years, but the
last time I bought it, it was $600 Canadian / node in single units.
Yes, but $600 does still put it a fair amount above the domain of the
$200 consumer OS. Those apps you mention also require it to be run of
fault tolerant hardware which is also a good deal more expensive than a
standard PC or MAC.
All I can report, is what I experienced. When we turned my QNX system off,
six years after go-live, it had never been rebooted. Hardware was nothing
special, uptime of over six years. But then the QNX kernel is only 16k, not
too hard for them to work the bugs out. Microkernel is very hard to do right
(or all pc OSs would be microkernel by now), but it has its advantages. I'm
not affiliated with the company, but I loved their OS, was very sorry to
leave it. http://www.qnx.com There was Byte article from the late eighties
"Crash Proof Computing" that had a bunch on them, might be online somewhere.
Hmmm. Just checked and I don't have that on my PC.
You do have very detailed error information in OSX. The Console in
applications/utilites/console gives you access to all logs for the
system - everything from startup, installation, network, crashes -
everything is there in one place.
The user.dmp is presumably a compressed selective core dump. The
drwtsn32.log has the human readable information with the PID of the
process that crashed, the exception type, other running processes,
processor registers, stack backtrace, etc.
The user.dmp looks to get overwritten with each process crash and is not
very big, only a couple MB on a 128MB system. The drwtcn32.log looks
like it gets appended with the info for each process crash so it would
grow over time, but it's very small, only 200kb on my system with a
total of 7 application exception entries, the earliest from 2003.
Perhaps that's proof that a W2K system can be pretty stable. It's also
important to note that those 7 exceptions do not all represent system
crashes either, most are just a single application.
It runs automatically when an application crashes. I'm not positive, but
I think it should be installed by default, you should be able to find
the drwatson.exe and/or drwtsn32.exe in c:\winnt\system32. It may come
along with one of the service packs. I don't have any compilers /
languages installed on this machine so it didn't come with one of those.
Um, no, apparently you haven't spent much time with dump files.
When the application causes the "exception" that kills it, the dump file
and related information capture all allocated process memory, the stack,
processor registers, other running processes, etc. With this information
you can follow the code backwards from the error to see what lead up to
it. And yes, making sense of this typically requires access to source
code and other tools.
It is not started or running until there is a program exception. It is
launched in response to the exception to collect the dump information.
Try http://support.microsoft.com/?id $6084 for more info.
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