Would you like to work in Linux vs. Windows?

Discussion in 'Software' started by tux, Nov 17, 2002.


Interested in Linux?

  1. Yes I like Linux for its great stability

    20 vote(s)
  2. Yes I like the idea of Linux because it is free/open source

    19 vote(s)
  3. The lack of software is still holding me back from installing Linux

    11 vote(s)
  4. No I already am comfortable in Windows – why learn yet another OS?

    8 vote(s)
  5. No Windows is still an easier OS to use than Linux

    3 vote(s)
  6. How about other flavors of Unix like FreeBSD

    3 vote(s)
  7. I want more software for Mac / Max OSX

    7 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. tux
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    tux Junior Member

    I see RedHat 8.0 is out and looks more polished and user friendly than ever. I wonder how long it will be before more software is written to run natively in Linux instead of everything being for Windows.
  2. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    ErikG Senior Member

    I voted for more Mac software!

    The Wintel platform is pretty ok but the OS, I don't like it!
    I do NOT wan't to make this into another Mac/PC debate.

    So for as long as there are no useful 3D software that I can afford on the Mac, and the only good hull software is Max Surf (and that is way behind the PC version), I'll keep using windows.

    But one can still wish and hope I guess...

  3. duluthboats
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    I like cooking with gas, and I won’t switch to electricity just because I don’t like the guy who owns the gas company. I know in reality it’s not that simple, but for me it is. I would need a good reason to change.
  4. ErikG
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    ErikG Senior Member

    :D Gary
  5. sailvayu
    Joined: Sep 2002
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    sailvayu Junior Member

    There was a time I was tempted to try something other thean windows but the XP version seems to have solved alot of the old crashing problems. I've had my PC on non stop since September and have not rebooted once. :)
  6. pjwalsh
    Joined: Mar 2003
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    pjwalsh Junior Member

    I would be very happy to work in the linux environment instead of windows. Linux is now much easier to get installed and running than the first time I tried it in 95'. The downside is that the productivity software is not at a very high state of polish yet - sun microsystems much touted staroffice looks like the MS office replacement but upon use you will find that many of the tools are not completely functional yet. Also, there is little in the way of decent CAD software out there under GPL.
  7. jonathan
    Joined: Feb 2003
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    jonathan Junior Member

    Well, I don't think that commercial quality software is very likely to be found under a GPL-like license... However, software companies cuold make an effort to port their systems to other OS's. I know that at home, Iuse Linux for its great possibilities and stability, but for work, I still _have_ to use Windows... What _I_ would like is just that : to be able to use the software I use on Windows, on Linux. Still just a dream, but a lot of developpers are starting to take Linux into account.
    Just hope they keep at it, and that more people start using Linux, as that is the decisive factor.


  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    There are windows emulators out which run 3D and 2D games on linux(winex is one). I don't think it will be long before linux hackers figure out a way to make a majority of windows apps/games portable. 3D Driver support is still a problem tho.
  9. snakefeet
    Joined: Sep 2002
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    snakefeet Junior Member

    I'm glad this topic has come up. I've been doing some experimenting on my own and would like to share what I've found.

    ErikG, you probably already know this, but I'll emphasize it now: as of OSX, Mac software _is_ *nix software. Once a GNU/Linux or BSD program is written it is not difficult to port it to other distributions, and it can be run on OSX under Fink (fink.sourceforge.net) or Apple's own X11 release. That way the programmer doesn't have to go to the trouble of building the Cocoa interface. It'd be nice if they included an Apple-style GUI, but it is not necessary for them to before releasing the software.

    Duluthboats: I know what you mean about the gas company - but to continue the analogy, this particular company has a habit of making changes that benefit only them (or only one stove manufacturer (read: Intel) ). For example, how would you like it if you suddenly had to replace a perfectly useful stove just because the gas co. made some changes that made your stove incompatable, or you had to phone in to get permission from them to use a new stove?..... and then had to phone them again to get permission again after you replaced a burner or added a broiler pan? How about if your contract with them gave them permission to - without notification - go into your house and modify your stove to their liking any time they wanted?

    I'm not trying to be a Mac- or Linux zealot, but think about the file format problems beween versions of Office, the amount of software bloat between NT and XP and the authorization process that comes with XP.

    pjwalsh, FWIW I just put OpenOffice onto my Win2000 box at work and so far it has played very nicely with MSOffice documents and it was effortless to install and use. I like it enough that I plan to download the linux installer and try it at home tonight.

    jonathan & guest, While I have not used WINE (winehq.com) which lets Windows programs run under Linux, I have used VMWare (vmware.com) and was very impressed with it. VMWare lets you run Virtual Machines inside a host system, and they make it for both Linux and NT/2k/XP. For example, for a liittle while at work I was running RedHat 7.2 on a home-built Athlon 950 box and on it I ran a Win2000 VM. I also installed an NT VM and a DOS VM.

    Making the RedHat box see the office LAN was a bit of a chore, but once it was on the network it was no problem to make the virtual Windows machine see the LAN. I even ran Microstation in the virtual machine and it had no trouble working on & saving to drawings on the server. I will admit that Microstation was a little pokey in that setup - but I suspect that it would run more smoothly in a VM on a host in a faster computer. 1.4 to 2.2Ghz might do the trick but I haven't tried it yet.

    I have heard that PTC has released something called ProE/Wildfire that can run on Windows and Linux systems. That's the good news. The bad news is that ProE is one of the most expensive CAD packages out there - but maybe it is a sign that Linux is being noticed by software companies. It also shows that the GPL isn't necessarily a deterrent. It shouldn't be a deterrent at all because, despite Richard Stallman's best efforts, software does not have to be released under the GPL just because it runs on Linux systems. As I understand it, only code that includes GPL'ed code has to be GPL'ed. So the software company is only obligated to release the parts of their work that include GPL'ed parts & can keep control of what they wrote. Or they can use code that exists under the BSD style licenses which come with no strings at all. (disclaimer: IANAL, and "GPL" is is one of the most misquoted and misapplied terms in computer lore today, so I encourage everyone to do their own homework)

    As for me, my main worry with any operating system or program is, when all is said and done, who really owns the data? If data that I enter can only be viewed with one program in one operting system (and soon, on only one machine), is it really still mine?
  10. Tohbi
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Tohbi Senior Member

    yes, microsoft seems self-serving in the extreme. they give a new meaning to the term "planned obsolescence."

    microsoft represents a good example of the excesses of monopolies. where's teddy roosevelt when we need him?
  11. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Jeff Moderator

    It's unfortunate (from my point of view at least) that RedHat has now chosen to follow that lead with their new ultra-short 12-month End of Life. Previously RedHat was great about providing free and easy-to-apply patches for security issues as discovered and I enjoyed the very modular system that a Linux OS provides. But now that RedHat has adopted a "full-version every 12-months" upgrade strategy with no further support for their 12-month-end-of-lifed OS's, it seems like it will be more of a pain and leave less time for doing the things I want with more time spent upgrading and troubleshooting. Even windows has a longer lifespan. We'll see - maybe it will turn out for the best. Or if not I suppose there are other flavors of linux, or FreeBSD.
  12. snakefeet
    Joined: Sep 2002
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    snakefeet Junior Member

    I was also suprised by the twelve month support period. I think I understand why they're doing it but I don't neccessarily like it. RedHat is a service company. Microsoft sells software, Apple sells hardware but RedHat makes money installing and maintaining their software, and selling support subscriptions. So, considering the budgets of their competition, I can understand them wanting to put all their resources into supporting their most recent release as well as possible.

    But my RedHat boxes are put together the way I like them and doing what I want them to do. Do I want to face reinstalling and reconfiguring them every 12 months? Or do I want to stockpile install CDs, software updates and drivers and hope that I can find non-RH support sites to help me keep this installation alive through problems down the road?

    However, the more I think about it, the more I get used to the idea of yearly upgrades. I bought a boxed set of RH7.1 CDs but I've downloaded 7.2 and 7.3 for nothing. So maybe I could pay the sixty bucks for a year's support, keep this installation current and in the mean time download the ISOs for a more recent release to install some time before the cutoff date.

    In the end I'd spend less money than I would for a Microsoft OS, and the install/config time on the RedHat boxes would probably add up to no more time than I spend rebooting and patching my Windows boxes!

    Seriously though, I am coming up on some difficult choices in the next couple of years. I refuse to get WinXP - in fact I won't upgrade my Win2000 box at home past Service Pack 2 any time soon because of the conditions in the SP3 license agreement.*

    So what are my options? The RedHat support subscription & periodic reinstallation plan? Maybe. Hack my way through learning my way around the Debian or Slackware distribution? Yikes! I keep hearing good things about them but I can't shake my impression of Debian being the Linux equivalent of Outward Bound or initiation hell week. BSD is a strong possibilty but would take some time to get used to. MacOSX is a great system and is worth considering. But I'd have to run my boat software in VirtualPC. Unless someone comes out with modelling and hydrostatics software for OSX (I'm not holding my breath). On second thought, some of my Rhino renderings have taken 73 hours on an Athlon 1.4, so running it in an emulator is not really an option.

    I have forgotten the point that I wanted to make, so I'll just walk away now....

    *Call me old fashioned but I want to know what software is being installed on my box, why its being put there, who is putting it there and what it will do once its there. Installing WinXP and Win2000 SP3, or even the most recent version of Media Player gives MS permission to do whatever they like whenever they like to your computer. Some people like that or don't care but it doesn't suit me.
  13. Tohbi
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Tohbi Senior Member

    i'm with you, snake, microsoft is entirely too invasive, but they're the big money guys and money buys politicians and you get the picture.

    btw, i just purchased a laptop and the windows xp came with a worm in the software. no kidding!

    for my money, windows 3.1 was the best system and if they had put their resources into improving it we would be in a better place today. it offered both windows and dos but didn't give bill gates the control over our lives that he seems to crave.
  14. snakefeet
    Joined: Sep 2002
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    snakefeet Junior Member

    A worm in the install software? Seriously?

    Now that's innovation! That's helping the customer save time! No longer do Windows users have to go to the trouble of starting up Outlook or even configuring their ISP settings. The OS itself comes with a worm already installed! I love it.

    Well, since I last rambled here I think I may have proven one of my fears regarding RedHat to be true. I recently took advantage of a demo account of RedHat Network and downloaded & installed a bunch of software upgrades. Now my virtual NT box crashes right after the POST so it is possible that I messed up some VMWare configuration. Or maybe its just normal wear and tear. I have done no file system maintenance on an almost three year old installation, so it may not be up2date's fault.

    But I have decided to jump in with both feet: I'm downloading the first of three RH9 disc images right now (http://www.linuxiso.org/). After I install it I'll probably pay for a year's support subscription and see how it goes. For caution's sake I'll try to read some online reviews of RH9 tomorrow and see what I have to look forward to. Once RH9 is up and running I'll try some new tricks. I've already proven to myself that virtual machines are a viable way to run Windows software in linux. On RH9 I'll try to get Rhino to run under WINE and cut Windows out of the picture.

    In case anyone is wondering, I am not really some anti-MS zealot. Its just that Neil Stephenson proved to me in his book "In the Beginning ... Was the Command Line" (you can read it here, http://www.spack.org/index.cgi/InTheBeginningWasTheCommandLine ) that the computer is just another tool and that the operating system is really beside the point. So I've been exploring ways of using the Linux desktop in a mainstream business setting. My goal is something like, "Could I run a small design firm exclusively with open source / open standard software, and so reduce software licensing costs and prevent any loss of company data to capricious file formats"?

    Yes, its possible but I still want to see if its practical.

    BTW, if you want to try Linux but not make a huge time- or any hardware commitment, (and you have access to a fast connection), download a Knoppix image (linuxiso has 'em, or go to knoppix.org), burn it to a CDR and boot into linux while leaving your hard drive completely untouched! Its a very cool way to try it!

  15. jesseh
    Joined: Jun 2003
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    Location: Renton, WA - USA

    jesseh Junior Member

    I can't resist piping up on this one. I went from Dos to Linux and had been using it exclusivly in both my work and play. Then I got hired by Microsoft and recieved the "drinking from a firehose" lessons on Windows NT (now the core of Windows XP)

    If you want to talk about consumer systems Windows XP is the way to go. Easy use, setup, software availability (both free and pay). Software is easy to install, and the hardware support is unmatched.

    If you want to talk about server systems, after running both Linux servers and Windows Servers now for several years, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHO IS RUNNING THEM AND WHAT THEY KNOW.

    I ran an ISP that supported 4000 customers that had simaltanious sessions ranging from 40 to 400 users at a time on Linux. I saw the same with Windows.

    I found the same security problems, tho windows seemed to get hit on average 1 year later. I see about the same performance on the same hardware.

    I see crashes out of both. The funny thing is that I have never seen an operating system crash for any other reason than external code. When I say that it's because printer companies write the drivers for printers, video card manufactures write the drivers that run their video cards. I hook up a kernel debugger (which, btw you can do for either OS) and see that it's never in the core of the operating system, but rather someone else who did something wrong when hooking into the OS.

    Yes that driver might have shipped with windows, but it was there because the manufacture wrote it and saw the value of having their hardware supported "out of the box"

    Same goes with Linux. When it comes to drivers either the manufacture writes it or pays someone with Linux driver writing experience to write it.

    It's all about doing the research, keeping up with the security scene, applying patches, and knowing your setup.

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