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    Since my first computer I have used Microsoft systems, I started with 3.1 and now use XP (I had all of them in between). I have heard of the Linux and Unix systems, but have never used them. I guess the reason that I never used them was because I was told early on that the Linux and Unix systems were for more advanced users and that they lacked the support that Microsoft offered. Would someone give me a brief discription of the advantages/disadvantages of the Linux, Unix systems as compared to Microsoft. I could read text book on them all day, but I would like to hear the opinions of users. Or perhaps there is a website I could go to that would allow me to experience Linux/Unix firsthand? Any information will be helpful.
    I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Floydr47
    I never used them was because I was told early on that the Linux and Unix systems were for more advanced users and that they lacked the support that Microsoft offered.
    I've heard this "support for windows" argument before, but I've never really understood it. In my experience, supoort for windows has always been, and continues to be, poor (but expensive). If windows does have an advantage over UNIX/Linux/*BSD, it certainly isn't support from Microsoft--unless you enjoy sitting on hold for hours just to reboot.

    Originally posted by Floydr47
    Would someone give me a brief discription of the advantages/disadvantages of the Linux, Unix systems as compared to Microsoft.
    http://www.spack.org/index.cgi/InThe...TheCommandLine

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by yankee
      I've heard this "support for windows" argument before, but I've never really understood it.
      I've heard it before, too. It seems like what people really mean is stuff that's relevant to 95% of end users - availability of software, hardware compatibility, a familiar GUI, and minimal administrative effort required.

      What it boils down to is that people do not want to have to learn something new in order to use their computers. At work, I recently proposed a switch from the PCs we use in my group (Secure Network Computing) to Sun Blade workstations as an immunisation move against worms, viruses, trojans, and spyware. People resisted because they'd have to 'learn something new' - even when it was pointed out to them that 99% of the applications they use are Java-based, they *still* didn't want to go for it.

      In my experience, supoort for windows has always been, and continues to be, poor (but expensive).
      They're all expensive. Whether the contract is with Microsoft, Sun, IBM, SGI, or RedHat, you'll pay through the nose for engineering time.

      If windows does have an advantage over UNIX/Linux/*BSD, it certainly isn't support from Microsoft--unless you enjoy sitting on hold for hours just to reboot.
      Again, though - most end users don't want the level of support you're talking about. They just want to send email, surf the web, play Counter Strike, and use Office. Separate out the serverside functions from the desktop functions and the distinction becomes clearer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Floydr47
        Since my first computer I have used Microsoft systems, I started with 3.1 and now use XP (I had all of them in between). I have heard of the Linux and Unix systems, but have never used them. I guess the reason that I never used them was because I was told early on that the Linux and Unix systems were for more advanced users and that they lacked the support that Microsoft offered. Would someone give me a brief discription of the advantages/disadvantages of the Linux, Unix systems as compared to Microsoft. I could read text book on them all day, but I would like to hear the opinions of users. Or perhaps there is a website I could go to that would allow me to experience Linux/Unix firsthand? Any information will be helpful.

        If you are willing to take the time to learn, then there is a great community out there that does support different distro's... I guess the questions I have are: Why do you want to switch? and What do you use your system for? If you are just going to surf the web and check email like skroo said, and you really don't want to learn something new, then stay with windows.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by highwizard
          If you are willing to take the time to learn, then there is a great community out there that does support different distro's... I guess the questions I have are: Why do you want to switch? and What do you use your system for? If you are just going to surf the web and check email like skroo said, and you really don't want to learn something new, then stay with windows.
          I have spent most of my life working in the oilfield, drilling oilwells. I am now 49 and the work has become too physically demanding. I started taking courses at the community college this past year. I want to become a programer so that I can spend another 20 years working. I am learning a lot in college, but there is a lot I am not learning. That is the reason that I wished to associate myself with the members of this forum. I suspect that I will learn many useful things here that I would not learn in a classroom. The reason that I would want to switch is that if Linux/Unix is a "work in progress", then that would be an ideal environment to learn. I use my system for all the things that Skroo said and in addition I have my classroom materials installed as well, DOS 5.0/6.0/6.2, VB 6.0, Excel, etc.
          I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

          Comment


          • #6
            I say you should swich to UNIX based OS's...
            It's never too late to learn...

            And there is one thing linux (or unix) does not offer you, and windows does:
            The Blue Screen Of Death (in it's many, many forms)...and i belive that is what makes windows a versatile OS...the errors

            Did i spell 'versatile' ok?
            BY ACCEPTING THIS BRICK THROUGH YOUR WINDOW, YOU ACCEPT IT AS IS AND AGREE TO MY DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS WELL AS DISCLAIMERS OF ALL LIABILITY, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL, THAT MAY ARISE FROM THE INSTALLATION OF THIS BRICK INTO YOUR BUILDING.

            Comment


            • #7
              I, too, have used Microsoft for most of my life. I started using Linux almost one year ago. Linux is just as easy as Windows to do everyday tasks as well as the advanced ones. For support, Linux has more user groups and forums whereas Microsoft has more professionals that you call. I think the peer-to-peer system of help is a lot better then waiting forever on the phone for a technician. If you want first hand experience, get a live distro like Knoppix or Slax or you can get a second hard drive and put Linux on that. I suggest Slackware for anyone who is new to Linux. (Slax is the live version of Slackware.)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Floydr47
                I have spent most of my life working in the oilfield, drilling oilwells. I am now 49 and the work has become too physically demanding. I started taking courses at the community college this past year. I want to become a programer so that I can spend another 20 years working. I am learning a lot in college, but there is a lot I am not learning. That is the reason that I wished to associate myself with the members of this forum. I suspect that I will learn many useful things here that I would not learn in a classroom. The reason that I would want to switch is that if Linux/Unix is a "work in progress", then that would be an ideal environment to learn. I use my system for all the things that Skroo said and in addition I have my classroom materials installed as well, DOS 5.0/6.0/6.2, VB 6.0, Excel, etc.
                Field Switching?

                I would recommend reading this Slashdot Article that was posted recently


                If you want to learn, then throw slackware on, and don't use X for a few months.


                Here is some good info on Linux itself


                Oh, and Read Slashdot.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ^Dash^
                  And there is one thing linux (or unix) does not offer you, and windows does:
                  The Blue Screen Of Death (in it's many, many forms)...and i belive that is what makes windows a versatile OS...the errors
                  because linux never crashes or segfaults... oh, wait.
                  "Those who would willingly trade essential liberty for temporary security are deserving of neither." --Benjamin Franklin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by highwizard
                    Here is some good info on Linux itself
                    mfreeck actually snagged a hard copy willieweek of this issue for me to check out, very good story. ...even gives good mention to Freegeek in there
                    if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Floydr47
                      I guess the reason that I never used them was because I was told early on that the Linux and Unix systems were for more advanced users and that they lacked the support that Microsoft offered.
                      Tier 1 vendors with Linux offerings will, of course, offer tier 1 support for Linux. Tier 1 vendors with Unix offerings will support their own products much better than Microsoft can support theirs, simply because they control both hardware and software. The only place you will run into a vendor support issue is if you try to build something running a free Linux distribution on top of 3rd party vendor hardware. Here's an example that comes more or less from my job experience.

                      Let's say you're redoing the Oracle backend of a major web site, which is currently on IA32. You're dealing with some large data sets (>50GB), and running into major bottlenecks with query speeds due to the limits of 32-bit addressability.

                      Hoping to be cost effective, you end up puchasing two 8-way 2.0GHz Opteron systems with 16GB of RAM each through a no-name vendor, rather than two slightly more expensive 4-way 1.28GHz UltraSPARC IIIi-based V440s with 16GB RAM from Sun, a tier 1 vendor. You install SuSE for AMD64 and the developer release of Oracle 9i for Linux/AMD64.

                      After a few weeks you start experiencing problems... random kernel panics and lockups. You speculate that one of the 8 Opteron processors in one of the systems might be faulty. But which one?

                      You run some diagnostic software on the system but find nothing. However, without fail, every 2 days or so under load one of your database servers crashes. In only one day the cost difference between V440s and Opterons is negated by the amount of revenue lost to downtime.

                      Now, say that instead you had chosen Sun, and that miraculously a V440 managed to pass Sun's QA with a faulty processor which is destined to exhibit problems after a prolonged period of intense use. After about a month your V440 starts experiencing kernel panics, and dropping corefiles.

                      However ever since the scrubber patch was introduced in Solaris 7, it's been possible to determine the cause of such failures through analysis of the core files. You call up Sun and they send your corefile to the kernel group, who then informs you that cpu3 is bad. After chatting quickly with Sun support, a new CPU is on its way, shipped overnight. In the meantime, you pull cpu3 from the V440, and suddenly it's rock solid again.

                      It's a simple rule... all computers will eventually break, and the complexity of diagnosing problems increases with respect to the complexity of the system exhibing problems. Large Opteron systems bring all the complexity of larger tier 1 systems without the accompanying software support of a tier 1 system. There have been attempts to address the difficulties arising in complex commodity systems, such as the Machine Check Extension, but in most cases the system will have locked up or the kernel crashed before the MCE can give you any useful information.

                      Bottom line: making purchasing decisions on the basis of system price/performance ratios alone is foolish
                      45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                      45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                      [ redacted ]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bascule
                        Tier 1 vendors with Linux offerings will, of course, offer tier 1 support for Linux. Tier 1 vendors with Unix offerings will support their own products much better than Microsoft can support theirs, simply because they control both hardware and software. The only place you will run into a vendor support issue is if you try to build something running a free Linux distribution on top of 3rd party vendor hardware. Here's an example that comes more or less from my job experience.

                        Let's say you're redoing the Oracle backend of a major web site, which is currently on IA32. You're dealing with some large data sets (>50GB), and running into major bottlenecks with query speeds due to the limits of 32-bit addressability.

                        Hoping to be cost effective, you end up puchasing two 8-way 2.0GHz Opteron systems with 16GB of RAM each through a no-name vendor, rather than two slightly more expensive 4-way 1.28GHz UltraSPARC IIIi-based V440s with 16GB RAM from Sun, a tier 1 vendor. You install SuSE for AMD64 and the developer release of Oracle 9i for Linux/AMD64.

                        After a few weeks you start experiencing problems... random kernel panics and lockups. You speculate that one of the 8 Opteron processors in one of the systems might be faulty. But which one?

                        You run some diagnostic software on the system but find nothing. However, without fail, every 2 days or so under load one of your database servers crashes. In only one day the cost difference between V440s and Opterons is negated by the amount of revenue lost to downtime.

                        Now, say that instead you had chosen Sun, and that miraculously a V440 managed to pass Sun's QA with a faulty processor which is destined to exhibit problems after a prolonged period of intense use. After about a month your V440 starts experiencing kernel panics, and dropping corefiles.

                        However ever since the scrubber patch was introduced in Solaris 7, it's been possible to determine the cause of such failures through analysis of the core files. You call up Sun and they send your corefile to the kernel group, who then informs you that cpu3 is bad. After chatting quickly with Sun support, a new CPU is on its way, shipped overnight. In the meantime, you pull cpu3 from the V440, and suddenly it's rock solid again.

                        It's a simple rule... all computers will eventually break, and the complexity of diagnosing problems increases with respect to the complexity of the system exhibing problems. Large Opteron systems bring all the complexity of larger tier 1 systems without the accompanying software support of a tier 1 system. There have been attempts to address the difficulties arising in complex commodity systems, such as the Machine Check Extension, but in most cases the system will have locked up or the kernel crashed before the MCE can give you any useful information.

                        Bottom line: making purchasing decisions on the basis of system price/performance ratios alone is foolish
                        Thank you all very much for your input. After reading the articles and weighing the pros and cons, I see what I should have realized in the first place. I will install Linux on a external hard drive and have use of both OS. Sometimes one doesen't see the forest for the trees.
                        I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Floydr47
                          Since my first computer I have used Microsoft systems, I started with 3.1 and now use XP (I had all of them in between). I have heard of the Linux and Unix systems, but have never used them. I guess the reason that I never used them was because I was told early on that the Linux and Unix systems were for more advanced users and that they lacked the support that Microsoft offered. Would someone give me a brief discription of the advantages/disadvantages of the Linux, Unix systems as compared to Microsoft. I could read text book on them all day, but I would like to hear the opinions of users. Or perhaps there is a website I could go to that would allow me to experience Linux/Unix firsthand? Any information will be helpful.
                          Linux isn't really for the "advanced" user, it's more for the "specialized" user. There is just a major void of application support for the varied tasks a desktop is challenged with. Don't flame me yet, I never said "Windows is better than Linux" but it's definately got an advantage or two over linux as far as application support, mainly a decade of mainstream development. Meanwhile, other idiot trapfalls like worms and virus seem to speak to the linux desktop, and you can rattle on for days about OS resource management, security, and a million other mundane matters.. it all comes to a simple idea for me that if I can't do something I need to do on my computer, my computer become obsolete... and a functional computer beats an obsolete computer every day of the week. Synchronizing two OS desktops is nearly impossible for even advanced users, rebooting (out of linux) everytime you need to do something that linux can't gets old fast. It's not that linux doesn't have it's place... I run dozens of websites on linux and (mostly) FreeBSD. Do yourself a favor, if you want to learn more about linux, buy yourself a $99 computer from the computer fair, Download the live cds from http://www.gentoo.org/ install it on your new computer and have a blast. If you still planning on rebooting your PC alot, don't bother with the external drive, just boot from a live CD instead. Just don't throw away your windows desktop yet.
                          Last edited by Mr. Peabody; February 3, 2004, 22:49.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr. Peabody
                            Synchronizing two OS desktops is nearly impossible for even advanced users, rebooting (out of linux) everytime you need to do something that linux can't gets old fast.
                            VMWare? Can be a bitch to set up, but if you HAVE to use windows for some reason, it is pretty spiffy.
                            perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

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                            • #15
                              I think the better solution in this case then would be to run VMware on windows and load linux in a virtual machine.

                              I had this idea long ago.. my first thought was this would be an ideal solution, as I could laydown a linux "application layer" setting up my dsl connection, firewall, dhcp services to other devices on my network (mac, xbox, etc.), services like sftp, https, ssh nice and secure, and best of all, store my files on a samba shared blazing reiserfs array.


                              Well my dream quickly became a nightmare. Windows performance was horrid. Maybe I should have bought another gig of ram, but shouldn't one be enough? Ten minutes of cursor lag and a quite noticable speed decrease was enough to convince me it was a fool's dream. At least for now... I might give it another shot once there's 64bit support for VMware (Tru64 support seems wishful thinking for now) but at least on the current generation of 32bit processors with narrow multitasking and supressive memory limitations windows emulation seems wishful thinking. For now, I think you'd learn more of what's important running linux without x anyways.

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