# Linux 6.3

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by tablariddim, Feb 23, 2000.

Not open for further replies.
1. ### tablariddimforexU2Valued Senior Member

Messages:
4,793
I know that some of you use Linux os'. Do you think Linux would give me a better computer experience than Windows 98?
I use it mainly for internet and msword, but I may want to run sophisticated music production eqpt in the future.
Version 6.3 is now available in my country for around $50 (6 cd roms + huge book). Windows 2000 is around$90.

------------------
"The crows are already stoned", he said.
With a look of dispassion on his sad face.

3. ### BowserLife is Fatal.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
6,075
<img src = "http://users.esc.net.au/~nitro/BBoard_member_gifs/bowser_anim.gif">Hey, I've been wanting to run a LINUX machine, too; but I had to give my extra system (a '486) to my brother because his system was pilfered.

I've two copies of LINUX on CD. You can probably download the whole thing online. Don't pay money when you can get it for free. Just remember that it's no small trick to get it up and running. There is one version on the market which configures to the system in which you load it, but I can't recall the name. Maybe someone else can pull it from their hat.

From what I understand, LINUX is a text base OS--something like super DOS, but you can run XWindow on top of it which will add the graphic interface--much like Win 3.1 does for DOS

That's what I know of it. I'll be watching you thread to see what other responses are offered. I may need the information myself.

I hope this helped.

------------------
It's all very large.

5. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
Actually, if you are new to Linux, you are better off bying a commercial distribution. It'll come on handy CDs with an illustrated book, so you wouldn't have to fuss with downloading stuff or reading through newsgroup postings for instructions. And most commercial distributions are increasingly coming with intuitive setup utilities. Red Hat is a good one (currently v.6.5). Corel just recently released theirs; it's also pretty good. You can download either for free, btw. -- but as I said if you are a novice you will save yourself much pain by just bying your first copy.

A good "totally free" on principle distribution (not recommended for novices, but the most complete, up-to-date, and the most supported) is the Debian-Linux distribution (which can be gotten off www.debian.org.) This is for more serious users who possess skills beyond simple clicking and dragging.

Btw. Linux is NOT at all like DOS. In fact, at its heart it's more advanced than Windows NT. And the beauty of the GUI being separated from the rest of the OS is that you can pick and choose among a variety of different GUIs (although they are all implemented on top of X11, most look and work differently, and new ones are being developed all the time.)

Though in any case, if you are installing Linux and expect to be able to connect to the Internet or network with other computers, you will need to know the nitty-gritty details of your network hardware and ISP (like your DNS server, your IP address, subnet mask, etc.) Also be cautioned that the newest hardware is typically not supported immediately, so check compatibility before you install.

------------------
I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 24, 2000).]

7. ### tablariddimforexU2Valued Senior Member

Messages:
4,793
Thanks guys, food for thought.

------------------
"The crows are already stoned", he said.
With a look of dispassion on his sad face.

8. ### DaveWRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
243
The main obstacle in Linux installation is partitioning of the hard drive. If you understand that, you'll have no problems. And if you're planning to install it as the sole OS on a machine, disk partitioning becomes much simpler.

If you have access to a CD burner, you can often download CD images of the distributions (yes, legally!). I would personally recommend either the Corel or Caldera distributions, as they both have very intuitive setup utilities.

I'm not sure about that. Windows NT has very advanced security and user authentication code that's buried quite deep. Linux also has notoriously inefficient I/O piping. Linux also lags behind other UNIX-OSes such as FreeBSD which have far better networking abilities.

This may seem to be a bonus for end users, but it really is not. The flexibility of the GUI means that the user interface in both the OS and applications is somewhat less refined than if one GUI were used. Applications are often unstandardized, and use whichever UI convention they feel like. The lack of a standardized UI means every aspect of UI, including widgets and widget alignment, widget activities, fonts, colours, layout, menus, etc. is implemented in an arbitrary and general manner, to try and compensate for the wide range of GUIs. The result is a nightmare.

If you think Windows has a terrible UI, realize that Linux is 10x worse (from the standpoint of a designer). Users may not care (hell, most people put up with Windows), but that's not an excuse for marginality.

9. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
OT:

Davew,

Well, one thing going for Linux is that at least it's open-source. However many bugs it has, you can be pretty sure that 63,000 of them are not being hidden away in some corporate closet. And, dammit, stability matters. It doesn't matter how "advanced" an OS is, if it can't keep from crashing every week.

Another thing going for Linux is the flexibility of its kernel. With NT, you can't really switch or re-configure kernels, or recompile system modules. Linux, of course, is more than just a kernel; it's got a slew of utilities, filesystem, etc. that come with it. Personally, I'll take unix-like user security and account management over NT any day. In fact, NT's is a mess in these respects! And if we talk about security, then just the ActiveX and the BackOffice technologies alone probably make NT the most insecure (by design!) OS out there.

Of course, it's silly to compare Linux with more mature and/or powerful UNIXes -- since it's intentionally scaled-down and simplified.

As for UIs, I agree that the situation is indeed messy. However, things are getting increasingly standardized. And what's best about this mess, is that it's so 'democratic' -- in the sense that anyone can try and design their own GUI, and the best man wins. And nobody can be satisfied with sitting on their laurels, since competition is always trying to do one better. Also, users typically choose and stick to only a single window manager, so on an individual level, people don't generally experience the lack of standardization all that much. (of course, that doesn't mean that there aren't some really badly designed UIs in certain applications out there...) But if people are conscientious about their applications, they can indeed make the look and feel as standard as they please. Take Netscape for example -- the one I'm currently running on Debian Linux looks and functions <u>exactly</u> like the one I have at home on Win. 98.

Also, Debian is (eventually

) switching to the GNU Hurd from the Linux kernel; once the switch occurs it's quite possible the result will be one of the most advanced and powerful operating systems in existence (at least as far as scalability, distributed capabilities, upgradeability, thread-level parallelism, and hacker-friendliness are concerned.) Personally, I just can't wait...

------------------
I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 24, 2000).]

10. ### 666Registered Senior Member

Messages:
378
I only have one thing to add. It's all about choice! With every choice we make in life there are differnt circumtances you must take into account. Each one is unique to each choice. If you are willing to learn a fair share about your computer and how it works, I would say go a head and do a dual boot system with some form of Linux or Unix like OS.

Tab,

I have read that Suse Linux is suposed to be verry easy to install, but I would sugest that you go to thier web site or any other Linux dist. web site and do a little research into it and all ways check to make sure your hard is compatible before buying. A big gatcha for manny beginers are modems. Win modems (most 56K modems) don't work at all, becuase they require Windows drivers. With out them you get no ware fast.

------------------
All I know is what I understand. All I understand is what I know.

11. ### BowserLife is Fatal.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
6,075
<img src = "http://users.esc.net.au/~nitro/BBoard_member_gifs/bowser_anim.gif"> Cool. This was a good thread. I wish I had that '486 because I'm now pumped to run LINUX.

So, Do you fellows suspect that LINUX will eventually replace MS-Windows as the OS of choice? Also, is there an API for XWindows or is a program responsible for supplying its own UI and handling all of the mundane tasks (IO functions and such)?

Feed my curiosity.<img src = "http://www.exosci.com/ubb/icons/icon12.gif">

------------------
It's all very large.

12. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
Bowser,

X11 <u>is</u> an API. And there seems to be a set of "widgets" (aka controls, dialogues, etc.) that is getting standardized by consensus across all the different UIs implemented on top of X. As for file I/O, networking, etc -- everything is standard ANSI C and UNIX stuff, with all the C libraries and source code provided free of charge.

I doubt that Linux will become the ultimate OS of choice. After all, it is pretty scaled down functionally, and not very user-friendly for the average user. However, I think it's certainly a hint of things to come, and at least in part representative of the future OS of choice.

I think the ultimate future OS will be object-oriented, modular, aggressively multithreaded, failsafe, self-repairing, self-updating, and self-configuring, operating only with encrypted transactions, files, and memory maps, cross-platform, extremely scalable with artificial intelligence in its schedulers and protocols, open source, and written in a next-generation language like Java (once it gets standardized, or maybe another new language yet to emerge.) Yeah, right... But it never hurts to dream!

------------------
I am; therefore I think.

13. ### DaveWRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
243
Well, the "63,000 bugs in Win2K" is rather silly. Half of those 'issues' are feature-requests, which don't count as real bugs in my books. The majority of the remainder are relatively insignificant. Ultimately, Win2K is not unstable.

But then, is stability really important?? We are talking about using these OSes for regular desktop operations. We're not talking about mission-critical servers here. In the context of the desktop, is the average user willing to give up application support, hardware support, a standardized GUI, years of experience etc. to save himself from one crash every day or week?

Again, the same argument persists. Is this level of security and kernel flexibility really relevant to anyone but server admins and low-level developers? NT has sufficient security for any desktop user.

I don't wish to appear pro-Microsoft, anti-Linux. I am all for open-source. However, the realities of this world are that no one, other than server admins and programmers, should really consider Linux as an alternative right now. In fact, I really doubt that this will change much in the future.

This sort of democratic system, as you call it, sounds good on paper but fails in practice. I personally think the philosopher kings model for UI design is wiser.

In my mind, a UI design must satisfy 3 requirements to be successful:
- consistent (local and global)
- intuitive
- cohesive

Consistent UI is obvious. Local consistency on a single computer under a single OS is simple enough, but this consistency should be available globally. If I use a single Macintosh, I know how to use any Macintosh, whereas a user who is proficient in KDE may not be so in Gnome (or any other window manager). This balkanization of a single OS is destructive and counterproductive.

Intuitive UIs are essential. However, as I briefly mentioned in my previous post, a balkanized UI means that UI conventions differ subtly between implementations. Application designers must compromise and produce a global design which satifies nothing. This makes the design less intuitive by destroying local consistency.

Cohesiveness, in terms of the interoperability of UI elements is also essential. The entire 'user experience' must be properly designed and understood. The evolutionary design of a UI means that small, unanticipated changes will slowly accumulate (much like mutations in a gene), corrupting the original vision untill you have something so absurd that it needs to be redone entirely. (Windows is a perfect example of this).

A UI is more than just a collection of widgets. The user experience matters more so than any incremental gains made at the expense of overall consistency to enhance productivity.

Apple is the only company in the industry who understands this sort of notion. Form defines function, not the opposite.

14. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,052
DaveW,

I don't want to appear like a Linux nut either! In fact, I fully understand and agree with your quips concerning user interfaces.

As to stability, you are a bit off. Win2K is a server/workstation OS, it actually is not being targeted at typical desktop users. (Did you see the price tag on that thing? Whew!) There will be yet another version of Windows 9X coming out later this year for desktop use.

What I do see in the open-sorce arena in the coming future is a synergy and a standardization effort. Big commercial companies are emerging that make good money on Linux. I'd expect that eventually they will form a consortium jointly with the FSF people, to standardize Linux features -- from details of the core OS functionality, to GUIs. We'll just have to wait and see whether that will happen.

------------------
I am; therefore I think.

15. ### RamblerSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
509
Hi Guys.
If you want stability use Apple. Really I wish I had.

I messed around with Linux a few years ago it was Caldera release. I had to write (with a great deal of help from others) my own device drivers for my network adaptor, Video card (an S3 Virge back then -- and it wasn't supported). Alot more trouble then I expected, but good experience. I am a administrator for an accounting firm, I look after a few mission critical servers here and I run NT. Let me just say I'm not impressed. You can't do anything without rebooting.....BTW they are nearly all Terminal servers with Citrix metaframe. At least 2 times a month I have get approx 200 users to log off while I reboot the entire server farm, phrrrrfffffff!!!!!!! NT is a joke, but its all I know

*sob* *sob*
I'll tell you its "made" Bad and hardly anything that goes wrong can be fixed intuitively so that we can spend 7 grand on a MCSE (thats what they cost here) and come out even more confused....but at least more employable. Is it true that IBM are shipping their servers with Linux?

------------------
work to LIVE...don't live to WORK.

16. ### 666Registered Senior Member

Messages:
378
rambler,

Lionux has come a long way. A good deal of devices are supported. Sometimes you have to get the drivers from the manufature but hey it works. I was extreamly pleased that I got my Nvidia TNT2 to work with little work invovled.

yes IBM is shipping Linux on I belive thier Netfinity servers. I could be worng about the exact product line.

17. ### KrusherRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
50

Good - It is no microsoft owned
Bad - It can be hard to set up

Good - You have the source code to the kernel and everything.

Bad - You may not know C++

Good - It is great for hacking (not that I would do that, he he)
Bad - new users may feel lost

Good - It comes with tons of progies.
Some distributions have 1,500 applicatons

Bad - Incompatabilty with windows programs

Good - Many programs have linux versions (eg quake 3)

Bad - You need a reasonable system to run X Windows.

Good - Many different distributions, choose the one for you.

I have a mental blank at the moment but theres a bit of an idea what its about for anyone who is unsure.

I'm not running linux currently but i prefer S.U.S.E. Linux.
Its one of, if no the most complicated distribution but the extra control i believe makes it worth it.

Linux is worth the effort!
==========================
Burn Microsoft, Burn
MwooHaaaahaaahaaahaaaahaaaa

18. ### DaveWRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
243
Though I've never tried it myself, I've heard there is a Windows emulator called 'Wine'. Apparently it's reasonably robust and reliable for most simple Windows apps (obviously running a game through an emulator is a bad idea). Perhaps someone who has used this program can comment more.

19. ### RamblerSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
509
Microsoft Windows NT/98/2000 = IBM XT emulator for the Pentium ... could it realy be anything else?

[This message has been edited by Rambler (edited March 09, 2000).]

20. ### KrusherRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
50
oh yeah, i forgot.