Linux has a great OS that I use daily for non-programming tasks, although I do program a little. It's not that hard to setup or use, it's just not Microsoft making you believe you have to buy everything to do anything. Most of the normal software, including the OS itself has been very stable for me. Netscape 4 blows away the Win95 version in the stability department, and is only lacking in Java speed. (No JIT as far as I can tell.) It rarely dumps out on me, whereas the Win95 version always crashes. Linux itself has never crashed a single time since I installed it.
As time goes on, Linux is becoming increasingly more user-friendly and the performance is top-notch. Linux will win out over Microsoft in the long run because of good design and a more mature attitude of working together to make something without the money factor being mandatory. And letting you do whatever you want with it. I really admire the people who make Linux and all the GNU stuff. Of course since most computers are unfortunately DOS-based, one would need software written for DOS. But there are programs made on Linux then ported to DOS, it doesn't really matter. A few off hand:
- UAE (Amiga computer emulator), developed on Linux, ported very nicely to Win32, DOS, BeBox, and even Amiga
- XaoS (real time fractal zoomer), made on Linux, ported nicely to many platforms.
- Quake (game) Made with GCC for DOS, ported back to Linux because it's using the exact same compiler.
- Stella (atari emulator), made on Linux, ported to others.
Other more useful programs I use much, that blow away the Win95 counterparts:
- xterm (so much better than the 80x25 dos-box)
- tp - yes the command-line ftp is just as good as having all the buttons.
- telnet - you just can't find a telnet program that works right on Win95.
- Netscape (yeah)
- GCC (The other people in my C programming class bought $200 compilers. Did I? No! And I can port straight to DOS, or use some free DOS graphics/sound libs. Once the graphics library I use gets ported to Linux, I'll basically be able to write programs that run on either with hardly any modification. I'ts already being ported to Win32-DirectX.
- A command-line that makes sense! Not DOS, limited to 120 or so characters, with backward path slashes \ \ \
- printer support is poor on Linux though.
What is the mentality that Linux is so hard? Or buggy? I don't see it at all. I think it's a lot easier to deal with than Win95. It's not as big or complicated as you think. Linux seems to be developed with a mentality that you can do something right, for the sake of doing so. NT seems to be developed with the attitude of making money. It's not feature-rich, stable or anything else. OS wars aside, I think it would be important to write code with some sort of portability in mind, because not everyone wants to run NT. This means don't require Microsoft foundation API's to port code, leave that as a front end option, similar to how those emulators I previously mentioned are all straight C or C++, with the graphics drivers and GUI extra. Radio software should be as generic and portable as possible, I would think, although I don't know much about it.
I trust more in the things people make with the intention of doing it right. It might seem hard or bad right now, but in the long run it's going to pay off in a big way. It's already paying off on my own computer, and many others I know as well. I get one of the most technologically advanced OS's as a price for being alive - because some nice people made it so.
Offered by Joe.