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Microsoft "Close" source vs Open source. Microsoft vs Linux/Unix

Posted on 2005-04-12
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Hi experts. This is not an usual question ... it's mostly a discussion I want to open. I don't believe the matter (see bellow) is to be explained by a couple of network/IS professionals, rather it should be answered as an open discussion. Well ... enough for the introduction.

I'm looking for people to convince me and to make me understand why is Microsoft so criticised [I know some of the reasons - but I don't think it should be a neverending blaming - something like that :)]  Why is Microsoft so BAD and yet, users have Windows install in their computers!

Issues like open source advantages, linux advantages are to be discussed (if the moderators keep this thread opened - I hope I'm not violating any EE rules) or any other issues you guys might find appropriate regarding this topic.

A big question a like to be answered is: IS LINUX MUCH BETTER THAN WINDOWS - IS IT EVEN BETTER ? The answer is supposed to consider both technical issues, features, TCO, etc.

I'll try to think and review all your oppinions objectively. I think it's still relevant to mention I'm not a guru; I'm not a beginner either - this can be checked by viewing my profile or my website.

PS.
1. Part of the discussion started here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_21381758.html#13765003
2. I know I might not get an answer but at least, I hope I'll have a better idea about this topic.
3. If possible, please specify your OS and grade yourself (say) from A to E (A being the best level) according to the experience you have managing it/administrating ...
4. Please leave here serious/professional answers as I think this is a huge topic

Thank you all.

Now ... lets start it ... :)
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Question by:rafael_acc
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13765932
Windoze sux!  Linux rulez!

Now that that's said, hopefully we can get down to brass tacks and not state the obvious any more... ;)

Anyway, the reason, coming from one who lived through the whole metamorphosis from benign software maker to evil empire, is Microsoft has had no conscience and an amazing drive to be the number-one.  They cared not who they hurt as long as it helped their bottom line.

Initially, Microsoft actually did a lot of good for the industry, making computers "user friendly" so the average Joe and Jane on the street were not afraid to use one.  Somewhere along the line (I'm sure someone with more zeal than I will remember the exact moment) they went over to "the dark side."  They chose not to win on the merits but by destroying the competition.  I figure it was sometime around the time of their big rift with IBM over NT - OS/2, maybe a few months before that.  About the time when they realized that they had a golden opportunity to make some serious gold by creating secret API's that worked better than the API's they released to their "ISV Partners" like Lotus Development Corp and WordPerfect Corp and so on down the line.  Then, while their copycat programs - Excel, Word, etc. - gained traction because they ran SO much better than the competition, but still weren't making much headway, they started to make changes for the sake of keeping their software incompatible with the competition - for example, every time Lotus released a new version of 1-2-3 for Windows that had file compatibility with Excel, Microsoft would release a new version of Excel that had a file format incompatible with Lotus - and all prior versions of Excel, to boot.  Same for Word and WordPerfect and AMI Pro and the like...  They went from keeping the goodies to themselves, to breaking the competition.

From there, as part of their longstanding partnership with IBM, they took their ball and glove and went home, because they wanted "Windows NT" to be all theirs, not shared between IBM and Microsoft.  If you'll recall, they even had OS/2 error messages in Windows NT 4.0 through like SP4.  Because of that, IBM made their collosal marketing blunder of "better DOS than DOS, better Windows than Windows" - so Microsoft changed the Windows interface and API set from Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1, just to spite IBM (and subsequently break all the non-Microsoft software that used to run on Windows 3.0.).

Since Microsoft now had a Server (based heavily on IBM's LanMan Server) they decided that it wasn't fun having Novell as a partner any more, and wanted to take over the Intel-based server market for themselves.  Enter the FUD-wars, and the direct-to-CEO marketing strategy.

A few months later, someone hit Billy Boy over the head with a sledgehammer and suddenly Microsoft discovered the Internet.  Now we have the Internet Explorer vs Netscape horror story.  Netscape was making money selling their browser, and it was very popular.  Microsoft saw another market they could grab, and decided to give IE away, bundling it with their OS.  Someone in the Justice Department finally noticed what Microsoft was doing, and called them on it.  They got a slap on the wrist and a consent decree they promptly ignored, and decided - "well, if we can't tie our products together and give them away to kill the competition, wei'll just have to merge them together" and the "IE is part of the OS" lie was born.  In order to "prove" it was "part of the OS" they took IE code totally unrelated to the funciton of a core OS module and jammed it in there, causing all sorts of nasty surprises to occur and giving network admins and PC support people a lot of extra headaches and causing unnecessary and unproductive downtime and other problems for the end users that had come to rely on ther Wintel boxes to get their jobs done.  Enter the Justice Department once again, and the long, drawn-out antitrust suit that ended with the Justice Department bending over and taking it in the rear, and asking the rest of us to do the same, while Microsoft gets to do whatever they damn well please, even though they were found guilty of illegal acts.  During all this, they continue to lie and spread FUD and put out vaporware press releases in order to harm the competition in any way they could.

That's enough for this Comment.  More later.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766033
ShineOn, thanks for braking the ice. Thats good!
Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766112
I've already some comments on this ... but I'll wait ... to "here" some more ...
Cheers.
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Nothing ever in the clear!

This technical paper will help you implement VMware’s VM encryption as well as implement Veeam encryption which together will achieve the nothing ever in the clear goal. If a bad guy steals VMs, backups or traffic they get nothing.

 
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13766192
"Why is Microsoft so BAD and yet, users have Windows install in their computers!"

The two questions are one and the same.

Why is Windoze so many places? Because M$ threatened the OEMs. They literally said "Either you ship pre-installed Windoze on *every* machine, without exception, whether or not the buyer wants it....or we will charge you double (or more, or whatever we want) for those pre-installed machines you DO ship".

So, imagine you're a Dell, or a Gateway, or an IBM. You can be charged, say, $30 a machine...the same as your competition...if you pre-install Windoze on every machine you ship, even if the buyer doesn't want it. Or, if you decide to let your customers choose what they want, you'll get charged $60 a machine for every Windoze pre-install you ship....more than your competition, meaning they can now undercut you on price.

So...what do you say to the M$ rep across the table?

THAT is how Windoze got...and to some extent, still gets...installed on so many machines. Bill made sure that Jane and Joe Average didn't have a choice. They paid him $30 (or whatever) every time they bought a machine, no matter what.

This rip-off was well-documented during the M$ anti-trust trial.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766227
But basically, good proportion of your post is about how MS broke the competion? I'd call that being clever. And Yes, they did exagerate a little bit :D ... I'd say this is part of the business world and not part of the MS strategy alone.

And yes, even if microsoft bound IE to the OS, ... why people didn't keep using Netscape. As far as I know (and I've been following this when I was still working as a programmer) Netscape did had problems displaying some pages because of some incompatibilties with the W3C standards regarding styles.

My first conclusion so far: Blame them as they exagerated a "little". That's ok. I cannot accept however that harming the competition is a bad thing. And they did it in any way they could as far as the law allowed them.

I think this is a very subjective point of view as an end user; why don't try and see their point of view, as a business? This kind of things happen all the time in the business world, not only with microsoft!

Not saying this is fair - this is just business - this is the world we live in today. They just figured it out earlier.

Cheers.


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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766250
Ok PsiCop. Good point! I can agree with that and actualy, it's not fair. still rule of the business, still not fair, however. What should I conclude so far? That "Linux rulez" just because of that?

Thank you all for this debate - i'm sure it is a good addition for EE comunity and I'm actually having a lot of "fun" - I'm realy enjoying it.

Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13766257
Another example is their office suite. At the early stages, as such suites started coming out, well, borland had framework out for some time and that might have been called an office suite, M$ sold office really cheap, sometimes it came bundled as an addon to a soundblaster and CD Rom, yes CD Roms were something new at that time and they cost around $250.--. No wonder people started using office and word and excel (before that wordperfect was probably the most popular Texting program and 123 the most popular spreadsheet). Because office usually got released just after their competitors released their products, office usually had a good set of filters to convert the other files, whereas the competitors didn't have any for Office. The others of course didn't take M$ seriously enough, which in my opinion was probably the bigger crime than those crimes M$ did.
Once M$ had hooked the customers, the price tag went up, The software was delivered buggy and you had to invest into updates soon after a new version got released.
The problem is now most customers have that software and they are scared to move to something else. It's like a flock of sheep following the retarded leader. No one has the guts to change to something innovative and non M$.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766267
I forgot that one...  Yes, that is why their desktop OS became ubiquitous.  Users got what came with the PC - "it was "FREE"" - so they suffered with it, 'cause "why pay EXTRA for <someone else's OS>" - who cares if it's better.

That started with MS-DOS, by the way.  That's why they paid Caldera a huge settlement for the MS-DOS vs DR-DOS legal battle.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766287
"who cares if it's better" !!! And who's fault for that then, MS ? Or users as VICTIMS of the marketing strategies (I'd say - might be wrong). Don't we have brains to think for ourselves?

Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766320
"Netscape did had problems displaying some pages because of some incompatibilties with the W3C standards regarding styles."

Actually, Netscape didn't have problems with real standards, except CSS - and that's a standard that, from what I understand, IE7 still won't support.

What Netscape had a problem with was, as part of Microsoft trying to take over the Internet, developed IIS and FrontPage Extensions, and coded that special, proprietary support into IE, and for all intents and purposes gave IIS and FrontPage away free, bundled in with their other software,  which ended up with a bunch of sites becoming "IE Only" sites.  Since Microsoft wasn't about to give Netscape a plugin for FrontPage Extensions, that continued to be a big pain-in-the-butt problem for Netscape users, who ended up having to use both.  
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766350
"Don't we have brains to think for ourselves?"

The average consumer, no.  That's why we buy Chia Pets and Pet Rocks.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766355
OK. This what I remember but ... I'll check and admit if you are actualy right about this IIS and frontpage stuf ..

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766369
OH ... by the way... then I have to ask you (because I don't realy know) ... Did microsoft give those extensions now? And if not, does firefox support them? did they find a way to overcome this?
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766376
On the MS Office suite thing - they started getting a really big head, and started to create "bloatware."  The best example of that is the "easter egg" hidden in Excel 97 - a 3D game engine with a landscape you fly over until you find an obelisk that has all the Excel programming team's names scrolling upon its face.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766389
:D:D Nothing wrong with that! That's actually funny
Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766421
It's funny to put an easter egg that expands the hardware requirements of a BUSINESS TOOL far beyond what is necessary to perform its ACTUAL FUNCTION?

I don't think it's funny.  It cost companies like the one I worked for thousands of dollars of hardware upgrades to support their little joke.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766477
As far as the frontpage extensions, I believe what happened was that most of the sites got so many complaints for being IE-only, they removed most of the IE-only stuff.  The rest was essentially ActiveServerPages stuff, which open-source folx have written interpreters for.  

There was an ActiveX plugin for Mozilla, but it hasn't been updated because ActiveX is such a freakin' security hole.

Another example of heavy-handedness in the browser-wars is how Microsoft threatened to pull the MS-Office for Mac suite if Apple didn't agree to stop shipping Mac OS with Netscape.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766492
It is! A "easter-egg" is not something accesible "by default" ...
Come on ... even today (if someone is still using office97) a lot of people don't know about this "easter-egg" anyway ... and those who know, again, it's a matter of user's option whether they run/activate it or not.

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by:al-hasan
ID: 13766553
Could not find so far another point not to be neglected: the data files. Microsoft uses the proprietary formats, which bloat a 200 words letter to a 30 kB file, which cannot be opened anymore in another editor. Same with Excel and the other products they peddle.
About 4 years ago MS tried to change the licencing plan, from buy and use to pay annually as long as you use, a bit over 30% of the then cost of purchase. What will happen - in a few years from now - if a company decides to no longer support the empire of (d)evils? Will they be able to access their own data with other software, will it be 'locked' in some way, will it be 'expired'? With OpenSource software one can always retrieve his data, nobody is chained to any single vendor.

IMHO the influence of MS on companies is way beyond the bearable.

Regards,
has.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766564
Oh, and as far as the bundling Windoze with a new PC thing - Microsoft is at it again - only now it's with the excuse that if people get a PC without OEM Windoze on it, they'll just install a bootleg OEM copy of Windoze on it, so it's an anti-piracy thing.

You used to be able to get a Dell Optiplex with FreeDOS on it.  Not any more - Microsoft twisted the thumbscrews they keep on Michael Dell's hands "just in case they need 'em."  

At least you can get a server with no OS without being penalized, now (at least I'm not aware of any Microsoft Tax being applied to clean servers.)

To get a Linux box you have to build it yourself or find a mainstream manufacturer that will preload Linux on it.  Not cool, but that's more of Microsoft's old ways shining through... make it harder to get, and it won't be as much of a threat.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766575
"As far as the frontpage extensions, I believe what happened was that most of the sites got so many complaints for being IE-only, they removed most of the IE-only stuff.  The rest was essentially ActiveServerPages stuff, which open-source folx have written interpreters for."

Sorry, I don't realy believe that! Who removed IE only stuff? The clients, microsoft (sorry, I don't get it) !
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766577
welcome al-hasan
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766615
Re: the "easter egg" - it wasn't that the user was accessing the code - as you said, most users didn't even know it was there.  It still made the Excel program way too big to load in a small amount of RAM with a relatively small hard drive and have any performance or stability at all.  It was how it increased the size of the program, not that folx were playing the game.

Remember, when Excel 97 came out, most people were running Windows 95 or DOS/WIN 3.11, and a lot of PC's were 386 with 8MB RAM and 540MB hard drives, and it wasn't cheap to add more RAM and get bigger hard drives back then.
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by:rid
ID: 13766628
I don't know much of the history behind the current situation (or at least, I didn't; this has been an educational read) but from my personal standpoint I can say this:

I think the licensing scheme for MS products is user-unfriendly. Carried out to its letter its very limiting. One license, one computer, and the OEM's don't help very much, selling machines with no proper O/S install media. Coupled to the current pricing, this is bad.

Windows (and Office) security vulnerabilities go unpatched for a longish time. Some are even ignored (it seems). This is bad for users.

The current situation when it comes to spyware and viruses calls for a great number of add-on protective measures for the ordinary user. This is inconvenient, almost prohibitive for the not-too-savvy user. He/she'll end up with an infected machine, or a machine that is too sluggish to use, from all the protective software that has to run.

I cannot get what is so great with windows if I compare loading XP onto a fairly new Compaq laptop to loading Ubuntu Linux on the same machine. In the XP case I need to buy the O/S (one way or the other) and then find drivers for audio, video and network adapter from separate places, and I do not get a useful word processor in the process. Ubuntu comes on one CD, legally downloaded and burned in as many copies as I want, and I get the machine up and running, including fully functional audio, video and network adapters, in 45 minutes, using only the Ubuntu CD... and I get OpenOffice... and I don't need an antivirus program hogging my RAM....

Please note that I'm not saying that XP or windows 2000 are bad products, I think they're quite OK (if you kill the default Fisher-Price interface of  XP), but some of the more popular Linux distros are just as easy to install and are more robust. And they come with a lot more useful stuff.

MS sorely needs this competition.
/RID
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766634
Al-hasan, why is that so wrong in having proprietary software, algorithms, etc ... as long as there are many other options today where users can choose from. And what is the purpose of specifyng the 30 kb file size - is it wrong or something, or what - I dont' get relevance of that and I don't wanna miss anything.

Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766654
"Sorry, I don't realy believe that! Who removed IE only stuff? The clients, microsoft (sorry, I don't get it) !"

The people that ran the websites were getting complaints from their customers, and re-wrote their sites without the FPE's.  Some of them actually wised up and got off IIS altogether.  Some decided that FrontPage was too rinky-dink for them and re-wrote their sites using DreamWeaver or ColdFusion, which didn't use the FPE's.  There are still a few sites out there using FPE's but they are few and far between, because of the heat they caught for using them.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766667
ok Rid. I respect that you prefer Linux to windows for the reasons you've just said.
;)
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by:rindi
ID: 13766674
I think if you buy a dell server, you can select to have it delivered with RH Enterprise server on it, and as far as I know it is preinstalled (you can have it configured according to your needs, of course).
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766691
I don't know if I'll have the time but I'm planning at some stage to put together some conclusions on all the comments posted (maybe a week is enough time).

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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766711
yes. I agree with the fact MS OS is very "heavy". Many servers can be deployed with much less hardware requirements than required for windows.

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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13766731
shineon, this is just a thought, it is not something 100% sure. Am I right?
Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766829
Re: file sizes.  Not to speak for Al-hasan, but rafael_acc, if you take a reasonable-sized document, say a 3-page letter, and save it in RTF format, you get a reasonably-small file.  If you take the same document, and save it in Microsoft's DOC format using MS-Word, you get a much bigger file.

Same thing with a spreadsheet.  Take a Lotus 1-2-3 .WK4 spreadsheet that takes up only a few K, convert it to XLS and save it using Excel XP, you get a file that is several times as large.

Both examples, the files hold the same data.  This costs the user in disk space, which is pretty cheap now, but used to be very expensive.  This also costs in efficiency.

Part of the reason for the bloat of the Microsoft-format files is they save crap in there that almost nobody knows is being stored in those files.  Personal information.  Change logs.  Who knows what-all they throw in there that is totally unnecessary for 99 percent of the users?
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766849
The thought you're not 100% sure on - the bloatware of the MS OS and their excessive hardware requirements?  If that's what you are asking, yes, many other OS-es can run rings around Windows with less hardware.  NetWare is one.  Linux is another. 'specially now with the 2.6x kernel.
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by:rindi
ID: 13766883
The files are so large and contain so much data in order to make it possible to spy on the user.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766891
Rindi, you can buy an IBM server with SuSE Linux Enterprise on it.  I was concerned about whether or not we're paying a "Microsoft tax" on servers that don't have Microsoft OS'es preinstalled, whether they have another OS preinstalled or not.  You CAN get "no OS" servers, too.  That's what I do when I add a NetWare server, 'cause I already have licensing for as many server instances as I want...
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13766907
... and NetWare is a proprietary platform with a lot of closed-source code, so rafael_acc, you SHOULD like it... ;)
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by:al-hasan
ID: 13766912
rafael_acc: sorry, this thread here is too fast to keep up.

It is not the proprietary software I complain about, but the proprietary data format. Like encryption and only MS has the key. Right now you can open a Word file with OpenOffice more or less well. What will happen in 5 years, or in 10, if MS changes its licensing system to the pay as you use model? No more payment, no more data? I experienced in a mid-sized company how difficult it is to get the data out of the hands of MS. Would be easier to remove metastasa cancer from a body.

And why bloat a file of 200 words, maybe 1500 Bytes, to 20 times its size? Save resources, be economical. I remember doing programs in Turbo Pascal 4.0 where the unit size had to be kept below 64 kB. And the whole available RAM was 640 kB. Now we run computers with 512 MB and 1 GB, but what do they do better?

By the way, thanks for the 'welcome'.

Best regards,
has.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13767221
"It is not the proprietary software I complain about, but the proprietary data format." For me it doesn't matter HOW a program/technology is proprietary or not ... So if the data is proprietary, the technology supporting the data is proprietary ... They are bound together.

An example: Cisco has proprietary protocols and algorithms like EIGRP for example. Is it wrong? The network packets and messages specific to that protocol make the technology proprietary.

And still about this same issue ... As a solution to that, that's why there are so many "wanna be" solutions to overcome this problem of data/formats compatibility, like OpenOffice. So, what i'm saying is: There are solutions. Don't like Word, go for Ultraedit or OpenOffice - as you said it can open .doc files. But do not blaim MS cause they are business sharks.

The size is related to the file format and all the features associated with a word file - so far, nothing odd.



Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13767431
The size is way overbloated for the additional "features" associated with a Word file.  You can get all those features (maybe more) in a WordPerfect file without all that bloat...  they just plain don't code anything for efficiency.  Being the 800-pound gorilla isn't a good reason for bad programming - just another poor excuse...
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by:al-hasan
ID: 13767434
rafael_acc: imagne you had a car which runs only on gas from certain companies, but not on gas from others - without any advantages. Would you use it? I like to have freedom of choice. And actually I did not blaim MS - I even understand them to some degree. It is just that I dislike them strongly. And I try to get people away from their products, with my limited means.

Sure, everybody shall have his choice, and become happy with it. Just quite a few people run into something they do not yet oversee - my opinion.

Best regards,
has.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13767450
ShineOn,

I've just checked. Unix extensions are available since Office97. Unix, FreeBSD, Linux, Appache, ... extensions have also been available since Office2000 at least (i could actualy find earlier than that).

So, again to my question, how come only now, after all this years, someone thought about a way to develop a browser supporting frontpage extensions? The answer doesn't actually matter. What does matter here is MS has no fault - at least not on this issue.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13767453
So your guess, was wrong!
It could be something else, though.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13767455
al-hasan, I like the way you think...
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13767472
When did Microsoft go over to the dark side?  1988 or before.  I started out as a C/Assembler programmer in MS-DOS and actually did Window programming in the very first version of Windows.  Later on, the small startup I was working for went out on a limb and bought development rights including source code so that we could develop Windows apps.  It was a whole lot of money for a small company like us.  It was exciting at first.  We actually shared code with Microsoft.  One of our specialties was digital-audio and we actually finished some of the sound routines and sent the code back to Microsoft.  We thought we had a give and take relationship.  Then we started noticing "things" that MS apps were doing that we could not find the code for.  When we asked Microsoft about it, they replied that these were "undocumented features."  We soon figured out that Microsoft had not sold us the complete source code as we thought they had.  Microsoft deliberately, deceived us into thinking we were buying complete source code when they actually held out parts of it TO MAKE SURE WE COULD NOT WRITE COMPETITIVE SOFTWARE.  I don't mind competition.  I like it.  I don't like being lied to.  That is when I realized that Microsoft was chickens**t.  They did not have the guts to compete with us on a level playing field.  Microsoft has earned every negative thing that has been said about them.  They have made lots of money, but if making money equals quality then Al Capone was a genius.

Having said that, I will add that I try not to let my personal feelings effect my judgement.  I use MS products whenever it suits my requirements.  That is becoming less frequent as time goes on.

NTNBower (Supervisor)
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13767475
When the "browser wars" was happening,  Microsoft-only websites were InternetExplorer-only websites, due to FPE's.  If anything was done to "open up" the FPE's since then, I'm not aware of it.  AFAIK, they have become "out of vogue" because they're such crap.

I think you're thinking of something other than FPE's.  Like maybe Active Server Pages (ASP.)  Different animals.
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by:al-hasan
ID: 13767496
rafael_acc: the 'extensions' are not part of the w3c specifications. Sure, everybody can use them, or let it be. And flash & co. are not part of the w3c either. Why don't we try to use the internet the way it should be, with commonly agreed upon standards, why do we not use the railroad tracks for the railway, and the nearby telefon line for conversation? MS tries to 'improve' this in ways we do not profit, just to drive out competition.

ShineOn: I do enjoy reading your posts very much as well.

Will however unsubscribe from this thread, takes too much time now, sorry.

Best regards,
has.
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by:rindi
ID: 13767518
I agree with al on most issues. It isn't mainly M$ that is to blame, but all those people falling to the Marketing of M$, or even the competing companies sleeping until it was too late.

Another shortcoming is that those people who decide what to buy only know M$ and therefore buy that, and they don't listen to their IT personal who would buy the right, non M$ product. It is like they won't try new food they don't know, they will only eat their well known and overpriced junk food.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13767696
AAAnnyway, that's pretty much an overview of why Microsoft is so criticized.  Do we need to say more?  If so, I'm sure there's a lot more than that.  Let us know, rafael_acc, and we'll Microsoft-bash until the Mods tell us to shut up... ;))

We should probably start answering thre real question - is Linux better than Windows or not, and why or why not?

I have to take off for a while, so I won't be posting on that part of the question anytime soon.

Hey hey hey - I just got an email from computerworld that points to an article on the 18 separate flaws (5 of 'em "critical", all of 'em vulnerabilities) across all their product lines Microsoft just patched today (it's Patch Tuesday, folx!) - they just keep on comin'...

Kinda like Herpes - the gift that keeps on giving...
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by:billmercer
ID: 13768021
Linux is better because Tux is such a cute 'n' cuddly mascot. :)


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by:2hype
ID: 13768681
Just starting in the networking/computer Industry and working solely in windows enviroments I must say this is a very interesting topic.  Keep those comments a posting.  I always wondered why ppl thought of microsoft/microsoft products they way they did.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13768689
al-hasan: "rafael_acc: the 'extensions' are not part of the w3c specifications. Sure, everybody can use them, or let it be. And flash & co. are not part of the w3c either." WHEN DID I SAY THAT?? :S I know what extensions are and I know what W3C specification are also.

rindi: "I agree with al on most issues. It isn't mainly M$ that is to blame, but all those people falling to the Marketing of M$, or even the competing companies sleeping until it was too late." THAT WAS A WONDERFULL POINT!! TO BE HONEST I WAS BECOMING WORRIED ... I JUST COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY EVERYONE IS BLAIMING MICROSOFT WHEN THE GUILTY ONES ARE ALL OF US. AGAIN, THAT WAS A GOOD POINT INDEED.

ShineOn: "Hey hey hey - I just got an email from computerworld that points to an article on the 18 separate flaws (5 of 'em "critical", all of 'em vulnerabilities) across all their product lines Microsoft just patched today (it's Patch Tuesday, folx!) - they just keep on comin'..." Doesn't Linux or anyother OS get patched???? :S

billmercer: Is this your professional thought about the topic?  I hope not!


I just wanna make clear about something here! I'm not trying to defend M$ from anything. I also had a lot of problems with Microsoft in the past. I'm just trying to recognise their value ... They aren't only a bad thing. And I can see so far that apart RINDI, everyone is getting blind by M$ business management issues, and forgetting about the good things as there are some for sure - I'd say you are forgetting where are we all coming from and that there was a time MS did the job well - they made as think so at least - and that is to applaude also as they deceived the whole world... I believe there is still time for them to do a good job... I do admit they made some mistakes or "mistakes". But again, this is also user's fault (and I say users including management - see the rezult now for example: many of IT professionals are angry and I'd say MS is improving because of that - I guess there's no need to prove that anyway ... Such a big business as MS's doesn't stay behind because of those "minor" issues. I put it in quotes as they are minor for them, not for the users. And fortunately, I hope they do give a **** now - at least more than before - and that's also a good thing. On the other side, MS is still respected out there.

This thread is being very interesting ...

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13768707
I don't remember whether was here or not ... but someone was saying he/she would base the security on microsoft products. That's true. Me neither; I would rely on Linux either anyway ... If I have enough money I go for cisco devices and that's it. Internal security ??? Well ... maybe Linux is better secured as there aren't so many users out there working with Linux COMPARING TO WINDOWS users ... If Linux become so used as windows (and I believe it will - that's evolution - that's good), Linux will also start being patched more frequently. Not on Tuesdays ... maybe on fridays ... it doesn't actualy matters.

Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13768874
Actually, if you have a RedHat Network subscription, whenever a new "errata" comes through, you can download it and apply it.  There's no "patch Tuesday."  I haven't seen more than one or two "errata" in the past few months.  And the vulnerabilities are rarely "critical."

How many years into "trustworthy computing" do we need before Microsoft products are trustworthy?

Actually, if you want security, you want NetWare, but we're talking about Linux, so let's say OES-SuSE.  It has a higher security rating than Win2K3.

It's not how many users, it's how poorly written it is.  If Linux had been based on the same intrinsically flawed concept that Windoze and the rest of Microsoft's products is, then Linux would be as prone to vulnerability.

Windoze was built as a single-user desktop environment and was designed so all the pieces, including the stuff that runs on it, all "talks to each other" so to speak.  Microsoft likes to hang a badge on it and call it "integration."  I like to call it a security breach waiting to happen.

Linux, like other *nix and *nix-like environments were built as multi-user, networked environments and was designed so you had to *think* about what you wanted to *allow* to talk to what.  It starts out basically locked-down.

Big difference.

There isn't an environment anywhere that's never had bugs.  The one that has had the LEAST security-related bugs has been and still is NetWare.  
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13768900
PUfff ... YOu are playing the same track over and over again, ShineOn... I told you already my oppinion about this false sense or security about Linux and even on my last post you can notice it.

About introducing Netware to this topic ... It's ok ... for me. I guess it's a nice addition.

"Linux, like other *nix and *nix-like environments were built as multi-user, networked environments and was designed so you had to *think* about what you wanted to *allow* to talk to what.  It starts out basically locked-down.
(...)
There isn't an environment anywhere that's never had bugs.  The one that has had the LEAST security-related bugs has been and still is NetWare."

Good addition about those two paragraphs.

Cheers.

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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13768914
Some more thoughts: I'm actually unhappy so far because of two reasons:

1. I was expecting more people to come and discuss this topic - I think it's quite interesting for people to know the diferences among the OS out there

2. I'm not so sure all the better things about linux are related to security when compared to windows. Aren't thee many other issues to consider like (examples): TCO, usability, performance in diferent environments, management/administration, troubleshooting methodologies and available resources, etc ...

Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13768980
Well, in the question this was spawned from, someone mentioned the user-unfriendliness of Windows when a basic hardware change occurs - I believe the example was a 2-disk, dual-boot system that had WinXP and Linux, where the mobo blew and had to be replaced.  Windoze couldn't hack the change without major surgery, while Linux figured it all out after a couple of boots.

That's one.

Another is the runlevels.  Something Windows doesn't have unless you count "safe mode" as a runlevel...

Another is the ability to handle multiple architectures - sure, there's WinCE and the new 64-bit Windoze and tablet edition, but they're pretty much different OS'es, not the same code base like Linux - which runs on 32-bit X86, 64-bit Intel/AMD, SPARC, Power PC, Big Iron IBM Mainframe (Z series), strongARM - gosh, I can't remember all the hardware platforms Linux runs on.  

Remember when Microsoft tried porting NT to DEC Alpha?  It kinda worked, but not as well as their 32-bit Intel version, so it fizzled.  That shows the power of Open Source vs Closed Source - if Linux were Closed Source like Windoze, it would only run on one or 2 hardware platforms, like Windoze.

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by:ShineOn
ID: 13768994
If you want more lively discussion, post a pointer Q in the Linux TA... ;)
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by:rindi
ID: 13770107
When I said that the buyers were the culprits, I don't mean that M$ was OK. By no means did I want to say that. In my opinion a lot what M$ does is criminal or very close to being criminal. What I wanted to say is that we, the customers, have allowed them get away with their criminal ways and now many of us are stuck with them.
It is a bit similar to the current US president. I just can't understand how such a large number of people, of which surely not all are totally illiterate and blind to what has happened and is happening or are fundamentally religious, can elect such an i**** as their presidant, and that twice in succession!!! This for me is just hard to believe, but it is how it is! And now they are stuck with him...
I find hard to understand how many "IT Pros" of these days have never heard of netware, let alone seen it. It seems the world is full of MCPs and MCSEs and MCwhatevers, and to get such an MCxxxxx "degree", you even have to pay $$$s to M$! Once you own such a "degree", you should be able to clean up what M$ dropped on us in the first place.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13770855
You don't want to get into politics here...  W is way better than what we would have had with either of the doofuses the Dems put up against him.
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by:billmercer
ID: 13771755
I agree, discussing politics here is asking for trouble. ShineOn and I don't need to get into a shouting match over who's more stupid...

rafael_acc, my comment about Tux was just a joke. Here's some more serious comments.

FINALLY, after YEARS of criticism, and YEARS of problems, and BILLIONS of dollars in damages, Microsoft is beginning to realize that the "one-size-fits-all" security model doesn't work. SP2 was a step in the right direction. But there's a long journey ahead of them, and it's going to be a long time before they catch up to Unix and Unix-like OSes in that regard, where the core of the OS itself is designed with the ability to micromanage network traffic and memory usage.

The notion that Windows is just as secure as other OSes, and is victimized more simply because it's more widely used is a popular argument. And it sounds reasonable to a casual listener. But it's a logical fallacy. The argument basically goes like this: Windows is the most popular OS. The most popular OS will have more attacks against it. Therefore Windows is really just as secure as other OSes. This is a fallacy for two reasons: First, it ignores the possibility that Windows is the most popular AND ALSO has more security vulnerabilities. Second, it ignores the fact that being a high-profile target IS a security risk in and of itself. This is one of the biggest arguments against homogenization of the OS marketplace. We don't all invest in the same stocks, we don't all drive the same brand of car, we don't all wear the same clothes, so why should we all use the same OS?

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by:rid
ID: 13771927
I don't think that Windows or the included software in reality is as secure as some Open Source solutions. Look at spyware. You can get a windows box much better protected by using a third-party web browser (e.g. Mozilla) instead of built-in IE. Spyware son't seem to affect Linux machines at all. It still has to be the same kind of threat, though, where one O/S fails to hold its own.
/RID
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by:rindi
ID: 13772042
I don't think windows will ever catch up with unix and alikes, the reason being that the windoz users have learnt to live with this insecure solution and like the comfort such a solution presents. More security on the other hand comes hand in hand with less comfort or functions. M$ in the past has "taught" its users to expect little or no security but as many functions (if those made sense or were used or not didn't matter) as possible. If M$ now suddenly removes those features there will be a storm among the users. You can already see that here in many messages concerning people being reluctant to install SP2 on their XP boxes, just because some things won't work as easily as before. It is very difficult for many to accept something with "less" once they have grown used to the full thing. Of course such changes should be easier to pull through with a server OS, as this isn't being used by the "general" user, but again here many admins don't seem to be in the picture what a server should and should not do.
Also, to be an admin of a network just needs a minimum of knowledge for it to be done right. Somehow the SBS of M$ undermines exactly that, the product being sold as being administratable by anyone. Also everything is bundled into that product. Sure, anyone can set it up and probably also get most things running, but how? And as soon as those people need something bigger and better, they will think it won't need much more than someone who has PCs as hobby, to administer it.
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13773481
Just a few of my 2cents:

For Open Source
1) With Windows (95 to XP) I have crashed or locked up the computer installing printer drivers.
>> With Linux - printing had a harder learning curve - but never crashed the system
2) With Windows (95 to XP) I have had to rebuild the entire computer to fix a reg error or to swap hardware
>> I have never seen that with the Linux systems I use - don't get me wrong you can hose a Linux system, but its harder to do (IMO)
3) With Windows (95 to XP) I have seen the web browser crash the system
>> With linux (and most other OS's) applications do not interact with that severity on the OS - they cause Core dumps that can be analyzed and leave the OS running
4) I believe installing and setting up Linux is easier & faster than installing Windows. I also believe many end users (Admins to end users) believe otherwise primarily because they never actually rebuilt their OS from the partitions up, and had to install all the drivers & software to make it work - It came Pre-Installed for them from the strong-armed OEM. Or they use the nifty Restoration CD [provided from the whipped OEM].
5) Windows licensing (for any one that really wants to adhere to it) is so insane you need a single individual in your department to keep up with it. There have been times when we called Microsoft directly and had the License specialist tell us they don't understand their own licensing model. Add to that the need to manage all those licenses and CALS - you need to purchase more software to do that - that alone to me is worth moving from MS Office to OpenOffice.
>> Open Source does not experience these problems. And most other OS's (e.g. True64 Unix) base licensing on the CPU - they don't care how many users you try and over work your CPU with - they know how many user can operate efficiently on a single or double, tripple, qudruple etc... CPU. This is not always the case, in fact more and more software vendors are trying to follow MS with their licensing - I have spent the better part of a few years trying to find a single solution provider to handle SPAM that licenses the way I think it should be licensed (that is a topic for another discussion - maybe licensing woes - by the by ThreatWall is the answer all solution should you be in need).
6) Windows has many "Undocumented" features (as noted by my Super) they intentionally hide from the consumer - even those that bought the right to know these features - this is out right lying - and I don't cotton to liars
7) Windows intentionally break their competitors products running on Windows to make their product "look - run - seem better", again I don't cotton to liars - you may call this simply business (as you did in the original post) - but obviously you were not a developer that wrote better code than MS only to have it mocked up to look trashy
8) The smaller faster Utilities in Open Source are a direct result of quality coders spending more time on the code than licensing, or bloat ware, or screwing their neighbor (IMO). As far as the web browser, last time I enjoyed using IE was version 3 - I think, it was fast, free, got the job done. After all the additional stuff (like adding the WINDOWS OS to the IE) it has become a slow bloated whale. I would also be willing to bet that there are many more users out there Using alternative Web Browsers (e.g. Opera, Firefox, 1by1, Lynx etc...) but most of them can make the web server think it is IE to keep it from causing problems.
9) Along with web browser nightmare, here is some Java fun we experience daily - Take a Windows NT 4.0 computer (wk or svr) Install IE6 & Java 1.5, then try and run a Java applications through the web browser - if it runs at all it will run like crap. On that same computer Install FireFox, and it will use the Java like a fish takes to water. With this same scenario, Windows 95 require IE5.5 and MS Virtual machine (wont work with anything else particulary SUN Java) 98 requires something entirely different, ME - another, NT - another, and finally with XP (after MS & Sun made kissy face and XP should work) FireFox and Java run better on Windows XP Pro than IE & Java.
10) I will stop here although I am sure I could keep going well into the night - MS forces their customers where to go. Even if I wanted to stay on NT 4.0 I cannot. Keep that in mind the next time you get forced to do something you do not want to.

For Windows
1) Windows has better games than Linux (this could be solved by purchasing an XBox/PS2/Cube and leaving the games at home).
2) Windows has strong armed more OEM/Software vendors so they have more main stream applications (this really should not matter though - there is nothing wrong with adding a Windows computer or two if you need it to run a specific application for your users - I would do just the same in a Windows environment [e.g. my Email server is Domino on RedHat]).
3) Microsoft is kind enough to take all that extra money I have lying around off my hands so I don't have to pay taxes on it.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13774512
Re: 3) - too bad, but you already paid taxes on it before they took it.  Microsoft may have the Justice Department in their back pocket, but you still can't put Software Assurance on your cafeteria plan and pay for it with pre-tax dollars... ;)
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13774759
ShineOn you crazy diamond =)
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13776564
"If you want more lively discussion, post a pointer Q in the Linux TA... ;)" OK!
Would you do that for me please?


Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13776577
"When I said that the buyers were the culprits, I don't mean that M$ was OK"
to rindi: I know you don't. Dont worry!

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13776734
billmercer: That was beautiful!

again to rindi: I don't agree what you say about MS certification. I can't say MS certification are CISCO certifiation level. However, I must admit there are a many IT Prof out there without any certifications, and they do know more than me, and might know more than you as well ... and I'm not saying this regarding MS certifications only. Concluding on this, I'd say there are two main ideas about this:

1. Certifications (in general - including MSs) are good to aquire some more knowledge about IT field. I went through some certification courses and I learn many new things - Of course I could have learn them without paying all that money, but then, isn't this true for any certification and any course. Some concepts were related to MS technology but for many of the MS technologies, I'd safely say they are based on IT standards (general IT technologies). For example, the DNS on MS platforms still requires you to understand how DNS works in general. The same for DHCP. Additionaly, many concepts about AD can be applied to the directory framework on Novell Netware - as another example ... etc.

2. It's a matter of getting a job faster as many IT prof take in account those certifications as they do prove one does know how things work. Yet, I did find certified guys who don't know how things work as they did passed the exames memorizing questions and answers. But trust me; not all of us did that - I didnt!!

For those reasons, and not because I'm MS certified, I don't think it is fair to criticize that way MS certifications.


Now, changing the subject:

Guys, would you recommend me a fast way to start over with Linux. Is there any free Virtual Machine software I can use? There is no way for me to buy now another machine. I can't get rid of windows anyway as I'm running a software on it which I need for my MSc dissertation.

Cheers.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13776744
"But basically, good proportion of your post is about how MS broke the competion?"

No, my message was answering your query as to WHY Windoze is so prevalent. The point is that its prevalence has NOTHING to do with its technical quality. Its crap. Its just well-marketed crap.

"why people didn't keep using Netscape."

Because Jane and Joe Average were not really given a choice. IE was already installed. They would have to go find and install Netscape. Jane and Joe won't do that. Bill knew this, that's why he threatened Apple with killing Office/Mac if they put Netscape on their standard OS load. That's why OEMs (like Dell, Gateway, etc) aren't *allowed* to put Netscape or Opera or whatever on the pre-installed Windoze that ships on the machines - if they dare try, their licensing costs are jacked way up, and they can't be price-competitive.

Again, this has NOTHING to do with software quality. Its about a monopoly abusing its monopoly position to freeze out challengers and stifle independent competition. And THAT is why many folx regard M$ as "evil".

Sure, Redmond's antics were "just business" when they weren't a monopoly, say in 1994. When they became one, different rules applied.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13776820
That's not to say I concluded Linux is better than windows. I'm just an IT prof who wants to learn more about Linux. That's all. However, thanks again for all your comments so far ... I hope some more people join the debate! How many are there anyway ... I guess around 5 diferent people ... Bad!

Cheers to u all.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13776832
Actually, al-Hasan, the 64 KB program limit in Turbo Pascal had nothing to do with Pascal, or Borland's product. Its a limitation of the DOS .COM file format. Because the memory pointers had no segment references, just offsets from the current segment, and segments were fixed at 64KB, programs using the .COM format were limited to 64KB total for code, data and stack (altho you could work around this limit, to some extent, with overlays). The .COM executable format was a direct descendent of the CP/M .CDM format, and was included in PC/MS-DOS to make for easier automated translation of CP/M programs to DOS.

The .EXE program format allowed for the code, data and stack components of the executable to each have a different segment. Still limited you to 64KB of stack and data (again, with overlays you could finesse the limit on code), but in 1990, who needed so much RAM?

Anyway, the point being, in that era, the OS made for most of the limitations, not the development tools.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13776834
I'm not afirming anything with the following ... I was just thinking it could be an interested link. Check it out:
http://www.websidestory.com/products/web-analytics/datainsights/spotlight.html

Cheers.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13776875
Check out Xen, which will be shipping with the next Novell SLES release.

See  --> http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13776897
About the browser link:

*shrug* IE didn't get 90+% overnight. I think Firefox and its derivatives (Mozilla, later NS) are doing well.

And once AOL replaces IE as the browser in their software/client package, the numbers will begin to shift more rapidly (another incredibly stupid move by an M$ competitor... there is some truth to the statement that M$ could not have gotten to where they are without the continued abject stupidity of their competition)
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13776914
:)
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13776938
rafael_acc, I saw something in the Gearhead column a few months ago about loading a Linux environment under Windoze (not really a VM) but I don't remember what it is.  I'll see if I can find links for you.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13776989
Here ya go - it's called coLinux - from the site's page: "Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively."

http://www.colinux.org/
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13777116
ShineOn, thanks.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13777120
re: IE vs Firefox et al. :

Yeah, AOL was a big contributor of the prevalence of IE, by shipping al those "free AOL" floppies/CD's, with IE as the basis for the AOL client.  That way, even if you didn't use IE before, if you became an AOL victim, er, customer you ended up using IE anyway, no matter what your preference was.  Once AOL ruined Compuserve, even the Compuserve users had to switch.

It's interesting to see that IE, which once had close to 98% of the market, is down below 90% now.  Considering how big the market is, that's quite significant.  All it will take for the momentum for non-IE browsers to pick up is another damning report from the likes of Gartner Group, or possibly the release of IE7, which won't be available for anyone with less than XP - or did they decide not to cut their Win2K base out of it? - All those users still using Win98, ME, NT4, and maybe 2K might decide that if M$ is going to say "screw you" they'll say it right back and switch to Firefox.
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by:billmercer
ID: 13777399
rafael_acc, you might want to take a look at dual-booting as well. While not quite as spiffy as actually running a virtual machine, it's more reliable, and probably easier to set up as well. You can repartition your hard drive to allow Linux on the same drive as Windows, but I prefer to have them on separate drives. Here's a technique for dual-booting that uses a second hard drive and has minimal impact on the existing Windows installation.
http://enterprise.linux.com/enterprise/05/02/16/1919205.shtml?tid=129&tid=49 

With Knoppix, you can boot Linux directly from a CD, allowing you to run Linux on your computer without making any changes to your hard drive at all. And since it's Linux, you can customize your own CD that includes the stuff you need fairly easily.

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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13777443
Interesting paper http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/45810/45810.html
CAn't wait to see that report.

Cheers
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13777454
Thanks billmercer. I don't like dual-boot systems! I hate them! :D
I'll give a try to Knoppix. I actually knew about it but I forgot :)

Cheers.
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by:trigger-happy
ID: 13778063
Wow, 2 days and this thread has gone a long way...i really am missing on a lot. Good thing ShineOn placed a pointer question in the linux area. I'll try to post my own opinions whenever i can, but right now got other things to do.

--trigger-happy
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13778074
"The report will compare Windows Server 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3.0."

rafael_acc - that's an unfair comparison.  The current Red Hat Enterprise Linux is 4.0.  Even more secure than that is Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.1.

It's like comparing a new Chrysler to an old Cadillac.  If you compare that new Chrysler to a >new< Cadillac, the Cadillac will come out on top.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13778186
Microsoft is prone to doing unfair comparisons when trying to lie about how their products compare with competitors' without literally lying.  They did it a LOT with NetWare - they compared WinNT4 to NetWare 2 and 3.  They compared Win2K server with NetWare 4.  They compared (and still compare) Win2K3 server with NetWare 5.  The reason?  Because they can't beat head-to-head competition - they have to fudge the numbers by making unfair comparisons, and then blasting the "news" from the treetops as though it were some miracle that their "latest and greatest" can best someone's older competitive product, and Microsoft should then be praised, thanks be to Bill Almighty, will that be cash or PO?
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by:Mysidia
ID: 13778915
What Advantages Linux has over Windows:
 * Greater Versatility
 * Linux is more Robust
 * Linux is cheaper

Linux is more versatile, because
  (a)  Source Code of Linux itself and most of the software provided
        in Linux distributions is available and freely modifiable, therefore
   (i) You could modify, or have parts of Linux modified to suit your specialized needs
      (ii) You can build software yourself: forget about editing source code, you can set
      options for the build process to enable features you need, disable ones you don't
      to save space and reduce bloat... You can even build your own kernel and turn off
      support for devices you don't have on the system, to gain greater performance.
         Contrast to Windows: No source is available.
   (ii) Openness.. and multiple choices when it comes to the SDK, graphical environments,
        etc.
  (b) A variety of popular scripting languages are available for Linux, the
       same as UNIX supports.   You can find documentation all over the place.
       And most administration is done from the 'command line' (shell) which is
       scriptable in a straightforward way: these allow for easy automation of
       administrative tasks.  Contrast to windows, which has very limited/cumbersome
       scripting support.
  (c) A multitude of distributions are available, from big possibly-bloated Redhat
       which has hundreds of packages, to floppy distributions, for running minimlist/
       special purpose systems like Firewalls    or for use in embedded devices
       to Knoppix, which is a full system bootable from CD, try getting that with Windows.
       (Versus Windows... there are only a few editions.. Home Edition, XP, Server editions?)
  (d) Easier Remote Administration ---  due to shells, and 'secure shell' login,
        and the power of the 'shell prompt'  (contrasted against the Windows Command Line)
        it is very possible to administer Linux systems remotely.
        (GUI Tools, Terminal  Servers for Windows are expensive and cumbersome)
  (e) Popular distributions include all or almost all software most users will need for installation.
       i.e. You don't have to go out on the net to get a copy of your favorite free applications,
       many distributions will include a calculator, the Gimp, OpenOffice, a PDF viewer,
       and standard tools out of the box.
       Plus the software is free, and not all of it written by the Linux distribution vendor :)
  (f) Support for clustering configurations, which allow multiple computers to act as one..
       BeoWulf/OpenMosix...kernel patches
       SMP Support...  64 bit support a ways before Windows
  (g) Fewer 'proprietary' binary file formats are used by Linux tools.
       Use of Open/well-known formats give better assurance that you will stay in
       control of your own data [and won't be forced to say continually upgrade
       when you would prefer to switch to a better product].
  (h) More configurability... and unlike say the Windows registry, most
       configuration file formats are documented along with the system in simple Manual Pages.

Linux is more Robust
  because...
     (a) Most distributions are fairly secure out of the box
           (1) There are fewer unnecessary services like UpNP or Messenger listening on random
                ports, particularly on SuSE (ssh isn't even enabled by default).
           (2) The separation between Normal User and Root (or Administrative user) is stronger, and
                 there aren't quite as many obvious holes (like Power Users being able to install software
                 globally that will happen to load next time an Admin user logs in)
           (3) Normal users do _not_ need to be switching to the administrative accounts ordinarily,
                 this is unlike windows which needed a Power Users group in the first place, because
                 possibly Limited Users couldn't run any games(?).
                 Too many user-end apps on windows demand to run as admin.
     (b) Its open nature means that Linux's code is subject to constant scrutiny by anyone
           who cares to look, contrast to windows... only a select few see its code and can
           scrutinize/look for security bugs.
           This suggests the most glaring bugs are found, and the chance of Linux containing
           backdoors would be smaller.
     (1)  Patch availbility for security issues can be quite quick compared to MS
           (that could be characterized as a disadvantage, if you think you need to test patches first).
           But an unpatched Windows system is in much worse shape than a Linux system:
           nothing to do with the number of Windows systems necessarily, but it seems like
           on Windows it's only the issues "actively being exploited" that get attention.
   (c) There is not a "single file" registry to be corrupted
         most configuration files are human readable, and human editable.
         If something goes wrong, there is going to be a logfile entry, and a specific process
         or thing at issue.
   (d)  Tools like TripWire its derivatives, and other tools are available to monitor for
         suspicious activity on servers, most distributions will have some equivalent derivative
         available to install.
   (e)  Package managers like RPM... allow lists of installed software to easily be made.  
         If you save your configuration files, you could verify/refresh/re-create the installation
         of software.   Making it easy to standardize on configurations

Linux is cheaper
   (a) Availability from several vendors for just the cost of the download
   (b) Linux is Free Software... meaning you can make many installations
        without costly per-system licensing.
        Though business users might want to pay per unit to get end-user support
        or something of that nature
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by:Mysidia
ID: 13778931
Disadvantages of Linux

* Most popular commercial applications like Photoshop or uh Halflife are for Windows.

* Exotic/special hardware, like Wireless Network Cards (802.11g)
   are difficult to find drivers for.

* End users may be turned off by the required amount of tweaking to files like
   /etc/modules.conf

   Sometimes it is much better for a GUI to handle it, and I think all distributions still turn up
   sorely lacking in some of these areas, related to configuration of the hardware by users who
   aren't prepared to edit a .conf file, let-alone what changes to make
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by:rindi
ID: 13779133
The problem with some of this exotic hardware for which it is difficult to get drivers for, is mainly because the manufacturers aren't willing to provide drivers for OSs other than Windoze (might they also be under some pressure from Bill?). Or sometimes they don't give out enough info for the linux community to build their own drivers. This to me is illogical, as sales will not be as high as they could be, if only one OS is supported. This definitely suggests to me that M$ is using pressure on these manufacturers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13780129
Good point mysidia and by the way ... Happy you could join us ;)

To shineon: Yes, if this is what MS does, I agree with you then. Anyway, the porpose of the link wasn't to defend or to make any point on it. I haven't even analyzed it properly. I just got the link in my inbox through a newsletter ... The title was nice ... then I posted it .. :)

It is interesting for me however that so far ... there are no actualy MS adepts here ... That interesting! I'll try to "call" some MS IT Prof and see what they say about this.

If you guys know any, please do so also. I'm sure all the arguments so far are very strong so I guess there is nothing to "fear" :)

Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13780226
Then you should also consider links in the windows sections (XP, NT, 2K and 2003 etc).
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13780723
I guess it depends on what you consider to be an "adept."

Merriam-Webster: a highly skilled or well-trained individual : EXPERT

I think a lot of folx already here are highy skilled and well-trained on Microsoft products.

If you are talking about people that rabidly defend Microsoft because a) they don't know any other platform or b) they are Microsoft shills paid to troll the Internet... ;) then I guess we haven't seen any yet...
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by:trigger-happy
ID: 13780778
Most windows users i know are those that really don't know any other platform and are too scared to change because of the difficulty that they see in using other platforms, like some of my friends...

--trigger-happy
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by:rindi
ID: 13780953
You still call them Friends???

:-)
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by:trigger-happy
ID: 13781005
lol, they're mostly my classmates and i hang out with them. I'm trying to convince them to use linux instead of windows, so far only 1 of them is willing to try...the others just give the excuse that they think that it's too troublesome and that linux sucks more than windows in every possible way (ironically enough, they want to get away from windows due to viruses, spyware, etc and yet they don't want to leave windows...)

--trigger-happy
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13781122
Here is another avenue you could try (instead of Knoppix) so you can test drive a Linux system:

http://www.ubuntulinux.org/

If you go here - they will ship you (free of charge or S/H) a pressed copy of their CD1 Current Installation & CD2 a live CD

http://www.ubuntulinux.org/shipit/link_view
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by:rindi
ID: 13781312
It doesn't matter much if you use ubuntu, mepis or knoppix, these are all Debian based distros. I personally prefer Knoppix. They have just posted the new version 3.8 for download, by the way.
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13781380
agreed - for a live CD Knioppix is king - The major benefit to using Ubuntu is their willingness to ship the cd's to you if you have a low download.
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by:JammyPak
ID: 13782574
I like Windows, and I like linux. I'm an MCSE and an RHCE, and I use both OS's daily.

I don't think that one is remarkably more secure than the other. I don't think that one is remarkably more stable than the other. You can argue these points all day long, but at this point, I think it's been shown that both OSs can be made equally secure and stable.

In small shops, I know that Linux can be cheaper - if you know what you're doing, and you will use a free distro. However, in large orgs that already have Windows, then the cost benefits aren't really there anymore.

Until orgs can be convinced to deploy linux on the desktops, then there are inherent advantages to having Windows servers. MS does integration very well. OSS does integration pretty well.

I can modify the linux sourcecode. Great. I'm not a programmer. Even if I was, I don't want to have to manually repatch every time I want to upgrade a package. IMO, modifying your source code doesn't scale, and it becomes an administrative nightmare in large organizations. For small shops and home hackers, it's great. For me, not so much.

I like a lot of things about linux more than Windows. Remote admin is easier, the filesystem commands are better, and there are good utils for managing and securing the system. Windows also has a lot of benefits. I haven't seen anything OSS that can let me do what Group Policy does. Samba is still catching up to alot of features available in Windows now (DFS, Shadow Copies, etc).

Windows is easier for most admins. If you don't know what you're doing, then a GUI is always simpler. There are lots of GUI tools for linux now, but not everything yet. Searching a system for xxx.conf and yyy.conf takes time, and OSS documentation is often incomplete or out of date. Some packages have great docs, but you can't count on it. With MS, there's one website to go to, and I'll probably find what I'm looking for. On the other hand, once you know what you're doing, then config files are nice - easy to back up and restore, and quick to make changes to.

I know it may sound like I'm fence sitting, but this is how I see it...too many people get too tied up in loving 'their' operating system, and slagging the other...the truth is that they both have a time and place.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13782596
"* Exotic/special hardware, like Wireless Network Cards (802.11g) are difficult to find drivers for." (A supposed Linux disadvantage)

Actually, SUSE Professional 9.1 *included* a driver for my laptop's Atheros 802.11ab+g adapter. In fact, I disable (using a hardware switch, not just Windoze Registry) my wireless adapter when I boot to Windoze. The *only* OS I'll run the wireless under is Linux.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13782665
"I haven't seen anything OSS that can let me do what Group Policy does."

While its not F/OSS, try ZENworks for Linux --> http://www.novell.com/products/zenworks/linuxmanagement/index.html

And Windoze Policies are lame. C'mon, they're files on a server. If that server is down/unavailable when the workstation needs the Policy, too bad! In the ZENworks/eDirectory environment, Policies are objects in the Directory Service - if you can log in, you can get your Policy.

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by:JammyPak
ID: 13782903
yes, I've seen Zenworks, but like you said, that's not OSS....let's not re-launch the old MS vs NetWare wars! that battle is long over. Everyone knows that NDS was better than NT 3/4, but it hardly matters now. :) It will be interesting to see how Novell does as a linux company...very interesting.

one thing to note is that once a policy is enforced, it doesn't get 'unenforced' if the policy server is unavailable. I just can't push out a new policy if the server's down - that's no suprise, and zenworks would be the same. also, Group Policies are a little better than the old .pol files which seem to be what you're talking about.

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by:billmercer
ID: 13783370
"I can modify the linux sourcecode. Great. I'm not a programmer."

Actually, the advantage of having the source code available means more than just the ability to actually custom code. Having the source available means you can recompile at will. You can build custom binaries that match your specific needs without having to do any programming.

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by:JammyPak
ID: 13783552
"Having the source available means you can recompile at will. You can build custom binaries that match your specific needs without having to do any programming."

yes, good point. I recently built a new samba binary, since I'm running a RH 8 server and I couldn't find one to download :)

I just think that trying to sell the Linux OS as 'you can customize the code however you like!' isn't really a going to work in most corporate environments.
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13783902
Having the source code (if you were a programmer) means you could actually look at the code and make sure it is not doing anything you do not want it to do. Like sending accidentily sending your accounting files to some one else.
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by:billmercer
ID: 13784211
Another advantage of having source is that you can customize the language used in the program. Personally, I like to add smart-alecky comments to error messages. Lots of fun!
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by:rindi
ID: 13784376
NTN, you mean what the M$ stuff is sending is "accidental"?
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13784468
"....let's not re-launch the old MS vs NetWare wars! that battle is long over. Everyone knows that NDS was better than NT 3/4, but it hardly matters now. :)"

Jammy, that's soooo wrong.

First, NDS (now eDirectory) is not an OS, it's a Directory Service.  Like Active Directory is supposed to be.  You're doing the old Microsoft trick of comparing apples to oranges - either that or you swallowed the FUD whole.  NT3 was total crap, and NT4 was (not "is" anymore 'cause it's not a supported version any more!) not a whole lot better than total crap.

eDirectory >IS< (not was) far better than the current release of Active Directory.  NetWare 6.5 >IS< better, stronger, faster, more stable, more secure, more scalable than Windoze Server 2003.  And Microsoft is back to Novell-bashing, so their fear is showing - what they considered "long over" a couple of years ago is apparently competition that threatens their hegemony again...
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13784566
rindi: No, I don't believe so - I would bet a good 90% of what M$ does is intentional - the rest are bugs or flaws.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13784567
The idea that large organizations can't switch from Microsoft to OSS because it would cost too much is disproven by the very large organizations that have done exactly that.  They did so (at relatively great expense) to not only get out from under the thumb of Redmond, but to avoid spending even MORE money on Microsoft licensing, over and over and over...

Unless the organization was foolish enough to create a bunch of custom apps using VBE and Microsoft Office DDE/OLE to run their business on, there's not much that Microsoft products do that OSS/non-MS products can't do as well or better.  Without the onerous licensing 6.0.  Or the upcoming software-as-a-service pay your monthly Microsoft "utility bill" to keep your operation running scenario that's apparently the direction they're trending toward.
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by:rindi
ID: 13784796
That must be the wrong way round, 10% of what M$ does is intentional, the rest (or at least 110%) are bugs and flaws.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13785150
waw ... a lot of inputs ... and some new people also!

trigger-happy: I guess some people don't go for Linux as they do not have anyother machines available to try it, not because they are scared. It's my case! But I'll definetely give a try ... now! I'm not plenty on time but ... I'll do it as soon as I can.

One more thing I think very little have been said about so far. Can anyone talk or try make a comparission beetween Windows and Linux or any other OS regarding productivity in a business environment (productivity tools like Word, Excell, and how good are these - in comparission) as I think it's something to consider also.

I can't do it as I'm one of those who know networking and windows only :D

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13785279
I most agree ALSO with some of the JammyPak's points. Mostly, this is what I'm talking about. Linux is good, windows is good. It actually very depends on the case. Still on this road, I guess it also depends on the knowledge people have on each OS. There are many IT prof that know windows ... but they just know it, they do not master it! They do not know the recommended practices to follow using Windows as the OS - and these are there in order to avoid problems actualy.

I also think some tools and features are available in Linux1 ... others in Linux2 and so on ... But then, I guess it is difficult to find a homogenized version to have everything you need at a specific time (not sure if you guys, know what I mean)... Additionally, I remember once I installed Linux on my laptop ... Guess what, I couldn't find drivers for it! Of course it might be because my laptop is a recent model... but then, it's all ok with windows.

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13785300
Is it safe to say maybe Linux is better to be installed as server and not as workstation - because of some productivity tools aren't there for Linux comparing to windows ? I'm asking this because of the high hardware requirments some of the winodws servers need - not the case with Linux actually. For example, if I want a DNS server only, I guess I could use a pretty old Linux machine, right?

Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13785651
Linux is more suited as a server, and yes, a DNS server can run on hardware a couple of years old.

As a production workstation it is also very good. In the meantime a lot of programs run under linux which are typical products for the office. Openoffice isn't bad as a office suite. It can do most what word, excel and co can do too. There are also a lot of smaller simgle programs. On the whole you probably have a bigger selection under linux than you have under windows. Anyway, I suggest you get knoppix and test it. Openoffice is included.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13785766
"There are many IT prof that know windows ... but they just know it, they do not master it! They do not know the recommended practices to follow using Windows as the OS - and these are there in order to avoid problems actualy."

Very true.  Very, very true.  The problem is, too many of the "just know it" types are out there, acting like experts, because they know how to click a mouse...  and unfortunately, even though Microsoft has so many resources available for people to "master" it, they either don't take advantage of those resources, or take advantage of the system by becoming the dreaded "paper MCSE."

It would be nice if Microsoft would bring some of its considerable influence to bear to force people that are using their products to learn the proper ways, and follow Best Practices.  They don't, for some reason, and I think it's because it wouldn't be "good press."  After all, it would mean that you would need IT Pros to handle your Windoze network, which goes counter to so much of their sales pitch.  It's supposed to be so darn easy, after all... and TCO is supposedly lower because you >don't< need "gurus."  

That's why TCO really is higher with Microsoft products - because to do it right, you still need "gurus" to set it up and maintain it - and if you don't you're just contributing to the ongoing problems of unpatched systems, unmonitored open ports, spam engines, DDOS zombies, etc. - and increasing everyone else's TCO...
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13785848
"...once I installed Linux on my laptop ... Guess what, I couldn't find drivers for it! Of course it might be because my laptop is a recent model... but then, it's all ok with windows."

Depends on what distro/version you used, and whether your laptop has any really oddball devices.  I installed SuSE 9.1 Professional on my laptop (and also SLES 9) and it found everything, but my laptop is a couple-three years old.  I haven't experimented with any of the (much newer) laptops at work yet - I want to use a separate hard drive for that, and have to make sure I get a compatible one.

Try SLES 9.2 - you can install it via FTP straight from the SuSE FTP site.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13785857
ShineOn, people that do not memorize certification questions, know the best-practices.
Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13785890
"That's why TCO really is higher with Microsoft products - because to do it right, you still need "gurus" to set it up and maintain it - and if you don't you're just contributing to the ongoing problems of unpatched systems, unmonitored open ports, spam engines, DDOS zombies, etc. - and increasing everyone else's TCO..."

Yes ... but then I must ask this: What is a "guru" in this case? Instead of the term "guru" I'd use "people who really know what they are doing, they follow the best practices, etc" - according to that, isn't this true for any other OS? I mean ... if one who administers Linux doesn't folow some good practices, doesn't keep updated with security issues, etc., then Linux becomes as unsecure as anyother OS (say windows).

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13785909
And about the linux version ... it was SuSE Linux. don't remember the version number ... it was about 3 months ago however. Well ... to be honest, maybe it was because of the VMWare software and not because of missing drivers ...

Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13786094
Sure, you need Gurus for every OS to do it right, whether that is for Windoze, netware or Linux. A difference is that once a system like linux or netware has been setup and running satisfactorily, it can usually be set aside and forgotten. It won't by far need as much ongoing attention like a windoze box needs. We used to have an old netware server that just ran. The only time it was rebooted in two years was when there was a longer power outage. A Windoze Server needed reboots regular reboots. If you run a "liveupdate", you only have to reboot a linux box if the kernel gets updated, for most other updates it is enough to restart the daemon (or service). This can easily be done remotely via a secure connection. A Linux box also is secure right out of the box, you don't have to go and remove "everyone" access from every folder, or close all ports by hand.
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by:trigger-happy
ID: 13786124
rafael_acc: Actually my friends can dual boot easily and they should be capable of installing linux with minimal help. It's more of the "I don't want to try something else" kind of thinking that's preventing them from trying linux.

jeez, this forum is hard to keep up if you're in a different time zone...i'll check back later when i can.

--trigger-happy
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by:JammyPak
ID: 13786185
ShineOn, I do know what NDS is - sorry, I wasn't trying to cloud the issue. How about "Everyone knows that NDS was better than the NT 4 SAM database". Better? :)

By saying that NDS was better than NT3/4 I was effectively saying 'Netware was better thant NT 3/4'. (Apples to Apples!)

My real point was that the NetWare vs. NT thing is so...1995. By 1998, every single CNE/MCNE/CNI I knew was also an MCSE. It had nothing to do with software quality, and everything to do with market share, job preservation, and paying the bills. NetWare 6.5 may very well be better than Win2003...I really don't know because I haven't come across a single company using it. (sorry, that's just what I've seen). It seemed to me that the battle was over and Novell conceded defeat when they bought SuSe.

Am I wrong? I dunno...my impression was that Novell was essentially dumping NetWare in favour of linux. (Kinda like when IBM dumped OS/2 and started running Windows?) If that's not the case, then cool...we're a Notes/Domino shop, and I'm all for keeping MS on their toes.


As for your argument on 'experts', I don't know if I agree...
True 'experts' on any system will always do a better job of configuring and securing it than amatuers. That's a given. I really don't think that MS is telling anyone 'install Windows and you won't need an IT staff'..if that's the case, then of course they're wrong. I *do* believe that an amateur will probably have an easier time setting up a Windows server compared to a Linux server...but that still doesn't mean that they'll do a good job in either case.

This line is killer:
"That's why TCO really is higher with Microsoft products - because to do it right, you still need "gurus" to set it up and maintain it " 
Um...can you really say that's not the case with Linux? please.

As for MS trying to help people do things 'right'...um..have you looked at their knowledge base? their website is FULL of whitepapers, webinars, craploads of docs...plus they have Windows Updates and SUS to automatically deploy patches...they have newsgroups, chats...I don't really see your logic there. People can fault MS for lots of things, but I don't think that leaving their users hanging without any support is one of them. Who in the OSS world is enforcing best practices? Who in the OSS world is making sure that 'experts' are really 'experts'? Doesn't seem possible to me.

As for the 'paper MCSE' thing, hey, that's old news. Everyone knows by now that MCSE <> 'expert'. There's experienced MCSEs and inexperienced MCSEs...do I wish MS would do something to separate the 'true experts'? Yeah, sure, but if it doesn't happen, oh well.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13786246
yes, trigger-happy. I agree with you. I was only giving another reason (as an example) why some of us do not actualy use Linux. Yet and again, I do agree 100% with what you said.

rindi: this is not actually true anymore (about restarting server so many times). and I'm saying this from my own experience. You can activate automatic updates on the servers ant that's it. I know you need a reboot for some of them, BUT NOT ALL. Additionally, in some cases (and here comes a little bit about best practices), redundancy can be deployed (thus, restarting one of the servers, wouldn't affect the functionality on the network) and even scheduled restarts! One, as administrator, do not even need to be present.

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13786270
JammyPak, as far as I know (might be wrong though) NDS is the directory services for Netware. Actually, AD is a MS version of NDS - they used NDS concepts to develop their own ...

Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13786406
OK, yes the reboots have decreased, you only have to do that once out of the updates now, but that improvement is pretty new.
Anyway, we used to run domino on nt servers, and we had to boot those servers once a week because some memory handles weren't released and domino would crash. As the domino users got more and the databases larger, we had to reboot twice a week. If the server still crashed, it took half a day to reboot because it had to cleanup the ntfs filesystem after the crashed. This got a little better after we were allowed to migrate to win2k servers, because those had double the number of available memory handles. OK, this may have been caused by a non M$ program, but if this happens, it should still not be able to crash the OS. Possibly if M$ had supplied lotus with all necessary info on the OS, Lotus might have been able to write their program in way which wouldn't have had that problem in the first place.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13786420
No, they aren't dumping NetWar for Linux.  They are supporting and developing both for the forseeable future.  They are not abandoning their millions of installed seats of NetWare users, and are still selling (and improving) NetWare.  It just isn't called "NetWare" anymore - it's called "OES" and you can install it with either the NetWare kernel or the Linux kernel.

What Novell is doing is further embracing OSS - something they started to do long before they bought SuSE, by becoming a platform that many OSS runs on - Apache, Tomcat/Jakarta, Java, PHP/Perl, MySQL, PostgreSQL, OpenSSH, the BASH shell, etc. - all running on NetWare.  The services that make NetWare so much better than other platforms are being ported to Linux, and more open-source software is being ported to NetWare - including MONO - yes, you will be able to run your .NET programs on NetWare soon...

There will be some companies that will migrate their NetWare servers to the Linux-kernel OES, but there are many companies that have no plans to do so and will continue to use the NetWare-kernel OES.  Some, like mine, will likely be using both, to take advantage of the ability to run commercial database engines and ERP systems on Linux while having the user identities (and then some) managed with eDirectory and eDirectory-based tools.  There are some things NetWare does better than Linux.  Maybe someday those features and capabilities will be supported as well or better on Linux, and when that happens the NetWare kernel might fade away, but that's years out if it happens at all.  The WinNT kernel isn't going to go on forever, either - not as you know it today, anyway...

As far as the KB, whitepapers, docs, wbinars, etc - sure, it's there.  Sure, it gets used.  Microsoft isn't making you use them, though, and to say just because someone's an MCSE that paid attention in class means their company will follow Best Practices doesn't fly.

I didn't say you don't need "guru" types to set up and maintain Linux.  I'm saying that Microsoft is saying their TCO is lower because Linux needs "guru" types to support it, while their software doesn't.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13786536
Ok ... Again: If one would follow the best-practices tought and adding the experience and network knowledge one could have and aquire in time, problems can be avoided. Therefore, consulting those databases, papers, etc it's rarely done.

One more thing: Why do you say "Microsoft isn't making you use them"? What were they supposed to do to "advertise" all the documentation available?

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13786558
Oh ... and by the way ... Usually, once you have the netowrk stable, and best-practices are in place (:D), beside the patching that must be done (doesn't actually matter how frequently you do it, since you can automate the process anyway ... whatever, we touched this already), problems DO NOT ARRISE FOR LONG TIME. Problems could arrise when a major change come in place ... but we all know, those major changes aren't so frequent!

Cheers.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13787443
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by:humeniuk
ID: 13787490
A while back I asked a similar question related to Windows Security vs. Linux Security and got some good comments.  If you're interested . . .

www.experts-exchange.com/Security/Win_Security/Q_21027726.html
www.experts-exchange.com/Security/Linux_Security/Q_21027721.html
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13787493
To ShineOn: Good links indeed! Very interesting!
To humeniuk: Thanks and maybe you add your own comments.

Cheers.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13787545
well .... humeniuk, fantastic links. Thanks. Good answers there, supporting both windows and linux.
Cheers.
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by:stengelj
ID: 13787546
"IS LINUX MUCH BETTER THAN WINDOWS - IS IT EVEN BETTER"

From a consultant/retail persective (at the SMB level), Miscrosoft is a finacial whale.  Sure, I could setup a 'nix or NW box and have it run solid and require less future maintenance.  But, where's the money in that?

Microsoft is an easy sell because of their aggressive and successful marketing strategy...  

It generates a steady stream of service calls...  

The knowledge pool is huge, though some might argue, it's a bit shallow :) ...

You get to suckle at the tit of the newest licensing scheme...

Is Linux better?  I say, who cares!  That's my two cents.  What's that? Another virus you say?  Make that $500!

My question is, what do Linux admins do *after* they setup their systems?


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by:humeniuk
ID: 13787547
"To humeniuk: Thanks and maybe you add your own comments."

My two cents - most of the criticisms of MS are based on security or Microsoft's business practices.

I think that past criticisms of Microsoft's security have been legitimate, but having worked with a few Win2k3 servers, I have to say that I think they've made some dramatic improvements.  At this point, I think that both Linux and Windows are only as secure as the person/people configuring them are capable.  The biggest current problem with Windows security is that since Windows is so user-friendly, it is used by too many unqualified people.

As for criticisms of Microsoft's business practices, I think many of them are legit, but ethics are a very grey area in the business world.  Most very successful businesses are similarly criticised - take WalMart for example.  Microsoft is successful because of the way they do business, not because of the quality of their products, which certainly doesn't make them exceptional.  Bill Gates has said as much, ie. he said that Microsoft didn't beat the competition because Windows was better, but because the company was better.  It didn't matter which operating system he had, he would have won with any of them - Mac, Linux, OS/2, etc.  I think he's right.  Microsoft won because they were better at the business of making money than any of the other guys, simple as that.

If you don't like Microsoft, don't buy their stuff.  If you don't like WalMart, don't shop there.  If you don't like the exploitation of animals, don't eat meat or wear fur & leather.  Everyone has to pick their causes based on what is important to them.  If the open source movement is your cause, I think you picked a pretty good one.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13787556
:D
That was beautiful ... It looks like I'm not the only one thinking "business is business no matter what" :D
Cheers.
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by:humeniuk
ID: 13787560
:)
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13787561
No one about producitivy tools ... Isn't that important enough? I can't do it since I do not know much about LInux tools
But I can say MS office tools are great (regarding productivity) - ALL OF THEM!

Not to say about the antispam filter in last outlook version whcih is awesome...

Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13787883
"My question is, what do Linux admins do *after* they setup their systems?"

They have time to help users who have problems with their windoze systems here on this site!
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13787899
:D
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13787901
What is the Linux section for then?
Cheers.
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by:rindi
ID: 13787917
There aren't so many problems there, except maybe those frustrated windoze users who have finally realized they should use a real OS and now need help for newbies, or want to know which is the best distro etc...
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by:stengelj
ID: 13787920
"help users who have problems with their windoze systems"

Good answer! What's that pay?

----

"What is the Linux section for then?"

Awsome answer.  
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by:rindi
ID: 13787927
The Pay? We're Opensource, no direct pay...

As I mentioned, the linux section is for those ex windoze...
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by:Lazarus
ID: 13788013
1st off let me say this Linux is very good and getting better... Windows is also good and getting better. Aside from the MS politics of corporate strong arming versus, Linux's altruistic socialistic slant, the amount of un-substantiated information being thrown around here is astounding... I hear allot of kool-aid drinking when it comes to Linux. Linux is still young and growing, but also has it problems, several of which are based the elitist snobbery of many looking to make there choice of software the reality. It may well happen one day to, but not by people slanting the truth, by saying my OS is better than yours, but by the simple fact that the masses can understand and utilize the software easily.One example of note(1): Just look at how many programs on Linux are trying to mimick MS Software. Note(2): Wish there were some Linux programs that would come the other way. Of couse Free, will always beat costly, but only if it will do what people want. Linux is getting there. MS, has had a lot of time to fine tune, but react to slow. MS, simply does a lot with ease... But yes, it does suffer from BLOAT, because of what it offers, ease of use for uncomplicated people with little computer knowledge. Linux on the other hand does some pretty spectacular things with little resources, but you have to work hard to get it there. You guys can argue till your blue in the face about which is better. I for one use both, for different purposes and in different places. MS is better at some, Linux at others. I can show you test after test that proves both sides, but that still would not sway either side of such a polarized crowd of enthusiast as you all seem to be.

Use the Tools, Don't let the Tools use you!


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by:ShineOn
ID: 13788325
I just finished spending about 12 hours recovering a WinXP PC that had a bad ntoskrnl.  I had to install a 2nd instance (taking several hours, as Windows installs tend to do) so I could copy the ntoskrnl and run a couple of SFC's so I could have the original WinXP install recognized as an install so I could do a repair install on the original install, which took several hours and several reboots, and asked for a stinkin' activation "phone home" to Microsoft so I could fix an already registered and activated instance of the OS, which didn't work the first time I ran the repair install because although other things got repaired, it broke the network services, which I couldn't fix because the damn thing thought it wasn't a legal copy and wouldn't let me log in to repair the network service manually to do the activation on-line and I'll be damned if I'll sit on hold waiting for a telephone activation, so I had to do another repair install, which actually fixed the freakin' network problem the earlier repair install caused, and now I have to go back and get the patches reinstalled because the repair install undid the SP and hotfixes that were in place before ntoskrnl got corrupted, which will take another several hours and probably a couple of reboots.

Don't tell me they're getting better, when all I should have had to do was to boot using a boot CD and copy the damn ntoskrnl file from a working system.  There is no such thing as a boot CD from Microsoft that gives you NTFS access other than through the stupid Recovery Console, which won't let you do anything if it doesn't recognize that Windows is installed already or has the Administrator password hosed so when you do repair the disk far enough to get the Windows install noticed by recovery console you can't do anything there anyway.  At least the apps weren't hosed, like you were stuck with on earlier versions of NT.

I was too busy trying to get the thing fixed to find one, but there's gotta be a Linux boot CD somewhere that can mount an NTFS disk. One that uses something other than NTFSDOS, which you'd have to buy and add to the CD image anyway.  I thought I found a couple but they didn't work as I expected or hoped.  The one that had VC on it didn't mount the NTFS partiton so I couldn't use that, as I had hoped to do, and getting to the shell prompt, I couldn't use the mount command...

The tool I would have liked to use on that one was a hammer, but I used the crap tools that Microsoft provides.  Like so many other Microsoft products, it worked.  It was a pain in the butt and took a lot longer than it would have had the tools been efficient and well-made, but it worked in the end.
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by:rindi
ID: 13788528
Hey ShineOn, that's the way modern computers are supposed to work. And didn't you have a10GHz 20GB PC? With that the parrallel Install would only have taken about 1 hour...

Knoppix by the way, can mount ntfs, although only in readonly mode. Captive ntfs is also included, but you do the the windoze components for it to be able to make the mounted ntfs partitions readable (but, if those aren't also corrupted, the should be somewhere on that ntfs partition...
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13788669
It was only a 2Ghz with 512 MB...

A day and part of my evening wasted on what should've been a 5-minute fix.  Gotta love it.  Too bad I don't get paid by the hour...
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by:rindi
ID: 13788731
Are so slow PCs with so little ram really still around?
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by:rindi
ID: 13788837
It is rather difficult to compare desktop programs running under windows and linux. There are so many linux products it is just hard to keep track. Admitted, office suites are only a few, there is openoffice, which incidently also runs on windoze, and there is koffice. I think there is also a suite around for the gnome desktop. You can download openoffice from http://openoffice.org if you want to make a picture about how it works for yourself.
There are plenty of single products around, ie. gnumeric can easily replace excel, whereas the calc program of openoffice isn't quite as capable as excel yet (the spreadsheets can't handle as many columns - 32000 as excel - 64000). In beta version 2 that limit has been corrected. On the other hand, if you use that many columns in a spreadsheat, I don't know if that is the correct product. Usually you use that many columns if you missuse the spreadsheat to store data, and then a proper database program would make more sense than a spreadsheet...

Then there is the Gimp for grafics manipulation, also Gimp runs on windoze...

This by the way is something else which often is true, many products that run on the linux plattform are built to run on many others as well. To get something built for windows to run on other plattforms than windows, on the other hand, is not often possible.
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by:trigger-happy
ID: 13789416
"rindi: There aren't so many problems there, except maybe those frustrated windoze users who have finally realized they should use a real OS and now need help for newbies, or want to know which is the best distro etc..."

Agreed!! I'm one of those ex-windows users who got fed up with windows.

"rindi:  Are so slow PCs with so little ram really still around?"

...I'm running PIII 733MHZ with 256 MB RAM....still want to ask the same question?
note: Even with a computer like mine, linux runs faster compared to windows

--trigger-happy
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by:rindi
ID: 13789469
This was meant to be ironic, to show that windoze just needs ridiculous hardware to run at decent speeds. I'm running some even slower PCs than you are (233 MHz/100MB with linux).
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by:trigger-happy
ID: 13789483
oh, ok...sry about that. I already know the hardware that linux can run on so don't worry XD.

Some points I want to share. (i'm still in high school so bare with me...)

One of the main reasons why i'm using linux is for programming, web development (HTML, PHP, CGI, etc), mail server and doing my HW using OpenOffice. On the other hand, I use windows mostly for games, writing windows programs and using Flash. The main reasons why i like linux more than windows is that it's immune to 90% of the attacks out there (windows specific), the tools that i can use are very good and they're free :). On the other hand, i'm only attached to windows because the programs i need like flash and the games i want to play can only be ran there. I have to admit that linux was a little bit difficult for me to learn at first, but once i got used to it, It became my main OS of choice. Other people's opinions my vary (if i brought my friends into this forum, you'll just get the same excuses i mentioned above, so i better not bring them here..) but this is my own opinion based from horrifying experiences with windows.

--trigger-happy
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by:rindi
ID: 13789527
Yes, Games might be the main reason to stay with windows for the time being, but I wouldn't really know, as i mainly play card or board games, and these are just as good on linux. I suppose for the other shoot and run games you may be better off using a gaming console. In my opinion these games often don't use a high resolution (not in the default settings anyway) and therefore a TV is good enough for them.
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 13790780
trigger-happy, please bring your friends. Maybe we succeed in making the largest topic ever discussed on EE :D
Cheers.
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by:NTNBower
ID: 13790905
hehe ... this is getting better and better by the minute!

Stengelj = money talks .. bs walks - gotta love it
Lazarus98 = 5 stars, that's a good breakdown everything has its place
humrniuk = :-) support your cause

ShineOn = I would have thought Knoppix would have don't the trick for you - When working with windows, I try to keep the data safe/separate and consider the OS expendable - I might have tried booting into Knoppix with a USB drive, swopped in and grabbed all the data I wanted/needed - wiped out the PC and rebuilt the OS from the ground up. I think the kind of things your trying to do are more suited for a *nix or higher end OS than Windows. (of course you may have been trying to save/do more than the data I don't know - for any of our Windows PC in production - our approach is to save the data and scrap the OS, no matter what the problem seems to be - it just seems faster than trying to troubleshoot any problems in Windows.)

Slow PC's - get outta here, I still have many Win95PC's 64mb or less ram running first gen Pent! In production no less! Currently for my Work computer its a PIII, with 256Ram running Ubuntu.

As for the Office apps - cost is what's killing it for me - I would bet, in my company - 90% of my users would do fine with a Windows or Unix version of Open Office for simple spread sheets, presentations and word processing. Hell for that matter, most users could get by with WordPad & and some obtuse spread sheet &/or presentation program. The remaining 10%  primarily accounting - would probably need the heavier guns of Excel, Lotus 123 or some similar tools.

To agree with the folks above, and many in this debate, you need to use what you need to use to get the job done. Supporting the cause you want to stand for on your own time. For me, when ever possible I try to use alternatives to M$ mainly for their crazy licensing practices.

I cannot believe no one has brought up that fact the M$ is currently tying the OS to the hardware (that little sticker on the side of your BOX)! When the physical piece of hardware fails - which is inevitable - you have to toss your software licenses right away with that hardware! Plus they are currently letting re-seller perform OEM installations of the Office Suite (which of course is cheaper to do so why the hell not save some coin! But it as well is tied to the PC you bought it for - you cannot move it to another PC! I suppose I come from the days when I could move my software to the hard ware I wanted to and am just a dying breed. But that is also why I still have Win95, 98 Office 97 running in production. Because I can - with all the new stuff - legally, you should be tossing it when you toss that hardware that is going to be obsolete in 3 to 5 years.

How can anyone afford to buy new Hardware and software every three to five years at the cost they charging? And so enters leasing, software assurance, etcetera etcetera. I need to find the cheapest approach for what ever problem I have in front of me is and go with the solution that will solve the problem for me - regardless of what it is. As started in the original post - my current problem is finding the cheapest solution to upgrading my Windows NT 40 Domain - that might be Windows 2003, might be Suse Novell 6.5 (which is very slick by the way), or a completely OS solution. I am trying to stay in the $ for support solutions first and will see how they shake out.

That cascading licensing of M$ has got to go - and if the only way I can support getting rid of it is by using something else, I will always try that first. It will not be until I exhaust all my other options that I will go crawling back to M$ with my tail between my legs whimpering. Aside from that, anyone in this field (IT/IS/MIS etc) that puts blinders on and sticks to one single solution as their mainstay & does not keep abreast of alternative solutions to differing problems is not doing as good a service for their employer as they could be.  
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by:Mysidia
ID: 13791105
"I think that past criticisms of Microsoft's security have been legitimate, but
having worked with a few Win2k3 servers, I have to say that I think they've made
some dramatic improvements."

Making some improvements is nice, but the security still hasn't been shewn.
Try running IIS on that Win2k3 server, and you're back to square one more
or less.  It's WinXP that commands the desktop, and XP systems are what most
of the crackers want control over.   More importantly, XP is the kind of installation
hackers can find most easily to go against.  Win2K installations seem rarer by comparison.

In other words, making a bunch of improvements doesn't automatically bring them up to
par: until shown otherwise, they are behind.

It's good enough to just be able to say Linux is more advantgeous than XP, to justify
doing away with all those XP installations :)

"...Linux and Windows are only as secure as the person/people configuring them are capable."

Perhaps, but with Windows it is _just_ as secure as the people configuring it is capable.
Linux provides much better security by default than Windows provided by default, or so
do the major distributions.

The distribution can provide several secure configuration.. I know Mandrake prompts you
to set a security level during installation "Low security"   "Medium Security"
or "High Security (for servers)"

"The biggest current problem with Windows security is that since Windows is so user-friendly,
it is used by toomany unqualified people."

Rubbish... Linux is used by many unqualified people too, yet There's less of a risk:

Fewer viruses target Linux
   Maybe fewer virus writers know how they could target Linux?  It would be harder.

Documents are not programs..   Let's see, windows clients provided this wacky way to launch
documents and programs in the same way, from the network (uh, executable attachments)

Not a Linux equivalent of Outlook... a choice of mail reader increases diversity..
increased diversity in choices of software on the system makes attack harder


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