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

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.

1. Part of the discussion started here
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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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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
ShineOn, thanks for braking the ice. Thats good!
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
I've already some comments on this ... but I'll wait ... to "here" some more ...
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"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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.


rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

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$.
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
"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?

"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.  
"Don't we have brains to think for ourselves?"

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

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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?
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
:D:D Nothing wrong with that! That's actually funny
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.
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

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.

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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
"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) !
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
welcome al-hasan
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.
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

"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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
ok Rid. I respect that you prefer Linux to windows for the reasons you've just said.
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).
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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).

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
shineon, this is just a thought, it is not something 100% sure. Am I right?
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?
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.
The files are so large and contain so much data in order to make it possible to spy on the user.
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...
... and NetWare is a proprietary platform with a lot of closed-source code, so rafael_acc, you SHOULD like it... ;)
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,
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
"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.

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...
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,
rafael_accAuthor Commented:

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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
So your guess, was wrong!
It could be something else, though.
al-hasan, I like the way you think...
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)
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.
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,
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.
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...
Linux is better because Tux is such a cute 'n' cuddly mascot. :)

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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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 ...

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

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.  
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.


rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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 ...

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.

If you want more lively discussion, post a pointer Q in the Linux TA... ;)
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.
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.
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?

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.
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.
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.
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... ;)
ShineOn you crazy diamond =)
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
"If you want more lively discussion, post a pointer Q in the Linux TA... ;)" OK!
Would you do that for me please?

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
"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!

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

"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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
I'm not afirming anything with the following ... I was just thinking it could be an interested link. Check it out:

Check out Xen, which will be shipping with the next Novell SLES release.

See  -->
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)
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.
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."
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
ShineOn, thanks.
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.
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. 

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.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
Interesting paper
CAn't wait to see that report.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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 :)

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.

"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.
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?
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,
  (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
     (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
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

   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
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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" :)

Then you should also consider links in the windows sections (XP, NT, 2K and 2003 etc).
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...
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...

You still call them Friends???

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...)

Here is another avenue you could try (instead of Knoppix) so you can test drive a Linux system:

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
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.
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.
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.
"* 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.
"I haven't seen anything OSS that can let me do what Group Policy does."

While its not F/OSS, try ZENworks for Linux -->

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.

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.

"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.

"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.
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.
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!
NTN, you mean what the M$ stuff is sending is "accidental"?
"....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...
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.
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.
That must be the wrong way round, 10% of what M$ does is intentional, the rest (or at least 110%) are bugs and flaws.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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?

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.
"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...
"...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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
ShineOn, people that do not memorize certification questions, know the best-practices.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
"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).

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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 ...

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.
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.

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 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' you looked at their knowledge base? their website is FULL of whitepapers, webinars, craploads of 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 I wish MS would do something to separate the 'true experts'? Yeah, sure, but if it doesn't happen, oh well.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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 ...

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.
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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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?

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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!

A while back I asked a similar question related to Windows Security vs. Linux Security and got some good comments.  If you're interested . . .
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
To ShineOn: Good links indeed! Very interesting!
To humeniuk: Thanks and maybe you add your own comments.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
well .... humeniuk, fantastic links. Thanks. Good answers there, supporting both windows and linux.

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?

"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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
That was beautiful ... It looks like I'm not the only one thinking "business is business no matter what" :D
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
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...

"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!
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
What is the Linux section for then?
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...
"help users who have problems with their windoze systems"

Good answer! What's that pay?


"What is the Linux section for then?"

Awsome answer.  
The Pay? We're Opensource, no direct pay...

As I mentioned, the linux section is for those ex windoze...
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!

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

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).
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.

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.
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
trigger-happy, please bring your friends. Maybe we succeed in making the largest topic ever discussed on EE :D
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.  
"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

ShineOn, have your tried BartPE? I think that may have allowed you to boot and then copy that kernel file...
oh yeah, and thanks for the update on Novell's 'vision' will be interesting to see how long they support two parallel NOSs.
no point in bringing my friends here, they're not even smart enough to use the control panel of windows....I'll try to bring the one switching to linux here to make it more interesting (and possibly 2 others who hate windows but love mac)

I still like to split hairs and say that NetWare is stil the only "NOS" - the rest are other kinds of OS'es that can connect via a network.  *nix is a multi-user multi-purpose OS that also does networking.  Windows is basically a single-user desktop OS that adopted muti-user capability from LanMan server, and multitasking from OS/2, that also does networking.  NetWare was built from the ground up to provide network-based services and resources.

Maybe that's why the NetWare TA is in the "networking" TA rather than in the OS TA?
Hmmm, trying to imagine any possible use for a Netware server not attached to a network.
I guess you could hook it to a printer and use it as a giant word processor...
If you had a word-processing NLM...
Just checking the post and I swear, when I read billmercer above I spit milk all over my monitor ... gonna have to clean that up now! =)
rafael_accAuthor Commented:
HA, HA , HA ...

That was beautifull ...

I'm writing now and can't stop laughing ...
That was really good.
On the netware typewriter?
netware used as a giant typewriter...wth....i'll stick to linux if i ever need to do something like that...if ever...

rafael_accAuthor Commented:

Ok. I guess I'll have to shut this topic down ... I'll make an article an publish it on the internet and give credits to everyone.
Before that, I'll post my conclusion here so that I know your oppinions about them. Maybe we reach to some conclusions together.
It will take long however since I've got much to do. :D

I must ask you something ... Do not input comments off topic, please

Cheers to all and many thanks to all who contributed it.

It should not take all that long, most of what is posted above does not rely on fact or sound analysis. It's mostly just ravings of sycophants. Linux vs. MS seems to always bring out the worst of both sides. No reason, no sanity, just innuendo and fabrications to defend ones viewpoint. Test after test show that both have the strong points and both have the weaknesses, yet no one wants to hear it. Yes, there is that fact the GNU is FREE, that’s great and all but that’s not the only consideration from the viewpoint of a business. From the stand point of the home user tough that can be an overpowering reason to jump over to Linux. But for most unknowledgeable users, they are going to stay with Windows. It's hard enough for them to muddle through an OS that for all intent and purpose is designed for easy use for people that have no clue. Linux was designed for someone a bit more sophisticated in there usage of a computer, there for lends it’s self to much more modification and abilities overall, different uses for different kinds of people.

Dont be a Fool, Use the Tool. Don't let the Tool Use you!
"Dont be a Fool, Use the Tool. Don't let the Tool Use you!"
Very good line, and yest, it really depends on what people believe is best for them even if it's not the best that there is.

rafael_accAuthor Commented:
1st. The "report" I'm willing to write is mostly as a resume of all these posts here ... I'm not saying it should be something official ... I'm just saying it could be interesting for others and even for ourselves (it would be for me) to know what the conclusion of this topic is here on EE

2nd. I don't agree when you say Linux is better for homeusers - at least this what I understood. I'm don't wanna advertise piracy but I guess it should be something to consider. Add to that what regular users think and the user friendly interface windows provides ... WELL ... I WONT SAY MORE :D

3rd. I'll have to find some time to review everything so I could give some points here

rafael_acc - to set things straight, what I meant by Linux being FREE was that is was an good reason for home users to go towards that since the price is nothing. Not that it was better for home users... Hell if normal people are having a hard time with Windows... what sort of mess would they be in using Linux? I have enough work now let alone trying to fix that can of worms too! LOL
"It's mostly just ravings of sycophants."
Lazarus98, you're wrong. This discussion has actually been remarkably polite and reasonable, and has included a lot of specific facts and comments based on real-world experience.

If you want to see real examples of "ravings of sycophants", take a look at the comp.os.advocacy hierarchies on USENET...

....I've seen worse with my own friends and me...

In the end, everything is up to people's own opinions, tastes and needs. There is no one thing that everyone likes, we all have what we want and what we need. We can't force them to change, but we can help them make the right decision should they want to change. Right now i can understand my friends (except one of them...) for their reason to stick with windows, but eventually, I'm sure that they will want to change to something else that will fit their needs.

Laz, this was mainly a question regarding servers and networks (at least it originated from such a question). And in my opinion Servers need to be setup and managed by knowledgeable people, not the average "windoze" home grandma user who might only know how to write a text document or an email. Since it is for the more knowledgable, you can also expect them to be able to manage linux.

If you come to think of it, for certain cases linux could also prove to be the ideal desktop OS for the computer illiterate. Those users usually only need to be able to write some text, for that any simple wordprocessor would do, for instance abiword, kword etc., there is no need for a full blown office suite with word (or openoffice for opentext). A simple mail program or even just a web browser would do for mailing, most mail providers support webmail these days. All that you get with all bigger linux distros. All of them also support the KDE or Gnome desktop, so the users wouldn't be subjected to any linux terminal, they'd have a desktop very similar to that of windoze.

It is very easy to get a windows PC corrupted, also by computer illiterates, and such a person would never be able to fix it, so it would come back to you or the shop etc.

If you take a look at knoppix or mepis or ubuntu, all CD versions of linux which have all needed software installed already, this may be a very good desktop OS for the computer unknowledgable. Running off a CD they wouldn't be able to corrupt the system by means of software, no matter how hard they tried. The disadvantage that the cd drive is being used always is no big deal, as with the money saved for the OS you can buy at least 5 cd or dvd drives. If the PC seller invests some time to make his own version of this CD, so it is better adapted to the hardware, Disks get automatically mounted, maybe even users setup for the mail or isp login stuff, customized desktop, This could be the best OS for the home user andd he'd not need much learning to do at all.
Rindi, you make some good points, but there's one flaw in your argument. The casual end user can't save money by not buying Windows.  
The big manufacturers have to pay the Windows tax to Microsoft in order to be allowed to sell computers, and those costs are passed along to the customer. Smaller companies must buy Windows for each machine or live in fear of a visit from the Microsoft police. (Selling a computer without Windows on it is considered de facto proof of piracy by the antipiracy goons.) Unless you build your own system, you're going to have a tough time buying a computer and not paying for Windows as well.
This brings us back to square one of the unlawfull practices used by M$.

I am more fixed on the small companies, building the system themselves and then selling them to end users. Also, I don't live in the US, so for us here it is probably a little easier to keep out of the deathly fangs of M$ and doom....
I never really looked at linux as a beginner-friendly system.  Even though there are a lot of things that would make it noob proof, the fact that its hard to use can deter most people from using it. It's only the really determined people (like me :P ) who would try and learn linux. And even if you have a desktop like gnome or KDE, there are still a lot of functions that will really require the use of the terminal like installing software from source and other stuff.

Regarding the above posts. If a user bought a computer with windows and used it, the ease of use will make them want to stay with windows forever (until they get smart enough to make the switch). If by some miracle linux is inside the unit, they will also stick with that (even if it takes some time to get used to) ad chances are that they will never switch to windows. The first impression of the OS can make a difference on the user's choice (in my case at least...).

In the knoppix example above I wouldn't expect anyone to install software, as everything needed is there already (for those for whom that system would be meant for, that is). This type of use will probably, as you have just mentioned, never really consider changeing the OS.
The computer seller might consider providing some special service, for instance CDs with new versions of the installed software, or with added software the customer might have asked for. Maybe also stripped of software that isn't used, maybe to make room for some games, etc.
Well, that is true. Eventually they'll have to learn how to use the terminal, but by then they already know the basics of linux and how to use it. So you do have a point that it's also a good system for beginners, however I'd say that live CDs are the only ones that can can truly be beginner friendly (don't throw Linspire in, it's nothing more than a windows mimic). Do you think there are beginner friendly distros that are not live CDs?

Yes, thats the point, you'd have to use a live CD version, but that is one more advantage of linux over windows, or have you seen a live CD version of windows that is really usable and has all those apps packed with it? As a matter of fact the only begginer proof system is one that loads from CD, or something else similar to a kiosk system. And with such a system the OS, for the user, really is placed in the background, and that is the way it should be. I don't really believe those users need to learn the terminal as long as the basic CD has been built correctly.
Well that's true....and since it's just a normal desktop use, then there would be no need for a full linux installation... Good point.

>This brings us back to square one of the unlawful practices used by M$.

>I am more fixed on the small companies, building the system themselves and then selling them to end users. Also, I don't live in the US, so for us here it is probably a little easier to keep out of the deathly fangs of M$ and >doom....

Rindi - This is exactly the kind of speech I refer to... there is no Unlawful practice here. Microsoft does not force me to buy their software and put it on the computers I sell. I make no more profit on selling a computer with Linux on it than I do with Microsoft on it. ( i just sell the Linux ones a for cheaper) I put the OS on it what the customer wants. Sure there are more things I have to do to keep it legal (lots more paperwork) but the simple fact is that most people want MS... Call them sheep call them naive or just plain stupid if you like, but it is a simple fact. It's not because of illegal business practices that MS keeps there lead. Yes they are aggressive (VERY) but then so are most large companies, (But look how aggressive the Linux people are here) that is how they stay large, or get large. Yes they make mistakes.. I'd like to kick them around a bit if I could for the patch hell and security problems too!

But give Linux some more years and they will get there.. As they make the software more productive and less intimidating. (Wait... isn't that what MS did? - their only problem was that they gave up security for ease of use)
and all there addons broke that security... Hopefully Linux will not by adding on all there stuff to make it more Windows like.

I personally use Linux and like it allot, it's come along way in the last several years. But I still prefer using MS on my desktop for publishing. I love my GIMP for my ARt though.. but still use Photoshop and awfully lot...

Maybe I should reconsider a MAC after all this debate... LOL

All in all, yes, this deabate has been tame comapred to most I've seen and yes perhaps some actually fact has been sited... although mostly it's just been personal opinion, including mine. As far as TCO and RoIT, I have my own opinion based on personal experience in some extremely large enviroments as to which is cheaper in the long run.  Untill there is loads more knowledgable Linux Admins stay with MS...

I will keep my homogenous network setups though, since I like Linux and feel it's better at certain server things. I have Nix File servers and mail servers with Win AD's and APP servers.. And it's stay that way for a good while I think. I still have alot more to learn about Linux myself and for that matter. It's taken along time to learn all the ins and outs of Windows... and I'm allways learn more there to. Niether are easy when you get into more than the surface of them... Now are they?
"...there is no Unlawful practice here..."

"It's not because of illegal business practices that MS keeps there lead. "

United States courts and the European Union disagree with you. The fact is that Microsoft has been found guilty of a variety of illegal activities by US courts over the years. The European Union has also found Microsoft to be guilty of illegal acts. This is not a matter of opinion, it's documented fact.

We have laws in the US that make certain business practicess illegal. Committing fraud, negotiating contracts in bad faith, stealing intellectual property, these are all unlawful acts which are used to gain an illegal advantage in business. It is illegal to threaten to harm a person in order to get concessions from them.

Unregulated monopolies are bad. They stifle innovation, harm the economy, and prevent legitimate business people from competing in the marketplace on a level playing field.
Monopolies are not necessarily always bad, there have been cases where governments have decided that a single *regulated* monopoly would better serve the public interest than a variety of competitors. However such cases are quite rare, and the monopolies in such situations are always tightly regulated by law to ensure that they do not abuse their privileges to harm the public. When a company is determined to have monopoly power, additional laws come into effect.

Don't be fooled into thinking that Microsoft is an example of free-market capitalism at work. It's not. Monopolies are the antithesis of  free-market capitalism. The only difference between an economy controlled by a monopoly and one controlled by a Communist dictatorship is who makes the profits.

Hmm, Bill Gates is a Commie... has a certain ring to it. :)

I know this is way off topic, and I hope this isn't taken as a flame or personal attack by lazarus98, but I have this thing about grammar, usage and spelling - so if it has to be taken in a negative way, think of it as one of my character flaws.  Mods, if you must delete this, you must, but please don't hold it against me as a flame.

lazarus98, since you are Chief Technologist for a college in southern California, I would think you would want to represent that institution as best you can.  In order to do that, you should seriously consider taking some classes to improve your grammar, usage and spelling.  When I first read your post, I thought you were located in a non-English-speaking country, so I was ignoring things that make me cringe, but then I looked at your profile.  I assume your business of building and selling PC's is a side operation?  Or is it part what a Chief Technolgist for a college does?

Please take this as constructive criticism.  It's different when someone from a non-English-speaking country says "there" for "their," and "allot" for "a lot,"  and "some actually fact has been sited" for "some actual facts were cited," and "Untill there is loads more" rather than "Until there are loads more," because it would be rude to expect someone that uses English only occasionally to have perfect grammar, spelling and usage.  But it's not so easy for me to ignore it from someone from the US, especially one that works for an institue of higher education.  That's the part that set me off on this tack.  I feel it undermines the teaching profession to have anyone associated with education displaying such poor command of the language.

Sorry if this seems to be a personal attack, because that's not the intent.  I'm trying to help, and I don't know any other way to convey this to you.  If this seems intentionally hurtful, I apologize in advance.  I don't always convey things of a sensitive nature in a sensitive manner, no matter how hard I try.
Who's fooled by MS, yeah they bully there way.. But they are not the only problem child in the coporate world Hundreds of companies get fined, sued and ordered to change there eveil tactics.. Blah blah... I hear that diatribe about unregulated monolpoly enough to see that as a crutch that it is... This all has nothing to do with why Linux is not where it should be. It's more about people not being knowlegable enough about OS's in general simply as that. Hell, how can you compete against something that is free and good, unless you have a public that is generally one step ahead of sheep? Make Linux easier to use for the common Joe and it will sell it's self.. It's almost there.. should be there... will be there... You'll get no more arguments from me here.. it's seems pretty pointless.
ShineOn - I do not take your critique personally at all or as a flame. English is a second language for me. I still have alot to learn, I agree. Yes your are correct that I incorrectly use verbs, It's been a difficulty... My posistion at the college does not dictate that I write the language well, nor has it hindered my communication with my peers nor my job. I will take the time from this point on to correctly idenify the correct verb before putting it to media. ;) But your suggestion on an english class is well taken and perahps a valid point. My side business selling computers is something I have owned for a good while. It helps pay the tuition for the childrens colleges. But regardless of your observations about my grammar, you still understand what I have said. I would however like to sugesst something to you in the same tone as not to flame you... if you have an observation in the future with anyone, perhaps you might just write a side message to them directly. It might be more considerate.
Point taken.  As I indicated, I don't always say the right thing, or the right way, when faced with this kind of thing.  Thanks for your advice.
"I hear that diatribe about unregulated monolpoly enough to see that as a crutch that it is... This all has nothing to do with why Linux is not where it should be."

Lazarus98, you're wrong on several counts.

First, it wasn't a diatribe. It was a reasonable explication of facts with accompanying opionions posted in response to a factually incorrect statement by you.

Second, I never even mentioned Linux in my comment. I happen to like Linux, but I'm not frothing at the mouth about it. Either you mixed my comments with someone elses, or you assumed I must be arguing in favor of Linux simply because I criticized Microsoft for breaking the law. Please don't mix and match what I said with what someone else said.  

Third, for someone who claims to want to stick to the facts, you're relying quite a bit on emotional arguments. First the "raving sycophants" nonsense, now I'm issuing a "diatribe"? By describing it as such, you are attempting to paint me as some sort of fanatic extremist. This is an argumentum ad hominum, and is not logically valid. It's also insulting. (You also seem to be saying that hearing an argument frequently somehow makes it less valid, which is clearly absurd, and an interesting reversal of the argumentum ad populum fallacy.)

Yes, and part of the Question rafael_acc asked is "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!"

That calls for comments as to why Microsoft is where they are, and why they are so despised despite of (or because of) how they got there.  The comments in that vein have, by-and-large, been accounts of personal experiences and observations, by-and-large based on the historical, documented facts.  They haven't been "ravings of sycophants," but generally well-reasoned accounts.

While those arguments were heavily anti-Microsoft in nature, I don't know that anyone commenting here would not agree that Windows has a place, and should not be purposefully ignored when considering platforms, and that you should "use the tools," as you are fond to say.  And when you said you will keep your homogenous network (I'm sure you meant to say heterogeneous) that most  commenting here would also agree that a monolithic, homogeneous environment is asking for trouble.  But most here would also agree on the documented facts being facts and not ravings of sycophants.  Fact: Microsoft is an illegal monopolist.  Fact: recent inquiries (US and EU) show that Microsoft still exhibits questionable behavior in their "compliance" with the decreed remedies for those judgments. Those judgments/rulings may be "opinions" in the legal sense, but not in the literal sense.
Billmercer... I never mentioned that you were a raving anything, that was mentioned several points ahead before you stepped into this. You seem level head and I meant no disrespect to you. But I hear this same argument every time and yet, M$ still has not been broken up by the FEDS. So when that happens, then I'll believe that they are truly a Monopoly... Yes, you did not mention Linux, but wasn't that what this discussion was about Linux vs. MS? So why would you think I would not mention it? I had not prefaced my comment with your name so it was not directed solely at you. You mention that because hearing and argument ad nausium makes me think it's less valid.. Yes.. You have me there; i see it exactly that way. Not because it is or is not correct, but because it becomes faddish after awhile for people to just stick to the talking points and never getting around to the meat of things and fixing the problem.

If it would make my thoughts and points more clear as to exactly how I feel about Linux vs. MS... Here they are in no certain order based on no certain fact, just my opinion.

1. Linux is better overall. (MS still has better desktop stuff and some nice things about the server AD being one)
2. Ms should be broken up into different companies. (It would probably benefit them and us in the long run)
3. I still prefer to use MS over Linux (even when I think Linux better - until Linux has more ported to it)
4. I don't think all Linux users are fanatics (just some)
5. I don't think most MS users are fanatics (just some)
6. They both have there place.
7. Bill Mercer is probably a very nice impassioned person that speaks more eloquently than me.

Ok, now.. please I'm pretty bored of this discussion anymore. All points are taken and I still think you are all great guys... We can agree or disagree, and thats ok to. Tahts what makes us individuals... Everyone have a wonderfaul day. And we'll leave this to rest hopefully!
"You seem level head and I meant no disrespect to you"
Thanks, I appreciate that.

" M$ still has not been broken up by the FEDS. So when that happens, then I'll believe that they are truly a Monopoly..."
Just because someone convicted of murder doesn't get the death penalty, that doesn't mean they are innocent. Splitting up the company would be the most extreme possible remedy. They went with a lighter sentence. That doesn't mean MS is innocent.

"7. Bill Mercer is probably a very nice impassioned person that speaks more eloquently than me."
Aw shucks... :~)
OK, I'll shut up now.
Divestiture isn't the only remedy available for illegal monopolies, so whether you think they're OK until they get broken up or not doesn't change the facts: that Microsoft was convicted of illegally abusing their monopoly position, in both the US and the EU.

It is not illegal to be a monopoly.  It is illegal to leverage monopoly position to stifle competition.  One way they crossed that legal line was in their tying products together with the sole purpose of harming their competition.  Another was in strong-arming manufacturers into shipping their OS by default.

Monopoly <> bad
Illegal leveraging of monopoly = bad
"Actually, AD is a MS version of NDS - they used NDS concepts to develop their own "

What a load of.... FUD.

AD is nothing but the same old tired NT4 Domains. Its has NO relation to NDS/eDirectory:

1) NDS/eDir is an actual 3-D, hierarchical database -- AD is a 2-D database with a flat namespace

2) NDS/eDir is partitionable -- AD is not

3) NDS/eDir can use almost any object as a security principal -- in AD, only User and Group objects may be assigned security rights (the practical effect of this is that you cannot leverage your directory structure to simplify security administration)

4) NDS/eDir replicates object delta (changes) only -- AD replicates the entire changed object (imagine the overhead of replicating one change to, say, a Group with 5000 members)

5) NDS/eDir implements robust, standards-based time synchronization -- AD doesn't have any meaningful time sync

6) NDS/eDir has built-in data integrity mechanisms (such as "backlinks", aka "distributed reference links") -- AD has time-limited "tombstones"

I could go on and on....but to attribute to AD any of the capabilities of NDS/eDir is just plain false. AD isn't really a directory service - its Domains with transitive trust and an extensible schema added. Just because the tools make it *look* 3-D doesn't change the fact its a 2-D database and flat namespace.
gee, just when you thought that things were winding down! :)

PsiCop, I'm not sure who you're quoting there, but I think you're being too was a pretty innocent statement.

To be devil's advocate....

1) ADS *is* MS's implementation of a directory may think it sux, but that's not really relevant. the statement is still true.

2) to say that ADS is not an improvement over NT 4 domains is just wrong - it's a huge improvement. (Group policy, OUs, Sites, multi-master updates, on and on..)

3) MS would say that a forest is partitioned into domains and it or not, that's the 'partitioning' of the database

4) 2003 does *not* replicate the entire group, only the new user added to the group

5) SNTP is at least standards-based, if not robust, and keeps things in sync for me

Ok, I won't try to have the last word...thanks for an interesting time
Now you've done it,'ve just opened up a whole can of PsiCop!  

Debating/defending NW and slamming M$ seems to be his passion!

Hope you got more ammo!
No, I don't have the energy for that!

Besides, I haven't worked with NetWare since v4.11 so I can't really say much about it. I have nothing against Novell, nor do I pledge allegiance to the Cult of Bill.

Oops, I said I wasn't going to try and have the last word! Doh!
>>1) ADS *is* MS's implementation of a directory may think it sux, but that's not really relevant. the statement is still true.

The statement was AD is MS's version of NDS.  That's false.

>>2) to say that ADS is not an improvement over NT 4 domains is just wrong - it's a huge improvement. (Group policy, OUs, Sites, multi-master updates, on and on..)

It wasn't said AD (drop the S - it isn't a "service" per-se) was not an improvement over NT4 domains.  It is not a true Directory Service, and if anyone stretches the truth to say it is, it's not anywhere near touching the hem of eDirectory's robe.  Its "multi-master updates" allow one admin's updates to clobber another admin's updates.  The x.500 structure (OUs) was kludged on top of the traditional legacy 4.0 domain structure, with transitive-trust capability added to improve on the old inter-domain trust nightmare.

>>3) MS would say that a forest is partitioned into domains and it or not, that's the 'partitioning' of the database

MS will say anything to make their way sound more logical and robust than it is.  Their "partitioning" is arbitrary, at the domain level.  They avoid calling it "partitioning" because they'd sound like hypocrites for having derided NDS/eDirectory's partitioning as a shortcoming (which it most decidedly is not)

4) 2003 does *not* replicate the entire group, only the new user added to the group

So they improved replication a tad.  Do they only replicate deltas when changes are made to objects other than groups?  Do they still use the cumbersome, inefficient static inheritance with all ACL info being populated throughout all child objects?  When those ACL changes get populated, do only the deltas get replicated or the entire ACL of each child object?

5) SNTP is at least standards-based, if not robust, and keeps things in sync for me

NetWare's been using NTP for years to do time synchronization.  I guess you really haven't seen NetWare since 4.11.

So Microsoft is using SNTP instead of their old NetBIOS-centric time sourcing and synchronization now.  Big deal.  They've been able to synchronize time between server and workstation for years, if you knew how to do it and could get your hands on the right tools.  It was kinda a requirement for many 3rd party programs that rely on transactional updates.

Do they use it in Server 2003 to ensure the integrity of their AD database by timestamping all changes to make sure they get applied in the right order?  They didn't in AD V1.0 (Win2K Server's version).
Well, looks like ShineOn beat me to the punch. Allow me chime in, since JimmyPak did respond to me specifically.

1) As ShineOn pointed out, this was about the claim that AD is the Redmond version of NDS/eDirectory, which is a falsehood. AD is nothing but Redmond's attempt to make NT Domains look like a hierarchical environment, with X.500 structure bolted (or "kludged", if you prefer) on. But underneath, its fundamentally still NT Domains, regardless of the wrapping and bows.

2) Again, as ShineOn pointed out, I never said that AD was not an improvement over NT Domains. For someone mired in Trust Relationship Hell, Transitive Trust must be a gift. But its still just an incremental improvement, not a fundamental technology shift. Novell was wise enuf to dump the Bindery when they introduced NDS (the Bindery Emulation still supported as of NetWare v6.5 is just that - emulation). Redmond just added another layer around their existing stone-knives-and-bearskins (apologies to Spock) technology.

3) Yep, M$ made a *lot* of noise, around when they finally started shipping W2K/AD, about how the ability of NDS/eDirectory to partition was a "weakness". Amazing how their tune changes. You can put lipstick and high heels on a pig, its still a pig.

4) When AD was introduced, it most certainly replicated ENTIRE objects when one value of a multi-valued attribute (MVA) changed. This was the design flaw that let changes to an MVA in an object, made on one DC, get overwritten by changes to the same MVA made on another DC. And, like it or not, this is the level of AD that is still deployed in most places foolish enough to swallow that bottle full of blue pills. Yes, this stupidity was "fixed" in W2K3. Tell me, if Ford offered you a "fixed" Pinto, would you be interested?

And AD still has static inheritance, and making an ACL change that affects an entire tree still results in the ACL of every object being touched. And users still have to log out and then log back in to receive changes in their permissions. And AD is still chained by the neck to DNS, and still relies on Experimental RFCs, and still lacks any meaningful time synchronization (to timestamp transactions and avoid confusion when changes to the same object are made on different DCs). And MMC still isn't web-based (and if it were, it'd be IE-only).

5) The fact that you haven't touched an NDS/eDirectory environment since v4.11 shows in how much you really don't know, JammyPak. Novell's environment happily uses NTP, and has for years. And it *means* something within NDS/eDirectory. When conflicting changes are made, the timestamping is used to sort them out and apply them in the right order. But then, eDirectory is a solid 5 years, or more, ahead of AD in any technological aspect one might care to mention. Which shouldn't be a surprise - M$ isn't a software company. Oh, sure, everyone *thinks* they are, but their *primary* product isn't software...its press releases, hype and FUD. Software is just a sideline for them.
Here is just a quick thing to ponder - I am a Linux user and Adv - but this is one of things that truely annoys me about Linux: When trying to get something done, you run into numerous pitfalls in order to get that said thing done. That is not really the annoying thing, what is - is that all the differing distros Suse, RH, Ubuntu etc.... all love to boast the fact that they run all the cool new apps out there (Samba, OpenLDAP, etc.. - you might note that I am currently working on the original post to replace the WinNT 4.0 Domain - which instigated this comment). Each of these distros like to modify things [the cool new apps] just enough so that it fits into their schema for doing things - usually they are modified enough so that a user following the original application developers documentation does not quite fit into the distros schema. And when you go to look at the particular distro for documentation, they consistently refer you back to the original developer documentation rather than having their own specific documentation for their own specificly modified version of the application.

So you end up running around in circles trying to avoid breaking your current distro of choice, while still trying to get your original task done.  

Note: it might be that I am short siding this a bit as I am pretty annoyed with setting up my solution now - I dont recall having these kinds of problems with M$ products. (And dont get me wrong, I believe that this annoyance is still worth leaving M$ - I will find the soltuion I need, I just wish the Distro's would maintain better documentation if they modify something - dont refer me back to the developer if your version has modified the developers original way of doing things).
ShineOn/PsiCop: Hey, do you guys know each other? I think you should go out for beers sometime! :)

Guys, I never claimed to know much about NetWare, remember? You might have noticed that I did NOT criticize NetWare in any way for that very reason. NetWare is, after all, perfect. In fact it's the only true NOS in existence. In fact, it does everything better than everyone else, and has for decades. It outshines and outperforms life itself. It's just soo widely misunderstood that it only had 4% market share in 2003 (source:,1759,1375481,00.asp).

Sorry, got carried away there! I hope that you can see that some of your statements come across as pretty biased opinions, so I decided to play devils advocate. Nothing personal on my part.

This thread has been thoroughly high-jacked from the Linux ppl that are *supposed* to be slamming Microsoft here, so I'll leave them to it.

I truly am signing out now. Thanks guys, it's been fun!
I hear ya.  What annoys me most about the differences between distros is how the config files are managed and organized differently between each distro.  RedHat does it one way, SuSE another, etc.  When you get used to working with the files as one distro does it, you switch to another and have to switch modes so you look for 'em where that distro puts 'em.

Kinda like the difference between Windows 3.1 and Windows 98 and Windows NT and Windows 2000 and Windows XP.  They're all kinda similar but they've all got their little differences that can annoy when switching from one to another while doing a maintenance or troubleshooting task on more than one version of Windoze.  We're probably just more used to those differences, because we have to troubleshoot or do maintenance so much more frequently on Windoze, and we've been doing it for more years than with Linux.
>> ShineOn/PsiCop: Hey, do you guys know each other? I think you should go out for beers sometime! :)

I agree.  I was planning on it, until my trip to BrainShare was cancelled.

Nice article.  That guy's a "real" Linux advocate if there ever was one.  Problem is, once again, old data.  You even said it yourself: 2003.

It's not NetWare we were discussing, either - it's eDirectory.  It's not a single-OS directory like AD is (even between versions of Windows - AD 2003 only runs on Win2K3 and AD 2000 only runs on Win2K.  eDirectory runs on all currently-supported versions of NetWare, a couple-few flavors of Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Z/OS, as well as Windows NT, 2000 and 2003 server.

There may be bias, sure, in how we said what we did, but the facts are facts, not opinion.

And, guess what - we *are* "Linux ppl" - as well as NetWare, Solaris (on PsiCop's turf) and Windoze.  We *live* the homogeneous network that security consultants prefer over the homogeneous, monolithic network that Micorosoft would prefer we all have.
Although those differances in the distros can be a nuisance, it is also what makes them an individual distro. If it weren't that way there would be no reason to have more than one distro. Then we'd also end up at a linux monopoly. And that is definitely not what I would want. what I want is the diversity. It's not like Windoze which comes from one source that dictates what it will look like.

Of course the distro's should at least document the differances on how addon apps are configured in comparison to the default configurations of the software maker. There is still room for improvement.
Oops, I said we live the homogeneous ... I meant to say "heterogeneous."  Please replace the word when reading the above... ;)

While I understand your frustration, I don't see much to distinguish the idiosyncracies of the various Windoze versions (9X, ME, XP, 2K, 2K3), not to mention the functionality shifts that can be introduced by installing a Service Pack (we won't even get into the EULA changes associated with the SPs, and the EULA language that essentially grants Redmond the right to install/remove anything to/from your PC anytime they like it, and with no recourse for you, even if they trash your machine and lose all your data); and the variations between Linux distros. How many vendor websites have support pages/manuals read like this: If you have Windoze 9x, then..... If you have Windoze ME, then..... If you have Windoze 2K, then......   If you have Windoze XP SP1 or earlier, then......  If you have Windoze XP SP2, then.........

Besides, Linux never promised to solve the world's computing problems. All its done is commoditize the OS.
To true... I am more disappointed with the major "paid for" distribution's (e.g. Suse, RedHat etc...) rather than all the free smaller specifically oriented distro's, I don't/would not expect that kind of support from them (although some smaller more focused distro's like Fresco, SmoothWall, or ThreatWall etc. have really shown a professionalism while maintaining a focus on what they were trying to doing and still providing specific support only for their distro/product). Especially if you consider the primary thing your really paying for from those "paid for" distributions IS the support. It should be extremely tight. If it were tighter, I can guarantee I would pay more (double maybe even quad what they currently charge) - considering that they could charge more than what they do now & and still be no where near the cost of a Windows setup with CAL's (or heaven forbid Novell's OES at double the cost of Windows for its CAL & servers - even though OES IS the better product).

As for the Windows system swapping/shifting around - that has always sent me up the wall. And I am sure M$ is doing it intentionally in order to keep 3rd parties guessing, or to potentially break any nifty little utility some one has made to make administration of the Windows desktop just the tiniest bit more flexible - (At least until M$ can either buy them out or recreate their utility to include it in their next major release)

And yes, Linux never did promise anything, however Suse does, so does RedHat. Shoot even Solaris promises to support their product [supposedly better than anyone else - so SUN says] - however when their modified SWMsamba [they rename it from samba, put it in a different location on the file system] comes to documentation, they point you right back to the original developer for documentation.    

I just think if a vendor, say Suse, who really modifies they way you configure the system would provide as detailed a documentation structure as the original documenter did - modified to fit their way of doing it. OR - leave it alone, as the developer intended - then they [Suse, RH etc...] only need to provide documentation for their stuff - not someone else's that they modified to run on their system. Then their documentation could be really tight, and they could send you back to the developer for their documentation without causing people to run around in circles. This would also allow for the documentation to originate from a single source.

I would have to say I think its more than nuisance. Spend one day trying to track down the "proper way" to install something (more significant than Acrobat - say LDAP or Samba) in a specific distro and you may just give up. [I wont give up, but I can certainly see all the Windows admins out there that are used to Click -> next -> next -> agree -> next -> next -> agree -> next -> finish. giving up after one day]. ... any way I am blathering on more than I need to on this little irritant that I WILL OVERCOME! by hook or crook!
You forgot the click -> next -> agree -> Finish -> Reboot? (with a single possible answer, OK), then loading Windozzzzzzzzzzz, oops, BSOD!
=) again too true =)
I remember what a pain it was trying to get Samba working under RedHat. I think that's RedHat's problem though. Mandrake's seems to work great right off the bat. WRT Linux distros, I think it's best to adopt one of two strategies. Either A) install the bare necessities, and then ALWAYS compile EVERYTHING from source, or B) install the whole damn thing and NEVER compile ANYTHING from source. :) Rolling your own gives you control over where everything goes, but requires some thought and preparation. Always using the distro's packages generally simplifies things, and if something doesn't work, you can be sure exactly where to point the finger...  but you lose flexibility. So pick a strategy and stick with it.

ShineOn - Oops, I said we live the homogeneous ... I meant to say "heterogeneous."  Please replace the word when reading the above... ;)

Can you see now, how easy that was to make that mistake... LOL
Yeah, I know you meant heterogeneous by the context of the statement, so I figured it was exactly the kind of slip I just made today, which is why I said that I was sure thats what you meant...  :-)
I see Microsoft announced they're finally going to release WSUS (formerly WUS) - in June.  Another pre-announcement that for some reason is "news."  The article has a headline that reads "Microsoft Ready to Release Patching Tool."  It's April.  If they're expecting to release it in June, that hardly sounds like they're "ready to release" it.

They're probably rushing to make June so they can say "See?  We released it in the first half of 2005 just like we said!  We're sooo proud of ourselves." - even though they first said they'd deliver in the first half of 2004.

All I can say is, I hope it works as promised - but I won't hold my breath.
PAQ with refund is OK by me, unles rafael_acc wants to give away points...
FIne by me, it was a fun and looooong debate, and that's what counts ;)

same here....
PAQed with no points refunded (of 500)

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