Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: is the

Author: Don Dailey

Date: 17:17:54 07/31/98

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On July 31, 1998 at 15:45:05, Roberto Waldteufel wrote:

>On July 30, 1998 at 12:58:39, Torstein Hall wrote:
>>I have run Win 98 for nearly two weaks now and it have kept on running like a
>>clockwork for two weaks now. And I have used it for games, chess, wordprosesing,
>>drawing etc. Perhaps its the best bug fix I ever paid for!
>>( Win 95 used to crash about once every week or so. )
>Hi Torstein,
>OK, I'm about ready to move to another operating system, but which one?
>It seems there is NT3, NT4 and Windows98, and presumably NT4 is better than NT3,
>so I guess it's a choice between NT4 and Win98. Has anyone compared the two? Can
>they both handle RAM use for hash tables bigger than 50% of system RAM without
>going berserk like Win95 does? Is there any speed difference to be taken into
>account? Is it true that Win98 runs all programs that run under Win95? Bob tells
>me that NT cannot do this. Have you found any examples of programs that run
>under Win95 but not under Win98?
>I have heard talk of Unix and Linux operating systems, but never actually seen
>one. Those with experience of them seem to speak favorably about them. Can
>anyone tell me a little about these OS's and how they compare/differ from
>I think it speaks vollumes about Win95 that by way of comparison other Windows
>versions are considered virtuous simply by not crashing! To my way of thinking
>this is something which simply should not be open to question - if it keeps
>crashing, it doesn't work, and no reputable software company would continue to
>market such a product.
>Best wishes,

I believe Unix is far better than windows in many ways, but it has a
lot to do with how you expect to use an OS.  I think of Windows NT,
or Windows 95 as a single user machine.  This is probably ok with
you and most people because this is how most machines are used.
With unix/linux, a machine can be used by many people simultaneously
and seamlessly.   I can be at any machine or terminal and use a
machine that is located somewhere else and completely forget which
machine I am on.  When I am at work I can log onto my machine at
home and use it as if I'm sitting there.  I cannot log onto a
windows machine unless I'm actually setting in front of it.  I
understand there are tools that now allow windows a limited ability
to do this.  But it's always been a part of unix.

One big attraction with linux is that when you install it, you
will get tons of software, several language compilers and virtually
everything you need.  A lot of this is also available with windows
if you surf around for it.  But with linux it is bundled as if
it's part of the OS and in many cases it is.  As I mentioned once
before, I am always discovering nifty programs I never knew was
on the machine.

All of the power of unix comes at a price.  You would be frustrated
for a while if you've never used it before and I would never
recomend it to the new user.  If you are a technical person and
love to hack, then unix/linux is for you.  All the source code for
Linux is available too, there is no proprietary crap you don't
have access too.  Everything is very open and free.   Also linux
is known for extreme robustness,  I have had a linux machine running
for months without crashing.  The amount of free stuff is amazing
and there is also a lot of commercial software for linux if you
prefer paying money :-)

There are many good reasons to stay with Windows.  There is a much
bigger commercial software base and this means linux users may
not always have access to the very latest software fads.  Some
windows software is truly awesome and may not be available for
a while on a unix machine.  Windows is a good machine for a family
and as a machine to play games on.

Many if not most of the great things unix has can be obtained for
windows.  Someone in our lab has a windows laptop and keeps
accumulating nice utilities and tools for it.  Everything he is
adding is trying to give it the functionality of unix, often
a direct port of some unix utility that is missing in windows.

I hope this doesn't come across as knocking windows, I definitely
see the value of having a windows machine.  I am looking for a
cheap computer to run windows on, for those few times I really
need to run a windows program.  A good example of this is chess
programs,  some of the very best are not available on Unix
although there are a lot of good choices such as Crafty.

Windows is slicker in terms of the very latest gizmo's graphics
and sound stuff.  Unix has this too, but Windows will always
be a few weeks ahead and set's the standard in terms of fad/image
items.  If a new whiz bang graphical gizmo comes out that
you must have or you'll just die,  you better stick with windows,
because linux will not get it for a few weeks or months.  Windows
will always be promoting these new things because they make money
for Microsoft.

Linux is not very user friendly either compared to windows, so if
you don't know what you are doing, or don't have the patience or
desire to learn, you will not like it.   If you are a programmer,
or simply a programmer type, you will love Unix.   You might like
it anyway but I think it's definitely a personality issue.

The choices I make are not always practical.  I was a beta-max
instead of VHS person.  Then I had 8mm because it was better
than VHS.  I would rather have an Alpha than an Intel and so on.
Before I discovered Unix (I am still relatively new to unix,) I
experimented with OS/2 and would have chosen it over Windows
even though it's all but dead.  But I ended up chosing Unix
and will change my mind again if I find something I think is
better for me.   But this may not apply to everyone.

I don't think there is such a thing as "best O/S", it has to
be tailored to what you need and/or want to do with it and
your personality.   If you want to play chess with it, or
run commercial software, windows is likely to be the best
choice.  It's hard to make a case that linux is better than
windows or visa versa because there are too many considerations.
But you should realize that's it is not all one sided and
many users are happy with various alternatives to windows.

- Don

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