Zak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8 Posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1391 times:
quite often i notice people asking what is best for what etc. while trying to answer these questions i reminded myself of the best comparison of computer operating systems i have ever come across, from a book named "in the beginning was the command line".
it is a perfect analogy between cars and operating systems and is a good and not too long read.
i have provided a link to the full book at the end of the posting!
"Imagine a crossroads where four competing auto dealerships are situated. One of them (Microsoft) is much, much bigger than the others. It started out years ago selling three-speed bicycles (MS-DOS); these were not perfect, but they worked, and when they broke you could easily fix them.
There was a competing bicycle dealership next door (Apple) that one day began selling motorized vehicles--expensive but attractively styled cars with their innards hermetically sealed, so that how they worked was something of a mystery.
The big dealership responded by rushing a moped upgrade kit (the original Windows) onto the market. This was a Rube Goldberg contraption that, when bolted onto a three-speed bicycle, enabled it to keep up, just barely, with Apple-cars. The users had to wear goggles and were always picking bugs out of their teeth while Apple owners sped along in hermetically sealed comfort, sneering out the windows. But the Micro-mopeds were cheap, and easy to fix compared with the Apple-cars, and their market share waxed.
Eventually the big dealership came out with a full-fledged car: a colossal station wagon (Windows 95). It had all the aesthetic appeal of a Soviet worker housing block, it leaked oil and blew gaskets, and it was an enormous success. A little later, they also came out with a hulking off-road vehicle intended for industrial users (Windows NT) which was no more beautiful than the station wagon, and only a little more reliable.
Since then there has been a lot of noise and shouting, but little has changed. The smaller dealership continues to sell sleek Euro-styled sedans and to spend a lot of money on advertising campaigns. They have had GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! signs taped up in their windows for so long that they have gotten all yellow and curly. The big one keeps making bigger and bigger station wagons and ORVs.
On the other side of the road are two competitors that have come along more recently.
One of them (Be, Inc.) is selling fully operational Batmobiles (the BeOS). They are more beautiful and stylish even than the Euro-sedans, better designed, more technologically advanced, and at least as reliable as anything else on the market--and yet cheaper than the others.
With one exception, that is: Linux, which is right next door, and which is not a business at all. It's a bunch of RVs, yurts, tepees, and geodesic domes set up in a field and organized by consensus. The people who live there are making tanks. These are not old-fashioned, cast-iron Soviet tanks; these are more like the M1 tanks of the U.S. Army, made of space-age materials and jammed with sophisticated technology from one end to the other. But they are better than Army tanks. They've been modified in such a way that they never, ever break down, are light and maneuverable enough to use on ordinary streets, and use no more fuel than a subcompact car. These tanks are being cranked out, on the spot, at a terrific pace, and a vast number of them are lined up along the edge of the road with keys in the ignition. Anyone who wants can simply climb into one and drive it away for free.
Customers come to this crossroads in throngs, day and night. Ninety percent of them go straight to the biggest dealership and buy station wagons or off-road vehicles. They do not even look at the other dealerships.
Of the remaining ten percent, most go and buy a sleek Euro-sedan, pausing only to turn up their noses at the philistines going to buy the station wagons and ORVs. If they even notice the people on the opposite side of the road, selling the cheaper, technically superior vehicles, these customers deride them cranks and half-wits.
The Batmobile outlet sells a few vehicles to the occasional car nut who wants a second vehicle to go with his station wagon, but seems to accept, at least for now, that it's a fringe player.
The group giving away the free tanks only stays alive because it is staffed by volunteers, who are lined up at the edge of the street with bullhorns, trying to draw customers' attention to this incredible situation. A typical conversation goes something like this:
Hacker with bullhorn: "Save your money! Accept one of our free tanks! It is invulnerable, and can drive across rocks and swamps at ninety miles an hour while getting a hundred miles to the gallon!"
Prospective station wagon buyer: "I know what you say is true...but...er...I don't know how to maintain a tank!"
Bullhorn: "You don't know how to maintain a station wagon either!"
Buyer: "But this dealership has mechanics on staff. If something goes wrong with my station wagon, I can take a day off work, bring it here, and pay them to work on it while I sit in the waiting room for hours, listening to elevator music."
Bullhorn: "But if you accept one of our free tanks we will send volunteers to your house to fix it for free while you sleep!"
Buyer: "Stay away from my house, you freak!"
Buyer: "Can't you see that everyone is buying station wagons?" "
Zak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8 Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1387 times:
incase people do not know, windows NT was the beginning of the product line that later spawned windows 2000, then windows xp and whatever comes next(longhorn).
also the situation might have changed a bit to the above situation:
- be went out of business and stopped selling batmobiles, however they are obtainable for free by volunteer geeks now
- the station wagons have batmobile patches all over them now that tend to break or fall of quite often
- the free supertank learned how to fly and can drive supersonic now
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13614 posts, RR: 63 Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1385 times:
about two years ago I got fed up with the stationwagons because they broke down far too often and moved to a tank. I´m not a guru, but asides some hardware issues with some older peripherals I get along fine.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21346 posts, RR: 54 Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1365 times:
Meanwhile, Apple has basically scrapped their hermetically sealed product line and are producing a completely new, even more elegant sedan (MacOS X) - just this time, it´s got a tank engine, tank armour, tank systems at tank specs - it just isn´t a tank! ("Is this the new Blues Mobile, or what?" )
They´ve just put up an additional tent in the tank-builder community and are busily swapping parts and diagrams with the natives. The sedans still aren´t for free - but you can fiddle with almost all the innards as much as you like. And they´ve got an awesome stereo system built right in - no serious tank driver would even consider such a thing, of course: "I want to hear the motor!"
Under the nicely designed and easy to understand dashboard there´s still - optionally - the whole gamut of 747-like gauges, dials and switches that the "tank people" are so proud of keeping under control (for lack of alternative). Small wonder that most tank drivers have taped over some or most of the gauges and switches with ominous "Do not touch!" signs.
So while the proud Linux tank driver is still busily processing the startup checklist with serious determination, the neighbour with his Apple sedan is already back home from his shopping trip and playing with the kids, occasionally trying to console his other neighbour, who´s desperating over his Windows SUV which broke down again with no prior warning...
Zak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8 Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1362 times:
"So while the proud Linux tank driver is still busily processing the startup checklist with serious determination, the neighbour with his Apple sedan is already back home from his shopping trip and playing with the kids, occasionally trying to console his other neighbour, who´s desperating over his Windows SUV which broke down again with no prior warning... "
obviously, you have not tried knoppix yet!
give it a try!
Zak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8 Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1354 times:
"Have you tried OS X yet? Just check it out. Being able to actually get mundane tasks done doesn´t mean you won´t be able to have fun tuning the engine... "
i'd have to buy mac compatible hardware then, so nope
i have however used a mac before and can not stand the user interface. and as you said yourself, mac osx is just a nix with a slapped on mac "crapterface", so i guess i stick to my kde and the occasional gaming on my windooze machine.
so yes i tried macintosh, but not mac osx. knowing apples policy, i doubt the interface has changed much so i would not like it at all.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21346 posts, RR: 54 Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1348 times:
Well, this may not be the place for a serious discussion , but here goes:
I´d try it if I were you; I know all the platforms reasonably well and must say that what I´ve seen (and used) of KDE gave me the impression of a competent, but ultimately uninspired and still somewhat chaotic and uncoordinated knockoff of the Windows 9x interface.
Apple certainly has no divine powers, but they take user interfaces seriously, which is a big deal, when you´re working with one for a longer period of time.
Usability, consistency, polish - these are all areas that begin to hurt after a while if they are neglected.
Good user interfaces aren´t necessarily the ones you love at first sight, they´re the ones that hurt you the least after you´ve been using them for a few months or years...
And in that respect, Windows is still clunky and tortuous and Linux just doesn´t have what it takes. It´s a box of components, not a really usable tool for anything except server-related tasks.
Many people in the Linux world are still hoping that it just took enough time and manpower to "magically" come up with the "definitive" user interface. That just isn´t the case. It takes inspiration and a lot of hard, consistent work.
Apple has done a lot and are still/again ahead of the pack, but even they have some way to go.
As for the hardware, my assembly-programming experience may have spoiled me, but I just can´t help despising that x86 junk (I still have to look at assembly code, at times). It´s like an antediluvian single-cylinder two-stroke moped engine, squeezed by - admittedly inventive - engineering to 20 000rpm, screaming and blowing blue smoke while trying to keep up with modern full-grown high-displacement engines like the PowerPC...
Add to that the fact that Apple appears to give much more attention to detail (plus good support) than almost every Wintel box pusher and I see absolutely no reason to save cents now just for wasting €uros in the long run.
If you´re looking at the total picture, I don´t think cheap Wintel boxes should be used for anything else than background server appliances. For actually using them directly, Macs offer the same plus several additional capabilities - minus most of the pain!
Just give it a try over a few weeks if possible; You might actually like it. (No guarantee, though.)
I know Linux reasonably well and am still working with it for server applications (and appreciate it for those, as well as the seamless integration of OS X into *nix environments), but I´m always relieved that I don´t have to use Linux on my own desktop. Some chronic pains just need to go away before you´d even notice them.