Linked by bcavally on Mon 21st Dec 2009 17:18 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Today there are many operating systems available. Every vendor or community round it tries to make it as good as possible. Having different goals, different legacy and different cultures, they succeed in it more or less. We (end users) end up with big selection of operating systems, but for us the operating systems are usually compromise of the features that we would like to have. So is there an operating system that would fit all the needs of the end user? Is is the BeOS clone Haiku?
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I can agree with games and to a lesser agree educational software not being as available on Linux, but science software?
In my experience scientific software is the one category where essentially almost all commercial software is also available for Linux. I'm thinking Matlab, Mathematica, Comsol, Labview ... plus a number of free alternatives. So I would be interested in what scientific software you are missing on Linux.

Here are a couple of educational science programs that I use from time-to-time. Could be Linux alternatives, but I haven't found them.

Seismic Waves, demonstrates how seismic waves travel through the earth.

Erupt, a volcano simulation program released by Las Alamos National Lab.

Two programs, Halo Sim and Iris, for recreating atmospheric visual effects.

Seismic Eruptions, displays patterns of earthquake activity either using a database of past earthquakes or in near real-time over the internet.

Home Planet, a view of earth showing satellite locations, day-night shading, location of moon... very cool stuff.

Orbiter 3D space flight simulation - beautiful graphics.

How 'bout a GIS/map making program that interacts directly with common consumer GPS units? Some of the Garmin software is available for Mac, but nothing for Linux. The National Geographic software is Windows-only. DeLorme software is Windows only.

Some free / open source programs can interact with GPS units also - Terrain, MicroDem, and 3Dem for examples. Each of these is Windows-only.

GeoCaching software for Linux? Two popular applications I've used, GSAK ($25 registration) and EasyGPS are Windows-only.

But that's all 'fun' stuff. At work we use the following science and productivity software: Grapher and Surfer by Golden Software, Office 2000, AutoCad, and SolidWorks. Office 2000 is easy to replace with OpenOffice, but not so much the others. If there are open source alternatives to Grapher and Surfer, I'd be very interested for my own use. Ditto Matlab.

At past jobs I've been around ArcView / ArcGIS, MControl (by Mudlogging Systems Inc), Strip.Log (Wellsight Systems Inc), and All Topo Maps (interactive USGS maps on CD). AFAIK, these are all Windows-only software titles with no decent open source or Linux alternatives.

About the software to interact with appliances, I agree that getting a device to interact with Linux usually requires quite a bit of work, however I'm constantly annoyed by how things are on Windows, where every device comes with its substandard connection software which all insist to run constantly to detect when you might connect the device. So on windows you often end up running several different pieces of vendor software all UI nightmares. On Linux at least if you get it working you use standards like opensync ...

I don't disagree with your Windows comments.

The real hurdle for alternative operating systems is to convince the appliance makers to include software for those OSes with the product. Considering the discs included with each of the following:
Kyocera cell phone, software is Windows only.
Dell PDA, software is Windows only.
TI calculator, software is Windows or Mac.
Garmin GPS, software is Windows only.
Razor PDA, software is Windows only.

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