Linked by Kroc Camen on Mon 9th Nov 2009 14:20 UTC
Editorial Hands up if you use Firefox. Have used it? Know about it? Heard of it? 'Sites up and down the World Wide Web today will be celebrating five years of Firefox. When I sat down to write this I worried about having to list the history of its features and landmark events and the news of the past five years. Other sites will be comprehensively doing that, there is nothing I can add to that list that Google can't surmise. Instead I will be telling you what Google does not know, my story of Firefox and what Firefox has meant to all of us.
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Member since:

I guess you had a different University experience than I did from 97-01. We used AIX,Linux,IRIX, OS2 warp, VMS, and yes, Windows. By 04, I was quad booting windows, linux, freebsd and BeOS 5. Its just strange to hear 2004 referred to as if it was 1996.

I am a computer science student right now, even though I'm 51 years old! I am a senior at McKendree University in Illinois. The program is 100% Windows. Even the Operating Systems class was basically a Windows class (the one place you might think they would vary). For our assignments in the OS class we wrote a couple small Win32 apps. Some classes absolutely require Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer on Windows (it wouldn't work under Wine).

I use many OS's. Right now my laptop runs OpenBSD, and I run Ubuntu and Windows 7 on my 2 desktops. It seems a shame to see the state of many C.S. programs today. I was able to use GCC in my C++ classes, but I had to check them with Visual C++ before I could turn them in, because that is what the teachers use.

The dumbing down of America. It's really going to bite us in the booter some day (and already is).

Reply Parent Score: 6

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

That sucks.

I think part of the reason why it was so diversified, is the freedom that the university and department gave to each professor. One spent his entire research budget on a couple SGI oxygen workstations. Another set up a beowolf linux cluster. Also, we had an old VMS running email for the entire university. Everyone in the university had to use it to check their email. The curriculum itself wasn't necessarily steeped in such diversity (the labs all ran windows), but in the course of doing the assignments using different diverse technologies was sort of required. It did a good job of teaching me to find and then us the best tool for the job.

Reply Parent Score: 2

matto1990 Member since:

That really sucks. I'm doing a CS degree now at The University of Manchester and we use linux for basically everything. It's basically a Fedora installation with loads of changes made by the lecturers. The default window manager is Another Level Up ( which was written by our programming lecturer; however there the option when you login to also use Gnome, KDE, fvwm and various other obscure window managers. The pc's still have windows (XP) installed on them but I've yet to see a single person actually use it.

There are also various other things the lecturers try and make us do like using a shell instead of a file browser, writing our own shell scripts to automate repetitive tasks and using latex for writing our reports instead of using a word processor.

It's also good that about 10% of people came into the course with Linux installed on their laptops and now about 60% of people have it on there. It shows there must be something to linux. I still use Windows 7 mind because I really like how it works but for programming you really can't beat linux. I just really like my games too much to use linux full time ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:

It has nothing to do with the dumbing down of America.

You're going to a small school and they have limited resources. Not every school can afford to maintain a Unix lab.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sakeniwefu Member since:

Unix lab in America?

My bet is that any of these teachers has more than enough money in their pockets to buy a network-capable "Unix" machine, nevermind the institution they work for.

Even if he didn't any computer running windows can run cygwin for free which provides a complete if slow unix environment. Furthermore if he had enough disk space he could run a full Ubuntu either under windows or besides windows.

Finally he could run a VM.

What the teachers lack is knowledge, and unfortunately most of their students will end up in the same situation.

Reply Parent Score: 3