Linked by snydeq on Tue 8th Mar 2011 23:54 UTC
Windows Grizzled Unix vet Paul Venezia tips his cap to the Windows Server crew, suggesting that the lessons of Unix history have not been lost on Microsoft -- and that's one reason why Windows Server has become so complex. 'The Windows Server of today has more in common with Unix than many people want to admit. The upside: more stable servers, greater scope of services, better adherence to standards, and Microsoft's newfound willingness to work with its competition. The downside is that Windows has become more complex than Unix from a management and administration point of view,' Venezia writes, even if he still sees some Windows admin practices as prime examples of how not to administer servers.
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RE: digging
by WorknMan on Wed 9th Mar 2011 10:12 UTC in reply to "digging"
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

They can even use find in /etc if they don't know what file they should change.


That's the thing about Unix... it is good at what it does, but it's a relic in many ways, and hard to get a handle on. For example, I know just enough about Unix to know that a lot of important stuff is in /etc. But why the hell is it called /etc? Actually, that's a rhetorical question, because I'm sure it makes perfect sense if you explain it in a historical context, such as ls being shorthand for 'list'. But it's about as intuitive as the Chinese alphabet. If common sense were applied, you'd think /etc would be the LAST place to look for anything important. But that's what Unix is... the exact opposite of common sense.

When I first started playing around with Linux, I had no idea what the hell to do, because 'help' didn't work; I had to buy a book to figure out what 'man' was.

In some respects, Windows is better because if you don't know what the hell you're doing, at least you can sit down in front of it and poke around in dialog boxes and stuff. I mean, you're gonna be like Ray Charles in a strip club... just trying to feel your way through, but at least you can probably get to what you're looking for.

Of course, Windows is far from perfect either. I guess my point is that they're both a huge pain in the ass, and it's a crying shame that these are the only two real options that we have.

Edited 2011-03-09 10:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: -2

RE[2]: digging
by Trenien on Wed 9th Mar 2011 13:57 in reply to "RE: digging"
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

Well, we're talking about sysadmin, there.
If you have to poke around and click haphazardly to find out how to set up your server, you probably should stop immediatly.

Administration of a server is exactly the kind of situation where you should RTFM. There is no doing it otherwise.

Edited 2011-03-09 13:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[3]: digging
by Doc Pain on Wed 9th Mar 2011 15:36 in reply to "RE[2]: digging"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Well, we're talking about sysadmin, there.
If you have to poke around and click haphazardly to find out how to set up your server, you probably should stop immediatly.


"Trial & error" is not how a sysadmin should work. :-)

In relations to RTFM: UNIX administrators traditionally know certain terminology, they know how things are named, even if the name on system A differs from the name of system B. The same is true for locations of files, or even for maintenance procedures. It's their job to know them, and the differences.

In "Windows" land, you can't apply established terminology as MICROS~1 invented own words for things. Technical terms are standardizes even among totalls different operating systems. In "Windows", they are replaced by abstractions ("symbol for", "represents a", "is a picture of"). Procedures and locations chance with every release of "Windows", sometimes there is a "legacy way", sometimes not. The picture-centric interface emphasizes how things look like instead of what they are and therefore are called. A pictural search cannot be automated, like "dear computer, find me the icon with the blue ball and the upside-down letter 'i' on a yellow towel with a bunny next to it". The only search that works is the "pop-out phenomenon" that works by visual recognition - and has nothing to do with the cognitive concepts that make you remember and locate a certain word. Of course this pictural approach is a no-go for blind system administrators as they rely on information that is presented as text, either by synthetical voice output or Braille readouts.

A good sysadmin would follow the advice "think first, then act", so poking around with a stick in a pile of garbage simply looks wrong. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: digging
by the old rang on Wed 9th Mar 2011 23:16 in reply to "RE[2]: digging"
the old rang Member since:
2009-09-04

Anyone remember 'ancient windows server history' about...

Skype??

AT&T??

HotMail??

and about 4 other large events in the last year??

Knocking down Massive PRIME customer business...

THAT is a Feature Microsoft 'diners at the table' from the media fail to mention...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: digging
by nbensa on Wed 9th Mar 2011 15:33 in reply to "RE: digging"
nbensa Member since:
2005-08-29

But why the hell is it called /etc?


Editable Text Configuration

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[3]: digging
by Doc Pain on Wed 9th Mar 2011 23:23 in reply to "RE[2]: digging"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"But why the hell is it called /etc?


Editable Text Configuration
"

Interesting. Has it always been that case? I remember having /etc/GETTY, /etc/wall, /etc/upkeep, /etc/adduser, /etc/mount or /etc/fsck, as well as the important ones /etc/INIT and /etc/rc (on a UNIX System III compatible) in the 80s... Per its manual, /etc was a directory for additional system-level relevant tools (as you can see from the examples), carrying the name "et cetera".

But I like the explaination above. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: digging
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Mar 2011 18:59 in reply to "RE: digging"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

But why the hell is it called /etc?


Why is rather unimportant. All you need to remember is that configuration files are in that directory. Equally non-obvious naming conventions can be found on any platform, including Windows.

I guess my point is that they're both a huge pain in the ass


True but in my experience *nix is less of a pain in the ass. As an example, just yesterday I had to create some scheduled jobs on Server 2003. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it is *IMPOSSIBLE* to set a scheduled task to be run by the System user using the GUI. It can only be done using the schtasks cli command. Wtf?

In my personal experience Windows (and Windows apps) works in the opposite way of Linux. Initially you feel great because it's all so easy and simple to do. Click there, check a checkbox here, wooooh! done already. Over time though, the more you work with it the more frustrating it get as you discover more and more shortcomings and inflexibilities and the insane complexity of the registry starts to wear you down.
*nix, on the other hand, feels overwhelming at first and you're not really sure wtf you're supposed to do and how. Where the hell do I configure network interfaces and what the heck is all this stuff in /var about? However, the more you work with it the easier it gets and the more you come to appreciate the flexibility and simplicity.

Edited 2011-03-09 19:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5