Hundreds of debates, countless flames, innumerable passionate supporters, no limits, no ending lines, no result. The conflicts keep on going and going and going. It doesn’t matter if it’s Cisco’s IOS, Microsoft’s Windows, Suse’s Linux or FreeBSD. People struggle to prove their
platform’s superiority ignoring that an Operating System is just a tool focusing on specific needs.Willing to meet certain needs and provide reliable and cost effective solutions, an Operating System is the mean; not the purpose. Every platform and every OS targets certain groups of users meeting their specific needs. Windows provide a well known interface and functions as well as
a bunch of programs coming along. An individual familiar with Windows will be more productive working with it. Flash drives can be plugged-in and plugged-out with no hash while finishing uploading and burning Christmas pictures. Patches can be downloaded and installed automatically while picking up last minute goodies from amazon.com. It works and it
works simple. The user is happy, the job is done and mom and dad are laughing with these new funny pictures of little Joe. A UNIX like OS costs nothing or less and it comes with hundreds of applications ready to run
or install. It takes advantage of the latest bit of memory installed and its office suite is sufficient enough to satisfy a SOHO user. The GUI it’s polished and it’s getting better and better. Patches can be downloaded and installed easily but something is wrong with this new web cam
and the portable mp3 player. Some of the documents look weird when using Microsoft Word while others are just fine. It’s tricky to find what you need through menus and submenus and other extra submenus and the fonts look kind of odd. Most of the job is done and more features are
continuously added. Nevertheless a SOHO user will be satisfied using a UNIX like OS even when left with a bitter taste.
Building a network is essential and cheap and reliable solution is using *BSD boxes only instead of Cisco’s. I’ve never heard of anyone supporting BSDs against Cisco routers and switches. A Cisco router for instance is a computer, a dedicated computer, doing a couple of jobs and nothing else. It’s preferred for its advantages but it comes with IOS and Operating System with bugs, lots of bugs to be honest but it’s still there and Cisco reports earnings! In a low or limited budget organization a BSD system can serve as mail server, firewall, DNS server and router just to mention a few. A Linux distribution might serve this purpose as well as a Juniper router (Juniper’s network equipment runs on FreeBSD-derived kernel). None of the above is doomed and none of the above is praised as the king of networking. Everything is used for building
Besides the networking, server and workstation scenarios, there are core features an OS misses and others is succeeds. OpenBSD is very well known for its robust security. In more than 7 years it has only one remote hole in the default installation but it lacks SMP (Symmetric Multi Processing) capabilities. Windows NT/2000/XP support SMP but the remote holes of the OS are numerous (all of the three versions of Windows are based on the same kernel thus they’re considered an OS). Is OpenBSD useless or Windows rocks? Neither is true. Both OSes are tools for solving
problems; giant or minor ones. Picking up and installing the one fitting our needs and we’re ready to go on vacations to a wonderful Greek island 🙂
When it comes down to selecting an OS, things might get tricky. Buying a laptop means paying for Windows leaving no choice for the novice user while frustrating someone else. When deciding between Operating Systems one has to think about the applications running on them and choose
based on that. Purchasing, maintaining, training, supporting and repairing cost is another significant factor when choosing an OS. Compatibility and interoperability is something to keep in mind when expanding or
upgrading a system. This applies to employees not only to software. Imagine the Sales Department using Windows and the Public Relationship department running on Linux. In case someone uses OpenOffice and asks for help
on adding a web link to a document, a Sales Department employee will be unable to assist so support will take over meaning money and time spending on something trivial. Trying to keep a rock solid, unified and
secure system is one more concern not to mention licensing, backup and hardware support.
There is no panacea in the OS world and it won’t be any time soon. There are new services coming up and there are problems waiting to be solved; all in the most cost effective and productive way. Either it’s a web
server or a DVD application the need for immediate response and high quality output heavily depends on the OS itself, its application support, its resources usage, its security and robustness. It always narrows down to user’s preferences and choices. There is no bad or good OS; There
are only tools!
About the Author:
Stefanos “Titanas” Kofopoulos is a Computer Science Student in branch of State University of New York in Athens, Greece.Sys admin – Support in govermental and european services and organizations. You can reach Stefanos at titanas AT mycosmos DOT gr
An OS is just a means of accomplishing a task. If I can get a job done with Windows, I will use that. If DOS works better, I will use that. If SuSE 8 works for a task, I will use that. Some people will use one OS on thier computer, while others have a multiple boot platform. We don’t critizise people for the car they drive, or gun they carry, so why should we critisize people for the OS that they choose to use? It is not like it affects me if some guy 2000 miles away uses MacOS, *.BSD, BeOS, DOS, *NIX or Windows.
Ask microsoft why they don’t want to interoperate with other OS’s.
They seem to have a different view of things. You are either with them or against them, they have no middle ground.
The author wrote:
“Imagine the Sales Department using Windows and the Public Relationship department running on Linux. In case someone uses OpenOffice and asks for help on adding a web link to a document, a Sales Department employee will be unable to assist so support will take over meaning money and time spending on something trivial.”
The way I see it is this — the OS is a tool, but standardizing on one tool is best for support reasons (as the author illustrates in the above excerpt).
So, while many (most?) of the OS vs. OS arguments tend to be somewhat religious, some of them are certainly centered around this basic premise: it is efficient to standardize on one tool, but no single tool does the job for everyone efficiently, so each faction within an organization will likely argue for the tool that is efficient for THEIR needs.
This is actually a reasonable and appropriate argument, IMHO. Pick the tool that works best for you, and if you can convince other people to use it, too, you get to work efficiently AND avoid inter-OS compatibility issues (training, support, document sharing, application costs, etc.).
Of course, it’s easy for me to say this, since (a) I have yet to find a single OS that allows me to work efficiently in all my tasks, and therefore (b) my company has kindly provided enough workstations and laptops that I can run as many OSes as necessary to cover all of my tasks efficiently.
Which, incidentally, is why I’m writing this on Win2K, listening to CatFive on OS X, and submitting files into CVS on Linux.
We don’t critizise people for the car they drive, or gun they carry, so why should we critisize people for the OS that they choose to use?
Criticize no but judge yes. Of course, first judgements can be wrong and I’m open to revising my judgements as I get more information. If someone tells me they use BeOS (CZ) though that’s extra points in my book without knowing anything else about them. Windows (Glocks) are too popular to affect my judgement though — so no extra points. Naturally, Linux (no gun) is a minus since I don’t like whiners
Operating systems though are more than just tools to get the job done — that’s why people spend time on the small “fun” non-essential things (screensavers, themes, wallpaper, etc.).
However, as it takes all types to make the world go ’round (or something like that) there is room for lots of different operating systems and that’s good. I think the 1980s with Apple IIs, Amigas, Macs, Atari’s and PCs were a lot more interesting desktop-community-wise than the 1990s which saw Microsoft dominance and a real lack of inspiration on the desktop (the under-the-hood networking and kernel people obviously though were having a ball).
Now that other systems have caught up with Microsoft they all can go toe-to-toe and things should be more fun again. I hope people really try to show-off their operating systems again with awesome desktop software.
i’ve seen better comments on this topic by Rayiner.
In light of your comment (“I think the 1980s with Apple IIs, Amigas, Macs, Atari’s and PCs were a lot more interesting desktop-community-wise than the 1990s which saw Microsoft dominance and a real lack of inspiration on the desktop”), I am now doing the following:
Writing this with Win2K, listening to Bjork with OS X, committing my changes to CVS with Linux, and running M.U.L.E. in an Atari 800 emulator.
In more than 7 years it has only one remote hole in the default installation.
I thought, it was six years instead seven years? http://www.deadly.org/article.php3?sid=20020627014901
I think you’re right, one of today’s problems in computer world is lack of choice. For the average desktop home user, the only choices are x86+Windows or Apple+MacOS, because Linux is too difficult to manage (installing new software or hardware i.e.). Microsoft OS aren’t so bad as people uses to say, the bad is that you’re almost FORCED to use them. (Hardware choice was be a good thing too, I think current PCs architecture could be improved as they try to be too much general, sometimes is better to specialize on something; but it isn’t the topic of the article ;>)
I don’t know if OS developers know what people want from an OS, maybe it will be nice to have somewhere for average users to explain their needs and discuss with developers. Because (and I believe this is true for Linux people) developers know what they need, but not always know what users need. Something very easy for the typical linux geek can be very difficult for me (I’m a typical Window 98 user, I think).
Having some kind of info exchange between users and developers will do OSes more user friendly, so will make happy users (and without having to copy the ideas of other OSes!). I don’t know if a forum would do the job, or a mailing list, or both with a “frequently asked features”, but it will be good for everybody.
Of course, this isn’t the way markets go, but wondering is free of charge :>)
You’re right but on today’s world, when going for purchuasing something always has to do with TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). I’m not going to discuss this because it’s too broad. We need different tools but if we can have the more of convinience and the less of cost (long term speaking) then we’ll buy it no matter what is it.
was be os the best media os out there?
how does it compare with qnx rtos?
what is the best media os out there?
xp os x be or rtos
The best media OS?
Do you mean for creation or for playback? Games or films?
For playback, probably a TV set with a DVD player and home cinema gear
is better than any computer – of course all these boxes contain
microprocessors with some kind of OS.
For creation – there are various tasks. The Mac seems to be the most
popular with musicians, but the transition from OS 9 to OS X is not
smooth. There are plugins etc which have not yet been converted.
For video editing – some like the Toaster (Windows), others like Final
Cut (Mac), and so on – there is no answer.
For 3D rendering, you want the fastest hardware regardless of OS.
AFAIK QNX has no software for media work, and BeOS very little.
I agree completely, and I add that the same considerations are valid for the programming languages.
Programming languages are tools not religion idols.
In the last years working with several different languages helped me to understand and to focus more the problem to be solve than the tool for solving it. It is the same for OSs: they are tools that help people to achieve solutions .. not holy grail !
The three examples cited are not the same. IOS is a dedicated software system that the end user can not add new applications to. Windows works fine on a variety of systems at first, over time it works less and less well, please re-install. Linux comes in over 20 distributions with over 20 filesystems. FreeBSD runs Yahoo! and a number of other commerical extremely high volume sites.
The author’s appeal to “cant we all just get along” does not notice that we are not all trying to do the same thing with our systems. You can drive a nail with the butt end of a screwdriver….you can use Windows for a critical application, but why use the wrong tool?
It all boils down to this very simple fact: either you use the insecure, overpriced, glitchy, and covertly developed from stolen code products of a criminally inclined, convicted monopolist, because you are: 1) too stupid to learn other options, 2) you like sucking rich man’s ass because you have a perverted sence of hero worship, 3) like to contribute to lies, injustice, and perverted business practices……
………………… or you simply do not use the aforesaid products.
Precisely the sort of flamebait that keeps people from moving to alternative OSes. Nice job. Grow up.
On the front page of OS News, Stephanos has posted:
> Hundreds of debates, countless flames, innumerable passionate supporters, no limits, no ending lines, no result. The conflicts keep on going and going and going. It doesn�t matter if it�s Cisco�s IOS, Microsoft�s Windows, Suse�s Linux or FreeBSD. People struggle to prove their platform�s superiority ignoring that an Operating System is just a tool focusing on specific needs.
Please clean the MSisms out before putting something up. I’d say you pretty much already made an argument with that, the reason why ppl (like me) hate MS so much is because puttting out a good product is secondary to doing everything they can to make sure they’re the ONLY player (please reference US court decisions and US Supreme Court upholding the findings).
OS’s prove themselves inferior when they feel they can’t survive unless they specifically do things to break compatability with everyone else.
No, we all just can’t all get along when there are players out there waiting to cut anyone’s throat they can get even remotely close to.
One of the worst news/ article I ever seen on OSNews.
It is so bad that I can’t do much comments about it.
FUD and misunderstanding rules.
Maybe we use the software from the monopolist because it does what we want, it works, and there is nothing available that’s easier to use. As for being too stupid to learn other options, now you’re being obnoxious. Why do the other optioons require learning? Why can’t they be as easy to use?
Damm it, I would like to convert to another operating system but but the lack of software, and the problems of software installation keep driving me back to Windows. Even worse, boors like you keep me defending it.
Windows required learning and you learned it. If you don’t want to take the time to learn a new OS then don’t and stop feeling bad about it and stop blaming others for doing things their way and not yours.
“People struggle to prove their platform’s superiority ignoring that an Operating System is just a tool focusing on specific needs.”
Social beings doing social things. Might be worth a thesis but not really an article on OSNews. If you have to ask, you don’t understand people and their dynamics.
No matter what kind of choice exists in our days.
TCPA will rule your Computer soon (this includes the CHOICE of OS I guess)
It’s ill and maybe even impossible to stop!
Sorry but a Linux/BSD box running FreeSco or Zebra is not like a Juniper/Cisco. There are reasons why ISPs run Cisco/Junipers and not linux/bsd routers and it’s not that we love cisco..
If you have 1 T1, DSL or even a T3 and you have a few routes and you are not pushing much trafic. Of the Linux/BSD box can handle it.
If you have a couple of thousand routes and are running 2 routing protocols and your network spans 5+ routers then you go cisco.
If you are doing what I just said and your smallest circuit is a OC3 then you get a juniper.
We tried Zebra (which is the best routing software for PCs) and it cannot handle the massive amount of routes/packets/traffic that a cisco/Juniper can.
Also Juniper’s OS was based on FREE BSD, but it is not Free BSD. It’s been majorly reworked.
And thus starts another flame war, I’m not partial one way or the other. I’m a computer technican and I work on alot of different operating systems, I keep an open mind when it comes to technology.
Microsoft is a buisness, they don’t have to be compatible with the rest of the industry anymore than Linux or MacOS. I don’t see many Ford owners complaining that GM parts don’t work in their cars and vice versa. Microsoft makes products that works well with other microsoft products as does MacOS and Unix, they don’t have to be compatible. The only things that have to be standard is communication protocols like TCP/IP.
Linux is a kernel NOT an OS. In order for Linux distrobutions to get out the rut it is in, a few things have to happen. Distro’s MUST get specialized. And I mean like Redhat and Suse both have Server and Workstaion Distro’s, not just one distro for both. Mandrake has a home user distro, etc. (picked names at random insert your favorite wherever) They have to stop trying to be all things to all people.
I shouldn’t need (operitive word need) a command line to preform all the normal tasks that should be accomplised through a GUI. And my server should be (relativly) simple to setup and manage. Speaking of GUI’s pick one already, or have one specificly for each Distro. I’m tired of hearing KDE vs Gnome vs Enlightenment etc.
If you develop applications specificly for linux and make them outpreform equivilant applications made by MS and not try to be compatible you just might win more market share.
Is MS perfect? No. Should all OS’s be the same and work on the same standards? No. Compitetion is about haveing the best product. If everybody was the same no one would be the best. Everyone would be on the same playing field and hold no secrets. Which means no competition in the market place because everyone has the same features and it doesn’t matter who’s product I buy because they’re all the same.
Open source or not, in order to succed in buisness you must have something that sets your product appart from others. That’s what makes people want to buy yours and not the other guy’s.
>>>AFAIK QNX has no software for media work.
Just because you don’t see the off the shelf softwares for QNX’s/VxWorks doesn’t mean that they have no such software. The QNX’s/VxWorks are embedded in million dollar turn-key systems in hollywood. In fact, Jerry Fiddler started Wind River 20 years ago (the company behind vxworks) creating custom video editing systems for the National Football League and for Francis Ford Coppola.
“Windows required learning and you learned it. If you don’t want to take the time to learn a new OS then don’t and stop feeling bad about it and stop blaming others for doing things their way and not yours.”
Yes, Windows required learning, as did DOS, and GEM, and Solaris, and Linux (3 or 4 different versions, all just differnet enough to be infuriating). I’m tired of learning operating systems. I’ve spent more time learning operating systems than getting work done on them. I’m not blaming others for doing it their way. I’m tired of them saying that it’s the only or the better way or that somenone who does it differently is a sucker and an idiot.
Okay, first of all, I barely understood the Title-isn’t Cisco’s IOS a completely different animal from Windows and *nix? Man, Eugenia drops her hours and the editorial skill goes all to hell. Who let this slide through?
Personally, I’d perfer to pay her than see the quality at OSNEWS drop.
That aside, I’ve been dabling in linux again, and here’s what I’ve discovered-XP is real hard to walk away from. Simple things, like running warcarft, cause a boatload of trouble on my laptop….hey, I just want to play some games instead of watch TV. I don’t need to console, type winex, and spend 2 hours debugging the code so that it plays nice with the BS hardware Dell sent me.
I want to throw together a remix, or a dj mix-running gdam, audacity, etc., instead of Mixmeister and Soundforge isn’t a value add to me. I’m just intentionally making things more difficult on myself by using linux. The end result is the goal, not endlessly goofing with the code in a notepad.
Some people have the latest hardware, love to tinker with their OS, and get kicks out of surmounting the obstacles their OS puts in front of them. More power.
I want to get something done.
Don’t forget about the programmers and what OS they use in post-secondary.
Many in the industry (Scott McNealy for one) have conceded that it’s important to have a Linux story because all (sure I’m generalizing here) of today’s programmers are coding on this OS.
(I’m sure the *BSDs are used to a lesser extent.)
And let’s face it, the OS is quickly becoming a commodity. Economics and Java are pushing this trend.
BTW, I often quote Maslow when this subject comes up:
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
I do think that those in the Microsoft camp can be accused of this more often than those who consider Open Source software for appropriate tasks.
(sure I’m generalizing here) of today’s programmers are coding on this OS.
I meant to say “tomorrow’s programmers”.
“…There is no bad or good OS; There are only tools!
There are only files.
I look forward to the day the OS is irrelevant.
was be os the best media os out there?
how does it compare with qnx rtos?
what is the best media os out there?
xp os x be or rtos
Lucas films have moved from SGI to linux. I think alot of other “media” (rendering I’m not sure about music or other media applications) companies are making the switch.
Thanks all guys for blaming and flaming. I really appreciate your help and comments (some were unable to comment). That makes the world a better place.
I know IOS is different than Windows and Unix but it’s still an OS and for sure it was lots of bugs. I mentioned IOS just to compare with the number of Windows’ bugs. No IOS bug made it on the news so far!
I know the Junipers run on a reworked FreeBSD kernel. That’s why i used the word “derived”. I know you can effectively use BSDs and Junipers and other rather relying on Cisco. I mentioned Cisco because it’s one of the few companies reporting earning even in crisis’ days. It’s a name that many people know; like Microsoft and Red Hat etc.
Based on the current sistuation, Windows is the dominant player and learning an OS means learning something other than Windows.
As i said an OS -a kernel, a compilation like win and bsd etc- is just a tool! Use damn-stefanos-OS or stefanos-you-are-the-best-OS it doesn’t matter. Just get the job done, quickly, efficiently, reliably and cost effectively.
Hell yes!! Except make it a Commodore!!! Commodore rules Amiga forever, hehe
No, we all just can’t all get along when there are players out there waiting to cut anyone’s throat they can get even remotely close to.
Like in online quake, the &*()*&^%%$Q#! that quad-rail-spawn camps with the 20 ping. And then says “0wn3d” at the end of the level. What a POS. Some of those tactics could be cut out and dude could still win. It just shows that skill did not win the match, like quality, stability, and interoperability have not won it for microshaft.
Remembering the ’80’s, the golden age of computing, one could buy probably a dozen different types of systems. One could likewise go and buy one of a handfull of major applications, and get a version of that software for any of several major platforms. That means, ideally, that Company A (PC users) could send Company B [Amiga users, maybe:) ] a document(though the BBS no less, heh) and have it look identical on each co’s comps, sorta like Adobe Acrobat does nowdays.
Furthermore, Kaos’ comments are dead on. Buy products from Bill, support evil. No doubt about it.
You know, it’s really too bad when people try to push an OS on you that is INFERIOR for what YOU use a computer for, simply to satisfy THEIR POLITICAL AGENDA.
All I hear is M$ this and SHEEP that, and how I’m too stupid to learn anything else, well …
I promise you that if you ever said that to my face, I would put a FOOT UP YOUR ASS and rip out your goddammed spine!! How can you POSSIBLY know what’s right for me or ANYBODY ELSE when you can’t even see past your own kernel OR your blind zealotry??
I swear, I’m going to become a Linux kernel hacker so I can tell all of you moron bitches with your “you’re too stupid to learn anything else” comments EXACTLY where you can stick it, and then I’m going to dedicate my life to PUBLICALLY TRASHING this God-forsaken OS, simply because YOU HAVE PISSED ME OFF!!! Why can’t you just leave it alone?
Even if I knew your OS was superior for me, I STILL WOULDN’T USE IT based soley on principle. I would rather support a monopolistic corporation than a bunch of blind-as-hell OS zealots.
Yeah everythings got its flaws, but the only way to support something better is to support the OS with the least _inherent_ flaws. E.G. windows can’t improve a whole lot with the company how it is and with so much control with so few checks against misuse of this control. I say linux has the best chance, with the growing pressure towards user friendliness, but hey, why can’t we just all use the BeOS?
As the reviewer said, it’s not that much the OS,but the apps that use it, right? That means (I’m trying to be brief) that the market is moving to areas where services and applications are provided insted of “stuff that comes along with the OS). This will mean that OSs will be used as much as a part of a problem’s solution. When this happens markets tend to use very few products and ignore others. The same thing goes with processors (Intel based Architectures), it doesn’t matter. What I’m trying to say is that in the (near) future there isn’t space for many OSs. Very few will prevail, so the fight matters. As said in 80’s there was PCs, Apple, Amiga, Atari ST etc. PC prevailed, Mac also survived. Now in PC (Intel-Amd) we have Win, Lin, *BSD etc. In few years few will prevail and the devbait will be on something else.
Yeah that’s why we fight, but, to further what you said, we’ve gotta use the effective methods of fighting. For example, the Linux community’s reputation of badgering people and getting offended very easily is going to harm their case. The point is to help give the OS you think has the _least_inherent_flaws_ the best reputation (and the goods to back this reputation). There really are not many easier ways to trash Linux’s reputation than to get in arguments over all kinds of things, to flame people simply for using a different distro of Linux or even a different window maker on Linux… it would be pathetic if Bill got a few more years on his high horse just because the Linux users bicker like little children. BTW, I am The Dungbeetle. And I don’t say some of these things because I hate Microsoft.