Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by mutantca.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



I've seen the more and more websites like slashdot and other tech sites
are shunning windows and moving over various linux packages.  I moved
from windows to linux last march and so far, although it's been
complicated to set up I haven't looked back.  By contast, when using
windows on my notebook, I've found it frustrating to use and
unreliable.

The question I'd like to pose to the newsgroup would be what makes
Windows so unreliable and prone to crashing?

Is it the closed source nature of the kernel? Or is it just down to
incompetent programmers at Microsoft?  Surely MS should know that it
crashes a lot, and they release update after patch after upgrade and
there dosen't seem to be any improvement from windows95 to windows98 -
surely MS can be aware that they're cranking out buggy code, but they
don't do anything about it (but people still buy it - that's another
story...).  I can't understand why they haven't eliminated the
deaded 'invalid page' error yet, but Linux has surged on ahead in a
relativly short time.

Also, what improvements to Linux would you make to make it as
accessable and as popular to the general computer using populous?

Bill Gates obsessed with the idea of a computer in every home, but I
rather suspect that this 'vision' comes with the condition that it's
his OS installed on those computers.

So, what do you guys think?

Chris Crook

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Jean-David Beyer-valinu » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



> I've seen the more and more websites like slashdot and other tech sites
> are shunning windows and moving over various linux packages.  I moved
> from windows to linux last march and so far, although it's been
> complicated to set up I haven't looked back.  By contast, when using
> windows on my notebook, I've found it frustrating to use and
> unreliable.

> The question I'd like to pose to the newsgroup would be what makes
> Windows so unreliable and prone to crashing?

> Is it the closed source nature of the kernel? Or is it just down to
> incompetent programmers at Microsoft?  Surely MS should know that it
> crashes a lot, and they release update after patch after upgrade and
> there dosen't seem to be any improvement from windows95 to windows98 -
> surely MS can be aware that they're cranking out buggy code, but they
> don't do anything about it (but people still buy it - that's another
> story...).  I can't understand why they haven't eliminated the
> deaded 'invalid page' error yet, but Linux has surged on ahead in a
> relativly short time.

> Also, what improvements to Linux would you make to make it as
> accessable and as popular to the general computer using populous?

> Bill Gates obsessed with the idea of a computer in every home, but I
> rather suspect that this 'vision' comes with the condition that it's
> his OS installed on those computers.

> So, what do you guys think?

I think there are several problems with the Microsoft culture that is to
blame.
First of all, I suspect that their programmers are not stupid and
incompetent. On the contrary, it is my understanding that they are
extremely intelligent and well educated.

I think the real problem is the management of the company; the "this is
good enough for our customers" attitude.

These programmers probably have never worked on a large project with
deadlines. By large, I mean a lot more that the number of PhD students
some thesis advisor has. They probably never had to design a system that
had to survive many different versions, with updates and requiring
continuing support by people who were not involved in the initial design.

I have no inside information, but I imagine the basic architecture of the
suite of programs was never really designed. They hired a bunch of good
coders, but had no really good system architects or programmers (as
distinguished from coders). They had enough knowledge, but not enough
experience.

They (the coders, programmers, and management) never read Fred Brooks'
book, "The Mythical Man-Month," or, if they did, did not understand it. In
fact, one of Brooks' aphorisms, "Adding more people to a late project only
serves to make it later," probably accounts for most of the initial
problems. Since then, they have never been able to wipe the slate clean
and start afresh. When the idea of NT first came about was, I think, their
last chance to fix things. NT: New Technology. But they dropped the ball
in a rush to meet a delivery date instead of doing the job right.

Since then, they have been plagued by the marketing requirement to run all
the legacy code of the embedded base even though the underlying foundation
is fatally flawed, so they can no longer fix things.

The other plague is the political one: how to integrate evey possible
feature into one monolithic whole that the government cannot split it up
(or even the users). These are antithetical to making good software.

I think it would require a complete cultural shift at Microsoft to improve
matters. I though that the replacement of Gates by Ballmer (sp.?) offered
that opportunity, but it was too late and I am not sure he is up to it. I
think the idea of Bill Gates as "principle architect" is a joke.

--
Jean-David Beyer               .~.
Shrewsbury, New Jersey         /V\
Registered Linux User 85642.  /( )\
Registered Machine    73926.  ^^-^^

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Ingemar Lundi » Fri, 25 Aug 2000 09:17:47


Old news!

For us beeing around a while remembers Bill Gates old saying ; "a PC on
every desktop, and Windows on every PC"

Shure cant blame him for trying, hell -thats pure business!

/IL

Quote:> Bill Gates obsessed with the idea of a computer in every home, but I
> rather suspect that this 'vision' comes with the condition that it's
> his OS installed on those computers.

> So, what do you guys think?

> Chris Crook

> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by mutantca.. » Fri, 25 Aug 2000 09:39:48


Hmmm...

So what can be done to make Linux more attractive to the average end
user?  In my experience the PC using bloke in the street is not readily
impressed by the technically impressive features of linux, as they are
not impressed much by the technical feats acheived by MS.  Is it true
to say that buyers are led to such an extent that windows is used on
nearly 90% of the worlds computers (MS claim, btw) purely by
advertising? (I guess lucritive OEM deals play some part too).

I suspect that the games market has to play the biggest part in getting
people to choose an OS - 'made for win95', etc...which leads to another
question - why are games developers reluctant to port games, which are
largly written in C to the linux platform?

As you can see, I have more questions that answers and I guess that the
debate is one that is repeated across the electronic consumables range
(betamax vs vhs, iMac vs IBM PC, PSX vs N64...etc,etc), and that the
answer lies somewhere in the direction of people simply not being made
aware of the existance of linux.  Naturally, there are those that just
don't care, and are happy to use whatever they're given to work with.

Time for my bedtime anyways, sweet dreams everyone.

Chris Crook

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Grant Edwar » Fri, 25 Aug 2000 10:45:12



>The question I'd like to pose to the newsgroup would be what makes Windows
>so unreliable and prone to crashing?

>Is it the closed source nature of the kernel? Or is it just down to
>incompetent programmers at Microsoft?

Microsoft is a publicly held, for-profit corporation.  It's goal is to make
profits.  The people who run MS have a legally enforcible fiduciary
responsibility to maximize value for the stockholders.  If the easiest way
to make profits is by shipping a buggy OS and selling upgrades full of yet
more bugs, then that's what they do.  Not to do so would be a breach for
which they could be held civilly liable.  One would hope that they could
make just as much money selling a stable, well-written OS, but it's hard to
argue with success.

Microsoft is a brilliantly successful company when measured by Wall Street
standards -- it doesn't matter how shitty their products are.  The products
are not the goal.  The products are the means to an end: profits.

The people who write Linux are allowed to care whether it works or not. The
os _is_ the end, not the means.

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  My LESLIE*record
                                  at               is BROKEN...
                               visi.com            

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Paul L » Fri, 25 Aug 2000 10:46:13



Quote:>Hmmm...

>So what can be done to make Linux more attractive to the average end
>user?  In my experience the PC using bloke in the street is not readily
>impressed by the technically impressive features of linux, as they are
>not impressed much by the technical feats acheived by MS.  Is it true
>to say that buyers are led to such an extent that windows is used on
>nearly 90% of the worlds computers (MS claim, btw) purely by
>advertising? (I guess lucritive OEM deals play some part too).

>I suspect that the games market has to play the biggest part in getting
>people to choose an OS - 'made for win95', etc...which leads to another
>question - why are games developers reluctant to port games, which are
>largly written in C to the linux platform?

>As you can see, I have more questions that answers and I guess that the
>debate is one that is repeated across the electronic consumables range
>(betamax vs vhs, iMac vs IBM PC, PSX vs N64...etc,etc), and that the
>answer lies somewhere in the direction of people simply not being made
>aware of the existance of linux.  Naturally, there are those that just
>don't care, and are happy to use whatever they're given to work with.

>Time for my bedtime anyways, sweet dreams everyone.

>Chris Crook

Microsoft did an excellent job of getting the "average bloke" to believe
that if something went wrong, it is the bloke's fault.  Or the problem is
their hardware/software and not a microsoft bug; actually, m$ is still
doing that with their Qxxxxx in the knowledge base.

With linux, it is the whole picture in trying to find where the problem
is which makes the linux part of the problem as perceived.  Now, if linux
will do a better shill job like microsoft, then the general public will
accept linux.

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Ingemar Lundi » Fri, 25 Aug 2000 12:26:10


Really? And what was that? pdp-11? ;-)

/IL

Quote:> Awful, isn't it? I was using operating systems 25 years ago that
> were more stable and better performers than Windows. It's not like
> Microsoft was blazing a new trail and had no prior art to draw upon.

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Michael Westerma » Fri, 25 Aug 2000 12:43:47


Quote:> The question I'd like to pose to the newsgroup would be what makes
> Windows so unreliable and prone to crashing?

I beleve lit is Secure 32 bit code built on legacy 16 and 8 bit code that
makes the Os 95/98 unstable and also the fact any program can replace vital
system files and corrupt the system.

2. Programers insist on using undocumented calls to achieve goals and these
can change between minor releases.

3. Nt 4 - 2000 := still runs some 32bit code. 80Mb Servse pack is a bit wary

4. 3rd nparty developers who write programs that unglue the program replace
system files. change system settings they shouldn't.

5. crappy uninstall that leaves files removes the wrong ones and leaves
referances to them.

Quote:

> Is it the closed source nature of the kernel?

only with the documentation for external programers. see 3 and 4 ubove

Quote:> Or is it just down to
> incompetent programmers at Microsoft?  Surely MS should know that it
> crashes a lot,

On its own it dosn't tend to go down it's only when you want to use it.

Quote:> and they release update after patch after upgrade and
> there dosen't seem to be any improvement from windows95 to windows98 -

They fix old bugs where possible but as in wine some bug fixes tend to break
programs. New features tend to add/ show  bugs that wern't obvious before.

Quote:> surely MS can be aware that they're cranking out buggy code, but they
> don't do anything about it (but people still buy it - that's another
> story...).  I can't understand why they haven't eliminated the
> deaded 'invalid page' error yet,

At least they don't try to cover it up. (eg just not show it  people press
<any key> or close any way)

Stail kernal code.
Linux isn't all that stable on one of my machiens though hard ware problems
effect any OS. note ANY.

Quote:> but Linux has surged on ahead in a
> relativly short time.

> Also, what improvements to Linux would you make to make it as
> accessable and as popular to the general computer using populous?

4 modes
1. Hide all underlying complexity.
2. Advanced user mode
3. power user mode
4. Nerd Mode

Quote:

> Bill Gates obsessed with the idea of a computer in every home, but I
> rather suspect that this 'vision' comes with the condition that it's
> his OS installed on those computers.

So he should its how M' Softs bussiness model is based.
 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Johan Kullsta » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



> Really? And what was that? pdp-11? ;-)

pdp-11 running vms or unix is more stable than windows.  you try
mockery, but you just reveal your own ignorance.  the joke is on you.

get a clue and learn to put responses *under* the text you are
responding to.

Quote:> > Awful, isn't it? I was using operating systems 25 years ago that
> > were more stable and better performers than Windows. It's not like
> > Microsoft was blazing a new trail and had no prior art to draw upon.

--
J o h a n  K u l l s t a m

sysengr
 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by John Hasle » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


Quote:Ingemar Lundin writes:
> Really? And what was that? pdp-11? ;-)

The PDP-11 was a minicomputer, not an operating system.  And I don't know
about the person who you failed to give proper creit to was using 25 years
abo, but I was using MTS at the University of Michigan on their Amdahl
mainframes.
--
John Hasler

Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI
 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Jean-David Beyer-valinu » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Quote:> So what can be done to make Linux more attractive to the average end
> user?  In my experience the PC using bloke in the street is not readily
> impressed by the technically impressive features of linux, as they are
> not impressed much by the technical feats acheived by MS.  Is it true
> to say that buyers are led to such an extent that windows is used on
> nearly 90% of the worlds computers (MS claim, btw) purely by
> advertising? (I guess lucritive OEM deals play some part too).

> I suspect that the games market has to play the biggest part in getting
> people to choose an OS - 'made for win95', etc...which leads to another
> question - why are games developers reluctant to port games, which are
> largly written in C to the linux platform?

I am not sure I accept this. Most of the non-professional-programmers I
know that have purchased a computer have never chosen an OS or even a
hardware architecture (i.e., they did not decide between MacIntosh and
PC). They went into a computer store and bought a machine at about the
price point they could afford. They got whatever the store had to sell and
the OS that is on there. They do not really know there is an OS: that is
just something the computer does. In the old days, if they went into a
MacIntosh store by mistake, they walked out because the prices were too
high.

I have helped two people buy computers. In each case, I had them get a
Dell box with the current Microsoft Windows in it. Neither of them had
ever used a computer before, and wanted it mainly for e-mail, web
browsing, and minor word processing (writing personal letters, and such).
So the merits of the hardware really did not matter much. While I was
running Linux by then (and had many years experience running UNIX
systems), I did not feel they would be up to being a Unix SysAdmin. I do
not really care for it myself. When I bought my first PC in 1996, I did
enquire about running Unix on it. I had never heard of Linux, and the
licenses for Unix were too expensive at the time. I did not care if I got
a windowing system or not. So I got Windows. I had a choice of 3.1 or 95.
I picked 95 because it was supposed to be a real multiprogramming
operating system and not just a band-aid applied over DOS. I had been
forced to run Windows 2.1 or something on a 286 once  and knew I would
never do that again. My experience with W95 was unsatisfactory and after
about a year or two, I abandonned it and got Red Hat Linux 5.0 in early
1998 (when it first came out).

Interestingly enough, my first friend is frustrated enough with W95, and
uses only Netscape and Word, that I have considered installing Linux on
her machine. I have not quite gotten up to doing it though (she has 2
2gigabyte partitions unused on her hard drive). I have suggested it and
she is considering it. I think her needs are so modest that she could use
it with either KDE or GNOME interface. I do not know if she would want to
pay for Applixware, so I will have to see if she could deal with
StarOffice. The trouble with that is that I never tried it, so I would be
no help. I do not think I would try to get her to use*or troff,
though.

--
Jean-David Beyer               .~.
Shrewsbury, New Jersey         /V\
Registered Linux User 85642.  /( )\
Registered Machine    73926.  ^^-^^

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by Jean-David Beyer-valinu » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




> >The question I'd like to pose to the newsgroup would be what makes
> >Windows so unreliable and prone to crashing?

> Awful, isn't it? I was using operating systems 25 years ago that
> were more stable and better performers than Windows. It's not like
> Microsoft was blazing a new trail and had no prior art to draw upon.

My complaint against Microsoft is that anyone presuming to write a new operating system (or any other
program for that matter), unless doing it as a student exercise, should make it better than what had gone
before. Thus, someone in the field of language design once said that Algol-60 was years ahead of most of
its successors. Likewise, the Burroughs B5500 series computers were years ahead of most of the computers
that came after them. Perhaps the same can be said about UNIX and now Linux. Certainly, Windows is about
15 years behind the time.

I have been running Unix and Linux systems since the early 1970s. At the beginning, Unix was pretty
unreliable and would crash almost every day. By 1980, crashes were unusual. I worked in a department that
supported a bunch of PDB11/70s and VAX-11/780s. We had a large community of users (perhaps a hundred or
so) doing software development both for those machines and cross-compiling for communication systems such
as PBXs and stuff and about a dozen machines. We had, perhaps, a crash a week (total, not per machine).
By 1990, I was running a Dell box with a version of Unix provided by Dell. I think they wrote it. It
worked 24/7 for the four years I worked at that company and the only times we rebooted it were to change
hardware (we were doing a communication system and we needed to add telephone interface boards (Dialogic,
not modems) and memory once in a while). The software never crashed at all in 4 years.

Quote:> One of the major problems with Windows is that the OS is not insulated well
> from applications. This is one of the cardinal rules of OS design, a user
> application should not be able to corrupt the operating system.

As Fred Brooks and David Parnas have been pointing out for about 3 decades now, separation of concerns
and information hiding key components in the management of complexity. And management of complexity is
the major stumbling block in designing good systems, and has been since, I would guess, about 1975.
Microsoft has made no contributions to management of complexity.

Quote:> Notice how
> on Linux systems, all you usually have to do to install an application is
> plop the files into a convenient directory and execute.  However, on a
> Windows system when apps are installed they almost always modify the OS
> by replacing critical system DLLs, making entries in the registry, etc.

The fact that Windows can manage only one .dll of a given name is a killer. When I first got my PC with
Windows 95, I bought Microsoft Office Professional and Microsoft Visual C++. I could not run both.
Whichever one I installed last would work, but they had conflicting .dlls. The goddamned company's
products were incompatible with one another!

When I tried to get support, I had to talk to either an Office type or a Visual C++ type. Each one told
me which .dll to load. When I pointed out that I had to use both products, they could do nothing. There
was no one who had a larger view there. Incompetant company. I solved it by switching to Linux, of
course, where I could have had both versions of the .dlls (.so's in the Linux and Unix case, of course).
They do not even do dynamically linked libraries correctly. I assume they never will.

--
Jean-David Beyer               .~.
Shrewsbury, New Jersey         /V\
Registered Linux User 85642.  /( )\
Registered Machine    73926.  ^^-^^

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by UhUh.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




> > So what can be done to make Linux more attractive to the average end
> > user?  In my experience the PC using bloke in the street is not readily
> > impressed by the technically impressive features of linux, as they are
   ...<snip>...
> I have helped two people buy computers. In each case, I had them get a
> Dell box with the current Microsoft Windows in it. Neither of them had
> ever used a computer before, and wanted it mainly for e-mail, web
> browsing, and minor word processing (writing personal letters, and such).
   ...<snip>...
> Interestingly enough, my first friend is frustrated enough with W95, and
> uses only Netscape and Word, that I have considered installing Linux on
> her machine. I have not quite gotten up to doing it though (she has 2

   ...<snip>.. I do not know if she would want to

Quote:> pay for Applixware, so I will have to see if she could deal with
> StarOffice. The trouble with that is that I never tried it, so I would be
> no help. I do not think I would try to get her to use*or troff,
> though.

        Another possibility might by Lyx.  My daughter was using that
word processor that comes with Windows 3.1 (can't remember the name offhand,
the default one, not Word), but we removed the Windows 3.1 partition so now
she uses Lyx which is related to*and can produce*output but
is WSYWIG in nature.  The only problem with it is that is uses Xforms
though I've heard they're working on changing that, maybe to Tcl/Tk.

    ------  Remove "UhUh" and "Spam" to get my real email address   -----

 
 
 

Linux vs. Windows 9x/NT

Post by spi.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Quote:> The question I'd like to pose to the newsgroup would be what makes
> Windows so unreliable and prone to crashing?
> Is it the closed source nature of the kernel?

It's a contributing factor, but it's quite possible for a software company
to produce stable software.

Quote:> Or is it just down to incompetent programmers at Microsoft?  

Don't blame it all on the programmers...
The merketting execs, designers, etc are just as much to blame.
Win9x contains Win311 code which is based off DOS...
Is there any surprise that this house of cards is unstable?

That's the designers fault that can be put down to sheer lack of forsight
and laziness...
What they SHOULD have done was simply dump the DOS/Win311 code from the core
when they did 95, and instead, supplied DOS/311 as a "Wine" type program or
emulator.

Quote:> Surely MS
> should know that it crashes a lot, and they release update after patch
> after upgrade and there dosen't seem to be any improvement from windows95
> to windows98 - surely MS can be aware that they're cranking out buggy
> code, but they don't do anything about it (but people still buy it -
> that's another story...).  I can't understand why they haven't eliminated
> the deaded 'invalid page' error yet,

Because they have the desktop market in a headlock, and just don't CARE
about all the bugs. All they care about is fiddling with the look and feel
to make it look "new" and "exciting" for the next marketting storm.

Quote:> but Linux has surged on ahead in a relativly short time.

Nahhhh... It's been 9 YEARS!
It's only started getting a foothold over the past two or three.

Quote:> Bill Gates obsessed with the idea of a computer in every home, but I
> rather suspect that this 'vision' comes with the condition that it's
> his OS installed on those computers.

Of course it is...
--
______________________________________________________________________________

|Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)|                                                 |
|            in            | "I think so brain, but this time, you control   |
|     Computer Science     |  the Encounter suit, and I'll do the voice..."  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------