A few questions reguarding Linux

A few questions reguarding Linux

Post by Adam Phillip » Fri, 04 Feb 2000 04:00:00



Pardon the long intro, but I figured a few details would help people
understand where I am coming from.

For years, I used an old 286 (12 MHz /w/ 80287 1 Meg Ram and a 40 Meg HD
with Stacker) running Dr. Dos. Things where OK until last year when I
noticed that the Hard Disk drive seemed to be on its last legs. (NOTE: It is
still running, but I have been trying to retire it- it simply has been used
constantly since it was purchased by its original owner and I certainly used
it a LOT).

I got lucky, my old employer THREW OUT an almost unused Compaq Presario with
a BIG IBM SVGA monitor (the monitor is, without a doubt, worth a bit of
money even by itself). After getting my hands on the Restore CD (Numerous
version of AOL software did a good job of screwing the thing up), I thought
I would be in for the time of my life......

And why not ? An AMD copy of a P2 running 233 MHz, 32 Megs of Ram, a 3.2 Gig
Disk.....the difference in speed when compared to my old 286 should have
been blinding- but it was not.

First off, Windows 95 (which is what my system runs) is not NEARLY as
reliable as Dr. Dos ! From time to time I might have to adjust some minor
setting on my old 286 in order to accommodate some new piece of software.
But Windows 95 has been a real disappointment. Sure, it's prettier than any
DOS in the world- but if it is going to take every system resource I have in
order to look pretty, then it is not worth running slow. Heck, I just
installed New Deal Office on my 286 (I think it is based on GOES),it is a
very easy to use GUI but does not take up every bit of memory and then some.
Heck, my Compaq runs like lightning on it ! (Before you think of Windows 98,
Please see note at the end of my post)

The catch is that I would like to run some newer software that only runs
under Windows, but I simply find Windows 95 to be an inferior operating
system.

I have been reading about Linux. From what I understand it is _possible_ to
run some Windows software under it. I also am under the understanding that
Linux should be able to run some of the old DOS applications and games I
like so much.

But I still have a few nagging questions......

If I did switch over to Linux, what Windows programs would I be able to run
? All of them ? Some of them ?
How well would they run ?

What about my DOS programs ? Would some or all of them run ? If not all,
which ones ?

When running programs from other operating systems, how stable is Linux ?

What about my hardware ? Can Linux make full used of my S3 video card, my
IBM Monitor, my HP deskjet, my ESS (Soundblaster copy ?) Sound Card or even
by Compaq 56k Internal modem ? If not full advantage, what will the
restrictions be ? (See Note At End Of Post) How much money am I spending on
hardware upgrades ?  how hard will it be to set everything up ?

I have a USB modem that Windows 95 cannot use (since Windows 95 can't seem
to use the USB port). Can Linux use it ?

What about viruses ? I don't know of any that exist at this time that affect
Linux based operating systems, but I don't think that will last forever. It
is only a matter of time before such viruses (or Trojan horses, malicious
bits of Java code, etc...) that can disable or damage a Linux based will
come to exist. What kinds of anti-virus software is available ? What is
being done in anticipation of the future ?

I did not mean for this post to be long winded. But I just wanted to give a
little background on where I was coming from. I know my PC is capable of so
much more than what it is doing under Windows 95.

A big thanks in advance for any and all help and advice.

NOTE:
I did try to upgrade to Windows 98. It was a disaster. When I was unable to
use the power management functions, a Microsoft Tech. support rep. said
there was no fix for it. Turned out there was an upgrade in their Website.
Also, the video would NEVER refresh properly, leaving my screen full of half
closed / drawn over windows and causing text on my browser to be garbled
(since I used a hover color, it would not redraw the text right after the
pointer went over it) when I hovered over a link or scrolled. New drivers
and a bunch of setting changes fixed nothing. I did some reading on the
Microsoft home page and found that a LOT of programs have problems in
Windows 98 using an S3 video card. The only solution, one that worked only
part of the time, was to use a low resolution (600 x 800 or even 600 x 480!)
and 256 colors ! Even at that, it still messed up. Microsoft Tech support
said I needed a new video card !!!!!! The old one works great under Windows
95. Also, the games Redneck Rampage and Castle Wolfenstein 3D had their
sound screwed up under Windows 98. Tech support said get a new Sound card
!!!!!!!!

I felt cheated and ripped off. I paid for the software, instead of pirating
it. I spent about $100 in long distance charges (you have to call when the
time is expensive), almost $100 for the upgrade disk (My system meeting all
requirements listed on the box and then some) just to be told "buy more
stuff " !!!!!

Then to add insult to injury, when I tried to uninstall Windows 98, it
disabled my CD-ROM drive and garbled up a bunch of my data !!!!!!!! I had to
run my Restore CD just to get the computer to run right again- loosing a lot
of data.


_NEVER_ buy another piece of their software again if I could possibly avoid
it. I would love to take Windows 95, and the rest of the Microsoft software,
off my harddrive for good !

Am I anti-Microsoft ? Perhaps I am. I have to work hard for the money I earn
and seeing $200 dollars go out the window Angers me, as it should anyone
with an ounce of sense. If I spend $100 for software, I expect to get $100
worth out of it. I will not spend $100 dollards just to have to spend
another $100 to be told to spend hundreds more, and then be happy about it !

 
 
 

A few questions reguarding Linux

Post by Timothy J. L » Fri, 04 Feb 2000 04:00:00


|If I did switch over to Linux, what Windows programs would I be able to run
|? All of them ? Some of them ?
|How well would they run ?

Some may run under the Wine emulator, but don't get your expectations
too high.

|What about my DOS programs ? Would some or all of them run ? If not all,
|which ones ?

There is a DOS emulator or few, but I don't know how well they work.
There is also FreeDOS (www.freedos.org).  Perhaps you can multiboot
between Linux and FreeDOS?

|What about my hardware ? Can Linux make full used of my S3 video card, my
|IBM Monitor, my HP deskjet, my ESS (Soundblaster copy ?) Sound Card or even
|by Compaq 56k Internal modem ? If not full advantage, what will the
|restrictions be ?

The modem, if it is a software modem, probably won't work.  The
printer depends on the type of printer (i.e. does Ghostscript
have a driver for it).  The video card and monitor should be
supported, although you should know the exact chipset of the
video card, memory of the video card, and the sync frequencies
of the monitor to make best use of them when configuring X.

|What about viruses ? I don't know of any that exist at this time that affect
|Linux based operating systems, but I don't think that will last forever. It
|is only a matter of time before such viruses (or Trojan horses, malicious
|bits of Java code, etc...) that can disable or damage a Linux based will
|come to exist. What kinds of anti-virus software is available ? What is
|being done in anticipation of the future ?

Viruses attacking Linux aren't very common at all.  There is anti-virus
software for Linux, but most viruses they look for are those which
attack Microsoft computers and Microsoft applications.

However, there are different Linux security issues to be aware of,
especially when connecting to the internet.  Some Linux distributions
run lots of services by default; sometimes these services have security
bugs.  When installing, don't turn on any server type things you don't
need, and check the Linux distribution's vendor for security patches.

In addition, the usual web browser / Java(script) security issues
affect web browsers (especially those capable of Java(script)) on
any platform.  Some mail readers (on any platform) can be vulnerable
to maliciously written pieces of mail.  Trojan horses are a hazard
on any platform as well.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unsolicited bulk or commercial email is not welcome.             netcom.com
No warranty of any kind is provided with this message.

 
 
 

A few questions reguarding Linux

Post by Jeroen Eitje » Sat, 05 Feb 2000 04:00:00




>|If I did switch over to Linux, what Windows programs would I be able to
run
>|? All of them ? Some of them ?
>|How well would they run ?

>Some may run under the Wine emulator, but don't get your expectations
>too high.

HP deskjet parallel port printer are supported
S3 is supported quite well
USB will be supported in the future.

Wine (windows emulator) is at the moment slow and works very bad.
Dosemu (dosemu) works better than wine, but still is very slow (compared to
real dos). I would really consider to make a dualboot linux/ms/dr-dos
configuration

I use SuSE 6.3 and I like it because it works well and has a lot of usefull
software.  There is one drawback!!!!!!!!

When you are installing SuSE linux really consider what programs you are
going to install. Consolebased application will run fast generally. X-based
app's are slow. (e.g. Lynx 10x faster than Netscape). If you use X, than you
wil have to use window manager. SuSE uses KDE as a standard. KDE is nice and
beautifull but eats memory and CPU-time like insanity. There are other
windowmanagers like twm or olwm which are harder to use but use less memory
and CPU.

Linux is more stable than Win. 95. The bootprocedure of linux is terribly
slow (always). That means about as slow as Win 95 and infinitely slower than
MS-DOS.
If you consider these points and install a nice and slim Linux system on
your computer I think you will be in for the time of your life.

Regards, Jeroen

P.S.    I have been using Win 3.1 on a Pentiumbased computer. Boy that is
fast. Win 3.1 Word 6 is 30 Mb and quite usefull. Word 2000 etc, is also
usefull but about 150 Mb.

What wend wrong is evolution of computers??????

 
 
 

A few questions reguarding Linux

Post by Bob Hau » Sat, 05 Feb 2000 04:00:00



>If I did switch over to Linux, what Windows programs would I be able to run
>? All of them ? Some of them ?

Some of them.  I use a commercial product called Wabi to run Windows 3.x
programs.  Most business apps run ok, multimedia stuff doesn't usually.  I
think Wabi may be discontinued (check www.calderasystems.com).  In any
case it doesn't run "modern" winapps.

WINE is an open source project to run Win3 and Win95/NT apps under Linux.
It is in constant development, so what doesn't work today may work
tomorrow.  They seem to be having some success now, but cloning Windows
is a big job esp since lots of it is poorly documented.

Quote:>How well would they run ?

Some will run well, some not at all.

Quote:>What about my DOS programs ? Would some or all of them run ? If not all,
>which ones ?

DOSEMU runs an actual copy of DOS (your choice of version...I've used
MS-DOS 5.0 and OpenDOS, aka DR-DOS) under Linux. In my experience nearly
all DOS programs work except some really old ones that try to use extended
memory directly (don't support DPMI).

You may have to fiddle with the emulator configuration for some programs
as it restricts hardware access by default.

Quote:>When running programs from other operating systems, how stable is Linux ?

If you give DOS programs a lot of direct hardware access they can of
course crash the system.  Also, running full-screen DOS sessions can be a
problem if the app locks up.  You can lose the keyboard and will have to
reboot unless your computer is on a network and you can telnet in to fix
things.  You don't need to run full-screen unless your DOS app uses
graphics in a higher-resolution mode.

I still run a few DOS programs within X and haven't had a problem in
years. I don't use full-screen DOS sessions much since most of my DOS apps
are character-mode.

I'll skip answering your particular hardware questions as it is has been a
long time since I looked at sound cards and such.  The S3 is ok, monitors
are always supported if the video card is, and all internal modmes that
work in DOS should work in Linux.

Quote:>What about viruses ? I don't know of any that exist at this time that affect
>Linux based operating systems, but I don't think that will last forever.

The virus situation on Linux (i.e. no virus situation) may last longer
than you think. Unix has been around for over 20 years and there is no
significant virus problem. Trojans can be a problem, but if you don't run
as root they can't destroy your system unless your system has an unpatched
security bug that the trojan knows how to exploit.

Linux is like NT in that it has a concept of "user" and a concept of
"administrator".  It has file permissions and suchlike to prevent "regular
users" from doing damange to the system.  This tends to limit the spread
of viruses.

--
 -| Bob Hauck
 -| Wasatch Communications Group
 -| http://www.wasatch.com/~bobh

 
 
 

1. Questions reguarding automation of server configuration

I was wondering if anybody knows a way to reliably (and of course safely)
add a tape drive from the command line (i.e. don't have to flit through the
menus, as all ID's etc. are known beforehand), or some other method (short
of installing and using 'expect') to do this?

I've looked through
/usr/lib/mkdev/{tape,.tapefuncs,.scsi,.scsi_iiop,.scsitape,.scsitape_iiop},
and have determined that unless there's a nice way to pass arguments (which
I missed), it's a complete hack-job in order to do this.

(condensed version: call the 'addscsi' routine which is in '.scsitape', and
answer the questions, or pre-answer them for the following scripts)

Any help would be appreciated.

To answer 'Why' before someone asks.  All the servers we build up have
devices set up in the same location to aid familiarity between them.  In
this case, all SCSI tape ID's are set to 2 etc. on the alad: alad(0,0,2,0).
When using the boot: prompt to do this, it of course doesn't set it up as a
DDS tape (have to answer 4 to that lovely question), but as a Cartridge (I
believe) drive.

So basically, I want to be able to create the tape drive automatically upon
execution of the installation script.  This is one of the few things that I
have left that haven't been automated.

Thank you in advance.

Stuart J. Browne

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