Merced - and the ol' Unix story (was Re: OT, but info needed: RAM uprade)

From: Tim Hotze <>
Date: Sat Jan 16 06:18:50 1999

> > Thats it, why unix like systems are sill freak places and
> > why windoze rulez. I am a USER (ok, at least sometimes) and
> > I want instant applications running, and not recompiling
> > the OS, half apps and forgett about the other half because
> > of missing sources, or some 'changes' and 'patches' I have
> > to do - instant on and instant working (playing, what ever).

Just a comment: Download pre comiled binaries. Sure, they don't
offer the flexibility of source code, but then again, they're just as
good as other binaries, sometimes better.

And UNIX is a well established OS, and is used in higher ranking
places. Sure, a lot of servers these days are NT, but look in
banks, etc. where they need high performance and stability, and
you'll see UNIX, AIX, BSD, VMS, (sometimes) Linux, anything but

> My experience is exactly the opposite!.

Mine is neutral. I download binaries, unless I have a reason not to.
> Over 90% of the time, installing something on this linux machine (which
> is anything but standard) consists of unpacking the tar archive and
> typing make. That's it. No fiddling about, it just compiles and installs.
> Sometimes there's a configuration script to run, but that's no real problem

Agreed. Just a few hours ago, I installed Red Hat Linux 5.2 I
popped the CD in, it booted. It formated and partitioned my hard
drive. It searched my PCI bus for cards, and configured them. If it
couldn't find something, it showed me a list of drivers that were
compatible. It took 20 minutes 15 seconds to copy the 882MB for
a complete install, with everything from compilers to web servers,
and the vast majority of the software was pre-configured. Oh, and
it took a single restart, from the time I put the CD in. If I hadn't
booted from the CD, I could have used the *INCLUDED* boot disk.
So basically, I could have started wtih a recently assembled
computer and no disks, etc. and a totally empty hard drive and
maybe added 30 seconds or so to that figure.

Windows 98 took 35:25 to install on the same machine (200MB,
but with just 'core' files), and had to restart like 3 times. On top of
that, no diskette was included to boot from, and the CD wasn't
bootable, so I'd need to have formated my hard drive *AND* located
CD-ROM drivers.

In short, this is no easy task for most "users". Linux is WAY
easier to install. And faster to install.

> The other 10% of the time? OK, I have to grab K&R and a unix manual and
> patch the source. But that's a lot easier than having to patch the
> binaries of a commercial product that doesn't come with source (and yes,
> I have had to do that _far_ too often). I have never had to recompile the
> kernel, or recomile other parts of my system to install application
> programs. Maybe I'm just lucky.

That's true. The fact is, however, that usually source is easy to
install, and precompiled binaries are available. But you have a LOT
more possible flexibility with source. (Heck, you can even change
anything you want!)
> But I have had no end of problems with commercial programs that make
> silly assumptions about the machine (MS-DOS software often assumes that
> the floppy drive is A: and the hard disk is C: - and refuses to let you
> change this!). Or that misdetect the hardware I have (my enhanced CGA
> card has memory at A8000, and is often misdetected as a CGA card) or
> whatever. Sorting out that sort of problem is a lot worse than patching C
> source.

Same thing here. Windows recognizes my zip drive as a 3.5"
floppy, and makes it B:

Also, as far as I an tell, the drive letter has nothing to do with it's
location, which means that should you need to go mucking about
in your case, say, remove drive D to replace it, as it's faulty, you
wouldn't know where to look.

/dev/hdc . Oh my goodness! That makes it too easy. Master
drive, second IDE connector. And it really, really works!

> I don't think I've bought a commercial program for a long time that
> installed with no problems. But linux stuff is no problem at all.

I've gotten lots of commercial programs with no problems. But I've
gotten just as good 'luck' with Linux. The differance? More
flexibility, more possibility, and better software than with Windows.
(That, and you're using more than 32-bit extensions to 16-bit
patches to an 8-bit OS with Windows 9x, or 32-bit extensions to a
16-bit OS with Windows NT.)
> -tony
*Tim D. Hotze - Co-Founder, The ReviewGuide*
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Received on Sat Jan 16 1999 - 06:18:50 GMT

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