!Re: Nuke Redmond!

From: Zane H. Healy <healyzh_at_aracnet.com>
Date: Thu Apr 6 13:39:39 2000

>> Then there is the issue of *stability*.
>I'm not sure what you mean by this. This particular system ( the one I use
>for my email, etc) has been "up" without a hitch for three years without a
>problem. I've never seen reason to cuss it. The key is that I don't try to
>make it do stuff for which it wasn't intended.
>The folks I see having problems with their MS-OS-based systems generally are
>the ones that (1) hand around the "chat" rooms (where their computers get
>"social diseases"), (2) try to squeeze more performance out of their
>computers by violating the components' specifications, (3) try to get their
>computers to do other sorts of things for which they (or their software)
>weren't intended. Now, that's not to say it doesn't happen otherwise, but
>from where I sit, that's what I see.

OK, I've observed of people useing Windows, there is always the occasional
person that doesn't have problems. I've also noticed that the *only* time
I hear about this is when someone else points out how unstable Windows is!

Having said that, I'm aware that if you *very carefully* tune the system,
you might be lucky and get a system that will stay up, even under a heavy
load. I'm also aware that you'll have better luck if you don't have *any*
3rd party software on the system.

I'm one of those people that just has to look at a Windows system and it
crashes. Now let's look at your reasons why that could be.
        1. I don't mess with chat rooms, I don't have time
        1a. I don't pirate software (inferred)
        1b. I don't even allow any systems I have running Windows to know
            that the Internet exists! Well, this one isn't quite true, as
            I've now got VirtualPC running Win98 on my Mac, and let it know
            the net exists so I can easily read the PDP-8 doc's on Highgate.
            However, I just have to push a button and I've got a clean

            system. Still none of the computers running it native have
             known about the net.
        2. I don't overclock or even push these systems
        3. I don't trust Windows enough to try anything like that

BTW, this is what I call stability, this was just prior to a power outage
on Sunday (I really need to break down and get an UPS).
 4:15PM up 239 days, 16:56, 4 users, load averages: 0.06, 0.07, 0.08

>> Someone mind explaining why if I install software on a Microsoft system or
>> make *very* minor changes I've got the reboot the _at_*& #$)@ thing?!?!
>I've never wanted to become an expert on *NIX and its kin, but IIRC, if you
>make any changes to the system you not only have to restart the system, you
>have to recompile several modules, including, in some cases, the kernel. I
>remember attaching a serial I/O card to a LINUX box once, wherein I had to
>recompile (*GETTY) and restart several times. Adding a port to windows
>normally didn't require a last time I did it. Of course, it is sometimes
>necessary to restart the system if you have to add hardware, since nobody
>recommends doing that without first shutting off the power.

I'm not talking about adding new hardware and drivers, I'm talking about
doing what should be a simple software install, or changing the
configuration of software already on the system. The only time you should
have to recompile the kernel is when adding a new one, new hardware (and
these days that's not a requirement), or making some very serious changes
(networking is about all that comes to mind). Also several times I've
found it easier to get Linux to support hardware than Windows.

I believe that it is to difficult under Linux to do these kind of things,
however, progress is being made.

BTW, MS isn't alone in the reboot crime. The Macintosh has this problem
also, and is getting worse about it.

>Well, the cost differential was larger than the cost of the PC machines I
>used to demonstrate what a poor choice the uVAXII was as a platform during
>my last stint in the aerospace industry. THE JPL guys liked the uVAX-II so
>they used it to replace the Apple-][ that was originally designed into a
>military-oriented project. I wouldn't argue that the uVAX-II didn't do
>better than the Apple-][, but their ESDI interface didn't outperform SCSI,
>which they claimed it did, and the high-res graphics cards we were told to
>use in the uVax-II cost as much as the entire uVAX-II with all the other
>peripherals. A comparable card from the same vendor but designed for the
>PC/AT cost only $600.

One should always buy the proper hardware for the job. If the Apple ][ was
able to do the job the MVII was overkill. However, what percentage of
MVII's are still in active use, compared to PC/AT's?

There is also the real killer, what platform is the application you need to
run available on?

>Not all cases are so extreme, but it's the extremes that tend to be
>remembered. It's also no surprise that DEC seems to have gone out of their
>way, during the early days of widespread internet use (1985-1988). to make
>their LAN boards incompatible with anyone else's. They also tweaked their
>protocols to weaken their own networking system so people wouldn't be
>tempted to mix and match.

Back then as I recall just about *everyone* was incompatible! I've no
trouble making DEC LAN boards from that timeframe work with various systems
running 100Mbit, and I've got enough variaty I probably should have
problems in this area.

>I guess it just says that when there's a tool that gets the job done, it
>makes sense to learn how to use it as opposed to sticking one's nose in the
>air because it seems too "unsophisticated". What's more, people pay for the
>process of getting the job done. They don't want to pay for doing it the
>"hard" way.

Actually despite what I've said, I like VB, and to some extent agree with
this statement. However, I don't use it, as it's only available on
unstable platforms. It's a great language for simple little specialty
apps. Last I looked it wasn't a great language for large complex apps.

| Zane H. Healy | UNIX Systems Adminstrator |
| healyzh_at_aracnet.com (primary) | Linux Enthusiast |
| healyzh_at_holonet.net (alternate) | Classic Computer Collector |
| Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing, |
| and Zane's Computer Museum. |
| http://www.aracnet.com/~healyzh/ |
Received on Thu Apr 06 2000 - 13:39:39 BST

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