The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What is the best operating system?  (Read 25317 times)

Beardedsockeater

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« on: 15/12/2008 12:58:20 »
I have used some Linux briefly at university and although I found it difficult to get to grips with, it took up far less space on the computer and seemed to run faster. Can Linux do everything other operating systems can? Is it just as easy to find the programmes you need? Does it have as many bugs as windows? Or is there another operating system which does everything better still? Is windows the best?

I know this is rather a convoluted and difficult question to ask, I'm rather new to computers but am very excited to learn more!Please educate me in the ways of operating systems!  :D

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #1 on: 15/12/2008 14:05:44 »
It depends on what you want to do with the computer. If you're just thinking of normal home use - surfing the net, writing the occasional letter, kids' homework, etc - then there's not much difference between Windows or Linux. Most distros of Linux come with the Firefox browser (in my opinion, still the best) and OpenOffice (a freeware equivalent to MS Office) along with plenty of other freebies. There are also many multimedia players available free for Linux that are every bit as good as anything you can get for Windows.

However, if you like playing games then Windows is probably the better choice as there are far more games available than for Linux. Some Windows programs can be run under Linux using a program called WINE, but many don't work.

Linux is also inherently safer from viruses etc because of its permissions protocols. Some people find those a pain in the butt, but they are a good security feature and not really that much of a hassle once you get used to using them.

I do a lot of webpage coding using php and mySQL and that's easier on Linux. Once they're installed (that's a doddle), you can just use them. You don't have to run any other packages such as XAMP or JSAS each time you want to do anything.

Another reason I prefer Linux is that it's quicker on my PC than Vista was and I'm not forever having to re-boot.

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #2 on: 19/12/2008 06:20:50 »
I would say that in terms of "safe" for services either Windows or Mac would be the choice if what your after was to deliver to the outside world some compatible product. Linuxs' compatibility is existent but limited.

However, with intricacies of service and weird appendages of programs alike zoological biology in nature(not that Windows and Mac don't , theirs are usually commercial), Linux has an immense quantity of "one of for a purpose" programs that can be found somewhere on the net or is supplied with the OS at install.
Essentially Linux does everything other OS's do but it lacks actual collaborative online communities "in one place" and/or "of one level of profficiency" directly for a purpose. e.g. Microsofts MSDN or the various services from Apple.

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #3 on: 19/12/2008 09:58:59 »

Essentially Linux does everything other OS's do but it lacks actual collaborative online communities "in one place" and/or "of one level of profficiency" directly for a purpose. e.g. Microsofts MSDN or the various services from Apple.

How can you say that? There are repos that you can access with a click of the mouse using Synaptic Manager and they contain 1000s of packages. From what I've seen there are more collaborative communities for Linux than for any other OS. The Open Source nature of Linux lends itself naturally to such collaborations.

As for "of one level of profficiency", are you trying to say that all programs written for Windows are top quality and work perfectly? I've not had a single instance of a stable release of a program crashing on my Ubuntu PCs. I cannot say the same for Windows XP or Vista.

Quote
I would say that in terms of "safe" for services either Windows or Mac would be the choice if what your after was to deliver to the outside world some compatible product. Linuxs' compatibility is existent but limited.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that. If you want to deliver "some compatible product" you would be responsible for the compatibility. Why would any existing compatibility issues matter?

MonikaS

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #4 on: 20/12/2008 19:27:55 »


<eg>

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #5 on: 21/12/2008 11:06:29 »
Quote
How can you say that?
....repos that you can access with a click of the mouse using Synaptic Manager and they contain 1000s of packages....
and
....From what I've seen there are more collaborative communities for Linux than for any other OS....
Exactly thousands of grouping domains names not one single domain exclusively designed as every section like
"Project Glassfish" or sourceforge.net or Microsoft MSDN site.


Quote
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that.
....If you want to deliver "some compatible product" you would be responsible for the compatibility.....
e.g. If it were openOffice.org, the user is not responsible for writing the office suite, they simply use it, Microsoft word has a special feature called "object embedding" that is not compatible with openoffice.org, but the user remains not responsible for supply of way of handling it in openoffice(simply he can't sit there hacking).

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #6 on: 21/12/2008 12:17:16 »
So Windows programs just has 1 group, does it? And 1 source for getting them? I don't think so! I could list dozens of places to download Windows programs - Sourceforge being 1 of them.

Quote
Microsoft word has a special feature called "object embedding" that is not compatible with openoffice.org, but the user remains not responsible for supply of way of handling it in openoffice(simply he can't sit there hacking)

I didn't realise the user was responsible for that in Word.

LeeE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #7 on: 21/12/2008 16:12:00 »
Quote
Microsoft word has a special feature called "object embedding" that is not compatible with openoffice.org

Object Linking and Embedding is not a special feature of M$ Word and whether the embedded objects are 'compatible' just comes down to whether the software to access the object is available and how well that software can cope with M$'s proprietary standards and M$'s deviation from existing standards.

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #8 on: 24/12/2008 06:38:03 »
Quote
I've not had a single instance of a stable release of a program crashing on my Ubuntu PCs. I cannot say the same for Windows XP or Vista.

Well lucky you, but you should try power using Linux and it would be a different story.
e.g. use Gimp ,  Netbeans IDE(requires at least 500Mb and a JDK) and Tomcat(and a JDK) all at once with openoffice.org also.

Quote
just comes down to whether the software to access the object is available
I said that, but that also the reason and the "object" you refer to in my post is more of an XML document envelope only designed for MS Word.

I dont't think either of you are aware of the services that are programming or user intermediate directly from MS Windows Corp.(at least) and Apple Inc.
They centralise their own softwares(available from their downloads sections) and have add-in systems of varied language and API joiner levels with many of these softwares apart individuals that write programs as software application engineers.

Linux has all that split over the various project groups either as OS base add-in or separate software engineering project groups(with little or no real support meaning it either operates when you get it or tough luck).

http://www.nicephotog-jsp.net/SUcommanderXer-Last-Pre-Beta.jsp
http://www.nicephotog-jsp.net/linux-install.html

Think of commercialisation being a huge key as much the user market percentage consistancey.
« Last Edit: 24/12/2008 06:43:05 by nicephotog »

LeeE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #9 on: 24/12/2008 13:56:58 »
Quote
Well lucky you, but you should try power using Linux and it would be a different story.  e.g. use Gimp ,  Netbeans IDE(requires at least 500Mb and a JDK) and Tomcat(and a JDK) all at once with openoffice.org also.

What you're implying here, that it's impossible to run such a workload on Linux, whilst it will always work on other OS's is just daft.

Quote
Quote
just comes down to whether the software to access the object is available
I said that, but that also the reason and the "object" you refer to in my post is more of an XML document envelope only designed for MS Word.

I'm not sure I've parsed that correctly, but XML is platform and program agnostic - the idea behind it is that the data includes it's identification and once you know what a particular XML tag identifies you can extract and use the data in anything.  The only way you can design an XML wrapper that will only work with one program is by legal means.

Quote
I dont't think either of you are aware of the services that are programming or user intermediate directly from MS Windows Corp.(at least) and Apple Inc.
They centralise their own softwares(available from their downloads sections) and have add-in systems of varied language and API joiner levels with many of these softwares apart individuals that write programs as software application engineers.

Perhaps English is not your first language, but I had trouble parsing that too.  Funnily enough, with over thirty years experience working in I.T, on systems ranging from P.C's, through minis and mainframes, to Cray super computers, in fields ranging from commerce, through research, to local government, I do think I have some idea of the services and development that goes on in the I.T. industry and once again, you seem to be saying that commercial software developers do something that open-source developers can't, or don't.  Open-source projects are centralised, although the individual developers, or software application engineers, as you put it, may be distributed.  But then how is this different to the way that global corporations work - they have many locations that are geographically separated too.  If you think that open-source software is not available from download sections how do you think it is made available?  Or do you just mean that the software can be downloaded from many different places, because unlike proprietary software, it's distribution is not restricted?  Also, FYI, many different languages and API's are used in open-source software.

Quote
Linux has all that split over the various project groups either as OS base add-in or separate software engineering project groups(with little or no real support meaning it either operates when you get it or tough luck).

Do you really believe that in commercial software development organisations, such as Microsoft for example, there is just one development team?  That the people who develop the kernel also develop the databases, graphics systems, GUI's and applications and that it's all developed as a single monolithic program?  No, they don't.  They design their software to be modular, so that they work as add-ins, as separate software engineering projects, developed by different teams of people.  Also, software support is available for open-source software, either freely via support forums, or commercially, by paying for it.

To be really honest, I don't think you know what you're talking about.  And why have you posted a link to what appears to be a pre-beta piece of software?

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #10 on: 24/12/2008 17:03:00 »
I've only been working with computers since 1979 so I'm a complete novice. I was 1 of the team (only 4 of us) who designed and coded the loan control system for TML (builders of the channel tunnel). I also designed the safety & maintenance systems for the tunnel, and maintenance and climate control systems for Honeywell. In addition I have worked as a consultant for NatWest Bank, Credit Lyonais, Credit Suisse, Bank of England, Chicago tribune, Boston Herald, BP Oilspill, Pfizer and the Ugandan, Kenyan & Tanzanian governments. So what would I know about software development!?

Incidentally, I often have OpenOffice, GIMP, LMMS and a media player all going at the same time.
« Last Edit: 24/12/2008 17:05:13 by DoctorBeaver »

yor_on

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 9862
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #11 on: 24/12/2008 18:19:26 »
Talk about 'overkill' guys :::)))
My two cents of worth would be that Microsoft's GUI (Graphical User Interface) is what makes people feel 'safe'.
Linux on the other hand have historically seen always been the more innovative system.
( Well almost, but the start did come with Bill putting together a 'vision':)
Just because in Linux everyone's is invited to participate.

Just like Microsoft used to be in the beginning if anyone remember that long away:)
You know dos and all those cool programs we could play with.
That was what was the 'kick' with it once.

Also Microsoft with NT and now Vista have tried to 'walk away' from their former 'concoction' of Windows and create something more 'streamlined' source seen.

But most people will grow up with Microsoft Window, and so they will when buying their first 'system' choose what they feel 'comfortable' with.

But if you are a serious 'power user' nothing beats Linux as I see it.
If you want a system that is 'easy to handle' Microsoft still has an edge.

Linux have so many cool details graphically, and they are directing a lot of thought how to make it easier to use, but to my eyes that gets it more difficult to handle, as different distributions choose different locations and scripts for 'hiding' the details.

We have to differ between guys who grew up with computers and was prepared to learn and those that simply want a system that 'just work' graphically and intuitively.

That's why Windows still have an edge graphically to my eyes.
But if you are the smallest 'point' daring you should try Linux.
Myself I'm a fan of Slackware:)
Easy to understand, very stable even though not the 'bleeding edge'.
--------

And yes, I know that some will swear by Mac:)
But I missed that train...
« Last Edit: 24/12/2008 18:25:12 by yor_on »

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #12 on: 24/12/2008 21:04:29 »
Let's get this straight, it is my opinion that Windows has been good for PCs. Within reason, you can go to any Windows PC anywhere in the world and work on it the same way you would on your PC at home. What I object to is people who condemn Linux and other free software for no valid reason.

How many times have I heard "It's free so it can't be any good"? Well, I used a lot of free programs under XP & Vista and they worked fine. I did, though, have a lot of trouble with programs under Vista (not just freebies either). I don't see why I should pay for software if there is a free version available that works just as well.

If a petrol station started giving away free petrol, would drivers avoid it? If your local supermarket started giving away their own brand products, would people still buy proprietary brands? Would they hell! (OK, some would)

I use Firefox and Opera because apart from being free I think they are superior products to IE. I use OpenOffice because I can do everything I want quicker & easier and the saved documents are smaller. Plus I can easily transfer documents between my Windows and Linux PCs as I have OpenOffice on both.

Incidentally, my main reason for switching to Linux was because I do a lot of php/mySQL work and it's a lot easier under Linux.
« Last Edit: 24/12/2008 21:10:52 by DoctorBeaver »

LeeE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #13 on: 24/12/2008 22:39:38 »
The open-source development model incorporates two factors, of immense importance regarding the quality of the software, that the closed-source development model cannot address.  In no particular order, these are peer-review and motivation.

Peer-review means that everybody, and anybody, can pick your work apart, looking for flaws.  Motivation means that people are prepared to put in the time and effort, for no up-front reward, to demonstrate that their approach to the problem is better than existing approaches.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and an awful lot of people who have ate of the open-source pudding cannot deny that it's better quality grub.  Its flaws have been open to inspection and the reason it was created in the first place is because people wanted to make a better pudding.

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #14 on: 24/12/2008 22:44:28 »
If you want a good browser under Linux , go to http://www.seamonkey-project.org
Just be sure to test it first with a run-through of what you would seriously use e.g. the AJAX
uploading on sites and look/change its about:config url for the settings you want.
added: Thats not to discount that firefox add-ins system (e.g. fireFTP) are not an outclassing system.
Mozzilla.org browsers all do chrome:// url and XUL XBL

As for Linux, i prefer it to windows, but when communication and checking proper conformacy of versioning such as openoffice presentations inside Microsoft OS .ppt viewers, it is totally required to have both OSs and if you really want to be sensible in what your doing, all three to four main OSs anyhow. win , linux , solaris , mac.

Think of it as critical not condemnation.
« Last Edit: 25/12/2008 00:08:48 by nicephotog »

MonikaS

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #15 on: 25/12/2008 14:35:18 »
Ah... one of those holy war starting questions...
I do consultant and training work in small to medium size companies, most of them use Windows with MS Office for their employees. Switching to Opensource solutions isn't an option for most of them, simply because it would cost too much. Oh not the licences of course, but you have to roll out the stuff, you have to train the people with the new software/OS, you have to convert the existing files to the new office suite. All this costs a lot of time and money.
A company that has just migrated from Win2000 to XP is not willing to shell out huge stacks of again just to move to Vista or Linux. And no company is willing to can a working backoffice infrastructure unless there are very compelling reasons, i.e. some critical software will run only under a certain OS. A lot of business applications will run only under Windows and need Windows backoffice software like MSSQL Server. Adding Linux Servers to that mix would create an extra level of complexity and cost.
Most endusers feel more comfortable with using Windows at work, because they already know it from their computers at home. Comfort reduces the training costs considerably.

Monika
(Just in case you wondered :P, I've got a full pot of MS Certification alphabet soup for NT4, Win2000, Win2003, MSSQL 2000, currently working on Win2008 and SQL 2005/8. I'm thinking about getting an LPI certification, too, just have to find he extra time for that.)

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #16 on: 25/12/2008 15:09:09 »
Monika - I agree. However, I still contend that the reasons most people use Windows are because it comes pre-loaded or because everyone else uses it. It's self-perpetuating.

MonikaS

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #17 on: 25/12/2008 18:57:05 »
Monika - I agree. However, I still contend that the reasons most people use Windows are because it comes pre-loaded or because everyone else uses it. It's self-perpetuating.

True, you can hardly buy a computer without Windows Vista. Lately I heard Microsoft is almost giving away Vista licenses to the bigger companies, just to get them to use it. A lot of the IT-departments I know are very reluctant to migrate, this forced activation is a real PITA. And it means upgrading the hardware as well. <conspirancy theory>I'm sure Microsoft has a deal with all mayor hardware manufacturers.</conspirancy theory>

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #18 on: 26/12/2008 09:00:27 »
--- wrong topic
« Last Edit: 26/12/2008 09:18:36 by nicephotog »

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #19 on: 26/12/2008 09:17:45 »
Quote
leeE: seem to be saying that commercial software developers do something that open-source developers can't
Yes, they serve a gaurantee with their software because of money exchanged for their product. Open source and freeware can be(and hopefully not) a little faulty on points of consumer protection and indemnity of the developer.

Quote
leeE:If you think that open-source software is not available from download sections

i couldn't possibly re project Glassfish.

Quote
leeE:they have many locations that are geographically separated too
I mean associate URL indexed locations, not geographical.

Quote
leeE:Do you really believe that in commercial software development organisations, such as Microsoft for example, there is just one development team?
MSDN is a centralised web site location for most of their programming and programmable usage products.

Quote
leeE:To be really honest, I don't think you know what you're talking about.
To be quite honest i don't find you having truthfully read what i have written.
Try not to commit such imaginative supposition of that i've written.

Andrew K Fletcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2318
  • KIS Keep It Simple
    • View Profile
    • Operation OASIS
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #20 on: 26/12/2008 11:14:43 »
Yes, they serve a gaurantee with their software because of money exchanged for their product. Open source and freeware can be(and hopefully not) a little faulty on points of consumer protection and indemnity of the developer.

Wish I had known Windows indemnified the loss of a complete book I had written that vanished due to a black hole in microsoft back up programme on windows 98. Maybe they could have re written it for me?

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #21 on: 28/12/2008 11:30:52 »
Its not as though Linux doesn't fail, Linux would be in more social trouble and less economically accusable fault than windows.
Backup software is notorious for those problems anyhow:
read this thread in a great linux forum i found:
http://nixcraft.com/linux-software/12296-risk-deleting-folders-files-tmp.html

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #22 on: 28/12/2008 15:08:56 »
I'm not saying Linux doesn't fail, just that I've had no trouble with it. I have, though, had quite a few problems with Windows.

nicephotog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • H h H h H h H h H h
    • View Profile
    • Freeware Downloads
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #23 on: 29/12/2008 11:29:34 »
98 was much more stable than 95 but less stable than NT4.
I switched to Me when it came out and it was as stable as NT4 of which 2000 varieties were more stable again.
I first used Mandrake7 around the time i had 95 and then Me and started to prefer Linux but that the compatibilities for obtainance of programs were difficult to find for both Win and Linux.
Mandrake10(Bamboo i think it was 10 it may be 9) had some serious problems and did Mandrake9(not so much).
It has tempted me to put the M7 back in and put in a new Kernel core but the other apps i require a compiler libraries for both C and Java and also XML SGML libraries plus various other dependencies.
So i'm staying with Slackware 10.1 until i get a higher frequency box.
Vista stuff i tried is OK and so is the Mac in various cafe's around where i live.Stable enough.

DoctorBeaver

  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 12659
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
What is the best operating system?
« Reply #24 on: 29/12/2008 12:42:22 »
I use Ubuntu Studio and so far it has worked perfectly well apart from 1 instance of it hanging during a disk check.

 

SMF 2.0 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines