Daniel Kozlowski on 13 May 2005 04:22:45 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] Drexel MCS Society Debate

Well while i am no guru with some of these topics since i am up at 12:00
i thought i would reply :-) 
>  1   Open Source vs. Proprietary 
>          [Not just Linux but Open Source development, software
>          like Apache, The Gimp, etc.]
There are many downfalls with the proprietary method of deploying
software and i think most of them fall to the end user. From the end
users perspective proprietary software that does not have an open
standard locks you into a sole source for all support and upgrading.
This leads to buggy software, poor support and increased prices as the
customer has no option but to return to their sole source for upgrades
or bug support 

>  2   Security [ohmygod - takes deep breath... explodes in laughter.] 

I am sure i know nothing here of any intrest to anyone 
>  3   Tying OS to hardware 
>         What they meant by this was how Linux can run on 
>         several different architectures, while Windows 
>         can primarily only run on x86, with the
>         exception of CE and some versions of NT. 
>         I get to speak for 3+1 minutes on this :-P
I would mention full portability to embedded systems here as you can get
most GNU software to compile on any architecture while ALL windows
programs will only work on x86 unless the vendor decided to release a
version for another architecture. This also goes back to point one as if
i am creating an embedded device i can use open source to create a fully
functional suite of applications without having to write the programs
from scratch and without having to be locked into the architecture that
the software i bought works on 

>  4   64 bit computing 
>         64-bit platform benefits and our/their approach. 
>        [I have NOT followed the growing 64 bit market so I'm 
>         nearly clueless on this.]

64-bit for linux was out much much sooner then its windows equivalent
just shows what having a few eyes on the code can do for you in terms of
release speed 

>  5   Emulation 
>         Interoperability and migration between platforms. 
>         [Wine?  Open document and file formats?  DRM? - the 
>         last 2 are hardly "emulation". I believe software 
>         patents are going to impact this area most heavily.]
I would mention that even MS's open standards are protected by software
patents and not usable by FOSS programmers . 

>  6   Perception of end-user / User Interface 
>         [I take this to mean how a user who is familiar with one
>         could adapt to using the other.]

I always think of this that there are 10+ window managers for linux
while there is 1 for windows and with linux many are just like windows
or can be made to act just like it. but with windows you are stuck who
care if you want your WM to load in 10 seconds who cares if you use
virtural desktops, , you don't want a taskbar well tough luck thats the
nonly way to do things in windows. 

>  7   Driver Availability and Compatible Software 
>         This would include the issue of games. 
>         [I don't use many computer games (well, okay, I own a
>         copy of Unreal Tournament for Windows but that's all, I 
>         swear!) so I'm especially in need of help here.]
I always like to mention that nothing works with windows by default (its
a psudo-micro-kernel and only by having driver "modules" can things
work :-)

>  8   Installation / Uninstallation 
>         This is in regards to both OS (including updates 
>         and patches) and software, the difficulty level of 
>         installation / uninstallation, and the user's experience. 
>        [I've had some real screwed up windows installs and some
>         REAL SMOOTH Linux installs]
Aside from not being able to buy most computers pre-loaded and the whole
win-modem/printer/raid/..... Linux install is orders of magnitude easer
in fact i would take a Gentoo install any day over a windows install,
which for me always seams to fail halfway through but not tell you why.
Or it will complete the " dos " portion and when it reboots it will just
not work. Also try to install windows on any partition but the first,
Also try to get windows to install with a linux install (linux before
windows) it just plain won't work as expected  

>  9   Portability 
>         The versions of your OS available for handheld PCs. 
>        [Again, I hear "Treo" and I think: "Father, Son, and Holy
>         Ghost".]

Treo runs palmOS and the only PDA i know of that runs linux is the
Zaurus series from sharp ( which i think are some of the best designed
ones) but they are not sold in the US other then that in embedded
systems Linux does things that windows just can't (TiVo)  

So anyway these are some of the answers i would give most of them are
abridged as i tend to ramble on when asked to tell why i prefer linux  

Daniel Kozlowski <dhk24@drexel.edu>
Drexel Univerisity

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