First of all I want to applaud the second post in
this forum which was from some guy who never used x86 machines which
means he managed to stay away from windows. I suppose my background in
some respects does not go that far back. I started using computers
practically since I was born, well not actually but around when I was 8
years old. And since I am 26 that put DOS in my hands. I remember
having to boot my computer from a stack of 5,12 floppy disks and my
first operating system was good old DRDOS 2.0. I used DOS for quite
some time and then just pretty much moved up the food chain.
DRDOS 2.0,3.3,4.0 - on a 286 8mhz (assembled by some guy from china
-> I can't really remember who it was quite a while back).
I then moved to Windows 3.0 which was crap and didn't work very well so
I never really used it but I do recall that I ran it on the same 286 on
top of my DRDOS 4.
At some point in time my father who did research for scripts made and
investment and changed our 286 with a 386 25mhz from AMD and the 286
naturally passed on to me. I continued my use of DOS primarily for
Games and Programming -> I used to develop C,C++ and Pascal programs
and then tried Windows 3.1 which was much better than 3.0, and so I
started using that primary to write programs with GUI's because you
didn't have to draw things with ASCII characters and you could do some
interesting things with graphics since you could paint pixels lines and
what not. (Now I know the same could have been done with DOS and some
toolkit like Borland's CRT or their more advanced graphics library, but
the Microsoft API's under windows were easier and you could add menu's
and other sorts of graphical widgets easily). As I shifted my
programming to windows instead of DOS my use of the computer was pretty
much based on Windows, with a dos window constantly open to execute
programs, compile things and do pretty much anything with the computer.
GUI interfaces have never been very useful for doing things!!.
Now it wasn't until my father bought me my own computer (a Compaq
Presario 486 with 4MB of memory) that I switched operating systems once
again. I was attracted my OS/2 Warp the famous cross-roads when Windows
3.1 was dying and Windows 95 was about to be launched onto the consumer
market. You say television adds from both IBM and Microsoft on pretty
much every channel and the thing that got me to install OS/2 was
"Preemptive Multitasking" (which we get on Linux now with kernel 2.6
(something or other)). What it means for the folks that are not
computer or programming experts is that the computer actually does not
slow down just because the processor is doing something else, so the
operating system does a bunch of things to make your computer look like
a multiprocessor system even when you only have one processor. I loved
OS/2 which was nice looking had a wonderful GUI, good C,C++ tools, java
support, if you used the Windows 3.1 disks you could run all of your
windows 3.1 programs on it, never crashed, even ran the DOS games like
Wing Commander and did pretty much anything I wanted without ever
crashing. So I switched to Linux which I had dabbled with when I was
looking at operating systems before using OS/2 (Linux Universe with
Kernel 1.0 - which loaded but was very slow next to OS/2 but just about
as fast as Windows 95), back to the switch.. I switched because I had
just gotten out of high school was doing collage in Italy (where I now
live) and didn't have enough money to upgrade my OS/2 Warp operating
system to the newer 4.0 version plus I couldn't really find anybody in
Italy that would sell it to me, plus I heard that IBM was fading out
support for the Operating system and so I removed OS/2 from my Epson
486 laptop with an external keyboard and Installed Red Hat Linux 5.0.
Which mind you I believe to be one of the most solid Linux
distributions of all time.
Since then my use of the computer has practically been completely Linux
asside from a job I had for 2 years from 1999 to 2001 where I used
Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000 to program Microsoft ASP in a Microsoft
Based Company on Microsoft Servers (ok you get the picture). I did
manage to introduce Java which they did not like but used because it
worked better than the Microsoft Stuff.
Since I started working I have had various computers with linux.
- Citrix 586 400mhz with a Tyan Motherboard and 64MB of memory running
Linux Red Hat 7.1 on my girlfriend and I wrote (www.bigfood.it)
- AMD Athlon XP 1600+ which still works as a file server for one of my friends running Linux Mandrake 8.0
- AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 2GB memory, Fujitsu SCSI 80GB 15k, etc. (a really
nice computer) running various versions of Linux (Mandrake 8.1, 8.2,
9.0, 9.1, 9.2) I used the computer for many years, I then upgraded the
computer to my current pc which is the same with 2,5GB of memory and an
Asus AI Athlon 64 motherboard and an AMD 64 3000+ processor on a
Mandrake LE2005 x86_64.
At work I have had various other pc's:
- Compaq persario - Pentium 3 733mhz - running Redhat 8.0 and Redhat 9.0
- Acer aspire 1300 Laptop - running Linux Mandrake 9.1,9.2,10.0
- DELL Inspiron 5150 Laptop - running Linux Mandrake 10.0,10.1,LE2005 and now 2006.
- AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (monster computer), 4GB of memory, Nvidia 6600
256MB - my development workstation for writing J2EE applications
running Linux Mandrake LE2005.
Linux I believe is the future, as is all open source software. Linux is
the foundation upon which computing can become accessible to everybody
and writing programs can be much easier for those who have to write
then and managing systems easier for those who have to manage them.
Windows is Shit. It sucks. When I do my job which is writing web sites
and developing database driven J2EE applications 99% of the problems I
have are with Microsoft Internet Explorer and about 99% of the network
problems have to do with Microsoft Windows XP and it's users.. which in
my opinion should not use a computer as by doing so they would do
everybody a favor.
I think that Linux users are good people who like to use computers and
know enough about then to use them properly. Windows users are not the
same class of people. They are people who don't know anything about
computers don't know what they are, have problems finding the power
button, they are -- in a word, technologically impaired and therefore
in my opinion should not exist. There are so many other things one can
do in life. Why must people spend there time, catching viruses, sending
spam, etc... In a perfect world I would drop support for Windows
completely, forget IE was ever made and get back to doing my job and
not solving other peoples problems.
There is something curious I picked up at work.
A while back I got a lot of calls because of problems with Outlook
Express. So I simply checked the status of our mail server to make sure
everything was fine and then politely told my customer to request
support from his software vendor as the problem was with his Windows
He said: so I should call the guy's that sold me the computer?
I said: no!. it is a problem with your software you have to call the software support center.
He said: So I should call DELL?
I said: no. DELL did not write (Microsoft Outlook Express) otherwise it would be called DELL Outlook Express.
He said: That is no help at all, Microsoft won't help me with my problem, are you crazy!.
I think that this dialog is important because of one of the biggest criticisms with Linux and that is support.
Do Linux Competitors offer support: On paper they do.., I am sure if
you pay them enough $ they do but for the average joe, they don't and
people know it. So this thing about support is a non issue. When people
need help the go on the Internet and solve their own problems.