PDA

View Full Version : Mac - Linux - Windows



tacmig99
08-23-2006, 02:54 AM
So besides the looks, what's the actual differences between them?
Every school I've been to so far (I'll be in sec 5, grade 11 highschool in a week) uses Mac computers which are easy to use but I absolutely hate the programs, also they crash a lot but that could be caused by the school's server or low virtual memory.
And I am using Windows XP for my home computer which I am typing with right now, but I've never used Linux, or know virtually anything about it. The only thing I hear about it is it has better performance somehow, but how?

blm126
08-23-2006, 03:40 AM
I have been using linux on my laptop for ahwile. The main difference is this: Free
On linux I have not payed for a single piece of software.

Twey
08-23-2006, 03:55 AM
Windows is a proprietary operating system, developed by Microsoft. Pretty much everything it does is hidden from the user. It is currently the most widely-used desktop operating system, and favours user-friendliness over stability or security, the latter of which it is associated with much in the way snails are associated with speed. Most of the user interface is built on everyone's favourite browser, Internet Explorer. It runs only on x86 processors, although there are ports of older versions. It was originally a single-user operating system, and not designed for networked use. With the introduction of Windows NT, it began to struggle to escape from the limits imposed by that, but is still trying.

Linux is a kernel, the very core of an operating system, based on the UNIX kernel. On top of this the GNU project's software is layered, creating a fully-featured operating system (GNU/Linux). A vast number of distributions exist, created and maintained by different groups. It exposes a lot more of the underlying mechanics to the user who looks, and so can be configured infinitely, resulting in superior performance if the user knows what he/she is doing and is willing to take the time to tweak it. However, this has a tendency to scare off less technically-savvy users, despite the existence of purposefully user-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu. It runs on just about every processor out there, due to its open-source nature. It is the most popular server operating system at the moment.

Mac OS (X, at least) is a proprietary operating system built over the free Darwin BSD kernel. Both portions are owned by Apple. It is famed for user-friendliness and eye-candy. It runs on PPC (PowerPC) processors, and now also on the x86 architecture.

I'm also a Linux user, so my viewpoint is probably somewhat biased. :) Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Windows_and_Linux
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Windows_and_Mac_OS_X
http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/security_report_windows_vs_linux/

tacmig99
08-23-2006, 05:58 PM
Hold up, what do you mean by free? Does it come with a lot of good programs by default, or do they offer free downloads?

jr_yeo
08-23-2006, 06:20 PM
Does it come with a lot of good programs by default, or do they offer free downloads?
Both.

Twey
08-23-2006, 07:24 PM
Linux is a lot more modular than Windows. On Windows (and Mac, I believe), installing a program means installing that program and all the libraries and files it needs to run. On Linux, we have programs called package managers that do all the slog-work for us, and make sure that the same library only needs to be installed once for all the programs that need it, saving a lot of time and disk space. All that's necessary to install most programs is to pass the name of the program to the package manager and let it do its thing. For example, if I wanted to install Kanjipad, a program that allows one to draw Chinese characters and attempts to select the correct Unicode character based on that drawing, I would simply execute:
# emerge kanjipadand my package manager would automatically download and install:
jdk-1.5.0
jre-1.5.0
db-4.3.29-r2
libperl-5.8.8-r1
perl-5.8.8-r2
automake-1.9.6-r2
Test-Harness-2.62
perl-cleaner-1.04.3
PodParser-1.34
glib-2.10.3
pango-1.12.3
atk-1.12.2
shared-mime-info-0.18-r1
gtk+-2.8.20-r1
kanjipad-2.0.0... plus anything else I might need to run Kanjipad, but only if I didn't already have them. In this example, most of the programs it requires are already installed on a base system, so it wouldn't bother installing them, saving a lot of diskspace compared to the Windows "let's install it anyway" approach.

blm126
08-23-2006, 09:14 PM
Installing on OS X is easy. Drag and Drop. Basically a program is one file(well, not really, but their good at pretending they are).On OS X it goes like this search for program,download program, drag to Applications Folder(optional).A great way to do things unfortunately you my have to pay for a lot of stuff.
In Ubuntu Linux(6.06) there is an interesting program called Synaptic. You open this program, search for something, then hit the install button. Everything is free! In fact, the only linux programs I can think of that you have to pay for are VMware,and MySQL(and both of those offer free versions).
I'll windows out of thisbecause you probably know that already.

Twey
08-23-2006, 09:28 PM
In Ubuntu Linux(6.06) there is an interesting program called Synaptic. You open this program, search for something, then hit the install button.Ah, yes. The up-and-coming new wave of computer users are scared of the command line, so most package managers also have a graphical front-end. :)
Everything is free! In fact, the only linux programs I can think of that you have to pay for are VMware,and MySQL(and both of those offer free versions).I could name quite a lot more. There tends to be a free (and Free) program for everything, though. The only program I've come across that doesn't have a totally free equivalent is Cedega.

tacmig99
08-24-2006, 01:45 AM
installing a program means installing that program and all the libraries and files it needs to run.
So then that means you never have the problem of a program only being able to run on older versions of the operating system right? That could really come in handy for me, I have a few things I can't use even when I try using the Windows Program Compatibility Wizard because of missing .dll's
Damn, now I wanna switch my operating system Linux sounds so much better. I'm still and always will be a Mac hater though, in my computer class I do nothing but post on forums and do all my work on my home PC lol.

Twey
08-24-2006, 01:57 AM
I think you missed the most important part of that quote:
On Windows (and Mac, I believe), installing a program means installing that program and all the libraries and files it needs to run.:)

Due to its modular nature, a lot of distributions of Linux don't have formal release versions; you simply stay updated via the package manager and your system gets upgraded piecemeal. Failure to run programs due to missing libraries should never happen -- that's what the package manager is for.

tacmig99
08-24-2006, 02:05 AM
Oh yes I guess I got caught up in my chain of thought there. But the idea is still what I thought it was, least I think so :confused: lol

blm126
08-24-2006, 02:20 AM
Ah, yes. The up-and-coming new wave of computer users are scared of the command line, so most package managers also have a graphical front-end. :)
I'm not scared off the command line. I use apt-get(Synaptic slows things down when you only have 128mb of RAM) all the time. I just don't see why I should use something like emacs/vi/vim when Bluefish is so much easier.

mburt
08-24-2006, 02:23 AM
I want Linux... Badly.... :)

tacmig99
08-24-2006, 02:26 AM
I'm not scared off the command line. I use apt-get(Synaptic slows things down when you only have 128mb of RAM) all the time. I just don't see why I should use something like emacs/vi/vim when Bluefish is so much easier.
I'll just assume this is about programming since I have no idea what you're talking about lol

I want Linux... Badly.... :)
I second that :cool:

blm126
08-24-2006, 02:48 AM
Why don't you both try out a live cd or two?

mburt
08-24-2006, 02:52 AM
Hmm... Well. Let's think of the reason's (for me) not to:

1. This isn't my computer.
2. I'm too cheap and lazy to do so.

and well, that's pretty much it. But other than that, hey. Why not.

blm126
08-24-2006, 03:32 AM
Hmm... Well. Let's think of the reason's (for me) not to:

1. This isn't my computer.
2. I'm too cheap and lazy to do so.

and well, that's pretty much it. But other than that, hey. Why not.
1.Not a problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiveCD)
2.This one either (http://www.ubuntu.com/support/faq#head-7eef2db63e0a75424cdd663ee6f7b8eedcf19607)
:)

mburt
08-24-2006, 03:52 AM
Thanks :)

mwinter
08-24-2006, 01:50 PM
I'm also a Linux user, so my viewpoint is probably somewhat biased.

Let's be honest Twey, "probably" and "somewhat" are understatements.



Linux is a lot more modular than Windows.

The comparison isn't really meaningful. Linux has a core set of third-party libraries and utilities that everyone else uses to perform certain tasks. That this isn't the case on Windows has nothing to do with Windows itself.

There is nothing that is stopping a third-party from creating a set of libraries that will install to a single shared location that will service any requesting software (and of course, that does happen). There's also nothing stopping an application from omitting that library from its distribution and downloading it only if necessary.






installing a program means installing that program and all the libraries and files it needs to run.

So then that means you never have the problem of a program only being able to run on older versions of the operating system right?

I would find the answer "Yes" to be rather suspicious: binary incompatibility is still an issue. The main difference is that due to the open source nature of most Linux software, a Linux user is usually in the position to rebuild the software, linking against the current versions of libraries installed on the system. However, even that isn't a solution for all cases: the library interface must also have been unchanged between versions.



That could really come in handy for me, I have a few things I can't use even when I try using the Windows Program Compatibility Wizard because of missing .dll's

I hope you don't think that Linux will solve that.

Mike

Twey
08-24-2006, 02:13 PM
Let's be honest Twey, "probably" and "somewhat" are understatements.(nods ruefully)
There is nothing that is stopping a third-party from creating a set of libraries that will install to a single shared location that will service any requesting software (and of course, that does happen). There's also nothing stopping an application from omitting that library from its distribution and downloading it only if necessary.Of course not. The point I was making was that it isn't part of the core operating system.
binary incompatibility is still an issue.Due to continuous updates and, as you say, the abundance of open source software, while it may still be an issue, it's rather rare, even with binary distributions. I can't say I've ever encountered it, except with the closed-source nVIDIA drivers.
However, even that isn't a solution for all cases: the library interface must also have been unchanged between versions.Again, the nature of open source software saves the day: generally, developers of one application, having access to the source of the next version of a library upon which it depends, can build applications to be compatible with that software before it's formally released.

That could really come in handy for me, I have a few things I can't use even when I try using the Windows Program Compatibility Wizard because of missing .dll'sI hope you don't think that Linux will solve that.Depends on the definition of "solve." Wine has good support for software built for old versions of Windows. That aside, it depends whether "solve" means "prevent this problem from happening with new software" or "run those specific applications that wouldn't run on Windows." tacmig99 was quite vague on that point, so I didn't comment one way or the other.