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Old 04-27-2006, 07:12 PM   #1
Chaosbringer
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My Linux Essay....


Ok, i wrote this essay for my english class, the introduction is more of an Introduction to Linux history because my teacher does not know what linux is.

Quote:
Victor Passapera
Exp. Writing
[Revised]
Linux vs. Windows:
The Operating System Battle

As of late, more and more controversy is being debated over what operating system will prevail and ultimately dominate in the field of both, desktop computer and server systems. While Apple's macintosh computers are great, the common argument is that of Linux and Windows, and the battle of commercial vs. free and open-source. Linux has often been the tool of the geek and technical user. Lately, in order to compete with super corporations like Microsoft, Linux vendors have made it easier for the "normal" computer user to manage Linux. “What makes Linux so great? and why do people use Windows?"...This essay hopes to answer those questions.

Linux is the kernel of an operating system of the same name and it was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux's ancestry goes back to a mainframe operating system known as Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Services) and Unix. Multics, created in 1965, was one of the first multi-user computer systems. "Ken Thompson and Dennis Richie worked with Multics developing software, until Bell Labs (the owner of the software) withdrew from the project in 1969"(Learning Debian Linux Chapter 1.2 ). Without access to a Multics computer, they decided to create an operating system that could run on a PDP-7 computer. Eventually, they created what was originally called Unics, as a pun on Multics, and the 'C' computer language. Later on, the spelling became Unix for reasons that are still mysterious to most of us. Ritchie and Thompson made copies of Unix available for free to everyone in the world. Programmers revised and improved Unix, sending word of their changes back to Ritchie and Thompson, who incorporated the changes into the original Unix. When AT&T realized the commercial potential of Unix, it clamed Unix as its intellectual property, and began charging license fees. Soon, others who had implemented Unix-like Operating Systems were distributing licenses for a fee. Thus, an MIT scientist called Richard Stallman, created what is now known as the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and GNU (Gnu’s Not Unix). By the 1990's the FSF had obtained or written most components needed for the GNU operating system, except the kernel (the heart of the operating system). This is where Linus Torvalds comes into play. Linus had been working with another Unix-like O.S. called Minix. Linus was disappointed in the performance and believed he could do better. He shared his work with other programmers on internet newsgroups (Usenet). Soon, programmers worked together to improve his kernel, which he called Linux (for Linus’s Minix). After its initial release in 1991, The GNU became interested in the Linux kernel. Version 1.0 of the software was released in 1994, but Linux had been integrated with GNU since 1992 to produce a fully functional operating system (O.S.).

Linux has always been popular among computer developers, programmers and the like, but because only up to the last couple of years having Linux operating system running on your desktop was only achieved by computer "techie" most casual users just stayed away from it. This hurt Linux in a very strong way. Users without hardware knowledge, or any prior experience often found themselves in trouble when trying to install Linux, the same could be said for trying to install a program in a running enviroment.
In the 1980's thought the 1990's, Microsoft managed to get a copy of MS-Dos running in most personal computers through a very "clever marketing strategy". After this, Windows made its first appearance, providing an appealing "drag and drop" and "click and install" interface that persuaded most users away from text based systems like Linux. Recently, programs like KDE (K Desktop Enviroment) and GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) have taken care of these problems, and Linux is finaly gaining the popularity and success it deserves.

A lot of the success of Linux comes from the many choices that are available to the user. Often software packages are called "distributions" which are packages that different vendors make, both commercial and free, that include programs, drivers and the such to appeal to a certain kind of user. No matter what interests one has, be it hacking, programming or just casual computer usage, a kind of Linux distribution exsists for it, and best of all…Its free. This is probably the main reason for Linux's success. Linux, in most cases performs equal or better than any commercial operating system, which in some cases can cost $200.00 - $300.00+ dollars for desktop versions and over $1000.00 dollars for server versions, especially Windows. It is also Open-source, which means that hackers or programmers like me, will be able to modify the source and compile it (convert to computer language) with the modifications integrated in it. This is something that cannot be done with most commercial Operating systems (it is possible with Unix-like or Unix-based ones). What is the use of making changes to the operating system itself? While most computer users will never come across such a case, often power users want to customize their computers to suit their personal needs most often to a very deep level which can only be accomplished by “hacking” the kernel itself. For example, Linux computers are not be able to run Windows programs natively, however, a skilled programmer would just download the Linux source code from it’s respective site and make a program that would run the necessary Windows libraries on the background, compile the new source, and have a Linux system that runs Windows applications. This is only an example scenario.

While Windows is aimed at the casual computer user, Linux can be used by both, the new and the advanced computer user, and contrary to popular belief, sometimes actions are simpler in the world of Linux. Let’s say that your desktop is looking dull as of late and you want to add a touch of personality to it. In Windows world, you would start by getting a third-party program such as Windows Blinds, Desktop X, Hover Desk or StyleXP, in most cases the software can be over $50.00 dollars. After buying the required software, you must go hunting for a theme that fits your liking, and if you are lucky and find one, most of the time you can be charged for it as well. Linux on the other hand, uses the X Windowing System, and it offers a window manager, which lets you modify every aspect on your computer. Other programs such as KDE and GNOME are Window managers that expand the X Window's functionality. However, let’s say you wanted to quickly turn your Desktop computer into a web server, either for a personal website, or just for a developing environment. To do this on a Windows environment, depending on your needs (assuming specific PHP, MySQL, and Apache are required), you will need to go to the respective sites, and go through the lengthy process of installing each tool separately or alternatively download an executable file that will install it. After this, you will have to configure each respective tool. If you are on a development machine, and have no access to the internet, you will not have the tools available to you. While most people can handle this, wouldn’t you rather be developing your program already? Linux, was originally intended to be a server system, therefore most distributions will include everything you need to have a web server in the computer ready so you can get busy as soon as you turn it on.

Linux has many advantages over Windows. Better application management, Easy to use standardized scripting and comprehensive permissions. Windows lacks all of these, even with third-party tools installed. Linux is not affected by viruses, spy-ware, ad-ware and the like because the permissions system it uses is effective and advanced unlike the disaster that is Windows user accounts, in which a non-administrator user cannot even change the time setting and the Administrator account is easily infected by viruses even with the proper tools installed, and sure install routines are easy for the average computer user, but does one know exactly what is being installed in the hard drive and where? Before you know it the hard drive will be filled with random DLLs whose functions will be mystery to all but the vendors themselves. Recent Linux distributions have made installing software less of a hassle by simulating an install routine, without the drawbacks. The Linux Shell (command line) is the most powerful tool available to the computer user. It also includes a powerful scripting engine called Bash. From there all aspects of the operating system can be managed, a lot more that can be said about the mediocre competition that is cmd.exe where you are limited to a few set commands. A free, secure, feature rich operating system full of choices for everyone, this is what makes Linux the best choice.

While Windows is still the common operating system, Linux is the future. Most people keep pay outrageous ammounts of money for programs, while Linux users enjoy free and effective alternatives, this will not go unnoticed for long. "Linux will no longer be a hackers toy". What started as a small project in 1991 has started a revolution that will ultimately find its way in everyone’s computer.
Any Useful comments etc that you may have please let me know. I know that im pretty much bashing Windows and microsoft on the essay but that is what its supposed to be doing.

Thank you.

Last edited by Chaosbringer; 04-28-2006 at 09:26 AM.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 08:49 PM   #2
IBall
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Not bad.

My only question (out of curiosity) is - what does this have to do with English? My recollections of English are that it is about analysing novels, plays, films, etc - not Linux...

--Ian
 
Old 04-27-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
peter_89
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As the English major I am, please excuse any excessive pickiness (I'm a former English teacher -- I used to grade this stuff for a living)... Therefore, there aren't any comments from me about the actual Linux history itself, just about grammar suggestions.
The language is too informal. By that I mean statements like "loads of". Make it more formal sounding.
The introduction has waaaaaaaaaay too much detail and is too long; it's really only supposed to describe what your essay is going to be about and have around eight sentences at the maximum. Here's a little helper link on writing good introductions: http://www.gmu.edu/departments/writi.../introcon.html
I don't know what grade you're in, but in high school English you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever use first person -- "I," "you," "we," "me," or "us."
Another VERY important detail in high school is the inclusion of a thesis statement. Where's yours?
You have several basic grammar errors in there. Look a little closer and you will see them.
Why are you capitalizing "operating system"?
The first sentence of every paragraph, called the topic sentence, needs to be directly linked to the thesis statement -- for example, with a thesis statement of "all fish are blue" (I'm in a hurry here) a topic sentence could be "the fact that all fish are blue is shown in the research conducted by John Doe in 1980."
As a last note, don't spend the time explaining the difference between a "hacker" and a "cracker"; it really doesn't matter to your teacher and it WILL just get them confused.

Last edited by peter_89; 04-27-2006 at 09:17 PM.
 
Old 04-27-2006, 09:02 PM   #4
aysiu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaosbringer
Any Useful comments etc that you may have please let me know.
I've got some comments for you:
Quote:
Linux is an Operating System
I know your English teacher probably doesn't know the difference, but isn't Linux a kernel and not an operating system?
Quote:
This is where Linus Torvalds comes into play. Linus had been working with another Unix-like O.S. called Minix. Linus was disappointed in the performance and believed he could do better.
I'm going off memory here, but I believe in his book Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary he said something like he created the Minix clone because he was too poor to afford Unix. Though, I do also remember him being quite critical of Minix.
Quote:
A lot of the success of Linux comes from the many flavors available to the user. By flavors I mean distributions (otherwise known as Distros) or pre-compiled packages that different distributors make, both commercial and open-source.
I can guarantee that if your English teacher didn't know what a distribution was before this sentence, she (or he) probably won't afterwards either.
Quote:
No matter what interests one has or what you use your computer for, be it hacking, programming or just casual computer usage, there is a Linux “distro” for you, and best of all…Its free.
A little bit of an exaggeration, isn't it? After all, people who are into PC gaming or professional graphic design are probably better off with Windows or Mac OS X.
Quote:
Linux is in most cases equal to or better
Don't make value judgments (better/worse)--speak factually--what can Linux do that Windows can't and vice versa.
Quote:
It is also Open-source, which means that hackers and programmer like me, will be able to modify the source and compile (convert to computer language) it with the modifications you made.
The word hacker may scare your English teacher into thinking you're actually a cracker.
Quote:
This is something that cannot be done with most commercial Operating systems (it is possible with Unix-like or Unix-based ones). What is the use of making changes to the operating system itself? While most computer users will never come across such a case, often power users want to customize their computers to suit their personal needs most often to a very deep level which can only be accomplished by “hacking” the kernel itself. For example, Linux computers are not be able to run Windows programs natively, however, a skilled programmer would just download the Linux source code from it’s respective site and make a program that would run the necessary Windows libraries on the background, compile the new source, and have a Linux system that runs Windows applications.
This whole paragraph seems to go against your "casual computer usage" argument earlier. It really reinforces the idea that Linux distros are only hobby or "geek" OSes.

Quote:
While Windows is aimed at the casual computer user, Linux can be used by both, the new and the advanced computer user, and contrary to popular belief, sometimes actions are simpler in the world of Linux. Let’s say that your desktop is looking dull as of late and you want to add a touch of personality to it. In Windows world, you would start by getting a third-party program such as Windows Blinds, Desktop X, Hover Desk or StyleXP, in most cases they can be over $50.00 dollars. After buying the required software, you must go hunting for a theme that fits your liking, and if you are lucky and find one, most of the time you can be charged for it as well. Linux on the other hand, uses the X Windowing System, and it offers a window manager, which lets you modify every aspect on your computer. This is a common situation that would not halt the advanced user.
Good example. Maybe go into a bit more detail about how exactly you'd install an XP theme versus the steps it would take to install a theme in, say, Gnome.
Quote:
Better application management,
Again--try to avoid words like "better" or "worse." Be specific about what Linux can do.
Quote:
Most people keep paying loads of money for programs, while Linux users enjoy free and effective alternatives, this will not go unnoticed for long.
Don't forget that the GPL allows for people to charge money for open source software.

Overall, I think you need to seem a little less biased (you make your case for Linux stronger by recognizing the strengths of Windows--your English teacher will be far more impressed if you allow for counterarguments) and also have a little more direction--from paragraph to paragraph, I'm not sure where you're headed. You should be able to sum up the point of each paragraph in a phrase. Look at those phrases in order and see if they make sense in that order.

Lastly, slow down. You do explain a few things, but a lot of your essay is still in "geek speak." As a former English teacher myself, I can attest to my colleagues' confusion when anything computer-related comes up. Literary terms--no sweat; technological terms--lots of sweat!

P.S. Your English teacher may not take too kindly to plagiarism either:
Quote:
Originally Posted by you
Ken Thompson and Dennis Richie worked with Multics until Bell Labs (they own the software) withdrew from the project in 1969.
Quote:
Originally Posted by o'reilly
Two Bell Labs software engineers, Ken Thompson and Dennis Richie, worked on Multics until Bell Labs withdrew from the project in 1969.
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/debia...k/ch01_02.html If you're lifting stuff from other sources, use quotation marks where appropriate and always use citations.

Last edited by aysiu; 04-27-2006 at 10:00 PM.
 
Old 04-28-2006, 06:48 AM   #5
Chaosbringer
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Thanks!

This really helps.
I am going to take your advice, implement it to my essay, and turn it in later today. BTW: I am a senior in High School. The reason i made the Linux Vs. Windows Essay is because the topic the essay was supposed to be written in, is open ended so i could write it in whatever interests me and of course, this interests me.

Thanks again.
 
Old 04-28-2006, 07:52 AM   #6
weibullguy
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My two cents. I understand this for your English class, but in a few short years you’ll be communicating in the business world. You’ll be trying to help the boss decide whether to put Windows or Linux on the new PCs for the office. I may be harsh, but reading this from a technical manager’s perspective I feel cheated.

You end your introduction with the following:

“By now most people would be thinking, “If Linux is so great, why haven’t I heard of it before and why does everyone use Windows?”…Well, I hope this essay answers these questions.”

Actually, no, I’m thinking neither of these. I’m thinking, “I thought this paper was going to compare and contrast Linux and Windows? I’m not interested in the history of Linux. Is it’s history even germane?”

Your last sentence, actually grabbed my attention.

“What started as a small project in 1991 has started a revolution that will ultimately find its way in everyone’s computer.”

Now I’m interested, but I want to know why and how. You better tell me. You left me hanging and I feel that I wasted my time.

The term “hacker” has such negative connotations in general society that I would avoid it unless you explain it. Since this isn’t an essay on “hackers vs. crackers”, probably just avoid it.

Your paragraphs are too long. You’ve got three or four paragraphs worth of information packed into each of them. It’s difficult to read even if I’m not a busy manager just skimming the document. It’ll find it’s way to my circular file before I even finish reading the third sentence.

“$1000.00 dollars” is redundant. There’s a lot of jargon. For example, “many flavors available to the user.” What am I at the ice cream parlor? Microsoft offers a home, business, and educational version of Windows for the desktop and a separate version for servers. Linux offers literally hundreds of options and this is better because ____________________.

Ultimately, you’ve convinced me that Linux is an operating system for computer geeks, programmers, and super users. If I were a casual computer user or a business computer user, I’d stick with Windows. If my last name were Gates, I’d close my eyes and go back to sleep, secure in the knowledge that Linux represents no real competition.
 
Old 04-28-2006, 08:17 AM   #7
Chaosbringer
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Revised Essay

Quote:
Victor Passapera
Exp. Writing
Ms. Racic
Linux vs. Windows:
The Operating System Battle

As of late, more and more controversy is being debated over what operating system will prevail and ultimately dominate in the field of both, desktop computer and server systems. While Apple's macintosh computers are great, the common argument is that of Linux and Windows, and the battle of commercial vs. free and open-source. Linux has often been the tool of the geek and technical user. Lately, in order to compete with super corporations like Microsoft, Linux vendors have made it easier for the "normal" computer user to manage Linux. “What makes Linux so great? and why do people use Windows?"...This essay hopes to answer those questions.

Linux is the kernel of an operating system of the same name and it was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux's ancestry goes back to a mainframe operating system known as Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Services) and Unix. Multics, created in 1965, was one of the first multi-user computer systems. "Ken Thompson and Dennis Richie worked with Multics developing software, until Bell Labs (the owner of the software) withdrew from the project in 1969"(Learning Debian Linux Chapter 1.2 ). Without access to a Multics computer, they decided to create an operating system that could run on a PDP-7 computer. Eventually, they created what was originally called Unics, as a pun on Multics, and the 'C' computer language. Later on, the spelling became Unix for reasons that are still mysterious to most of us. Ritchie and Thompson made copies of Unix available for free to everyone in the world. Programmers revised and improved Unix, sending word of their changes back to Ritchie and Thompson, who incorporated the changes into the original Unix. When AT&T realized the commercial potential of Unix, it clamed Unix as its intellectual property, and began charging license fees. Soon, others who had implemented Unix-like Operating Systems were distributing licenses for a fee. Thus, an MIT scientist called Richard Stallman, created what is now known as the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and GNU (Gnu’s Not Unix). By the 1990's the FSF had obtained or written most components needed for the GNU operating system, except the kernel (the heart of the operating system). This is where Linus Torvalds comes into play. Linus had been working with another Unix-like O.S. called Minix. Linus was disappointed in the performance and believed he could do better. He shared his work with other programmers on internet newsgroups (Usenet). Soon, programmers worked together to improve his kernel, which he called Linux (for Linus’s Minix). After its initial release in 1991, The GNU became interested in the Linux kernel. Version 1.0 of the software was released in 1994, but Linux had been integrated with GNU since 1992 to produce a fully functional operating system (O.S.).

Linux has always been popular among computer developers, programmers and the like, but because only up to the last couple of years having Linux operating system running on your desktop was only achieved by computer "techie" most casual users just stayed away from it. This hurt Linux in a very strong way. Users without hardware knowledge, or any prior experience often found themselves in trouble when trying to install Linux, the same could be said for trying to install a program in a running enviroment.
In the 1980's thought the 1990's, Microsoft managed to get a copy of MS-Dos running in most personal computers through a very "clever marketing strategy". After this, Windows made its first appearance, providing an appealing "drag and drop" and "click and install" interface that persuaded most users away from text based systems like Linux. Recently, programs like KDE (K Desktop Enviroment) and GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) have taken care of these problems, and Linux is finaly gaining the popularity and success it deserves.

A lot of the success of Linux comes from the many choices that are available to the user. Often software packages are called "distributions" which are packages that different vendors make, both commercial and free, that include programs, drivers and the such to appeal to a certain kind of user. No matter what interests one has, be it hacking, programming or just casual computer usage, a kind of Linux distribution exsists for it, and best of all…Its free. This is probably the main reason for Linux's success. Linux, in most cases performs equal or better than any commercial operating system, which in some cases can cost $200.00 - $300.00+ dollars for desktop versions and over $1000.00 dollars for server versions, especially Windows. It is also Open-source, which means that hackers or programmers like me, will be able to modify the source and compile it (convert to computer language) with the modifications integrated in it. This is something that cannot be done with most commercial Operating systems (it is possible with Unix-like or Unix-based ones). What is the use of making changes to the operating system itself? While most computer users will never come across such a case, often power users want to customize their computers to suit their personal needs most often to a very deep level which can only be accomplished by “hacking” the kernel itself. For example, Linux computers are not be able to run Windows programs natively, however, a skilled programmer would just download the Linux source code from it’s respective site and make a program that would run the necessary Windows libraries on the background, compile the new source, and have a Linux system that runs Windows applications. This is only an example scenario.

While Windows is aimed at the casual computer user, Linux can be used by both, the new and the advanced computer user, and contrary to popular belief, sometimes actions are simpler in the world of Linux. Let’s say that your desktop is looking dull as of late and you want to add a touch of personality to it. In Windows world, you would start by getting a third-party program such as Windows Blinds, Desktop X, Hover Desk or StyleXP, in most cases the software can be over $50.00 dollars. After buying the required software, you must go hunting for a theme that fits your liking, and if you are lucky and find one, most of the time you can be charged for it as well. Linux on the other hand, uses the X Windowing System, and it offers a window manager, which lets you modify every aspect on your computer. Other programs such as KDE and GNOME are Window managers that expand the X Window's functionality. However, let’s say you wanted to quickly turn your Desktop computer into a web server, either for a personal website, or just for a developing environment. To do this on a Windows environment, depending on your needs (assuming specific PHP, MySQL, and Apache are required), you will need to go to the respective sites, and go through the lengthy process of installing each tool separately or alternatively download an executable file that will install it. After this, you will have to configure each respective tool. If you are on a development machine, and have no access to the internet, you will not have the tools available to you. While most people can handle this, wouldn’t you rather be developing your program already? Linux, was originally intended to be a server system, therefore most distributions will include everything you need to have a web server in the computer ready so you can get busy as soon as you turn it on.

Linux has many advantages over Windows. Better application management, Easy to use standardized scripting and comprehensive permissions. Windows lacks all of these, even with third-party tools installed. Linux is not affected by viruses, spy-ware, ad-ware and the like because the permissions system it uses is effective and advanced unlike the disaster that is Windows user accounts, in which a non-administrator user cannot even change the time setting and the Administrator account is easily infected by viruses even with the proper tools installed, and sure install routines are easy for the average computer user, but does one know exactly what is being installed in the hard drive and where? Before you know it the hard drive will be filled with random DLLs whose functions will be mystery to all but the vendors themselves. Recent Linux distributions have made installing software less of a hassle by simulating an install routine, without the drawbacks. The Linux Shell (command line) is the most powerful tool available to the computer user. It also includes a powerful scripting engine called Bash. From there all aspects of the operating system can be managed, a lot more that can be said about the mediocre competition that is cmd.exe where you are limited to a few set commands. A free, secure, feature rich operating system full of choices for everyone, this is what makes Linux the best choice.

While Windows is still the common operating system, Linux is the future. Most people keep pay outrageous ammounts of money for programs, while Linux users enjoy free and effective alternatives, this will not go unnoticed for long. "Linux will no longer be a hackers toy". What started as a small project in 1991 has started a revolution that will ultimately find its way in everyone’s computer.
 
Old 04-28-2006, 01:54 PM   #8
Michael_S
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I'm going to give my own opinions. They are not expert advice, just opinions. I am NOT trying to make you feel bad. I'm trying to be helpful. Don't feel obligated to take all of my advice.

Now in high school and most of college, essay papers have a length requirement which encourages students to pad it out with extra information. So I understand that you probably need to take your time explaining things in order to use 1000 words, or 3 pages, or whatever. However, in the real world you want your documents to be as informative as possible while also being as short as possible. Most people stop reading pretty quickly when they get bored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaosbringer
As of late, more and more controversy is being debated over what operating system will prevail and ultimately dominate in the field of both, desktop computer and server systems.
That's an awful lot for one sentence, and "more and more" or something similar like "lots and lots" are not good. You could try something like "Lately, there is growing controversy" or "Over the past few (years/months) controversy has increased".

The comma between both and desktop is unnecessary.

Also keep in mind that this mostly affects technical people. Most of the people I know still have never heard of Linux. You may want to mention that, although it's not very important.

Quote:
While Apple's macintosh computers are great, the common argument is that of Linux and Windows, and the battle of commercial vs. free and open-source. Linux has often been the tool of the geek and technical user. Lately, in order to compete with super corporations like Microsoft, Linux vendors have made it easier for the "normal" computer user to manage Linux. “What makes Linux so great? and why do people use Windows?"...This essay hopes to answer those questions.
I would leave out 'super corporations' when you describe Microsoft, because it indicates that you have at least a little bias. I have a bias against Microsoft, I'm sure most people here have a bias, but you want to appear unbiased when you present your point of view to your teacher.

Using quotes around terms like "normal" is bad form. You might want to say normal home computer user or non-technical computer user.

Quote:
Linux is the kernel of an operating system of the same name and it was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991.
Since you use the term 'kernel' here, you probably want to explain what it is here. Leaving it to be defined down below could confuse the reader, especially a non-technical one.
You might want to explain what a kernel is briefly with something like "Linux is the kernel, or core, of an operating system of the same name." Or "The central part of an operating system is called the kernel. The Linux kernel is also named Linux."

Quote:
Linux's ancestry goes back to a mainframe operating system known as Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Services) and Unix. Multics, created in 1965, was one of the first multi-user computer systems. "Ken Thompson and Dennis Richie worked with Multics developing software, until Bell Labs (the owner of the software) withdrew from the project in 1969"(Learning Debian Linux Chapter 1.2 ). Without access to a Multics computer, they decided to create an operating system that could run on a PDP-7 computer. Eventually, they created what was originally called Unics, as a pun on Multics, and the 'C' computer language. Later on, the spelling became Unix for reasons that are still mysterious to most of us. Ritchie and Thompson made copies of Unix available for free to everyone in the world. Programmers revised and improved Unix, sending word of their changes back to Ritchie and Thompson, who incorporated the changes into the original Unix. When AT&T realized the commercial potential of Unix, it clamed Unix as its intellectual property, and began charging license fees. Soon, others who had implemented Unix-like Operating Systems were distributing licenses for a fee.
Mentioning the C computer language isn't really necessary. It's interesting, but it's not really on topic with the rest of the paper.

You may also want to explain that AT&T and Bell Labs were the same company or use Bell Labs in both places. (Unless I'm wrong, and they were two seperate companies.)


Quote:
Thus, an MIT scientist called Richard Stallman, created what is now known as the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and GNU (Gnu’s Not Unix).
'Thus' is not commonly used.

It might help to explain that Richard Stallman created the FSF and GNU organizations in order to create free alternatives to Unix. You don't make that explicit anywhere.

Quote:
Linux has always been popular among computer developers, programmers and the like, but because only up to the last couple of years having Linux operating system running on your desktop was only achieved by computer "techie" most casual users just stayed away from it.
That's a big sentence and should probably be broken apart.

Quote:
Users without hardware knowledge, or any prior experience often found themselves in trouble when trying to install Linux, the same could be said for trying to install a program in a running enviroment.
This sentence should also be broken apart and clarified.

Quote:
In the 1980's thought the 1990's, Microsoft managed to get a copy of MS-Dos running in most personal computers through a very "clever marketing strategy".
You definitely should not use "clever marketing strategy". It reveals a bias and also does not give any real information as to how MS-DOS became so popular. You might want to say 'through superior marketing' or 'through licensing agreements with manufacturers' or something similar. "clever" often means dishonest and tricky, and while Microsoft has definitely been dishonest and tricky, you can't make the accusation in a paper without some evidence.

Quote:
Recently, programs like KDE (K Desktop Enviroment) and GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) have taken care of these problems, and Linux is finaly gaining the popularity and success it deserves.
You may want to explain that KDE and GNOME offer themes, control panels, a start menu, clock, and all of the other features people expect when using Macs or Windows plus a host of extra features.

Quote:
A lot of the success of Linux comes from the many choices that are available to the user. Often software packages are called "distributions" which are packages that different vendors make, both commercial and free, that include programs, drivers and the such to appeal to a certain kind of user. No matter what interests one has, be it hacking, programming or just casual computer usage, a kind of Linux distribution exsists for it, and best of all…Its free. This is probably the main reason for Linux's success. Linux, in most cases performs equal or better than any commercial operating system, which in some cases can cost $200.00 - $300.00+ dollars for desktop versions and over $1000.00 dollars for server versions, especially Windows. It is also Open-source, which means that hackers or programmers like me, will be able to modify the source and compile it (convert to computer language) with the modifications integrated in it. This is something that cannot be done with most commercial Operating systems (it is possible with Unix-like or Unix-based ones). What is the use of making changes to the operating system itself? While most computer users will never come across such a case, often power users want to customize their computers to suit their personal needs most often to a very deep level which can only be accomplished by “hacking” the kernel itself. For example, Linux computers are not be able to run Windows programs natively, however, a skilled programmer would just download the Linux source code from it’s respective site and make a program that would run the necessary Windows libraries on the background, compile the new source, and have a Linux system that runs Windows applications. This is only an example scenario.
Several of the sentences in there should be broken apart.

Explaining how to run some Windows programs in Linux may be overkill. I'm sure the explanation would confuse most English teachers past the third word in the sentence.

And like other people already said, don't use the word 'hacker'. Outside of Linux and Unix enthusiasts, it just means a person that steals information.

Quote:
While Windows is aimed at the casual computer user, Linux can be used by both, the new and the advanced computer user, and contrary to popular belief, sometimes actions are simpler in the world of Linux.
It's your paper, you write it how you like. But I think that 'contrary to popular belief' is way off base. There is no popular belief about Linux, most people don't know anything about it.

Quote:
Linux has many advantages over Windows. Better application management, Easy to use standardized scripting and comprehensive permissions.
You should explain how application management is better, or leave it out. A non-technical person doesn't know anything about scripting, standardized scripting, or permissions. You need to explain what they are or leave them out too.

Quote:
Windows lacks all of these, even with third-party tools installed.
Windows Batch files can do a lot. They aren't as good as Bash, but they have a comprehensive set of features. And between the open source Cygwin and Microsoft's own Unix Tools for Windows toolkit, you can use a lot of Unix's good features in Windows. And it's all just as free as Linux (except for the initial Microsoft operating system license).

And of course, if there's something you want that Windows doesn't have you can always write your own software for Windows. So 'even with third-party tools installed' is especially incorrect.

Quote:
Linux is not affected by viruses, spy-ware, ad-ware and the like because the permissions system it uses is effective and advanced unlike the disaster that is Windows user accounts, in which a non-administrator user cannot even change the time setting and the Administrator account is easily infected by viruses even with the proper tools installed, and sure install routines are easy for the average computer user, but does one know exactly what is being installed in the hard drive and where? Before you know it the hard drive will be filled with random DLLs whose functions will be mystery to all but the vendors themselves.
You're assuming that your reader knows what a DLL is, how adware gets installed, and the difference between Administrator and regular accounts. You're going to have to be more specific with your explanations.

Quote:
Recent Linux distributions have made installing software less of a hassle by simulating an install routine, without the drawbacks. The Linux Shell (command line) is the most powerful tool available to the computer user. It also includes a powerful scripting engine called Bash. From there all aspects of the operating system can be managed, a lot more that can be said about the mediocre competition that is cmd.exe where you are limited to a few set commands. A free, secure, feature rich operating system full of choices for everyone, this is what makes Linux the best choice.
You need to explain how Linux installation is easy. Maybe describe that a (Suse, for example) installation takes a selection of language, time zone, and that's all on most machines. (I'm guessing, I haven't installed anything in a while so I don't know what is involved.)

cmd.exe has command recall, command piping, auto-complete, if statements, for loops, file globbing, recursive file deletion... it's not as good as Bash, but it's not a joke either.

More importantly, calling cmd.exe mediocre reveals more bias on your part.

Quote:
While Windows is still the common operating system, Linux is the future. Most people keep pay outrageous ammounts of money for programs, while Linux users enjoy free and effective alternatives, this will not go unnoticed for long. "Linux will no longer be a hackers toy". What started as a small project in 1991 has started a revolution that will ultimately find its way in everyone’s computer.
Why the quotes around "Linux will no longer be a hackers toy"?

One last point. Linux will (hopefully) become more popular in the desktop because you can do all of the things people do in Windows: burn CDs, surf the web, download and watch video clips, play computer games (although not Windows-only games), use spreadsheets, edit photos, manage their finances, send instant messages, send email, write term papers, even open and edit files from Microsoft Office, etc... etc... You and I know that Linux can do all of those things, but your teacher does not. It may help for you to explicitly mention you can do almost anything on Linux that you can do on Windows.

Good luck.
 
Old 04-28-2006, 03:23 PM   #9
Chaosbringer
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Registered: Jul 2005
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Thank you!

I have now revised the paper one last time, and submited it to my teacher. I also told her that i had posted it in the internet ( she was both surprised and happy i took it to this level ) to get some advice in how to better it.


Thanks again for all and i hope that the essay may also help some people in some way.
 
  


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