Linux vs. Windoze down to the bones (for science fair)
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I wasn't trying to knock you when I mentioned the part about being fair. It's simply that it seems you have already decided Linux is better than Windows. That's fine, but those preconceptions are insidious little beasties. Sometime you don't know when they're influencing your perspective or not. It can be as subtle as the wording of a sentence or as blunt as omitting evidence, and rationalizing it by saying "well, that case was just a fluke". I don't know if you took it personally (couldn't quite tell from your response), but I was not taking a shot at you... just mentioning a potential pitfall.
kev82, yeah, you're right: people will look at the source. I'd feel better about it if there were some data collected to estimate how many people inspect the code and what areas are inspected most thoroughly (speaking in terms of averages across revisions). Of course, this all assumes the non-programming end user implicitly trusts there are people investigating the code and that those reviewers are trustworthy themselves. No, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I do enjoy a good theoretical discussion from time to time...
whereas microsoft webserver deployment continues to decrease over the last year and a half, apache servers continue to increase. a recent netcraft survey clearly demonstrates the lack of faith exhibited by IT staff worldwide, as shown below: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/20...er_survey.html
also note the frequent downtimes indicated for windoze servers compared to much longer uptimes for non-windows platforms in typical site-specific netcraft surveys.
you might also consider the significant contributions to science that result from linux clusters. the research environment benefits greatly from the open source nature of linux.
(Someone here was lecturing the thread starter in a sarcastic and condescending way, and I was about to lecture this person instead... Never mind... Sorry for posting this non-post instead... I'm just a bit frustrated.)
first: contrasutra, i appreciate for the "heads-up" on avoiding true biases, but to then carry it on after i've already discussed the joke and explained the fact that i would not spell ::winblows:: as "winblows", "windoze", etc. (in other words, i am not a moron, i know that you know that i know that what i know as winblows is what most people know as Microsoft Windows. If u did not understand the joke, did not want to help this post any more, or if you were just being the ultimate arrogant stuck-up who thinks he knows too much, then don't post here and crowd this thread unnecessarily. (Note: no offense intended)
anyway, all the ideas seem great, and yes i do realize that this project idea is very extremely broad and i meant it to be that way: because i probably won't be taking it down to the code as much as i thought i would, and through my research i may compare basic functionalities that all people would understand or i may narrow it down; i may even change my topic entirely to a simple: how computers work type of topic where i may only mention the idea of operating systems. It should all work out in the end
Originally posted by contrasutra If I were you, I would learn how to spell Windows.
I think you will find that it is spelt Windows®
I really don't like the terms 'windoze', 'winblows' or 'Windows'. 'Windows' is far to generic a word and Microsoft should never have been granted a trademark for it (just like they weren't for 'Word', 'Excel', 'Access' etc.). Only a Linux forum I really think that it ought to be referred to as MS-Windows or Microsoft Windows, to avoid confusion with X-Windows or Lindows .
Sounds like a very interesting and enlightening project.
What version of Windows do you intend to use? I would have to recommend Win2K or XP pro. Both have some points over the other one in my opinion but perhaps the newest would work best along with a more current version of Linux. Speaking of which, What Distro do you intend to use?
I don't mean to offend you but I must admit it does sound like you are going into this project with a biased opinion towards Linux. I know you had already covered that but by the thread topic alone points to it. Also as you said and another poster mentioned, considering this is a science topic you must remain as neutral as possible and do everything in your power to keep an open mind and ignore any preconceived notions of which OS you or anyone else thinks is superior. Truth be told, both have some serious drawbacks and huge pluses.
Let your research show the areas that either or each OS excells but don't guide it. Let the results speak for themselves, don't give them your voice.
Finally, I wish you the best of luck. While doing any research with a completely neutral perspective is almost impossible, keeping it as unbiased as possible is a constant conscious effort.
well, i think it would be good to include some history of both OS's, and the various companies involved (ie Microsoft, Sun, GNUproject, Red Hat, Mandrake etc.) talk about how the different strains of OS evolved, and where they want to evolve - MS targets companies, mostly. think about who Red Hat is targeting, vs Debian. that sort of thing.
talk about open source and what it's goal is.
then i'd go into technical details about the differences between windows and linux. you could talk about device naming, mounting, filesystems, command line vs gui, and just about anything else.
here's a pretty good link to check out. there's a lot of random general sort of information that you could browse through.
One major thing about windows is you have one Windows GUI, known as (X server in Linux).
You can have several in Linux enabling you to use more than one window manager at a time. This is handy if you have some things that you use that come with one Environment such as KDE apps.. where you may want to run something else in Window Maker at the same time, or you might be working on your Gnome Environment but want to use Fluxbox for something else. You can run them all at the same time with linux by simply starting up another X server on another virtual display.
In other words you could have six different X servers running at the same time all configured differently and be able to switch between them using ctrl_alt_F7 thru ctrl_alt_F12, provided you have a system that can handle it.
Also you can run six separate virtual terminals at the same time accessible with ctrl_alt_F1 thru ctrl_alt_F6
Compare this with Windows GUI, DOS prompt, and DOS mode.
It's probably useless in most practical cases but it's cool none the less.
The ability to directly access resources on the machine such as serial ports, usb ports, or any other device using simple to use commands like cat, sed, awk, and many, many, many others. is nothing short of miraculous.
You simply cannot do this in windows as it is. You need to have a program that does what someone thinks you need it for. Or the ability and development software $$$ to write your own controls.
The support for Linux is mind boggling.
Have you ever had a problem that you could search for and not turn up something on it? It's almost like it's been around forever. Everything is documented on the Internet. I think mainly because it was built on the Internet.
When windows starts acting up for no apparent reason it's very hard to fix without reloading the system from scratch. This is not my opinion, just fact. Look at all the restore CD's coming out now.
Before that a lot of people just hopelessly went out and bought a new computer. Some still do.
Yea, I know this is one sided. I did not intend it to be that way, it just come out like that.
Some history might be appropriate, but I'm not sure how deep I would go. I might consider explaining the "stains" only so far as to explain why a particular distribution was chosen; why it would seem to be the best candidate for a comparison against Windows. The history might be very interesting, but the judges will be much more interested in seeing a conclusion and hard research/data to back it up.
Another potential candidate for collecting data is this:
Take a hard drive and partition it so you can install both Windows and Linux, and still have room for a "shared" partition.
Install the OSes using all the default options (or be prepared to explain what you disabled/added and why) into their respective partition(s)
On the shared partition, create a collection of random files: some small, some medium sized, and some big. Relatively speaking, small might be < 10KB, medium might be 10KB to 1 MB, and large might be 1 MB to 10 MB. Those sizes are completely arbitrary.
Write a program (or ask nicely for someone here to do it ) that will perform reads and writes of the files in two modes: a pre-set sequence and randomly. Anybody in the programming forum, including myself, could whip up a prgram like this in a matter of minutes. Or, we could help you program it so you would be that much more knowledgable about it should anyone start asking questions about it.
Compile the program on both operating systems.
Run them, and time how long it takes each operating system to perform a given number of transactions to the disk. This would simply be output from the program rather than you sitting there with a stopwatch.
Creating the files would be rather simple from the Linux side. It would be a matter of dd'ing repeatedly from /dev/random into the data files. The data would be the same between OSes, both OSes would be talking to the same device meaning any imperfections in the drive's performance are shared between the OSes. The same source code compiled on both means that the only real difference is how efficiently each OS handles access to the hard drive and memory. To be absolutely impartial, you would need to install each operating system onto the same partition (i.e. test them one at a time). I would venture to say that's a debatable point however. Just keep the OS partitions the same size, and that should be good enough.