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TheOneAndOnlySM 08-27-2003 06:03 PM

Linux vs. Windoze down to the bones (for science fair)
i'm thinking about doing a science fair project comparing windoze and linux, but i'm not sure how i would approach it

i have very little programming experience (so ya, i'm probably going to have to learn a lot very fast, where can i get this knowledge?) but i am computer savvy, a quick learner, and can usually solve most of my own pc problems

has anyone here pulled off a science project comparing linux and windoze and any suggestions on how i might be able to do so?

Pcghost 08-27-2003 06:09 PM

I would suggest charts showing the different filesystems used by each and how they differ, and illustrate the concept of root access vs. user access. I don't think you would have to explain the fundementals of kernel programming to show the differences to the public. Don't forget to get a windows machine to BSOD for you (shouldn't be too hard) and explain why Linux doesn't do that. Sounds like a fun project..

contrasutra 08-27-2003 06:26 PM

If I were you, I would learn how to spell Windows. ;)

hexx 08-27-2003 06:35 PM

Tell why running a server on Linux is batter...and tell the history of linux and they developed and what os most of the world using now and why..there lots more of questions..

TheOneAndOnlySM 08-27-2003 06:54 PM

thx for the replies, i'll take all those into consideration

however, since this is a science project, i need more than just some comparisons of data (although i could suffice with that, i would like to go more in depth)

any ways of trying to compare methods of operating or could anyone briefly explain how the both windoze and linux use computers differently?

o and ya, i'll probably want to spell winblows correctly, judges won't like it spelled windoze :)

Dark_Helmet 08-27-2003 06:58 PM

I hate to be "that guy" but a couple of points.

1) Like contrasutra mentioned, if you throw up a science fair display with "Linux vs. Windoze" as the title, then anyone reviewing it will clearly know you made the decision Linux is better than Windows before you even started.

2) Be honest about your comparison. While Linux may have the concept of root and user access, Windows NT based operating systems have similarly themed Administrator and user accounts.

3) To make any conclusions as to which is better, you need some sort of metric; you need hard numbers. If you wanted to take the "better server" route as mentioned earlier, I would suggest trying to collect some information like: how long does it take a Windows web server to serve a specific web page (from pressing enter to finished loading). How long does it take Linux webserver to serve the same page. Then you might want to swap it around: how much time does a Windows web browser take to load a given page? How long does it take a Linux browser to load that same page?

4) The filesystems supported is a good suggestion if you can highlight the benefits provided by each (including NTFS). NTFS is resistant to "unauthorized" alteration seeing as how support for writing NTFS is still experimental. Journalling is one of the good things for Linux obviously, and so is the ability Linux has to read most other filesystems.

5) Maybe you could compare feature sets of standard pieces of software and explain why they are beneficial or restrictive.

6) Finally, the one point you should most definitely bring up is the open-source nature of a lot of Linux software. Again, to be fair, you would need to say that it's a good thing, but it's potential may not be fully realized. That is to say, the user may have access to the source code, but how much of the general user community has the knowledge (or desire) to read or modify the source code? From the perspective of simply using software, does it matter whether the source code is available or not?

I'm not trolling, just simply trying to say that if you want to do a science fair project, you need to present both sides as equally as possible UNLESS there are clear, irrefutable benefits of one over the other.

kev82 08-27-2003 07:18 PM


From the perspective of simply using software, does it matter whether the source code is available or not?
it matters a lot(at least to me) because if the source code is available the user knows someone somewhere has read it and thus it has no hidden agenda(if it did ppl would be talking about it) whereas with compiled code you have no idea what its doing. this is what i consider to be one of the major plusses of open source.

contrasutra 08-27-2003 07:28 PM

Real mature. "Winblows", "Windoze", all it does is make you look like an idiot.

90% of Linux users dont just randomly bash Microsoft. Only little kids who want to be l33t do.

Please refer to this comic for more information:

Skyline 08-27-2003 07:52 PM

As Pcghost mentioned, the filesystem comparison would be worth looking at - Windows users are used to seeing discrete letters for partitions and drives, whereas in Linux you have all partitions and drives under one central hierarchy / - with Linux there's flexibility also in terms of where you want to mount your filesystems etc - In fact Linux is more flexible and configurable, period.

trickykid 08-27-2003 08:07 PM

Lets try to refrain from calling others names please.

Also, this is asked or we have many Windows vs. Linux type threads. You should try searching and you'll probably find many opinions, facts and anything else you need to do your science project, etc.

TheOneAndOnlySM 08-27-2003 08:46 PM

eh, it's probably true that not as many people dislike windows just because they use linux, but 90 percent sound awefully high...

anyway, i was joking, jeez, take some humor, u really think i'd spell winblows like "winblows" or "windoze" or even "windohs"? off course not! this is a formal science project (and trust me, i know when and how to use vErY formal writing styles)

o and ya, thx for the little reminder on being fair, i know i would have to be but since i just read it, it will definitely be more instilled in my mind when i'm doing analasies.

other things i want to put into my research are probably some examples of source codes and how they are used in both windows and linux and how they are then compiled under each and run in their own way

any other ideas? and thx for all the help so far

(o, and it's not the intelligence and genius of Bill Gates that i question, it's, to be modest, the mediocrity of many parts of his and his teams' products)

fancypiper 08-27-2003 09:11 PM

:scratch: That's a terribly broad topic for a science project. Weren't you given guidelines on how to do your basic research for designing your project? Or is your school full of union teachers who don't believe in real teaching like the schools I taught in were before I got completely disgusted with public secondary school education? I guess they still are in most places. :rolleyes:

Here is a start on understanding filesystems.
Filesystems HOWTO
Directory Navigation Help File
Filesystems, Directories, and Devices Help File
Advanced filesystem implementor's guide

contrasutra 08-27-2003 09:17 PM


u really think i'd spell winblows like "winblows"

Apparantly you are mistaken on the products name.

The products name is "Windows" by Microsoft.

Im sorry, I thought you were joking, I didn't realize you were just mistaken.

Im glad I could help,

shellcode 08-27-2003 09:27 PM

make sure you point out that linux can be alot more than windows can. for example if you want something for an advanced user who likes to avoid GUI's you can get that. if you want something to serve as a desktop system for homework you can get that out of linux too. you can get anything out of it and configure it how you want. that's the important part because otherwise people see linux like windows: static (ie, there is only one choice of desktop, only one kernel and whatnot), something which linux is not.


Originally posted by Dark_Helmet

From the perspective of simply using software, does it matter whether the source code is available or not?

it does if you are a hard-core open-source/free software fan like me : )

have fun!

BajaNick 08-27-2003 09:53 PM

Dont let bias show, be fair minded when doing it.

Show how they are both installed

How they startup

How they can be configured, like different desktops for Linux

Show the Differences in the software available, free and open source vs. company created and going rates of comparable linux software.

Show why Windows is better for some people and Why Linux is better for others.

Compare the flexibility and customization of both OS`s

Definitly show some history of both OS`s, how they originated and who created them.

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