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Old 07-19-2007, 10:03 AM   #16
manlydan
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Quote:
And for the record, PCs are for games, and Linux's games support still lags behind Windows.
I'm not entirely sure what even gave you this idea. Computers were designed to do calculations so people wouldn't have to do it themselves. Over the years, technology has escalated providing more functionality for computers and computer games showed up later on. The point is, first and foremost, a computer is simply designed to do what it is told.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
No, I certainly cannot agree that Windows requires less administration than Linux.
Which is exactly why I personally don't use Windows for anything important.
I've worked as a computer technician at the university down here for a few years, and I can't even count the number of times I saw Windows get infected with viruses, get corrupted registry entries, get bloated with spyware and addware, etc. Plus all of that was with fully updated systems and updated virus protection.

When administrating one Windows machine you may manage to avoid having all these problems, but when administrating a group of Windows machines, you will definitely be kept on your toes trying to keep everything running smoothly.

Last edited by manlydan; 07-19-2007 at 10:10 AM.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 10:38 AM   #17
jiml8
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Quote:
This is only partly true. If you have a machine connected to the net, it needs to be secured, patched and watched over all the time - no matter what the OS. There are a lot of security threats for Linux too, the fact that most viruses are created for Windows doesn't make Linux any more secure. It just means that for Linux the most common threat is something worse than simple computer viruses.
While overarching message is true (keep an eye on it), it is true for all OS's independent of anything else. Rather than write a book, I made the implicit assumption that "all other things are equal" and within that framework you have to do things for Windows that you don't have to do for any other OS. And that is not symmetric; you don't have to do things of a type specific to a *nix that you don't have to do for Windows.

It is also true that a properly secured *nix is far less likely to be attacked successfully from the outside than a properly secured Windows is; history has made this clear. In all cases that I am aware of, a *nix box has only been rootkitted successfully as either an inside job or in the event of an improperly secured port (such as ssh with root login and weak passwords). There have been privilege elevation exploits, but these require an attacker to have privileges to begin with (bringing us back to either inside job or improper security).

Against that, Windows systems (and microsoft products in general) have been attacked successfully from outside many times under circumstances where the attacker had no privileges and the Windows system was secured according to microsoft's recommendations. In fact, Microsoft systems (Passport, IIRC) have been successfully attacked from outside via a backdoor that Microsoft left in the production code!

At present, I am doing work on a Linux server that has been running for at least 1.5 years with no maintenance. I am supporting a website. I have been denied root access to it and I have been complaining bitterly that the system needs maintenance. But, even though this server has been totally ignored by its owner, the websites it hosts are up and running and the server is up and running, and has not been cracked and has not been hacked - and it does directly face the internet; no proxies or anything else.

I am doing work on another Linux server that has not been up as long (since last fall). It too is being ignored but I have been given root access. It has not been hacked and it has not been cracked, but there is someone who has managed to connect with it via ftp who shouldn't be able to. I have fixed that. Again, this server directly faces the net and has been up for about 9 months without attendance.

Quote:
Unix machines can crash too. And Windows machines be left by themselves for long times. It's up to how you use the system and for what - if you want things to be difficult, you'll get them be. If you want things run smoothly, it may be possible. OS isn't what makes a machine perfect, it's the combination of hardware, software, users, environment and current situation. There are a lot of variables in that, if you ask me, and most of them are independent of the OS. If your OS runs some tools for you ("no need to manually scandisk"), it's not necessarily a good thing.
Again, all other things being equal (meaning hardware, environment, workload) the *nix will last a lot longer without maintenance than the Windows will.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 10:47 AM   #18
IsaacKuo
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I'd have to say that the typical Windows user is indeed a whiner. But that's just because most people are whiners.

I left the stock Windows XP install on my wife's computer. I had to work on it a lot in order to get it into an acceptable state (one which didn't have TOO much crudware and pop-up-ware). But for her purposes--just web browsing--Windows is mostly adequate.

At one time, I had put together a computer for her with Linux. I gave up on it because of the whining. When a web site didn't work properly, then she blamed Linux. It didn't matter what the reason was. It was Linux's fault. With Windows installed, she blames the web site when it doesn't work properly.

Is this fair? Of course not. It's the same web sites not working for the same reasons. There are just a ton of flakey web sites out there! Somehow, I manage to never run across them myself...but I mostly browse computer related and commercial web sites; I imagine most of them are somewhat competent at keeping a web site up and running properly.

For my Dad's computer, Windows is the only option...and even then it's just barely more functional than Linux. He browses Taiwanese and other Asian web sites. The majority of them are poorly put together and they often require bizarre dubious Windows/IE-only plug-ins. Getting these web sites to work in Linux is practically a non-starter, and getting them to work in Windows is only slightly more doable. I shudder at the thought of how much mal-ware must be installed on his computer just to get those web sites to sort of work.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 01:13 PM   #19
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
Do you not periodically run chkdsk on the Windows system? You should. In Linux, the system handles this as required.
Windows automatically runs chkdsk on startup if there's a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
Do you not run a defragger on the Windows filesystem? You should. Linux systems tend to not fragment.
Any filesystem, whether used by Windows or Linux, can suffer from fragmentation. In practice I experience very little fragmentation on either system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
Do you not keep up with your antivirus and antispyware packages on Windows? You should.
AVG for Windows automatically updates itself. The Linux version doesn't. This makes the Linux version more work to maintain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
I keep my windows systems running - and, when I give talks, I advise my listeners to do this - by running chkdsk whenever there is an anomaly, prior to installing any package, after installing any package, after a power failure, both before and after an upgrade, and - if none of those things applies - once a week anyway.
Windows automatically runs chkdsk on startup if there's an anomaly or after a power failure, and these are the only times it's really necessary to run chkdsk at all. Running it before and after installing any package or making any upgrade is excessive and unnecessary. It's certainly not necessary to run it anything like as often as every week on a domestic system!
 
Old 07-19-2007, 02:19 PM   #20
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0uncer

Untrue. The fact that games (some, on some OS') happen to run on PCs is just interesting. Console games and consoles work a lot better than PCs (no need for driver updates, monthly updates, ...) between themselves and overall. PCs are difficult, games don't work on them unless you've got the right combination of hardware and software. On the other hand, if you buy a console and a game for it, it runs when you insert the disc and press power (on PC this means hours of installing, updating, cursing and crashing).
Now you're the one making it harder on yourself. Your opinions on the relative merits of using PCs or game consoles to play games have no bearing on the fact that millions of people, for (at least) the past 20 years have played increasingly sophisticated games on their PCs.

This is true even now that game consoles have become so wonderfully advanced.

I also have personally not experienced the "hours of installing, updating, cursing, and crashing" when playing games on my PC using Windows that you talk about. I've experienced a few crashes, and I've had to download and update drivers, but nothing that was very difficult or time-consuming.

And, to my knowledge, there are no game console-based flight simulators that have the level of detail, physics, control, and fidelity to reality that are found in the MS Flight Simulator, MS Combat Flight Simulator, or X-Plane flight simulator.

For what it's worth, I have a virus scanner and a firewall on my PC running windows, and I have not been infected with malware, spyware, or a virus after nearly seven years running that computer. Part of the reason is the tools I have set up to prevent those problems, and part of the reason is the work habits I've developed to avoid behaviors that lead to problems.

I like Linux a lot. I like it better than Windows (except for the games), but I won't dump on the technical aspects of Windows in some sort of generalized straw man attack.

I will dump on Microsoft's business tactics, the exceptionally high cost of Windows and MS Office, the fact that one's computer and Windows installation has to be registered with the company to get security updates, and the numerous security holes that constantly need to be patched.

Last edited by Lufbery; 07-19-2007 at 02:48 PM.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 02:47 PM   #21
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manlydan
I'm not entirely sure what even gave you this idea. Computers were designed to do calculations so people wouldn't have to do it themselves. Over the years, technology has escalated providing more functionality for computers and computer games showed up later on. The point is, first and foremost, a computer is simply designed to do what it is told.
Where did you get the idea that PC weren't for games? Geez! I agree with you that the computer is simply designed to do what it is told, and I tell mine to play games from time to time.

PCs were originally not designed to play video, edit video, play sounds (except for the system beep), or connect to much of anything -- at least at first. But over time, people decided that they wanted to do those things, and so much more. So now we have PCs that are "family entertainment centers" with TV tuning cards, and Lord knows what else on them. Just because PCs weren't designed to be home entertainment centers, game machines, jukeboxes, or whatever else, doesn't mean that they can't or shouldn't be used for those things now.

Some of the first programming I learned was programming games on Apple IIs, a Timex-Sinclair, and various TSR and Tandy computers in the early '80s. As far as I'm concerned games have always been a part of the PC experience. In the early '90s the PC gaming industry exploded when CD-ROMs became more widely adopted.

PCs are the most wonderful, multi-faceted, non-specific tool I've ever worked with. The fact that you may not want to play games on a PC doesn't mean that other people don't either. The PC can be used however one wants to use it. Part of the beauty of the free software movement is that it (generally) works to not stifle the creative impulse to design and create new software. I think it is hypocritical for a Linux advocate (and I am one) to say, "you shouldn't do that with a computer," or "the computer wasn't designed for that."

Do whatever you please with your computer, and if you figure out something cool, think about sharing it with the rest of us.

Regards,

-Drew
 
Old 07-19-2007, 04:11 PM   #22
jiml8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hand of fate
Windows automatically runs chkdsk on startup if there's a problem.
Oh, this is so not true. Windows will only run chkdsk on startup if the filesystem has reached such a state that Windows itself cannot start. It doesn't even necessarily run chkdsk if the dirty bit is set.

Quote:
Any filesystem, whether used by Windows or Linux, can suffer from fragmentation. In practice I experience very little fragmentation on either system.
Funny, I tend to see a great deal of fragmentation in NTFS even if there is plenty of room on the partition. I see very little fragmentation in ext2/3 unless the partition is nearly full.

Quote:
AVG for Windows automatically updates itself. The Linux version doesn't. This makes the Linux version more work to maintain.
AVG is one tool. Some of the tools update automatically; some don't. And the irony is that the only reason you'd run AVG on Linux is to protect any Windows boxes that might come in contact with it.

Quote:
Windows automatically runs chkdsk on startup if there's an anomaly or after a power failure,
Sometimes.

Quote:
and these are the only times it's really necessary to run chkdsk at all.
Absolutely and unequivocally not true. I have encountered many circumstances of corrupted ntfs filesystems that Windows didn't care about, that were only turned up when chkdsk was run.

Quote:
Running it before and after installing any package or making any upgrade is excessive and unnecessary. It's certainly not necessary to run it anything like as often as every week on a domestic system!
You simply don't know when the filesystem becomes corrupted. 9 times out of 10 running chkdsk under these circumstances turns up nothing, but there is that 10th time.

For a long time I had a problem on one system; ntfs was becoming corrupted daily. HD diagnostics turned up nothing. I finally correlated the problem with the times when my younger daughter (who ran with a limited account, btw) was using the system. What was she doing? Where was she browsing that was causing the trouble? I have no idea; never did figure it out. After a couple of months, the problem went away on its own. Nonetheless, during that period of time, I had to run chkdsk every day - and it was finding errors every day.

Running chkdsk more often than it is needed is far, far better than running it too infrequently or not at all.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 04:47 PM   #23
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
Absolutely and unequivocally not true. I have encountered many circumstances of corrupted ntfs filesystems that Windows didn't care about, that were only turned up when chkdsk was run.
If Windows "doesn't even care about" it then what's the problem? If the problem prevents Windows running then Windows will check it on startup. If it has no effect then it's not really a problem!

It is unequivocally true that Windows does perform an automatic check if there is a problem that needs to be resolved. It responds when it needs to. If the "problem" doesn't actually matter to anything then there is no need to do anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
You simply don't know when the filesystem becomes corrupted. 9 times out of 10 running chkdsk under these circumstances turns up nothing, but there is that 10th time.
If it has no detectable effects then it's hardly much of a problem! If there is a problem then it might be worth running chkdsk then (or just reboot and let Window check itself automatically), but if the system is running perfectly well there's nothing to gain from looking for problems where there aren't any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
AVG is one tool. Some of the tools update automatically; some don't.
Obviously if you want to run a system without having to spend a lot of time on maintenance then you would choose one that does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8
Running chkdsk more often than it is needed is far, far better than running it too infrequently or not at all.
If there is a problem that prevents Windows from running properly then it will automatically resolve to on startup. It will do this even if you haven't been obsessively running chkdsk every five minutes on a perfectly good system.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 05:01 PM   #24
jiml8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hand of fate
If Windows "doesn't even care about" it then what's the problem? If the problem prevents Windows running then Windows will check it on startup. If it has no effect then it's not really a problem!
Windows might not care, might not be affected, but applications that run in Windows may indeed care.

Quote:
It is unequivocally true that Windows does perform an automatic check if there is a problem that needs to be resolved. It responds when it needs to. If the "problem" doesn't actually matter to anything then there is no need to do anything.
To make the statement unequivocally true, it needs a slight modification, to wit: "Windows does perform an automatic check if there is a problem that affects Windows that needs to be resolved."

Quote:
If it has no detectable effects then it's hardly much of a problem! If there is a problem then it might be worth running chkdsk then (or just reboot and let Window check itself automatically), but if the system is running perfectly well there's nothing to gain from looking for problems where there aren't any.
First, that the problem hasn't been detected doesn't mean it isn't a problem; such problems tend to propagate. A few cancer cells in your body isn't detectable, but they spread and become a BIG problem. Best to catch the problem early.

Second, usually the first signs of a problem are subtle and cause subtle malfunctions of applications that use specific features of the filesystem that are affected. For instance, my commercial application has a database backend. Well, guess what. I got bitten by a bug in NTFS, where NTFS did not report a file problem but also would not return an end of file when it reached the end of the file under certain circumstances. This caused my program to vanish into an infinite loop because it was testing for end of file, which never was found.

I kept getting reports of program hangs, but I could not duplicate them here. This went on for over two years.

Then, one day, my program hung on my system. I dropped what I was doing, instrumented, confirmed what the problem was - and positively identified it as a bug in NTFS - then put the code into place in my program to stop it hanging under this circumstance.

Then I ran chkdsk on the system (I carefully did NOT run it before diagnosing the problem). Chkdsk reported errors (there had been no anomalies that I was aware of) and after running chkdsk the problem was gone.

So, a slightly damaged filesystem resulted in ntfs failing to report an end of file when it should, which caused my program to hang and caused my user base a lot of grief, and caused ME some bad press.

Windows didn't care; Windows didn't know about the problem. As far as Windows was concerned, there was no problem so why worry.

Quote:
If there is a problem that prevents Windows from running properly then it will automatically resolve to on startup.
That is right. If WINDOWS can't start, then it'll check. It won't check otherwise.
Quote:
It will do this even if you haven't been obsessively running chkdsk every five minutes on a perfectly good system.
Would you like me to feed you the line that this obnoxious sh**he**ed line has earned you?

Last edited by jiml8; 07-19-2007 at 05:05 PM.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 05:37 PM   #25
jiml8
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Just so you'll know that I'm not making up my comments about the bug in ntfs that surfaced when there was a problem with the filesystem, go here: http://www.softwareforlandlords/faq.php

When you get to that page, click on the 4th question (Q: When I run The Property Manager it sometimes hangs on the main form...) and the answer will show you what I was dealing with.

Also, on this page: http://www.softwareforlandlords.com/updhist.php about 2/3 down the page at the section labeled Release 4.3, you will find a description of the bugfix I described.

Another filesystem bug is described further down on the same page, still under the section labeled Release 4.3. It begins with: "certain errors in the Windows file system apparently can create a condition where (under certain not totally understood circumstances) Windows will report to Superbase that it has written a record when it really hasn't...This does not happen on a properly functioning Windows system, but since it isn't always easy to tell if Windows is functioning properly we added the capability."

The moral of the story is that, as far as NTFS and errors in that filesystem is concerned, I've been there. Got the T-shirt.

Last edited by jiml8; 07-19-2007 at 05:55 PM.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 06:09 PM   #26
IsaacKuo
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Don't let this guy get under your skin. He's just a troll...get a load of this pointless argument he got into with the moderators: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=485352

I don't know what this guy's problem is.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 08:03 PM   #27
jiml8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacKuo
Don't let this guy get under your skin. He's just a troll...get a load of this pointless argument he got into with the moderators: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=485352

I don't know what this guy's problem is.
His language is beginning to offend me, but really when you get down to it I responded as thoroughly as I did because it gave me an outstanding opportunity to put a link to my site without being accused of spamming.

Last edited by jiml8; 07-19-2007 at 08:05 PM.
 
Old 07-19-2007, 08:04 PM   #28
jiml8
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Ooops...

screwed up and posted a duplicate post.

Last edited by jiml8; 07-19-2007 at 08:06 PM.
 
  


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