Sunday, October 15, 2006

This is progress?

Machine #1: Pentium 90mhz, 64M ram, running Linux 2.4.something kernel + X windows. Video is an old Cirrus something or other 1M onboard vram.

Machine #2: 386DX-25(with 387) 16M ram, running OS/2 Warp 3. Video is IBM 8514, 1M onboard vram

Both have a pair of 9G ST410800N fast SCSI-2 drives.

Machine #2 is dramatically more responsive and snappier than machine #1.

Yea, the OS/2 kernel and 8514 drivers have a lot of hand tuned assembler code, but still. The difference is dramatic. The OS/2 386 is actually usable to sit at and work on while the Linux box is really torture.

I want to like Linux, I really do. But its a pig, it really is.


Francis W. Porretto said...

I'm an old UNIX hand. I, too, want to like Linux. But two things militate against it:

1) It's undersupplied with good applications, just as UNIX was;

2) They who promote it are about as humorless and relentless as human beings can get, particularly in their ceaseless denigration of Windows, and that just pisses me off!

UNIX / Linux are good programmers' development environments -- or were, before the IDE revolution -- but as desktop environments, Windows has them beat hollow. Can they catch up? Unclear. It would probably be better for their promoters to concentrate on what they already do well: "back end" functions that don't involve direct contact with users.

Purple Avenger said...

The one thing an organization like Microsoft/IBM does that the OSS development "bazzar" can't/won't/refuses to do is issue marching orders that are expected to be followed.

If code is too plump/slow/buggy, MS will put together a team to fix that, and they will have a pretty freewheeling franchise to do whatever it takes to "make it so".

Torvalds could take a firmer stand here and exert some positive influence on the performance/usability/documentation aspects of this product.

There's also appears to be a bit of a war going on between the Linux and GNU camps that does no one any good. ex. the GCC 4.x compiler can't compile a Linux 2.4 series kernel. Apparently the 4.x GCC has become much more strict in what it will accept.

This sort of warring camps situation would never have been allowed to happen within Microsoft, where the needs of the product teams drive the priorities of the languages group.

michele said...

Finally, people that think like I do.

Thank you!