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jehh

Switching to Windows from Linux - A Linux user goes back

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No games (at least, none worth mentioning)...

I am not a gamer, but I have heard some of the names being kicked around before in the Windows world, so they might be worth mentioning:

Yes, but noteably absent are:

Baldur's Gate series

Fallout series

Morrowind

The Longest Journey

Homeworld series

Independence war series

Etc. Yes, plenty of popular Windows games run great in WINE, but doing so is far more trouble than just keeping a Windows partition around.

LOL, I had never heard these names. This tells you how informed I am about games. My point was only to show that surely there must be some half-decent games. I also said that if you just want to play games, you might as well stay with Redmond's offerings.

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As I said earlier' date=' [b']why can you not own the data that you create? [b/] Because universal file formats are alien to the thinking of a monopoly. That people accept that they will need to run a specific company's product until the end of time to access THEIR own data is preposterous.

It is certainly feasible to create XML-descriptors that would work across a host of different programs and platforms.

If software companies competed on the features and strength of their software, they should make it easy for you to own your own data, rather than to lock it into their proprietary file format. It’s your data after all, is it not? Why couldn’t you have a universal XML-file format and have Word, Staroffice/OpenOffice, Abiword, Wordperfect, compete on the stability and quality of their products?

Actually, the StarOffice/OpenOffice format is universal XML. It is compressed with Gunzip (another universal format) and should be readable by anything that knows XML.

I am aware of this. I was just proposing that this is what all computer users, regardless of platform, should demand from software vendors, particularly vendors of office suites. Just to make sure you understood my point.

The reason that they can't all compete on stability and quality would probably include some of these:

1) Microsoft does not like to compete, they like to pull every dirty trick they can possibly pull to simply kill competitors, regardless of technical merit. (OS/2, BeOS, Wordperfect, etc.)

Agreed.

2) MS Office has a huge portion of market share and that itself helps it maintain market share. People want to use what everyone else uses, so it has incredible inertia.

That's why I believe that opening the file-formats would be the most important step to restoring competition in the marketplace.

3) Other than a few annoyances, MS Office (well, Word and Excel at least) really are good enough for most uses, and are probably, now, the best applications of their kind.

Word (2000/XP) still crashes enough to make you nervous if you are writing anything long such as a book, dissertation, etc. But, yet it has certainly improved and is very useable. I still think that it is very poor in the production of publication-ready manuscripts. If you have written anything in word, such as a book, most publishers, by the way, will require you to remove all of words formatting and replaced it with a simple text document, in which you insert descriptors for the formatting, much in the way you do here on the SR board. Doing this can take up to a week or longer for a very large manuscript. For most people, this is unacceptable. Even if you have a research assistant, no one in his right mind would let a book go to a publisher without making sure that he has looked over all the changes that need to be made to go from Word-format to publishable format.

If you use a front-end to a Latex engine, you will never have to do this, since most publishers support Latex natively. If anybody is interested, I will be happy to post links to the publishing guidelines of the publishers I have worked with.

4) MS would never give up on their carefully crafted to be extremely complex Office format for compatibility. If anything, their history shows them to consistently try to break compatibility and kill standardization except of their products. Yes, MS is a business and they have to generate value for their shareholders, but they go too far. IBM (at least, the new IBM) is a good example of a company that can do the same and not be staggeringly unethical.

I hope you noted the irony in my previous posts. It should be obvious by now that I do not condone these practices.

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This may be of interest to those not following the "Terribly SCSI performance in WinXP," thread particularly if you are running a Windows server.

I contacted Microsoft again, after the regular run-around, they gave me a startling response. They claimed that there is a bug in W2k(Workstation and Server) that the call FlushFileBuffers, a Kernal32 system call, dose not actually flush the contents of the file buffer all the way to the disk. It falls short and leaves it in cache. If the data is read from the same PC before the cache is routinely flushed to disk, then the OS would grab it out of cache. This would occur really fast since no disk access ever occurs. However, if another PC were to try to access this data assuming that it had already been committed to disk, then the data would not be there. This could cause data corruption or an application crash. Recognizing this, Microsoft fixed the problem in XP. Now a FlushFileBuffers call actually flushes the contents of the file buffer all the way to disk. But, of course, to do this it takes time. The end result is that we all have been living a lie with respect to disk performance. Microsoft maintains that all of our applications that thought they were committing data to disk actually were not and therefore performance seemed much higher than it really should have been.

Fortunately my Windows system uses an IDE drive.

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I am in no means an expert like many people here are. However, I have been working with computers for the last 7 years as a computer tech and though I like the harware part a lot more than the software part I have been forced to learn the software part. I recently started using NT server and trying to administer it (about 1 year) and exchange server. What I wanted to comment though is about the software that I have come up while I have been working as a tech. I have a big list of software titles but I will mention just a few ACI, Mappro, Street Atlas, MLS, VIT LandSafe and there are a lot more. These programs are used by appraisers and I do not doubt that there are simlar programs for Linux (street atlas and mappro) However the main one ACI only works with these other programs and with acrobat that only work on windows. So even if they wanted to switch to linux they could not do it. Also, the companies that hire them for the realstate appraisals only use this programs so creating a custom made program for them is out of the queation since they could not sell the reports genereated with the custom program. Also the stuped program only works with outlook and word and excell ( I recently had a problem with outlook and exchange server on one of the machines). So pretty much there is no other choice than Windows. Also you would be amazed at how little people know about computers and how little they want to research about them. I have had people bring computers because the modem was not working and the problem was that they either connected the cord to the phone line instead of the line in the modem or they connected the phone line to the network card. Also I have had a lot op people try to connect the monitor to the com ports and bend the pins for the monitor cord :) So most people do not want to spend any time trying to figure out what to do much less trying to understand how the software interacts with the hardware and so on. We even get people that pays us to install AOL, AT&T for them or Games and software where the only thing you have to do is to put the CD in the CD-rom and let click next and next until is done. I think linux is a more stable and faster os than Windows but windows is more known and more "friendly" than Linux (I hve never had a customer bring a Linux machine for repair or troubleshooting). So from a business standpoint I hope windows keeps for a long time and as a user I hope there are moe alternatives than windows since that can force Microsoft to improve their software. Also, most people use the prashe if it is not broken why fix it and I think it applies to Windows. Bill gates is really good at giving you what you wnat and not what you really need on an OS which basically is to be able to work with it but also to play with it.

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He's exaggerating in every point he makes but it is an OK read.

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I realize this is an old thread, but ....

When I saw the thread title I instantly starting thinking who in the hell resurected that one. :)

CK

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I actually used to read this forum quite a bit, but have not been around for a while. I have been reading it again for the last few weeks and came upon this thread. I actually found it funny that people with hundreds or thousands of posts to a computer harddrive forum consider Linux nerdy :)

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Microsoft made "incompatibility", "very poor HW support", "lack of effective admin tools", "never ending reboot cycles" and poor security updates as an industry standards. So if anybody tell me Windows is easy, have better support and more understandable for ordinary people, he make me laugh. ;)

Edited by StorageTux

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