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Random thoughts - A spanner in the works

It's 07 Jan 99  17:58:24,
We'll return to telford@eng.uts.edu.au and All's
discussion of Random thoughts - A spanner in the works

 te> If we have a new chunk of hardware who's OS is scrambled or
 te> something we don't want, can we reformat the hard drive and install
 te> DOS 6.22 and Win 3.1? Well there is no legal way of doing it.
 te> You cannot BUY this operating system, it is officially obsolete.
 te> We could take a clone of your box and it would probably work quite
 te> well (though if the hardware was different we may need to fiddle a
 te> bit) but even if it worked it would not be legal, we would be pirates.
 te> Since this operation is going to be very visible, any piracy would
 te> soon be detected and no doubt trouble would start.

Agreed.  Piracy must be avoided on our part.

 te> Second reason (if we manage to get around the first), the upgrade
 te> path for a future user of Win 3.1 is not particularly good. Should
 te> they want to learn to program, they will need a 16 bit compiler like
 te> Turbo-C, then when they inevitably want to move to a 32 bit system
 te> some day they must re-learn what they have done (not completely but
 te> quite a lot). Also, should they want a new application for their
 te> Win 3.1 box they can't get it from anywhere because no one makes them.

On the other hand, Linux is not only 32 bit, and using up to date
technology, but it's an ideal platform for someone to learn the art of
systems administration, if they so desire.  I, for one, owe my career to
the opportunity to play with Linux.  It does look impressive on a resume
to have UNIX (Linux is near enough :) ) listed, and other things like
TCP/IP, Internet and networking in general.  Linux offers all this, and
for free.  I stand as living proof of the career potential of merely
owning a Linux box. :-)

 te> If we have a user with special needs such as limited eyesight
 te> or a shaky mouse hand for example, since you have no source code
 te> to Win 3.1, you can't change things around to help this person.
 te> With linux you can redirect the text to a speech converter or
 te> hack a low-pass filter right into the mouse driver. Since these
 te> hacks are easy to do, many people are out there doing them so you
 te> have a resource of active developers.

Agreed, and we may even nurture a few Linux developers of our own.

 te> Also, maybe you underestimate text based clients. I do have X windows
 te> running quite well on my machine but I often use text mode anyhow.
 te> When I do use X, most of my programs are just text running in a
 te> window. The reason is that the text based clients do the job, do it
 te> fast and I don't have to fiddle around with mouse clicks (since my
 te> typing is far faster than my mouse manipulation).

I tend to use a mixture of text mode and GUI clients myself.  They are
complimentary to me, and it sepends if I need to "point and shoot", or
need the conciseness of the commandline, or the simplicity of a text
interface, as to what I use.  Right now, I'm using text mode, because
this system is more efficient at handling the huge volumes of mail I
read. :)

 te> Also, I do a lot of work over the network, running apps on remote
 te> machines. The text interface stays quite consistent when running over
 te> a modem or ethernet, etc. It's much less trouble for me not to have
 te> to think about it.

Furthermore, on slow links, text is the only thing that cuts it.  I
almost always use text mode for remote administration, and always when
accessing an offsite server (with the exception being NT, because
there's no decent text mode administration tools for it :( ).  Linux
with SSH is the bees knees for remote work.

 te> If you were to switch your 386 over to linux and stick to text
 te> apps, I can guarantee that the speed difference to Win 3.1 apps would
 te> amaze you. Maybe speed is not everything, I have seen Win 3.1 on a 386
 te> and it's quite usable but somehow still seems a little sluggish.

Well, except for recompiling the kernel, text mode on a 386 is quite
comfortable and often flies. :)

.. So, where IS the <ANY> key?
|Fidonet:  Tony Langdon 3:635/728.18
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