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Thread: Linux users?

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    schrody's Avatar
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    Linux users?

    I'm starting to get addicted to this forum and I know there are a lot of tinkerers on here...so I thought I'd throw out a note to see how many Linux users are hanging around!?

    Right now I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 on my desktop and trying out Linux Mint 6 on my wife's laptop (stole a small partition). Also looking into building an HTPC but stuck on what components/case to use.

    Any good company out there? Or am I in a sea of people supporting the richest man?

    Sidenote...first Coffee Bar post!
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    Re: Linux users?

    I'm supporting the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over here, but I do have a few customers that work for Red Hat if that counts

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    Re: Linux users?

    Shhh...That's like saying "Voldemort" in public!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Voldemort
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    Re: Linux users?

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing some really positive and amazing work these days, you just have to ignore how Bill got the money in the first place.

    I have never been happy with the various desktop systems for Linux, but nothing comes close to matching Linux for server applications. I use a Mac for constant daily use because I got sick of needing paid subscriptions to four different anti-spyware packages and reinstalling Windows every two or three months just to be able to get any work done.
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    Re: Linux users?

    I've liked Macs ever since OS X. Just haven't spent the money to get one. I also think the desktop varieties of Linux have come a long way. I tried them out many years back but never stuck with them. This time around they won me over. I do love not having to run anti-virus software!

    Of course, I am running an old Sempron 2800 so Windows would just be sluggish on this thing.
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    Re: Linux users?

    I have not been a fan of Micros$oft since they developed a buggy interpreted BASIC and sold it to a bunch of early computer manufacturers (This is back when I actually worked as a programmer. I can remember when IBM came out with their PC and Micro$oft made a lot of money on a Disk Operating system that they bought from near bankrupt Seattle Computer products for a song and because of restrictive live licensing agreements with IBM it won out over the far superior CPM-86 OS (which survived in later years as the superior DR-DOS!)

    Nor was I a fan of them when they fell into bed with IBM to develop OS/2 (a VASTLY superior OS) and then fell out of bed when they realized it would conflict with their very buggy windoze, which was never originally designed to run in protected mode!. They then took what they learned from OS/2 development and came out with their New Technology, windoze NT. It was based on OS/2 2.1 and was not a full 32 bit operating system until the release of NT2000. OS/2 Warp was and had features that are just now being incorporated into Vista! It was also the first object oriented OS and I still use it as eComStation since IBM has dropped support for OS/2 and went to Linux.

    As far as the MS foundation, I guess Bill has some guilt in his old age over some of his questionable business practices. Or perhaps his wife became is conscience.

    As far as my own 'puters I use Macs runnning BSD unix at work (OSX) and at home I run a variety of OSes. I have Suse, Kubuntu (I much prefer KDE over GNOME), and Mandriva (my favorite distro) that I use all the time and have played with many other flavors of 'nix as well, such as some of the BSDs, Mint, Knoppix, PClinux, and others. (I gave up on Redhat years ago. We used that at the ISP I worked for and I was responsible for keeping all the servers running, both software and hardware!) I have 2 boxes running eComStation (OS/2) and a w2k, XP and Vista box, just to keep on top of what Micro$oft is up to. All my home computers are on a heterogeneous network and my servers are all 'nix boxes.

    I have also played around with some more obscure OSes such as Plan9, ReactOS, QNX, PICK, BeOS, and others over the years.

    I also have an Apple ][ emulator installed on 2 of my computers and a large collection of software to run under it. I was a developer for the Apple ][ (among some other computers) back in the day and I get nostalgic for some of the great Apple ][ games that were available. I still can run Apple Dos 3.3 and ProDos under these emulators!

    Almost forgot. I do have bootable partitions of DR-DOS and FreeDOS on some of my boxes in case I get nostalgic for the old IBM PC days! I even have them networked! (Actually, I use them for game playing.)

    Yeah, I'm a geek!

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    Re: Linux users?

    I think I still have one of those springy OS/2 Warp pens laying around here somewhere...

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    Re: Linux users?

    For an HTPC you might want to look at Mythbuntu, or one of the other Debian builds like DreamLinux, etc..A great place to see what's new is http://www.distrowatch.com.There you will find links to a lot of the most popular distros.

    For hardware, always get the best you can afford The keyboard and mouse seam to me to be the most important components. Do you want a long cord, a clear line of sight(IR,) short-range radio or long range radio device, one that eats batteries or that you can't use until the infernal (non-replaceable) battery is recharged?

    Of course, the first thing to consider is your source. If you have digital cable that requires a box, I'd just get the company DVR and a PS3 and a surround sound system and avoid the frustration of a pc altogether!
    Good Luck!
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    Re: Linux users?

    waterbear: Wow, that is a lot of great information. I can't go back that far in history...but will say my first home PC came with Win 3.11 that never got used. I loved tinkering in DOS back then! Even ran a BB for awhile on it.

    New2Me: I'm less concerned with the distro right now but was definitely leaning towards trying Mythbuntu first (might do a couple partitions to try others). Right now we have att u-verse and I'm finding that we don't need it. The majority of shows we watch I can grab via antenna and the remaining ones are available on hulu.

    At first I was just considering the Neuros LINK (neurostechnology.com) but now I'm weighing that with building my own. The LINK doesn't do recording or have a tv tuner ootb. I'm mostly looking at the 780G flavors of mainboard but also sort of like the idea of the AMD Maui platform using M780G mainboard and a 5.1 channel amp.

    If I do build my own, the case is the biggest choice holding me back right now. Can't seem to find a clear winner.
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    Re: Linux users?

    My desktop machine runs Windows Server 2003, and I generally keep Ubuntu 8 on a VM hanging close by for general work. I prefer Linux, but I'm a command-line junkie. I've pretty much run everything from Debian/Ubuntu to Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS to Solaris, Suse, and Unixware, to an obscure version of AT&T unix that predates System V. I have a CentOS server on a mini-ITX at home. My web servers are also CentOS or Ubuntu. Oh yeah, I run Gentoo on an Xbox.
    My first web server, a Red Hat box which I put up in 1997 for a pharmaceutical website, was hacked in two weeks. I learned a lot of fire-walling after that.

    As for my PC/DOS history, in the early 80's I used to write machine code in edlin, and feed it to debug to compile into a .com program. Oh yeah, I wrote a database server based on Clipper in Assembly language for OS/2. That was pre-Warp OS/2. The clients were DOS 3.2-based, communicating over DECnet.

    But I started out with MS Basic on a VIC 20.

    <sigh> I think I'm sad now.
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    Re: Linux users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    to an obscure version of AT&T unix that predates System V.
    Which one? I probably know it!


    As for my PC/DOS history, in the early 80's I used to write machine code in edlin, and feed it to debug to compile into a .com program.
    I used to have a sign on my office door that said "Do not feed or pet the machine language programmers". I remember doing exactly the same thing. I did this in CP/M before the PC even existed! Were we masochists or what?
    I used to hand disassemble 6502 code and code for some obscure processors used in keyboards back in the day!

    Oh yeah, I wrote a database server based on Clipper in Assembly language for OS/2. That was pre-Warp OS/2. The clients were DOS 3.2-based, communicating over DECnet.
    I have OS/2 versions going back to 2.1!
    But I started out with MS Basic on a VIC 20.
    My first computer that I ever worked with (in college) was an IBM system 360 that I programmed in Fortran66 on punch cards! My second was a Timex Sinclair, my third an Apple ][.

    <sigh> I think I'm sad now.
    I understand!

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    Re: Linux users?

    Which one? I probably know it!
    Maybe, but this one was an "Automatic Call Director" application for an AT&T G3 PBX, and was pretty customized. I can't actually recall the release number, but I remember it was seriously lacking in 'real world' support. It was optimized for COM port I/O, and barely had network support. I needed to print to a Netware queue from it, and had to set up LPD on a UnixWare machine (a Voice Response Unit) so that the ACD could LPR to it, then I could capture the LPD output and redirect it to the NW queue.

    Cool stuff.

    The first computer I worked on was a seriously obscure 16-bit mini made by Computer Automation, an LSI-II (32k-word), soon followed by an LSI-4 (64k-word). I programmed both via hex keypad from the console, although I did have a paper tape of genuine Dartmouth BASIC for the LSI-II, which I played with in the maintenance shop at night. I was later given responsibility for a Fortran material-handling system that ran on an LSI-4. Funny thing, there were two warnings that HAD to be there at compile, or the code would IDLE out after a few hours of runtime. No one ever knew why.

    Work also brought me my intro to the IBM 7532 Industrial AT, which we used as a work cell controller with inhouse code written in Modula-2. We moved it from DOS 3.2 to OS2 v1 to break the 64k segment barrier and use those highly advanced memory management capabilities of the 80286 CPU. They were 512k machines with the piggy-back RAM chips.

    BTW, my CPM machine was a Kaypro II, but I admit to not doing a lot with it. I had a closet full of computers though, VIC 20, C-64, TI-99, RS COCO, Atari 400 & 600XL, some single-board 6800 stuff, and at one time, even a DEC Rainbow.

    Seriously, if you find yourself in Orlando sometime, we should have coffee.
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    Re: Linux users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    Seriously, if you find yourself in Orlando sometime, we should have coffee.
    And reminisce about the "good old days" when men were men, assembly programmers were considered not quite human , 64K was considered a LOT of ram ,an operating system would only take up 4K (CP/M), and code was compact and elegant! I miss them. I really believe that the switch from assembler to C was the downfall of good coding!
    I might have to take you up on that. I bring my camper down Fort Wilderness fairly often for a quick getaway to a water park. (I know, why don't I just stay home and enjoy my own pool but I don't have a wave machine or water slides!)

    When I was in college (U of Florida) in the early '70s I wanted to major in computer science when I decided to get out of chemistry and was told not to because there were no jobs in the field and that there were already too many programmers out there and the market would be saturated for years! (which is why I got my degree in broadcasting) They also told us that COBOL was obsolete and dead and that it would be totally gone in just a few years so don't bother learning it! (They were pushing SNOBOL, APL, and PL1--FORTRAN and SPSS were just for the science geeks!) How wrong they were on both counts!

    As an aside, I can remember the first time I encountered M$ BASIC. Since I had a very strong FORTRAN base it was pretty easy to learn but I just could not believe that it did not have a DO statement and I had to use FOR/NEXT loops and GOTOs! NOT elegant programming, IMHO!

    NOW people might understand the significance of the last line of my sig!

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    Re: Linux users?

    I agree that code lacks elegance these days. And while C wasn't as tight as good assembly, it was way closer than a lot of what pushed it aside. "Self-documenting" languages like Modula-2 began the need for Moore's law, and once OO concepts were developed with Smalltalk, the future shifted from the value of coding talent to pinning hopes on cheap RAM and more CPU cycles. C++ and MFC didn't help either.

    But I Never learned COBOL.
    Since I cut my teeth on engineering and machine control systems, I tried to avoid "business" systems wherever possible. I had a lot of PLC systems, I ran through quite a bit of Pascal, Fortran, BASIC, C, lots of assembler, a little bit of channel code, and some obscure LISP and FORTH, but no COBOL. One never knows what might bite one's butt later in life.

    I haven't thought about SPSS in years. Back in my corporate headquarters days we used a handful of databases for consumer info - a combination of IDMS and DB2 on an s/390, and Dataflex on a Netware LAN. I used to pull them together with SPSS. As an aside, I think there is a free knockoff called PSPP, but I never used it.

    Yeah - let me know when you head for Ft. Wilderness. Maybe we can trade some pins...
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    Re: Linux users?

    I got the last line of your sig right away. I think they sell those shirts on thinkgeek.com. They have some pretty funny stuff on that site.

    It's exceptionally amusing that they didn't teach COBOL back then. It was a required course for my MIS degree and that was in the fall of 1998 when I took it!!
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    Re: Linux users?

    Quote Originally Posted by schrody
    I got the last line of your sig right away. I think they sell those shirts on thinkgeek.com. They have some pretty funny stuff on that site.

    It's exceptionally amusing that they didn't teach COBOL back then. It was a required course for my MIS degree and that was in the fall of 1998 when I took it!!
    They taught it but kept saying it was usless and would disappear in a few years!

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    Re: Linux users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    and some obscure LISP and FORTH, but no COBOL. One never knows what might bite one's butt later in life.
    fORTH wasn't as much as a programming language as it was a fanatical religion. I had a friend that was a devout convert. To me it combined the worst features of Lisp, Pascal, C, and Basic while trying to give the speed and direct control of assembler (and failing miserably, IMHO.) This friend of mine wrote a game that his company published called "Chancellor of the Exchequer" or something like that in FORTH for either the Commodore 64 or Atari, I forget which. I was working on the Apple][ translation but I finally gave up because I was rewriting the FORTH in assembler and Pascal and it was just becoming a royal pain!
    Now LISP was a language that I loved. Gotta love any language that is written in itself and is user extensible! Talk about elegant code! Towers of Hanoi in three lines of recursive code!
    (defun dohanoi(n to from u)
    (cond
    (
    (> n 0) (dohanoi (- n 1) u from to)
    (format t "move ~D --> ~D~&" from to)
    (dohanoi (- n 1) to u from)

    )
    )
    )
    (defun hanoi(n)
    (dohanoi n 3 1 2)
    )


    Gotta love the recursiveness but hate the parenthesis!
    Same code in M$ basic is a few pages long!

    Edit: lost the lisp formatting when I typed it in here. Must have something to do with the BB code that I really don't feel like looking into right now! But I did add something to my Sig!

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    Re: Linux users?

    You know, FORTH will compile itself.
    Still, I never liked RPN and had trouble with extended calcs on both FORTH and HP calculators. And there seems to be a common theme among FORTH programmers which make them all want to write a single-word program. It was evidently fairly popular in remote weather stations, and last year, I met a guy who maintained a web site programmed in FORTH. That scared me. Still does, actually.

    My LISP experience was limited to AutoLisp, where I was tasked with creating some BOM routines for AutoCad in the 80's. Thats' right, DOS-based AutoCad. I recall having major issues with garbage collection in memory. Oh, I recall throwing things, too.
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    Re: Linux users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    You know, FORTH will compile itself.
    I heard it can actually write it's own code!

    Still, I never liked RPN and had trouble with extended calcs on both FORTH and HP calculators.
    Amen Brother, AMEN! To me it's totally counter intuitive. This is why I had a TI instead of an HP back in the day!

    And there seems to be a common theme among FORTH programmers which make them all want to write a single-word program. It was evidently fairly popular in remote weather stations, and last year, I met a guy who maintained a web site programmed in FORTH. That scared me. Still does, actually.
    ROFL!

    My LISP experience was limited to AutoLisp, where I was tasked with creating some BOM routines for AutoCad in the 80's. Thats' right, DOS-based AutoCad. I recall having major issues with garbage collection in memory. Oh, I recall throwing things, too.
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I JUST SPIT COFFEE ALL OVER THE MONITOR BECAUSE I WAS LAUGHING SO HARD!

    I think we should start a movement to bring back Wordstar, dBase II, and VisiCalc along with Aut0Cad! Let's see how these windoze wimps handle a REAL program from the command line without a mouse!
    WYSIWYG? In your dreams!

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    Re: Linux users?

    OMG! Cursor movement with Ctrl-S/Ctrl-D/Ctrl-E/Ctrl-X, save with Ctrl-KS and Ctrl-KD.
    Holy Carpal Tunnel, Batman! I learned the Wordstar commands because of Borland's Turbo Pascal, which used WS editor commands. Funny, I still use vi, but I'd drop it if I couldn't use the cursor keys.

    dBase II was cool. I was actually pretty adept w/ dBase III. I think I mentioned that I wrote a maintenance management system in Clipper... 86 thousand lines of code, with custom assembler libraries.



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