Re: M$ attack on Common Sense

From: Jean-David Beyer (jdbeyer_at_exit109.com)
Date: 09/15/03


Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 08:52:54 -0400

User wrote:

> I don't think its any use pointing out things to those (few) linux
> people who have recently converted to linux/unix and don't yet know
> all the vunerabilities. They simply come out attacking everyone
> else. Have a read of the thread.

True enough.
>
> They attack M$ for making money - they attack M$ users because M$
> users have a real life away from the computer - they compare systems
> designed for home use against systems managed by paid administrators

Sloppy, though not unusual.
>
> They claim that Unix is a *real* multiuser system and often don't
> acknowledge that it is a cut down version of a proper OS and has had
> to be hacked over the last 30 years with a whole lot of "add ons" to
> make it usable.
>
I think you are being quite unfair here. The only cut down part of UNIX
was that they removes some of the parts of MULTICS (that ran on dual
GE-645 computers when it first came out) so it would fit a DEC PDP-7
IIRC. They pretty quickly moved it to a PDP-11, and it really got going
when I got a PDP-11/45 with a memory management unit in it (I think Ken
and Dennis had a PDP-11/20). So they could try out the memory management
on it. They pretty soon got a real machine too.

In the early 1970s when UNIX really took off, it compared very favorably
with competing operating systems. Remember OS/360 PCP, MFT, and MVT?
UNIX may not have had the throughput because it ran on smaller
processors. But when Steve Johnson came out with the Portable C Compiler
and Ken and Dennis rewrote the kernel in C, it became a fairly simple
matter to run UNIX on larger machines such as IBM System/360 and the
Amdahl clones.

The only thing I did not like about UNIX in the early days was that it
would not handle real-time process control, something I was doing at the
time. Normal versions of UNIX still do not. DEC's RSX-11D did that far
better. But you would probably consider RSX-11D even worse than UNIX
from the point of view of a casual user. You could really shoot yourself
in the foot with that one. If you forgot to lock the memory manager to
core, it could get swapped out, and only the memory manager could swap
anything in, so pretty soon after that happened, the system would
deadlock and you had to reboot it. Not nice for casual users who would
not even know what happened.

The networking we are so familiar with now is much like the early UNIX
stuff. True, few use uucp anymore, which was how a lot of what is now
USENET and e-mail worked in the early days.

But what hacking of UNIX over the last 35 years, and what "add ons" were
needed for UNIX that the other OSs did not also need? There has been
some progress in operating systems since those early days. In fact, at
the risk of a flame war, it seems to me that Windows, when it came out,
was about 15 years behind what UNIX was delivering at the time. For
example, when Windows 95 came out in about 1996, it still did not have
the functionality (other than a graphical point-and-click interface)
that UNIX had in 1980. And by 1995 UNIX supported the X Window System
already.

-- 
   .~.  Jean-David Beyer           Registered Linux User 85642.
   /V\                             Registered Machine    73926.
  /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey     http://counter.li.org
  ^^-^^ 8:35am up 24 days, 18:00, 2 users, load average: 2.23, 2.17, 2.12


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