Thread: what DOES Linux do that Windows doesn't?

  1. #16
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    BASH shell, stability, flexibility. native development tools (gcc, perl, etc.). Central repository of programs (not just system programs - I try to get most of my software out of it so I can update EVERYTHING on my system). Freedom of information (flexibility) - if you want to change something about your system, search for it. when you find it, do it. when it's done, it's done.

    I've come across a few times when something's happened that I thought I couldn't get out of (WINE went into some kind of debug loop), but all it took was a second to sit back and think and I got it cleared up right away, without comprimising anything else. Other examples: me accidentally killing my own X-Server, starting a program that took WAAY too much processing power

    the ONLY time I've had to restart Gentoo was when I was messing around in my system and plugged something in... I got used to the stability and decided to open my case and mess around with the internals with the system up and running.
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  2. #17
    Registered User Frobozz's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by major_small
    I got used to the stability and decided to open my case and mess around with the internals with the system up and running.
    I did that once with Windows. Found out in the process that hardware such as DVD drives and such is recognized as soon as you attach them to the IDE. Probably won't do it again though - too risky.

  3. #18
    Registered User
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    Jan 2003
    I did that on a school comp once. Took stuff out while windows was running. Vid card should not be removed...although it is pretty funny.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Glirk Dient
    Vid card should not be removed...although it is pretty funny.
    Yeah as long as its not yours

  5. #20
    c n00b
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Fort Collins, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by 7smurfs
    So, what are these things that Linux can do that everyone talks about?
    Here's a list of a few, with some explanation:

    1. First and foremost for a C/C++ programmer, it allows you to look at the source code for basically everything. It's difficult to believe that people asking and answering questions in a C/C++ forum about what Linux can do aren't emphasizing this more, but the Linux kernel is C and its OS environment utilities are pretty much all written in C/C++ (and Perl, but that's another story). Since it's free/open source software, that means you have a real wealth of source code availability and a wonderful development environment at your fingertips.

    2. It allows you to mix and match functionality between small utilities to choose, modify, customize, or create complex application environments to suit your purposes. In fact, with a little Perl glue code, you can wire together a bunch of console utilities (gcc, gdb, vim, et cetera, for instance) to create your own dream C/C++ IDE. Slap a GUI on top of it with one of the many toolkits available (also for free, like Tcl/Tk, QT, GTK+, or Gorm) and you can even make it pretty with clicky little buttons, if that's your speed.

    3. It provides real cross-platform functionality and development tools, the likes of which habitual Windows users just don't get. Having made the migration from Windows-only power user and netadmin to Linux and Windows netadmin and code enthusiast, I've come to appreciate the usefulness of Linux for cross-platform development.

    4. It gives you easy access to great scads of documentation on all sorts of wonderful stuff. You can actually type "man printf" at the command line to get information about the printf function, at least using Debian (my favorite Linux distribution).

    5. You can create the computing environment that you like, rather than using the one that's handed to you, eliminating distractions, adding bells and whistles, adjusting the look, and so on. Speaking of distractions, to bring back a subject that others have touched upon, you won't be distracted as much by security concerns like the latest SQL engine worm for Windows.

    6. You can farm out compilation tasks to other machines on your network (if your network is set up with machines where such activity is allowed/supported) transparently, and/or securely, by way of ubiquitous and simple programs that come standard with every major Linux distribution.

    7. You can actually get a complete and accurate API definition for your work, even without signing nondisclosure agreements and paying thousands of dollars in licensing fees.

    8. You can use good revision control systems without having to futz around with a bunch of third-party applications and learning new interfaces: a quick familiarization with the syntax of your RCS of choice is all you need, generally speaking.

    There's more, but I should get back to work.

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