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This is not meant to start a flame war. I do not mean to imply one way or another that I know the answer to this question and that is ...
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  1. #1
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    What Can Linux do that Windows can not FOR ME?


    This is not meant to start a flame war. I do not mean to imply one way or another that I know the answer to this question and that is why I am asking it. Now, here is the thing, I have been using windows for about 8 years now, and I have been using linux for about 2 years on and off. So clearly my experience with to OS's is far from being on par. Currently I have Win XP and MEPIS 2004 installed on my laptop. Win XP does everything I need it to do and my Linux system is about 90% there (I am sure that in a month or two I'll have it 100% usable for my needs). So both do there job quite well. So here comes the question, what can I do in Linux that can not be done in Windows. What's the advantage? I am trying to switch to Linux now so I can learn something new, but what would be something cool that can only be done in linux? Here some limitations:

    1. I am a Web Designer and a pre law student. So it should be something useful to me or someone like me.

    2. Please no Free Software arguments. Any software for Win can be gotten for free. Being that I ONLY talking about personal use, I have no moral problems with it, and no legal problems that I can expect.

    3. I am not interested in application programming, but if anything related to web applications and database applications is of interest to me. (I do run apache, php, perl, and MSQL on WIN XP for web testing)

    4. My Win XP has not crashed in over 2 months, I put laptop in to hibernate, so it has been running all together 67 hours with out reboot at the moment of typing this. I know Linux is stable as hell, but I just do not have a problem with that.

    5. Finally I am talking about a LAPTOP (or an end user desktop) not a mainframe server nor a videoediting rig.

    From my personal experience here is how I answered this question in one instance. About 6 months ago a client gave me a picture on CD that was something like 12,000x16,000 pixls and almost 220mb. After 4 failed attempts to resize this picture in Photoshop (it would lock up the computer as soon as i try to resize the thing), I turned to my Slackware install and used GIMP to resize the picture with out any problems. This made me interested in Linux. See that is an answer that I am looking for.

    In truth of course, I edit pictures of that size almost never, and for the rest of my computer needs windows works quite nicely.

    Any way, what's your thought's on this,

    - Bogdan

  2. #2
    Linux Guru kkubasik's Avatar
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    Linux offers a variety of things, I know that your apache runs on windows, props to you for that, but apache is unix native, and generaly an apache dameon on a *nix is quite a lovely experiance. But the photo example is a great one, Linux is far better with handling memory and system resources in general, and when stability is refered to, its instances like that, where a machine would crash under normal circumstances, Linux grunts it out. Linux also appeals greatly to those that like to constatly tweak thier system, even the XP machine that I have to run has all sorts of matinence scripts running on it all the time, on that note, a Linux machine that only runs desktop processes is far faster than Windows, the primary issue that people have when they install Linux and complain about speed is selecting 30 some server packages that are all started at boot. Also (personaly) I prefer the 'feel' of the linux desktop envirroments, not something definative, just personal preference. The compatability with the large variety of unix type packages is convenient, as while many of the super popular ones have been ported (Spamassasin, Apache) they still are unix, and perform better in a unix enviroment. the use of plain old ascii files to store and modify most system settings is a great convenience, while it has a steep learning curve, once you get the hang of it, its very powerful, adaptable, and simple to use, change a 0 to a 1, no confusing graphical menus, but again, personal preferance.

    This one is one of those that gets thrown in with every pro linux argument, spyware and adware. Simply put, they don't work in Linux, even one the off chance one gets in your system, same with viruses, ive only gotten one virus in all my Linux using time, and it was a win32_bug.dll or summsuch, rm ./win32_bug.dll and problem solved, no malignant loops that replicate code 3 times every tiem you delete it, just works. in general web browsing and the sort is considerably safer.

    Again to the system level (sorry about the discontinutity, writing this bit by bit) the NTFS file system is incredably buggy and problematic, to the point that Windows recommends users reguraly run a long winded utility (disk defrag) to fix some of these inherent problems, the linux fs' provide much more consistent and a significantly faster standard access time.

    ill post back later with more, but the work calls.
    Avoid the Gates of Hell. Use Linux
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    Formerly Known as qub333

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Giro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qub333
    Again to the system level (sorry about the discontinutity, writing this bit by bit) the NTFS file system is incredably buggy and problematic, to the point that Windows recommends users reguraly run a long winded utility (disk defrag) to fix some of these inherent problems, the linux fs' provide much more consistent and a significantly faster standard access time.
    NTFS has never been buggy for me an i rarely have to defrag can you post a link to the source that says windows users who use NTFS should defrag reguarly.

    And x0054 it seems you like windowsXP so why not stick with that? Just curiouse.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giro
    NTFS has never been buggy for me an i rarely have to defrag can you post a link to the source that says windows users who use NTFS should defrag reguarly.
    From the archives at Microsoft

    The part you'll be interested in is this:

    Fragmentation

    Heavily fragmented volumes do not perform as well as volumes that are defragmented regularly. You can reduce fragmentation by running the Disk Defragmenter snap-in or the command-line tool Defrag.exe weekly during idle times. For more information about defragmenting NTFS volumes, see "Defragmenting NTFS Volumes" earlier in this chapter.


    In my personal experience, I usually have to defrag NTFS partitions at least once a week.

    **PS - Whoops on the long URL thing...
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

  6. #5
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    What can Linux do for me that Windows cannot?
    • Promote a common community rather then a pack-of-wolves corporation
    • Teach to you to think for yourself rather then blindly following others
    • Give you complete control over your system
    • Allow you to decide what you need and what you don't need
    • Protects you from MS "hidden files" and "programs" that may be doing things you don't want them to (like government spying)


    Jeremy
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    "All The Dude ever wanted was his rug back" - The Dude

  7. #6
    Linux Engineer adrenaline's Avatar
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    Quick and dirty,
    for me its about the stability, speed, and the ease of remote monitoring while staying speedy.

    My small 2 cents.
    Thanks

  8. #7
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    qub333, thanks for the informative answer.

    As far as NTFS being buggy, well not really, actually it is pretty good and works in a lot of the same ways as XFS, I think. In any case fragmentation of a disk is something you can not get around, it is OS and file system independent. Most modern file systems, including ReiserFS, XFS and NTFS, can deal with fragmentation quite well, so the only slowdown you would see is from the disk head jumping around. And there is not reason to run defrag on static partitions such as the C:\ in windows and root and /usr in Linux, well no reason to do it more the once a year. In Win just set your user and temp directories to another partition and say goodbye to defrag.

    The reason I am trying to use Linux is so I can learn something new. The reason for this post was to learn something new as well. For instance someone tolled me yesterday about LaTeX, text type setting tool. Now that is something I would never know about if I used Win. So the idea of this post is to learn things like that. Please do not tern it in to a flame war

    - Bogdan

  9. #8
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    For someone like you, i would say there is no real great advantage, and thats ok.

    Its just the fact that you have a choice. I'm not one of those people that say Linux is better than Windows at everything and everyone should be using Linux. Its just simply nice to have an alternative if you so desire.

    I personally love linux because i enjoy the command line. I like to know what my system is doing, there are some actions i don't want hidden behind a gui. Linux gives me more control over my system and teaches me more on how things interact with one another. I also like all the individual choices that you can use under linux, such as window manager. Sure you can get "themes" for windows, but its just not the same as being able to choose a different window manager and then customizing it to extreme lengths.

    Adware/Spyware/Virii aren't something i often worry about on Linux either.

    If you have php,perl,apache, and mysql working on windows, more power to you. I actually had a bit of trouble setting that stuff up on windows. For me it was easier to do under linux.

  10. #9
    Linux Guru kkubasik's Avatar
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    My apologies on my word choice (and i can tell its quite obviouslty VERY bad) my general opinion tword NTFS is not as bad as it really is, its more a political thing. Linux fights so hard to provide support for it, and windows refuses to offer support for any of the *nix filesystems. On a purly technical level, it was fine when it was released, its a little dated now (but again, I love running machines on the very bleeding edge of technology, one of the wonderful things about linux and open source in general is the ability to take alpha and beta releases and have a system that is truly ahead of its time) In the end I will recind the statment that NTFS is buggy, but I will stand and say that there are superior file systems out there, not a reason to switch to linux, but if you do alot of database work, the performace increase on resierfs as opposed to fat32 or NTFS is quite remarkable. Also its supposed to show a major jump in handling large quanities of small files (under 7k). my apologies for the earlier word choice, it was one of those more rants than logical arguments at that point... I had an external drive in NTFS and needed to pull a few gigs of video off of it, ended up recompiling my kernel so i could (my editing rig is XP, servers all *nix) *breath in breath out* got a little carried away.

    EDIT: I wouldn't worry about things getting to a flame, we are generaly pretty low key around here! And I have to agree in the end, the best part of Linux is the freedom to tinker and control, not for everyone, but some people like to explore with the AC on, they call us geeks, and we rule this Linux world.
    Avoid the Gates of Hell. Use Linux
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    Formerly Known as qub333

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    Well, I will agree with you there. Although I got ex2 readonly mounted under win it is indeed ridicules that win does not have support for other file systems. And it does drive me crazy that they will not release at least the specifications for the dam fs. I want and need a reliable way to use NTFS in linux, but I doubt that's going to happen as it is even hard to find a good set of tools for it. I head a crash few months ago and for the life of me could not get anything out of the dam NTFS partition. Ended up using SuSe live cd to copy over some of my personal files from the crashed partition.

    FAT32 is what I'm cornered in to using as that is the only thing that works equally well under win and lin.

    - Bogdan

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