Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Random Thots of D

Another comparison of G5 vs Opteron here. More food for thought...

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Compute Bias

I have (atleast somewhat) experience on working on

Unix on Dec, Intel-machines

Linux on Intel-machines

Solaris on SPARC

Windows (on Intel)

OS-9.1-OSX.1 on (G3 and older)

Kind of covers a lot. And I should say I like all of them

* Linux - oh - I can control everything in many different ways, locally via well-organzed system management tools (I am a Mandrake user), from command-line when things are badly broken and even remotely when I cant even reach my machine.

* Windows - thousands of software, mostly What You Want Is What You See. Games, quick apps to create something. Any nice software is probably first available in Windows. Best of all, if something breaks in the huge mess, there is somebody you can blame.

* Solaris - The machines are a beauty - they look so professional. Kind of hard to manage - but never had to manage one personally. But the look and feel ... wow!

* Mac - Beauty ... its eye candy everywhere. Everything is so sleek, smooth. No wonder best in GUI.

My current work platform is an archaic 266 MHz Pentium Compaq desktop dual boot with MDK10.0 and W2k and a huge,ugly, heavy, bulky, low-end Inspiron 1100 laptop dual boot with MDK10.1OE/KDE3.3 and WinXP. I love both of them. But I should say I am a proud Linux (read: Mandrake) fanatic. And like many other fanaticism I have, I am terribly biased towards Mandrake on intel (havnt used Linux/PPC or Linux/AMD). No questions or arguments... Its my Bliand Compte Bias :)

You see, I like all the systems I talked about above. I like to use each of them for their area of expertise. But I am amused by how some people consider one better than other without giving reasons (NOTE:I consider Blind Fanaticism as perfectly good reason to like a system - only you have to admit that you blindly like it - no matter what come may). Recently I had the chance of talking to Vijay and Akhil Gupta (UMD => Google), both wannabe Mac-users. Both claimed they loved Mac/OSX but not blindly. Ding dong ... somebody finally has a reason :-).

Akhil's point was ... its stable and usable right out of the box (point against Linux) and yet has the power of command-line (Point against GUI based Windows). Hmm... valid point (by the way, its really hard to do all via console in OSX - except using Applescript - which is not really a command-line). Actually in that way, Windows also have a command line ... you can do all the basic file management, you cae use rundll32 for system management and use MS Developer tools link link.exe and cl.exe for coding.

Vijay is waiting for Powerbook G5 - his best bet for the best machine (hardware) with best OS and best GUI - furthermore all 64-bit so his huge network simulations and matlab will run faster. Hm... dunno about matlab etc... but I think one should use the departmental compute resources for these critical high-speed stuff. I doubt if G5 will be able to match any of our departmental linux-clusters or compute servers. And baat rahi Best hardware, its arguable if 64-bit can be readily used and furthermore ... one should start looking at the comparisons and discussions. This can be a good starting point. Best OS and GUI - well OSX is all eye candy but Windows-Blnds and Linux also has reached similar status (still some way to go) though the machines wont be as cute as Mac machines - guaranteed. About the OS specifically, I think Windows is a pretty good OS and Linux too (in terms of *OS*). Go through the various benchmarks available. After all OSX.* is Unix-based :)

I am myself biased towards a particular system ... but I admit it as well as I admit the good things about others. The bad thing is there are people out there who think e.g. Windows PCs are ultimate OR Linux is the best thing - as it is open source and bla bla bla .. OR Apple is the best company of the world because ... umm... others suck (or something similar). C'mon, choose your machine based on your budget and kind of work you do... and in that way no other combination will be better for *you*.

- D.