[nSLUG] linux questions

Michael Gillie mikegpc at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 08:54:53 ADT 2007

Thank you for answering me questions. I agree that Windows is taking
too much away from the little guy who uses Linux. The "point and
click" mentality gets in the way with a lot of ppl, and High Schools
aren't teaching students to think "outside the box." It's a real
headache that i can't find Linux in the school. I have found Macs a
pain in the rear end. The Mac ads truly dis PC's. As much as i like
Windows, Vista is a poor excuse, and MANY other Windows OS's meet the
same level. Anyway... Before i rant any more, i'll just shut my face
:p. I need Windows day-to-day, and if i could get my Wireless card
working in Linux, i'd be on linux 100% with Windows in an emulation

Have a great Day,


On 4/10/07, Rich <budman85 at eastlink.ca> wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-04-09 at 22:33 -0300, Michael Gillie wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > My name is Michael, and I'm a brand new member.
> > I am currently in the IT Program hosted by the NSCC.
> > Right now, i have some questions or a survey (if you want to call it
> > that :-p )  that i am aiming at every member who is willing to answer.
> > If this poses a problem, please let me know.
> >
> > I am trying to understand a few key elements, for a school and
> > personal project. I am, myself, like you are, a  linux user, and would
> > swear by it alone if i were not on a wireless network, and if my
> > school work did not require Windows XP to run.
> >
> > So, without further ado, i will ask my questions... (you do NOT need
> > to answer them if you feel uncomfortable with them. :-)
> >
> Hi Michael :)   no problem.  welcome aboard. :)
> >
> > 1. How long have you been using linux?
> 12 years
> > 2. When you use linux, do you use a separate computer, or do you dual
> > boot with Windows (That's if you even use Windows)?
> Linux only  - deleted Windows in 1999
> Wife's machine is Linux as well.
> Use to run a Linux firewall, installed router which took its place.
> Gave it away to a kid (17 or so) wanting to learn Linux, but couldn't
> afford a computer - he's doing good now. :)
> > 3. What is you favorite Distribution?
> Slackware
> > 4. If your linux distro has various versions and levels, please give
> > that info.
> Slackware 11.0 and Dropline Gnome
>   been using them since i think it was 3.x (kernel 2.0.29)
> 	I forgot the version.. haha my age is finally catching up to me.
> 	I think it was 3.2 or 3.4 ... hmm gonna have to fine out now..
> 	the CD's are here somewhere.. :P
> > 5. Do you use Open-Source software in both Windows and Linux?
> Linux yes, and at work when I have to use Windows, there are times I've
> used cygwin, and a few other apps.
> > 6. Where do you get most of your linux and open-source programs from?
> The source website - compile and install. when I'm lazy, I try
> LinuxPackages.net for Slackware
> > 7. Are there any stores OR servers, within the Maritimes,  that
> > market / distribute linux related items and open-source software?
> Still looking - still kind of new to the area.
> > 8. If not, would you support a linux and open-source distributor
> > within Nova Scotia, and the Maritimes?
> Preinstalled machines?  Yes.  I only use barebone systems, delete
> windows if its on it, and install Linux.
> > 9. Finally, is download speed something you are willing to pay for, to
> > get a better speed (having access to ALL programming whether the
> > membership is paid, or free), or would you rather pay membership, and
> > have a limited amount of access to a server's contents, whether you
> > were a free level member,  minimum member, or maximum member? ***
> Don't we pay for download speed now - its called your monthly bill for
> DSL or Cable.  I do miss the Dialup fees.  Would have liked to see the
> bandwidth of multiplexing several modem lines :)  but I could never get
> an ISP to give me a break on the cost of the lines.
> > 10. Finally, how many other people do you know (outside this group)
> > that are into Linux?
> Many friends and colleagues use Linux.  I was introduced to it by the
> R&D guys back in 94-ish, I started working with it more when we
> connected our infrastructure with NY, and started to tap into the
> Internet a few months later.
> Some are still forced to use windows as a business platform, but
> depending on what they do, I do see Linux office desktops starting to be
> introduced.  The company I work for has thousands of Linux servers and
> they are installing more and more everyday.
> The group I work with has nearly 450 Linux servers used for generating
> simulations via distributed processing.  It uses one master and anywhere
> from 50 to 250 slaves to do the processing.
> I don't know the exact tally of Linux servers, but I can find out.  A
> ballpark figure would be around 3,000 or more.  We have been migrating
> off SGI and Solaris machines for the past 4 years. The core is a
> customized Red Hat Enterprise for the organization.
> I've heard several techies, talking about experimental Linux desktops.
> Many already had Solaris and Windows machines, side-by-side.  So
> eventually, I can see just a Linux platform.  I know the Windows-centric
> will feel sick, but too bad, so sad. :)
> I was given permission to run only Linux at work - did so for 2 years.
> The NT admin was shocked - he said logs show in the past two years, you
> only booted to Windows twice. I said yep - the initial time, before I
> got permission, and another time when OpenOffice had problem using a
> Word template that HR keeps thinking we need... (let me take 10min and
> show you how to fix the template that you just cut n pasted) I think it
> justifies their jobs.. buts that my opinion and a whole other story..
> In the past 4 years, there were some scheduling issues with the	kernels,
> but Red Hat helped isolate them.  Also, because our department pegs
> these servers at 100% CPU for nearly 18-20 hours straight, we get to
> test out the top of the line babies as they roll off the production
> line.  If they make it through us, they get disted to the rest of the
> plant.  IBM helped with some of the firmware issues that we came across,
> two of the bugs were bad ones.  IBM was happy to fix them for free. :)
> The last one we had was with the 64-bit AMD machines, but it was just an
> older kernel, so they updated the kernel and the machines are running
> nice.
> Was it worth it - I remember back a few years ago, Microsoft was pushing
> 2003 server.  LOL, the first week it crashed.  So it was strictly a
> unix-based decision.  They looked at SGI, but they said they could get
> 15-20 Linux machines (trying to recall exact number) for the price of 1
> high-powered SGI.  Was Linux the right choice - well we saw simulations
> go from 28 hours/day down to 8 hours a day.  So instead of running
> one... now we run multiple simulations and the whole server pool is
> still only about 60% utilized.
> > ***I know for a fact, that some sites, like Mandriva Community will
> > charge fees for access to their products, to help fund their
> > operation, and increase download speeds. I also know that other sites
> > will charge you a small fee per month/year, which will give you a
> > higher download speed, even when you had free access to ALL
> > programming, just with a low transfer rate.
> >
> I buy the Slackware CD's when I can.   Server space and bandwidth aren't
> free, now that ISP's have become data brokers.
> I also buy Linux magazines and books every chance I get.  I like to help
> out by buying books, plus I may learn something new in the process.
> > I hope that these questions don't overstep any boundaries that this
> > group may have, but i figured this would be the spot to ask my
> > questions!
> >
> > Thank you for your time, it is greatly appreciated!!
> >
> Have fun and learn
> I know the current trend in the industry is to push buying instead of
> learning.  Yet they wonder why there is a shortage of talent.  In the
> mid-90's, I thought that classrooms would be 100% electronic by now -
> every kid knee deep in code and advancing technology even further and
> faster than ever before. Boy was I wrong! Did Windows really dumbify the
> masses, so much that every one is afraid to pick up a book and read.
> I see it in the Mac ads, why learn C++ API, when you can use a Mac to
> play.  I see it with my son as well, it has to be immediate or he
> doesn't give it the time of day.  He is still using Windows and just
> sits there blue screening, porn ads popping up, spyware, viruses, he
> keeps deleting Office apps to free up space for games, then whines when
> he goes to use Word and its gone.  My reply - there's the discs, learn
> how to install.  :)
> Oh well.
> Have a good day!
> Rich
> > Michael
> >
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