What is a Linux/UNIX anyways?

  • ssw0420
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What's it good for? I have no idea the difference between
Linux/Unix/ and Window?

  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Have you ever used any of them? :)
  • Daemonguy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ssw0420 wrote:
What's it good for? I have no idea the difference between
Linux/Unix/ and Window?


Oh my. How about we start with a basic analogy. For the purpose of this discussion, we will lump Unix and Linux into the same category; *nix. While they are fundamentally different, especially from a design/dev and philosophical perspective, there are enough similarities to merge them for this discussion.

So on one hand you have *nix, an on the other hand you have Windows.

Imagine if you will, a Windows internal combustion engine and transmission for an automobile; completely encased and sealed by the factory with just enough connections available to "plug" into a standard chassis.
Also imagine an alternate powerplant / drive system that has been around for a much longer time, involved steady development from a large team of developers whose sole intent is to make a better engine/transmission, and who desire this engine to be completely open to anyone who wishes to modify for their own use or enhance for the greater good of all drivers. This would be the *nix powerplant.

Now imagine if you will that the Windows engine/transmission are --much as they are in realty -- based upon archaic design, merely rehashed. The *nix engine on the other hand, burns clean, uses inexpensive fuel such as water, or a combination of sunlight, water, nuclear fusion -- take your science fiction pick. It is also very fast, and can easily be implemented in existing automobiles.

The Windows engine constantly breaks down and often requires complete replacement... or worse; upgrades. More often than not, the upgrades are external components, which must now somehow be placed in between the engine and the chassis to continue proper functioning. Hence, you end up with parts, on top of parts, etc. ad infinitum. Until such a time as a new 'mega-part' becomes available, at which time you replace the little parts with the one big part, and hope that it functions.

The *nix engine, while also requiring updates, more often than not actually replaces the modular components within the engine itself -- often unnoticed by the average driver. The engine, is some cases, is often rebuilt entirely even if just a single component was replaced, thus ensuring all the internals mesh well together and function with stability.

The Windows engine constantly breaks down, and often the car must be stopped dead in it's tracks either manually, or as an automated process merely dies on the road. At which time, you must turn the key again and begin combustion; hopefully it functions long enough for the drive home.

The *nix engine is almost completely forgotten about, as it runs for years without any attention provided to it what so ever.

Security on the Windows engine is not only non-existent, it's counter-productive. Mistakenly, holes were left in the powerplants which permit anyone with a little know-how to develop a remote control and start your car. Theft runs rampant with Windows-based automobiles.
Contrarily, *nix engines go to some extremes to limit availability, but offer the choice to the consumer as to which level of protection she or he wishes. They also provides scads of information -- freely available -- as to how to improve your own concept of a secure automobile. Needless to say, insurance on a *nix vehicle would be much lower. Liken it to the theft deterrent systems now installed in some vehicles which immobilize the engine in 5 places.

However, the Windows engine folks sort of have all of the auto manufacturers wrapped up, part shrewd business dealing, part behemothic marketing efforts.
So in almost every case, you find inferior Windows engines pre-installed in every vehicle manufactured; which in-turn forces most accessory manufacturers to create add-ons specific to that powerplant and often ONLY for that powerplant.
However, there are a few people who, because of their "automotive-ly" inclined natures, driven (no pun intended) to excellence and desirous of a more stable automotive platform have taken it upon themselves to replace their closed engines with the latest versions of time-tested open *nix powerplants.

Lastly, imagine that the WIndows engine costs an arm and a leg... and every time you move your engine from car to car you have to pay a surcharge.
*nix engines, and most accessories are free.

Which engine do you want to drive your kids home from school with? Or take your parent to the hospital?

Hope that helps somewhat. I purposefully used the analogy to keep from getting wrapped up in the technical particulars, but if that is what you wanted just say so.
When I have some free time, I can delve as deep as you like. ;)


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