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Two Environments (was: I am a...)



> By the way, we have two main computers here (we have about 15 computers in
> all). One runs Linux, one Windows 95. I use both and don't see any
> philosophical contradiction.
> 
> 	Bruce

I've got the same setup here.  I've got a full time Linux development server 
(on my right), and a full time Win95 workstation (on the left).  

I find running two systems allows one to keep in touch with reality (a bit).
Most of the consulting I do is for MS Windows (3.1/95/NT) based environments,
so I need it.  Also, if you need to stay up to date with what people are
using on the Internet, you really need Windows 95.  It's got the market share,
and certain applications are available only for it.  Primarily, I use it
for Microsoft Word, CorelDraw/PhotoPaint, Quicken, QuickTax (a Canadian
tax software package from Intuit), and PC Banking (Canadian Imperial
Bank of Commerce).  It's going to be a while before all of these
essential tools are available for Linux.

I'm actually lying a bit, sometimes I reboot the Win95 system, into Linux, 
using the nfsroot package (to operate it as a diskless client).  I do this
since it has a 21" monitor vs. 17" on my development server.

That being said, MS Windows really sucks.  I just installed the pre-release
version of Netscape, and it hosed Windows 95.  Now, whenever I start the
system up, I'm prompted that Explorer has "performed an illegal operation
and will be shut down" several times (due to an invalid page fault in
module KERNEL32.DLL).  I'm afraid that I may have to format c: /s, and do
a complete re-install.  I've had plenty of experience supporting Windows
systems, and this is an all-to-common reoccurence.

It's pretty important to watch what Microsoft is doing.  They do have some
extremely smart people on staff (check out http://www.research.microsoft.com/).
I'll give them credit for betting the company on such experimental 
technologies such as COM, OLE, and ActiveX.  They've been fairly quick to
adapt to the web, and they are gambling again by converting their primary
user interface to super-hyped up HTML with all sorts of ActiveX and Java
doo-dads.  

Too bad much of the neat stuff they've put forward gets screwed up in the 
implementation.  

For example, I couldn't use their Windows 95 web page using the new Netscape, 
because they used some tricks that made it crash -- and I couldn't access 
it using Microsoft Internet Explorer, because then it would try to use an 
ActiveX navigation control that didn't work -- and Lynx is totally out 
of the question since they haven't optimized their website for it.  So I had
to start up an old version of Netscape to get some information out of it.
Pretty funny when you think about it.  Is this what Microsoft's vision of
a totally web-based user interface looks like?  Pretty funny.

Enough for now.

Cheers,

 - Jim




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