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Windows 10 - again

graybyrd
Updated:

It's been awhile since this topic has been discussed. So, for the benefit of those who are wedded in a state of Windows 10 bliss, here's the latest report on MS data gathering for users of the Win10 OS, to be expected with the new "Creators" update:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/06/microsoft_windows_10_creators_update/

In brief:

"Windows 10 Home and Pro has, right now, two levels of data collection, Basic and Full. When a computer is in Basic mode, Microsoft says Win 10 takes a note of the state of your hardware and its specifications, your internet connection quality, records of crashes and hangs by software, any compatibility problems, driver usage data, which apps you've installed and how you use them, and other bits and pieces.

"In Full mode, shedloads more is sent over. It includes everything at the Basic level plus records of events generated by the operating system, and your "inking and typing data." Engineers, with permission from Microsoft's privacy governance team, can obtain users' documents that trigger crashes in applications...

"In the Creators Update, aka Windows 10 version 1703, all this information will be collected in Basic mode. ...includes things like logs of you giving applications administrator privileges via the UAC, battery life readings, firmware version details, details of your hardware down to the color and serial number of the machine, which cell network you're using, and so on.

"Then there's the information collected in Full mode, which includes everything in Basic plus your user settings and preferences, your browser choice, lists of your peripherals, the apps you use to edit and view images and videos, how long you use the mouse and keyboard, all the applications you've ever installed, URLs to videos you've watched that triggered an error, URLs to music that triggered an error, time spent reading ebooks, text typed in a Microsoft web browser's address and search bar, URLs visited, visited webpage titles, the words you've spoken to Cortana or had translated to text by the system, your ink strokes, and more."

- - -

Perhaps an arrangement could be worked out with MS to enlist a volunteer proofreader of your works in progress while they track your data stream looking for OS crash potentials...!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  EzzyB
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

Perhaps an arrangement could be worked out with MS to enlist a volunteer proofreader of your works in progress while they track your user history looking for OS crash potentials... !


Considering the way and the quality MS staff write and edit code, do you really want them to edit your stories? If they did you could end up with a cheerleader by the name of Lee who's 6'10" and 250 pounds who also plays running back.

EzzyB

@graybyrd

details of your hardware down to the color and serial number of the machine,


FUD much?

At the end of the article they acknowledge this:

Yes, we know Apple and Google and others also vacuum up similar data from devices.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@EzzyB

FUD much?


Fear? Yes, a bit.
Uncertainty? No, not the slightest.
Doubt? No doubt an OS has no business 'phoning home' with personal data.

Linux doesn't do that.
Nor does my install of Mac OSX "Snow Leopard"

Replies:   EzzyB  Grant
EzzyB

@graybyrd

Then you would have to define "personal".

The data has no context. It says, computer X crashed when doing Y.

I doesn't say Bob Stephens was watching porn at 3:15 AM on April 3 2018.

Let's face it, Microsoft is so far down the list of your privacy concerns as to be insignificant.

The most important threat to your privacy isn't Microsoft, or even the NSA. It's Google.

Linux has only one validity. It's free. Not secure, not supported, just free. I've been an IT Professional for three decades, yeah, not many can say that, and it's still crap. Well not still, it wasn't around in the 80's.

Anyone that can afford it, avoids it. Unix, AIX, Solaris and even Windows Server are always better options. Hell, Windows Server is probably the most secure sever OS available these days. But certainly it wasn't always.

"It's open source, therefore secure" has become a laughingstock in the last five years. All the headlines are on Linux and it's 10,000 variants. Your router, nanny-cam, and fucking front-door lock are unsecure pieces of shit because Linux is free and therefore unaccountable for it's failures.

Linux has an incredible place in the world, as long as it doesn't become a target. Volunteer programmers worked toward an ideal, and you get exactly the security you pay for, there is no one accountable.

Then again, it's free, and sites like SOL and a million others wouldn't exist without it.

Replies:   graybyrd  REP
Grant

@graybyrd

No doubt an OS has no business 'phoning home' with personal data.

Nor does my install of Mac OSX "Snow Leopard"

Linux no, OSX does.
And all mobile OSs do, way, way, way more than those on the desktop. The desktop OSs are just trying to catch up with all the data people give away when using their smart phone or tablet.

graybyrd

@EzzyB

Your router, nanny-cam, and fucking front-door lock are unsecure pieces of shit because Linux is free and therefore unaccountable for it's failures.


When you tell me that linux is 'crap' I tune out. Sorry, but your claim to thirty years as an IT professional just lost its cred with me, with that fool statement.

Let it go; there's no point shouting at each other.

Replies:   ezrick
REP

@EzzyB

Linux has an incredible place in the world, as long as it doesn't become a target. Volunteer programmers worked toward an ideal, and you get exactly the security you pay for, there is no one accountable.


I currently use Windows and know nothing about Linux, but I have been considering switching to Linux.

Your comment rings true to me. I have 2 reasons for considering something other than Windows as my OS:

1. Windows is DOS driven, and with all the mods MS has been making to Windows, Windows now seems even buggier than it used to.

2. Windows is a favorite target of hackers and people who plant Virus's, Worms, Trojans, and other malicious code on Internet websites.

Yesterday I was doing some on-line research on a medical website and picked something up. While on the site, I got one of those messages which I was able to cancel and continue working with no problem. When I booted my PC this morning whatever I picked up interfered with my browser booting. I normally use Internet Explorer to access my user account and delete the content of my temporary file folder, which normally fixes the problem. Unfortunately, whatever I picked up prevented Internet Explorer from displaying my C: drive, which prevented me from deleting those files. However, I managed to access the C: drive via an alternate route that the whatever I picked up didn't affect and I deleted the files. Problem solved.

Grant

@REP

Unfortunately, whatever I picked up prevented Internet Explorer from displaying my C: drive,

Most people would use Windows Explorer for file management, as it is a file manager, and use Internet Explorer for browsing the Internet, as it is an Internet browser.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

Most people would use Windows Explorer for file management, as it is a file manager, and use Internet Explorer for browsing the Internet, as it is an Internet browser.

NO ONE dares use IE anymore, as it's guaranteed to download malware/ransomware. Even M$ doesn't.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Grant
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

NO ONE dares use IE anymore, as it's guaranteed to download malware/ransomware. Even M$ doesn't.


Technically IE isn't available anymore. I would not be a bit surprised if it's the exact same code base as IE, but the browser that comes with the latest versions of windows is called Edge.

Replies:   Centaur
Grant

@Crumbly Writer

NO ONE dares use IE anymore, as it's guaranteed to download malware/ransomware.

If you run your system logged on as Administrator, and install every toolbar & helper you come across, and spend your time looking for free versions of commercial software or for the latest video or snatch shot of the current leading skank, and click on all the "You really must check this out" links people send you in emails, and even check out those from people you've never heard of, and click on Yes whenever something prompts you to click on it, then you're going to have issues regardless of what browser you use.

I'm still using IE.
Still no issues.

Given that IE only has around 15% market share these days, and people are still getting infections & hijacks in huge numbers, the problem isn't the browser.
It's the user of the system.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

Given that IE only has around 15% market share these days, and people are still getting infections & hijacks in huge numbers, the problem isn't the browser.
It's the user of the system.

Except, every other browser is abandoning the whole Java methodology as being too prone to abuse. A fact I'm aware of, because the software needed to download data from my insulin pump no longer works on most browsers, Edge included. (Note: I got around it by installing an older version of FireFox, but I can never upgrade again!)

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Crumbly Writer

I got around it by installing an older version of FireFox, but I can never upgrade again!


Ahhh ... the altar of the Holy Upgrade. Then again, if it works; it gets the job done and its not an attack vector... why the need to upgrade?

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@graybyrd

Then again, if it works; it gets the job done and its not an attack vector... why the need to upgrade?

Hence the depreciation of both Java and Flash plugins. The developers didn't put any effort in to making them secure, and when security flaws were found it often took months for patches to be released, which frequently didn't work, only partially fixed the issue, or resulted in new issues.
So most developers have pretty much abandoned them as have the developers of browsers as plugins.
And even as applications both Flash & Java's days would appear to be numbered.

Replies:   graybyrd
Centaur

@Dominions Son

Actually IE still comes with Windows 10, look in program files folder and Internet explorer folder is still there with a working IE

Replies:   REP
graybyrd

@Grant

not an attack vector


Which part of "not an attack vector" wasn't clear?

Somewhere there must be a middle ground between 'complete paranoia' and 'totally clueless' regarding this internet crap. Otherwise, might just as well pack it in and go back to paper, typewriters, and notebooks.

Flash is a poor example, btw. Adobe, apparently, allowed Flash to become a malware magnet. There is little inherently wrong with Java, except for weak applications that invite attack, using Java as a vector.

Older versions of apps are not necessarily 'unsafe.' It's how they're used, and user practices that matter.

For that matter, who guarantees that the latest update of Windows 10 is any less prone to attack than Windows XP? If the "new, shiny" version is that much safer, than everybody could save a fortune by dumping their antivirus subscriptions.

I, for one, am sick to death of being bullied by the 'upgrade or die' brigade. If it is that serious a concern, the lets encourage the programming assholes to get it right *the first time* or at least keep hammering at it until it *is right* before insisting we pay for a subscription to their next *shiny-shiny.*

Otherwise, it's just a case of them forcing more and more crap down our throats, using FUD to do it.

God, I'm coming to despise this endless software insanity! My [obsolete] Mac OSX-10.6.8 'Snow Leopard' and my up-to-date install of Debian Linux work just great. Not a single infestation or lost file for several years now, in either one. Of course, I could step out of the house and get hit by a meteorite.

[/rant]

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@REP

I currently use Windows and know nothing about Linux, but I have been considering switching to Linux.

Your comment rings true to me. I have 2 reasons for considering something other than Windows as my OS:


As someone who started on DOS and then Windows for all my computer needs, I finally switched to the Mac. I sent my information to a friend who works for Apple to order it (she gets me the "friends and family" 15% discount). So now I have to wait to get my new laptop.

As a PC person, I'm very nervous.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

As a PC person, I'm very nervous.


Fear of the new and not perfectly known does that to you.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Fear of the new and not perfectly known does that to you.


I'm a huge Word and Excel user. I hope LibreOffice is an easy conversion.

But the Mac is weird. The "delete" key functions as a back delete (like my iPhone) and there's no forward delete. No "end" or "home" key. Not even a numeric keyboard.

And even thought they have a "control" key, some idiot decided to not use it as a control key. You have to use the "command" key when you want a "control" key (like ctl/c).

So many differences.

Replies:   Grant  Ernest Bywater  REP
Grant

@Switch Blayde

So many differences.

In spite of all the noise spouted about something being intuitive, very little of the things we use are actually intuitive.
What we consider intuitive are things that are based on what we already know. So something that is different from what we already know isn't intuitive. It requires people to show us what to do, until we have learnt about it.

There is nothing intuitive about using a modern toilet. The reason we know how is because as kids (although we don't remember it) there was probably more than one occasion where we went in to the toilet with Mum or Dad because we didn't want to let them get out of our sight.
So we learnt how to use a toilet- monkey see, monkey do. So when people come from countries that don't have much in the way of modern toilets, and usually just use a hole or slot in the ground they'll generally stand on and then squat down on the toilet as they've never had anyone show them how to use it.

Intuitive hardware and operating systems are just a myth. Without prior knowledge learning how to use something new is just a matter of trial and error & frustration if you don't have someone else to show you how.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I'm a huge Word and Excel user. I hope LibreOffice is an easy conversion.


I used MS Word and Excel for many years, even taught some classes on how to use them. If you remember what MS Word and Excel were like in the pre-ribbon days, you know what Libre Office is like. I know people who switched to Libre Office because they found that easier to do than going from the pre-ribbon Word to the Ribbon Word.

How it'll go on Mac I don't know, since I use Zorin Linux.

One thing, the LO spreadsheet calc is good, and does everything I ask for, those who do very advanced spreadsheets say it's not quite as good as Excel for the more complex uses. Although I've found it can do everything I've ever done in Excel.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

intuitive


Intuitive simply means easy to work out from past experience so if something is outside your past experience and isn't derived from something you've done before, you're in trouble.

Replies:   Grant  Crumbly Writer
Grant
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Intuitive simply means easy to work out from past experience

Yet it's rare to never you see it used in that context, certainly in the IT industry.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Yet it's rare to never you see it used in that context, certainly in the IT industry.


Well, it's because it is for the ones who say it, and their friends with similar experiences they tested it on.

Take hand guns, the reason they have a 'safety' is so the gun won't accidentally go off if dropped, thus most are a way to block the hammer from falling while the safety is in the on position. They were not intended to stop the trigger from working, although many do that as well. Thus when you have a safety like the Glock were the positive pull action on the trigger disengages the safety many people unfamiliar with the gun think it has no safety because they don't understand the reasoning behind it or the experience with one without the mechanical switch they move.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Grant

Yet it's rare to never you see it used in that context, certainly in the IT industry.


I disagree, although certain basics, like WIMP familiarity, are a given.

I had some heated discussions in my IT days. I was a strong advocate of data entry fields being self-explanatory. Others wanted a more succinct approach, claiming that once users had used the help system a few times to understand what was required in each field, they'd know what was needed without being spoon-fed.

Given all the usability problems in the UK's current medical IT systems, I think the self-explanatory approach hasn't been adopted.

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@Grant

It's the user of the system.


Plus a virus checker that misses some malicious code.

REP

@Centaur

Internet explorer folder is still there with a working IE


Sounds like MS. Windows 10 runs DOS, which most people think is no longer used. Edge runs IE.

Replies:   Grant  EzzyB
REP

@Switch Blayde

As a PC person, I'm very nervous.


Expect to be lost for several days. I have problems helping my wife when she has a problem with using her MAC.

REP

@Switch Blayde

So many differences.


. . . and a whole new set of terminology to learn.

REP

@Grant

learning how to use something new is just a matter of trial and error & frustration


True, although if things are organized in what you think of as logical, it seems intuitive.

REP

@awnlee jawking

I think the self-explanatory approach hasn't been adopted.


It's intuitive [ :) ] that people have problems with communicating with each other, so an explanation of what a field's title is requesting is always a good idea. But why do they hide those explanations? :)

Crumbly Writer

@graybyrd

Of course, I could step out of the house and get hit by a meteorite.

Nope, more likely a falling space-station toilet seat. 'D (If nothing else, it's certainly more humorous!)

John Demille

@Switch Blayde

As a PC person, I'm very nervous.


Nothing to be nervous about. Check out a couple of guides to the Mac for windows users.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204216

http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/pc-users-guide-mac-how-do-things-3470332/

Plenty of details how to use a Mac for windows users.

After the first twenty days of exclusive Mac use you should be as comfortable with it as you are with windows now.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

As a PC person, I'm very nervous.

As many have said, most of the major programs are identical between systems. There are less 3rd party programs, which in itself offers more security, and the majority of those are various games, but after the more recent Mac OS updates, the file management is much more PC like than it used to be.

Crumbly Writer

@Grant

So we learnt how to use a toilet- monkey see, monkey do.

I sure hope not, because monkeys often do do-do wrong! Poop is for flushing (or picking up in bags), not for throwing at your friends and family. Though I do like your analogy, comparing modern OSs with poop receptacles. :)

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Intuitive simply means easy to work out from past experience so if something is outside your past experience and isn't derived from something you've done before, you're in trouble.

Except, 'intuitive' typically describes a change from the traditional that's easy to learn, simple to incorporate and faster to use. That's what finally set Apple apart, not their foreign Mac software, but their easy to use iOS tools (which were widely copied by everyone, allowing other develops to build credibility quickly without as much work, but also cements the new usages in everyone's mind).

Apple's 'no one needs to see how files are handled' have been an unmitigated disaster for the past couple decades!

Switch Blayde

@John Demille

Nothing to be nervous about. Check out a couple of guides to the Mac for windows users.


I will do that. Thanks so much. :)

Switch Blayde

Since I've been using my wife's Mac the past few days, I discovered the thing I miss most right now is the FreeCell, Hearts, and Spider Solitaire that comes with Windows.

Replies:   maroon
maroon

@Switch Blayde

This or PC only, but it puts to shame the Freecell that comes with Windows.
http://solitairelaboratory.com/fcpro.html

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@maroon

This or PC only, but it puts to shame the Freecell that comes with Windows.
http://solitairelaboratory.com/fcpro.html


I'll try it when I get my own Mac. Thx.

Replies:   maroon
Grant

@REP

Windows 10 runs DOS

Not true.
The Command prompt is not DOS

Edge runs IE.

Not true.
It uses a different engine.

maroon

@Switch Blayde

Just clarifying that by PC, I meant it's a Windows program.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@maroon

Just clarifying that by PC, I meant it's a Windows program.


That's how I understood it. PC = Windows. Mac = Apple.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

The Command prompt is not DOS


Even the latest versions of MS Windows still include most of the MS-DOS code deep in there core, and when you go into the Windows Command Prompt it provides a DOS window for you to enter DOS commands it runs.

There has only been one case of MS cleaning code out of their software, and then it was more of a case of simply dumping that version and going to the prior version and reworking that - - the case was the first MS Office suite using XML used stolen code and they were forced to make a large compensation pay out for doing so, and they stopped using the code.

With all the other MS software the earlier code is till in there, which is why the MS Word 1 for DOS keyboard shortcuts still work in all the versions of MS Word, the same is true for all the other MS Office programs and their operating system. With Vista they did include code to disable some of the DOS commands in the Command Prompt by changing the command needed to be different from the old one. But the underlying DOS code and commands are buried in there.

Replies:   Grant
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Edge runs IE.

Not true.
It uses a different engine.


Actually, it's true. Edge is a fork off the IE Trident engine which ran MSIE. They did clean out some of the older MSIE code, but the core engine is still the Trident 11 engine used to run the MSIE in Win 7.

Grant

@Ernest Bywater

Even the latest versions of MS Windows still include most of the MS-DOS code deep in there core, and when you go into the Windows Command Prompt it provides a DOS window for you to enter DOS commands it runs.

It is not in the core of Windows, the support is provided through emulation.
In the case of a 32bit OS, the OS itself is able to provide the emulation. For a 64bit OS it isn't, so you need to run a virtual machine to run the DOS programme.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

It is not in the core of Windows,


The core code of the MS software includes large amounts of the original DOS code, the various Windows GUIs lay over that core code buried in the kernel. MS have shifted the way you can access it via a terminal window, but the code itself is in the kernel and just as it was thirty years ago.

The only way they can get rid of the DOS code in the kernel is to do a ground up total rewrite of the entire code base, something MS has never done.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Grant  Zom  EzzyB
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

something MS has never done.


I wouldn't bet on them being capable of doing it.

Grant

@Ernest Bywater

but the code itself is in the kernel and just as it was thirty years ago.

Which is why it won't work without emulation for the 32bit OS or a VM for 64bit OS?

No.
The current Windows is a operating system, as DOS was an operating system. However the current Windows does not include portions of the old DOS OS. Hence the need for emulation & VMs to run such software.
Command.com was the operating system shell in DOS. Command.com in Windows 9x & ME OSs was just the default command line interpreter. CMD.exe is the current default command line interpreter for more recent Windows OSs or you can use the Power Shell. And later version of Win10 allow you to run Bash instead of Command.com or CMD.exe or Power Shell.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Zom
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

The core code of the MS software includes large amounts of the original DOS code

I honestly have no idea where this comes from.

NT (from NT3.1 on) has a different kernel, a hardware abstraction layer, a different native file system (NTFS) and a DOS incompatible drivers model. Deep down it is much closer to VMS and OS/2 than it ever was to DOS.

Which bits of DOS were retained?

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

The current Windows is a operating system, as DOS was an operating system. However the current Windows does not include portions of the old DOS OS.


Believe how you wish, but MS have never rewritten their kernel from scratch. What they have done is to add to the kernel and give it a different name. The very core of the MS kernel is the MS DOS code. with Win 1 to Win 3.1 the GUI was overlaid outside the kernel, but starting with Win 95 and Win NT they incorporated most of the GUI within the kernel while still sitting on on DOS code.

Since then they have changed how you can reach the DOS part of the kernel code, but the code is still there.

Replies:   Zom
Zom

@Ernest Bywater

Believe how you wish

This is not predicated on a belief system. There are buckets of cold hard verifiable facts involved. I hope, EB, you are not also one of these vaccination scare mongers. Another belief system that has NO basis in fact.

MS have never rewritten their kernel from scratch

I think Dave Cutler would object strenuously to that statement.

Ross at Play

@Zom

@EB : MS have never rewritten their kernel from scratch
@Zom: I think Dave Cutler would object strenuously to that statement.

I would be curious to see some actual evidence of that, instead of just an assertion. I am NOT asserting you are wrong here.
My experience in the IT field is that 'legacy code' tends to remain forever in large-scale systems which require continuous upgrades of functions.
I have worked on programs with code that has remained untouched for over forty years - and was originally designed to minimise the costs of storing master files of customer records on magnetic tape.

Replies:   Zom
Ernest Bywater

@Zom

There are buckets of cold hard verifiable facts involved.


I know, and I've been telling you about them. Without digging through the tonnes of old books and records I've got stored away, here'e some quick bits from Wikipedia for you:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows

Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

Note: Windows is a GUI shell on top of DOS.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_95

Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Windows products.

Note: MS merged the DOS and Windows GUI shell together so the DOS code is still there.

David Cutler was brought on-board to make changes to OS/2 for IBM and that's what they did for a long while. However, within a couple of years due to delays and issues with code David took with him from DEC, a the project was sped up to get back on target, thus the New OS /2 project morphed into NT when large amounts of code from DOS, the Win 95 shell, and the code being used to upgrade Win 95 to Win 98 was used to replace code in the New OS/2 project and make it more MS code than the original - thus NT was born. A significant part of it was the core kernel code that was still MS-DOS and a lot of the code to expand the kernel operations to 16 bit and 32 bit operations. All that code is still there as the core of the kernel. A major reason for the shift was to be compatible with the other MS Windows products at that time.

If you know what you're doing it's possible to drill down into the Disc for Win 7 and Win 10 and use DOS commands to load the OS, however, it does take a lot longer to load than if you go through the autoload process of the disc - but is useful if that part of the disc gets damaged and stops working right.

Replies:   REP  EzzyB
ezrick

@graybyrd

I didn't say it was crap. I said it's unaccountable. There is no one responsible for it, just this vast community. When someone builds a door lock, or a router, or security camera that are internet controlled they create their own fork and push the product out the door. Security is the last priority.

Ten years ago DDOS attacks were carried out by hundreds of thousands of infected PCs. Now they are carried out by literally millions of infected Linux powered IOT devices.

I have a router in my closet. I don't use it because it's unsecure and there is no way to make it secure. How many others are out there chugging merrily along?

I have administered at least 50 -ix machines over the years, (Solaris, AIX, etc), but all have had someone ultimately responsible for the software. Someone was held accountable when it failed and their profits were on the line to support it.

Linux us a very powerful tool. In the right hands there is nothing wrong with it. It has a huge advantage over everything else, it's free.

The Internet is literally built on LAMP stacks. Last I heard SOL is built on it. But that's not because it's the best software available (with the possible exception of Apache), but because it's free. That makes it the most pervasive server software in the world, but you'll rarely find it in the data center of a Fortune 500 company. The corporate mainframe runs on AIX or Solaris or even Windows because there are very large, financially secure companies behind those products and the corporate mainframe is a bit too important to trust to a forum post when you need support.

Finally there is Linux desktop. Sorry, not going to happen. It's too complex and, as the City of Berlin found out, that gives it a TCO of almost double Windows. Anyone recommending Linux desktop to anyone is doing them a disservice. Those who can actually handle using it as a desktop OS already know about it. Those that can't should just stay away from it.

Replies:   graybyrd
REP

@Ernest Bywater

If I remember correctly - Windows NT was based on the original DOS OS. Portions, but not all, of the DOS code was updated to create a more stable version of DOS, and the upgraded OS was named Windows NT.

Zom

@Ross at Play

I would be curious to see some actual evidence of that

A place to start (an only to start) is the Wikipedia entry at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT#Development

It is interesting to note that, in the entire article, DOS is only mentioned as a contrast in earlier Windows versions, and in mentioning that DOS functionality from XP on is achieved using a VM.

The only real "legacy" usage in NT comes from the retention of the "Windows" look and feel, instead of the originally intended OS/2 look and feel.

The notion that a 16bit, FCB based, application centric driver style of OS like DOS could still be the basis of a 64bit multiprocessor, multiuser, preemptive multitasking kernel is a stretch too far.

Ross at Play

@Zom

A place to start

Thanks for that.
Don't expect me to express any kind of opinion. :-)

EzzyB

@Ernest Bywater

The original merging of DOS and GUI was Windows 3.x. I still argue that Windows 3.x was the most important OS in the history of personal computing, not 95 which was just an upgrade to the GUI from the user's perspective.

The success of Windows 3.x emboldened Microsoft on the joint OS/2 project with IBM. Remember, the first Windows NT wasn't NT 4.0, it was NT 3.51 (though I suppose there was a 3.50 somewhere, never saw it, but had a couple of 3.51 servers). It's just what you imagine, Windows NT with the Windows 3.x GUI.

Anyway IBM and MS couldn't agree on the direction of the new OS/2 NT so they parted company. Part of the agreement on that split was why NT 3.51 and NT 4.0 were required to run on IBM's Alpha RISC processor. (RISC, reduced instruction set computing, was seen as the next "big thing" at the time and lost out to X86 in the long run).

Still, saying that Windows 10 is "based on" DOS is a bit silly. It's like saying a Ford Taurus is based on a Model-T because they both have internal combustion engines. Hell, in a Taurus that engine may be made by Mazda. You can easily, for instance, replace CMD with PowerShell and that's a whole new command line processor.

REP

@Zom

A place to start (an only to start) is the Wikipedia entry at:


I followed your link. The article states:

Partial MS-DOS compatibility was achieved via an integrated DOS Virtual Machine


Since I wasn't sure what DOS VM meant, I followed its link. What I found was:

Virtual DOS machine (VDM) is a technology that allows running 16-bit/32-bit DOS and 16-bit Windows programs on Intel 80386 or higher computers when there is already another operating system running and controlling the hardware.


Sounds to me as if it is saying current Window programs run DOS, or at least a modified version of DOS.

Replies:   EzzyB
EzzyB

@Ernest Bywater

The only way they can get rid of the DOS code in the kernel is to do a ground up total rewrite of the entire code base, something MS has never done.


Again, that's like saying the only way to build a new car is to throw away the internal combustion engine. Just because a piece of code that scans and reports the contents of a directory is old doesn't mean it's obsolete.

Really though, why is no one worried that Linux is "based on" Unix and OS-X is "based on" Mac OS?

EzzyB

@REP

Sounds to me as if it is saying current Window programs run DOS, or at least a modified version of DOS.


It sounds to me like the modern OS provides a virtual means of running old programs that won't interfere with the modern OS.

It's why most any X86 program written will still run on Windows. Not something you would see, for instance, Apple do, but they aren't burdened by Microsoft's commitment to the business world and all those self-written legacy programs out there.

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@EzzyB

why is no one worried that Linux is "based on" Unix


Has that been rewritten from the ground up or are all devices still treated as character-at-a-time teletypes?

AJ

EzzyB

@REP

Edge runs IE.


Actually Edge runs..... Edge.

It was called the Edge engine for quite some time (if you ever ran the beta "insider" versions of Windows 10 before it was released you'd know this.) The new browser didn't even have a name. Eventually they just decided to call the whole browser Edge.

It's a ground-up new engine and browser. IE 11 is included in Windows 10 for backwards compatibility.

Edge isn't bad. It's certainly wicked-fast, but I still use Firefox because Edge doesn't yet support all the add-ons and plugins I've come to rely on over the years. That may be it's eventual downfall. MS has gotten a few of the major plugins written for it, but there isn't a lot out there yet.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@Zom

It is interesting to note that, in the entire article, DOS is only mentioned as a contrast in earlier Windows versions,


Because by then the MS people, and many others, saw the DOS/Win GUI kernel as the Windows kernel, despite the DOS code being in it and what allowed, and still allows, Windows to interact with the hardware during the boot up stage as well as during installation.

Replies:   REP
EzzyB

@REP

1. Windows is DOS driven, and with all the mods MS has been making to Windows, Windows now seems even buggier than it used to.


Not knowing what version of Windows you use, it's hard to relate. I haven't had a "blue screen" in several years that I couldn't directly attribute to bad hardware. I went bonkers for a couple of months before I finally realized that old Soundblaster card was causing crashed.

Windows hasn't been "DOS driven" for a couple of decades now. Not that I see why that's a big deal.

2. Windows is a favorite target of hackers and people who plant Virus's, Worms, Trojans, and other malicious code on Internet websites.


This is true, and actually more accurately stated than most. Most people say Windows is less secure, which is not true, more targeted is. The most pervasive OS virus in history was actually an OS-X virus that infected 6% of all Macs worldwide. About three times the infection rate of Blaster which hit 2% of all PCs. Then again there are 20X the number of PCs in the world.

This is becoming less of an issue. Windows has made great strides in security since XP service pack 2.

What they can't do is stop you from logging in as an admin, clicking OK on the UAC screen, or failing to update things like Flash and Java. Whatever happened, it's probably your fault.

Then again my own mother handed me her I-pad once. The whole screen was, well, BOOBIES! Seems like a vulnerable version of, get this, AOL Instant Messenger, redirected all her Web views to I-Bang.com. Yes, funny as shit, my 78 year-old mom wit da pron virus! Apple had no clue and wouldn't acknowledge there was even a problem.

Really though I haven't had a virus on my personal PC in a decade, and the only thing I use is Windows Defender. Firefox, for instance, shuts down Flash when it has a reported vulnerability and I avoid Java like the plague.

Always know where software you install comes from and if it seems awesome and it's free, it's probably a scam.

Replies:   REP
REP

@EzzyB

It sounds to me like the modern OS provides a virtual means of running old programs that won't interfere with the modern OS


The discussion is not about what the Modern OS can do.

* * * * *

I think we can all agree that the original DOS OS had a lot of problems. Some of us contend that the modern OS is based on a portion of that original DOS code, while others seem to take the position that there is no portion of the original DOS code in the current OS code.

I am in the group that believes the Modern OS is/includes a modified version of the original DOS code. We believe that MS has been packaging and releasing modified DOS code under different names. The other group seems to be saying MS created a new OS without retaining any of the original DOS code.

MS appears to have upgraded the DOS code with each of it subsequent versions, but it appears to retain a significant portion of the original DOS code's functionality to include its bugs.

Since we are not aware of the precise functionality of the code that was retained, and possibly modified, we cannot determine if the problems we experience with the Modern OS code are due to the retained portion of the original DOS code, the patches to that code, or to new code that added functionality to each of the subsequent releases. From my experience, I suspect a large number of the original DOS bugs were retained, and bugs were introduced in the process of trying to patch the original code and add functionality.

Replies:   EzzyB
REP

@EzzyB

Actually Edge runs..... Edge.


I do not run Windows 10 and after the fiasco with Windows 8, I will probably never upgrade my current OS.

My opinion is MS modifies a current product and releases that modified code under a new name, so in that context I agree with you that Edge runs Edge code.

The question is where did that Edge code come from? Is it modified IE code or did MS start from scratch and write a whole new program?

Based on MS historical practices, Edge code is modified IE code.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

EB, Did you read the link Zom posted? The article contains a paragraph that addresses the development of Windows NT. That paragraph contains the statement:

Microsoft also continued parallel development of the DOS-based and less resource-demanding Windows environment, resulting in the release of Windows 3.0 in May 1990. Windows 3 was eventually so successful that Microsoft decided to change the primary application programming interface for the still unreleased NT OS/2 (as it was then known) from an extended OS/2 API to an extended Windows API. This decision caused tension between Microsoft and IBM and the collaboration ultimately fell apart. IBM continued OS/2 development alone while Microsoft continued work on the newly renamed Windows NT.


What that statement means to me is the current MS operating systems are based on either Windows or Windows NT and both of those operating systems are DOS based.

Replies:   Zom
REP

@EzzyB

Not knowing what version of Windows you use, it's hard to relate.


I run Widows 7.

Several years back the OS seemed to be a relatively stable platform that caused me no noticeable problems. Since then, MS has released numerous patches and upgrades to the OS code my computer was running.

After each MS patch, I seem to have more problems with Windows and Windows Explorer. For example, Windows used to load quickly, but now it takes much longer. Windows Explorer has a problem loading and displaying its browser screen. The error message I get indicates WE cannot locate and link with the MS website that supports WE.

The "blue screen" you refer to originated from the OS crashes of Windows NT, which was a common occurrence at the time. The crashes may have been due to hardware conflict or a conflict with the hardware's firmware. I have only experienced the "blue screen" twice in the past 40 years, and the crashes were resolved with a reboot using the same computer hardware/software/firmware configuration. So the cause was not related to my computer and I have no idea what may have caused those crashes for I was using one of my application programs and was not surfing the internet at the time of the crash.

EzzyB

@REP

I think we can all agree that the original DOS OS had a lot of problems.


The funny thing is we can't. I used DOS from version 1.01 through version 6.1 or so. It was limited certainly. But it did do what asked. It was solid, seldom crashed, and ran your programs, one at a time mind you, (without third-party applications, I was a big fan of Desqview back in the day) just fine.

No one really had a problem with DOS, it just worked. It was the premiere OS for personal computers from the mid-80's to early 90's.

The Urban Legends you are basing your opinions on are the next era. When the GUI of Windows 3.x and 95 and it's successors were built on top of DOS of course there were issues. DOS had ZERO security, it was built for a single un-networked computer.

It all changed with Windows NT (a derivative not of DOS, but a joint MS/IBM version of OS/2). 3.51, 4.0, Windows 2000 followed mainly for business and Windows XP was derived from that tree, not the DOS/Windows tree. Yes the Win 95 GUI came through, but there was actually a version of NT based on the Windows 3 GUI (NT 3.51). So it's just a GUI, not an OS.

Does Windows 10 have some DOS functionality today? Sure it does. It also has the native capability to run a Linux virtual machine. No not a VM running a separate copy, NATIVE capability, out of the box.

So just because you can run DOS commands in Windows 10 doesn't mean it's "based on" DOS. If it's based on any OS from that era it's based on OS/2. You can also get a Linux and Powershell command line as well. If there is an underlying thing you want to really pick on to say modern Windows is based on it's the latter, Powershell. There is nothing you can do with the GUI that you can't do through Powershell.

Replies:   REP  Centaur
REP

@EzzyB

No one really had a problem with DOS, it just worked. It was the premiere OS for personal computers from the mid-80's to early 90's.


EzzyB, I suggest you refer to the Versions section of the following link. The content on DOS 5 and 6 specifically states that the original release of those versions had to be rerelease due to bugs that users complained about.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS#Versions

You will also note in that article that MS licensed DOS to many vendors and their implementations are not MS versions of DOS. Your Desqview program was such an implementation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DESQview

Furthermore, OS/2 was initially a joint IBM/MS venture. Their collaboration failed and the went their separate ways with IBM continuing the OS/2 product line.

graybyrd
Updated:

@ezrick

You did call Linux 'crap' ... in pretty strong terms, but did pay lip service to it as a server OS, but now you retract that and claim that proprietary systems like Solaris and AIX are preferable. As for the Berlin attempt, MS spent a boatload of money in attacking and undermining the Berlin effort, not wanting to allow a gopher to dig a tunnel in the MS dike.

No point in arguing this, however. I've followed a British site called "The Register" for IT and Tech professionals for several years now, as an interested observer. They have opinions about MS considerably different from those expressed by MS fanbois.

My primary interest is with whatever OS works best for my needs. That stopped when MS decided to destroy their users' choice, their arrogant deception and dishonesty to destroy Windows 7 and 8, and force ALL users to Windows 10. I was forced to install third-party utilities and barriers to retain a usable install of Win7, and to disable all updates... another process which MS has crippled for non-Win10 installs.

Anyone recommending Linux desktop to anyone is doing them a disservice. Those who can actually handle using it as a desktop OS already know about it.


That is sheer, arrogant FUD! I use desktop Linux; my wife, who is NOT tech-oriented uses desktop Linux, and prefers it to Windows. Several seniors here in the community are using desktop Linux, after their Windows installs crashed and burned. All of them are doing just fine; after one or two years they're pleased that it 'just runs.' If a user in their 70's and 80's can accomplish web browsing, email, and correspondence and record-keeping WITHOUT their OS jumping up and attacking them every week with forced interference, interface changes, and upgrades that demand a purchase of replacement equipment, what's to be unhappy about?

The user experience with MS is NOT a happy one, long term. And their data-slurping goes far beyond what the government has just allowed ISP's to collect and sell. The OS is supposed to be the product, not the user!

Replies:   EzzyB
sejintenej

@REP

1. Windows is DOS driven, and with all the mods MS has been making to Windows, Windows now seems even buggier than it used to.

2. Windows is a favorite target of hackers and people who plant Virus's, Worms, Trojans, and other malicious code on Internet websites.

You missed a third reason (according to my late son)
It is so badly written that it uses too much capacity. He was using Windows as the OS of an early version of a tablet but by rewriting windows he reckoned that it was then using just 10% of the original resources

Zom

@REP

both of those operating systems are DOS based

The section you highlighted DOES NOT say that. Where did that come from? All that section says is that the GUI was maintained, not the kernel. Nothing there says anything about NT being DOS based.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@EzzyB

Again, that's like saying the only way to build a new car is to throw away the internal combustion engine. Just because a piece of code that scans and reports the contents of a directory is old doesn't mean it's obsolete.

Really though, why is no one worried that Linux is "based on" Unix and OS-X is "based on" Mac OS?

In almost every case, new OSes are better designed and work more efficiently than those where they just dump more code on top of the old crap. However, no one has designed a new OS for decades (well, aside from iOS, that is).

Replies:   Dominions Son  Zom  ezrick
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

However, no one has designed a new OS for decades (well, aside from iOS, that is).


Android?

And technically iOS is a UNIX variant just like Mac OS.

Zom

@Crumbly Writer

no one has designed a new OS for decades (well, aside from iOS, that is).

Not really. The iOS kernel is the XNU kernel of Darwin. XNU is derived from a combination of Mach and BSD. Mach is 1994 vintage, and BSD is 1995 vintage. So nothing completely new in iOS either :-)

REP

@Zom

Where did that come from

I've read about 6 articles today. I think it was mentioned in another of the articles also, but can find the following passage in the Version section of following link.

Version 5.50 (Windows NTVDM) – All Windows NT 32-bit versions ship with files from DOS 5.0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS

Replies:   Zom  ezrick
graybyrd

From Wikipedia:

Windows NT-based operating systems, including Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 for desktops, and Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2008 R2 for servers, do not make use of MS-DOS as a core component of the system. These systems can make use of the FAT file systems, which are used by MS-DOS and earlier versions of Windows; however, they typically use the NTFS (New Technology File System) by default for security and other reasons.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeDOS#Commercial_uses

graybyrd

MSFT Word... all the way up to Office 2016, Windows 10:

A document e-mailed to a victim contains an embedded OLE2link object, and if the target opens the file, winword.exe contacts a remote server over HTTP, and a malicious .hta file disguised as RTF (rich text format).


https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/09/microsoft_word_ole_bug/

Be sure to patch... again.

It must be terribly difficult to be complacent when one's security rests on MS software. Despite all the $$ spent on anti-virus, malware, worm, threat safeguards.

Replies:   EzzyB
Zom

@REP

All Windows NT 32-bit versions ship with files from DOS 5.0

Just so I am clear here, what you are saying is that just because NT is shipped with a filset that happens to include DOS 5.0 files, NT is somehow based on DOS? With that logic you might as well also say that it is based on Notepad, or Internet Explorer.

Replies:   graybyrd  Grant  REP
graybyrd

@Zom

With that logic you might as well also say that it is based on Notepad, or Internet Explorer.


No, it's mostly based on Voodoo. DOS? Not so much... ;p

Grant

@Zom

Just so I am clear here, what you are saying is that just because NT is shipped with a filset that happens to include DOS 5.0 files, NT is somehow based on DOS?

That seems to be the case.
Because they provided compatibility with older DOS programmes, the OS much be DOS based.

It's not the case, but that appears to be the logic.
Even the fact that you need a Virtual Machine to run DOS programmes on current Windows OSs doesn't appear to impact on the belief that the underlying core of current (and several versions back) Windows OS is DOS based.

Never let the facts get in the way of beliefs.

Replies:   Zom
Zom

@Grant

Never let the facts get in the way of belief

So it would seem. I am beginning to understand the way of The Donald's success.

doctor_wing_nut

I love it when people bash Linux. I used to get defensive, but now I just laugh.

I've only been using it full-time for Eleven Years, on desktops and laptops, with zero security issues and no problems getting timely updates, but that means nothing to haters.

That's fine with me. But I must say, if an IT Professional told me to run AIX or Solaris instead of Linux, that would be the last conversation I would have with that particular 'Professional'.

fwiw

ps -

Never let the facts get in the way of beliefs.

- should be on a T-shirt, would sell a bazillion.

REP
Updated:

@Zom


With that logic you might as well also say that it is based on Notepad, or Internet Explorer.


The comment is a clarification indicating that in addition to DOS 5.5, the 32-bit versions ship with DOS 5.0 files (i.e. DOS 5.0 files in addition to the DOS 5.5 files.)

EzzyB

@graybyrd

My primary interest is with whatever OS works best for my needs. That stopped when MS decided to destroy their users' choice, their arrogant deception and dishonesty to destroy Windows 7 and 8, and force ALL users to Windows 10.


And Apple doesn't do the same? Hell they obsolete their hardware much faster than Microsoft obsoletes their software.

I'm typing this on a Core 2 Quad machine built in 2007 running Windows 10. Does a ten-year-old Apple device even exist? Windows 10 runs faster on this machine than XP ever did. Shit, I have a Atom based HP tablet (HP Steam 8) running Windows 10 on 1GB of RAM! The official requirements for it are a 1GHZ processor and 1GB of RAM. There is no drive to upgrade hardware, not even close.

Your wife has a built-in Linux advocate to cater to her every whim. You can't just tell the average Joe to download one of 49,672 Linux distros, install it, and expect them to succeed. Not even close to it.

The FUD is most certainly in the Linux camp. You, and they, have been evangelizing "open source" for two decades now. I get it, you are frustrated that the Linux Desktop has no more takers now than it had 20 years ago.

One thing I've learned over the years is that what you like, and what I like, don't matter at all. It's what the users like. What desktop users like is most certainly not a flimsy graphic shell, that comes in 39 flavors over a command line OS that comes in thousands. They want consistency, not complexity.

Linux itself is crap, and it isn't. The minute some hack whacks out a few lines of code and recompiles, it most certainly has a huge possibility of becoming bovine excrement, and it happens daily, and it's still called Linux.

There is no control over the beast. Sure you've mastered it, that's awesome. You've turned it into a useful desktop system. But saying that the other 99% of the world can do that is insane.

The user experience with Microsoft is most certainly a happy one. It's the reason that 90% of the world still uses it on their PC's and less than 1% use Linux.

No point in arguing this, however. I've followed a British site called "The Register" for IT and Tech professionals for several years now, as an interested observer.


LMGDAO! The Register, really? My guess is you actually believe Fox News is "fair and unbiased" and not the Ministry of Propaganda for the GOP. Attacking Microsoft makes them a lot of money off of people like you. Hell I've also read El Reg since the late 90's. I've just learned to separate the actual news from the click-bait.

The user experience with MS is NOT a happy one, long term. And their data-slurping goes far beyond what the government has just allowed ISP's to collect and sell.


Again, BULLSHIT. Your ISP knows who you are. It knows every site you visit and what YOU do. MS only knows what a random PC does under controlled, diagnostic circumstances. And you accuse ME of FUD?

ezrick

@Crumbly Writer

(well, aside from iOS, that is).


ALL Apple software is based on Unix except IOS. It's based on Linux just like Android.

So no, nothing new here.

ezrick

@REP

I've read about 6 articles today. I think it was mentioned in another of the articles also, but can find the following passage in the Version section of following link.

Version 5.50 (Windows NTVDM) – All Windows NT 32-bit versions ship with files from DOS 5.0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS


And your point is?

"Based on" and "included with" (for backwards compatibility) are two entirely different things.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@ezrick


And your point is?


If you had followed the thread back to the post I was responding to you would have understood what my point was.

Since you didn't, Zom had asked me why I thought Windows NT had anything to do with DOS. That was my answer.

Replies:   Zom
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@ezrick

ALL Apple software is based on Unix except IOS. It's based on Linux just like Android.


iOS is based on the same kernel as macOS (XNU). There is no linux in any of apple's systems. The GPL is incompatible with Apple's business needs.

Replies:   EzzyB
EzzyB

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

iOS is based on the same kernel as macOS (XNU). There is no linux in any of apple's systems. The GPL is incompatible with Apple's business needs.


Well I'll stand corrected then. But how does Google get away with the GPL with Android?

Well shit, I just answered my own question. Google can do it because Android is "free". Man that must cost them a fortune in lawyers given the restrictions they put on the official versions of Android.

I'm still waiting on the lawsuit, (gotta come from the EU) because they essentially do the same thing Microsoft did back in the browser war days. They require certain defaults to use the "offical" version. The only missing piece is that it's free, but one of those requirements is Google Play.

EzzyB

@graybyrd

OK I've posted on this enough.

Where we really diverge is that, like I said, I've been an IT professional for three decades.

You aren't.

That's not a bad thing, but you must understand that it was my job. I was responsible. In most cases, with servers, my standard was 99.7% uptime. My standard earlier, was 2.3 hours from report of a desktop problem to resolution (my earlier job was running a helpdesk for the Corp of Engineers).

You simply can't do that with Linux. Where the fuck would I even find the employees to do that?

You need structure and accountability to do the job, and no matter what the strong points of Linux are, those two are the bottom of the list.

Fini

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@EzzyB

You aren't.


No, I'm other things. But an IT pro, I'm not. Although I was told years ago I'd make a hell of a good systems analyst.

Leave the Linux issue. It will be here long after you and I aren't.

One point about MS: they famously posted a dialog box concerning user choice to opt in or out of a Windows 10 download. It had no 'decline' option. So folks clicked on the 'X' button in the upper right corner. Which MS had secretly programmed to be a "Yes, I accept" response. That's well documented, and is only one of many deceitful practices MS has done.

Deceive me, lie to me, trick me... you may get that one for free. But that's the end of it. No more, forever. MS cannot be trusted. Once trust is lost, it's near impossible to regain.

Once trust is lost, product quality is irrelevant. It no longer matters.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP  ezrick
Switch Blayde

@graybyrd

Once trust is lost, product quality is irrelevant. It no longer matters.


Which is why I decided to go Mac.

Replies:   EzzyB
Ross at Play
Updated:

@graybyrd

Once trust [in M$] is lost, product quality is irrelevant. It no longer matters.

Enough said. M$hit isn't getting one more cent of my money.

@Switch Blayde

Which is why I decided to go Mac.

I understand your choice, however I vowed never to buy another Apple product again after realising the functionality one of their tablets I'd bought was less than similar products running Windows that cost only half as much.

@EzzyB

{Linux gives] you exactly the security you pay for, there is no one accountable [for its failures].

I cannot argue with that either.

Which leaves me ... ?
(With apologies to Pete Townshend) ... I hope I die before my current system gets old enough to need replacing. :-)
But I'll probably cross my fingers and go with Linux.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd
Updated:

@Ross at Play


cross my fingers and go with Linux.


Safely go with Linux. Admittedly, there can be a learning curve, but it's really no more than with Apple or MS. Go to distrowatch.com to read about the various 'flavors' of Linux. Mint is extremely popular, as is Ubuntu and Zorin (which tries to emulate the Windows user interface and is rated quite high for that.) Enjoy!

Edit: All flavors of Linux come with a full suite of software installed. Most come with a version of Firefox web browser; you can also install LibreOffice, if it isn't already, and of course Calibre, as well. There will be a user guide explaining how to download and install additional software packages with whatever Linux you choose.

Ernest Bywater

A few people have said things about Linux where it's clear they don't understand how the Open Source Community works. Here's some facts for you, sadly I expect some will ignore them like they've ignored other facts I've mentioned.

1. Linux is a free program written to emulate the Unix software, see image of Unix time-line below (note where Mac OSX is on the tree):

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unix_timeline.en.svg

If you don't want to use Linux you can buy copies of Unix fairly cheap and there are some Free to Use variants in there as well.

2. Unix and Linux are the two most secure computer operating systems in existence today and for a few decades. However, there have been some people who've created their own forks off them which aren't as secure as the main forks, so you may need to check on who creates the fork that has your interest.

3. Most of the code in Unix and Linux is copyrighted, but some is provided with a permission to allow others to use it, this is true of almost all of the Linux code.

3.a. Every Linux distribution has someone who is responsible for everything in it, some are just more trustworthy than others. Also, every package within Linux has a person who's responsible for the project and the coding team who works with them on it. Here's some websites with some information.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Project

www.fsf.org/

www.linuxfoundation.org/

3.b. Most of the people involved with these projects and the coding teams are top programmers who work in the industry or allied educational fields.

4. The owners of the major distributions of Unix and Linux are wealthy companies. With regards to Linux ones like SUSE Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux make their money selling services to customer additional software for their clients and system maintenance service.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server

5. Every software project and package in the approved Linux system is heavily tested for security and errors, unlike some other OSs. Yes, some minor Linux forks have some code not put through the approval system, so you have to watch out for them.

6. With the exception of a few programs written specifically to work with only one variant of Unix or Linux (think Mac specific here) any software written for Unix or Linux will work with all the other forks of Unix and Linux, except some may not work on MacOS due to the changes by Apple.

...........

Here is a good website that lists all the major and some minor versions / forks of Unix and Linux and information to allow you to compare them and choose one you want.

distrowatch.com/

Replies:   awnlee jawking  EzzyB
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

2. Unix and Linux are the two most secure computer operating systems in existence today and for a few decades.


I think that depends on your interpretation of 'secure'.

If you mean their track records of being hacked are better than eg Windows, that's true. But Windows has been targeted by a disproportionate number of hackers.

If you mean in an absolute sense, ie safe from teams of hackers starting from scratch and tackling each operating system equally, then the result could go either way. I can remember some pretty major weaknesses being found in unix and it's very unlikely they've all been found and fixed.

5. Every software project and package in the approved Linux system is heavily tested for security and errors, unlike some other OSs.


I don't believe the free community can afford to test their offerings as thoroughly as multinational giants who have paid teams of testers, and yet look how many bugs they let through!

Having said that, I would encourage anyone thinking of trying unix/linux to give it a go. The free community has no commercial interest in making their offerings regularly obsolescent, so if you want a system that will still work in the same way and run the same software in 5-10 years time, it's the obvious choice.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I think that depends on your interpretation of 'secure'.


Secure in that the software is checked for all known attacks, errors, and hacks. Secure as in as soon as a new type of attack is made known they immediately set to rewriting the code to stop the attack from working. Secure as in being so tightly and well written it's extremely hard to create a hack for it.

Now, there are other software companies that think none of the above actions are needed for most attacks, and only take action when threatened by authorities. But we aren't discussing them in this sub-thread.

..................

As to your comment on testing, most of the free community do a hell of a lot more testing than the companies that spend mega millions on advertising. Some of the free community programmer work for the big companies during the day and do their free community work on their own time, and they've often complained the big companies won't let them do the level of testing they do in the free software work. Ask Stallman about that.

Zom

@REP

Zom had asked me why I thought Windows NT had anything to do with DOS

Sorry, but there is a teensy bit of reinvention there. What I said "where did that come from?" to was your "both of those operating systems are DOS based".

"Based on" is quite different to "anything to do with".

Replies:   REP  REP
REP

@graybyrd

Once trust is lost, product quality is irrelevant. It no longer matters.


I agree. The problem as I see it is two fold. 1) Who should I trust to replace my current system? and 2) Does the replacement system have applications to replace those I now use that I can afford?

#2 of course is based on the replacement applications accepting my current file formats.

Replies:   graybyrd
REP

@awnlee jawking

But Windows has been targeted by a disproportionate number of hackers.


Is that because Windows is easier to hack?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP


Is that because Windows is easier to hack?


No, it's because Windows offers a more target rich environment (there are more windows computers out there to hack than anything else).

Replies:   Zom
REP

@Zom

"where did that come from?"


Reinvention??? I don't see my recent post about what you ask me as a reinvention.

My first post to you was about a comment you made in a post to another poster. In that response I quoted:

The section you highlighted DOES NOT say that. Where did that come from? All that section says is that the GUI was maintained, not the kernel. Nothing there says anything about NT being DOS based.


It appeared that you where asking where I got the idea NT was DOS based, since the quote did not say that. I responded to your question with a quote about DOS 5.5. You focused in on mention of 5.0 in the quote. I responded that the quote was saying NT computers used 5.5 as its OS and the 32-bit machine had 5.0 file in addition.

REP

@Zom

"where did that come from?"


Reinvention??? I don't see my recent post about what you ask me as a reinvention.

My first post to you was about a comment you made in a post to another poster. In that response I quoted:

The section you highlighted DOES NOT say that. Where did that come from? All that section says is that the GUI was maintained, not the kernel. Nothing there says anything about NT being DOS based.


It appeared that you where asking where I got the idea NT was DOS based, since the quote did not say that. I responded to your question with a quote about DOS 5.5. You focused in on mention of 5.0 in the quote. I responded that the quote was saying NT computers used 5.5 as its OS and the 32-bit machine had 5.0 file in addition.

Replies:   Zom
graybyrd
Updated:

@REP


2) Does the replacement system have applications to replace those I now use that I can afford?

#2 of course is based on the replacement applications accepting my current file formats.


As far as trust... that's pretty much between you and whatever expert advice you accept. The rest is easy. Thanks to Wikipedia, every OS and major software package is reviewed so a quick rundown of file formats and compatible formats is possible.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I think that depends on your interpretation of 'secure'.


I remember Larry Ellison (Oracle) offering a "reward" to anyone who broke into their Unix servers. No one was able to do it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@graybyrd

whatever expert advice you accept


That by itself is a problem. When we read articles on the Internet, most of the authors of the articles are not known to us. If they sound like an expert, we tend to think of them as experts. I suspect that many of these authors are self-anointed experts who are just repeating what many other self-anointed experts said in their articles. The cycle of perpetuating misinformation goes on and on.

Finding an expert when their background is not provided in an article is extremely difficult.

Just consider all the differing opinions in this thread. We aren't all right, but we may all be wrong to one degree or the other.

Replies:   graybyrd  Ross at Play
graybyrd

@REP

Just consider all the differing opinions in this thread. We aren't all right, but we may all be wrong to one degree or the other.


The universal affliction: everyone has an axe to grind. Said another way, objectivity is a rare commodity. So... we look around, find something that seems to suit, and we take our chances.

Any of us could make recommendations, but as you wisely said, we're all 'self-anointed experts' influenced by our own experiences. So... jump in and swim. The water's fine.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play

@REP

We aren't all right, but we may all be wrong to one degree or the other.

Agreed. :-)

REP

@graybyrd

So... jump in and swim. The water's fine.


I have been. The same stroke is getting boring. :)

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Can you put a date to that offer? It didn't happen when I was around so I'd guess it was more recent.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Can you put a date to that offer?


I guess it was in 2001. Here's an article I found on it:
http://www.geek.com/news/oracle-challenges-hackers-544085/

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@REP

I have been. The same stroke is getting boring. :)


Try the breast stroke. :)

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I remember that. It wasn't Unix they were invited to hack but Oracle's latest database version.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

It wasn't Unix they were invited to hack but Oracle's latest database version.


Running on Unix.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Running on Unix.


I don't remember but I would imagine so. I don't think the PC version would have been able to cope with enough users/hackers.

AJ

Zom
Updated:

@Dominions Son

because Windows offers a more target rich environment (there are more windows computers out there to hack than anything else).

Yes, but apart from the number of computers, MS Operating Systems have always allowed, in fact encouraged, uncertified 3rd party programs to run. I think it is the single most important reason for its success.

It is a blessing because it provides a rich open market for applications, but it is also a curse because it requires easy access to detailed API information just begging to be hacked.

On the down side, those APIs were/are rife with trivial vulnerabilities, like failure to bounds check, which make them far more vulnerable than a truly robustly engineered set would be.

As we have seen recently, Linux is also subject to these types of vulnerabilities. I suspect the number found so far may be proportional to the number of dedicated hackers/testers, rather than being inherently more robust.

REP

@Dominions Son

Try the breast stroke.

There are only 3 strokes of interest to me. That is one of them. :)

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@REP

There are only 3 strokes of interest to me.

There may be more than three for most of us.
Stroking your ego.
Stroke stories.
Blood vessels in your brain clog giving you a stroke.
Stroking a pet or friend/sex partner. (the other kind of breast stroke, not swimming.)
Crew racing. (stroke, stroke, stroke).

"Definition of stroke. 1: the act of striking; especially: a blow with a weapon or implement. 2: a single unbroken movement; especially: one of a series of repeated or to-and-fro movements."

The blow with a weapon may interest members of the Society for Creative Anarchism, (a sword stroke.)

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@richardshagrin


more than three for most of us.


Doesn't need it, don't like them, don't want one, and 1 of my 3 favorite types of strokes.

Zom
Updated:

@REP

I don't see my recent post about what you ask me as a reinvention

It is entirely possible that I am misunderstanding your misunderstanding, and if so I apologise.

This is what I saw:
My original "where did that come from?" was in response to your "... Windows or Windows NT and both of those operating systems are DOS based."

I was questioning your assertion being based on a section of the article I referenced, which you quoted, that did not support your statement.

You then replied to me quoting "where did that come from", and made the assertion that "Version 5.50 (Windows NTVDM) – All Windows NT 32-bit versions ship with files from DOS 5.0".

Then came the statement "Zom had asked me why I thought Windows NT had anything to do with DOS". Actually, I asked you why you thought NT was BASED on DOS, which was your original statement.

At that point I saw that you had "reinvented" two things from the thread. First, the change from your "NT is based on DOS" to "NT has anything to do with DOS. Second, the change from in the nature of what my question to you was.

This latest post now asserts that you quoted regarding DOS 5.5, when you didn't. You wrote about the NTVDM which is designated version 5.5 for reporting purposes. It is a virtual DOS machine (API layer) only, which is why it shipped with the DOS 5.0 fileset. The NTVDM is not a standalone DOS, and the fileset is not "in addition".

So I would be grateful if you could point out where my misunderstanding was that resulted in my unreasonable accusation of "reinvention".

Replies:   REP
REP

@Zom


So I would be grateful if you could point out


I think it is the way we interpret "NT Based on DOD" and "NT having anything to do with DOS. To me if NT is based on DOS, then NT most definitely has something to do with DOS. Evidently you see it differently. I now see it as a miscommunication and don't see pursuing it further worth our effort.

3D

I am finding all the arguments here interesting but amusing.
I started in I.T. with punched cards, then magnetic tape was the norm. IBM and others still used magnetic 'core' memory. I watched the evolution of hard disks and 'real' floppy disk drives and the evolution of operating systems and applications. When IBM made the observation that Apple's (and others) new small computers would never be used in a business environment, I could see their error. Moor's Law was already in full swing. My first multi-user system, (for 13 terminals), had 128k of RAM. This was shared by the operating system and our application software. We had to break up our programs into separate sub-programs that got loaded over the top of the previous one. We also specified the amount of memory we would use. The operating system had no file handling at all. All we had were 'get's and 'put's the disk sectors. We had to write our own file handling system.
I have given this information so you can understand that I know a 'little' about operating systems. I've also in the many years since, used all of the operating systems mentioned in previous posts.
Some history:
Realising their mistake, IBM suddenly had to have an Apple lookalike to combat this missed opportunity. Billy promised his garage could produce. He grabbed ideas from many sources to come up with an OS, UNIX BEING ONE OF THEM! Not that that was a bad thing. To be continued ...

3D

So Billy became rich, and liked it. He developed a marketing and sales company called Microsoft - the house of smoke and mirrors. He and others like Apple, pinched ideas from Xerox for a GUI interface. He pinched the ideas of spreadsheets and word processing software from others. He promised that the next version of his software would have all these new features, so don't buy the oppositions software. Vapourware was the flavour of marketing gurus to add to our pile of buggy slow software. It wasn't all bad, and he did introduce a lot of good ideas and software.
As you can imagine, banks are anal about security. Why do they run UNIX and LINIX? Because it is so much more secure than MS products. Not all flavours as mentioned by others. Microsoft finally realised, at about the same time as they realised that they had to lock people in to Windows upgrades, that they had to play catchup and improve performance and security. They spent a LOT of time and money. To some good effect.

Replies:   Grant  Switch Blayde
Grant
Updated:

@3D

As you can imagine, banks are anal about security. Why do they run UNIX and LINIX?


For the same reason many large companies still run old versions of Windows with old versions of Internet Explorer- legacy systems.

Replies:   3D
3D

Now we need to look at what really makes up an operating system. The original OS's were very lazy. They had to be as they didn't have the modern hardware to worry about, or the memory. They were more a JCL than anything (Job Control Language). My first was on punched paper tape lol
An OS was originally designed to act as way of accessing the hardware without having to used machine language and to simplify the interaction. Over time hardware improvements and inventions made extra modules and commands necessary. DOS stands for Disk Operating System. Window and NT both do the same tasks as DOS, but include many more functions including a GUI. MS was taken to task for including IE in its OS by the early browsers such as Firefox. It was Billy's attempt to recapture this 'internet' market that he had ignored the internet. His biggest mistake he once said.
So, does Windows have DOS code, and is it the most secure OS?
That is a matter of interpretation. I am sure that all OS's have code or the same basic ideas that replicate that code, included in their OS's. So the argument is mute with regard to does it matter. What matters is how does it affect us. Sure DOS was buggy. Most software is to some degree (but not all!!!) Have the issues been fixed. Probably most of them. Is Windows secure. Definitely not! Why not you say? Does BIG BROTHER, or the Chinese and the Russians not worry people? (Let's not forget others like Israel or France.) They are all fighting for cyber dominance. This is what we should be agitating our governments and OS providers about.

3D

@Grant

Actually, I have been intimately involved in the MS upgrade path and decisions of large corporations. As a high level MS partner, we were always early in the upgrade cycle. MS promised much! No more 'Blue screens of death' was one. No more reboots was another. All lies. There are very good reasons anyone should hesitate in upgrading frequently. It costs a LOT of money, with little or no return in productivity or cost savings. When asked why they couldn't just fixed the current release of Windows, MS said it would take too long ... they had many more features they wanted to release first ... and that the new release would fix 'most' of the bugs and security issues ...
MS has improved the IT industry by providing a standard that applications can be written to and then sold. That said, I would not be an early user of any new hardware or software. This is one reason I alway buy the 's' release of an iphone. By the way, I'm not an Apple fan, even though I use an iphone. I don't use a MAC.

ezrick

@graybyrd

they famously posted a dialog box concerning user choice to opt in or out of a Windows 10 download. It had no 'decline' option. So folks clicked on the 'X' button in the upper right corner. Which MS had secretly programmed to be a "Yes, I accept" response.


WTF are you reading? This is absolutely false. The truth is only that if you said "no" it kept nagging you about it (if you didn't know how to turn it off, and most didn't). The "yes I accept" urban myth is because it DID download the install files to the local hard drives on many, many machines. It did not, however, install Windows 10. And yes, many idiots claim it did, then again they also claim Bill Gates flew by their house the night before in a black helicopter.

I totally agree that MS pushed Windows 10 too hard. It's pushed a lot of things too hard (HELLO IE 4!) Then again I understand it as well. The whole XP fiasco is still haunting them. No one seems concerned that Apple forces you to upgrade the OS every year and your hardware every three years. At least MS supports an OS for ten years. Apple, like Microsoft is responsible for that OS. As time marches on it increasingly becomes more expensive to maintain it.

Linux has no support costs. It doesn't care about you, and more importantly it has no financial stake in it's users.

And if the Whole Bash and Heartbleed crap didn't cause you to lose trust in Linux you have gone beyond practical and into delirious.

Yes the whole Linux thing is old hat. Two decades now and they've not move forward on the desktop an inch. There are really good reasons for that (as there are for it making great strides as a server OS).

EzzyB

@Switch Blayde

Of course the number two and number 5 selling software products for OS-X are both products that.... let you run Windows on your Mac.

Number one is Microsoft Office.

EzzyB

@Ernest Bywater

Every Linux distribution has someone who is responsible for everything in it, some are just more trustworthy than others. Also, every package within Linux has a person who's responsible for the project and the coding team who works with them on it. Here's some websites with some information.


WOW! Nice step-around! "Responsible" means different things to different people. I'm responsible for my stories, but if you waste a few hours of your life reading them I'm not going to refund you for your time. Nor will ANY "responsible" party for a Linux desktop distro ever answer your support call, or email, or anything. There are some companies that sell support contracts for their server distros. I mean IT'S FREE! until something goes wrong. I'm not sure you can even buy that for any desktop Linux distro.

ny software written for Unix or Linux will work with all the other forks of Unix and Linux,


Drink the kool-aid man!

Really, in the last five years (which is what we should care about) Linux is easily the most insecrue server OS. Windows server has a pretty good record over that time compared to it.

It is absolutely true that Windows desktop continues to have the most attacks among desktop operating systems, mostly phishing. Linux based IOT devices are easily the most passively targeted however.

There is never a cure for a dumb operator though. We used to close a lot of tickets with the resolution "loose nut between keyboard and chair".

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@EzzyB

here are some companies that sell support contracts for their server distros.


Several of them have desktop distros and sell support contracts for those.

https://www.redhat.com/en/store/red-hat-enterprise-linux-desktop-or-red-hat-enterprise-linux-workstation#?sku=RH0844913

3D

I attended a security seminar on a flavour of Unix. We were asked to try to break into a system. We worked in pairs. I was teamed up with a spook. He was brilliant! I only managed to find two ways in which apparently were known issues. He found three more ways, which they didn't know about. And before you ask, no, I'm not going to tell you how to break into systems! MS or otherwise!
I asked him what he thought of MS server. He just laughed. He said too many vested interests wanted backdoors into people's computers and MS only knew how to sell things, and not write buggy software for them to ever be totally secure.
Modern software is extremely complex. To debug it takes enormous resources. To install and administer it correctly takes a lot of knowledge. The more complexity you introduce, and the more you enable people to do, the harder it is to achieve total security.
The users are generally dumb. They may be bright people, but dumb with computer systems. We all have dumb moments, plus how many people backup regularly? How many people read the manual before installing software? People were amazed when they saw me doing that. I was amazed that they didn't! Their 'suck it and see' approach was criminal in my opinion.
If you want to prove your OS is totally secure, do what others have done. Post a reward for finding security holes. And make it worthwhile. A million dollars for every new hole found will soon tighten up all the holes, other than the backdoors ...

Replies:   ezrick
Centaur

@EzzyB


There is nothing you can do with the GUI that you can't do through Powershell.


And i still use batch

Replies:   EzzyB
Switch Blayde

@3D

So Billy became rich,


If I'm remembering right, what made him rich was that he held on to the rights to sell DOS to non-IBM systems.

Replies:   ezrick
ezrick

@3D

To debug it takes enormous resources


To debug modern software takes infinite resources. A F-22 fighter has a million lines of code. A Mercedes C-Class has ten million.

EzzyB

I think I'll leave this here. Windows, to this day, is pretty much an open-book. Most of you can't read it.

The registry, for instance, gives you access to 95% of it's behavior. Various .ini and .cfg files give you access to the rest.

If you really know what you are doing you can make it perk up, sing, and dance.

For instance a combination of the two can completely eliminate the baseless accusations of "spying". Just a registry tweak, a permissions tweak, and a new Hosts file routes all outbound telemetry back to the local machine.

If you know how to do it.

Not knowing spurs the anti-Microsoft FUD.

The scary thing is that 10000 people know how to do it in Windows (the information is readily available on the Web) for everyone who know how to do it with Linux.

That is why Linux is so dangerous.

EzzyB

@Centaur

So learn Powershell. They can certainly be used in a batch file with the proper syntax. (It becomes a .scr file).

ezrick

@Switch Blayde

If I'm remembering right, what made him rich was that he held on to the rights to sell DOS to non-IBM systems.


Correct. IBM wanted the rights to DOS. Bill Gates negotiated a license. Probably changed computing forever with that.

Hmm, wonder who actually did those negotiations. We assume it was Bill Gates, but could have been someone else.

Replies:   REP  Ernest Bywater
REP

@ezrick

have


Another interesting thought is: Who came up with the idea to license DOS instead of selling the rights?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

Another interesting thought is: Who came up with the idea to license DOS instead of selling the rights?


Bill Gates. That's what I said made him rich.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde


Bill Gates.

Or he was smart enough to listen to that other guy and became rich.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@ezrick


Hmm, wonder who actually did those negotiations. We assume it was Bill Gates, but could have been someone else.


It was Bill, he was the marketing guru and had done some pre-law courses, and there's accounts from way back then of the people involved on both sides saying ti was Bill.

The big reason DoS took off was it was before the free software of Linux was and Free BSD were around and the other software available was selling for ten times what MS was charging.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  EzzyB
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The big reason DoS took off


The reason DOS took off was because it was installed on the PCs people bought.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  ezrick
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

The reason DOS took off was because it was installed on the PCs people bought.

I don't know what it wa like in the USA, but down here, and also in what we could see in the advertising around the world, your choices were:

IBM with IBM or Lotus software - cost on desk with OS and office suite about AUD$7,500

Apple computer with similar software - cost on desk about AUD$10,000

or IBM Clone (Asian copy of IBM) with no software, cost about AUD$2,500 and you could buy MS-DOS, MS Word, MS Excel for about AUD$500 for the three. total cost of $3,000

right up until about 1995 when Dell and HP started to really push the market here most people bought the software separate to the PC. Then the factory built systems with factory loaded software started to become cheaper than the IBM clones in the small IT shops.

It wasn't until the early 2000 that the factory built Dells etc started to kill off the small IT shops and take over the new PC market here.

In the early days the software from everyone but MS cost about AUD$1,500 to $2,500 per package, but MS was selling the same stuff at $100 a package.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
EzzyB

@Ernest Bywater

http://storiesonline.net/s/49108/the-preacher-man


No even then I had a friend that installed Unix on a 286 PC. He insisted that was the only thing to worry about. Mind you Unix ran on, for the time HUGE mainframes. The OS would run on an IBM compatible PC, but zero software was available.

But you have struck into the heart of the matter. IBM put their name on the line and quite frankly IBM WAS computing in the early 80's. But it used an open patent on what was to become the ISA bus. (for those of you confused, this was essentially the way the CPU talked with everything else.)Then it compounded that failure on licensing DOS.

IBM didn't really own the PC anymore, and it didn't own the software that ran it.

Replies:   Grant
ezrick

@Switch Blayde

The reason DOS took off was because it was installed on the PCs people bought.


Blame IBM. But really, Linux wasn't even a glimmer in Linu's eye then. Unix was a Mainframe OS.

Things like Wordstar and Lotus 123 were standards of business. What the fuck else would they be written for?

Grant
Updated:

@EzzyB

But it used an open patent on what was to become the ISA bus. (for those of you confused, this was essentially the way the CPU talked with everything else.)Then it compounded that failure on licensing DOS.


Where IBM lost control, and the PC became what it is today, was Compaq reverse engineering the BIOS.

It didn't matter if you had the OS or the hardware- if you didn't have a working BOIS, then nothing would work.

IBM owned the BIOS lock, stock and barrel. So Compaq reverse engineered it and the first truly 100% compatible PC Clone became available (there were others available at the time, but they weren't 100% compatible- some software wouldn't run on then as it was written to address the IBM BIOS, which was different to the ones the other clones used).
Compaq matched even the quirks of the IBM BOIS, and the rest is history.

Replies:   ezrick
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I don't know what it wa like in the USA, but down here, and also in what we could see in the advertising around the world, your choices were:

IBM with IBM or Lotus software - cost on desk with OS and office suite about AUD$7,500


My first PC was an IBM PC with DOS. The software was Wordstar and Visicalc. It had 2 floppy drives (there were no hard drives then), 64K memory, a dot matrix printer, and a color monitor. I also bought Assembler. It cost me around $5,000. It must have been around 1980.

Replies:   REP  EzzyB
Michael Loucks

@ezrick

Blame IBM. But really, Linux wasn't even a glimmer in Linu's eye then. Unix was a Mainframe OS.


More minicomputers than mainframes. The first computer to run Unix was the PDP-7. I first used it on a PDP-11/45.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Michael Loucks

More minicomputers than mainframes. The first computer to run Unix was the PDP-7. I first used it on a PDP-11/45.


When I first encountered Unix, it was on minicomputers. I was working for a company that produced mainframes and Unix simply didn't have the multi-user capability to be considered a mainframe. I don't know what changed - perhaps Unix has improved, perhaps Moore's law eroded the inadequacy.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


It must have been around 1980.


Yeah, those were the horrible old days. :)

I recall having to provide a Statement of Work description for one task of a contract proposal my company was developing. I had only been a computer user for about a year; I used a typewriter before that. When I went into the proposal center, there was a guy in the process of loading something into one of the original MacIntosh computers. I think it was a 512K model, but it may have been a 128K unit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_128K#Timeline_of_compact_Macintosh_models

I observed as he kept looking at that tiny 9" screen while he swapped out 3.5" hard floppy disks. I didn't know what he was doing for I wasn't a PC user at the time, and I thought he was wasting a lot of time with his little toy. Especially when I considered he would have to retype the hard copy of the description I had given him in order to get it into his toy computer.

I used a "dumb" 14" terminal to send text and commands to our mainframe's Xedit script program to create and print documents. I didn't know what the program was; we just called it Script. All I knew were the Script commands necessary to create a document, format its contents, and save it to the mainframe's hard disk. I later learned those commands where a few of the early HTML commands.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I was working for a company that produced mainframes and Unix simply didn't have the multi-user capability to be considered a mainframe.


All computers work in what's called Machine Language right up to when IBM made the documentation on the ISA system all the computer companies had their own machine language and every one spoke a different language to the rest - this was very true of the mainframes. I'm not sure when or why, but for some reason the people working with the minicomputers had a lot of the language the same, and that meant software for one could work on another.

When the company I was working for in the early 1980s sold mainframe printers we had to find out exactly what mainframe and software the client had so we could install and test the proper communications card to allow the printer to talk to the computer. When I started there it was a lot simpler than it had been, because at that time the choices were down to only two - serial or parallel, but I heard all the horror stories of what it used to be like.

Essentially, your software and hardware for a Prime system wouldn't work on anything but a Prime system, ditto with the IBM mainframe software, etc.

Replies:   Michael Loucks  REP
Michael Loucks

@Ernest Bywater

Essentially, your software and hardware for a Prime system wouldn't work on anything but a Prime system, ditto with the IBM mainframe software, etc.


I worked for Prime during the transition from the 750 to the 9000 series. One of my biggest projects was working in Primix, a Unix-like environment for PRIMOS.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

but for some reason


I don't know the reason either. I suspect it may have had something to do with companies not sharing (or limited sharing of) their information with other companies, so their choice was a standard within their company. Whereas, individuals running home computers wanted to share information with others, so they needed a common means for exchanging information or for translating between two or more means.

Switch Blayde

@ezrick

Unix was a Mainframe OS.


Not on IBM mainframes.

I started programming on the IBM 360s. They ran MFT and later MVT. When I joined the company they were replacing the 7080s (or was it 7090s?) with them. I don't know what OS they ran, but it wasn't Unix.

Replies:   EzzyB
Switch Blayde

@REP

I recall having to provide a Statement of Work description for one task of a contract proposal my company was developing. I had only been a computer user for about a year; I used a typewriter before that.


I had a friend in the "good old days" who was an engineer for the City of NY. It was when the Texas Instruments calculator came out. He got one, but the condition was they figure a way to chain it to his desk. They used the policy for computers for his calculator.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

They used the policy for computers for his calculator.


I've heard of misapplication of Company Policies before, but that takes the cake.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

I've heard of misapplication of Company Policies before, but that takes the cake.

Nah! The cake was safe - it was nailed up inside the pastries cupboard. :-)

ezrick

@Grant

Where IBM lost control, and the PC became what it is today, was Compaq reverse engineering the BIOS.


I thought it was Phoenix, but the result was the same. Then again Phoenix may have actually written the BIOS for the IBM PC.

EzzyB

@Switch Blayde

The first PC I built, or in this case re-built was what I refer to as an IBM PC-2.

I took a chassis from an original IBM PC, replaced it with the second-gen board, (256kb of RAM, WOO-HOO!) I replaced the anemic 60w power supply, added a pair of, wait-for-it, yes, 720kb-full-height-5.25" floppy drives!

Oh and that awesome monitor. It could display text in green OR orange! With the flip of a switch!

I actually built it for my aunt who was doing a family history. (I actually do have an Aunt Rose).

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
EzzyB

@Switch Blayde

Not on IBM mainframes.


I do tend to lump -ix operating systems together. Was the IBM system not based on Unix? Certainly AIX was later.

I tended to come into the industry from the PC side, I learned CPM, DOS, Unix, (and Solaris and AIX, like I say, I lump them together) and Windows in that order.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@EzzyB

I do tend to lump -ix operating systems together. Was the IBM system not based on Unix?


No, their mainframe OS is not Unix based. AIX is mostly sold with minicomputers.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@EzzyB

I took a chassis from an original IBM PC, replaced it with the second-gen board, (256kb of RAM, WOO-HOO!) I replaced the anemic 60w power supply, added a pair of, wait-for-it, yes, 720kb-full-height-5.25" floppy drives!


LUXURY!

(courtesy of Monty Python cardboard box sketch)

AJ

Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

An additional note:

Unix/Linux uses the ASCII character set.

The IBM mainframe OS uses EBCDIC which IBM created specifically for it's mainframe OS

http://search400.techtarget.com/definition/EBCDIC

REP

@EzzyB

Your first PC sounds a lot like the second hand PC my employer gave me. Did Aunt Rose sell it to anyone? :)

Replies:   EzzyB
EzzyB
Updated:

@REP


Your first PC sounds a lot like the second hand PC my employer gave me. Did Aunt Rose sell it to anyone? :)


Well that wasn't my first PC. Mine was a TI-994A. It was the first IBM compatible PC I built. I actually had a Tandy 1000HX at the time. The first "IBM Compatible" PC I built for myself was a 286. Cleverly I swapped out the 10mhz clock chip for a 12mhz version, put in an Adaptec RLL controller so I could reformat my MFM drives with about 45% more capacity, and bought a screaming 2400bps modem. :p

The next one was a 386 I used to run my BBS in the late 80's and early 90's in Savannah. It used Gap BBS under DOS/Desqview running 5 lines on US Robotics modems. It was cleverly named "The Savannah BBS".

Aunt Rose actually used that thing, along with an Okidata dot-matrix printer for quite some time. The only thing that I know of that she used it for was Wordperfect. No idea where it ended up, it would be fun to play with now.

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