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Re: Software platforms [was:UO-2 Telemetry Decoder Software]

>Speaking of writing drivers, it should be possible to run the
>Win98/Win2000[1] TCP/IP implementations on top of existing AX.25 packet TNCs
>by implementing an NDIS (network device interface specification) driver for
>the TNC. I've always wondered why none of us have thought to have done this

Perhaps because there's an even easier way that requires no
development work at all. Just put Linux on an old computer, plug it
into your home Ethernet and stick it in the closet.  Then use it over
the net from your Windows network aps.

That assumes you still want Windows as your primary desktop
environment.  Because I strongly prefer Linux for all of the reasons
already given, I just let my main desktop machine perform all my
network support functions. It's my SMTP receiver, my outgoing SMTP
relay, my personal web server/IP router/firewall, etc. And all the
software for these functions under Linux is free and open, unlike the
overpriced and inflexible "solutions" you find in expensive
shrink-wrapped boxes at the local computer store.

I do keep Windows on a second machine to run the few important
applications that aren't yet available for Linux, such as Quicken or
the latest gimmick-laden proprietary streaming-video-codec-du-jour.
It uses my main Linux system for all network services.

Tools like VMWare can also let you eliminate the secondary
computer. VMWare lets you run whatever "guest" operating system you
want in a "virtual machine" emulated on top of a Linux host.  There's
something satisfying about putting Bill Gates in a box, as it
were. It's even more supremely gratifying when one of his buggy
kludges crashes, as they so often do. Instead of hitting the hardware
reset button and waiting a few minutes, you only have to restart the
virtual machine. The underlying Linux host OS just keeps on running.

VMWare's only real drawback is its significant emulation overhead, as
the Intel x86 architecture wasn't designed to be completely
virtualizable. If you have a slow machine, forget about VMWare.  But
on a reasonably fast machine (400-600 MHz Pentium II/III) it's
reasonably acceptable for most of the Windows applications that my
work forces me to run (e.g., Microsoft Office).


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