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Re: Re: the Linux thread ( that is what it is right ? )

Phil Karn wrote:
> >Douglas, do you really mean to say that you strongly favor an OS that
> >it took you FOUR YEARS to master?
> John, don't make the common mistake of mistaking "ease of learning"
> for "ease of use". Consider an ordinary pencil.  It takes most people
> considerably more than four years of nearly full-time effort to really
> learn how to use one.  But once they do, it is quite easy to use.
> Perhaps it is only because I've been using UNIX and UNIX-like systems
> since 1978 that I find them *far* "easier to use" than any Microsoft
> system.  But that is indeed the case for most of the things I do.
> I'm the last person who will defend needless complexity. But sometimes
> a little complexity is unavoidable if you want to get the job done.
> Phil

Phil, you may have missed my point.  My point is, an OS is just
a tool. It exists to allow an application to run on the hardware.
Without an application, it does nothing useful.  So, why become
emotional about weather a Craftsman screwdriver is better than
a Proto screwdriver?  I, also, have used UNIX and a bunch of other
operating systems since about 1974, including some that would
only load your application via paper tape.  I have developed
application programs on them, and even written several embedded
real-time OSes for a target processor.  In every case, the OS
used to run applications like editors, assemblers, linkers, and
compilers was just a means to develop an end product.  The OS
should be 'transparent', that is, should not get in the way of
you getting your work done.   Four years, or even four weeks, is
way too long to learn how to use an OS, particularly if you are
writing software for a living.  If you miss your market window,
you've blown it.   If you are a machinist and buy a new lathe,
it won't do to stand around and admire it for a few weeks- you'd
better make some chips and get your customers' order out the door!

I personally resent the learning-curve time on a new OS- it takes
time away from the things I really want or need to do.  About the
only time I'll submit to it is when I want or need to run an app
written only to run under that new OS.

Of course, this is only my personal opinion.  Monkeying around
learning the innards of an OS for personal interest or for a learning
experience is certainly a valid way to spend time.  Lord knows, I've
spent gobs of time over the years doing just that.  But it was
because I wanted to, not because I needed to.

Best regards, Phil, and I hope you have a happy and prosperous
2001.   John  W5EME
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