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Byte.com: Jerry vs. Windows, Redux

Jun 03, 2001, 18:30 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jerry Pournelle)

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"...It's fairly easy to learn how to build the hardware. If you can build a Wintel box you can build excellent Linux hardware. Many have made do with old parts, which is not too bright. Linux can be less forgiving of out-of-tolerance hardware than Windows. If you are going to build your own Linux box, start with new stuff you know is compatible (read Moshe Bar on Linux and go to websites to be sure that what you contemplate is fully supported). Once you've had the experience of getting one operating you can see what you can do with old parts going to seed, but do start with new and reliable hardware.

I say this because the Linux learning curve is steep, and it's going to be harder and take longer than you think to learn it. It is, after all, in the Unix family, and many of the Unix commands were whimsically named, and there was absolutely no intent on the part of Unix implementers to make it user-friendly. Indeed, to the extent there was any thought given to that, it would have been to make it user-hostile. Unix is rightly called the guru full-employment act. None of this means you can't learn enough Linux to set up and configure a box that will do all my NetWinder will do for half the NetWinder's cost; but it does mean you will not do that quickly and easily. The NetWinder comes configured with both user and administrator setup screens, and over the past year it has worked those out well."

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