Given the choice between Windows 2000 and Linux for his new
Ricochet setup, Jerry Pournelle goes with Linux, maintaining that
it's the more secure alternative and that support from the
developer community is good:
"There are several advantages to Linux. First,
stability: Once you get a Linux system set up properly it will run
without attention for a long time. Second, security: Linux systems
can be made quite secure with considerably less fuss than Windows
2000 systems' demand for comparable safety. Third, flexibility: The
Linux community is quite active, and when problems arise a great
many very bright people work hard and fast to solve the problem and
disseminate the solution. The disadvantage is difficulty in getting
the system set up and running in the first place, starting with USB
The information is out there, but finding it is not trivial and
often requires expertise. Given the alternatives I chose Linux.
Begin with Pournelle's Law: If you don't know what you're doing,
make sure you deal with people who do. This is particularly true
with Linux. If you have the time and incentive to learn a lot about
the dirty details of software and particularly networking, you'll
learn more and faster by setting up a Linux hobby system than any
other way. The corollary to that is that until you have learned
quite a lot about Linux and UNIX, don't trust Linux for critical
operations unless you have easy access to competent advice."
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