Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My OS is better than yours...

Sigh... the never ending discussion about which Operating System is better and people getting mad when you say you use this or that. They start telling you that you should use 'their' OS, but most of the time just bashing on the OS you have and why it so bad.

The idea for this article came to me today when a friendly neighbour sent me an e-mail saying that now even Apple OSX (Leopard in this case) also has security issues. So I made a short reply saying that of course Apple also has this, it's software and all software has problems, bugs, leaks, etc.. The fact that my neighbour thought that OSX is/was save is that so many Apple users always say that. And of course we know that when you say that your software (in whatever form) is save, it will be hacked within 15 minutes.

Right, so I continue my argument with my neighbour and say that another reason why OSX is less interesting to hackers (especially the criminal kind) is that OSX has a much lower market share than Microsoft Windows. But I gave up on this endless discussion about which OS is better years ago. However, there are people that still try to have that discussion with me. So it's difficult for me to even talk about anything else than Windows otherwise I get that comment again 'ah you with your -fill in the blank OS-'.

At this moment I have the following OSes in house: Linux as server (running dhcp, dns, mysql, apache, squid, samba, etc...), Windows Vista because I have to keep up-to-date with this technology and for about 6 months now a shiny new iMac with OSX Leopard which I use as my main computer now to do my work at home (mainly develop in PHP and Objective-C). Also have a PocketLoox running PocketPC 2003, but not using that so much anymore.

In the past I have used and presently am still using a multitude of operating systems: ZX81 (that's where the trouble began, lol), MSX (I was getting good with assembly by then, can still read the Z80 hex code), DOS (lot's of versions), OS/2 2.0,3.0 and 4.0, OS/2 Warp Server (even got certified for that 9 out of 10), PalmOS, Windows 2.x, 3.0, 3.11, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2000,2003,2008, VMware ESX 3.x. They all have their problems, trust me..

But what is the concern of the average day computer user? Usability! That's what I think, the thing should just do what you want it to do at the time you need it. Just like a television set, if you turn it on you want sound an vision right. And when pressing that almost used up zap button you want it change the channel to something better. If computer will ever be that simple to operate... I think they will, but that will take some more years of development and trying out new creative things.

As computing power will increase even more - yeah I know the new Core2 chips from Intel are insanely fast compared to my first Z80 but still not enough - operating a computer will become easier or at least it will be possible to make it easier. Somebody still has to make some software to for example make a computer do what we tell them (yes speech, but not like the simple voice recognition we have now) or maybe even do what we think. Why am I still typing this story on a keyboard (ok it's a nice aluminum Apple keyboard, but still..). I mean, the whole story is already in my head, now it takes me half an hour to type it out and some more time to reread it for mistakes. Touch screens, gesture interfaces and true speech recognition, like I saw Lorn Green doing in Battlestar Galactica when I was 10 years old, that was cool with that sound it made when the words appeared on the green monochrome monitor. The movie Minority Report comes to mind...

But still all this will of course be just software including the bugs, programming errors, unforeseen user interaction, etc... Unless somebody invents a piece of software that is so intelligent that it can find these problems, do something about it and prevent that they are exploited. Not talking about 'simple' anti virus / spyware solutions here. These are not enough and can be bypassed.

Enough talk about this now from me. I got to get some coding done, not the stuff I talked about here, but just some more of that software containing bugs :-)

A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street. ~Doug Linder

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