Friday, February 27, 2009

Deadwood snapshot update; Windows XP is better than Ubuntu

I have uploaded a new snapshot of Deadwood today with tests added for upstream_servers and upstream_port.

I have just moved and haven't been able to get online at the new place yet. The place is supposed to have internet, so I will work with my new roommate and will look at the router this afternoon to see if the issue can be resolved (it could be that the key changed when they changed the ESSID but no one remembers doing this, much less the new key, or it could be that things are broken upstream).

If I can't resolve the issue with internet at home, I will not be able to release Deadwood again until Monday. Update: I now have internet working at my new place; expect to see a Deadwood update tomorrow.

This release can be downloaded at the usual place
While waiting for CentOS 5.3 to be released, I moved things around on my hard disk and reinstalled Windows XP.

It's a relief compared to Ubuntu. Everything works. Without problem. Things that took me days to resolve work out of the box in Windows XP: Getting a password protected screen saver (In Windows XP, it's actually done with "Change session" from the start menu) that doesn't crash the system and getting VMware to work.

When I put in my 50 meg "hockey rink" business card CD, it mounts within seconds. In Ubuntu, it would not mount at all or take over a minute to mount; this is a problem I was never able to resolve. Indeed, I spent a day pulling out my hair and wasting money burning expendable media until I realized this was an Linux-specific problem and not a problem with the media in question.

Sound in VMware isn't a problem; I can have multiple guest operating systems with sound active at the same time. In Ubuntu, only one application can use the sound card at the same time.

The keyboard just works in Windows XP; I needed to tweak configuration files to get it to work in Ubuntu.

Windows XP is a good deal more light and responsive running VMware player than Ubuntu; suspending or restoring an OS would often take two or three minutes in Ubuntu but only takes a few seconds in Windows XP. Windows XP and the Windows VMware client are far more lightweight; I can comfortably run three guest operating systems at the same time with 512 megs allocated for each guest; Ubuntu could only run two and would thrash (swap excessively and have the computer be unresponsive) with suspending or restoring a guest OS.

Comprared to Ubuntu, things work like a dream in Windows XP.

Nothing has changed since this blogger posted this why Ubuntu sucks blog back in 2007. Ubuntu still sucks (for my purposes: Having a good VMware host operating system) and Windows XP is a far better operating system.

I've been using Linux since 1995 and refused to dual boot my machine until 2003. Linux used to be more stable but harder to use; Ubuntu is trying to make another Windows but I just don't think it makes sense to try and shoestring all of the open source projects out there to make an end-user desktop. For example, Linux was never designed to allow someone to just insert or remove a CD without mounting or unmounting it; trying to make Linux do this just causes it to be unable to read media Windows XP can read without problem.

I think the real solution to making a open-source desktop environment is to make an operating system designed to be on the users desktop from the start. There are at least two projects that try to do this: Haiku OS (an open-source implementation of the failed 1990s BeOS) and Syllable (an open-source OS based on ideas from Amiga OS and other sources)

I will let people know how things work with CentOS 5.3 once CentOS 5.3 is available.