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From: mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: So... WHY Linux???
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 1994 19:22:04
Organization: Fen Software, Inc.
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This is not a flame.

Why Linux instead of NT, or something else? I spent the better part of last 
week -- more than 40 hours I'm certain -- trying to get Linux configured. 
Things are coming along; I now have X, sound, some nifty dev tools, DOOM, and 
... hmm, I think that's all. Until I get PPP configured, I still go into 
windows to get my mail, read the news, blah, blah, blah. My LJ4 still isn't 
configured yet, but that's only a matter of time and reading.

I'm slowly coming to the realization that I can tinker around with Linux, but 
I need to get into Windows to get anything useful done. Why is this? Last 
night, I installed NT 3.5 workstation in less than 20 minutes. It updated my 
old version without the slightest hitch or hiccup. Five minutes later, RAS is 
configured to dial into my PPP internet account, and I'm up and running. All 
my old familiar tools are here, and I everything works with each other. (And I 
didn't have to make the kernel even once. Config changes? It's got a gui.)

So, I ask myself, what on earth do I want to do with Linux? It's a technical 
marvel, no doubt about that, but what am I going to do with it? When it's all 
tuned and configured, then what? Will I then be the envy of my peers? 
Probably not.

I could take it, slap it onto my wife's old 486-25, put that in a closet, and 
have a super cool comm and printer server. Why, I could even set it up as a 
super, super slow node hanging off my provider's net. Maybe put some cool 
servers on it, set up an ftp area for some obscure hobby. The possibilities 
are endless...

How about this: I'll learn to program X, and give up my consulting 
practice with ms windows.

---------

Why are you tinkering with Linux? Are you getting anything useful done? Aside 
from tons and tons of really really cool FREE software that runs well on 
really old hardware, what is there on Linux that I can't do as well in, say, 
NT?

Again, this ain't no flame, but my skins pretty thick and I can take the heat. 
Why Linux?

Mike.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
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From: m...@cs.cornell.edu (Matt Welsh)
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Message-ID: <1994Oct19.172424.26062@cs.cornell.edu>
Organization: Cornell CS Robotics and Vision Laboratory, Ithaca, NY 14850
References: <mikey.312.00135EB9@mcs.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 17:24:24 GMT
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In article <mikey.312...@mcs.com> mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young) writes:
>This is not a flame.
>
>Why Linux instead of NT, or something else? I spent the better part of last 
>week -- more than 40 hours I'm certain -- trying to get Linux configured. 
>Things are coming along; I now have X, sound, some nifty dev tools, DOOM, and 
>... hmm, I think that's all. Until I get PPP configured, I still go into 
>windows to get my mail, read the news, blah, blah, blah. My LJ4 still isn't 
>configured yet, but that's only a matter of time and reading.
>
>I'm slowly coming to the realization that I can tinker around with Linux, but 
>I need to get into Windows to get anything useful done. Why is this? Last 
>night, I installed NT 3.5 workstation in less than 20 minutes. It updated my 
>old version without the slightest hitch or hiccup. Five minutes later, RAS is 
>configured to dial into my PPP internet account, and I'm up and running. All 
>my old familiar tools are here, and I everything works with each other. (And I 
>didn't have to make the kernel even once. Config changes? It's got a gui.)

Obviously you'd rather the use the system than hack on it. If that's
the case, then by all means use Windows NT or something else. Linux is
here for those of us who want the power and flexibility of a complete,
free UNIX system, and who like to do the hacking required to set it up and 
use it.

It's like owning and maintaining a motorcycle. Why bother with a motorcycle, 
when a family sedan is much more comfortable, roomier, and easier to drive? 
Sure, you can't take it on dirt roads, and it's not much fun to floor on a 
desert highway, but it requires very little upkeep on your part and it's 
easy to find trained professionals to service it should something go wrong.

People who ride and maintain motorcycles, however, usually do it as
a hobby, and they like the openness and feeling of speed. Sure, it requires
a bit more work, and it's more dangerous, but it's also less expensive in
the long run and a lot more fun.

Linux is very much a motorcycle in that sense, and NT a family sedan.
Take your pick.

I get a much better sense of accomplishment from, say, upgrading from
X11R5 to X11R6 by hand, rather than from flipping diskettes and letting 
Microsoft do all of the work. I really appreciate my X server, because
not only is it free, but I had to do some dirty work to get it configured
correctly. 

If you'd rather take a back seat to systems administration, and if you 
don't mind shelling out the big bucks to "upgrade", and don't mind not 
having the ability to modify any part of the system yourself, much less have 
the source code, go right ahead and use NT. In my opinion all of
the above benfits far outweigh any actual work that you might have to
do to get Linux running.

mdw

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From: vanp...@craft.camp.clarkson.edu (Jason Van Patten)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 19 Oct 1994 20:43:34 GMT
Organization: Clarkson University
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Mike Young (mi...@mcs.com) wrote:
: This is not a flame.
	Neither's this... honest.

: Why Linux instead of NT, or something else? I spent the better part of last 
: week -- more than 40 hours I'm certain -- trying to get Linux configured. 
	Sorry to hear that it took you so long.  Took me less than 3 in one
night, if I remember correctly.  CD-ROMs are wonderful toys..

	<SNIP>

: windows to get my mail, read the news, blah, blah, blah. My LJ4 still isn't 
: configured yet, but that's only a matter of time and reading.
	Same with anything on Linux.  There's plenty o' stuff to read, and 
there's probably already an answer in the FAQs/HOW-TOs for any sort of question
you may have, except this one.. I think.

: I'm slowly coming to the realization that I can tinker around with Linux, but 
	This realization should not have taken that long.  The reason that the
source is provided to you is so that you CAN tinker, and change if need be.
Dig through the kernel source some day, you may learn some interesting things.

	This is one reason I personally use Linux.  I love learning new things,
especially technical things.  Linux provides me with not only a working,
robust, and stable op.sys., but also a platform in which (Note, not only ON 
which) I can disect. 

: I need to get into Windows to get anything useful done. Why is this? Last 
	             ^^^^^^^
	Well, I use another operating system when I need to 'get something
usefull done', OS/2.  Why haven't I yet deleted OS/2 from my disk?  Well, there
aren't any programs for word processing/page layout/etc available on Linux.  
Well, let me clarify that bogus statement, not any that I care to use.  The 
free ones are incredibly impressive.  I personally don't like em.

	I personally will PAY for a decent word processor for Linux, so long
as it's not too awfully expensive.  I'm waiting for Frame. *grin*

	Anyhow, tangent from hell.  OS/2 is there so I can easily write my
papers, print them out, screw around with some multi-media toys that aren't
yet available on Linux (I'd actually pay for these too..), or maybe just have
a _stable_ DOS platform.

	<Big Ol' SNIP>

: How about this: I'll learn to program X, and give up my consulting 
: practice with ms windows.
	Now THAT's a hell of an idea.
	
: Why are you tinkering with Linux? Are you getting anything useful done? Aside 
: from tons and tons of really really cool FREE software that runs well on 
: really old hardware, what is there on Linux that I can't do as well in, say, 
: NT?
	I have very little experience with NT.  My one experience with it 
scared me away from it.  *grin*  I don't know what NT's capable of doing, so I
can't comment on it. 

	Here's a small summary of why I love and use Linux:

A.	True Multi-tasking environment.  Well, that's gettin kinda common these
	days ain't it?

B.	It's unix.  Really.  It is.  I had, prior to my college career, never
	even heard of unix.  I was drawn to it almost instantly because it's
	technically superior to any operating system I had used previously.
	Now I can have a cheap (free) one on my PC.  Bonus indeed!

C.	X-Windows!!  That was one thing that really pulled me to Unix.  
	Micro[Insert Favorite S-Word Here] WinBlows could never even dream of
	doing windows like X can.  (I'm comparing using Win3.1)  In my
	opinion, and lots others I'm sure, X is just plain awesome.

D.	(Goes with B sorta) Networking.  Need I say more?

E.	(Mentioned this earlier) Learning platform.  I can tinker, toy, play
	around with the kernel and learn tons and tons each time.  It is indeed
	a hacker's dream come true.
.
.
.

	[almost done, honest]

	I use OS/2 so I can work.  I actually DO use DOS so I can play my 
games.  But that is the ONLY reason I use DOS.

	There it is.  As much as I can think of now anyhow.  Come on fellow
Linux'ers, let Mike here have even better reasons for Linux than mine.  I know
you can do it..

						Jason

--
Jason Van Patten		  | If at first you don't succeed, keep	|
Clarkson University		  | on sucking till you do succeed.	|
vanp...@craft.camp.clarkson.edu  |			- Curly Howard	|
				  |		    (The Three Stooges)	|
	    ** Any opinions expressed here are actually
	       yours, you just don't know it, yet. **

 


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From: mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 21:51:19
Organization: Fen Software, Inc.
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In article <383d5s$n...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu> kha...@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Kenneth Hamer) 
writes:
>From: kha...@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Kenneth Hamer)
>Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
>Date: 19 Oct 1994 15:15:08 GMT

>Speaking only for myself, I cannot imagine what NT or "Chicago" or whatever
>could offer me.  I do _all_ my papers in LaTeX (although when our research group
>buys frame I may get the Linux version). 

You'll have to help me with this one. I'm maybe halfway through responses here 
and in email, and half of them mention latex as in context as an equalizer 
to gui word processors. I considered the lack of graphical feedback -- vis a 
vis latex -- a definite minus. Why would I want to be blindly embed formatting 
codes?

Mike.

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From: mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 22:24:39
Organization: Fen Software, Inc.
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In article <3840dm$g...@library.erc.clarkson.edu> vanp...@craft.camp.clarkson.edu 
(Jason Van Patten) writes:
>From: vanp...@craft.camp.clarkson.edu (Jason Van Patten)
>Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
>Date: 19 Oct 1994 20:43:34 GMT

>Mike Young (mi...@mcs.com) wrote:
>: This is not a flame.
>        Neither's this... honest.

It's not a flame, honest, but I've got to ask this one, as it's been bothering 
me, along with the latex vs word some others harped on.

>C.      X-Windows!!  That was one thing that really pulled me to Unix.  
>        Micro[Insert Favorite S-Word Here] WinBlows could never even dream of
>        doing windows like X can.  (I'm comparing using Win3.1)  In my
>        opinion, and lots others I'm sure, X is just plain awesome.

I got Linux partly -- mostly but not only -- for X, and I wouldn't have 
considered it without it. With that out of the way...

Help me out on this one. What don't I see that must be painfully obvious to 
you? Surely, it can't be that great an advantage to not have a standard gui. 
There is one thing that X can do that Windows probably never will, and that's 
running a graphical app from a remote station. Aside from that, I don't see a 
big or obvious difference.

Mike.

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From: mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 23:10:22
Organization: Fen Software, Inc.
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In article <1994Oct19.1...@cs.cornell.edu> m...@cs.cornell.edu (Matt Welsh) writes:
>From: m...@cs.cornell.edu (Matt Welsh)
>Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
>Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 17:24:24 GMT


>Obviously you'd rather the use the system than hack on it. If that's
>the case, then by all means use Windows NT or something else. Linux is
>here for those of us who want the power and flexibility of a complete,
>free UNIX system, and who like to do the hacking required to set it up and 
>use it.

>It's like owning and maintaining a motorcycle. Why bother with a motorcycle, 
>when a family sedan is much more comfortable, roomier, and easier to drive? 
>Sure, you can't take it on dirt roads, and it's not much fun to floor on a 
>desert highway, but it requires very little upkeep on your part and it's 
>easy to find trained professionals to service it should something go wrong.

>People who ride and maintain motorcycles, however, usually do it as
>a hobby, and they like the openness and feeling of speed. Sure, it requires
>a bit more work, and it's more dangerous, but it's also less expensive in
>the long run and a lot more fun.

I agree with most of that. The cost part, though, I'm not so sure about. 
The following isn't exactly germane, but I'd better qualify that last 
statement. NT cost me $50 about 2 years ago when it first hit public beta. I 
pay $500 a year for microsoft's developers' network subscription. (I can hear 
you gagging already.) What I get for that is quarterly updates on their 
developmentkits, OS's, and publications. The October update came last week, 
and contained 11 CD's. Eleven CD's hold a lot of information, and its always 
there if I ever need it. In other words, I think I get my money's worth.

You could consider this roughly the equivalent of having source. I might read 
the source (definitely will, come to think of it) if it were freely available, 
but not if something more fun or urgent was beckoning. I think this is also 
true of most of you with the system that comes with source.

---------

But I'm here asking about Linux, not to sell you on windows. I have a need 
that I think Linux could fill, but there are other more cost effective 
solutions. There are also some things that Linux (or any Unix) can do that NT 
won't.

The problems I had in setting up were with X, sound, audio CD, and local 
printing. I made some newbie booboo's, but in the end, not real harm was done 
and things got cured with "just" another kernel build. These toys really don't 
matter one whit to me, because I have it bigger, better and bolder elsewhere.

The only real use I can find for this (Linux) is as a gateway machine. I 
want to use it to route local traffic here to my internet provider. So the 
nice little toys -- sound, X, cd audio -- aren't that important. It'd be nice 
to have it act as a print server as well, but even WFW does pretty well at 
that. The conflict is that I hate the thought of dedicating a machine to do 
this. I'd like to be able to turn to my other shareholder (wife), and say 
"Look at this! We can now do blah blah blah." I think we all agree there's 
nothing here that seriously challenges desktop apps (for the common person) in 
Windows.

I'm still asking, but I think I got the answer already. I'll use Linux for 
what I bought it for: to play with if and when I have time.

Mike.

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From: m...@cs.cornell.edu (Matt Welsh)
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Message-ID: <1994Oct20.143125.26581@cs.cornell.edu>
Organization: Cornell CS Robotics and Vision Laboratory, Ithaca, NY 14850
References: <mikey.312.00135EB9@mcs.com> 
<1994Oct19.172424.26062@cs.cornell.edu> <mikey.318.00172CF0@mcs.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 1994 14:31:25 GMT
Lines: 36

In article <mikey.318...@mcs.com> mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young) writes:
>
>I agree with most of that. The cost part, though, I'm not so sure about. 
>The following isn't exactly germane, but I'd better qualify that last 
>statement. NT cost me $50 about 2 years ago when it first hit public beta. I 
>pay $500 a year for microsoft's developers' network subscription. (I can hear 
>you gagging already.) What I get for that is quarterly updates on their 
>developmentkits, OS's, and publications. The October update came last week, 
>and contained 11 CD's. Eleven CD's hold a lot of information, and its always 
>there if I ever need it. In other words, I think I get my money's worth.

Perhaps $500 is reasonable for that much information, but I have a Linux
Developers' Resource 2-CD set that runs me 20 bucks and is updated
every two months. It's got the actual source code for everything,
instead of megabytes upon megabytes of "technical information" to 
act as a proxy for source. 

In a way, if you could get the sources for NT, you wouldn't need all of
that.

We all have different computing needs. I use my Linux system primarily
for programming and hacking, as well as for writing books and other
fun, relaxing activities. I know that I couldn't get the hack value 
that I need out of NT or any other commercial OS without source. Under
Linux, I have a complete development environment, with a free C/C++
compiler, libraries, and access to the sources for everything should
I need to hack them. Linux just fits the bill; obviously, in your case,
others things do that more suitably.

I'm glad that you see that Linux has its merits, and of course
NT and others have their merits. There's no One True Operating System.
I use Linux because I want to hack and I am much more flexible
within UNIX than in any other environment. (There's nothing quite like
patching executables from the command line using sed.) 

mdw

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eehpx12!jr7877
From: jr7877@eehpx12 (Jason V Robertson)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 20 Oct 1994 03:39:20 GMT
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In article <mikey.315...@mcs.com> mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young) writes:
>In article <383d5s$n...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu> kha...@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu 
>(Kenneth Hamer) writes:
>>From: kha...@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Kenneth Hamer)
>>Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
>>Date: 19 Oct 1994 15:15:08 GMT
>
>>Speaking only for myself, I cannot imagine what NT or "Chicago" or whatever
>>could offer me.  I do _all_ my papers in LaTeX (although when our research group
>>buys frame I may get the Linux version). 
>
>You'll have to help me with this one. I'm maybe halfway through responses here 
>and in email, and half of them mention latex as in context as an equalizer 
>to gui word processors. I considered the lack of graphical feedback -- vis a 
>vis latex -- a definite minus. Why would I want to be blindly embed formatting 
>codes?
>

Yeah, I tend to agree.  Your staunch anti-Dos anti-Windows Unix user tends to
dismiss Word Processors (real word processors, anyway).  I hate to tell them,
but I could type up a professional looking paper under Word for Windows 6
probably in half the time they could in Latex, even if they are an EXPERT.
(And I'm definitely no expert...).

On this line.. Is there a version of Wordperfect for X?  I have used the
NeXT version and it is really nice (well, for a non-Windows processor).

I use Linux and love it, but if you need a really good Word Processor you're
going to have to keep Windows.  (Or wait for WINE!).
-- 
"The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular."
					- F. D.

jrob...@uiuc.edu

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
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From: iia...@iifeak.swan.ac.uk (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Message-ID: <Cy6nr2.8rs@info.swan.ac.uk>
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<384op8$qg0@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 15:16:13 GMT
Lines: 22

In article <384op8$q...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu> jr7877@eehpx12 (Jason V Robertson) writes:
>but I could type up a professional looking paper under Word for Windows 6
>probably in half the time they could in Latex, even if they are an EXPERT.
>(And I'm definitely no expert...).

I'd doubt faster. With expertise you can really knock stuff out fast with
LaTex. For example its trivial to fire off database queries for references
and have them pasted in from emacs while not so easy with W4W6. I've not
gone deep enough into W4W6 (I have better things to do) but it looks like
a lot of invested time could get you some of these kinds of facilities.

>On this line.. Is there a version of Wordperfect for X?  I have used the
>NeXT version and it is really nice (well, for a non-Windows processor).

Yes there is WP/X, yes if you load the iBCS2 module into Linux you can run
SCO WP/X - look at ftp://tsx.11.mit.edu/pub/Linux/ALPHA/ibcs.

Alan
-- 
  ..-----------,,----------------------------,,----------------------------,,
 // Alan Cox  //  iia...@www.linux.org.uk   //  GW4PTS@GB7SWN.#45.GBR.EU  //
 ``----------'`----------------------------'`----------------------------''

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From: iia...@iifeak.swan.ac.uk (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Message-ID: <Cy6o7w.8ww@info.swan.ac.uk>
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Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 15:26:20 GMT
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In article <mikey.312...@mcs.com> mi...@mcs.com (Mike Young) writes:
>I'm slowly coming to the realization that I can tinker around with Linux, but 
>I need to get into Windows to get anything useful done. Why is this? Last 

Because you haven't got the relevant software installed I guess. Apart from 
setting up PPP and SLIP I can do a Linux install from slackware in about
20 minutes a shot. Windows normally takes me much longer. 

>night, I installed NT 3.5 workstation in less than 20 minutes. It updated my 

But when you installed NT did you also install all the compilers, utilties
tools etc.. see in fact you installed a lot less.

>Why are you tinkering with Linux? Are you getting anything useful done? Aside 
>from tons and tons of really really cool FREE software that runs well on 
>really old hardware, what is there on Linux that I can't do as well in, say, 
>NT?

4-5 users logged into a remote machine running programs. Free
tools, and powerful tools too like MIPS cross development. A set of
workstations hanging off a Linux box which is serving them as Lan manager 
clients with no extra license costs. Large scale electronic mail handling
(1200 messages/week+). Reading MAC disks, running DOS programs. This is a
real commercial system doing real commercial jobs. Oh and its an 8MB 386DX40

Equally most word processing, some programming and a lot of other odd jobs
are done on DOS/Windows systems. Different jobs different machines.

Alan
-- 
  ..-----------,,----------------------------,,----------------------------,,
 // Alan Cox  //  iia...@www.linux.org.uk   //  GW4PTS@GB7SWN.#45.GBR.EU  //
 ``----------'`----------------------------'`----------------------------''





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From: mikey@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE (Michael H. Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 25 Oct 1994 02:08:50 GMT
Organization: I need to put my ORGANIZATION here.
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Anton de Wet (a...@Chopin.rau.ac.za) wrote:
: : Yeah, but you don't get immediate feedback. I think it's nice to be able 
: : to look at the screen an see what's bold and what's italic without 
: : filtering special codes from the rest of the text.

: Sure, but on a large document you could change {\em all} the secondary
: headings into italic, see what it looks like, change your mind and change it
: back --- by just changing a command in one place. While this might be possible
: in some word processors, it is not the way most people use them. This is the
: way TeX/LaTeX functions naturally. 

: By sacrificing immediate feedback, you gain global control. And (to bring it 
: back to topic) is similar to the difference in spirit between *nix and DOS 
: based systems. 
------------
I'll kick the dead horse one last time... Word 6 has that, too, in the form of 
character styles. I'm not suggesting you change your platform just to have it;
just pointing out there is no real advantage to LaTeX (to me, that is). If I
needed proof that vi has it right, all I have to do is count the number of
times I delete extraneous jjjj's in some documents. 

: It is a rare DOS user that has all his/her original work 
: separated from all the applications. (A very good idea for effective backups)
: It's easy to do but doesn't come naturally to the system.
--------
You lost me on this one. Huh?

Mike.

******************
** email responses to mi...@mcs.com. I got PPP working, but haven't solved
** the domain name stuff with my provider yet. Sorry.
************

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From: ia...@qualcomm.com (Ian McCloghrie)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 25 Oct 1994 09:59:31 -0700
Organization: QUALCOMM, Incorporated; San Diego, CA, USA
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mikey@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE (Michael H. Young) writes:

>: It is a rare DOS user that has all his/her original work 
>: separated from all the applications. (A very good idea for effective backups)
>: It's easy to do but doesn't come naturally to the system.
>--------
>You lost me on this one. Huh?

The way most DOS/Windows applications work, the default directory in
which to place files created by the application is the same directory
in which the application resides or, perhaps, a subdirectory of
that directory.  ie, if Word for Windows lives in 'c:\winword',
the the .doc files that you create with it most likely end up
being 'c:\winword\foo.doc'.  To me, it is far more useful to
store files by content, rather than by format, so I'd rather
hvae a 'c:\docs\project1' which will have all the documents that
have to do with project1, be they winword .doc files, excel
spreadsheets, or borland .cpp files.

(and this behaviour isn't limited to DOS machines either, Macs
also default to doing it this way.  What's more, since there's
no concept of a global "current working directory", every time
you load a given mac ap you have to change the directory in
order to get to the right place to save your file)

--
Ian McCloghrie    work: ia...@qualcomm.com     home: i...@egbt.org
  ____   GCS d-- H s+:+ !g p? au a- w+ v- C++$ UL++++ US++$ P+>++
  \bi/   L+++ 3 E+ N++ K--- W--- M-- V-- -po+ Y+ t+ 5+++ jx R G'''
   \/    tv- b+++ D- B-- e- u* h- f+ r n- y*

The above represents my personal opinions and not necessarily those
of my employer, Qualcomm Inc.





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From: Gerald....@jpl.nasa.gov (Gerry Snyder)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Why TeX?  (was  Re: So... WHY Linux???)
Date: 25 Oct 1994 15:08:29 GMT
Organization: JPL, NASA
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In article <1994Oct25.0...@escape.widomaker.com>, 
shen...@escape.widomaker.com (Shannon Hendrix) says:
>
>....
>
>No word processor for Windows (or any other PC I've seen) can produce a
>typographically correct document like TeX/LaTeX do.  Most WP's output is
>pretty horrible compared to TeX.
>

In what way? (This is a request for information, not a challenge.) Do you
mean character spacing within and between words? Are other things 
involved?

 Is it the sort of thing which is obvious even to people who only recently 
stepped up from lousy dot matrix printers to laser printers? Are some 
WYSIWYG word processors better than others?

>-- 
>csh
>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>shen...@escape.widomaker.com      | Linux... that's it for the moment
>-----------------------------------+ 

Gerry Snyder    Gerald....@jpl.nasa.gov 

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From: smi...@smithj.jsc.nasa.gov (James Conrad Pope Smith)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Why TeX?  (was  Re: So... WHY Linux???)
Date: 25 Oct 1994 17:23:59 GMT
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Gerry Snyder (Gerald....@jpl.nasa.gov) wrote:
: In article <1994Oct25.0...@escape.widomaker.com>, 
: shen...@escape.widomaker.com (Shannon Hendrix) says:
: >
: >No word processor for Windows (or any other PC I've seen) can produce a
: >typographically correct document like TeX/LaTeX do.  Most WP's output is
: >pretty horrible compared to TeX.
: >

: In what way? (This is a request for information, not a challenge.) Do you
: mean character spacing within and between words? Are other things 
: involved?

:  Is it the sort of thing which is obvious even to people who only recently 
: stepped up from lousy dot matrix printers to laser printers? Are some 
: WYSIWYG word processors better than others?

I can pick up any set of conference proceedings and be pretty sure whether
the paper was TeX or not.  Don't know about some codes, but programs like
Wordperfect and Word produce chincy output.  The fonts are terrible, the
math functions look amateurish, etc.  I guess TeX's fonts are just the right
size - not too thick.

James
--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
James P. Smith
Engineer/Collector (older non-sports, Jack Kemp, 1969 Topps BB)
NASA/JSC, Mail Code ES
Houston, Texas 77058
smi...@smithj.jsc.nasa.gov
jsm...@owlnet.rice.edu
smi...@smd4.jsc.nasa.gov

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From: m...@cs.cornell.edu (Matt Welsh)
Subject: Re: Why TeX?  (was  Re: So... WHY Linux???)
Message-ID: <1994Oct25.210850.3349@cs.cornell.edu>
Organization: Cornell CS Robotics and Vision Laboratory, Ithaca, NY 14850
References: <1994Oct25.030037.25653@escape.widomaker.com> 
<38j71d$be0@lo-fan.jpl.nasa.gov> <38jevf$rld@pendragon.jsc.nasa.gov>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 21:08:50 GMT
Lines: 56

In article <38jevf$r...@pendragon.jsc.nasa.gov> 
smi...@smithj.jsc.nasa.gov (James Conrad Pope Smith) writes:
>
>I can pick up any set of conference proceedings and be pretty sure whether
>the paper was TeX or not.  Don't know about some codes, but programs like
>Wordperfect and Word produce chincy output.  The fonts are terrible, the
>math functions look amateurish, etc.  I guess TeX's fonts are just the right
>size - not too thick.

I'd like to throw in some good words for TeX and friends, although
they don't belong in this newsgroup.

First of all, have you ever tried to write a longish (several hundred pages)
book or thesis in WordPerfect? The Linux Documentation Project manuals
are all written in LaTeX and formatted on Linux machines. Most publishers
use our Linux-prodcued manuals directly (some reformat themselves,
on Linux machines, using LaTeX). I have never seen a professional book
formatted under a PC word processor. 

Some say that TeX has a certain "look". The Computer Modern fonts and
certain page layouts are the default for LaTeX, but they can be changed
freely. O'Reilly's "Making TeX Work" was produced entirely within TeX,
using a different set of fonts and page layot conventions. Don't be
fooled into thinking that TeX documents are restrained to a particular
look and feel.

Also, I can design my own typefaces, logos, and dingbats within METAFONT
directly for inclusion in TeX documents. METAFONT is extremely powerful
and is a great way to extend TeX.

Also, because TeX is based on a particular source format, I can produce
TeX "code" from other text formats easily. The Linux HOWTOs are formatted
using the Linuxdoc-SGML package, which prodcues LaTeX, HTML, and nroff 
source from an SGML-based source maintained by the author. I don't think
that this would be nearly as straightforward when dealing with random
word processor formats, although RTF might fit the bill.

TeX gives me nearly complete control over the placement and layout
of text, figures, etc. in my document. If I needed to squeeze two
characters in a formula together, or shift a figure over a few ticks
to the right, I don't know how I would do this within a "word processor".
This kind of fine control is very important when formatting complicated
texts, or resumes, or anything else which depends heavily on spacing 
and layot.

That being said it would be nice to get rid of the TeX-vs-word processing
religious wars in c.o.l.misc. They don't belong here, and I don't
want to inflict them upon comp.text.tex, either. It seems that this
discussion comes up every few weeks in this group, because it is
a clear cut example of the UNIX workstation vs. personal computing mindset;
the former instilled by UNIX and other systems, the latter by Microsoft
and Apple's vision of what personal computing should be. I, for one,
don't give a flip what Microsoft thinks I should be doing with my personal
computer. 

mdw

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From: mikey@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE (Michael H. Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 27 Oct 1994 07:00:30 GMT
Organization: I need to put my ORGANIZATION here.
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Ian McCloghrie (ia...@qualcomm.com) wrote:
: mikey@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE (Michael H. Young) writes:

: >: It is a rare DOS user that has all his/her original work 
: >: separated from all the applications. (A very good idea for effective backups)
: >: It's easy to do but doesn't come naturally to the system.
: >--------
: >You lost me on this one. Huh?

: The way most DOS/Windows applications work, the default directory in
: which to place files created by the application is the same directory
: in which the application resides or, perhaps, a subdirectory of
: that directory.  ie, if Word for Windows lives in 'c:\winword',
: the the .doc files that you create with it most likely end up
: being 'c:\winword\foo.doc'.  To me, it is far more useful to
: store files by content, rather than by format, so I'd rather
: hvae a 'c:\docs\project1' which will have all the documents that
: have to do with project1, be they winword .doc files, excel
: spreadsheets, or borland .cpp files.

: (and this behaviour isn't limited to DOS machines either, Macs
: also default to doing it this way.  What's more, since there's
: no concept of a global "current working directory", every time
: you load a given mac ap you have to change the directory in
: order to get to the right place to save your file)
---------

(The horse that won't die...)

Again, Ian, there's nothing about the os -- ehh, environment -- that
dictates this. Maybe in un*x, the developers were more conscious of
directory structure, and allowed a setting in the .xxxrc file. The
analogous info file in windows is in a *.ini files. Typically, most app's
(including word) include a gui interface to manipulate that.

We're not even talking about a technical difference here. The
technology gap, it seems, is the ease of programming in X vs
Windows. Dialogs are easy in Windows. OTOH, vi is just so cool, why
bother with a slick interface that will cost much pain and time to
developers. (Obvious flame bait? :)

In the original thread that started all this, I got three different types
of responses: "Linux is a cool, cheap workstation clone"; "Linux is a
neat toy I like to bash and learn on"; "DOS/Windows is cruddy, and you
can't convince me otherwise."

I understand that you're all attached to your tools; I know I am to
mine. Coming from a DOS/Windows background, I have a different
perspective. Things work in Windows. This, of course, is due to hard
work by someone else faraway, and I can't take pride in it.
Conversely, things don't work in Unix. Instead of mucking around
learning and programming X as I intended, I'm learning Perl so I
can modify a script that prints listings 2up; messing with ghostscript
so I can work with my (non-ps) laserjet 4; wondering how in h*ll I can
make doom not sound like a stuck pig; researching device drivers so I can
use my Wacom tablet as the X pointing device; continuously checking the
bytes/sec I get through PPP because xmosaic, ftp, and news are so
SLOOOOOW; wondering why I need to be root to change a cd; confounded
that g++ wants to tell me that 'try' and 'catch' are reserved words,
instead of simply compiling the damn thing.

I didn't boot Linux yesterday, but instead used my old, barely adequate,
Windows apps yesterday. It was like coming home from a long road
trip, back from the hotels where the linens were fresh, but the clean
bathrooms were never ever laid out the way I would have my own. In
other words, I have Linux working, almost tuned even. It's now time, I think
to return to the real world, and get back to what I do. BTW, did I mention
that, last night, my fax board worked again for the first time in
weeks?


Ciao, and thanks for the entertaining perspectives.

Mike.

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From: dre...@ayrton.eideti.com (Andrew Veliath)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Why TeX?  (was  Re: So... WHY Linux???)
Date: 29 Oct 1994 18:31:56 -0400
Organization: eideti.com Systems Corp.
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Gerry Snyder (Gerald....@jpl.nasa.gov) wrote:
: >No word processor for Windows (or any other PC I've seen) can produce a
: >typographically correct document like TeX/LaTeX do.  Most WP's output is
: >pretty horrible compared to TeX.
: >

: In what way? (This is a request for information, not a challenge.) Do you
: mean character spacing within and between words? Are other things 
: involved?

Output from TeX is like reading a professional manual, complete with 
ligatures and other typesetting elements..  ligatures are pretty cool and 
make the doc look quite nice, one of the examples given is how fi will 
remove the dot on the 'i' and connect the horizontal line from the f.

:  Is it the sort of thing which is obvious even to people who only recently 
: stepped up from lousy dot matrix printers to laser printers? Are some 
: WYSIWYG word processors better than others?

Probably not, but if you are running linux it isn't to hard to get a 
printout to check it out (if you haven't used TeX before this might be an 
overstatement ;-)). 
 
Also, I use AmiPro on the dos side for my equations all the time, and 
although it's easier to use, TeX equations are more accurate and much 
better looking.
 
Drew

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From: mingo@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE (Molnar Ingo)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 11 Nov 1994 10:58:11 GMT
Organization: Technical University of Budapest	
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Mike Young (mi...@mcs.com) wrote:
: Help me out on this one. What don't I see that must be painfully obvious to 
: you? Surely, it can't be that great an advantage to not have a standard gui. 
: There is one thing that X can do that Windows probably never will, and that's 
: running a graphical app from a remote station. Aside from that, I don't see a 
: big or obvious difference.

MS-Windows and Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0 is the best (now) if:
    A. you want to write *short* business letters quickly
    B. you want to integrate text, pictures, graphs etc.
    C. you want to integrate with other Windows apps like Excell, Draw, etc.

*but* if you want to do large documents like thesis works, publications, etc.
let's say larger than 10 pages, you *have to* go into <outlined mode>, which is
nothing else as ASCII input. No italics, no formatting. Formatting is done if
everything else is finished; you tune your styles, check for missprints, you
switch from <outline> into <page layout> for a couple of times.

Large documents were almost impossible under Word 2.0, are possible under 6.0
now, but notice: this is nothing else but LaTeX under Windows!

Please dear LaTeXers, notice argument B. Integrating pictures, graphs, tables,
vector-images is *pure* 2D stuff! It could be done in ASCII (=hierarchical 1D
structures), but it is really 2D.

I use Word and like wysiwyg, but there are limitations.
I use LaTeX and like ASCII input, but there are limitations.

--
                                                    --------------------------
                                                    | MIngo  (-: Ingo Molnar |
                                                    | mi...@hercules.elte.hu |
                                                    --------------------------

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From: mi...@boatman.mikey.pr.mcs.net (Michael H. Young)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: So... WHY Linux???
Date: 13 Nov 1994 08:41:45 GMT
Organization: MCSNet Services
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In-reply-to: mingo@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE's message of 11 Nov 1994 10:58:11 GMT

In article <39vio3$g...@goliat.eik.bme.hu> 
mingo@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_DOMAIN_FILE (Molnar Ingo) writes:


   Mike Young (mi...@mcs.com) wrote:
   : Help me out on this one. What don't I see that must be painfully obvious to 
   : you? Surely, it can't be that great an advantage to not have a standard gui. 
   : There is one thing that X can do that Windows probably never will, and that's 
   : running a graphical app from a remote station. Aside from that, I don't see a 
   : big or obvious difference.

   MS-Windows and Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0 is the best (now) if:
       A. you want to write *short* business letters quickly
       B. you want to integrate text, pictures, graphs etc.
       C. you want to integrate with other Windows apps like Excell, Draw, etc.

   *but* if you want to do large documents like thesis works, publications, etc.
   let's say larger than 10 pages, you *have to* go into <outlined mode>, which is
   nothing else as ASCII input. No italics, no formatting. Formatting is done if
   everything else is finished; you tune your styles, check for missprints, you
   switch from <outline> into <page layout> for a couple of times.

   Large documents were almost impossible under Word 2.0, are possible under 6.0
   now, but notice: this is nothing else but LaTeX under Windows!

   Please dear LaTeXers, notice argument B. Integrating pictures, graphs, tables,
   vector-images is *pure* 2D stuff! It could be done in ASCII (=hierarchical 1D
   structures), but it is really 2D.

   I use Word and like wysiwyg, but there are limitations.
   I use LaTeX and like ASCII input, but there are limitations.

------------

I was just noticing how similar TeX is to RTF (Word's compatibility
file format). In fact, I toyed with the idea of writing exactly that:
an rtf-to-tex and back again translator. The point of this
observation, though, is that TeX carries about the same information in
roughly the same format as RTF.

Your claim that Word's outline mode is equivalent to "LaTeX under
Windows" is quite ludicrous. Typing in raw RTF is closer to TeX than
anything else. (Just look at a boxed table and you'll get my drift.)

Given that you didn't actually puke over that last claim, there is an
advantage in writing RTF vs TeX. The DVI equivalent for rtf -- Word,
of course -- is an interactive viewing and editing environment. While
proofing your work, you simply click where you don't like something,
and change it.

The only real advantage LaTeX has over Word is its equation
handling. Even that would be simpler to solve (via an OLE2 eqn applet)
than it is to provide point/click editing for DVI's.

I'm not advocating Word, and not slamming LaTeX. Neither one is perfect...

Mike.

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Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference, 
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM 
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of 
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services 
business. See SCO vs IBM.

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