Technology Tidbits

Which operating system is best for you? Tired of the OS wars between Mac, Linux and that other one? Try one of these OS’s.

Richard Stallman will be speaking at the University of Minnesota on October 21st (Thanks for the tip, Ben) Today, by the way, is the day Stallman announced the GNU project back in 1983.


  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 27, 2008

    ReactOS looks the coolest because it proposes to be compatible with most of the Windows Apps my kids want. It’s still in the Alpha stage, though and since I don’t have a spare pc to play with, I don’t want to load it, yet.

    Perhaps if it was at least a beta, I might put it on my son’s pc.

  2. #2 greg laden
    September 27, 2008

    Mike: I think that is worth a try. React uses Wine. So, how is React different than wine on linux? Two factors may be important: Is there a difference in the wines? And, does React have less overhead because it mainly runs wine?

    For games and such, you need so little in the way of an operating sysgtem, one doesn’t even need the operating system. I could even see rebooting into different apps on my windows box. Almost.

  3. #3 Dan J
    September 27, 2008

    The problem that keeps many Windows programs from working through Wine is DirectX. Many programs require DirectX, particularly games. This leaves out virtual machines since DirectX relies on direct access to the hardware. TransGaming’s “Cedega” software allows better functionality for some of this software as they have licensed some of the technology directly from Microsoft. Unfortunately, the amount of software that doesn’t work is still very large.

    My wife and I are eagerly awaiting Diablo III. We generally play games on consoles (Playstation 2 & 3, PSP, Nintendo DS), but we were always fans of the Diablo games. I have been able to get Diablo II to run on our Linux machines using wine, but I think Diablo III will be out of the question for at least a while.

    So, what will we have to do to play the game? I think I’m going to purchase a couple external hard drives to install Windows on (XP or Vista depends on the game requirements) and boot from those drives when we want to play. Not a perfect solution, but at least it’s an option.

    As for the other operating systems in the article, the one that strikes my fancy the most is AmigaOS. I still have a fully functional Amiga A500 that I purchased in 1990. With 9MB of RAM and an 80MB SCSI hard drive on a system with a 7.14MHz CPU, it still rocks.

  4. #4 We
    September 27, 2008

    I need a spare system before I can play around with anything again. Right now I just got Ubuntu on my PS3 and that is all the playing I get…

  5. #5 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 27, 2008

    My experience with Spore Creator on WinE was a bit frustrating. After copying in the most current DirectX files available for Ubuntu, we were able to install Spore Creator, but then it wouldn’t connect with the registration server. I am going to see what happens when I install Medibuntu, the supported replacement for Automatix. I hope to have a spare machine I can use to play around with OS’s within the next few weeks.

    My problem is that even with Greg’s “tips and tricks” I lack a solid background in using command-line routines through terminal windows. I am rather clumsy at anything other than cutting-and-pasting into a terminal window in order to add features or install anything on Linux. Hell, when I first intalled Ubuntu last spring it took me an hour to figure out how to type “sudo app-get,” and so if I install an alpha-release operating system, I will probably dig myself into a hole and make my son’s pc unusable.

  6. #6 travc
    September 28, 2008

    Wine… good for things where others have done all the actual fighting to get something to work… like Diablo II, even better for old stuff which doesn’t work on Windoze anymore. Reminds me, I really should dig up my old MOO2 disks… wait, no I shouldn’t, I have to write a dissertation!

    I dual boot Ubuntu and XP still. No way in hell Fallout 3 will work under emulation. Microsoft is notoriously for sloppy API (intentional?), and software designers under the gun use what works, not what is pedantically correct.

    Anyway having to reboot keeps me from flipping between work and a massive timesink too casually 😉

    BTW: Funky OSs and even distro variants are a good thing… even though I don’t use them. Horizontal code transfer is a powerful evolutionary force.

  7. #7 Andrew
    September 28, 2008

    Anyway having to reboot keeps me from flipping between work and a massive timesink too casually 😉

    You would not want just any little work related thing to form a distraction. The need to reboot keeps that kind of thing under control.