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 Post subject: Alt OS Shoot-out
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:31 am 
Klamath
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Not sure if this the proper venue to post article suggestions, but here goes. How about an alternative OS shoot-out/grudge match. It could be run along the same lines as the old IROC Car race championships.

Every OS would be configured on an identical platform to ensure a level playing field. It would be at the discretion of the editors what criteria was used to measure performance, but the head to head competition would make for a good read.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:49 am 
SON OF A GUN
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This would/could be interesting...

Win XP
Win Vista
Win 7
Ubuntu (most current)
Gentoo (most current, compiled & optimized)
Fedora Core (most current)
[some BSD variant]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:53 am 
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The trick will be finding software that runs on both platforms (MS and linux).

Of course, we can run games in emulation but in doing so we already know that Windows is faster .. so that doesn't tell us much. It might be interesting to know 'how much faster', but this will really depend on the hardware ... which complicates the review process immensely.

A couple of suggestions:

The Gimp: automated photo manipulation
Google Earth: rendering scenes from pre-downloaded content
FPS games that have native linux executables (ie, Quake 3)
I imagine there are CAD and 3D rendering apps that are available for both platforms ... Maya? Bryce?
GCC: compile Gentoo Stage 1 from scratch on each machine and see how long it takes.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:55 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
GCC: compile Gentoo Stage 1 from scratch on each machine and see how long it takes.
This would probably be interesting... especially given that the hardware will be 100% the same.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:02 am 
Java Junkie
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CrashTECH wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
GCC: compile Gentoo Stage 1 from scratch on each machine and see how long it takes.
This would probably be interesting... especially given that the hardware will be 100% the same.


Yep .. I was thinking the same thing. :)

I had done something like this a couple of years ago with Gentoo. I did a vanilla build 'from scratch' with standard settings and then timed the compile time for OpenOffice. Then I nuked it and built 'from scratch' another OS with all the optimised compilation flags for my CPU and arch. In the end, I think it cut the compile time for OO by about half an hour (about 20% faster, iirc).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:32 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Perhaps a rather complex spreadheet to work items. Shouldn't be hard to use open-office calc and excel with the same spreadsheet.

Trick here would be finding a spreadsheet.

This also reaks of the question...which desktop do you use in linux. Obviously results in KDE are going to different then results in XFCE


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:29 pm 
Klamath
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You could also rank them by which OS is the most intuitive to use for newbies.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:30 pm 
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A spread sheet is a good idea, but you'd have to do it using the same application. The heart of the app is the rendering engine and that can make as big a difference as the OS.

Thankfully, we can use Open Office in both Windows and linux. OSX too, I think.

How about an OS three-way? SEXY!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:40 pm 
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HagarTheHorrible wrote:
You could also rank them by which OS is the most intuitive to use for newbies.


Oy. That is tough for a writer or even a small team to figure out. Who is a newbie? How long ago were YOU a newbie? I have trouble unremembering things that are 'automatic' or 'instinctive.'

We've all got ingrown computer habits .. from left-clicking-to-launch and right-click-for-info-and-options, to ctrl-x and -v. At some point, these paradigms change .. and different OSes instill different habits.

Which is a 'newb': someone who has been using win 98 since it was released; a Mac user who has never used windows; a windows user who has never used a Mac; a windows or Mac user who've never used linux.

How do you teach about the PC? My dad is an engineer and my mom is a translator ... they both learn about and interact with computers VERY differently. Things that are obvious about the hardware and PC to my dad are obtuse to my mom, but she has expert skills at internet research.

I prefer to concentrate on ease of use .. if the OS is easy to use, I can learn to adapt to it. But PCs have grown too fast for me to worry about the OS performance ... now, I want it to work properly, and for it to be easily configurable. I want more from my software because my hardware is no longer a concern.

Our rigs are going to get faster as code improves and support for multicore processing becomes ubiquitous. We need to push OS developers to take advantage of the ridiculous hardware at their disposal. Our PCs are like our brains .. we're only using a fraction of their potential.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:37 am 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:47 am 
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I've seen other OS comparison articles and the winner is whichever one the author ended up liking the most. This makes it highly subjective.

You'd have to get a completely new computer to try out each OS, and then you'd have to teach them a bit about each. It's actually quite difficult to find someone who's both a complete computer virgin, and willing to lose that virginity. Most of the people in a modernized country that don't use a computer, do so because they don't like them.

Also, why bother? I mean, it's an interesting idea and all, but it's already been done, and it's not really going to prove anything. Mac users will still boast about how simple everything in OSX is to do, Windows users will still brag about how supported Windows is by hardware and software companies alike, and Linux users will still defend to the death that Linux can get more done, faster and more efficiently, all without touching a mouse. If you proved Linux ran faster than Windows on identical hardware, gamers would still stick with Windows. See my point?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:54 am 
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that Linux guy wrote:
I've seen other OS comparison articles and the winner is whichever one the author ended up liking the most. This makes it highly subjective.
There are plenty of ways to be objective about it. The trouble is most that review different OS options don't try to be objective.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:59 am 
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that Linux guy wrote:
Also, why bother? I mean, it's an interesting idea and all, but it's already been done, and it's not really going to prove anything. Mac users will still boast about how simple everything in OSX is to do, Windows users will still brag about how supported Windows is by hardware and software companies alike, and Linux users will still defend to the death that Linux can get more done, faster and more efficiently, all without touching a mouse. If you proved Linux ran faster than Windows on identical hardware, gamers would still stick with Windows. See my point?


No. I don't see it and IMO, you really don't have one anyway. As you said, most comparisons have been subjective. This isn't the kind of comparison we are asking for. Gamers will stick with Windows because games are faster on Windows. Period. Until Linux gets support from game developers it will always be that way. That has ZERO bearing on anything else. We don't want to start a revolution and we don't want to create a bunch of switchers.

Using the CLI vs the mouse is NOT what I want to see tested. It is a lame test and is purely based on each individual. I can probably click through things faster than I could do them in a CLI, and I am sure there are lots of people who are exactly the same and exactly opposite and somewhere in between. I don't give a shit about that, it doesn't tell me anything. You can point and click your way through Linux too. THAT has been argued and debated to death. Nobody cares.

Jip had a PERFECT example. Compiling a large application from source code, using the same compiler on each OS and see who wins (or how incredibly close they are). That is based on the computer, how fast the OS translates instructions, it is objective, it is relevant, and it is something I would like to see done. The same could be said for video and audio encoding. FFMPEG, get a large video file and change formats using the same settings. Which is faster. Objective, relevant.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:23 am 
Java Junkie
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that Linux guy wrote:
I've seen other OS comparison articles and the winner is whichever one the author ended up liking the most. This makes it highly subjective.


That is what makes this one different. I'd like to see an article is completely objective. As we stated: use the same hardware running the same applications on different OSes and see what happens.

Quote:
You'd have to get a completely new computer to try out each OS, and then you'd have to teach them a bit about each. It's actually quite difficult to find someone who's both a complete computer virgin, and willing to lose that virginity. Most of the people in a modernized country that don't use a computer, do so because they don't like them.


Why do you need a new computer? You can build one PC that runs linux, XP, Vista, Windows 7 beta, and Mac OSX.

As I said before, I don't believe in 'noob meets OS' articles. What's the point? I liked Will's 'Will meets Ubuntu' article, but he isn't a noob. He wrote about the pains of a Windows user moving over to linux (or the lack thereof). MPC is not about noobs; it can be about an experienced user learning about a new tool / application.

So long as the writer explicitly details their background and prejudices, any well-written account can be useful to the discerning reader.


Quote:
Also, why bother? I mean, it's an interesting idea and all, but it's already been done, and it's not really going to prove anything. Mac users will still boast about how simple everything in OSX is to do, Windows users will still brag about how supported Windows is by hardware and software companies alike, and Linux users will still defend to the death that Linux can get more done, faster and more efficiently, all without touching a mouse. If you proved Linux ran faster than Windows on identical hardware, gamers would still stick with Windows. See my point?


Yes, but I disagree. :)

I don't care how EASY someone thinks OSX is or how difficult someone else thinks it is to install linux. Most everyone who is a regular in Alt.OS can easily transition from one OS to another because we've all done it. Once you've learned a second language, the third is easier. Once you've learned a second OS .. etc..

What I would like to see is an objective analysis of applications running on identical hardware on different operating systems. Is Windows 7 really faster than XP, or is it my imagination? Does linux use multiple cores more effectively than Windows? All of these things can be tested and, done properly, this article could be a real eye-opener.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:45 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:48 am 
SON OF A GUN
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RH 5.2 was the first Linux I used! ha!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:09 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Jipstyle wrote:
What I would like to see is an objective analysis of applications running on identical hardware on different operating systems. Is Windows 7 really faster than XP, or is it my imagination? Does linux use multiple cores more effectively than Windows? All of these things can be tested and, done properly, this article could be a real eye-opener.


At some point though, you soon cross over into the hardware portion in these things, so I'd ask, are the underlying technical reasons in the OS really that important?

I guess I'm more concerned with things that you see termed as optimized for Intel, or built for AMD type of stuff. In the end, the typical consumer is concerned with one thing, does it do what I need it to do quickly?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:14 am 
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furball146 wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
What I would like to see is an objective analysis of applications running on identical hardware on different operating systems. Is Windows 7 really faster than XP, or is it my imagination? Does linux use multiple cores more effectively than Windows? All of these things can be tested and, done properly, this article could be a real eye-opener.


At some point though, you soon cross over into the hardware portion in these things, so I'd ask, are the underlying technical reasons in the OS really that important?


Well, yes.

The hardware portion is done to death, imo. Every magazine and website benchmarks every new piece of hardware in every possible configuration ... but the software that we run on top of it largely goes unexamined. At least, they are rarely compared directly.


Quote:
I guess I'm more concerned with things that you see termed as optimized for Intel, or built for AMD type of stuff. In the end, the typical consumer is concerned with one thing, does it do what I need it to do quickly?


I used to be that way ... and with gentoo, I amused myself by building similar rigs and seeing how much of a difference compilation flags for CPU and arch really helped.

Now, I'm more interested in seeing which OSes have been coded to take advantage of multi-core processing. I think that the first OS to really concentrate on optimising their code for multi-cored massively-multi-threaded environments is going to see a HUGE performance increase. I think.

I'd like to test it out, anyway. ;)


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