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Nice linux software summary
You might look at http://lusk1.mines.edu/hjjou/linux_prg.html
for an extensive summary of commercial and free
software for Linux. In case you dont already know,
Linux is a free Unix that runs on Intel hardware, and is
written by people of the Internet, who use it for their work.
Unix (in the form of Linux) has come a long way over the years
in terms of ease of use. If you liked the NEXT box, you will love
LINUX. It takes more effort to install and get it working,
but once it is set up, it is much "nicer" than, well
you know the alternative. If you are totally happy
with your present environment, Linux is not for you.
But if you miss that old command line, and a good
script now and then, check it out. It typically costs about
$40 for a set of CDs, or if you have a lot of free time on your
hands, you can download it free from the internet.
I switched from a DOS/WIN 3.11 environment to Linux last
November, and I for MY needs, Linux is MUCH better.
In the past, I was never a big fan of Unix because of small inconsistences
and problems, but now that I took the time to learn the Linux shell (BASH)
useage, those old problems are gone.
Linux comes with all the standard unix commands, a good C++ compiler (GNU),
Fortran (f2c), Perl, pkzip (zip), X windows, Ghostview, LaTex,
and many different very good MSWORD-like word processing programs.
*** SOUND CARD *** driver's source code is also provided.
This means that you can have do not need to depend
on some commerical vendor for these critical modules. I use LINUX on
a notebook PC, and it supports PCMCIA "card services" very nicely.
I just plug in a modem, scsi card (to use a cdrom drive), or my ethernet
PCMCIA card, and it beeps to let me know it sees the card.
I am presently looking at possible 16-bit sound-cards for my PCMCIA slot.
DOS and Windows can co-exist on these systems very nicely, if you have the
disk space, as you are only a reboot away from these old favorites.
I got get help from others on the internet when I ran into problems
during the setup. It took me about 1 full day to get X windows working,
and a couple of weeks of fiddling with the installation of different
programs I wanted, setting up the printer daemon, ethernet setup,
modem setup, etc. Once it is working it is literally bug free!
The NETACAPE browser is available for Linux (free of course).
I have been using Matlab, and I think that it works much better than
under the windows environment. I dont do it often, but I can
also bring up a DOS prompt from Linux, and run DOS programs.
However, DOS isn't very friendly in a multitasking OS like
UNIX, and it eats lots of memory cycles when it is running a program.
Please, no flames.