Nice linux software summary (Jont Allen )

Subject: Nice linux software summary
From:    Jont Allen  <jba(at)RESEARCH.ATT.COM>
Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 1996 12:47:56 -0400

You might look at 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. Jont Allen

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