Python syntax in Lisp and Scheme
aleaxit at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 11 18:44:07 CEST 2003
prunesquallor at comcast.net wrote:
>>> A single web browser?
>> I far prefer to have on my cellphone one that's specialized for its small
>> screen and puny cpu/memory, and on more powerful computers, more
>> powerful browsers. Don't you?
> Cellphone? Why on earth would I want one of those?
Why would you want a cellphone, or why would you want a browser on it?
As for the former, many people I know first got their cellphones because
their parents were old and sick, and they wanted to be sure their parents
could immediately get in touch with them in case of need. Of course, not
knowing you at all, I can't tell whether you're an orphan, or have parents
who are young and healthy, or don't care a whit about their being able to
reach you -- whatever. Once you do have a cellphone for whatever reason,
why not get more use out of it? Checking whether reports for wherever
you're traveling to, etc, etc -- a browser's a decent way to do many such
>>> A single operating system?
>> On my cellphone all the way to the datacenter?
> A cellphone with an OS?! The phone I use is implemented
> with *wires*.
Forget cellphones then, and let's check if we DO want a single operating
system over a huge range of computers serving enormously different
tasks, as Microsoft is so keen to tell us, or not.
What do I want of the OS running my firewall? Security, security, security.
It's nice if it can run on very scant resources, offers solid and usable
packet filtering, and has good, secure device drivers available for the
kind of devices I may want in a computer dedicated to firewalling -- all
sorts of ethernet cards, wifi thingies, pppoe and plain old ppp on ISDN for
emergency fallback if cable service goes down, UPS boxes, a serial console
of course, perhaps various storage devices, and that's about it.
I see no reason why I should use anything but OpenBSD for that. Right now
I'm running it, for a LAN of half a dozen desktops and 2-5 laptops, on an
old scavenged Pentium-75, 32MB RAM, 1GB disk ISA machine, and it's got so
many resources to spare that I ended up running services aplently on it too
(DHCP, DNS, ntp, Squid for proxying, ...).
What do I want of the OS running my desktop? Resources are not a real
problem, since throwing CPU cycles, RAM, and disk at it is so dirt-cheap.
Some security, just enough to avoid most of the pesky worms and viruses
going around. Lots and LOTS of apps, and lots and LOTS of drivers for all
sort of cool devices for video, audio, and the like. Linux is pretty good
there, though I understand Windows can be useful sometimes (drivers
aren't yet available for _every_thing under Linux) even though security is
awful there, and MacOS/X would be cool was it not for HW cost. For a small
server? Resources should not be eaten up by the OS but available for
serving the rest of the LAN -- lots of free server-side apps & proxies --
security important, device drivers so-so -- I can see either Linux,
OpenBSD, or FreeBSD being chosen there.
A LARGE server, were I to need one? A Linux cluster, or an IBM mainframe
able to run Linux at need on virtual machines, sound better then.
A laptop? A palmtop? Linux may cover some of those (I do enjoy it on my
Zaurus) but is really too demanding for the cheapest palmtops -- and I
still can't get good sleep (as opposed to hybernate) from it on laptops
What about the several computers in my car? They play very specialized
roles and would get NO advantages from general-purpose OS's -- and on
the other hand, most of them REALLY need hard real-time OS's to do their
jobs. I think not even MS tries to push Windows into most of THOSE
computers -- it would be just too crazy even for them.
So, in practice, I'd never go with the same OS on ALL computers. What
is most needed on computers playing such widely different roles is just
too different: an OS trying to cover ALL bases would be so huge, complicated
and unwieldy that its security AND general bugginess would suck (please
notice that Windows is the only OS really trying, even though not really on
anywhere near the WHOLE gamut -- with Linux admittedly close behind;-).
More information about the Python-list