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DPRG: software donation

Subject: DPRG: software donation
From: Jim Brown jbrown at spdmail.spd.dsccc.com
Date: Mon Jun 16 09:14:10 CDT 1997

> Jim...
> 
>     Out of principal, shouldn't you use Linux?  Since it is a free OS,
> it can be avaliable to anyone, where as with an MS based OS, this
> isn't going to be true.  Also, if you compare the performance of Win95
> on a 386 vs Linux on the same mahcine (sans X), it is amazing.  Plus,
> all the development tools under Linux are also free (including gcc for
> the hc11) and very well supported.  
> 
>     Chris

<another OS war alert>  <everyone adjust your sensitivity level down>

Hey, I'm easy.  I'm trying to just bring forward the debate so that
we can get the best platform (either windoze or linux) that would be
good for our GARP platform.  If the only thing that was holding us back
>from using Win95 was that Linux was relatively free, that's not a good
reason to use it.  And, if MS donated a copy of their OS, then that'd
be a mute point.  Hey, I'm anti MS just like the next guy, but lets not
just say no to win95 without at least considering what we're getting
ourselves into.  Here's some of the issues we've discussed:

1.  Price:
	Windoze95: *$54,  Linux: $20.00(CD-Rom), WindozeNT: $???
	
	(*I saw the price of win95 at 1st Sat sale for $54)

2.  Users having it installed on their desktop PC:
	Windoze95: nearly everone
	Linux: just a few

	(This could be an issue if someone wants to develop a perifreal
	and wants to test it before they put it on GARP.  If they don't
	have the same OS, they won't know for sure it'll work before they
	put it on GARP).

3.  Compatibility:
	16 Serial ports:  Windoze95: Yes, Linux Yes
	Video Capture for robotic sight:  Windoze95: Yes, Linux: Probably not
	Languages (C, Tcl/Tk, Java, etc): Win95:  Yes, Linux: Yes
	Multitasking:  Win95: Barely-Yes, Linux: Yes
	Other hardware:  Win95:  Yes, Linux: Some

4.  Requirements:
	about the same (windoze95 or Linux with Xwindows)

5.  Maintenance:
	Win95:  Next to none.
	Linux:  Constant tinkering with the kernal.

6.  Familiarity of the OS amoung the Group:
	Win95:  Almost everyone
	Linux:  Just A few

7.  Development tools:
	Win95:  Gobs (some free and nice, some costly but very nice)
	Linux:  Gobs (some free and nice)

8.  Speed:
	Granted, Windoze will be slower than Linux most of the time,
	but is it a significant difference for the various operations
	we expect GARP to be able to do (movement, arm movement, video
	processing, etc.)

9.  Software code examples:
	Win95:  Lots of stuff on the internet
	Linux:  Lots of stuff on the internet

10.  Future of the OS
	Linux will probably remain the same in the next versions
	Win95 will probably change in the next versions but will probably
		not change in anything that will affect us and will probably
		just keep getting better.

If you ask me, I haven't made my decision yet, but it looks like the
OS's are about neck and neck.  I think the more issues we discuss the
better our decision can be.

I talked with a guy in the Linux Users Group this weekend about some
of our issues with Linux.  Of course, they'd like for us to use Linux
in our GARP robot.  They mentioned that if we do go that way, they'd
like for us to give a demo of GARP when we get it all up and going.
He said he'd be contacting me by email to discuss the issues about Linux.

I'm leaning towards win95 for 3 reasons:  (1) Most everyone has win95
on their desktop and can test they gizmos and software on it, (2) Someday
we'll want to do video processing for robotic sight and I'm not sure at
this point Linux will do it (although it seems with as many ISPs using
Linux there's got to be one that's grabbing frames), (3) There was a
message from Kevin Ross who is the president of the Seattle Robotics
society that gave a pretty convincing email of why not to use Linux.
Maybe we should go back to the archieve and read it again.

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Brown                jbrown at spdmail.spd.dsccc.com or jbrown at why.net
                         http://users.why.net/jbrown  
                         http://www.dprg.org (Next meeting June 14th)

Work:  972-519-2868      My employer won't claim these opinions.    
Home:  972-495-3821      So I'm giving them away for free.   

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