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DPRG: software donation

Subject: DPRG: software donation
From: Jim Brown jbrown at spdmail.spd.dsccc.com
Date: Mon Jun 16 13:21:18 CDT 1997

> You can install Linux for free via Internet. (might take a while over
> a modem connection, though)

I've heard this is really tough to get it right and that CD-Rom install
is much easier.  Once you've gotten linux up, the internet is ok
for upgrades.  It's not really an issue, I've got Linux already on CD-Rom,
but it's an older version.  I think the Linux group told me they would give
me a free CD-Rom if we really needed it.  I told them someone in our group
probably already has it.

> >2.  Users having it installed on their desktop PC:
> >	Windoze95: nearly everone
> >	Linux: just a few
> 
> This is probably the best point in favour of Win95 over linux. For every
> one person that has Linux you'll find 10 that have Win95...

Yep, and a sad statement too.  ;-) 
 
> >3.  Compatibility:
> 
> How about:
> 	Source to kernel and device drivers available?
>         Win95: No,    Linux: Yes

That's good and bad.  I'm not sure I care to tinker with writing a
device drivers or messing with the kernel, but it would be ok for
someone who _is_ interested.  I do like being able to look at the
source!!!
 
> >	Video Capture for robotic sight:  Windoze95: Yes, Linux: Probably not
> 
> Just did a quick search of the Linux Software Map (LSM) and found lots 
> of Linux software for use with frame grabbers. Software is listed for
> still and motion video devices including Cortex I, ImageNation CX100,
> ProMovie Studio card, PCTV1000, Video Blaster, WinVision card, Screen
> Machine II, Matrox Meteor, Data Translation DT2851, and others. They also
> listed mpeg and mpeg2 codecs, and CUSeeMe stuff - for when GARP gets
> enough donations to buy that IP address :-)  

great.
 
> >6.  Familiarity of the OS amoung the Group:
> >	Win95:  Almost everyone
> >	Linux:  Just A few
> 
> Valid point but if we plan to use the high-level portable languages
> mentioned above (Tcl/Tk, C, etc.) being familiar with the internal 
> workings of the OS isn't going to matter as much as being familiar
> with the language. printf("hello world\n"); works on both of 'em...
> And when it comes to programming the OS-specific points, I use so
> many different ones at work I have to look that stuff up in the
> manuals anyhow.

Some things like Visual Basic, and Visual C++ only work on Windoze
(yikes the windows API!!!) and stuff like Xlib only works on Linux
(ok, no flames please).  If we keep it high level, then either system
is ok on this point as far as I'm concerned.  However someone's
gonna run a system call sooner or later.  Really, I feel I ok to
program on either platform, I'm just trying to make sure it's ok
for all levels of programmers.  There's probably something for
everyone on either platform and something missing from either
platform.
 
> >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.)
> 
> The only danger I see is relying on Win95 for multi-tasking - it
> just can't do it. 
<snip>
> What we have to
> consider is a modest learning curve for those who haven't used a unix
> system vs. a lot of extra programming work to make GARP work well under
> Win95.

good point.

> >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
> 
> Ask him about the real-time version of Linux that was being worked on.
> I heard about it a while back but haven't kept up with it.  It was 
> supposed to be a very lean version of the kernel designed for real-time
> and embedded applications.  Might be ideal for us.
> 
> You'll never get everyone to agree on the ideal OS but, whatever we
> end up with will be usable, I'm sure.  One thing that might be worth
> doing is take a survey of who thinks they might actually be writing
> any of GARP's software and just have them vote on it.  Everyone's got
> an opinion on the OS but I bet we won't all be writing software for
> it... :-)
> 
> -Steve

Yep, I plan to write code on it.  Anyone else?

One thing I like about Linux is it's designed for serial
communications which we'll be using for our perifreals, whereas
windoze aint.

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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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