What OS? (h/w related sort of)

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    I'm going to be reinstalling soon, and I'm still wondering if there's
    something better than M$ for the job.

    I want an OS where I put the CD in, press a few keys, and an hour later I've
    got a working computer with a point and click, all hardware set up, ready to
    go install. I do a bit of messing around with video editing, very
    infrequently play games, and spend a lot of time online, so something that
    has support for video apps and decent internet programs would be good.

    What I really want to know though, other than what's a good "can't be arsed
    to learn to program, just want to use the PC" OS, is what will work with my
    hardware? Specifically, an ATI Radeon 7000 with TV out, Via ethernet, Reatek
    audio (MSI KT4A mobo), Agfa CL18 USB digicam and Fujitsu 310 USB adsl modem.

    I last tried Linux when Mandrake 8.1 was new, and I have to say that
    although it was OK, it did seem to require a lot of learning to set things
    up, whereas at least Windows tends to be a matter of installing an exe and
    away you go. My experience of BeOs was good, but I don't think it supports
    my hardware very well.
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
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  2. Stuffed

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    I know Apple have always said they won't do it but I would be willing
    to pay for OS-X (or wherever it is now) for a PC.

    It would help us all if MS had some real competition.
    Jeff Gaines, Jan 9, 2005
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  3. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    Do a search for free OS and/or look for Darwin - Last time I was on the hunt
    for an idiot friendly alternative to Windows I stumbled across it. Seems to
    be a PC port of OS-X from what I remember, although not ready yet.

    It's certainly on my things to look out for list.

    I think MS doesn't have any real competition (short of people who buy Mac
    hardware) as all the alternatives seem to be very "geek" based - I'm happy
    to sit at the PC all day to use it, whereas Linux, BSD etc seem to be for
    people who are happy to sit at their PC all day to improve, customise or
    program it. Linspire seems a possible alternative, but I'm sure it's going
    to just be another Linux experience beneath the bells and whistles. BeOs is
    a very good alternative from what I recall, but has limited driver and
    application support, and AFAIK no big name games, so is very specialist.
    Which is a shame, as it's a very tidy little OS, IMO.
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
  4. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    Cost wise, I'm put off Macs. But only because with a PC, I can slowly
    upgrade very cheaply over time, with a Mac it seems to be a matter of big
    outlay in one go. Although I did read Apple are going to launch a cheap n
    cheerful box soon, which might be worth looking into, especially when they
    start filtering through the s/h market :)
    Just what I was thinking, from what I've tried before. Still, was worth
    asking, in case I had missed some major user friendly well supported OS
    coming out in the last couple of years :)
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
  5. Stuffed

    ric Guest

    xp with sp2 slipstreamed in is the nearest you'll get for this.
    unless your hardware manufacturers open source their drivers you won't
    get them supported properly.
    if you want to try linux, try a knoppix live CD. no install, runs off
    the CD and will let you play with a full GUI and loads of linux tools.

    ric, Jan 9, 2005
  6. Stuffed

    Parish Guest

    I disagree. Whilst *nix might require users to be a bit more tech-savvy
    than Windows does if you use something like the KDE desktop and pick
    your h/w carefully it can be just as easy as Windows to use.

    In fact there is a lot about *nix that beats Windows hands down but
    people who want to try *nix need to view it objectively and think
    outside the square a bit. IME a lot of people, when they come across
    something that's different than in Windows, tend to react with "that's a
    load of crap" [because it's not how Windows does it] but once it's been
    explained, and they've got used to it, they often realize that it is
    much better than Windows.
    Come on, annoy M$, call it Lindows ;-)
    I thought BeOS had died? Be Inc. went bust and there seems to be (no pun
    intended) a small community trying to keep it alive but, AFAIK, Be never
    released the source when they folded.

    Parish, Jan 9, 2005
  7. Stuffed

    Parish Guest

    That's largely because of M$'s obsession with backward compatibility
    (all the way back to DOS) - WTF is there 8.3 filename support in XP??
    The reality is that M$ have actually held back the development/evolution
    of the PC platform due to their stranglehold on it - it took them *17*
    years after x86 became 32-bit before they came out with a mass-market
    32-bit OS (and 10 years before they had a 32-bit OS at all).
    But it's getting better. The major Linux distros seem to be focussing on
    ease-of-use. Walk into PC World and you'll see Linux on the shelf next
    to XP. The growth of Linux probably isn't exponential yet, but it's
    certainly accelerating, and it's a self-perpetuating thing; the more
    people use it the more s/w companies port their products, and the more
    products there are the more people will start using it. Epson, HP, and
    nVidia all produce native Linux drivers for their products for example.

    Parish, Jan 9, 2005
  8. Stuffed

    Parish Guest

    As I mentioned in another post, Epson, HP, and nVidia all produce native
    Linux drivers, or libraries of their proprietary stuff (such as photo
    enhancement code) that can be linked into open source drivers.

    I can plug my Canon A70 camera in and d/l photos from it and print them
    out on my Epson C66 on FreeBSD with the same quality as under Windows.
    That's a good idea as it allows people to try Linux without the need to
    faff about re-partitioning their disk(s).

    Parish, Jan 9, 2005
  9. Stuffed

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    Many thanks, found it at:
    http://developer.apple.com/darwin/ in case anybody else is interested.

    Will have to wait a couple of weeks for my BB connection before I d/l
    the ISO though :)
    Jeff Gaines, Jan 9, 2005
  10. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    Taking another look at the site, I'm not sure where it's going to head, but
    it's certainly worth a CDR to take a look how it's going so far. Right now
    of course, I've got no CDRs.. Thinking of which, I wonder if it's possible
    to put 6 or 7 on a DVDr as images, and make it bootable.
    It's finally come to your bit of the country then? :)
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
  11. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    But is that because Apple's OS isn't very good, or because not enough people
    know anything about it, or don't want to have to buy an alien computer to
    find out about it? I know what I'm getting with a Windows box, whereas Apple
    is buying (and quite expensively) into a whole new world.
    Therein lies the problem. I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to have a choice
    of OS, but all the different flavours of *nix are just too confusing, and
    all seem too advanced and hard work for people who just want to turn the
    computer on, use it, and easily update drivers, or get new software and run
    an exe. It would be nice if instead of talking about it, or coming up with
    half arsed attempts, some of the Linux lot got together and looked at
    properly making something the average user wants.
    £250 is more than I'm willing to spend in one chunk on a PC, but if the
    cheapo Apple drops to arounmd half that s/h a few months later and gets good
    reviews, I'd be tempted to sell on one of my AMD boxes and try it. And even
    £250 should be enough to tempt some people to try instead of getting that
    Dell, when compared to what £250 gets you in Apple right now.
    I don't think so either :(

    I'm still looking, and I'm finding plenty that comes close, but not quite. I
    need drivers for my hardware, which counts some out. I need easy to use,
    which gets rid of others. In fact, so far, the only one I can find that has
    drivers for all my hardware, and software that does exactly what I want, is
    Windows, much though it pains me. If Linux was simpler, or BeOs better
    supported, or QNX had more drivers. Still, I'm going to give a few a go,
    although I doubt my patience will last long enough to stick with any of

    No wonder MS has no competition..
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
  12. Stuffed

    Parish Guest

    If you click on the Darwin Project FAQ link, the answer to the first
    question, What Is Darwin, includes

    "Darwin currently runs on PowerPC-based Macintosh computers, and is
    being ported to Intel processor-based computers and compatible systems
    by the Darwin community."

    I wonder how far that has got?

    Parish, Jan 9, 2005
  13. The message <>
    from Johannes H Andersen <> contains these words:

    Win98 is a real dog, especially with more modern kit. I'd recommend you
    avoid the even bigger pile of dog poo known as XP by installing
    win2kpro. For modern hardware, win2k seems to be the best offering by
    microsoft since win95osr2.
    Johnny B Good, Jan 9, 2005
  14. Stuffed

    Parish Guest

    And then have to close all your apps and reboot ;-)
    Oh, but it is simple. On FreeBSD you can build from source by:

    # cd </path/to/port/dir>
    # make install clean

    or fetch and install a pre-built binary:

    # pkg_add -r <app_name>

    The various Linux flavours have similar package managers to
    install/update pre-built apps, e.g. RedHat Package Manager

    And you don't need to reboot afterwards before you can use it!!

    Parish, Jan 9, 2005
  15. Stuffed

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    There's an X86 binary available on:


    It's Mac OS-X 10.3. Release notes are interesting 'might not recognise
    IDE drives' although it goes on to say that a lot of the standard ones
    are actually recognised.
    Jeff Gaines, Jan 9, 2005
  16. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    I used 98SE for a long time, but it was never what I'd call stable, and the
    USB modem I'm using at the moment (was a friends at the time) was just crap
    with it - Thought it was the modem, and admittedly the PCI one that replaced
    it was better, but I'm now using it perfectly under XP. I do still use 98SE
    on my other computers, partly because of spec, partly because of licenses,
    but although it's not any slower, it does seem just a lot flakier than XP
    is. Maybe it's the crap I install though :)
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
  17. Stuffed

    Stuffed Guest

    As Parish and Jeff said, it is indeed for x86, or at least, there is an x86
    version. Looks limited at the moment, but worth a look just to see if
    there's any sign of promise in it :)
    Stuffed, Jan 9, 2005
  18. In fact there is a lot about *nix that beats Windows hands down but people
    No they just develop the same problem... "thats a load of crap" [Because its
    how linux does it]....
    Paulo De Souza, Jan 9, 2005
  19. Not really, be careful here. Darwin is the open source BDSish OS
    underpinning MacOS X; it's _not_ OS X itself, which is Apple
    proprietary and not at all open. It boots to a command line.

    Rather like Sun Solaris (the whole thing) vs SunOS (just the core OS),
    back when they were distinct.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Jan 9, 2005
  20. I'd say no. It's a decent Unix, and it's a splendid (though rather
    special) desktop.
    Yes, yes. And people still remember OS9 and below, where memory
    management meant "allocating megabytes to your program before you
    start it - if you run out, tough shit". Hilarious.
    If you want to bum around with OSX, get PearPC from

    and beg/borrow/steal the OSX install disks from a friend. (Or there's
    a preinstalled harddisk image floating around on the p2p networks)

    PearPC is a full PowerPC emulating virtual machine, I'm running OSX in
    it here. It's remarkably usable, given that the emulated G3 is about
    1/15 the clock speed of my Athlon.

    Now I want a machine that runs it. Next time I'm rich, I'll get one.
    This rumoured pizza-box mac seems just the ticket, if it's quiet too.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Jan 9, 2005
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