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Topic: djr: My BSD List       [Link=217]
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    djr: My BSD List   (Date posted: 05/10/09 at 11:15:01) Quote Modify Delete


I've been using it for quite a while now and it isn't getting any better.

When you updated past Windows products, you often got a new set of irritating things to deal with, but the old irritants would (usually) be cleared up. On balance, the system would slowly get better and less irritating as updates were applied. Some small irritants would pop up and never go away again (icons jumping around the screen, leave-open options permanently going away, etc), but on net, things got --at least-- livable as the updates came in.

This is not happening for Vista. It just keeps getting worse and worse, and slower and slower. The old irritants aren't going away... Not a single one of them... EVER.

They claim the vulnerabilities are, but who knows.

I'd love nothing more than to use this clear, proverbial finger from the "programmers" at Redmond, as my justification to switch the OS on my road computer (the one I use ALL the time)...

                ...but I can't.

I use too many applications that are Windows- (or even DOS-) ONLY. I need a Windows machine with a DOS box to run all these goodies.

        ...or do I?

I'm seeing that there are DOS emulators that will run on unix machines, and there are even some Windows emulators that will run there... Maybe this can work!

I'll start by cataloging all the MUST HAVE applications I need on my road computer.

  1. A good (DRM free) music player - for DRM-free tunes D/L'd from Amazon.

  2. The usual desktop productivity tools, especially a good word-processor - For the usual stuff, writing and sharing documents, doing spreadsheets, drawing pictures, etc. Solutions::
    • OpenOffice has the word-processor covered, and has for quite some time. It is better in almost every area where I've used both regularly. Its book-writing facilities are vaporware, but I never used Word's book-writing facilities, so I can't say if they are any better or worse.

      Caveats: If you often use fields in your documents (for example, a "fill-in-the-blanks" T&E report) you are probably better off with Word.

      Also, for the spreadsheet, OO's graphing facilities were not ready for prime-time the last time I tried them. That was a while ago, so I'll try them again and report back. It is fine for self-updating lists and such.

      Also: Thank you o3find - a small, nifty, grep utility for finding text patterns in open-office documents.

  3. My personal and company checkbooks - These are intuit now, but I'd love to dump them too.

  4. My C/ASM development tools For Windows/DOS/x86-Embedded - These are all CL tools. The set I'm currently most accustomed to (Borland) runs in a Win32 CL box (DOS box). Also, I often write for Win32 and even Windows-GUI. So cross-platform for develop AND for test would be nice. Solutions:
    • CL compilers under *NIX may allow for Win32 or nearly compatible 32-bit console programs that will run in the CL-box. Research.
    • For my own personal stuff, since it all gets provided as web-based applications with a browser UI, it really no longer matters too much if I compile them to run under *NIX with a little help from Apache. This will be true of many client applications as well. Though there will always be times when clients will INSIST (justifiably), that their apps be in-house, even these can be run as in-house web-apps. This won't be enough for some Windows-only shops, of course, who will want MS's Best-Thing-Since-Sliced-Bread Du-jur (see below).

  5. C/ASM CROSS-development tools for a variety of other embedded processors - These usually run in plain (i.e. extended using de facto standards) DOS, or early versions of Windows™. I wonder if the windows and DOS emulators available for *NIX systems will run these. I'm guessing they will run fine under those environments.

  6. My old DOS text editor - Since I've found Programmer's Notepad this is much less important, but I still use it occasionally. Solutions:
    • Cut the cord already! - <sigh> has anybody made a good spell-checker for PN?
    • Oh No! - Will PN run in *NIX? ? ? Research.

  7. Communications Utilities - Like FTP, Telnet, Secure-telnet, tracert, a good set of browsers, etc. Solutions:
    • I'm thinking I won't have to worry about any of these if going to *NIX. The BROWSER makers must remain committed to ALSO running on Windows™, of course.

  8. E-Mail Client - A special-case comm utility.
    • You wouldn't think you'd have to worry about this under *NIX either. It has been a long while since I tried the Mozilla offering... I'll give them another try-out. News-Flash! 29-Apr-2009: I'm giving it another try now. I'm not used to it, so I'm going to give myself time to get comfortable with it before making any judgment.

  9. A DOS utility called - Just the best little file listing program in cyberspace. Solutions:
    • I'm certain the older DOS version will run in a DOS emulator, but...
    • I may be ready for something similar, as long as it will run cross-platform (at least winDOS and *NIX). It might even be nice to get one of those cool utilities that will let me examine structures in binary data... Gotta work on both platforms though... Research.

  10. "The MS Way"... A Native Windows™ development environment - Sometimes clients want VB behind an Excel spreadsheet, or using MS-Access... It has been helpful in the past to provide the MS-only solution as merely a way to assure the cautious client that I'm not BSing them (as so many self-proclaimed experts do these days) about the advantages of web-based apps. Solutions:
    • Worst case I will have to do as much design/code work as I can and then bring it to a real Windows™ machine. Doubt I can get a full blown test environment for things like VB and dot-net behind a Windows emulator, but who knows? Research.

  11. More to come... This is a work in progress. Whether this is a success or a failure, it will use up a lot of time. If I'm going to do this I want to be as prepared as possible.

. . . . . . .

...More to come

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