Linux and Windows Experience

From January to August my main computing OS is Slackware Linux 9. But I can dual boot to Windows XP. However since September I have an offer from one of my client to extend my old applications in VB 6. Since VB 6 is a dead end platform I am learning MS .NET Framework. Why .NET Framework why not use Java? Well this is because my client is a MS Windows centric company. They do not use any Linux OS in their servers. They do not use Java. They do not even use web application. Their most modern application is client/server application developed in VB 6 and MS SQL Server. Because of this I install all the latest MS OS and technologies: Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003. I have to switch OS completely since Windows Server 2003 must use NTFS to install IIS 6. I need IIS 6 because of VS.NET 2003. If you use NTFS then you cannot dual boot.

Windows 2003 is certainly an improvement over Windows 2000. The performance is faster. Why? Because Windows 2003 did not install any unnecessary service unlike Windows 2000 Server. It’s security settings default to safe settings. Even DirectX has DirectDraw and Direct3D disabled. You have to manually enabled DirectDraw and Direct3D.

Although it feels easy to do many things in Windows I miss the power of Linux. Of course Linux GUI may still behind Windows GUI. However Linux offers powers. For example ripping DVD or VCD and converting them into DivX is only a single long command line using MEncoder. For burning them to CD-R nothing beats K3B in KDE: just drag and drop your files and press one button. In Windows this is a multi step process using lots of program: SmartRipper, DVD2AVI, FlaskMPEG, and VirtualDub. Yes I know about DVDx but even using DVDx its not as easy as typing one long command line. Besides that long command line can be put in shell script and reused.

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