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The Best, Worst, and Ugliest OSes of the Decade

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the jesux-not-mentioned dept.

Operating Systems 378

itwbennett writes "Hundreds of Operating Systems were released during the past decade, finding their way into microdevices, watches, refrigerators, mobile phones, cars, motorcycles, jets, even the International Space Station. Some worked; some even worked well. Others, sadly, didn't. And some were just ahead of their time. Blogger Tom Henderson takes a look back at the best and worst OSes of the decade. Among the worst? Vista, as you'd suspect, along with WinME. But what about GNU Hurd? And some of the best? Solaris/OpenSolaris 10, Mac OS X, and newcomer Google Android."

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IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (2, Interesting)

daveb1 (1678608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525710)

IMHO solaris has a really bad userland..... horrible horrible os for users :P

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525900)

But I don't really get the Vista bashing in the article. It is a good OS. It had its problems at launch, but those were mostly caused by driver issues. Its also a lot better with security. I would take Vista over XP anytime.

Sure, it put some people off with the new features who weren't used to them (especially those also using unixes), but it was surely way to the correct direction that Windows needed. And now we have Win7, who no one really bitches about and says its polished. They would had if MS would had introduced the new features in it instead of Vista.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (0)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525994)

And now we have Win7, who no one really bitches about and says its polished.

Speaking from personal expierience: IMO it sucks on single-core machines. And on my single-core it gives me a couple bluescreens per day. XP runs just fine on that machine with the same workload.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (0, Troll)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526114)

Makes sense. XP is faster than Win7.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (3, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526200)

Vista was tolerable with SP1, albeit way to slow (I'm talking on a 2.0Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB memory).

XP, on the same machine, not surprisingly, was a *LOT* faster

7, on that machine, is between the two, but close enough to XP that I don't mind using it.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (5, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526224)

We were so desperate to beat up on MS after taking so damn long to give us a new OS that when it had problems we blew it out of all proportion, far beyond what empirical facts would support.

I never really had problems with Vista, it booted fast, was stable and ran like a well oiled machine. I saw few people with actualy problems and fully consider the Vista bashing phenomona part of the Microsoft hate disease.

I fully admit to bashing Vista, even viciously, before I had even actually got a copy to live with for a while. I repent.

Yes it had problems, but not worse than the XP era. After a few patches these niggles were addresed.

I have to poke fun here: on average, a new Linux distro comes with a multitude of problems preinstalled, mind you they are freatures to a Linux user, not bugs. I'll be honest, I enjoy fixing pre-broken distros and I'm actually throughly bored when I install something like Ubuntu and everything just works. :D

BUT ... all the bad PR has forced MS to make Windows 7 a huge improvement. If there is one genuine gripe, it is that Windows 7 is what Vista should have been. Yet through our bleating has paid off, we've been given a good Windows OS.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526386)

Personally, I'm dreading the forced move to Windows 7 when it comes down the pipe. It may be nice for Grandma who wants transparent windows and flashy interface, but the lack of usable file tree structures (no lines anymore, needless wasted space...) really puts a damper on my development tasks (especially when you dig 14 levels into a folder of classes and version trees...) The addition of useless tool bars at the top of the windows that can't be removed also put's a damper on my minimalist self with the removal of the small status bar at the bottom of the windows. I'm not even going to mention how handy the old XP (2000?) classic menu was that allowed me to organize my applications by company, use and then product so I could quickly find what I needed without having to remember it's icon name to search for it. (Yes, there are tools that I might only use once in a blue moon, like packet sniffers, hex editors, etc. that have some ridiculous names.)

But hey... I'm a developer who uses tons of tools all day long. If MS doesn't want me to be productive, I know where I can go. Now, if I can get my company to agree...

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526432)

Some of us are put off by the fact that it is deliberately designed to be annoying [arstechnica.com] . I hold the admin password on my kids' Vista laptop, and I can confirm that they suceeded completely.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525948)

That's why you rarely hear anyone say "This is the year of the Solaris desktop".

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (2, Funny)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526028)

The one who thought packing CDE into Solaris for a few years is a good idea should be hanged. I still sometimes have nightmares about it.

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526474)

I hate to tell you this, but CDE was standard on a lot of systems back in the day. If you think it was bad on Solaris, you should have tried it on HPUX!

I know what you mean though. I really really want to like Xubuntu, but every time I see Xfce, I go "GAH! CDE!" and have to go cower in the corner for a while. :)

Re:IMHO solaris has a really bad userland (3, Insightful)

RubberDuckie (53329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526362)

True enough, the Solaris userland is not as robust as Linux out of the box. You can upgrade to a more robust userland through sites like Blastwave, that carry pre-compiled GNU-like programs.

OTOH, Solaris is much better at backward compatibility than Linux. I have a very old proprietary database that was once running on Solaris 2.6, running on Solaris 10. I didn't have to wedge in some ancient libc to get this to happen, it just worked. So like many things in life, and especially with computers, you trade have trade offs: stability or newer features. One size does not fit all.

Slashdoted already? (-1, Offtopic)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525730)

I'l put my vote on Windows 2.0 then. Gasthly blue colors choosen to look good on crappy CGA monitors. Ugh.

Re:Slashdoted already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30525778)

Of the decade...not the last 25 years.

Re:Slashdoted already? (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525806)

Still better than Windows ME.

Re:Slashdoted already? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526456)

This is about OSes.

Windows up to WfW3.11 was a user environment. MS-DOS/PC-DOS were the OS choices.

Of course, Windows 1.x up to 3.0 was somewhat limited by CGA and VGA displays. Garish is what you get with 16 colors. At 256, you just get stark. After that, you get displays useful for pr0n. And Doom.

BeOS (3, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525768)

I still miss it. So much potential and such high hopes. I suppose I should check out Haiku.

Re:BeOS (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526086)

I liked their idea of simple installation of BeOS 5 Personal Edition alongside Windows. It's sad that Be, Inc. died such a horrible death.

Re:BeOS (5, Funny)

asherlev (2499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526180)

I still miss it. So much potential and such high hopes. I suppose I should check out Haiku.

Checking out Haiku is going to be like resurrecting your dead mother. Her soul is gone and she'll just try to eat your brains.

Re:BeOS (5, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526436)

Or you'll get your arm and leg torn off, and your brother will have to live in a suit of armor.

Re:BeOS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526512)

Well, at least she's not gonna eat my eyes, that's just unreasonable.

Re:BeOS (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526246)

Definetly. It could have used a secure login setup (which, I think was planned for the next release...), but otherwise it was by far my favorite OS.

Fast, stable, needed more app support, UI was quiet an clean...

*sigh*

like...WHATever, dood... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30525794)

Vista gave the good admins the ability to have a completely safe computer. WinME was the best of the 9x line after you took 30 seconds to put DOS back in. 'Blogger Tom Henderson' is a moron, but indicitive of the slashdot community.

Re:like...WHATever, dood... (5, Funny)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525846)

WinME was the best of the 9x line

hee hee

hehehahahahaha

hoo hooo

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

/wipes tear

Thanks, I needed some cheer this morning!

Re:like...WHATever, dood... (4, Interesting)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526050)

Best OS of 9x line was Windows 95 OSR2. 98 sucked horseballs with its instability, only second to ME's. I praised the Lord for Windows 2000 - the nicest and most professional-looking-and-feeling OS of the NT line.

Re:like...WHATever, dood... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526152)

Win ME wasn't much better than 98SE, but with the caveat that you had to make sure all of your system drivers were for ME, not 98.

It was 2001. Putting DOS realmode support back into it is like putting OS9 compatibility into OSX. Big deal. DOS real mode didn't do much for the 32bit Windows subsystems that *were* the problem.

I will stand by this forever (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525822)

I have never had an operating system that I loved more than Windows 95.

If there was one feature I wish I could have back, it is reboot into DOS.

Seriously, if they had included this with Vista, and I could boot my games from DOS, it would have made up for all other deficiencies.

There is a reason why they made you do this in old games. I wasn't actually old enough at the time to know what they were, but if I had to venture a guess now, it might have to do with saving resources (More RAMs for Graphix!).

Since Vista was so bloated, this would have been exactly what I needed. Though I suppose this might have ruined their memory management system or whatever they built in, right?

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525932)

Included what in Vista? There is no DOS. The "dos window" is a command line dialog, not a real DOS.

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526154)

Exactly my point. It was not included. It should have been.

Re:I will stand by this forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526288)

lol why?

Re:I will stand by this forever (2, Informative)

Dunx (23729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525956)

More RAM, yes, but also direct access to hardware resources, and predictable response times (a lot of the same reasons that made DOS a reasonable basis for embedded PC systems).

OTOH, DOS barely counted as an operating system.

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526126)

I used it for a good portion of my childhood, I'd say it counted as an operating system. We had a DOS PC that didn't have Windows or anything on it. We could still install games (Oh Kings Quest...) or perform work (There was a version of Word on there. It was terrible though, it had an all red background, and no spellcheck).

Given that I still have to use DOS on the odd networking Fix (IPconfig, winsock resets) - it seems Odd that I can't use JUST Dos anymore.

Re:I will stand by this forever (5, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526320)

You're not using DOS. You're using a command prompt. Given that you were a little kid, I'm sure your dad helped you get the autoexec.bat set up just right so it'd load your CD rom driver in and make sure high mem was available. Also, gotta make sure that the sound card starts up on the right IRQ, don't want to screw that one up. Oh, and gotta clear out the TSRs to eek out the just over 3.75 megs that the game needs to even boot. Its nostalgic to think about that stuff, but I'll take a real operating system that can configure its drivers and doesn't think 640K is enough for everyone. Oh, also one that I don't have to roll my own TCP stack.

I'm guessing your just old enough now to what we call "nostalgia", which is great in some ways but can also lead to bad things like bell bottom revivals and trucker hats. Its great to acknowledge the past, but generally the future has more going for it.

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526334)

What you are doing when fixing networking is not using DOS. Command line and "DOS" are not the same thing.

And yes, it was barely an OS; it often outright handled full control of the computer to an application.

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526420)

And yes, it was barely an OS; it often outright handled full control of the computer to an application.

And yet, it was still better than many versions of Windows.

Re:I will stand by this forever (4, Insightful)

Bagels (676159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526014)

Simple fix: grab Dosbox. It probably has better compatibility than your '95 based computer ever did, although I admit that the fiddling was part of the fun of those old games.

Re:I will stand by this forever (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526074)

I do use Dosbox to run the Old Monkey Island games and The Dig and Full Throttle, as well as the original Duke Nukem and Lemmings.

It does fine, for a spell, but what I was getting at is that alot of games today will specify in the Miniumum requirements: 2 Gigs of Ram for XP, 3 Gigs for Vista, because Vista eats up about of Gig of Ram. If I could free up even a portion of that, todays games would run better and smoother.

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526422)

Note that for the Lucasfilms games like Monkey Island 1,2,3 The Dig and Full Throttle you can run using ScummVM [scummvm.org] . With this program you don't need the original executable anymore, only the data files.

Why do games need 2 GB of RAM? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526426)

what I was getting at is that alot of games today will specify in the Miniumum requirements: 2 Gigs of Ram

But why? Games for consoles run just fine in 64 MB RAM + 24 MB VRAM (Wii), 256 MB of RAM + 256 MB VRAM (PS3), or 512 MB unified RAM (Xbox 360). Sure, PC operating systems are bigger because a PC is more capable and drivers differ per PC, but do Windows XP and its drivers really eat 1.5 GB of RAM?

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526468)

All those old games you play run fine also in ScummVM.

Regarding Vista - I wouldn't say this RAM goes to waste to such a degree that you seem to believe. For starters it might be eaten by new model of GFX. Things that help games get released at all...

That's a toughy (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526108)

The stock answer for a modern DOS would be to hack up single user mode Linux. Or, just have Linux and startx and exit it when you feel like you need to.

The beauty of DOS was that one application owned the entire computer but unfortunately, modern hardware has made it beyond the ability of most programmers to really do everything and you genuinely need an operating system to manage all of it, and part of that is that I think even modern hardware is probably not real time itself. I mean, is a PC-Express bus real time guaranteed for different combinations of peripherals? I think everything is interrupt driven these days, and that's good. DOS was really often about programs that polled and did stupid stuff.

Re:I will stand by this forever (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526170)

MS DOS is garbage, though, and it certainly doesn't give the games any more resources, as it has the old '640 KB ought to be enough for everyone' limit. What you love isn't the OS, it's the games it could run.

Re:I will stand by this forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526434)

I'm pretty sure Protected Mode memory management has existed for over 17 years to get over that limit now.

HIMEM (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526480)

MS DOS is garbage, though, and it certainly doesn't give the games any more resources, as it has the old '640 KB ought to be enough for everyone' limit.

There was HIMEM.SYS, and there were also 32-bit DOS extenders such as DOS4GW and CWSDPMI to make the best use of it.

Re:I will stand by this forever (5, Interesting)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526454)

DirectX was Microsoft's solution to the "exit to DOS to run a game" workaround. It also targetted the "You must have one of these sound cards, one of these graphics cards, etc." that hampered DOS games because the OS wasn't doing any hardware abstraction--they had to roll their own drivers for every game engine/runtime. DirectX *was* the runtime that enabled direct hardware access and hardware abstraction so the game designers could focus on making games, rather than which sound card a user had.

It wasn't a perfect solutions--still isn't--but DirectX did kill DOS as a gaming platform.

What a total waste of time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30525826)

TFA is a waste of time. It's the worse kind of drivel and doesn't have any interesting technical facts or points.

I mean if they had broken OS's down by functionality, design and architecture it might be worth some time but this strikes me as an article anyone with quarter a clue could write in about a half hour - I mean did the author research ANYTHING for this versus pull out general comments that are generally known.

Come on editors you gotta be able to do better than this!

Re:What a total waste of time (1)

daveb1 (1678608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525860)

Wait you actually read TFA ? .... SIR i do say, *this* is slashdot.

Re:What a total waste of time (3, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526062)

I read it and the comments from the author...

Nah... the CLI scripting makes up for it
The UI is what it is... but the PowerShell scripting components are like bash on steroids. There's nothing in UnixVille like it in terms of integration.
by tomhenderson on 12/22/09 at 12:29 pm

Anyone care to point out to me how PowerShell can be more "integrated" than bash? Unless he's talking about the fact that you can replace Bash if you like and you probably can't replace Powershell... but I doubt he's talking about "integration" in that manner.

Re:What a total waste of time (1)

digitalloving (1540905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526270)

BASH can do pretty much anything you need it to do. Windows PowerShell scripting is nice, and provides access to things that are already accessible in "UnixVille". The statement about nothing in UnixVille like it in terms of integration really has no meaning at all. It's like a dumb statement....on steroids. Being a system admin for nearly every operating system around, they all pretty much do what you need them to do as long as you are fairly intelligent and understand them. Almost all arguments I hear otherwise are based on ignorance, elitism, or both.

Re:What a total waste of time (1)

digitalloving (1540905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526064)

I couldn't agree more with your comment. This article is a complete waste of time and has no interesting or useful content. It bothers me that technical magazines these days feel like they can get away with writing something with so little substance. It really is an article equivalent of a troll. I wonder if NASCAR magazine writers write about the differences between Ford, Chevy and Dodge just so they can get people fired up. Absolutely not slashdot worthy.

Re:What a total waste of time (1)

hoover (3292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526376)

FTA: "OpenMoku".... pfffft ;-)

Re:What a total waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526264)

Agreed. In the section on Android (which seems completely ignorant of the fact that Android is running atop Linux, so the entire category should have been subsumed into the previous) they can't even be bothered to spell OpenMoko correctly. "OpenMoku" -- really ITWorld? Really? You might as well just take everything remotely *NIXish, call it "Linux OS" and show how competent you really are.

Re:What a total waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526268)

Gosh, I wonder if submitter "itwbennett" is in any way related to the article website, IT World. Move along, just another rag that has successfully trolled timothy.

Re:What a total waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526398)

"the author research ANYTHING"

That stands alone. He also didn't proof read worth a damn.

Off the top of my head:

He mentions Windows Me, which he admits this was a 1990s OS, but claims is was merged into the Windows 2000 codebase. In actuality, it was a stop gap to keep home users from trying to upgrade to Windows 2000. In a sane world, this would have been the logical successor to Windows 98, but instead was the successor to Windows NT 4.0. 2000 was thus a business targeted OS and not actually meant for Joe User.

When he congratulates Solaris, he mentions that it has features not found in Windows, Linux, and BSD. Chiefly dTrace, ZFS, and Containers. FreeBSD has dTrace, ZFS, and Jails, which are much the same as "Containers". Even if semantically argued that Containers and Jails are not the same, they do serve much the same purpose, and the remaining two features are very present. Even Linux has a reimplementation of ZFS, called Btrfs, though the two are not compatible.

Re:What a total waste of time (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526526)

TFA is a waste of time. It's the worse kind of drivel and doesn't have any interesting technical facts or points.

Yay! My habit of never reading TFA is paying off big time! ;)

lucky break for slashdotters (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525828)

Just when we lost Duke Nukem Forever as the epitome of vaporware, TFA gives us the following:

Yet the GNU Hurd kernel, the ultimate free re-write of the Unix kernel, has languished. Yes, something like it can be used inside of the Linux Debian-Hurd construct, but almost no one does this. The pure kernel, it seems, may never see the light of day. It's the ultimate in free vaporware.

So we can finally put GNU/Hurd up there with the Phantom console* and DNF?

*Note to venture capitalists: if the product name tells you you're being ripped off, maybe you should think twice about investing. If that doesn't make sense to you, perhaps I can send you a prospectus on my new product, Illusion -- it's the Flim-Flam for Web 3.0 Social Networking. We need about 30 million and two years to get the product out. Illusion is going to revolutionize direct revenue streams for social networking sites. Call me!

So you don't have to waste your time (5, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525838)

A tiny, three-page article, with each page only having three to four paragraphs, and the list has exactly what you'd expect it to have. You really don't have to RTFA this time.

Re:So you don't have to waste your time (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525896)

Yeah, very bad article. The little paragraph for each entry barely makes sense. Does not deserve your time.

Re:So you don't have to waste your time (1, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525976)

You really don't have to RTFA this time.

Well that's a refreshing change from my usual Slashdot experience.

Re:So you don't have to waste your time (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526000)

And who writes this crap? Do they even proofread it? Seriously, try to parse this sentence:

GNU rewritten Unix utilities tool set were invented by through the purity in effort of Richard Stallman-- the pillar of free software.

Re:So you don't have to waste your time (2, Funny)

Dunx (23729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526038)

And the writing is redundant, terrible and repetitive:

"lack and dearth of appropriate hardware drivers"

Lack _and_ dearth? That's pretty bad. Just put the thesaurus down and step away from the keyboard.

Re:So you don't have to waste your time (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526296)

Redundant _and_ repetitive?

Now I know where the thesaurus went. ;)

Re:So you don't have to waste your time (1)

fucket (1256188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526482)

Try: "Initially, it was boasted that Vista would be the most costliest-ever operating system to develop..." "The world was looking for the joiner of Novell's time-honored and rock-solid NetWare network operating system to be joined fully to Linux."

Again? (2, Funny)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525856)

What is this, the third post today alone that primarily slams Microsoft? I was glad to hear today that MS at least wasn't threatening the wild species of coffee beans.

Emacs (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525866)

The original parasitic OS.

Windows bias (4, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525868)

I agree with most of the article, but when people have attitudes such as "It's not easy to nominate them here as their business practices aren't very kind" (Windows Server 2008) I tend to take the article less seriously. The OS either holds up to the criteria of the article or it doesn't. Keep it at that.

Silly article. (-1, Troll)

kellin (28417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525882)

I like how the author rates Vista a bad OS and Server 2008 a good OS.

Neither are any good. 2008 is nothing but headache inducing around this place. It blue screens more than any other OS Ive seen.

GNU Hurd is not an OS (2, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525884)

Any more than Linux by itself is. It's half an OS.

Or really, a quarter of an OS because it won't be finished until the Second Coming of RMS to lead the faithful out of a world where all hardware (even your toaster) will only run software approved by the MPAA.

Re:GNU Hurd is not an OS (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526044)

What it need is apps. Just wait till Duke Nukem Forever for GNU Hurd gets released, and from there to total world domination is just matter of time.

Re:GNU Hurd is not an OS (4, Funny)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526218)

Yes, the complete OS is GNU GNU/Hurd.

Crap Article (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30525898)

This article is shit. First they split Windows down to the Service Pack level, but go on to say "all of OS X and all of Linux" are in the best? Really? OS X 10.0 was a dismal, WinME failure, for one. And then to throw in Android, which is also Linux? WTF? The author clearly just named a handful of OSes he knew of, grabbed a blurb about them from Wikipedia, and is laughing all the way to the bank with the ad impressions from fanboys/haters.

And apparently biased... (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526340)

For example, he recognizes Windows Server 2008 R2 as a great OS, but fails to mention Windows 7; Windows 7 and 2008 R2 are on the same code base.

Linux as one group? Seriously, what distro you choose can make or break your Linux experience. Especially depending on your hardware.

Android? Isn't that kinda new to be saying it's amazing already?

Mac OS X bias, too:

It just works. Darwin BSD underneath, mostly luxury on top. The upside is beauty, quietness, control, and stress-free existences. The downside is that it isn't a business plan for computer consultants and virus removers. Onerous is the fact that the most recent release of MacOS-- Snow Leopard-- had a sufficiently large number of post release patches to make our PTSD of Microsoft Windows patching come to mind. Apple's QA now faces a bit of what Microsoft does: so many hardware platforms that QA is difficult as Apple releases new hardware platform variants. The OS isn't pricey, and this isn't about hardware captivity, this is about quality and architectural philosophy in an operating system. Yet MacOS is also the underpinning for the cell/mobile OS to beat on the iPhone. Attention to detail pays.

Sure. It "just works" on Apple approved hardware. :) Luxury on top? Hm. Control? I wasn't aware that Mac OS X allowed you to control your system as much as Linux or Windows. I thought it actually was simpler and didn't allow as much control - which is fine, it's a design decision that many people like, I have no problem with it. And what is "architectural philosophy" anyways? I thought Mac OS X was about being a good OS, not an architectural POC...

uh, what? (5, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525918)

GNU rewritten Unix utilities tool set were invented by through the purity in effort of Richard Stallman

Why did the author feel the need to run his text through a Chinese translator then back to English?

Re:uh, what? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526336)

Umm, I think the phrase would have done better had it simply gone through English->Chinese->Engrish. I suspect a couple of other languages were involved, probably one or two that Google doesn't even support so it threw random words in there.

The original sentence was probably something like "I like a bagel with my coffee."

Android isn't an OS (2, Insightful)

Wee (17189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525922)

Android is just a bunch of Java apps running on Linux. That's an OS?

-B

OS Kernel (2, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526042)

An operating system is more than just the kernel. An operating system is the software which provides the basis for everything else that will run in that environment - at least that is the way I perceive it. Given this description Android is an operating system, since it provides the base environment for everything else to run.

Re:OS Kernel (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526418)

An operating system is more than just the kernel. An operating system is the software which provides the basis for everything else that will run in that environment - at least that is the way I perceive it. Given this description Android is an operating system, since it provides the base environment for everything else to run.

But if you go that far then Bob the poseur "creates an OS" when he packages the linux kernel with some windows manager.

Re:Android isn't an OS (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526304)

Also, Considering that Android hasn't yet had time to mature as an OS, it is quite presumptuous of the author to name it one of the [great os's of the decade].

WTB: Editors? (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525924)

Has anybody RTFA'd yet? Most costliest... invented by through...

God, since when did they let just anybody post something on the interwebs?

Re:WTB: Editors? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526140)

Has anybody RTFA'd yet? Most costliest... invented by through...

God, since when did they let just anybody post something on the interwebs?

When AOL users discovered that there was something beyond AOL.

Server 2008? (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525928)

It may be more secure, but the programmers who rewrote its interface to look like Vista need to be whipped and put in the stocks.

HA (1)

captaindynamo (1097461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525934)

Just wait. This is going to get bloody.

Windows Mobile & embedded (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525960)

What ever can be said for desktop OSs, embedded and mobile OSs probably win for being amongst some of the ugliest OSs. Given that few of them are intended for anything beyond a single use solution, is can be understood.

The issue for me has always been Windows Mobile (aka Windows CE), since this was designed for a larger market, where thoughtful design would have been good. Instead Windows Mobile was essentially a desktop OS shoe horned into a handheld device, for which the UI was ill suited, not taking into account the unique design and usage issue of such a device. This is why OSs such as the iPhone/iPod Touch OS and Android had such an impact on destroying the Windows Mobile market.

Re:Windows Mobile & embedded (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526464)

Instead Windows Mobile was essentially a desktop OS shoe horned into a handheld device, for which the UI was ill suited, not taking into account the unique design and usage issue of such a device. This is why OSs such as the iPhone/iPod Touch OS and Android had such an impact on destroying the Windows Mobile market.

It's actually worse than that. MS made Window CE/Mobile more like a desktop OS by including concepts and features that don't really belong in a mobile device. To MS everything should be a desktop, even though on a handheld, you have limited screen space, you do not have a full keyboard, or a mouse. There's also a desktop, files, directories, drop-down menus, etc. Very little attention was paid to how someone might use a handheld differently than a computer on a desk. How do you launch an application? Well there's the Start button or you could navigate into directories. Every icon and text is tiny so you can fit it on the "desktop". Want to zoom in on your document? It's in the OS. Somewhere. It's functional but not very user friendly.

As much as people complain about the iPhone, Apple really thought about the UI. Apple treated the iPhone as more of an appliance than a portable desktop. There's no desktop. Every application is a button. There are no files or directories to manipulate. There's no stylus so every icon, button must be large, etc. If something is too small to read, there's a quick way to enlarge it.

z/OS forever (2, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525964)

As always z/OS is the ratio sum ultra.

Haphazard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30525984)

AmigaOS not mentioned, a couple of lines of text per page in the article - that was the biggest waste of 25 seconds worth of clickthroughs I've ever been a part of.

FAILZORS. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526018)

market. Therefore, n(otwIthstanding,

great, well that was (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526052)

a complete waste of my goddamned time in the pursuit of pandering advertising space along 5 pages of "im not going to see it because i have noscript and adblock software," so ill save you a few seconds of your life:

the author is trying to say "i think all operating systems are ugly, even the ones you think are pretty." surprise, no big news here, its just some asshole with an internet connection.

Andriod? (3, Interesting)

roe-roe (930889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526084)

I think Android has a lot of great possibilities, but putting it on the list of best OSes of the decade is similar to giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm not saying it doesn't deserve being on the list, I just think it is a bit premature.

Is Solaris actually good? (2, Interesting)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526098)

Honest question. Solaris seems similar but different enough from the Linux I'm used to to be interesting. What are its features that Linux lacks/doesn't implement as well? I'm not a file system geek, so what's so good about ZFS that I'm going to notice? Is it much slower than mainstream desktop Linux, or is it doing fine?

Aren't we looking at this a year too early (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526142)

Last I checked the first decade of the 21st century doesn't end until Dec 31, 2010. Or are we speaking of decades in the more arbitrary sense of 10 years.

Gnu Hurd? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526146)

Doesn't an operating system need to be actually completed and released to qualify for either of these lists? Putting Hurd on here is analogous to including Duke Nukem Forever in a "Best/Worst games of the decade" compendium.

In related news (1, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526158)

FreeBSD was unavailable for comment.
Friend of FreeBSD, Netcraft is reporting that he is dead.
As of yet this rumor is still unconfirmed.
;_; [freebsdfoundation.org]

Nonsense Article (2, Funny)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526192)

"Hmmm, what can we type to make it appeal to the fanboys?".

That's nearly two minutes of my life I won't get back.

Doesn't the decade go for one more year? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526222)

So Solaris is "good." They've clearly never used it for any length of time...

No mention of XP? I'm not a windows guy but I don't see how you can ignore XP and mention Hurd at all... Come on, hurd was a disappoint long before 2000 or 2001, this decade Hurd's been all about switching microkernels like they are systematically proving that microkernels suck by attempting to implement hurd on each one.

 

Re:Doesn't the decade go for one more year? (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526292)

Come on, hurd was a disappoint long before 2000 or 2001, this decade Hurd's been all about switching microkernels like they are systematically proving that microkernels suck by attempting to implement hurd on each one.

I use Minix 3 [wikipedia.org] , you insensitive clod!

Solaris? Give me a break. (3, Interesting)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526252)

Oh please. I'm kinda glad I lost my job supporting Solaris apps. Our apps were relatively easy to get working, but the Solaris machines management dropped off at my desk (last one was a Blade 1500) were just stupid and showed a blantant lack of quality assurance, and nothing ever worked out of the box. You'd think by now you could buy a desktop machine from them and expect the backspace key to actually work as just one example - or to be able to log into the desktop without facing a dozen cryptic errors. No - expect to spend days or years applying patches, tweaking config files - and even then nothing will ever work as seemless as Windows or Mac (or even Linux these days). Oh sure on paper Solaris might be superior to anything out there, but as anyone who has worked in software knows - its the little problems that make a failed product.

Most every patch I got from Sun as well - never worked on the first go. I honestly think its a conspiracy - only system vendor I can think of btw that charges you for a) access to their KB and b) access to hotfixes - not even Microsoft is that evil. It wasn't uncommon for hotfixes/patches to break all kinds of crap too. I once wrote up a list of weird things I never was able to fix on the Sun boxes I and others had on their desks and it was easily pages long. Mind you - these were ALL minor issues, but annoying enough to make it unpleasant. At the job I have now - all the Solaris machines (servers mostly) have the same track record...

In terms of user friendlyness, ease of use, support - I'd take Vista any day of the week.

I was in... (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526360)

until page 3:

GNU/Linux (especially 2.6.18+)
Never has their been such an uproar in computing as a free kernel and free utilities-- all done very well with rapid, mindful if darwinian skill. Linus Torvalds crafted Linux, and has been holding on for dear life ever since. Coupled with the GNU utilities and two main window manager branches (Gnome and KDE), Linux underpinnings now grace objects from tiny wristwatches and clever cell/mobile phones, to IBM mainframes and everything in between. The promise of Linux for civilians is slowly but surely being realized through distros like Ubuntu, Novell/SUSE, Mandrive, Knoppix, and others, but the enterprise server market belongs to Red Hat, Novell/SUSE, and communities formed around each of these. That doesn't mean that there isn't worth in the literally hundreds of distros out there.

Off the top of my head:

1) 'Civilian distros' such as Knoppix & Mandrive? Knoppix is mainly used as a rescue CD and Mandrive DOESN'T EXIST. Mandrake/Mandriva does, but not Mandrive!
2) Novell/SUSE twice, but no Debian or Fedora?
3) GNU utilities? Are those still prevalent?

Whatever, this article officially fails

*Ring* *Ring* (1)

Stupid McStupidson (1660141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526442)

Timothy, this is reading comprehension calling, we need to talk. The name of the article is "Great and Disappointing" not "Best and Worse" nor is ugly mentioned. Oh wait, this is Slashdot. NM sorry
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