November 25th, 2003, 11:22 AM
Something's bothering me.... what is the difference (in terms of function) between different OS's like Windows, Linux, Mac or Apple?
November 25th, 2003, 01:59 PM
eh, that's kind of a broad topic, but since no one else has stepped up to the plate yet, I'll try to help a little.
In terms of pure function, all computers can do basically the same things: surfing the web, word processing, playing games, spreadsheets, etc. Some operating systems do things better than others. For instance, it's my understanding that Mac's excel for graphics based applications ( I can't vouch for this because I've never seen one in action)
In terms of how they function, that gets a little sticky...I don't care to start a flame war on which OS is best (I'm sure someone else will do it for me...some people can't resist )
I suggest searching google and searching how directories work from system to system, how filing systems differ, how memory is allocated...what tools are available, etc. It's IMHO hard to just thumbnail a few differences, when they are all quite unique in their own way.
November 25th, 2003, 02:08 PM
When it comes to OSes their original intention and resultant usage are two different things:
Windows (DOS, 3.x, 95, 98, ME, XP Home): all designed with the general user in mind. More recent editions -- XP Home -- would be designed towards Internet and gaming activities.
Windows Server family (NT 3.x, NT 4.x, 2000/XP/2003): While the NT versions were originally designed for LAN usage to provide file and printer serving, their role got expanded thanks to the Internet
Unix et al.: originally started way back when so that people could play a specific game regardless of hardware, it has grown into most a stable server market/target. Emphasis has been on Internet servers and database servers. A lot of it's history can be found in physics and other pure sciences areas.
Linux: created originally as a project has expanded it's role from that of a general user base towards server markets. Linux is a newer venturer into the server area. The idea seems to have been to create a stable but usable home user alternative to Windows. Gaming is coming albeit at a slower pace.
Macintosh (pre OSX): Macintosh was created to allow users to use computers without having to worry about what went on the back end. It also was designed for stability (hence, the proprietary market). It still has a mass appeal to the graphics design market and still seems to have a strong base here. Apple has attempted to go beyond this but hasn't had a huge amount of sucess except for the brief clone period.
Macintosh (OSX onwards): Macintosh is like other manufacturers and attempting to get into a market it previously wasn't in. In addition, it's trying to take advantage of some of the stability advantages that *nix often has. Has a basis in BSD/NeXT OSes and seems to still target graphic designers, although more towards higher end and web design.
Novell: one of the few (only?) true NOS (Network OSes). The Novell brand has been around a while and was designed only for network serving. They have lost a fair amount of market share recently. This might be part of the reason for Novell's interest in Suse.
I think that might give you an idea. If you need more clarification, ask.