Vista vs. Linux matchup
I can't say I care for the URL numbering scheme, but
this looks mildly interesting. Of course, he's comparing
Windows Vista Premium Ready (?) to SLED 10 or Ubuntu 6.10,
as opposed to Linux proper (which won't even boot without
help from GRUB, LILO, and Bash, but I forgive him; everyone
else here make the same miscomparison).
The bias starts out early, though it's possible he's foreshadowing:
My first decision was to acquire a new system. [...]
The folks up in Redmond can tell you until they turn
blue in the face that Vista Premium Ready needs only
a 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 1 GB
of system memory, and a graphic card with support for
DirectX 9 graphics, a WDDM (Windows Display Driver
Model) driver, and 128 MB of graphics memory. They
lie like rugs.
It is also far from clear what Ubuntu is running; is he
doing anything that requires OpenGL? If not, he might as
well be using an ancient Trident or Cirrus card.
(Not a major issue for most non-gamers, methinks.)
Turns out he's using SimplyMEPIS. Another example of
Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, you
don't mind running into incompatibility problems, and
you know exactly what you're doing, do not "upgrade"
to Vista. Do a clean install, instead.
I suspect that's good advice anyway.
BitLocker actually makes a good deal of sense. In
particular, if I was planning to lug around a
Vista-only laptop, I'd like knowing that if anyone
swiped it, they wouldn't be able to easily get at
Ha! Even discounting Vista's security holes from a
networking standpoint, the sad truth is that anyone can
get at the private key by cooling down the RAM a few
seconds after shutdown. This works regardless of OS,
though with Linux one might have a fighting chance at
least of clearing the key during shutdown, with appropriate
kernel modifications. Maybe Vista does, too.
The author used a fairly standard dualboot setup with
GRUB, and didn't notice any major issues. Apparently
Vista's bootup system is similar to XP's as far as GRUB
The "resting footprint" is interesting. Apparently,
MEPIS used all of 23 MB for the kernel proper (the readout
indicates 2124132352 bytes of total RAM, compared with the
theoretical amount of 2147483648 bytes (2^31) -- a delta
of 23351296), 296 MB for the disk cache, and 155 MB for
whatever's left over, if my calculations are correct;
the "memory footprint" is apparently bigger than he thinks
it is (though it's still not that big).
For its part Vista's kernel is apparently using 3 MB
(tiny??), is caching 839 MB (!), has 776 MB free; therefore
430 MB is in active use, which doesn't quite jibe with
the displayed 549 MB -- unless one adds in the 88 MB of
kernel memory; one then gets 518 MB. Much bigger than 155 MB.
DRM threw him a major curve ball when playing a DRM-enabled
CD on Vista. (This is *after* he had to fiddle with the
RealTek's audio drivers. Apparently the standard speakers don't
The Agere PCI K56flex Winmodem threw Linux a slider. Swing
and a miss.
Atheros WiFi just worked for MEPIS, once he installed MadWifi.
Vista had no trouble either.
GeForce 6200SE gave Vista a 2.4 on the Windows Experience
Index; for its part MEPIS had some difficulties in the
3D graphics arena, apparently because MEPIS doesn't
incorporate Compviz. MEPIS did benefit from an updated
Firefox runs on both systems. IE7 has problems. IE6 over
WinE is very easy to install on MEPIS.
Vista's new Windows Mail competes with Evolution, and
comes away with a limp and a bloody nose.
For some reason Vista has to download the Windows Live
Messenger, as opposed to having it as part of the install.
MEPIS provides Skype, Gaim, and Ekiga. However, MEPIS falls
short in video conferencing.
All in all, the author concludes that MEPIS beats Vista,
on the HP hardware tested. Not a bad bit o' comparison,
really, though it might be a bit dated.
"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of
elderberries!" - Monty Python and the Holy Grail
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