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# 1  
Old 03-04-2001

Hello Everyone,

I am having some difficulty understanding this UNIX stuff. You see, I grew up on the old 512K Mac, And eventually transferred to a Windows environment at the age of 10. Now I am a fairly experienced Windows user. I have a lot of experience programming in C/C++ as well as Basic and Perl. I am a mediocre DOS user, and I have used telnet succsessfully to connect to a UNIX server. But I still can't seem to figure out how to get UNIX, why it is better than Windows/DOS, or anything else about the Operating System (If that's what it is). And one more thing, What the hell does Linux have to do with this? Please help answer my questions. Any information would be useful e.g. faq, other forums, links to help pages, anything. Thanks

# 2  
Old 03-05-2001
Saying that UNIX is better is somewhat open to opinions. For starters let me say that Linux is a UNIX like OS that is freely distributable as source code which can be modified at will. Some virtues of UNIX are stability not seen (by me) in any MS OS's, the flexibility to customize almost every aspect of the OS and applications. UNIX lends itself to programmers since most operations are done command line and small shell programs can be written on the fly to perform simple or redundant operations. Take some time and learn a little about it before you make any judgements. UNIX is vastly different than Windows so don't expect the same things. Anything you can do in Windows can be done in UNIX, often there are several ways to the same end in UNIX.
# 3  
Old 03-05-2001

Thanks for your help. I definetly would like to explore the Unix operating system but I don't exactly know how to get started. Do I have to buy a copy and install it? Or should I try out Linux first? If I need to buy something then where is the best place to do so? Thanks again.

# 4  
Old 03-05-2001
Where to start depends on where you want to end up. Your choices are to purchase a shell account, which is just a login (with limited permissions) to a UNIX server. Another option is Linux. This is a good place to start but don't fall into the trap of using the GUI tools. There are many distributions and everyone has an opinion as to which is best. I have used and like RedHat. Most Linux distributions can be purchased on CD for about $30 or they can all be downloaded for free (if you have a fast connection). Another option if you plan to pursue a carrer in UNIX is to get Solaris 8 x86 from Sun. It is $75 Solaris is a more robust OS in my opinion, but my opinion may be biased as I work primarily on Solaris.
# 5  
Old 03-05-2001
CPU & Memory

This thread (below) discusses many of the issues you have raised:
# 6  
Old 03-05-2001
Thanks for all your help. I am assuming that the Solaris OS is unix based. Is it a GUI OS or more of a command line? I most definetly don't want a graphical environment for my first unix experience so a list of the current graphical and non-graphical unix based OSs would be most helpful. Thanks again for taking the time to help out a beginner.

# 7  
Old 03-05-2001
Unix-like operating systems use a graphical interface called "The X Windows System" or X11. On many systems you may choose to do almost everything within GUI tools. However, the beauty of Unix is that just about everything may also be done from the commandline. So, to answer your question: these days everything offers a graphical interface, but you can usually choose to go to a text-only mode. The details of this are slightly different depending on the OS. Under HP-UX and Solaris, for example, the login screen provides a "Command Line Login" option. On Linux, the key combination "Ctrl-Alt-F1" will bring you to text-only mode. You may also choose to stay in graphical mode and just run xterms, which are terminal sessions within a window. The advantage to this is that you may open many terminals at once, minimize them, resize them, copy and paste easily, etc.

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Difficulty: Medium
Memory allocation is less critical in a real-time operating system (RTOS) than in other operating systems.
True or False?

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