City Of Toronto

Phillip Mills pmills-5bG9SNWDbRX3fQ9qLvQP4Q at
Sun Dec 28 14:30:33 UTC 2003

On Saturday, December 27, 2003, at 01:23 PM, Howard Gibson wrote:

> On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 08:08:49 -0500
> Phillip Mills <pmills-5bG9SNWDbRX3fQ9qLvQP4Q at> wrote:
>> Quote:
>> "The city's problem is that 14,000 of its 17,500 computers are of 1999
>> vintage or older, which means that the operating system they run on is
>> Microsoft Windows NT, a program which the software company will no
>> longer support after some time next year, and they do not have the
>> capacity to run on the next generation of software, Windows XP, which
>> the city plans to switch to."
>    My 1998 computer works okay as long as I do not launch KDE.  I have 
> added a lot of RAM since I bought the thing, 64MB to 256MB.  My second 
> hand laptop has 64MB of RAM.  I am running Red Hat 8 on both machines.
>    I am here to tell you that 64MB is not enough for Red Hat 8.  If I 
> cannot get more than 64MB into the laptop, this will be its final 
> upgrade.
>    I suspect that if you install the latest version of Linux onto 
> these old machines, you will teach a bunch of people to hate Linux.   
> A clever administrator may get these machines to work efficiently, but 
> new machines are probably easier and more reliable, Linux or no Linux.

I don't have a problem with anything you're saying, except that I miss 
the point.  I certainly wouldn't be happy doing software development 
with 64MB on any of my systems, whether Linux, Mac, or MS.

I have a Dell P3 733 that was given to me with NT 4 Workstation 
running.  I have it dual-booting with NT and SuSE 8.1/KDE.  The 
interface feels faster under Linux than Windows.  Years ago -- when NT 
4 was new -- I converted a PII to Linux and used it as an Internet 
gateway for a 20-person office.  Running NT, it wouldn't have worked as 
well...if at all.  Since the people referenced in the above quote are 
using NT already, then equivalent functions on a Linux system should 
*not* be a *worse* experience for performance.  I think one would have 
to try really hard to install Linux such that it felt slower than NT on 
any given system.

If workers need upgraded systems because of their job functions or 
because the standard for acceptable performance has changed, that's 
fine.  If they need them just to do an XP upgrade -- like the article 
suggests -- that seems terribly wasteful.

Phillip Mills
Multi-platform software development
(416) 224-0714

The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
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