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My page about computing

My page about computing

La version en FRANCAIS de cette page peut être obtenue en cliquant ICI.

Useful Links:

Viruses and VIRUS HOAXES: you definitely NEED to have a look at this site if you have not done it yet.

HTML: If you want to have a stronger knowledge of how to program yourself your web pages (without unnecessary softwares like dreamweaver), here are the HTML specifications

HTML, CGI, SSI, Javascript and so on .... (good simple lectures for programming).

All the tools for the developer are here...

Tools for developing Java softwares:

LINUX: here are some distributions of the Linux Operating System, which definitely becomes a challenger of Windowzzz. Some computer manufacturers now propose some computers with Linux already installed. (IBM, Gateway, HP, ...)

To get some softwares for Linux, most of them for free, follow these links:

Softwares for maths or physics:

SymbolicNet (lots of information for the readers of the newsgroup sci.math.symbolic about computer algebra systems (C.A.S.)

Symbolic calculation programs:

For High energy physics: FORM or M

Graphical presentation of huge complicated data and data analysis:
The ROOT software | the PAW software (Physics Analysis Workstation)

Linux versus Windows

  1. The cost: Linux is far cheaper than Windows.
  2. The distribution: if you have only windows installed on your computer, you can't do anything. You must then buy all the basic softwares you need even to do very simple things (Word, Excel,....). In a Linux distribution, you have many texts editors, spreadsheets, network programms already installed at the very beginning.
  3. Documentation: almost non-existent on Windows, where you can only get very few help pages on very few topics. On linux, almost every program or resource present on the computer is highly documented. Challenge: find on Windows the documentations about the very basic DOS commands available on the system (like the options of DIR, TYPE, ATTRIB, ...)
  4. Doc Translation: still one of the main problems for Linux, its huge documentation is mainly in english, but one can notice in some Linux distributions that the documentation is available for a part in different languages, and these translations are constantly increasing.
  5. Installation / configuration: in general, the installation of a new software and its configuration is rather easy on Windows, more complicated on Linux, but the recent Linux commercial distributions give more and more tools for an easy configuration/installation.
  6. The windows environnement: Windows on a computer looks exactly the same as Windows on another computer (the different windows and tools on your screen are organized in the same way). Using Linux, you have the choice between dozens of "window managers" (fvwm, KDE, Gnome, ....). You can choose the one that is the best for your purposes/tastes, and they are all highly configurable.
  7. Virtual screens. On Windows 98, if you have many open windows, all must be present on your screen. On Linux, you can broadcast some of them on several "virtual screens" that you can access just by a click on a specific small window called the "Pager".
  8. Crashes. If one program crashes on Windows, you will have to reboot your computer most of the time. In general, it is not necessary on Linux and you can kill the problematic program and go on working.
  9. Internet and File systems: the internet protocol automatically recognizes files names of the kind "archive.tar.gz.old-version" because internet has been developed on UNIX-like machines and therefore is compatible with the EXT2FS (EXTended Second FileSystem) norm for files. Thus Windows needs to use some tricks to recognize them because it is based on the DOS file system which recognizes only one extension with only 3 characters. Thus if you download some files from a UNIX system to a Windows system, the files are sometimes renamed, thus raising some huge problems for migrations of large numbers of files of different kinds.
  10. If you have a simple operation to make onto some files, it will take much more time on Windows than on Linux.
Now, if you really want to have Windows on your computer just because almost everyone (so far...) use Windows, you can also install both Windows and Linux on your hard drive, and use the one you want when you want.... (note: this procedure can be done without having to re-format your disk, but it is often more efficient to repartion it and in this case, be sure to have a backup of all your personal and config files available ...).

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Last update: 07/03/2004