Sunday, September 27, 2015

Moore's Law?

A while ago, I noticed that computers weren't getting any better.  By better, I mean no longer faster in newer generations.  I put up a post observing this trend a while back.

Today, I read a great article in the New York Times.  The author observed the aging of Moore's law, and discussed how chips were becoming more power efficient, but not faster.

I think there's a gap between software and the capabilities of the computer. By gap, I think the computer is able to run more complex software, but we don't know how to write that kind of software yet.  Nor are we able to articulate what we would like.  Sounds like Kondratiev's Law at work. Computers are maturing and no longer spurring the economy forward.

Debian Jessie

A few months ago, I installed Debian Jessie 8 on a 64 bit core 2 quad machine. Since then, the machine (being very large as in full size) has sat gathering dust.  Finally, I put it together last night. Today I had to troubleshoot the DVI cables, and now I have a nice dual head machine. (dual head is two monitors). For a long time, Debian has been a fascinating distribution for me.

Debian has the most programs (repositories) of any of the Linux multiverse. Debian is the grandmother of many other distributions, such as Mint, Ubuntu up to a few years ago, Xandros, and others. Distrowatch has a complete list of Linux distributions. Interestingly, Linux seems to be funneling down into three top versions of software, and Debian is an older distribution.

One of the prominent US versions of Linux is the Red Hat universe which consists of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and Centos.  Fedora is the bleeding edge distro where changes and new untested software appear first.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Centos have very few versions, being a super stable business distro. The biggest difference between Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Centos is paid support.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a very stable and well supported software suite.

Another group of prominent distributions is based on Arch Linux. Arch uses rolling upgrades, so users don't have to update their machines. Spatry, a leading You Tube Linux personality, has a Manjaro distribution available. Apart from every color being black and sometimes hard to read, this is a great distro.

The last major distribution is SUSE.  SUSE seems to be big in Europe, especially Germany. SUSE uses Red Hat's program installation coding known as Red Hat Package Manager or RPM for short. SUSE has roots far separate from Red Hat.

I first became interested in Linux in 1994. I used Slackware, Yggdrasil, and the original Red Hat. Back then, we had to buy special hardware to work on Linux because many drivers were proprietary and limited to Windows or OS10.  Since then, I tend to use old computers, so Linux always installs easily.

Now the introduction is over, I wanted to write a few thoughts about Debian.  The reason I installed this operating system is due to the large amount of writing I have to get done.  My favorite computer repair man, Ron at PC Triage, always says writers like Linux best. Linux in general, but especially Debian, is  very stable compared to Windows.  In Linux, writers have free access to the language commercial printers use in their set up, where one of the common languages is LATEX. LATEX is available as a plug in in Libre Office.  The CEO of Red Hat wrote a book using Libre Office on a Fedora 22 laptop. And Ron says writers love the bullet proof stability, oh did I mention that already?

So far so good with Debian. Seems like I've turned the clock back to one of the initial versions of Ubuntu. The .deb packages go in pretty easily.  The video drivers seem to agree with my card.  The screen are sharp and bright.

Playing You Tube is easy with this, flash just worked out of the gate.

All in all, Debian seems like a great OS.