Use a Unix machine for home?

Alex Laney alex at xicom.uucp
Mon Jan 8 07:32:18 AEST 1990

Some people have (sort of) brought up the old Dos vs Unix issue. One
point I feel that I have to refute is the idea that you have to read a
cubic metre of documentation to use Unix. And that this is somehow
different than using MsDos.

I work for a company that makes products for the MsDos, MsDos LAN,
Unix, QNX marketplaces. By far the most complicated is the MsDos LAN
environment, complicated by Software Development. You have multiple
suppliers with their various styles of documentation, etc. Now it is
true that, on the average, any MsDos application is more mature than a
Unix application. (re: online help) SCO has probably the best attitude of
all the 386 Unix vendors: you can install just the basic run-time
system, so that you can run just applications, without getting into the
complexity of installing all the other pieces. This is just like what
MsDos has done for the marketplace, remove unnecessary complexity. What
has unfortunately hurt  Unix in the office perceptions is this idea of
all these weird programs that are part of Unix. Huh, what, I've got to
'grep' this file and pass that to 'awk'. Computer people who are
ignorant, I guess I really mean Sales/Marketing jump on this sort of
innuendo and hurt the Unix marketplace. It is a real myth that MsDos
is user-friendly and that Unix is less. When you get into specific business
application-to-application comparisons then it is generally true.

The cubic metre only comes into play when you want to install the
complete Unix system. And that is comparible to MsDos, plus Compiler,
plus Development Tools, plus Electronic Mail, plus Networking. In that
case I am certain that the MsDos system has more manuals.

Anybody need a spokesman for Unix? The company I work for is getting out
of Unix products, so I'm available...

Alex Laney, Xicom Group, National Semiconductor, Ottawa, Canada (613) 728-9099
uunet!mitel!sce!xicom!alex (alex at xicom.uucp)     Fax: (613) 728-1134
"You save time, increase the amount of work done and it is easy."

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