As I was logging into my WordPress.com account I saw a recent post up on a blog called Tux Enclave that addresses a “new” operating system for PC’s. Titled “ReactOS:Here comes the Windows Nemesis” the post talks up the features and benefits of the ReactOS operating system. It looks like a Linux distro, to be honest, but I haven’t gone through the motions of trying it out. Here’s why: this is an alpha-level release of the software.
For those not in the techie field, there are 3 basic stages of software development. Once the actual coding of the software begins, you enter “alpha” release stage. Alpha releases of software aren’t even debugged to the point where the developers are confident that such basics as syntax errors and bad references are worked out. An alpha release may or may not even run from initialization to exit.
Once those obvious bugs are out, the software enters “beta” release. This is the early release stage you hear about in the news, that a given software package is being released in a limited fashion as “a beta.” What this means is that the developers believe the major bugs are gone and all that remains is fine tuning or the occasional error in logic, as opposed to the syntax of the program. Beta’s generally do what their programmers intended and they should actually be able to run successfully, even if the results aren’t always as intended.
Finally, a software package gets released to the general public, and this is the state you usually buy a piece of software in.
Listen to the caveats about ReactOS from Tux Enclave after the features list:
However, there are a few things worth mentioning. First of all, please don’t forget this is an alpha-stage operating system, which means it is not suitable to replace your main OS (due to stability and compatibility concerns). And second, this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators (like QEmu, VMWare, Parallels, etc): because of the big amount of changes, our development team was not able to test/fix all problems which arise when running ReactOS on real hardware.
(Emphasis mine.) In other words, this is an operating system not designed to actually be the operating system on a piece of hardware like your PC. To say that’s a limiting issue is an understatement. People who are looking for the ease of use and ubiquitous support of Windows are not usually the folks even familiar with, let alone adept at using, virtualizers like VMWare.
And this is supposed to be Windows’ nemesis? If Microsoft has even noticed, I doubt this has warranted more than a derisive snort.
Linux distros are all well and good and I use them myself. But in order to become a serious contender for the desktop marketshare, they have to be able to be installed – and I mean completely installed – by the typical, non-techie consumer. There has to be a process that never even mentions the term “compile the kernel” let alone actually require it to enable some service Windows has on by default. And it needs to be able to run each and every device being sold with a USB connection, without fail. Until such things are available from Linux, it’s going to remain the domain of the geek, the techie, the wire-head who gets his/her rocks off watching a fascinating data stream decrypt. (Who? Me? I… uh… look! It’s Elvis!)
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FoxNews.com has a “breaking news” banner up saying that Harry Reid’s little pajama party stunt has come up a big goose-egg again. Reid’s and the Dem’s move to get a resolution passed to cut and run from Iraq in early 2008 has failed to gain cloture, I would guess from that banner. There should be more detail soon.
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Interesting story just breaking: Coalition forces in Iraq captured Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a.k.a. Abu Shahid, back on July 4 in Mosul.
The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group’s foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.
Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, was captured in Mosul on July 4, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman.
“Al-Mashhadani is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the Al Qaeda in Iraq network,” Bergner said. He said al-Mashhadani was a close associate of Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born head of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.
“In fact, communication between the senior Al Qaeda leadership and al-Masri frequently went through al-Mashhadani,” Bergner said.
That has to hurt Al Qaeda, I’d imagine. It should be interesting to see how this develops.
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