BASH Shell is better than Powershell and discussion of the Linux desktop versus Windows.

The Powershell for Windows has many useful features for controlling your Windows computer; with many cmdlets and scripting ability; but the BASH shell for Linux is already an established shell that is far more powerful and useful. The downside to the Powershell is that it does not seem to have an implementation of grep. Without that it is an annoying shell to use compared to any Linux shell that has many advantages when filtering the output of a command looking for one specific word or string. That is why I keep coming back to Linux after using Windows for something or other. FreeBSD is another good operating system for your desktop machine or server. Windows needs to shut down to install updates in Windows 7; why is it so hard for Redmond to fix this? Linux can install updates whilst the software is running; obviously you need to re-boot when you have updated the GNU Libc and/or the kernel to load the new versions, but it does not prompt you every so often to re-boot when you are in the middle of something; that is something that will annoy you to no end. Is is possible to re-engineer Windows to actually behave like a modern operating system and install updates properly as well as being as reliable and secure as Linux?

Is this a pipe dream or not? Linux though does not need activation and product keys; you just download and install Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 and install it to your hard drive and then type sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and then install the extra multimedia packages with the sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras command and you are all set to watch your Xvid movies and listen to your music files. The Banshee music player is the best option for listening to your music library; just import all of your music into the music player and it will show a window with all the album art for your music albums. It will retrieve missing album art for your music files as well. The modern Ubuntu or Fedora desktop is easy to use but I wish that the MATE desktop was the default instead of the Unity desktop or Gnome 3. It seems like Unity is here to stay, but I wish that the Gnome 2.32.2 desktop was still available for us older Linux users. I have used various Linux distributions over the years; and I have seen quite a few changes in the Linux desktop; the older Red Hat Linux Gnome desktop looked rather like Windows; now the Fedora distribution using the Gnome Shell desktop is emulating the Macintosh desktop.

We are using Linux not iOS, so do not make the desktop look a tablet or mobile `phone interface! I miss the old Red Hat Linux 9 desktop; it was very stylish with the Bluecurve theme and the desktop that had a unified look and feel whether you were running KDE or Gnome. That is something we should bring back. Many Macintosh computer users are happy using their closed source operating system built on top of the Darwin UNIX kernel which has been targeted by malicious software in a concerted attack recently. The Macintosh desktop interface is quite stylish and polished; but that does not mean we should copy it to build a new Linux desktop. The KDE and Gnome desktops were just fine and then they had to change them. Unity has good search capabilities when you press the Windows key to bring up the dash and start typing, but many users are saying that we need to create a new Linux desktop that is easy for new users to use and attractive at the same time. Having a good search function built-in would also be a good idea. The best search function is one that builds a database of all files by indexing every thing in defined folders and from then on if you want to search for something it will be nearly instant. The old Beagle search application functioned like this and was very fast.

A desktop that is easy for a transitioning Windows user to sit down in front of and use would be a good start; not so much of a turnoff as the new Windows 8 Metro interface. Just something familiar with an attractive interface that is good-looking as well as usable and fast on older hardware. Then the Linux desktop would be even more of a competitor that could take on the soon to be released Windows 8. The new Microsoft operating system is missing features; you need to pay to install the DVD playback and media centre functionality. That is horrible. At least Ubuntu with a couple of commands can install the packages needed for DVD playback as well as MP3 and Xvid playback. The Totem media player is a good default playback application; install Smplayer or VLC if you want even more functionality. The me-tv package provides support for watching DVB-T digital television on your PC. It can also schedule recordings which are captured in Mpeg format, meaning that you can easily playback the files with VLC or Smplayer. And you do not need to pay to unlock the DVD and MP3 playback functionality as well as DVB-T and Adobe Flash support. Of course with the way television is going I do not watch too much of that anyway; it is getting dumber and dumber.

They have a new show on with some woman going around with a cute little dog and it seems like the typical dumbed down show that America would come out with. American media is getting dumber and dumber; the news is more entertainment than anything else; when will this end? At least reading a book is more entertaining than watching any American show for any length of time. You could watch Big Bang Theory for a whole season and not learn anything compared to reading a book. Although the episode with the time machine and the Morlocks was very good; they used the classic machine from the 1960 movie instead of the re-make. In the book the Time Traveller went forward to the year 3,000,000,000 and saw the end of the Earth as the Sun expanded into a giant red star as its Hydrogen fuel runs out. That is why the movie Sunshine was wrong. If the Sun was running out of fuel it would have gotten hotter not colder. But Hollywood always make mistakes like that. And you would need billions of the stellar bombs to restart the Sun. Making a new star from scratch if you had the technology is easy.

Just harvest interstellar hydrogen and push it together into a giant cloud and eventually it will be held in a sphere shape by gravity; then you just need to push more into the cloud until there is enough pressure at the core to start nuclear fusion. Then you have your star. Do they teach that in American public schools anymore? I guess that stellar engineering will not be a required module in schools for quite a while yet. The short story by Arthur C Clark; The Last Question is a good description of what it will be like when the Universe is cooling and all of the stars are dying out.

Read the story here:

3 responses to “BASH Shell is better than Powershell and discussion of the Linux desktop versus Windows.

“does not seem to have an implementation of grep” – there is Select-String, or sls for short. Also you can use most of the gnu utils from Powershell if you want to – I use sed and awk at times for example. The utilities you use are a separate thing from the shell you choose. But the power in powershell is the ability to work with streams of any object type, not just text or binary streams, and to combine the power of a shell language with the power of a scripting language.

“Is is possible to re-engineer Windows to actually behave like a modern operating system and install updates properly as well as being as reliable and secure as Linux?” – You can configure updates to run however you want. The default is to install them and then prompt you to reboot – however you configure it to not download or install, or to download but wait till you ask it to install, etc. Windows may require reboots somewhat more often for system updates but in the majority of cases my Ubuntu desktop requires a reboot after updates too.

Also, Windows’s security features and reliability do rival those of Linux – it just has many more ordinary users and is thus a profitable target. A similar example would be Android, which has 99% of all mobile malware – and even things like rootkits are out there. The reason? It’s popular among the general populace and it gives you the flexibility to do things that a walled garden would not allow.

“you need to pay to install the DVD playback and media centre functionality” – just use VLC or a similar app, which if you have chocolatey or another package manager, is a single simple command away.

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