Technical Information By The Network Multivendor Computer Science Essay

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Comparisons linking the Microsoft Windows and Linux computer operating systems are a long-running argument topic within the personal computer business. During the entire period of the Windows 9x operating systems through the preface of Windows 7, Windows has retained an tremendously huge retail sales mainstream among operating systems for individual desktop use, while Linux has persistent its status as the most well-known freeware os. After their preliminary conflict, both os motivated further than the user base of the delicate computer market and share a opposition on a range of other devices, with assistance for the server and entrenched systems markets.

Linux is accessible for many varieties of CPUs: x86, x64, Itanium, MIPS, PowerPC etc . The Windows family is accessible on x86, x64, and Itanium. Due to the multiplicity of supported CPU types, Linux finds applications in routers, set-top boxes, PDAs and hand held's also in servers and desktops.

Linux and Microsoft Windows vary in viewpoint, price tag, adaptability and steadiness, with each looking for to progress in their alleged weaker areas. Comparisons of the two OS be likely to mirror their genesis, significant user bases and allocation models. Typical alleged weaknesses repeatedly cited have regularly included pitiable customer awareness with Linux, and Microsoft Windows' vulnerability to viruses and malware.

Microsoft says that their products have an overall lower total cost of ownership than open source software due to their ease of use, resulting in less work and less staff expenses

One quarrel sustaining the cost effectiveness of Linux is that even though Linux admins are typically paid fairly higher wages than Windows admins, a experienced Linux admin can take care of more computers than the latter.

The Windows Shell. The window manager is the Desktop Window Manager on Windows Vista, and a Stacking window manager built on top of GDI in older versions. The desktop environment may be modified by a variety of third party products such as WindowBlinds; or completely replaced, for example by Blackbox for Windows, or LiteStep. With Windows Server 2008 and later server releases, there is also the option of running "Server Core" which lacks the standard window manager. The graphics drivers, subsystem, and core widgets are included with all installations, including those used as servers.

A number of desktop environments are available, of which GNOME and KDE are the most widely used. By default, they use the Metacity and KWin window managers respectively, though these can be replaced by other window manager, such as Compiz Fusion.

Other desktop environments and window managers include Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, Xmonad, Openbox, Fluxbox, etc. The X Window system runs in user-space and is optional. Multiple X Window system instances can run at once, and it is a fully networked protocol. See Also: Comparison of X Window System desktop environments.

The Command Prompt exists to provide direct communication between the user and the operating system. A .NET-based command line environment called Windows PowerShell has been developed. It varies from Unix/Linux shells in that, rather than using byte streams, the PowerShell pipeline is an object pipeline; that is, the data passed between cmdlets are fully typed objects. When data is piped as objects, the elements they encapsulate retain their structure and types across cmdlets, without the need for any serialization or explicit parsing of the stream. Cygwin or MS's own Services for Unix provides a bash terminal for Windows. Posix subsystem is built in but not enabled by default. The Console can execute up to 4 kinds of environments, MSDOS scripts under NT or via running on NTVDM, NT shell scripts and OS/2 Console Scripts. Windows Script Host is included in Windows 98 and newer versions.

A sample Bash session

Linux is strongly integrated with the system console. The command line can be used to recover the system if the graphics subsystem fails. A large number of Unix shells exists; with the majority being "Bourne shell compatible" shells, of which the most widely used is GNU Bash. Alternatives include the feature-full Z shell; as well as shells based on the syntax of other programming languages, such as the C shell, and Perl Shell. Many applications can be scripted through the system console, there are a lot of small and specialized utilities meant to work together and to integrate with other programs. This is




Ease of Installation

On Windows Server 2003 and prior, the installation is divided into two stages; the first, text-mode; the second, graphical.On Windows Vista and newer, the installation is single stage and graphical.

Some older versions require third party drivers (for example, by using driver floppies disks or slipstreaming the drivers and creating a new installation CD) if using a large number of SATA or SATA2 drives or RAID arrays.

Varies greatly by distribution. Most distributions intended for new or intermediate users provide simple graphical installers.

General purpose oriented distributions offer a live CD or GUI installer (SuSE, Debian, Pardus, Pclinuxos, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora etc.), others offer a menu-driven installer (Vector Linux, Slackware, Debian) while others, targeting more specialized groups, require source to be copied and compiled (Gentoo). The system can also be built completely from scratch, directly from source code (Linux from Scratch).

Accessibility and usability

A study released in 2003 by Relevantive AG indicates that "The usability of Linux as a desktop system was judged to be nearly equal to that of Windows XP".




User Focus

Mostly consistent. Inconsistencies appear primarily through backports-software ported from newer operating systems to older ones. For example, software ported from Vista to XP must follow the Vista guidelines, those of the newer system (IE7 and Windows Media Player 11 are examples of this). However, Microsoft continually pushes for consistency between releases with guidelines for interface design. The latest are Windows Vista User Experience guidelines. Their focus is on consistency and usability, but with increased concern for safety in new versions. Third-party applications may or may not follow these guidelines, may have their own guidelines, or may not follow any rules for interface design.

The quality of graphical design varies between desktop environments and distributions. The two biggest desktop environments (GNOME and KDE) have clearly defined interface guidelines, which tend to be followed consistently and clearly. These provide consistency and a high grade of customizability in order to adapt to the needs of the user. Distributions such as Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora or Mandriva take this one step further, combining well-functioning usability and safety. However, inconsistencies may appear, since GNOME-based programs, following different guidelines, look notably different from KDE programs, although there are workarounds for making both look similarly, without inconsistences. There are other environments/window managers, usually targeting professionals or minimalist users, featuring some very powerful programs with rudimentary, minimalist graphical front-ends, focusing much more on performance, small size and safety. WindowMaker and the Fluxbox/Openbox/Blackbox environments are such examples. Some other environments fit between the two models, giving both power, eye candy and simplicity (Enlightenment/E17, Xfce). Some graphical environments are targeted to mouse users only (Fluxbox), others to keyboard users only (Ratpoison), others to either. Certain graphical environments are also designed to be as resource-conservative as possible, so as to run on older machines.

Consistency between versions

User interaction with software is usually consistent between versions, releases, and editions.

Consistency ranges from high to poor between distributions, versions, window managers/desktop environments, and programs. Software is generally highly user-customizable, and the user may keep the customizations between versions.






Process Scheduling

NT-based versions of Windows use a CPU scheduler based on a multilevel feedback queue, with 32 priority levels defined. The kernel may change the priority level of a thread depending on its I/O and CPU usage and whether it is interactive (i. e. accepts and responds to input from humans), raising the priority of interactive and I/O bounded processes and lowering that of CPU bound processes, to increase the responsiveness of interactive applications.

The scheduler was modified in Windows Vista to use the cycle counter register of modern processors to keep track of exactly how many CPU cycles a thread has executed, rather than just using an interval-timer interrupt routine.

Linux kernel 2.6 once used a scheduling algorithm favoring interactive processes. Here "interactive" is defined as a process that has short bursts of CPU usage rather than long ones. It is said that a process without root privilege can take advantage of this to monopolize the CPU,when the CPU time accounting precision is low. However, Completely Fair Scheduler, now the standard scheduler, addresses this problem.

Memory Management/ Disk Paging

Windows NT family (including 2000, XP, Vista, Win7) most commonly employs a dynamically allocated pagefile for memory management. A pagefile is allocated on disk, for less frequently accessed objects in memory, leaving more RAM available to actively used objects. This scheme suffers from slow-downs due to disk fragmentation (if a variable size paging file is specified), which hampers the speed at which the objects can be brought back into memory when they are needed. Windows XP and later can defragment the pagefile, and on NTFS filesystems, intelligently allocate blocks to avoid this problem. Windows can be configured to place the pagefile on a separate disk or partition. However, this is not default behavior, because if the pagefile is on a separate partition, then Windows cannot create a memory dump in the event of a Stop Error. On the NT family, executed programs become part of the paging system (to improve performance). Programs cannot normally access each others address space. It is possible to configure the operating system to have no additional paging file.

The Windows 3.1x family does not have true virtual memory and uses a simpler swapping scheme easily leading to more swapping to disc and therefore more disc fragmentation. Virtual memory support and strict memory protection is limited on the Windows 9x family for the 32-bit processes.

Most hard drive installations of Linux utilize a "swap partition", where the disk space allocated for paging is separate from general data, and is used strictly for paging operations. This reduces slowdown due to disk fragmentation from general use. As with Windows, for best performance the swap partition should be placed on a hard drive separate from the primary one. Linux also allows to adjust "swappiness" e. g. the amount of data it needs to buffer (this is not equivalent to adjusting the virtual memory size). Windows does not support such features.

The ideal solution performance-wise is to have the pagefile on its own hard drive, which eliminates both fragmentation and I/O issues.

Extracted from Wikipedia The Online encyclopedia

Date Accessed: 2010/6/21

What is a Thin Client?

A Thin Client computer is partially a network which can be described as a software program that depends on another machine to carry on with its job. This program cannot do many things like a ordinary PC. A Thin Client computer can be used in ways such as it being linked to a network in a workplace or institution and also as a computer that is used only for internet purposes such as sending and receiving e-mails and browsing the web.

A classic thin client; ThinStation

Benefits of computer networks

One of the major reasons networks are useful is because its more cost-effective to share peripheral devices like printers, because in a network computers can share a printer in a convenient method as the printer queues the appeal of the print jobs of all users depending on the time the appeal was sent.

Networks also enhance up the communication procedure among the users as users would have the capability to have visual conferences and also the most useful feature on the question of communication in networks is the instant message capability that keeps users updated with what's going on.

Authorizing applications can cost a lot of money particularly for individual machines but when it comes to computer networks it is a advantageous matter as software manufacturers offer a cost effective price for the softwares for the entire computer network.

Administration of peripheral devices will not be a time wasting and expensive job in a computer network as there could only be one admin who manages the peripherals and data. He also determines access permission to specific users.

Drawbacks of computer networks

In a computer network the security of information is scarce which means that any important piece of information can be easily shared from on computer to another.

A small mistake in a software in one of the computers in the network will cause a problem as the specific computer with the software bug may not be having the ability to either receive or send information and also will not be able to function as to the other computers In the network.

Viruses are one of the other problems that occurs in a computer network that results in computers crashing. Since each computer is connected to each other viruses can easily be spread in many forms, one of the most common ways is through e-mails within the network.

The number of computers that's connected to a network depends on how costly it would be to set up a computer network. Setting up a network requires routers, switches and hubs which is costly as to the requirements and specifications of each device that's recommended for the number of computers in the network.

Network support infrastructure


The way a router functions is by interconnecting to two or more computer networks and selectively exchanging packets of data between them. A router could be a software application or a hardware application.


On the process of the packets moving from one section of a local area network to another section of a local area network the switch directs the movement of the route of the packets.

-Fiber optic cabling

This cable has a specific number of optical fibers coated with a layer of plastic used to connect the computers as a network. This cable is more suited better than copper wires as it carry more information than copper wires.


The location where the network connects to another network is called a gateway.


The connection of one local area network to another and the decision to which local area network a packet should be sent is the function of a bridge.

Comparison of network solutions

-Cisco systems

The networking solutions that Cisco provides are a secure foundation that includes Cisco services, switches and routers. Cisco switches connects many devices that includes computers and other peripheral devices like printers on the identical network and also enabling users to easily add applications to the network with no major upgrades. Cisco routers prevent the user from security threats attacking the user's computer with firewalls and VPN (Virtual private networks) while keeping the users information secure. Cisco solutions can help users lower costs enhance the customer service and improve security.

-Net gear

Net gear network solutions include the high quality software products, business class switches, advanced security and wireless connectivity, these provide wireless as well as wired connectivity for telecommunicates office branches as well as remote mobile workforce. Net gear networking solutions allow users to gain easy access to the internet also with the showing of files among computers and peripherals among many computers. Net gear also has effective solutions when it comes to offices and when effective networking is needed.