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Thursday, 19 March 2009

Program comparisons.

This is another of my work-in-progress notes.

Being an old Amiga head who now uses a Linux based operating system I can directly compare programs that where available for that most excellent operating system Amiga OS/Workbench and what comparatively is available for a Linux based operating system.

Sure, the Amiga OS programs would in most cases lack the sophistication of there Linux based alternatives but there are some  significant comparisons to be made and in some cases the AmigaOS programs come out on top as being the better program.

One area the Amiga OS programs come out on top is to do with sound. The Amiga had its own internal DSP, primitive as it was, it was, and still is, a powerful chip. This is one area that lets a Linux based OS down even though such powerful add-in cards as a Creative XFI can be added to the mix it is software, both drivers and audio programs where it is let down. On a Linux based OS there is a plethora of sound daemons. ALSA, OSS, Pulse Audio are the main ones then there is KDE's own ArtS and GNOME's own ESD. For my XFI sound card, at this time, OSS (via 4Front) is the only one that works with it. There  were no such issues on the Amiga as the OS itself took care of the details while programs such as the excellent OctoMED  took care of production.

Back when the Amiga was top dog of the computing world, certainly true for those of us who where more technology minded than the rest, we had powerful programs such as OctoMED to drive our audio bent. A comparison can be made between it and  such as Audacity and Ardour for a Linux based OS but they pale into insignificance to the power and ease of use OctoMED gave the user. Of course there where many other audio programs available for Amiga OS but OctoMED was the defacto standard on Amiga and rightly so.

The Amiga OS's Workbench, its GUI (Graphical User Interface), was another area where the Amiga shone. No other GUI for any platform has come close to the blazing speed it had nor its intuitive ease of use. Well, perhaps the ease of use cannot be used as something the Amiga excelled at as most GUI's created since those days follow on, or are catching up to, the Workbench in the ease of use area. But, the one thing that really made the Amiga shine was its pull down screens. One has to see it in operation to fully appreciate what pull down screens means as no GUI since the Amiga has done it as far as I am aware. We Linux based OS users have a desktop shell called by many names, KDE, GNOME, XFCE4,LXDE are just a few. We also have Desktop Managers that aid in the look and feel of the desktop. These types do not have the plethora of programs the full DTE's (DeskTop Environment) have.

At the end of the day I was and still am an Amiga Head so my view of that operating system may be slightly slewed but if it is then so be it. I will say it again. No operating system from the Microsoft world, the Linux based world or the Unix based world or even lesser know ones like the QNX desktop or BeOS. Of all those QNX comes the closest but even that one fails in some areas when ut up against the AmigaOS.

1 comment:

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