FreeBSD in General

Gerald H. Kruchten ghklionheart at
Wed Apr 23 12:52:56 PDT 2003

Dear Sirs,

	First, a little about my background in UNIX and computers in 
general.  Basically, I am highly qualified as pretty much of a complete 
idiot when it comes to Unix and not much better regarding the rest of the 
field.  That pretty much covers my background.  As for details, I am not 
computer illiterate, nor am I any where near to being an export on any 
operating system or computer.  I get by.  I presently run Windows NT 4.0 on 
one computer and Windows XP pro on the other.  I make use of system 
commander as a boot loader on both computers because I have messed around 
with various different operating systems.  At one point in time and when I 
only had one computer with a ton of hard drive space, I had the following 
operating systems loaded up and working on this computer at once: DOS 5.0, 
WindowsNT4.0, OS/2Warp 4, Mandrake's Linux 7.3, FreeBSD 4.2, and BeOS.  Of 
all of them, I liked BeOS about the best and next after that was OS/2 as a 
close second choice because it was so fast.  But one can no longer get the 
necessary drivers to get anything to operate correctly.  I am not a 
programmer and I don't intend to be a programmer because it is too late in 
my life to try to teach this old dog a new career.  I was able to get BSD 
going as well as the Mandrake-Linux.  Mandrake's manuals left a lot to be 
desired and the operating system often hung.  I prefer GUI because I am not 
a geek; never was and don't care to become one.  A person's memory is made 
to be used for more important things than to remember UNIX commands.  The 
prospect of sitting in a nursing home in my late years endlessly repeating 
and reciting useless UNIX commands while sitting in a wheel chair in a 
catatonic state sends shivers up and down my spine.  That thought alone is 
repulsive.  It is just that I am so frustrated with Microsoft's mode and 
method doing of business.  I would probably feel different about it if I 
felt that they had the most reliable and efficient product, but we all know 
that this isn't so.  They do have the easiest operating systems to 
use.  Though I am not a programmer, I am convinced that Microsoft is more 
concerned about snooping into my business than they are in providing the 
fastest and most efficient software product available.  I am looking for an 
operating system that will smoke MS in efficiency and productivity without 
being required to have a PHD, Master's or any other college degree to 
operate a computer system.  BeOS and OS/2 Warp came closest to meeting my 
desired requirements, but neither of them are any longer being worked on or 
written for.  Both OSes were truly fast and were multitasking.

	These days, Linux and FreeBSD seem to come closest to meet what I would 
like see in a computer operating system.  But the three main vendors of 
Linux software, Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE all seem to be trying to follow 
the Microsoft business model of marketing.  In the process, all of them, 
especially Mandrake, seem to be putting out crap versions just so one 
vendor can claim one-upsmanship over his competitor in having the latest 
version on the market.  While this is transpiring, MS still having all the 
morals of a serial rapist, is working on its next big screw job.  Most 
likely, a lot of us will be sucked in again.  The only people of this 
industry that I'm not hearing a lot about is FreeBSD.  I haven't seen a 
FreeBSD stable pack box at Comp USA in months, though they are still listed 
on your site as being a retailer.

	If your going to continue having them as a retailer, rather than putting 
out a FreeBSD v4.8 in a box, I think that you ought to get crackin' and get 
a relatively bugless or debugged version of 5.0 out there.  The other thing 
that I am looking for is a GUI windows emulator that will operate "ALL" 
windows applications.  I request that because I am presently forced to use 
a charting system that is programmed and designed only for the later 
versions of Windows.  This is because companies that offer this kind of 
specialized software are usually very small and simply can't afford the 
capital costs that go with developing applications for multiple 
platforms.  They develop applications for Windows  because most of the 
businesses in the stock market industry still use MS operating 
software.  It ends up being a vicious circle that leaves you guys, Linux 
and me out in the cold.  I do like the simplicity with which one can 
usually operate a Microsoft OS.  It's designed with the simpleton in 
mind.  That's me.  However,  I personally also like some of the (I think 
the term used is platforms) GUI platforms that Linux uses, especially the 
use of multiple open windows.  I never got far enough with my 4.2 BSD 
version to put any type of windows on it.  I want to also say this about 
Linux.  There is just something about the way that the Linux vendors are 
operating that goes against my grain.  For pretty much that reason alone, I 
don't like them.  Maybe it's like Microsoft and dejavu all over again.  I 
can not say the same though for some of the people that use it.  They say, 
"It rocks and that Linux has much better support than BSD."  I can't say 
"yea" or "nay" to either claim.  I just think and feel that you guys are 
probably the last good hope of having a "One size fits all, super speedy, 
super reliable operating system.  I know that BSD is used under MAC X 
OS.  But some questions: #1, Who can afford to buy a Mac computer at the 
prices that they want for them?  #2; I know that Mac is used quite 
extensively in publishing businesses, but do you think that MAC is going to 
continue or be able to remain in business?  I seriously doubt it because 
they can't seem to get past proprietary issues.  That's the mode of 
thinking that got them into trouble in the first place.  How many years has 
that been the case and how far have they moved off of dead center to 
resolve that issue?  What I perceive as an answer to that question is, "Not 
very far."  So, unless something really Earth shattering and great suddenly 
begins to happen, you are left as the last hope for the average Joe hope to 
obtain a simple, fast, and dynamite operating system that works with 
virtually every application ever made.
	I would suspect that by now, it is quite obvious from what I have written 
that I have little or no clue as to what is required when it comes to 
writing a software program and/or application.  But I shouldn't need to 
have one.  All that I, the everyday customer, should have to tell you is 
what I want.  Once having done so, most any engineer/technician worth 
his/her salt, will readily be able to figure something out design it 
according to those specs.  I just hope that it happens before I'm returned 
to ashes.  I would like to be able to use and enjoy a universal operating 
system that will be able to handle anything that I load onto it and that I 
won't have to ready manuals for the next ten years just to power up and 
sign on.  I don't think that I am wishing for too much here.  After 
all,  when one people of the industry told other people at seminars just a 
few years ago that the average household would have a computer and many of 
them two or more, the majority of people scoffed at that idea.  I say, "Go 
for all the marbles."  But don't go so slow that we can sit here and watch 
the snails race by or watch the paint peel.  Thankyou for your time.

															Gerald Kruchten

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