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Re: [vox] One more reason to prefer Linux...
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Re: [vox] One more reason to prefer Linux...

on Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 10:13:05AM -0800, Richard S. Crawford (rscrawford@mossroot.com) wrote:
> For some reason, my computer's GUI crashed at work.  Because it's a
> Windows computer, I couldn't do a danged thing unless I rebooted. 
> Pressing ctrl+alt+delete brought up the task manager at least, so I could
> do a more or less clean reboot, but still.  It was annoying.
> At home I run FC3 with KDE as my window manager.  If KDE crashes, I
> know I can restart X by pressing ctrl+alt+backspace, without having to
> reboot the entire computer.  Or I can launch a shell and examine the
> system logs to see what happened, and possibly fix whatever
> configuration setting got messed up.  With Windows, I could boot into
> safe mode, but that's no guarantee that I'll figure out what happened.
> But I still have to reboot the entire machine and that's a lot more
> time consuming than just rebooting X.

Depends on the bug, and the legacy MS Windows version.  For any
DOS-based variant (3.x, 9[58], ME), yes, you're hosed.

For NT, 2K, and XP, if memory serves[1], <ctrl><alt><del> brings up a
dialog from which several options can be selected, including the Tack
Smangler[2].  "File => Run" then provides a dialog from which the
legacy MS Windows shell can be run:  'explorer'.

Actually, in 2K/XP, the shell will _usually_ restart itself if it
crashes.  You'll have a few moments during which you're looking at a
desktop sans icons and Start Bar, then they pop back.

Of course, if the crash is deeper than that, you'll lose the session,
and you can't just toggle back to console or ssh in remotely to fix the

Otherwise: yes, legacy MS Windows is remarkably less robust and
recoverable than GNU/Linux.  But not quite so entirely as Richard's post
would suggest.

I'll also note that there's many times where rebooting is markedly
faster than mucking around trying to fix things on the fly.  Though
state preservation is generally lower.



1.  It usually faults.

2.  Task Manager, for those pedantic enough to read footnotes.

3.  A serious note this time:  more annoyingly, even if you *do* have
    sshd installed, say, through Cygwin[4], you cannot launch desktop
    processes from ssh.  Though you _can_ kill them, via TASKKILL.EXE.
    And list them via TASKLIST.EXE.  IIRC.

4.  http://www.cygwin.com/

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    It has math, optics, and vivisection, but no computers, no code, and
    no high-speed pizza delivery.
    - Slashdot review of Neal Stephenson's _Quicksilver_

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