Ease of Installation and Compatibility Problem

Among the three operating systems, Windows 95's Plug-and-Play is a good feature. It can automatically recognize most hardwares including sound cards, modems, printers CD-ROM drive that exist in a machine. It also make correct configurations for the software in the machines to run correctly. However, there are a few softwares that will not work such as Mac-to-DOS. Generally, it is very easy to install Windows 95. The operating system will take up 30 to 55 Mb of hard disk space plus some for swapping and requires 8 Mb or more RAM with at least a 386 machine.

OS/2 Warp has included an easy installation option for its user which it does not have in its previous version. Despite this feature, there are still problems that users might find. Older machines by Dell, Advanced Gravis, Mediatrix and some other manufacturers may need to obtain patch drivers from their manufacturers. OS/2 Warp also have problems with the early version of Gatway 2000 computer, IBM PS/2 with ABIOS, IBM PS/2 Model 76 or IBM ThinkPad with docking station computer. Problems are recorded in OS/2 Warp User's guide regarding certain versions of Phoenix, AMI and Micronics BIOS, ATI Graphics Ultra Pro. Users might have to make changes to their installation disk so that OS/2 will install properly with their CD-ROM drive. If you have computers that has a right combination of hardware configurations, it will be quite a smooth installation procedure, otherwise, it could be a nightmare. It might be a good idea for OS/2 potential users to ask their dealer to pre-installed OS/2 in their new machines or have some computer consultants to load OS/2 for them if they have problems. OS/2 requires 65 Mb for full installation plus swap disk space, with 8 Mb or more RAM (though it will also run with 4 Mb) with at least a 386 machine.

Linux is the operating system that novice users do not want to put into their machines themselves. Users that plan to install Linux in their machines need to have a good understanding of their computer hardware configuration and some concept of how an operating system works. If you want to have Linux coexisting with other operating systems, it might be more complicated. DOS users who want to move to Linux will find it very user unfriendly and confusing as DOS is a single user single tasking operating while Linux is a multiple users and multitasking operating system. Users who decide to install Linux, will first have to choose the right kernel for their machines configurations. If the kernel loads up smoothly, the users will be prompt for what features to be installed. The base system requires 20 Mb but is not very usable. With 40 Mb, you can install some applications and modem support on top of the base system; 80 Mb, all the above with compilers and development packages; 100 Mb, all the above plus networking packages including TCP/IP; 150 Mb will allow users to put in basic Xwindow systems. That is Linux requires more hard disk spaces to provide a GUI interface. Linux will also run with machines with a 386 or higher CPU. Note also that Linux is a free-ware and it is widely distributed through many ftp sites and CD-ROM company. Each may have enhancement to the installation procedure such as the Plug and Play Linux by Yggdrasil.

February 20, 1996

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