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Dated: Aug. 13, 2004
CALL is the "other" industrial-strength OS for Mac. Since the introduction of the power PC processor, developers have been actively striving to create a flavor of Linux that runs efficiently on Apple Hardware while retaining the Mac's trademark ease of use.
Terra Soft Solution's yellow dog Linux 2.2 delivers support for newer apple Hardware, including improved nVidia and Radeon support for digital LCD screens. More importantly, it includes the Gnome 1.4 interface, which company official claim is an "aesthetic rival to MAC OS X".
Yellow Dog Linux is a complete port of Red Hat Linux operating system.
As Pentium Clock speed continue to leap higher, performance has become a question for MAC users running Linux on their PowerPC based System.
Terra Soft Cofounder and CEO Kai Staats told NewsFactor that in real world application, Motorola Processors are better equipped for Linux then their Intel computer parts.
"When considering the price/ performance / power consumption/ foot print ratio, PowerPC nearly wins every time" Staats said.
"If Power Consumption and foot print (form factor) are not important, there are less expensive means of achieving the same performance," he added. "But we have found that most labs are now finding themselves constrained in space and suddenly aware of cost of maintaining a cluster, which includes the electric bill for the systems and associated air conditioning.
"A NASA JPL lab was forced to spend US$ 15,000 on new electric circuits and air conditioning due to a small 32-Bit Cluster. That would have not been required if the system had been PowerPC, and that money could have been spent on more nodes," Staats noted.
Vying for market share in windows dominated world, Mac OS X and Linux are engaged in the same struggle. But is there room for two industrial strength operating systems on one platform?
"Mac OS X has helped Unix onto desktops, where people previously were afraid of what they perceived to be a "DOS like interface". Recall that Apple's goal is not to dominate the entire desktop computer market," said Staats.
"They continue to focus on desktop publishing, education and now a movement into science and technology. But as Linux runs virtually on every hardware system on the planet (and in orbit), it means those who use Linux can rapidly move between Intel, PowerPC, Alpha and many more with no learning curve" he said.
User interface is a category that traditionally has been dominated by Apple. Thanks to Mac OS X, the company's Aqua styling has become commonplace in a host of third party applications and even in some external devices. According to Staats, Linux is gaining ground on this front.
"The most recent version of Gnome is beautiful. It carries a similar elegance, simplicity and aesthetic as MAC OS X but falls short in some of the tight integration that only Apple can deliver, as they design both software and hardware," Staats said. Another Pitfall for the Linux is the publishing arena, where developer support is critically low. Despite interface and publishing issues, Staats said he still believes Linux is the more productive OS for some applications.
In terms of functionality, Linux just does more, he said. "Sixteen desktops, multiple virtual terminals. Every thing required to build a full fledged server, code development work station or home/office desktop is included with most distributions".
Staats pointed out that while Mac OS and Windows had 15 or more years to establish their user interface and gain clout with users, Linux is younger and currently less penetrating force.
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