Windows Vista Advantages & Learning to Become A Competent Linux System Administrator
Posted on 13th April, 2007
The more I read about Windows Vista, the more tempted I become to upgrade my Windows XP to the latest release from Microsoft as soon as possible.
I decide to upgrade not because I can afford to or because I have a Vista Premium Ready PC but because I need to. As a software developer for the Windows platform, there’s no escaping for me to ensure that my software are compatible with the latest OS in the market.
I was asked several times by my customers if my software is compatible with Vista . While I expect them run without problem, the only way for me to know for sure is to test them on Vista myself
However, instead of replacing my Windows XP installation, I am considering to install Vista on a separate partition allowing both Vista and XP to coexist. This setup will allow me to select which OS to run while the PC is booting.
This will also give me ample time to play with Vista before migrating all the data from XP partition and finally make it as my default operating system. I believe there’s a tool in Vista that simplifies data migration between the two operating systems.
Besides the necessity to get Vista as I mentioned above, there are several other advantages that one could enjoy for upgrading. The obvious advantage most people have heard of are enhanced security, cool Aero interface, built-in instant search – like what you get from Google Desktop – and several others.
However, most have not heard of the internal advantages such as SuperFetch, protected processes, cache management, resistance to system hangs on I/O, and the multithreaded kernel.
Windows Vista Advantages
SuperFetch prioritizes the programs you’re currently using and adapts to the way you work by tracking the programs you use frequently, at what times of day that programs are used and intelligently preloading these into memory.
So what so great about this you ask. If your computer is struggling to accommodate other tasks while your antivirus or backup utility or even Photoshop image processing is running, just plug in a USB 2.0 thumb drive to boost the memory and you can literally enjoy a performance boost instantly.
If you are using a laptop, SuperFetch will lengthen your battery life too because your hard disk spin less frequently which translates to less power consumption.
As for me, the reason I upgraded my desktop RAM to 3GB recently is to take advantage of this feature.
Those I/O hangs will be a thing of the past as Vista is engineered to avoid them and the interference from rouge processes. Yes no more system hanging and pressing the reboot button finally.
From the security department, one of XP’s biggest security problem is that it promotes everybody who wants the ability to run a vast number of programs and conduct common activities as an Administrator. As a result anybody, including a malicious program that has the admin privileges is able to wreak havoc and exploit your system.
Vista ‘s User Account Control solves this problem by creating a Standard account which is not as powerful as the Admin account but it still allows the widest possible range of activity. Now, even an Administrator run at Standard level. A warning is displayed when elevated privilege is required.
Another cool feature of Vista is the ability recovers previous versions of overwritten files with a click of a mouse.
The multithreaded kernel feature is made for multicore processors. Unfortunately, this is one area that my PC can’t take advantage of because it’s a single core machine. If you have multicore processors or dual core system, you’ll notice a significant improvement in performance when running applications that support multithreading.
There are many other advantages Vista’s has over XP. One can always say other OS such as Linux has been supporting multithreading and better user management so why bother with Vista? You don’t have to if are happy with what you got and it gets the job done for you.
But me, I want BOTH.
A Self-Sufficient & Competent Linux Server Administrator
I am quite excited actually with the thought of learning another new operating system along side Vista. I got another machine on my home LAN running Windows 2000 where I plan to install Fedora Core 6, one of the freely available open source Red Hat Linux variants.
The computer will be setup to simulate a production server where I hope to learn the ins and outs of Linux administration. There’ll be no fancy interface there, just the dreaded command line interface which I find quite interesting actually as a programmer.
This will be helpful as I am making the transition from the owner of a managed server to managing an unmanaged one. Actually I’ve been on unmanaged server before for five years. I know the basic Linux commands and basic server administration but that’s not enough for me. I survived with that server because I sourced out the complicated tasks such as server hardening and optimization to a third party.
To help me learn, I am going to buy these books from Amazon.com.
Obviously there’s some money to be saved when moving from a managed to an unmanaged server. By doing everything myself, the saving it brings will allow me to rent a more power server. How cool is that.
BTW, the migrations of my accounts from the current server to the new one are doing fine. That’s only after tech support fixed a problem which prevented me from continuing with the transfer. I am getting tired of this old server dying on a daily basic, sometimes several times per day as you may have noticed.
I hope to complete the transfer before the end of next week.