June 11th, 2003

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01:05 pm - Technogeekery: Windows 2000 Server vs FreeBSD 5.0 / Samba 2.2.8
Yesterday, I set up a test network in my War Room to learn how to put a FreeBSD fileserver on an Active Directory domain, using the Active Directory rather than local accounts to handle password authentication. (I also got ACL's running under FreeBSD and Samba both, for those of you who know what that means / care.) It was an interesting little journey, but I got there, and now I'm ready to do it for a production network next week.

This morning, while waiting idly for an appointment I needed to run, I decided to do a little experiment: I'd compare the performance of the Windows 2000 Server and the FreeBSD 5.0 / Samba machine. I've done this sort of thing before, but on considerably newer hardware and running considerably more processes, and using Windows 2000 Professional instead of Server. And in that case, the machines were close to identical, although the Win2K box did have a noticeable hardware edge. (Despite which it lost thoroughly and miserably.)

This time, though, things were different. For one thing, both competitors are brand-new squeaky clean installs: each was put together from parts, formatted (or newfs'ed) and installed as of early yesterday afternoon. But more importantly, L04th1ng (the Windows 2000 Server), is actually a pretty capable machine... but Mule (our scrappy-but-pitiful little FreeBSD box), is downright laughably outdated and outclassed in all respects when it comes to the hardware department, as you can see below.


Windows 2000 Server

FreeBSD 5.0 / Samba 2.2.8


Athlon Thunderbird 900MHz

Pentium-2 400MHz




Hard Drive: 

Maxtor 40GB, 7200RPM, ATA/100

Western Digital 6GB, 5400RPM, ATA/33

Network Interface: 

Intel EtherExpress Pro/100

Intel EtherExpress Pro/100

Which is why it's so fucking hilarious that when the only thing happening on either machine is copying 600MB of files from one machine to the other, despite a truly brutal hardware advantage, the Windows 2000 Server machine got its ass HANDED to it. And please do note that the brutal spanking depicted below is NOT simply due to the Windows 2000 Server paging memory to disk, and can NOT be fixed just by adding more RAM - it's still got 272 MB free as it is.


Please, microsoft... get the fuck out of the operating system business, and just make GUIs. You're good at that.
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Bobby Jimmy and the Critters - I Can't Believe She's Really Going Out With Him

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture] From: handofme
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 11:19 am
Brillent... Thanks for the laugh : )

[User Picture] From: billyfleetwood
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 12:39 pm
actually they kind of suck at making gui's. What they're good at making is money. I bet if every computer user in the world paid them to NOT make software, they'd mess that up too.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 12:57 pm
As much as I love bashing microsoft, I gotta disagree with you man. They make a damn good GUI. I've used everything from Macs to Amigas to five or six different WM's under X to every flavor of Windows made, and hands down, the Windows 2000 interface just fucking pwns all of them. And I'd rank the Windows 98 interface just beneath it, and the Windows 95 interface under that, and then I'd have trouble picking between the NT4 interface and the "Luna" XP interface, because NT4 wasn't organized very well in terms of getting you to system internals, and Luna is, well, just fucking retarded. (Extra special "ha-ha" to those of you who know Steve's KMFDM-fucking ex-girlfriend, but pun still not really intended.) I think I'd have to put NT4 over Luna, though, because Luna sucks balls AND does its goddamndest ACTIVELY to hide every single part of the operating system from the administrator that it can.

Where microsoft's been falling down on the interface design lately is just where you were pointing - they're more interested ultimately in making money than in making a good interface, and if one has to come at the expense of the other, they'll cheerfully sell you a styrofoam brick and call it "enterprise-scale masonry." And make you sign an agreement stating that you'll buy new styrofoam bricks every time you realize the old ones suck and/or every year, whichever comes first.

That, and I think Microsoft is really starting to hurt from their gang-bang code practices. It's kinda funny that initially the big commercial firms bashed the open source world for having "too many hands in the pie", because when it comes right down to it, most of the people who are really crucial in the open source world have a LOT of personal time and investment in holistic understanding of How Things Work with their projects; whereas lately it seems like Microsoft thinks if you've had somebody on a job for more than six months, you're just wasting money on them.

Not to mention the fact that Microsoft still has "managers" that may or may not have a fucking clue about The Real World, since their only goals can be expressed in corp-speak, while in the OS world things get done by consensus between the people who, well... do them.

Not that YOU don't know all this shit already. But I think it's probably pretty significant to why MS can make a good GUI but can't make a decent chunk of "work code" to save their lives - the user interface is basically "marketing the OS to the user", and marketing lends itself to corporate gang-banging a hell of a lot better than system coding does.


[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 03:03 pm
dude, OS X's UI is like 10 trillion times better than winXP.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 03:07 pm


My bad, good point - I haven't used Aqua yet. If they ever decide to freaking release Marklar, I'm dying to, but I'm not going to buy fucking macintosh hardware just to run that shit.

[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 03:10 pm
as far as I'm concerned, apple has done the impossible and made a GUI Unix that is pretty and usable. They've even got their own version of x11 so that you can get the aqua borders and buttons etc. you can pick up a used apple osx machine for like 500$ (and the new G5s are coming RSN, probably next 3 months, so prices on current machines will drop more.)

[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 06:31 pm
this reminds me, are you going to finish up that BSD Quick and Dirty manual or what? That could be a handy page to have on teh webzor.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 07:53 pm
Finishing up the FreeBSD For The Impatient series is up there in my list of Things To Do Real Soon Now, kinda like writing the HTML end of a posting script for JW.org (I did sit down and hash out the vast majority of the SQL end of it the other day. But I'm fucking dreading building the forms and shit. Yecch.)

I really, really want to get more FBSDFTI done, but I've been slammed with stuff people actually pay me to do, so it's fallen by the wayside. That's probably going to kinda continue that way for a while at least, because my schedule's pretty tight right now and I'm going to take a week or two vacation that will NOT involve doing any intarweb stuff in August, so I know I'm going to have tons of crap to deal with when I get back. :)

[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: June 11th, 2003 - 08:38 pm


just that one chapter helped me out -- the whole "adding your first user to wheel group for sudo use" and "changing the shell to csh because bash doesn't exist" thing SOOOOO needed to be pointed out to me explicitly. see http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2016 for a similar "get debian running right now without bullshit" guide for debian linux.

[User Picture] From: apotheon
Date: June 16th, 2003 - 01:02 am

You've gotta lead me by the nose to your BSD self-help when you get it done. Gotta.

By the way, I'm mightily amused by your performance test. Windows is basically an entertainment and workstation OS, nothin' else. There's always something else that will do any other jobs better (and will do most workstation jobs better, too).

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