There are several operating systems on the market today. Which is best for you? That would depend on your knowledge of computers and the intended purpose for the computer system.
Let’s start with a simple home-based computer. You probably would not need a tight security multi-user system so DOS based Windows 95 should work fine. This operating system is fairly “user-friendly” and comes with the most software options. It is a fairly stable operating system but is not very secure.
With Windows 95 you would need to buy external software from either third party sources or from Microsoft in order to perform most common functions on the Internet. Web browsers, mail programs, news programs, telnet, finger, whois, etc. all require external loading to the hard drive. They are not part of the operating system.
Windows 95 was written to be used by virtually anyone. All the settings can be set from within the environment. For example, clicking on a color and applying the change can set the background of your display. File management is also fairly mindless. Creating directories, or folders as Windows calls them, renaming or moving files, deleting files and directories, etc. can be accomplished by simple mouse movements and keystrokes. If you accidentally delete a file through Windows 95 or DOS, it isn’t a problem. These two operating systems can easily restore a file through an automated process without much interaction from the user.
File naming used to be a pain under DOS. You were limited to the 8.3 system. This system allowed eight characters for the filename with a three character extension to identify the file type. This was a problem in that you couldn’t effectively describe the file for future recall. Windows 95 somewhat solved this problem. It allows file names up to 255 characters, allowing spaces, additional periods, some characters, etc. However, when you drop back to DOS, you are again restricted to the 8.3 system and it changes your filename to the first 6 characters and adds a “~1” or subsequent number then the period and extension. File names in both DOS and Windows 95 must be unique to that directory. You cannot have two files named “backup.set”.
Windows 95 and DOS are both small scale operating systems and could not be used as servers. For Instance, if you were to set up a server to the Internet, you would need a larger scale operating system. Windows NT and Unix are two popular operating systems for this purpose. Windows NT is a small to medium scale operating system. It is fairly stable and offers more multi-user security than Windows 95. However, for an Internet server, why not go with the leader? Unix Operating System is a small to huge scale operating system that is very secure for multi user and very stable. Unix is the system that runs the Internet and the World Wide Web. It has great remote administration abilities. Telnet, X Windows and others are built into Unix and they allow the administrator to manipulate the server from a remote location. Windows NT requires that most administration be done locally at the actual server.
Unix was tested against Windows NT on a 133 MHz PC and it ran 27 % faster than Windows NT on static HTML and about 77% faster on CGI content. This is because Unix uses less processor and memory time than Windows NT. This would allow more traffic to pass through your server with less system resources being used.
Unix was not written for the general public and therefore, is not a good option for the end user with limited computer knowledge. It does not have the software base that Windows 95 or DOS may have simply because it is not as friendly to the user. File manipulation can be a little more stressing. Creating directories, renaming and moving of files, and deleting of files and directories are very much like DOS. However, if you should accidentally delete a file under the Unix environment, it’s gone. There are ways to recover the data but it is a complicated process that the normal user would just write off and take the loss of data. Unix does not have an undelete function.
File naming can be easier. Like the