In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Andrew Halliwell
on Wed, 13 Aug 2008 01:27:39 +0100
> "Psyc Geek (TAB)" yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Sure, drive letters. C, D, E
>> Not on linux.
> Thank god.
> Do you not realise the sheer stupidity and out-datedness of drive letters?
> Windows doesn't even use drive letters internally anymore.
Has Vista fixed the "CD \\system\share\subdir" problem in its
CMD.EXE yet? :-) XP didn't.
It's one of XP's more endearing quirks.
> They should've done away with them at the same time they introduced proper
> drive addressing.
Hell, Amiga and MacOS had more sensible systems aeons ago,
well before Win95 in fact.
In Amiga, one could CD MyVolumeName:dir or just
access MyVolumeName:dir/dir/filename.ext (one oddity:
/dir referred to the current directory's *parent*, not
the One True Root(tm) as is the case in Unix systems).
If MyVolumeName: wasn't mounted or logically redirected
(AmigaOS had logical names), Workbench prompted with
a requester, which one could click, or just stick in
a disc. Note that Workbench had its own screen --
an issue if one forgets to stick in the gamedisk while
the game has a custom screen up. (Some of the stupider
games were totally lost if Workbench decides to prompt,
as they played directly with the COPPER [*] lists instead
of creating a proper screen structure.)
One could also type in CD DF0:dir , where DF0 was a
physical device name. There was also a built-in ramdisk:
CD RAM: .
For its part MacOS had pathnames such as
:MacVolume:dir:subdir if memory serves, though most users
didn't have to know anything at all about such details, on
either system. The Mac behavior was generally similar to
Amiga, though the Mac didn't have separate screens unless
one installed things such as Switcher. (Switcher was no
longer needed after Multifinder, AIUI.)
And what do we get with Windows Vista? Single letters,
Just Like DOS(tm), along with CIFS/SMB nodeshares.
Though Erik F. has mentioned the Volume Manager, which I
for one suppose functions something like Unix's mount.
> They might've worked fine when all you had was a couple of floppy disk
> drives and a small 1 partition hard disk back in the DOS days.
> Maybe a CDROM drive too. Accounts for all of A to D that.
> But it got utterly stupid later one, when you could partition your hard
> drive beyond 4. When you could open shares with other machines. When you
> could plug in USB and firewire storage devices.
It gets stupider. Suppose one has one drive with three partitions,
and a CDROM. AFAIK, this gets partitioned
D1: [C D E] CD: [F]
Now add a second drive with a single partition.
The results were downright peculiar, last time I tried
something like this:
D1: [C E F] D2: [D] CD: [G]
I'll have to try it again but my brain aches even thinking
as to why this makes any sort of sense. God help those
who want two partitions on the second drive.
At least CIFS/SMB is half-intelligent when it comes
to share handling; if anyone's familiar with Apollo DOMAIN
equipment, they had pathnames such as //node/dir/dir, where
//node is the nodename of the machine sharing. Windows, of
course, uses \\node\share with a more flexible system (share
can be anywhere on the local disk). Unfortunately, no one's
told CMD.EXE how to properly handle these yet, apparently...
> Linux addresses this properly by assigning things proper logical names.
> s=scsi or sata, h=ide harddisk. md=meta-disk (software raid)
> sda=first scsi or sata disk. sda1=first partition on that disk.
> sdb, sdc, etc are seperate hard disks.
> same with hda, b, c, d etc.
> And we use mount points for access to these disks and partitions.
> We don't need A: B: C:... why would we when we can have /home, /media/cdrom,
> /media/flash1, /usr, /tmp, etc.
Linux goes even better. The partition detection is smart enough to
recognize volume UUIDs, so one can mount e.g.
mount /dev/disk/by-uuid/a2524c87-5bb3-4c91-8f9d-87697f18d784 /mnt/whatever
if one is using the udev pseudo-filesystem (most distros nowadays do;
I don't think devfs is even supported anymore).
This is a boon when one has several devices one can plug into USB or
One can also enter these into /etc/fstab, if one wishes.
Granted, this gets unwieldly for the novice, who is probably just
going to use the short forms. I also don't know how well this
works for RAIDs, though I don't see why it shouldn't offhand.
(The uuids are usually generated during filesystem
creation, though one can also change them later.)
>>>> Where is my backup data?
>>> I hope it's where you put it!
>> Well, it just got over written in the conversion.
>> Yep, another t'd off user.
> Well that was fucking stupid of you, wasn't it?
> What was the point of the backups again? to save data or to delete it and
I for one would also hope the partitioning software was
sufficiently intelligent to at least give a hint. Even
Linux's fdisk knows enough to print out something like
/dev/hda1 * 1 1338 10747453+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
when confronted with a preinstalled XP partition. One
deletes that particular partition at one's peril.
>>>> What is Pidgin? I wanted yahoo messenger.
>>> 1. Is that a bit like "What is yahoo messenger? "I wanted Pidgin"?
>>> 2. A peculiar derivation of English, and which you seem to use.
>> Well, from your thinking, everybody is on linux, and windows does not
>> really exist.
> Where did he even imply that?
> Let alone say it.
>>>> What is a terminal?
>>> It's the proper name for a DOS prompt, or a DOS window, or a Power Shell, in
>>> MS terms.
>> Windows users think they migrated from terminals, and it was a good
> Yep, that's why microsoft blew its trumpet so much about the introduction of
> "power shell". There are many things that people can do far more efficiently
> in a text shell than they can in a GUI.
> And don't try to deny it, you'll only look foolish.
Powershell is a weird thing anyway. Last I looked one can
either output text or ActiveX objects. God only knows what
will happen if one tries to convert between the two.
>> Apple led the way. Linux users are still think it is 1970.
> And apple relented and now have terminals built in again.
>> ((( Are all COLA people like this? ))))))
>>>> A realtor uses special software not available on linux.
>>> What's a realtor?
>>> Is that a bit like a Terminator?
> Notice you didn't sneer at this...
> Well done. You're weening yourself off trollery.
> Or badly done, need more practice, depending on if you were trying you best
> at trolling there.
>> Ya, of linux geeks. Be very afraid.
>> Remember Vienna!!!!!!
> What's Rigsby's cat got to do with anything?
I'm assuming you're referring to
which is what Google coughed up, along with a MySpace page (of
all things) and a couple of other such weirdities.
I suppose it's an acquired taste. ;-) Can't say I've seen that series.
[*] shorthand for co-processor; the Amiga had a lot of
capabilities that were delegated to another processor.
Among them was the ability to change the raster screen
characteristics, even on a line-by-line basis. Some of
the hacks got quite inventive.