OS Compariton (WAS:Re: rad -n and -N parameters / switches)

Chris is right, we're veering, so new subject line.

Chris, when I got my first OSX system (2002), the difference between OSX
10.1 and any Linux distro at the time was vast; there simply was no
comparison. I mean, really. No comparison, if we're talking barriers to
entry for Radiance. Today, I would say Ubuntu is pretty close to MacOS,
but still not quite as polished as MacOS. I use Snow Leopard, and then I
have WinXP, Win7, Ubuntu 11.04 VMs available on VMWare Fusion. So far I'm
still willing to pay the Apple tax on my hardware every few years or so.

Rob Guglielmetti IESNA, LEED AP
Commercial Buildings Research Group
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
1617 Cole Blvd MS:RSF202
Golden, CO 80401
T. 303.275.4319
F. 303.630.2055
E. [email protected]

ยทยทยท

On 6/16/11 1:07 PM, "Christopher Rush" <[email protected]> wrote:

The thread is veering off topic, but I can't resist chiming in...

I'm not sure that OSX has any true advantage over Ubuntu or maybe another
modern user friendly linux distribution purely for Radiance usage. The
only advantage I see to OSX over linux is that it's more popular, so
you'll see more frequent pre-compiled binaries floating around - for
Radiance itself and any tools that users develop. On the other hand,
linux has a strong advantage in terms of lower barrier to entry - it is
cheaper to buy/inherit any old desktop box and install Ubuntu on it than
to get a hold of a top notch Mac machine. It is even quite possible to
set up an existing Windows machine to dual-boot into Ubuntu as necessary.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot

Windows implementation has the lowest barrier to entry in most cases, but
shortfalls such as no file locking, X11 support, friendliness for
programming/scripting, etc. On the other hand some common modeling tools
such as Autodesk products are Windows native - so could avoid additional
machines.

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16.06.2011 21:21, Guglielmetti, Robert wrote:

Chris is right, we're veering, so new subject line.

Chris, when I got my first OSX system (2002), the difference between OSX
10.1 and any Linux distro at the time was vast; there simply was no
comparison. I mean, really. No comparison, if we're talking barriers to
entry for Radiance. Today, I would say Ubuntu is pretty close to MacOS,
but still not quite as polished as MacOS. I use Snow Leopard, and then I
have WinXP, Win7, Ubuntu 11.04 VMs available on VMWare Fusion. So far I'm
still willing to pay the Apple tax on my hardware every few years or so.

I think it depends on what you want to do. If you want to integrate e.g. with some architectural CAD, Mac has a lot of software that you will not find in Linux world. If you start scripting, coupling Radiance into other tools (e.g. combining it with visualization software), go into heavy rendering - Linux will be the way to do so without pain. So back in 2002, I was a proud user of a Powerbook, and I had Radiance installed on it. However, I was suffering that I could not get some nice tools working (opendx, comfortable gnuplot, useable latex-environment). And heavy rendering I did using a mosix-cluster with lots (!) of cores, something impossible on other platforms.

So I think it really depends on what your working conditions are. If you are doing enough numerical simulation to have a dedicated machine for it (something with a fast cpu, lots of memory, good cooling, but maybe no sound- and graphics card and probably not even a screen as it will be located far from your workdesk anyhow), that would probably be a highly optimized linux installation. Everything else would just make it complicated, and you would not want to have a CAD installtion on this. If you are running Radiance on your work desk - hey, it is multiplatform, so you can do so whatever os you use.

In this case, Mac users enjoy downloading and copying binaries provided by Greg into their path and adjusting some settings. Linux users are even luckier, they typically will just select Radiance and have all the installation done automatically by their package manager (at least for Debian and Ubuntu, Radiance is part of the distributions). Windows users will suffer, as they first need to choose a way to somehow emulate a unix-like environment (using e.g. cygwin). Still, it works for all of them.

Cheers, Lars.