[AZ-Observing] Re: Operating System

  • From: Paul Dickson <dickson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 05:37:50 -0700

On Tue, 28 Aug 2001 19:43:21 -0700, Stanley A. Gorodenski wrote:

> I don't know if this is the correct forum for these questions, but I do
> not know where else I may be able to post them.  If inappropriate,
> please direct me to another discussion group.
> I have been told that running imaging processing software in a Microsoft
> Windows operating system causes the pc to bog down to the point where
> the pc has to be rebooted every couple hours or days (days if the
> machine is never turned off).  Also, I have been told that this problem
> does not exist with Linnex (misspelled?, syn Redhat) operating systems. 
> Has anyone experienced this?  Could anyone shed some light on the
> subject of preferred operating systems for astronomical software, and
> any computer resource problems in running image processing software?

If the computer doesn't have enough real memory, it will start using
hard disk space to make more space available.  This is virtual memory
and process of moving data is called swapping.

As more memory is needed, more and more swapping is done and less and
less application work gets done until the hard disk space is
exhausted.  Then one of three things can happen: the system crashes,
the system locks up, or the memory hogging application is killed.

To avoid this, it's best to have lots of RAM and hard disk swap space
available.  With the cheap price of RAM now days, maximizing your RAM
is pretty cheap.

As to the preferred operating systems for astronomical software: that
depends on what astronomical software you want to run.  Get the
operating system for which the software is written.  E.g. if you want
to run IRAF, get Linux.

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