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The physicist's OS

  1. Mar 18, 2006 #1
    Which is the operating systhem of the physicist?
    Say yours.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2006 #2
    Having just come from a national conference, I observed many dozens of physicsists and their laptops, and I can report that their OS distribution seems to have roughly the typical 75/25 distribution between PC/Mac that the general public has. On difference - most OS's were current- no Win98's or OS9's, all WinXP or OSX powerbooks (and a couple of Win2000's). I saw two linuxs, not enough to make statistical conclusions there.

    I also saw several tablets.
  4. Mar 18, 2006 #3
    Possible selection biases in the above:

    (i) laptops used for important presentations have different OS than working computer (e.g., powerpoint is better than anything on linux)
    (ii) I observed a somewhat higher ratio of theorists to experimentalists (sample was uneven).
    (iii) I might have instinctively averted my eyes whenever I saw a Windows user, thus biasing my counting.
  5. Mar 18, 2006 #4


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  6. Mar 18, 2006 #5
    Most people I know who work in a lab and need a GUI on their computer like to use Linux.
  7. Mar 18, 2006 #6


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  8. Mar 18, 2006 #7
    Here is the general division between OS:

    Win for gaming
    Linux for programming

    I don't know many physicists that uses his/her computer for gaming.
  9. Mar 18, 2006 #8


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    Mattara, does driving the Mars Rovers count as gaming?

    "So began a three-month exploration of Mars. For a team of hundreds of scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spirit is serving as our eyes-and our toolbox, using the tools at the tip of its foldaway arm-during a new chapter in the exploration of our neighbor planet. As is Spirit's twin, Opportunity, which duplicated Spirit's performance three weeks later on the opposite side of Mars. And what are all those scientists and engineers using to drive the rovers? They are using Linux."

    Source: http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7570
  10. Mar 18, 2006 #9
    For personal computers its usually Windows or Mac. For real working computers, computational projects its always some *nix variant.
  11. Mar 18, 2006 #10
    Very funny...The Mars Rovers don't run by people pulling in ropes, when trying to move them :rofl: I would classify that as pretty advanced programming :tongue2:
  12. Mar 18, 2006 #11


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    I use Win XP, but run Linux Live from a DVD for some software designed for Linux. I'm thinking about partioning my hard drive and installing a perminant Linux OS with my Win XP. It seems like alot of work though.
  13. Mar 18, 2006 #12
    Pure, if funded what ever a Cray runs, if not Windows- not for computations of course just publishing, letters, ect. Applied guys, NIX, VMS. Probably the best though is the Cerebral one.
  14. Mar 18, 2006 #13
    I never imagined I would have so good and precise information about this topic. Thanks, all of you.
    I have brought this question since I recently installed Ubuntu, a linux distro, in my personal computer and liked it, it's simple, neat and does not bother me like Windows does sometimes. Also Openoffice is not so good as Microsoft Office is. And, then I would like to know which was the predominant OS preferred by the physicist's community.
  15. Mar 18, 2006 #14


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  16. Mar 18, 2006 #15


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    MAC OS X TIGER!!! Hell yeah!

    I also use openoffice to work excel documents. I recommend iWork to write and read powerpoints and word files. Pages is a superb word processor, and Keynote is a better presentation creator.

    I use my Mac for gaming, after all the graphics are sooo much better. :smile:
  17. Mar 18, 2006 #16
    Then why do they look worse?
  18. Mar 18, 2006 #17


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    The idea that Linux is better for programming isn't very realistic. The best software development environments are available for both systems and so the advantages are very particular to what project you are doing and what language you are using. I only use Linux to code C and often through a VNC remote desktop or SSH connection from my Windows 2003 Server. I use Windows for Java (Eclipse), the various server languages such as PHP, JSP, ASP/ASP.NET (Dreamweaver) and the various web languages VB, Javascript (Dreamweaver), and of course Flash.
    And then of course, one of my favorite tools Visual Studio, windows only. I have no good reason to do non-c programming in Linux, so i think it's a misconception.
  19. Mar 19, 2006 #18
    for me it's monster energy drinks, Herbie Hancock, a fresh sheet of paper, gel ink pens, and a Ti-89.
  20. Mar 19, 2006 #19


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    I you played DOOM 3 or Halo 2 on a dual-core G5, they would be mind-blowing.

    Oh look:
    I dare any Windows-loving graphics artist to read that page and not commit suicide.


    Oh look, Halo plays pretty well.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2006
  21. Mar 19, 2006 #20
    It's not the OS that determines the graphics, it what hardware the OS can support. I use Windows XP, and it can milk as much power out of my $300 graphics card as any Mac can.
    I'm not a programmer or a physicist, so I can't help with that. All I use my computer for is gaming and writing, but mostly writing. I usually use my Xbox 360 for my gaming. You want mind-blowing graphics, play the new Ghost Recon on the 360. I dare any computer to beat it.
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