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A Tale of Two Operating Systems It was the best of operating systems it was the worst of operating systems it was the age of wisdom it was the age of foolishness it was the epoch of belief it was the epoch of incredulity it was the season of light it was the season of darkness it was the spring of hope it was the winter of despair we had everything before us we had nothing before us in short we had Unix Life with Unix tends to be a love-hate relationship with most people falling strongly on one side or the other This paper is about another operating system Windows NT that although relatively new has roots that stretch back almost as far as those of Unix It is an operating system that like most owes much to Unix But it also strays markedly from it in both design and philosophy This paper is written specifically for you the IT professional with a strong background in Unix It approaches Windows NT from the Unix perspective It begins with a brief look at the pedigree of both operating systems progresses to a technical comparison of the two moves on to show how Windows NT and Unix can peacefully coexist in a heterogeneous world and finishes with a discussion about tools that are available to aid developers working in both environments This is a technical paper and it is assumed that you have a good working knowledge of Unix and have at least seen a computer running Windows No attempt will be made to teach fundamentals here However Appendix A Assistance lists resources that can help you fill in the gaps Throughout the paper you will see reference to Windows which is the Microsoft operating system Do not confuse this with the Unix X Window System also known as X Windows or just X Windows will be used to refer to Microsoft Windows and X will
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