[amsat-bb] Re: Better/best operating system for SatPC32?

Tony Langdon vk3jed at gmail.com
Sat May 18 16:27:00 PDT 2013

On 19/05/13 12:33 AM, Philip Jenkins wrote:
> Thanks for the replies. I do have a Win 7-64 machine with 4GB RAM as my
> main PC; I've just never used the 32 bit version and wanted to see if I
> needed to avoid it.
I'd only use the 32 bit version on a machine with < 4GB RAM.  The amount 
of RAM you have would normally be the main factor determining whether 
you use 32 or 64 bit.  Less than about 3GB (exact value varies from 
system to system), and 32 bit may result in slightly less RAM usage.  At 
worst, you're no worse off, and you do have compatibility with 
applications and hardware that uses only 32 bit driver (or other kernel 
mode) code.  Once you start getting over that 3 GB RAM, then the extra 
addressing capability of the 64 bit OSs comes into play, and you need 
the 64 bit version to fully utilise your available RAM (there are 
exceptions, mainly 32 bit Windows Server and Linux PAE kernels, but for 
end user Windows versions, the previous applies).

I've run 64 bit Windows Vista and 7 with no issues, except the obvious 
ones, such as:

Software or hardware that only comes with 32 bit drivers (64 bit OS 
needs 64 bit drivers).
Unsigned drivers - 64 bit Windows is normally anal retentive about 
driver signing, but there is a workaround.
Old 16 bit software or installers - 16 bit software does not run under 
64 bit Windows.  Workaround here is to use a virtual machine - VMware, 
VirtualBox, etc.

Linux is definitely a viable alternative.  A lot of ham software these 
days has Linux equivalents, packet is built right into the network 
stack, and a lot of Windows software will happily run under 
WINE/Crossover .

73 de Tony VK3JED

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