Computer operating systems

I’ve been using Ubuntu (probably the most popular Linux distribution) for some time now. The other day, however, I was sorting through my CDs and DVDs and came across my old Windows XP CD. Being an inquisitive (and impulsive) sort of person I decided to try installing Windows again. After taking nearly an hour to install, I eventually authenticated my installation with Microsoft and began loading the drivers for my hardware. I put the keyboard and mouse disk in the reader and loaded the drivers for them; then put the printer disk in the reader and loaded the printer drivers; then I loaded the scanner drivers. I loaded the drivers for the monitor and the webcam. A good two hours had passed when I suddenly thought: What the hell am I doing? I gave up and tried to go back into Ubuntu but the Windows installation had destroyed my grub settings. I tried to reinstall grub but failed, so I wiped the hard disk and reinstalled Ubuntu once more. Luckily, I always keep backups of my documents and other important files. Twenty minutes later I had a fully working, and stable, Ubuntu installation, replete with drivers. Never again will I try to use Windows!

However, it got me thinking. Why are so many people reluctant to try Linux? I think it’s because Windows is installed on their computer when they buy it and they don’t want to learn something new. Mind you, trying Linux for the first time requires a steep learning curve but once you know the basics it’s a lot easier than Windows, and a lot less hassle. There are well over twenty thousand packages ready to be loaded through the repository and all of them work from the off. No loading programs from CDs. No restarting the computer every time I install a program. What a relief to get back to sanity!

With the addition of Compiz, Ubuntu delivers a fabulous desktop. I have four workspaces; one is for my browser, Firefox; another I use for my email client, Thunderbird; I use a third for OpenOffice and the fourth I keep spare for movies, Google Earth and all the other programs I run one at a time. When I go from one desktop to another, my monitor screen delivers them up as if on a continous cylinder. The cylinder rolls round to the next desktop and so on.

Why on Earth would I want a slow, blue-screen-of-death infected Windows o/s which requires me to restart the whole system everytime I install a new program? With Linux, the only time I need to restart the system is if I upgrade the Linux kernel, otherwise I always hibernate my computer when I want to switch it off. There is nothing Windows has to offer me that I cannot get with Linux, except perhaps for games, but I have other machines to use if I want to play games. My computer I keep for comunication and research.

And you know the best thing about Linux? I can freely change a program to suit myself without fearing that I’m negating a warranty or being restricted by copyright. I saw an advert for Windows the other day that said that Windows sets you free. Not so. With Windows, I am restricted to doing what the software company says I can do and no more. Windows is not free at all.

%d bloggers like this: