Friday, December 22, 2017

a new holiday os

Statistically, the majority of computer operating systems used by individuals are Windows based.  67% of the visitors to this blog use Windows, which is a fairly good representation of the operating systems used world-wide.  Linux systems come in second at 13% with the rest trickling in with single digits and ipad picking up the rear at 1%.

That said, I've been running Linux on my machines for years and in that time found my worst computer days at least equal to my best days using any of the Windows operating systems since Win 95.  Unlike old cars and radios, all Microsoft operating systems are engineered to become obsolete, unstable, and unusable only a few years after roll out.  They do this by cutting support of the OS, making it impossible to receive updates.  Like turning off the life support to a much loved friend, and there's nothing you can do about it.  Try installing Win 98 and see how far you get.

Anyway, because Microsoft Vista became obsolete and unsupported, I installed Linux systems in three laptops this month alone.  Two for friends and one for the laptop I picked up for a bargain, partially because a new MS OS would cost a few hundred.  Hell, you can get a damn good, used laptop for the cost of a Win 10 OS, doubling the cost of your investment.  Hardly worth it.

Aside from the laptops, I swapped out four Linux operating systems on my desktop this month on a whim.  Arch Linux, Solus, Mint KDE, and Manjaro all looked real good but I settled on Linux Mint 18.3 as my daily driver.  I guess I had to go through extremely complicated to extremely simple to realize the Linux system I used when I first switched from Microsoft was the best fit for me.  That's the beauty of Linux.  It takes more time looking over the thousands of free operating systems than it does to download and install an OS.  Installation takes about ten minutes.  It's like shopping for shoes.

But Microsoft... You're locked into a proprietary system with a pre-determined lifespan, designed to force you to buy bigger RAM, bigger CPU, bigger hard drive, and bigger headaches when it slows to a crawl after a couple years of use. 

Why would anyone buy a Toyota if it ran like shit and got .5mpg in five years when you can get a new car for free that gets you 100mpg with a lifetime of free maintenance?

I love this OS.
Take a look at this desktop. 
The minimalist look is clean and extremely functional.  From the desktop I can access personal files, system settings, and something like 33,000 programs for everything from Audacity to Wine.

It doesn't look like much but I can run this thing for weeks with 50 open tabs and multiple running programs without a hint of CPU overload.  It does everything I want it to do with extreme efficiency.  It's fully customizable for what you want to get out of your computer. 

I suppose the reason I went through so many operating systems this month was complacency.  I wanted something different, a challenge.  I wanted something simplified but not simple.  I wanted a challenge but not something with too steep a learning curve. 

I find it interesting that the system I love the most is an upgrade of the one I originally had.

Isn't that the way life is?  Maybe we should be thankful for what we have and know that this is what we really need, right now.

I never thought this would turn into a holiday philosophy, but so be it.



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