We Americans have developed an unhealthy dependence on Microsoft products. It’s become like morphine; when we stop using it, the withdrawal symptoms are excruciating, and we writhe in agony.
Understand me. Microsoft Word and Encarta are two of my favorite programs. The operating systems, though? Don’t even start me off on it!
Ubuntu Linux completely blew my mind the first time I saw it. I’ve always considered Linux operating systems to be… rudimentary. It seems the journalists merely misunderstood.
After a month or two of using Ubuntu, I required space for my other stuff, so I had to erase my Ubuntu drive. It wasn’t an easy separation. Even though Ubuntu Edgy Eft was fantastic, I wasn’t ready to give up Windows yet. I convinced myself that I “needed” Windows. Sure, sure. Just like a hole in my brain.
After Windows XP completely crashed, I switched to Ubuntu or another trustworthy Linux distribution for my PC. The time had come for me to make a lasting change, so I decided to… When I first learned about wine. But about it, more shortly. How to Switch Operating Systems is an Article
For the average computer user, two distinct families of OSes exist. I know other operating systems are available; however, I’ll only discuss the most popular and approachable “Windows alternatives” for now.
Choosing the Right Operating System
Practical considerations, personal preferences, and available options always influence decisions. Unfortunately, there is no exact science and no single best approach. But I have devised a strategy for making decisions that work for me. I think my method could work for you. Choosing an OS follows the procedure outlined below.
Learn to identify your requirements.
Having a lobotomy due to knowing what you need is unnecessary. Get a pen and paper ready; the questions and suggestions below may be helpful.
What exactly do you work on?
Do you work as a visual artist? Are you a web developer? An author? A learner? Infrequent user?
Choose actions based on what you do, as this is what will provide for you.
What programs are required to run on your PC?
Tools like Adobe Photoshop are indispensable for any graphic designer or web developer. Alternatives like Linux’s Gimp exist if the price tag is too steep. One of my friends insists he will never be able to operate on Linux, even though he is not a Microsoft fanboy. He claims Adobe Photoshop isn’t as aesthetically pleasing on Linux as on Windows. However, Adobe Photoshop for Mac exists, vastly outperforming its Windows counterpart regarding visual quality. Why? With a million color support, Mac displays are stunning. You should acquire OS X if you have disposable income and want expensive software like Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Alternatively, a Macbook, Macbook Pro or iMac would be best. Now. :p
Since Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver require support for high-quality displays and word processing is relatively lightweight, it seems safe to recommend Linux to the writer. Open Office, Star Office, etc., are great alternatives to Microsoft Office. AbiWord is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Word. It’s uncomplicated, quick, and light. For those who are easily distracted when writing, blank pages are available. These programs support the.doc file format used by Microsoft Word. But if you need Microsoft Word’s layout for your documents, then by all means, install Ubuntu Linux’s, Feisty Fawn! Wine is already preinstalled on the machine. Wine is the program that will run your Microsoft software, and it is a fantastic aid in breaking your dependence on Microsoft. I have tried Crossover, a non-free distribution of Wine, on my OS X, but I have yet to try out Wine on Linux before the official release of Feisty Fawn on April 19. So far, it has worked perfectly with Microsoft Office. It’s not sluggish once it gets going, and the smaller font size is a minor inconvenience, given that it’s using Microsoft software. No need to elaborate. When my free trial ends, I will be making a purchase.
On the other hand, students have a wide range of requirements. If you won’t be doing a lot of serious photo editing anyway, Linux is the way to go.
Absolutely no cost to you.
Wine can launch World of Warcraft if you’re interested in playing games. In a word, yes. The Wine community is highly dedicated to video games.
If you’re studying IT or Computer Science, learning Linux will help you hone your skills.
Absolutely no cost to you.
You may get by OK with OS X if you’re a casual user with plenty of disposable income. According to my buddy, OS X is easier for a novice than Windows. I’m an evil dumb user. If it can be installed, I will put it in. I’ve put some serious stuff on this Macbook, decided I didn’t want it, and then thrown all the programs in the garbage because I couldn’t find the documentation on uninstalling it. The only immediate change I observed was a slight misalignment of iTunes’ typography. 😀 However, the issue was resolved after all software, including the system, was installed in the latest version. 😀 Oopsie.:D
However, I think Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS would be a good fit for you if you’re a frugal person like myself. Both of these OSes blew me away regarding ease of use. After I have a large number of CDs, I plan to test out and write about more Linux distributions that are easy to use. Meanwhile, why not try out these operating systems to verify their attractiveness? Check out websites like http://www.distrowatch.org and http://www.ubuntuforums.org to learn more about operating system preferences and user reviews. 🙂
What would you consider your operating system’s most essential functions?
It would be best to list the functions you need from your operating system. My list is as follows:
Built-in app support that’s simple to deploy
–Installation-facilitating package manager or handler
–Applications that perform similarly to their Windows counterparts
Quick and straightforward network installation
Support for Wine and other Windows emulation platforms
Reads the Fat32 disk format for simple file sharing on Windows.
–Adaptable Front-End Design
–Microsoft Windows and Apple QuickTime plugins
–Java and other media players are simple to set up
–Light on memory and quick to load
–There are no “hangs,” restarts, or crashes in the operating system. Crashing shouldn’t happen often; when it does, it should merely show a message saying so (as Ubuntu does) rather than disrupting your work.
The operating system’s user community should be beneficial.
My most excellent option thus far has been Ubuntu Linux. It offers the best app installation and a vast selection of preinstalled apps and is getting more and more feature-rich and user-friendly with each version in its 6-month cycle. Ubuntu Feisty Fawn features a Windows networking setup manager to make configuring and maintaining your local area network(s) less of a headache. It also includes Wine, so setting up this (non-)emulator won’t leave you scratching your head. The only real drawback to Ubuntu is the time it takes to boot up.
PCLinuxOS is a good option if you need a quick operating system. I haven’t installed it yet, so I can’t comment on how user-friendly the program manager is. However, thanks to the live CD and online reviews, I found it very intuitive. The visual appeal is undeniable.:)
Ubuntu’s desktop can be made more aesthetically pleasing with the use of themes and custom wallpaper. You can switch out the default brown theme if you don’t like it. Right-clicking the desktop or a panel brings up the menu, and selecting System > Themes also displays the options. The pink I have is delicious. Heehee.:D
Ubuntu’s community is one of its many strengths. Some users I’ve read about on the PCLinuxOS forums claim that it, like Ubuntu, has a fantastic community. They claim that PCLinuxOS is superior since the developers and programmers answer its inquiries.
“thin clients” can be run even on a decade-old machine if your hardware cannot support more resource-intensive programs. You can use Xubuntu or Puppy if your computer was built to run Windows 95 and still has the necessary hardware.
Study your choices.
I’d read Linux-related forums and articles all day if I didn’t have to work. Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Sabayon, Arch, Mint (Ubuntu-based), Puppy Linux, Mepis, Xandro’s, and Knoppix are some of the most excellent Linux distributions I’ve found so far. Removable media, such as a multisession/rewritable disk or flash drive, can install Knoppix and Puppy and save data.
Once more, I urge you to use the forums because they are a wealth of information.
Put the top 3–5 choices to the test.
I wouldn’t say I like having to sort through countless Linux distributions only to end up with a bad one. Instead, I would learn about the top candidates rather than try to filter them out. Most Linux operating systems are available as “Live CDs,” which allow you to try them out before committing to a permanent installation. Please consider experimenting with Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Xandro’s, and Puppy. Most people say they are the most user-friendly ones available. PCLinuxOS and Puppy both function quickly. As mentioned, Xubuntu is an excellent option if you’re set on using Ubuntu but want a quicker operating system. Have hope; your ideal operating system exists. Alternatively, you can compile one yourself from Linux’s source code. Hrhr.:p
I’m at a loss for words regarding OS X. The operating system is superb. It’s a Unix-based OS like Linux, so it’s reliable and much easier to use than Windows. You don’t need an Apple computer to use it. Users have reported success running it on X86 hardware. It’s as simple as reading the online tutorials.
OS X is aesthetically pleasing, and the controls have been “dumbed down” (or simplified) in many applications to make them more user-friendly. Some Mac apps (especially iLife) sometimes feel overly simplistic for my tastes, but I don’t want to complain too much because they get the job done well. Where else can you drop an application‘s icon into the Applications folder to launch it? What could be more beginner-friendly than that?!:D
I’ve already mentioned that choosing an operating system is not a lobotomy. Investigate, plan, and stick to your guns. You don’t have to put up with a computer that completely breaks down at the first sign of a trojan or adware. You can break free. Move if you want to. F*ck Microsoft. Disregard Vista. Use Open Source (or an Apple product:p).
Read also: Manual on Building a Gaming Computer.