24 October, 2010

Tales from a Windows-free life

I completely stopped using Windows around 2002, and I've really enjoyed it, very, very much :)

Since then I've been distro-hopping (swapping different Linux-versions, more commonly known as "distributions", or "distros") through everything from Slackware Linux to Ubuntu. It's been a rocky and unstable ride to be quite honest, but it's been an awesome learning-experience.

I can't even begin to count all the problems concerning re-installation of Windows on both my hands. Yes, that's BOTH hands! I really, REALLY hate re-installing Windows. And if you're a super-user like me, who likes to play around with your computer-systems, you've done a re-install a couple of dozen times (or maybe even more).

Doing a windows-update after a fresh installation can take HOURS... Suffice to say it's a tedious and boooooooring task. Yes, I can hear a comment in the distance saying "why not use an up-to-date installation disc with all the Service Packs included?", well, the problem with that option is this: Windows AIN'T FREE. But that is not the only reason why I've renounced Microsoft-products alltogether. License this and license that, non-disclosure agreements and what-not. I'm sick and tired of it. Not to mention the installation-hell it is to install Windows onto a laptop, or (God forbid) a NETBOOK! After doing tenfolds of re-installations in the 90s and the early 2000s, my conclusion for personal operating system and software-usage came to this: No More Windows For Me!

I'm not giving Windows or Microsoft the finger. I've used their software for quite some time earlier in my computing-life. Even as far back as DOS and Windows 3.11. I'm just saying it's not for me anymore. I need more options and alternatives to doing computing tasks, I don't like being locked-in to one, and ONLY one solution.

Doing a fresh Linux installation, can take MINUTES, at most an hour or two. And if you're nice about it and don't include a shitload of third-party addons, you're likely to only do this ONCE! One time, and only doing updates and release-upgrades every now and then afterwards. Ok, so installing operating systems is not for everyone. But you can always ask a nice geek/nerd-friend to do this for you. Doing updates and upgrades nowadays is rather straightforward. The system asks if you want to update/upgrade, you press "Yes", you type in your password; and HEY PRESTO! It's over and done with.

I admit, being experimental with a Linux-system can do irrepearable damage, but hey, that's how we learn. And it pays off to use a system you can sacrifice for such a project. I did, multiple times. That's why it's called "experimental".

After doing all my experimenting on Linux and figuring out how it works, I decided to use a mainstream-distro to save me from headaches when trying to get things working. That's why the choice fell on Ubuntu.

After switching to Ubuntu in early 2009 (from Slackware Linux, which I still like), I've never looked back. Ubuntu serves my every computing need. It includes almost every public proprietary technology, from Flash to Java. Allthough it has to be added manually, doing so is not hard. It is explained in great detail all over the web, you just have to look for it. And, Ubuntu offers alternative programs to just about every web-service available today. Another great point for pro-linux, is that it runs on just about any hardware available as well. Can you say the same for Vista? Or Windows 7? I think not...

Nuff said ;)

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