Thursday, January 15, 2009

The challenge in picking an OS, for yourself or others

Windows is adopted well enough that it is pretty easy in an environment with computers to find other people that have used windows before and can help. I remember decades ago when Windows 3.1 was the hot new thing. I didn't understand what the big deal was, classes on what a mouse was, and how to start applications like word. You would think that this basic knowledge would be adaptable, but it sadly that isn't the way people look at computers. I work at a school, and we had a 2 hour seminar to show people how to use the new photocopy machine. It was pretty fancy and could do cool stuff, but that wasn't what the class taught. It just had the very basics. I didn't get the trouble. We had other copy machines that worked in, what I thought, worked in the same basic way. Evidently not everyone saw it like that.

Linux is fine. People that are very productive on their windows machine and have explored the system past the basics I don't think would have any difficulty in learning a major distribution in a short period of time to get the basics down. But it does take effort. It is different and it will take the same kind of effort it took the first time when people were introduced to windows 3.1 or 95.

But for anyone that insists "But I don't want to learn anything, I just want to use it", get a mac. The important and good software is being ported to mac, and more companies are beginning to understand that it is possible to approach a project from a cross platform approach such that software never need be ported. This will mean hopefully soon, software will pretty much be platform independent, or that adding a platform will require negligible effort. With this in mind, the people that want to be able to mimic other people in what they do with the computer, get a mac. If you want a tool to express yourself without limits, get Linux. Between the two, where does that really leave Windows? I say "good riddance to bad rubbish".

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