Comparing Apples with Apples

This is a bit of a rant. I hear a lot of people talk about which operating system might be easier or more user friendly. Few make a fair comparison.

When most people buy a computer it usually comes pre-loaded with some form of Microsoft Windows. When most people want a Linux computer they load it onto an existing computer that they own. So some people think that Windows is easy and Linux is hard to load and use. Actually when it comes to taking an unused computer and loading Windows or Linux, Windows will be the more troublesome to load.

One tends to forget unless you do it fairly often. Windows, many times, needs motherboard drivers, network card drivers, video card drivers, sound card drivers and sometimes a few others. Linux, in my experience, for the most part just loads and runs. I know some have had to get wireless cards working. Windows comes with almost no applications while Linux comes with almost any that one would need except for one major item.

Personally I think that if you could go to the store and buy a computer with a choice of operating system pre-loaded one would find the basic operation to be fine. This is because the manufacturer would have taken care of all the peculiar needs of the hardware. The Linux computer would run longer and better due to problems with viruses and maintenance on Windows. Thanks to Dell for beginning to make this happen.

Now on to the one major missing application for the Linux OS. I try to do a fair amount of Bible study. On the Linux platform there is GnomeSword from the Sword Project and the CrossWire Bible Society. In the past there was E-Sword. All of these are nice attempts, but not adequate for real Bible study. They work for casual reading and perhaps a Strong’s word lookup here or there. I did find an error in the GnomeSword Strong’s Concordance.

So now to the point of where this is leading. I almost can not believe I am seriously thinking about doing this. I have several nice study programs on Windows and in fact am typing this now on the dark side, as I hear it referred to, rather than on Ubuntu Linux. My son has been pushing me to buy an iMac. The money will be tight for a while if I do this and an Argonaut V will be put off for a good while. I had even thought of getting an Icom IC-703+ having decided against the Yaesu FT-817ND. For now though I either have to stay on Windows, which is really unacceptable, or move to the Mac.

I think radio is a lot more fun than computers overall. Although World of Warcraft seems to take a lot of my time. Well if I do buy a Mac I will have plenty to complain about here as there is plenty to complain about on OS X and the Mac.


Added 23 July, See this article on Linux vs Vista.

About Tim

Amateur Radio operator, television broadcast engineer living in Minnesota.
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