Tag Archives: operating-systems

The Best Operating System

What say you?

Hey Chris, this is Gnimsh from #lg, just writing in my two cents on the subject of OSes. I have been using windows all my life, and in the past year have started using linux (ubuntu) off and on between my desktop and my laptop. I first installed linux on my desktop due to some issues with windows (my keyboard was not initializing properly so I had to disable and then reenable the keyboard after windows started) and I thought “hey, I bet I won’t have this problem in linux” and I actually did, but only once. Then I somehow broke linux and it wouldn’t boot into the X server, so I just went back to windows for a while. I tried again with every new version of linux, and it did make my system faster. At times I was even running it as my main OS, but I always felt a few things lacking. For instance, my music provider of choice is Ruckus, which needs its own program to download the music files via ruckus.com. I’ve googled this and it seems that running the program under WINE works up until you have to login and then it just freezes.

What I like about linux, for the most part, is that not only does it “just work” but it works out of the box. I can install it and have a fully functional operating system and need to install only a minimum of programs, instead of searching for and downloading and reinstalling everything each time I install. I really do love that feature. Free is a good price too. When I first got this laptop, it had Windows Vista installed (which I didn’t want) and after using it I ran into a few annoying problems…the hibernating didn’t work, and shutting the system down seemed to take 10 minutes or more to complete, which was annoying when I wanted to restart as quickly as possible. So I installed ubuntu on my laptop, only to run into different problems. The cd drive wasn’t recognized in 7.04 (this is fixed in 7.10) and also whenever I would put the computer into hibernate the sound driver would no longer work, and I would have to restart. So that annoyed me, but I also found uses for linux. At a cafe one time windows would not log on to their wireless, so I booted into ubuntu and it connected the very first time.

Lately though, I’ve been needing windows more and more. I am studying abroad and skype is very limited in ubuntu, no webcam support. Also I now have a device called magicjack for my phone service to make and receive calls in the US, and right now it only runs in windows. I tried a VM of XP in ubuntu, but there was some USB driver issue not switching it to the VM, and I couldn’t get the fixes to work. My webcam also doesn’t work in linux, and although there are driver issues out there for it, I don’t know how to install something without an installer, or how to do the make scripts and all that jazz.

One of the things that I like about using linux that I don’t normally get using windows is a sense of accomplishment. I find that when I’m in linux I’m constantly googling on how to fix problems or install things (how to install opera on 64 bit ubuntu, for example, before 9.5 came out…this required a lot of workaround). I just really like the problem solving involved in using linux, though sometimes I do think its a huge pain.

Operating System Truths

This morning, a friend sent me a link to Analysts on Leopard’s Hype. I didn’t take issue with the entire collection of positions and statements, but some of them seemed to be… grossly inaccurate and misleading.

“Would you recommend a Mac to a friend or family member who’s looking to purchase a notebook?”

Sam Bhavnani: Yes. As a guy who tracks the PC industry, people ask me all the time if they should get an Apple. The overall experience is a very pleasant one. If they’re willing to spend some time with the Apple OS, they will most likely enjoy the experience.

Bingo. BINGO. You nailed it, Sam – that was the right answer. And yes, there’s only one right answer to this question. If you’re not recommending a Mac (with Leopard) to a friend or family member, you’re doing them an extreme disservice. Consumers need to understand that yesterday’s arguments don’t apply.

If they’re asking you, they’re curious – and if they’re curious, they’re obviously NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT THEY’RE USING NOW!!!

Al Gillen: It depends on what that person is planning on doing with his or her system. If it’s needed for e-mail or business applications, I would recommend Windows, as it has Microsoft Office. If it’s needed for entertainment, I would recommend the Mac.

With all due respect, Al… ARE YOU ON CRACK?! How could anybody respect the opinion of someone who didn’t realize that (a) there’s a Microsoft Office for OS X, (b) there are open source Microsoft Office alternatives available for OS X, and (c) email can be retrieved and stored on any damn operating system. I take umbrage with your business applications assertions, because it depends on how you choose to define “business applications” – and if you mean that the vendors of these “business applications” refuse to support other platforms, well… there’s Boot Camp or VMware Fusion, you fool. “Entertainment” is equally as relative.

Ross Rubin: It would depend on that person’s requirements. The Mac has excellent creativity apps and is a compelling platform. Windows, however, offers lots of options in terms of compatibility and the size of its user base. You have to match an operating system with a user’s needs.

While the decision does “depend,” it certainly isn’t for a lack of creativity apps on one platform or the other. Compatibility certainly is important, but at some point it becomes a boondoggle! Moreover, since when was the size of a user base directly proportional with the value of its designated platform?

Enough of the FUD. Here are ten solid reasons you’d want to buy a machine with Microsoft Windows and/or stick with it altogether:

  1. You’re afraid of learning something new; you don’t want to change the way you do anything, ever; your world falls apart when someone deletes an icon from your desktop or Start Menu. Legitimate reasons, I assure you.
  2. You like shopping for bargain basement hardware and need an operating system that supports every possible component you might throw into it, no matter how old or how obscure that equipment might be. You also like getting what you pay for.
  3. You want to build your own PC (the journey is equally as important as the destination).
  4. Your favorite software (realistically) doesn’t have an equivalent available on any other platform. Bonus points are awarded if you’ve taken the time to look before jumping to this conclusion.
  5. You’re a hardcore gamer – in which case, you better not suggest that Macs are more expensive. Games, games, games, games, and more games – the top reasons why anybody would opt into Microsoft Windows. If you’re a “PC” gamer, then there’s virtually no choice for you right now.
  6. Your company gave you the computer(s), and they can’t support anything else.
  7. You feel comfortable, confident, and generally good in knowing that there are more people using Windows than there are using OS X at home or at work.
  8. You hate the way OS X affixes the application’s menu at the top of a screen rather than in the application window itself – even after realizing that Microsoft has been actively attempting to wean users off of menus altogether.
  9. You don’t have major issues with Microsoft Windows, you don’t mind how it looks, you don’t mind how it works, and you don’t care how you get things done so long as you CAN get things done. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with complacency.
  10. You’re afraid you’ll like something else more than Microsoft Windows. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had people tell me this.

Replacing one OS with another is potentially very costly – in money and in time. At least you should be making an informed decision based on truths and practical experiences, not merely on talking points from pseudo pundits.

What's Missing in an Operating System?

Mooreyameen Mohamad, in response to Operating System Choices:

I don’t understand what is the big deal with operating systems. So Apple has Mac OS X and PCs have Windows Vista and a bunch of other stuff such as the much heralded Ubuntu… but at the end of the day it’s the applications (Google Apps?) that a computer user would / should be most concerned about, right? Internet browsing experience depends pretty much on the internet browser, which is largely independent of the OS and the bandwidth of the internet connection.

Changing from one OS to another surely is not as easy as changing from one internet browser to another. And seriously, how many people would even think about it, what with all the baggage of applications, hardware already ‘attached’ to a particular OS, so to speak? Ubuntu is supposedly great because it’s open source but seriously for the average user, Open Source just means ‘No technical support’. Granted, perhaps because of the diversity of the “community” that develops the open source OS, it might end up being a ‘stronger’ OS than say, Windows, but it just feels like I have to wait for a child to ‘grow up’…as it goes through the various trials and tribulation of trial and error of being coded by random geeks with free time on their hands.

What say you, Chris? Surely choosing an OS would depend on what applications you need to use for your purpose, how much ‘support’ you need?

Operating System Choices?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Windows, Mas OS X, Linux, BSD … they’re all great operating systems. Daimon asks "I have only recently run into your website after watching a few YouTube videos. You have a lot of experience it seems with operating systems for PC’s and Mac. What do you look for in an Operating System? What type of User Interface do you prefer looking at a standard Desktop or Linux Beryl?"

Chris looks for a variety of things in an operating system, and he doesn’t choose just one. While operating systems seem to be the same in terms of what you can do on them. Chris plays with a lot of operating systems, just to see how it works.

If you’re looking for the ideal operating system, try using more than one and see how it fits your lifestyle. If you’ve never used OS X check out your local Apple Store and play with it. Lifewise, if you’ve never used Windows, try it out.

If you’re interested in Linux, try using a Live-CD distribution of Linux. Once of the most highly recommended distributions is Ubuntu:

Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you’ll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.

What about you? What operating system do you use and why?