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An Alternative To Windows
« on: October 20, 2015, 06:36:38 AM »
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington

“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.”   -John Adams



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Offline silversam

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Re: An Alternative To Windows
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2015, 08:41:11 AM »
Larry -

When i was with GTE/Fujtsu we installed a large ACD (that kept growing and growing) for my customer. Originally it ran on Xenix and then on Unix. I learned Unix (enough to get dangerous, anyway) and thought, at least compared to Windows, that it was an excellent, bullet proof OS.

The problem was the UI and the apps. Essentially, you had to write your own.

When Linux came out, I got very in to it and for several years, I had a dual boot machine - Linux and Windows. I had some semi-mainstream apps that ran on Linux (there was a version of Word Perfect for example) but for the most part, they were no-names. The User Interface was either command line, or there were two competing versions of GUI.

This was all a few years ago and I'm sure everything has improved by now, but my feeling at the time was that Linux was a fun hobby but it really wasn't ready for prime time. (I used Ubuntu and then Red Hat Linux with the Mandrake GUI)

I moved to the the Mac, because its OS is that same bullet proof Unix that I really liked and the GUI was Apple's (which i thought was exceptional) and there were real apps and programs that you could run on it.

James, I think  will have much more - and better stuff - to say on this, but this is just my $0.02.


Offline Kumba

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Re: An Alternative To Windows
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 06:52:55 PM »
Mac OSX is actually built on top of BSD. Linux and BSD are different and came about in different ways but both based heavily on a UNIX-style OS.

Max OSX is a better choice if you want the 'appliance' feel to your computer. You turn it on, it just runs, and it works well as long as you use it how Apple intended you to. That is Apple's whole sales pitch for any of their products. Buy Apple, use it the way we want, and everything will be just fine. For the most part, that's true, although they are too draconian for my tastes. Since the adoption of UEFI in PC architectures, there has been the rise of the OSX clone. Only issue with these is that hardware can be problematic. The good news is that if you build one you can usually get the same stability and experience as if you paid for actual Apple hardware.

Linux HAS come a long way with GUIs in the last 5 years. They are getting closer and closer to duplicating a windows experience but aren't quite there 100%. They have come a long way with making the GUI work without being a well-versed linux user. They have two primary areas where they fall behind and it becomes apparent the more you use it. First and foremost is their support for newer graphics cards. The drives are troublesome to involve and often require some massaging to get really working right. One of the biggest reasons is the primary manufacturers, namely NVidia and ATI/AMD, release their drives as a proprietary piece of software. This means that they are not built into the operating system and you are required to manually install and configure them. This has, historically, been the biggest achilles heal of Linux in terms of Desktop adoptability. The second issue, which is a usability issue, is that the expected integration of a modern desktop operating system is still a little clunky.

In other words, people expect that when you plug a USB headset into a modern desktop that the OS just finds it and starts using it. After all, if I plugged a headset in there must be a reason. Other common issues are what happens when you put a DVD in the drive or insert a USB thumb drive. They've made great strides in integrating all the separate parts of the computer into the desktop environment but there are still quirks here and there.

OSX overcame this because it was designed from the ground up to BE a desktop OS. It was never intended to be anything else hence why everything 'just works'.

Linux, however, is like a flea market of an operating systems. It can do everything and anything you throw at it. The unfortunate side effect of something so comprehensive is it's inherent complexity. This is why it's taken so long to get to a usable state as a Desktop OS. It is, however, closer then it's ever been to truly replacing Windows or OSX.

So in summary:

Windows = Windows. Good bad and ugly.
OSX = Great for a "just works" crowd, draconian hardware choices, Limited software selection, good for everyday normal use
Linux = Does everything, complicated under the hood, difficult graphics card installation, not as polished as OSX or Windows

Probably the best way is to take an old Laptop or Desktop and just install Ubuntu on it. The one good thing about Linux is that it will pretty much run on anything. It has very very small system requirements. Any computer made in the last 5 years will run it more or less fine with the one exception being how good the graphics look.

Regardless of how you go, changing from Windows to something else is going to require you to get used to it.

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Online liquidvw

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Re: An Alternative To Windows
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 10:18:18 AM »
I like to run cygwin on my windows pc.  For me its the best of both worlds in one box. 


Offline silversam

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Re: An Alternative To Windows
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 09:03:59 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly with James. OS X is the system for people that just want their computer to work.

Years ago I was forever screwing with my computer. Not so much anymore. I want the damn thing to work.

When I first converted to the Mac, I went to import all my digital photos into iPhoto. I started by creating some folders and sub directories to move the pictures into, so I could sort them into some usable system. I got that all done, but couldn't move the pictures into them nd have them recognized by the Mac. I spent a frustrating hour or three cursing this supposed "user friendly" system and then finally, in desperation, I just said "f*ck it!" and clicked the button to have iPhoto just bring all the pictures in from Windows.

I got a message, something like: "We see that your pictures were shot on different days, so we're going to automatically divide them into separate groupings, based on days. You can consolidate these later if you like."

It couldn't have been easier. All my pictures were sorted and grouped and if I had three days of pictures shot in Rome I could merge those three groups into one in about 15 seconds.

The Mac either does "it" (whatever "it" happens to be at the moment) very well and very easily. Or it doesn't do "it" at all.

At this stage of my life that works just fine, thank you very much.