2005-11-02 Review: I've a little question for y'all today. This is one of those "just because I'm curious" kind of . . .

I’ve a little question for y’all today. This is one of those “just because I’m curious” kind of questions.

What operating system are you using, and why?

OK, that’s two questions. Let’s say I’m being greedy as well as curious :) The reason why I’m asking is because I use Linux (no surprises there), and I have a difficult time understanding why people are still using Windows. I know there are a few very good reasons for using it, namely:

  • The programs I need to use only run under Windows
  • I’ve invested a lot of time into learning how Windows and the programs I use. I don’t want to waste that knowledge and have to re-learn
  • This is the computer at work. I can’t change anything on it
  • I play games

Now, I’m not going to knock Windows at all – beside my legs are two desktop machines. One runs Linux. That’s my main box. The other runs Windows XP which I use for those occasional forays into Photoshop (I prefer GIMP), Truespace or – yes – for game playing. It’s also acting as a fileserver for an 80Gb hard drive that’s formatted NTFS.

That Windows machine frustrates the hell out of me. It can’t hardly more than one program running at a time without hitting the swapfile. It struggles with more than 5 browser windows open. I have to play by it’s rules when using it, not the other way round. When I’m using it, the kid gloves are firmly on.

In comparison, the Linux box (almost identical spec) takes anything I throw at it, and just ticks over. Right now, for example, I’ve got 20+ browser windows open, a word processor, I’m ripping one audio CD, downloading more mp3 tracks, got GIMP (Photoshop-a-like) open and resizing an image, and I’ve got my album/photo viewer app open behind that. These aren’t hi-spec machines. These are old, old computers that were destined for the skip as being “redundant”. To do the same thing using Windows XP would take a machine 5 times more powerful than this little beaut.

Now, I know XP and Linux aren’t the only operating systems out there. I’ve a lot of respect for the Macs, because they do what they do very, very well. OSX is a Unix by another name as well. It’s virtually Linux’s brother. s’good.

I’m going to go through each one of the “good” reasons I’ve posted up there later, and explain why there are no good reasons to be using Windows XP.

Meantime, I’m curious: What operating system are you using, and why?

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