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My standpoint on Linux vs. Mac vs. Windows: strengths of various operating systems, with Linux being the standard of comparison.

A quote from Facebook:

“I highly recommend MAC – they are fabulous, and things of beauty. And personally, I would stay away from Linux – not the most enjoyable OS to work with. Then again, with all the updating of packages and stuff – that might really appeal to you:)”

Off the top of my head; posted in response

I must protest! Linux is superior in nearly every way.

Benefits of Mac over Linux – it has a special user interface, and is only installable on quality hardware.

Benefits of Windows over Linux – most games are a lot easier to run, more consumer hardware is supported, and some software requires Windows.

Benefits of Linux – extremely easy to use, automatic updates of all your software, everything is completely free, you hardly ever need to install special drivers whenever you get new hardware, it comes with all the software you will need for most day to day work out of the box, installation of additional programs is *extremely* easy, you can change anything you want, you can upgrade any part of the computer (motherboard, etc.) and it will work without reinstallation (you can quite literally take out the hard drive, plug it into another computer and the OS will boot – although there may be a few slight hiccups), runs on any system, excellent support.

Drawbacks of Linux – advanced configuration can be tricky, software is regularly improved (and changed), too much choice?

My conclusion

I may have to install another OS for work purposes, and I may do it just to see where the other two stand, but Apple and Microsoft cannot remotely tempt me with their current offerings.

Using either of these OSs is torturous to me – and to think that it is just 2 years ago that I switched.

3 Comments

  1. I agree with you except about the ease of Linux. I have used Ubuntu in the past (for about 2 years) and even though I think more people should use it I don’t think its easy. Sadly its become “intuitive” to download a app from the Internet instead of going to something labeled Add/Remove. It’s the problems that the world gets from using unintuitive systems like OSX and Windows 3.1-XP. Vista thankfully is not as counter intuitive(no more start button that you have to use to turn off your computer!).

  2. “you can upgrade any part of the computer (motherboard, etc.) and it will work without reinstallation (you can quite literally take out the hard drive, plug it into another computer and it will work just fine), runs on any system, excellent support.”

    False – this breaks Red Hat, for example. I had precisely this problem at work yesterday, where a machine had its motherboard replaced – because the ethernet MAC had changed, the OS got upset and refused to acknowledge the port’s existence. I had to Google the error to find out how to fix it.

    Advocacy is one thing, over-promising in this manner is quite another. Red Hat is the primary corporate distribution, and it isn’t anywhere near as protean as you describe.

  3. I would agree that not all distros are equal in their flexibility.

    Considering that I run Gentoo and have a heavily customized kernel, I need to do one of two things before changing a motherboard; get a motherboard with the same chipset, or recompile the kernel to handle the hardware.

    However, I have not noticed any characteristics like this with the most recent Ubuntu release.

    My brother recently got an A780GM-A (with an integrated ATI graphics card) and 5200+ Athlon X2 to replace his A7N8X Deluxe, 2500+ Athlon XP and Geforce FX 5200.

    Ubuntu worked just fine. He did have to update the configuration slightly, but the changes were quite minimal (Ubuntu switched to use the vesa drivers, and he installed and configured the proprietary ATI drivers), and were easily done from within the OS itself (as opposed to having to do it from a live CD, as I might have to do in the case of hardware failure).

    As for the problem you describe, I have noticed that eth0 is not replaced, but that eth1 is created for new hardware (this is true for optical drives as well). You probably had to modify your network configuration to apply to eth1 instead of eth0, but that seems fairly minimal, and is completely sensible behavior.

    So, true, an upgraded system will probably be usable (but need some slight configuration), but that is nothing when compared to what you would have to go through for Windows (and I suspect that Mac is as bad as Windows in this regard).


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