Operating System Trials Part Duh

To attempt to get some extra life out of my aging PC, I recently reinstalled Linux in the hope that getting rid of some of the bloat would speed things up. Sadly it was not to be.

Previous recommendations and a few recent reviews pushed me towards trying Windows again, specifically Windows XP.

My Experience
The installation process was a breeze, if you can install Linux, you can install this. I only use my PC for Web, Email, occasional Office, Photos, Games, Video encoding so as long as Windows could pull those off, without requiring me to learn an entirely different application, I should be sorted.

Equivalent Apps
Linux / Windows

Firefox / Firefox
Thunderbird or Evolution / Outlook
Picasa / Picasa
Rhythmbox / Foobar
GIMP / Photoshop
OpenOffice /MSOffice
Azureus / uTorrent

So far these apps pretty much live up to the promise. I can still plug in my digital camera and download the photos easily, MS Office will read and write Open Office formats, Photoshop is a bit complex but then, so is GIMP and there’s a whole world full of game which I couldn’t prreviously run, which aren’t just rip off clones of Windows games.

Overall Windows seems a little more stable and certainly there’s a lot less fucking around when it comes to installing and configuring the OS and running simple applications.

Pros:

  • Firefox is the default browser by answering one simple question on startup, once.
  • It will read Windows disks
  • Email (Outlook) is very similar to Thunderbird or Evolution
  • Hundreds of free applications and games which are easy to install by double clicking setup.exe
  • Desktop GUI is excellent
  • It’s practically virus and spyware free after installing two FREE totally automated applications (AvG/Adaware)
  • It’s secure (mostly) if you’re not a retard.
  • All media files were supported – mp3, mov, avi, wmv, mp4, aac either out of the box or with a simple codec pack install
  • Help is either built-in and well written or online and plentiful
  • Runs iTunes but who’d bother? Foobar or  media monkey do a better job. 
  • File Sharing just works
  • Printers install themselves
  • USB Joypad works along with thousands of other USB devices
  • My Book USB Hard Drive powers off with PC

Cons:

  • It costs $100 if you don’t already own it (but, who doesn’t?) or is practically free with a new PC/hardware.
  • You need 1Gb of RAM or it will run like a pig, 1Gb of RAM costs under $30.

Sorry Jeremy.

(Jeremy will likely think this an unwarranted attack but honestly I’m sick of people claiming that Linux is the magic silver bullet which can solve all your computing whoes. I know Jeremy’s post was far from doing this (in fact, it seems to have a remarkably anti-linux feel), but I just couldn’t resist.

Most windows performance problems could have been solved with $30 worth of RAM, consider how much TIME you spent installing and configuring Linux when you claim you didn’t want to pay for a performance upgrade)