I just finished reading an article at Low End Mac dot com entitled “Sick and Tired of Windows” in which the author Dan Knight muses about how he and several other folks he knows are just tired of Windows computers and all the inherent problems that come with them. They’re switching to Mac. Never mind the brain-deadness of bothering to write an anti-PC editorial for a site called “Low End Mac”, what struck me was getting to the third or forth paragraph of his piece and realizing that the word Mac could easily have been – and definitely should be – supplanted with the word Linux (or GNU/Linux for those in “the know”).
Of course it’s true that everyone, at this point even Microsoft apologists, agree that the Windows platform leaves quite a bit to be desired. Apple with their Mac brand has been piling on for quite a while and I doubt there’s a person left on the planet who hasn’t seen a Mac v. PC commercial. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a college student toting a slice of electronics brandishing a bitten apple. So young. So hip.
The PC has been a job creator for more years than my son has walked (or even crawled) the earth; he’s 13 years old now. In that time we’ve all seen how indispensable a tool it has become.
So here we are in 2011 and we see that the business of computing has come to be less about excellence and more about bolstered mediocrity. It’s created jobs for sure; small cottage industries of anti-virus, internet security, et al have grown to become titans. Anti-virus subscriptions are the methadone most needed by 90% of the world who grew up on the cheap and ubiquitous PC. Too late now, businesses are entrenched in Windows and they hate it. School systems are paying 40,000+ a year for anti-virus software and two thirds of the electricity needed to power a computer is used to make sure the other one third continues to run actual applications.
Is the Mac the answer though? Do you need to purchase a completely new piece hardware to break the cycle. Short answer, no. It’s not a secret, you don’t need a new computer when yours becomes slow. You don’t have to purchase a Macintosh computer to get a computer that’s virus resistant and you sure don’t have to spend your hard earned money on software! The answer is Linux. Once you’ve made the switch to Ubuntu or Fedora or SuSE or Mint GNU/Linux (take your pick, software freedom is about choice!) – you get:
- The full power of your hardware. No ANTI-(insert threat) needed
- Thousands of cost free applications – install/uninstall with a single click
- Built-in backup utilities (notice that’s plural – yes not just one – you get a choice!)
- Full Support – Ubuntu has Ubuntu ‘Advantage’ support (for example)
We’ve all grown up using PCs and we’re used to blaming ourselves when something goes wrong. Many, many times folks have asked me, “what did I do wrong?”. I always explain they’ve done nothing wrong. How could it possibly be your fault – unless actually using your computer means you did something wrong? Preposterous! There is no sane reason why someone should have to worry about whether they’ve clicked on something they shouldn’t have – or opened an email attachment. With GNU/Linux these concerns evaporate – go ahead and click away, computing is safe again!