Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The One About OSs



Amongst the computer nerds, programmers, networkers, consultants, and even geeks, there is always a divide between what operating system is superior. This has been dubbed by RationalWiki as "OS Wars." Many of the more technically inclined like to poke fun at some of the more misunderstood operating systems. This picture presents an analogy of the three most common operating systems.



What can we infer about the author of this infographic? Immediately a Mac user will infer that the author has never used Mac, or never used it extensively. Any casual viewer will infer that the author doesn’t like Mac in favor of Linux, and judging by the corresponding pictures of dog breeds, we can tell that his views of Mac are that it is a joke of an OS, just like the Yorky is a joke of a dog.

I think that I will start with Linux. I like Linux for the most part. I think that the claims the Linux community make about it’s stability are a load of garbage, having used several distros. Maybe it’s just my computer. The only version I liked, coincidentally to this situation, was Puppy Linux. Lightweight and fast! The only one that didn’t crash after a day’s use and no reboot. As hard as that is to believe for some Linux enthusiasts, it does crash. Especially Linux Mint, which I liked a great deal while using it, it just took a rather long time to get everything set up and running. But it crashed after my sister logged in on another user and any time I left it running for a few hours before resuming my session. That might not be the OS itself’s problem, only the distro, but until I can test it further, I will be comfortable using Mac.

The other silly part about the Linux is that even within the Linux Community there is a huge divide between which is the superior distribution. Those who use Kali Linux or ArchLinux might make fun of people that use Ubuntu or Mint. I believe a very wise man once said "For how can a house divided against itself remain standing?"

Windows on the other hand is the Lingua Franca of computing. Everyone should know how to use Windows, and nearly everyone does. People from the Mac camp curse at it because it’s so difficult to understand. They have to make the simplest jobs complex! People from the Linux camp scorn it. Windows? Seriously? Have fun crashing and catch a virus! But it is the most common desktop OS, so there are a lot of smart people that use it, and for good reason. The lion share of software is written specifically for Windows, and runs the smoothest on it as well. There is tons of free software written for Windows. Most people will be able to follow directions of how to do something on their computer when they’re not around, because the chances are that the person you’re talking to is a Windows user.

I grew up using Windows, way back when XP was a thing. I would still rather use XP over anything, quite frankly. Why? Because it was simple. I knew everything about how it worked, and it was easy to use. As far as I can remember, it never crashed once while I used it and MS Paint was awesome! But now I am very content with our next topic on the list: Mac OS X.

Mac has an interesting history, which I won’t discuss here, but perhaps in a future blog post. Mac is pretty. It is not useless. It does do cute tricks that I have seen done somewhat on Linux. It does work for years, a small malady will not knock it out and it can survive rough play. Mac is actually an Operating system that can take some pretty harsh things in stride. You can do anything on Mac that you can do in Linux, but in most cases the software is a lot nicer. Mac is a good operating system because it makes a lot of jobs simpler that are confusing in windows, like connecting a printer, for instance. I didn’t have to place the driver files manually where I could find them and change the path. It’s insanely easy to adjust screen brightness, which is important on a laptop. With every PC I’ve used, doing that has been more difficult than it needed to be. Mac just makes sense in so many ways. I chose Mac over any kind of PC because I wanted something that would give me fewer headaches than I knew I would get with either Windows or Linux. Ironically, the only headaches I have encountered are design flaws, not technical flaws, which are rampant in both Windows and Linux!

When it boils down to it, I I like to say that extremes are dangerous in almost any situation. Exceptions will be noted and discussed in a later post, but to say that one OS is superior to another is simply never going to be the case. The whole concept of “OS Wars” is so inflated and stupid for me to get caught up in, that I take the more stable (no pun intended) view that each OS has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. I would like to say that Mac is easier to use than Windows or Linux, but there are some parts about it that are difficult to deal with. I don’t use Linux on a day to day basis; I just don’t have the time right now to learn how to use it. I understand enough to get by, and what I learn for the Terminal in Mac, I can almost directly reapply it in Linux, since they use the same shell, but all the ins and outs of it I will have to discover later.

For now, I will use Mac for programming, writing, and the occasional necessity of video editing.


Please don’t judge any OS before at least trying it. I hope you don’t get me wrong about how I feel about Linux! I love the idea of a free and open source platform, and I’ll have to learn how to use it later when I start maintaining servers.  Until then, I will happily take the criticism of all those open minded people that use Linux, all the while using Mac, and occasionally Windows.

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