Re: Would Like Some Advice

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Re: Would Like Some Advice

Robert D. Bowers M.A.
Besides monitization, Windows has a few other things that infuriate
me... (1) VERY hard to control updates, (2) "sneaker" updates - things
installed that people don't want (like trying to force Windows computer
owners to update - and sometimes wrecking the computer when it does),
(3) bad updates - suddenly you find features or programs you use all the
time not working, and you have to find out which update (or combination)
broke your software and remove them, and worst of all IMO - there used
to be things you could do with Windows that have been completely stopped
- configurations and ways of increasing REAL security (not just
protecting profits) and making the system that much more efficient. 
When I purchase a computer - I don't want some corporation forcing me to
fit ITS stereotypes - I want total control over it and I will be the one
making the final decisions about it (including what I do with it and the
software I use).  (I should add that I often have to spend hours helping
my wife with her work computer - W10, because of updates breaking her
work software or other problems.)

I dumped Windows in 2010 - although I'd been using Linux off and on
before then.  You see, I was finishing up my Thesis using Office, and no
matter what I did - Office would scramble the format into what IT
thought was right (and creating all sorts of "Widows and Orphans" and
other format errors not matching my school's requirements).  I had to
export the thesis into text format and load it into OpenOffice - instant
cure of the headaches.  Also, back in 2007, there was a "security"
update to Windows media player (I forget the name).  I was using it to
save a video I'd taken the summer before while camping - of a black bear
walking through our campsite.  Their software popped up a very nasty
message that I didn't have the right to a video I HAD TAKEN MYSELF...
and deleted every copy and version from my computer.  No backups yet...
total loss.  Microsoft suddenly sent out a new update after I'd lost the
video and that problem vanished, but we had friends at that time who
also experienced the same thing (even music one person had written and
recorded).  I think you can see why I support Linux.

Linux - for the most part, you have total control over what goes in your
computer - which can be both good and bad (if you're not careful).  I
myself prefer Ubuntu with the Gnome (old style) desktop - I'm a firm
believer of "If it's not broken, don't fix it!!!".  The desktop is a
personal preference thing.  I also very much like stability in my
computer - so if that is important, avoid the experimental and stick
with the LTS (Long Term Support) versions. (There are people who are
always after the "latest and greatest" and they sometimes forget that
not everyone has the same interests they do!)

Another drawback of Linux... software can lose support (the author gets
tired of it) - as I've experienced a few times, or "updates" to core
modules in the OS itself (more of the "if it's not broken don't fix
it!!!" stuff) that break entire packages because of internal changes. 
Sometimes programmers forget about backwards compatibility... and that
not everyone wants "the latest and greatest" at all.  I also firmly
believe that if equipment does the job to your satisfaction, it is NOT
'obsolete'.  I don't support throwaway culture.

There is also this problem - many software authors don't think to export
their program to Linux, or don't want to bother.  Some may even be
pressured into only doing Windows.  I use Windows 7 (I absolutely HATE
10) in a virtual machine when I have software that is Windows only
(often Paid-for software, where nothing else will do the job or where
the equipment it runs will only work with specific software).  That's
the only case where I willingly use Windows.

I would finish by saying I use Ubuntu LTS with Gnome because of the wide
variety of programs I use, besides the usual Word
Processor/Email/Browser that usually comes with the OS.  I use my
computer for Amateur Radio, research (document research, but also doing
things like XRF calibration curves, radiocarbon dating correction,
optical spectroscopy work, and so on), and rarely for games - plus I do
like to watch videos and movies now and then. There are specialized
"flavors" of Linux that might fit one's need better.  Oh, and using
Linux often requires a bit more knowledge (to really be able to utilize
it) than Windows - but then, that also depends on the flavor.

BTW - I don't use R like I used to, but have always had good luck with
it running under Linux.  I don't know how it works under Windows - maybe
someone can speak to that.

I hope this is helpful!

Bob

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