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Linux Vs Windows Having An Open Mind

The old Linux vs. Windows debate, a topic which I have seen stir up just as much flaming and fanboyism as ATI vs Nvidia and AMD vs Intel. It is a discussion that I myself honestly try to avoid, but I feel I must express my views and opinions on the subject, as well as my experiences with both systems.

Just like many of you, I grew up on Windows, more notably Microsoft in general, as my experience goes all the way back to the days of MS-DOS. My first Windows was version 3.1, an excellent gui frontend to dos, and it's still my favorite version of windows. I have used Win95, Win98 and ME, all horribly unstable, and in my opinion, inferior systems to 3.1.

Now on to Windows XP. I bought a new computer in 2001, XP preinstalled. I was amazed at the stability of the new Windows, and it rates right up there with 3.1 in my book. The new look was a breath of fresh air from the old blocky look of the previous versions, and I have had 3 other systems with it installed, the last being Media Center.

Now we come to a time approximately one year ago, when I joined Overclock.net. On this wonderful forum, I learned of an OS besides Windows. I learned that this OS was free, more secure than windows, and I was free to modify it if I wished to do so. At this point I decided to try Linux. At first, it was a hard road, as the road to learning Linux is a rocky one, but I am learning.

A corrupted Windows install forced me into using Linux exclusively for about a month, and it opened my eyes to the world of open source. In this world I discovered stability beyond anything Windows could offer, as well as the ability to build the OS to fit my needs. It was at this point Windows got the back seat, only being used for gaming. I discovered I could do almost anything in Linux that I could in Windows.

Now to the point of all this rambling, I received my copy of Windows Vista Ultimate today, purchased off a fellow OCN member. I am not abandoning Linux in favor of Windows, rather I am giving Windows a chance to regain it's place as my primary OS. Why would I do this? Because as much as I dislike Microsoft, I can't honestly recommend someone use, or not use, an OS if I myself have not used it.

I plan on installing Vista within a few days, but somehow I doubt it will replace Linux. Linux is a superior OS in my opinion, more secure and, with a little research and study, readily customized to the needs of the user. The learning curve is what deters most from its use, and is it's greatest weakness. Windows however is the OS for the masses. It is easy to learn and use, built for the average joe, with almost unlimited hardware support, but with features for the power user as well.

I could join the fanboys and rigidly stick with a particular OS, but that's not what having an open mind is all about. Having an open mind is not about trying something for a very short time and then complaining about how bad the experience was. Rather, it is about giving, in this case, the OS a fair chance. This includes making an honest attempt to learn about it and it's features. It was this open-mindedness that opened my eyes to Linux, and I will give Vista the same chance. I will not be making a judgment in a day or a week, maybe in a month or two I will have a better idea of which OS I like better.

As I finish this first, very long entry into my blog, a phrase from a song sung by Toby Keith comes to mind, "Don't knock it till you've tried it". To this I add "and gave it an honest try".



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