Editorial Feature - Summarizing Linux

The final part of our editorial series on Linux gives you some different perspectives on Linux, Windows, and choices. Check it out.
Published: Apr 30, 2007
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows / Linux
Tucows Editorial Feature

Summarizing Linux: Thoughts

by Michael E. Callahan aka Dr. File Finder

Part of the editorial series on Linux

Five weeks ago we began a series of articles to look at Linux,the operating system. After an introductory article about Linux ingeneral, we took a quick look at three popular distributions of Linuxnamely Mandriva, Xandros, and Ubuntu. I hope you found thisseries to be informative. Now, however, it's time for me to do a littlesummarizing. What have I learned? What have I come to think about Linux?Where do we go from here?


For many of you Windows is the only operating system you've everknown. It came on your first computer and every computer since. Oh yes,there have been new versions ... 98, ME, 2000, XP, and most recentlyVista, but it's always been Windows. For some of us "old-timers",however, that isn't true. I've lived through CP/M, multiple versions ofDOS, OS/2, OS/2 Warp, Mac OS, and Windows. There's an old saying thatsays, "The only thing constant, is change." Sometimes change isforced on you and other times you can make the changes for yourself.

In so many areas of life we have choices that we can make. Whatdoctor to see, what operation to have, what brand of butter to buy, whatkind of bread to eat, what kind of gas to buy, what path to take, and soon. In looking at Linux it made me think about making choiceswhen it comes to computers.

Pros and Cons

People resist change. People follow the path of least resistance. Isuppose in the case of computers that's true also. If you think about itthough, what if switching operating systems could save you money? Giveyou extra money to get a better computer? Give you really frequentupdates? Give you a great selection of free software? There arepros and cons to switching operating systems so I'll try to look at someof each.

Cons. The most obvious is learning curve. Linux, as far as theway it works, it different from Windows. Ahh, but it has a graphicaluser interface and it has all the tools that Windows has. Sure, Linuxhas some different terms, but a music player is a music player. Youaren't a Windows programmer and you use Windows, right?

Pros. A free or nearly free operating system and programs.If you buy Windows Vista Ultimate and Office 2007 Professional you'dspend around $900. For every computer you have. At the same time,however, you could put Ubuntu, Xandros, or Mandriva on your computersand save all that money. Use it to buy a faster computer, or morecomputers for your home or business. Or go on vacation. You'd getfrequent updates, support, and free applications. Lots of helpfrom other users of Linux. All it takes is making a choice.

Summing Up Linux

As I mentioned at the end of each of the articles on Mandriva, Xandros,and Ubuntu, I didn't expect to be able to give you a complete analysis,but a feel for them. I also mentioned that I'm continuing to workwith these Linux distributions and I'll be back in a few months withmore detailed reviews.

To me, Linux, of which there are over 380 distributions, is aviable alternative to Windows. A fast, quality operating system that isoptimized to make the most of your computer. "Open Source" software thatis contributed to by countless volunteers. Software that is upgraded andimproved frequently. 3D graphics, support for music, video, graphics, andeven running Windows programs inside Linux. Excellent technical support,user groups, and support forums. I even found a site where you can readfree lessons on Linux.

Choices. Butter or margarine? Hot or cold? Creamy or chunky?Windows or Linux? The choice is always yours. For myself Ithink I see Linux becoming a part of my future. I'll take themoney I save and go on vacation or give it to charities. Think about it.The choice is yours. And mine.

For your convenience I've put links to all of the articles in the serieson Linux right here. Enjoy.

About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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