Why? Finding the answer to this question is one of the reasons for starting this blog.
I have to beginn with my first computer to tell this story, be prepared. I started using Microsoft Windows based operating systems 14 years ago with my first computer. For 10 years I continued using it, with a gradually increasing frustration against my computer not doing what i wanted it to do. Not knowing about the existence of things like operating systems i bought a better computer, surprisingly the annoying things did not magically go away, there where gone for as long as it took me to get the computer running.
It came the day that my preferred computer magazine put a complete operating system (suse linux it was called) on the cd that came with the magazine instead of the mostly useless share-/freeware software that you used to trash your hard drive with. Enter BIOS for changing the boot order seemed like a big risk back then and i didn’t have the guts to remove Windows – of course i didn’t know about the possibility of dual boot. A few months when the curiosity increased likewise with the frustration about my virus infected computer, i got my first laptop. now having a spare computer i hit the stores and bought a box from a decent looking gnu/linux distributor called redhat. installation was easy and i instantly liked the smooth and modern look, i think they called the total appearance ‘bluecurve’. so, red hat linux, everything looks great, now please connect me to the internet…it did not – i was using an usb dsl modem.
next time i came in touch with Linux was four years ago, when a guy i was working with told me about this all new operating system that is very easy to use. I was curious, but could not understand the name nor was I able to talk after him, so he wrote it down for me to look it up in Google – i knew how to use Google, no problem.
Ubuntu – strange name, nice philosophy, good looking appearance. Downloaded the Image, burned it to a CD, can it really be that easy, wow it really is. Thanks to my new wireless router connecting to the internet was done in a second. It was Ubuntu 5.10 codename “Breezy Badger” for those who care. It took me about 3 weeks to manage all my everyday tasks, from that time on i only started my dual boot Windows XP for gaming.
Ubuntu has a release cycle of 6 months, i did not skip one release since then. Today I’m using Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” on my desktop machine – so the title is not totally correct, there is no reason for me to dump Ubuntu on my desktop, it totally fits my needs there. However with the replacement of my first laptop with a Lenovo Thinkpad I came in touch with Microsoft Vista. Since that day i thought of Vista as a pathetic operating system that I would hate using.
First I wanted to not boot Vista a single time and install Ubuntu right away, now I’m happy i didn’t. Lenovo Thinkpads are business laptops first off, that’s why they are not trashed with useless shareware and trial versions of ridiculous shady looking programs. Moreover lenovo gives you some handy tools to manage your laptop in an easy and if you want so detailed way. Vista is huge and hungry for resources, but as long as I’m not paying with battery time or performance, I don’t care.
I don’t want to praise Windows Vista or compare it directly to Ubuntu, on my Thinkpad, which is meant to be a working machine, Vista just gives me everything i need and does not limit my productivity like for instance “good-old” Windows XP did.
What I now have to admit, is that Microsoft Windows does have a product I actually can work with. Am I a hypocrite for using the operating system that fits my needs best, i don’t think so, still I have this voice in my head, telling me to install Ubuntu at least in dual boot.
And so I tried or better am still trying, the story about this battle is a long one to, so I will leave this for another blog entry.
I did not at all turn my back on Ubuntu or open source, even on Vista I’m using open source where i can, openoffice for all office needs, pidgin for IM, vlc for video and audio, firefox for browsing, gimp for image processing and inkscape for vector graphics. I’m missing a PDF viewer though that can compete with Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader…