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Re: Re: OT: Switching Sides

by logan (Curate)
on Nov 30, 2003 at 21:23 UTC ( #311100=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: OT: Switching Sides
in thread OT: Switching Sides

Beg to differ.

An OS isn't so much a tool as a toolbox. The OS will hold the tools themselves (perl, Office, Quake), and the accessories that make those tools usable (lib files, device drivers, logging mechanisms), but the OS itself does very little.

Extending our toolbox metaphor, imagine you have a whole bunch of tools that need different power cords (9 volt, 12 volt, 220 volt). Windows replaces them with a single monster cord that will accept any voltage and self-adjust. Linux allows you to see each and every cord and select for yourself. The upside on the Windows approach is that you can't get it wrong because the decisions are out of your hands. The downside is that this self-adjusting sacrifices stabilty and the ability to self-diagnose. The upside for Linux is that you can see all the cords and decide for yourself. The downside is that it won't stop you from picking the wrong one and screwing things up hardcore.

If you're prepared to do some work, you can use one and only one OS. You will, however, have to make some sacrifices. If you refuse to have a Windows box in the house, you won't get to play most PC games. If you feel that gaming peaked with Tetris or you already own a Playstation, this won't be an issue for you. If you use Linux, you'll save a few hundred dollars by using free software, but there will be a learning curve. If you enjoy the learning process, great! You have a project, and there's hours of fun awaiting you. If all you want to do is type a simple letter and read your email, it's probably worth a few hundred dollars to avoid the hassle.

If, however, you're a civil libertarian, there are many "features" in Windows that would terrify you. In that case, go with Linux.

-Logan
"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."


Comment on Re: Re: OT: Switching Sides
Re: Re: Re: OT: Switching Sides
by sauoq (Abbot) on Dec 04, 2003 at 00:00 UTC
    The upside on the Windows approach is that you can't get it wrong because the decisions are out of your hands. The downside is that this self-adjusting sacrifices stabilty and the ability to self-diagnose. The upside for Linux is that you can see all the cords and decide for yourself. The downside is that it won't stop you from picking the wrong one and screwing things up hardcore.

    While I agree with your sentiment and upvoted your node, I have big disagreements with this analogy.

    Maybe "you can't get it wrong" with Windows, but you can rest assured that Windows will get it wrong for you on occasion. And when Windows screws things up hardcore for you, it'll mean re-installing the whole damn thing. But, with Linux (or Unix), things getting that hosed are pretty unlikely. And when they do, you can rest assured that it was probably the result of something stupid that you did. That means it's something you can prevent next time. I much prefer that to the cross-your-fingers-and-try-again method required of Windows users.

    Some might argue that they'd rather just spend an hour or two re-installing than spend half a day trying to fix something they broke. I understand that reasoning, but it is short sighted. In five years, such a person will still be re-installing anytime something breaks (which will be just as often as before.) Meanwhile, some who is willing to figure out what went wrong and fix it will have gained oodles of experience that will help them to both fix errors more quickly and prevent them in the first place.

    In other words, with Linux (or Unix) you get 5 years of experience. With Windows, you get 1 year of experience 5 times over.

    -sauoq
    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
    

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