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What OS do you use and why?

edited November 2006 in Everything Else
I will start off this discussion...

I have three "functional" computers in my home right now. I have a large collection of non-functional computers but, since I don't use them, I will not talk about them.

1) My Wife's Computer: It is an Athlon 950 with about 384MB RAM. This machine runs Windows XP. It came with Windows ME when we bought it and we hated it! We upgraded it to XP as soon as it was possible.

Because this is my wife's machine I have no say on what OS she runs.

2) My Daughter's Computer: It is a Pentium 3(?) somewhere around 500mhz with 384MB of RAM We got this computer from a friend at work who was going to throw it away as he just bought a news one "'cause that old one got a virus or something..." The machine started out with Windows 98 but I upgraded it to Ubuntu a few months back.

3) My laptop/desktop Computer: It is a Celeron 1.2 with 256MB RAM. This machine was once a laptop but after the screen went bad it became a desktop. It still runs the original copy of XP it came with. It has been dual-booted a few times with different flavors of Linux but now it is just XP.

One reason we continue to use XP is iTunes. Though I have installed Rockbox onto my iPod that software is not mature enough for my iPod needs. Namely I can't plug in the car charger as it will drop from playing an mp3 to disk mode...

I also continue to use XP on my laptop as I write programs for windows users.

My wife will probably never switch away from XP as she uses her machine for all of our financial needs. Sad as it may be to say, there is no Quicken on Linux and some online banking sites still work funky with FireFox.


  • there is no Quicken on Linux
    There is no Quicken, but there is GnuCash. GnuCash is compatible with all the standard online banking protocols, and it is every bit as functional as Quicken. It can even open qif files, so none of the stuff you have in Quicken already will be lost. It really is quite amazing for something that is free.

    The interface of GnuCash will appear foreign to someone who is used to Quicken. It was foreign to me when I first used it. This is because GnuCash follows the principles of double-entry accounting. If you understand double-entry accounting, you understand GnuCash. Given that, GnuCash is not as easy or slick as Quicken, but it is still stupid easy. Not having any accounting knowledge whatsoever, I learned double-entry accounting in about five minutes by poking the GnuCash interface. That was the old GnuCash interface, too. The new GnuCash 2.0 interface is light years ahead of GnuCash 1.0. Frankly, if you can't figure out GnuCash, you aren't trying or you are dumb as a brick. Either that or I'm an accounting prodigy.

    If finance software is the only thing holding you to Windows, you should at least try GnuCash for a few minutes. Also, if your bank's website doesn't work in non-IE browsers you need to complain to them until they fix it. I am a heavy user of online banking and bill-paying. The sites for my credit card, bank account, insurance, etc. all work in Linux. If they did not, I would complain and change banks.

    Oh yeah. I use Linux. Why? Many reasons.
    1. I don't want to spend money on software when there is a legal and free alternative that is technologically superior. I'm not going to pay $5 for a rotten apple when shiny red ones are free.
    2. I don't want software that restricts the functionality of the hardware I own. I own the hardware, so I should be able to make use of all its existing and potential capabilities.
    3. The only proprietary software I depend on is Steam, which now runs in wine. I get most of my gaming from consoles and handhelds, so who needs Windows?
    4. I don't have time or money to waste virus scanning, spyware avoiding, crashing, etc. The computer is a tool to accomplish various tasks. Not being in college anymore, I don't have time to perform extensive maintenance on my PCs.
    5. I am able to make customizations to Linux to improve work flow and accomplish more in less time.
    6. I have lots of PC hardware which is easy to mix and match into many computers. Because Linux is free, I can install it on as many machines as I want, and it doesn't care what hardware I change. In my eyes, this is the chief reason to use Linux over Mac. Mac hardware is more closed source than Microsoft software.
    7. There are a tremendous number of open source tools available for Linux systems which I need on a regular basis. Many of these tools are either not available for other systems, or they do not work on other systems in the standard fashion.
    8. All of the advantages of using open source software, such as immunity to vendor lock-in.
    9. The community of other Linux users who can provide support via forums, IRC and other methods at any time of any day.
    10. And more...
    I still use the Windows laptop provided by my employer for my iPod and iTunes. If I lost that laptop, I would use our Mac mini. If I didn't already own a nano, I would have bought a Sansa or other better DAP. I'm bored at work.
  • I use WinXP, because I need it for my two primary computer needs: Photoshop and PC gaming. If I could do those things well on Linux (meaning without complications or too much fiddling around,) then man oh man, I would switch. But as it stands, I don't think someone could persuade me to let go of Morrowind or the Sims. And don't get me started on the GIMP. I can't stand it, and wouldn't consider it a viable replacement for Photoshop.

    However, it's probably only a matter of time until Linux can do those things - at which time, I shall rejoice. Come on, Linuxy overlords! Save us from the coming doom of Windows Vista!
  • 5 computers: Win2k
    3 computers: XP
    1 computer: OSX
    1 computer: Ubuntu (Ubuntu)
    1 computer: Dos

    Ok, I don't run the Dos computer that often :)

    I do most of my work on Win2k computers and most of my multimedia stuff on XP. OSX is fairly useless, but I have an iMac G5 I use for photo editing, printing and storage. I play with Ubuntu, but I haven't found the killer app yet for me. I was looking for voice recognition software that's open source and usable, but I haven't found that yet either. I have a love/hate relationship with iTunes. With version 7, if I listen to a podcast partially and then sync the iPod, iTunes takes it off the player. It's still in the library, but I can't listen to it on the iPod anymore. I've tried playing with the settings, but it doesn't seem to work.
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