For whatever reason, we need a new computer/laptop. We know we want a few things, the usual speed, ease of use, very light, etc. So, when we decide, we need to choose a new hardware, it could be Dell, Apple, IBM, Lenovo, HP, whatever....and new software, or operating system (OS):
Windows, OS X, or Linux.
So, we need to ask this question...
"Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or a thousand engineers?" I dunno...
I learned computer stuff for the first time on Fedora, one of the Linux OSs that work. When that didn't go for me, I switched over to Ubuntu. Well, you can probably tell I love linux, but I needed something to run popular software. So, I bought a PC with Windows 7, and later on a Mac to go with my iPhone, and pretty soon, I could compare all three operating systems easily without walking out the door or going online (which might be more significant). Here is my take on the price, compatibility, ease of use, and security of these three operating systems:
- Macintosh, AKA Mac
- Microsoft Windowsand
- Ubuntu, my favorite Linux OS.
I'll go ahead and list what I like and don't like for each operating system.
I really love my Mac. I have heard stories about people being accused of having 'old people computers' (Macs), but really, that is just because everything is so easy, efficient, customizable, and stylish. When I first got my Mac, and started to install software, I really truly thought they were joking when they wanted me to drag the little Chrome icon to the applications folder to install. The settings menu covers everything.
Okay, now I think I have gushed over the Macintosh interface enough; let us see my complaints. First off, Keychain is stupid. I am the kind of person with crazy long passwords and click 'Never for this site' to password offers by Chrome and Firefox. I hate the keychain idea, and never use it. I do not recommend uninstalling it because, like Internet Explorer, it does have it's place, and though I was tempted, I didn't. I heard they are fixing up security in OS X Mountain Lion with Gatekeeper. Second, Launchpad. Just like in Jailbroken iPhones, packages you didn't install with the App store are much harder (well, not harder; just less easy) to uninstall. Apple, your perfectly capable of uninstalling any package in Applications, so let me click the wiggly X and be done with it. Third, Home and End keys DRIVE ME NUTS. I can't stand programming with them, it is so difficult going from what used to be the first character of the line and the last character of the line is now the first character and the last one. How often do I need to go to the first letter of the entire document or whatever? NEVER. And if I do, that is what command home is for. The Delete key doesn't delete files in Finder, but you can easily do a Command-Delete and delete them that way. Fourth, well, there is no fourth, but those 3 really bug me...
Okay, Windows. I think Windows isn't bad, it is just slow. Slow, and all the default programs suck. The only reason they can get away with it is that
a) Macs are expensive, and nobody knows or cares what linux is, and
b) Everything is compatible with Windows, so they have a monopoly.
At least Safari isn't horrible, I used it for about 3 months before switching to Chrome. I swear, the ONLY thing I have EVER used Internet Explorer for is downloading anther web browser. Period. It sucks THAT BAD. It is slow, insecure, poorly designed. I pity you if you are on it, just go to Google Chrome Download Page to download the latest version of the browser. The good things about windows include cheapness, compatibility (Not only does anything work on it, it works on anything) and it is easy to figure things out in. It also does not have an app store, which is a copy cat of mobile devices and hinders the computer itself.
Windows is also cheap. Most laptops come with the operating system, or if you really like your old laptop, you can upgrade the ram & buy Home Premium for a couple hundred bucks. Apple laptops are in the four figures, if not five.
Ubuntu, my favorite Linux OS:
Ubuntu, I have to admit, is the most secure operating system out there. It helps that nobody uses it--it becomes less of a target to hackers--but really, it is just on a secure platform. I hate how, when I buy a new PC, I spend the first 7 hours of my time with my new laptop installing AntiViral software. AVG, AdBlock, Chrome, et cetera--PCs are so vulnerable and unprotected. When I open the box for my new ubuntu box, I turn it on, create the primary user, and start surfing. I'm ready. I don't have to worry about regular virus scans or spybot regulations.
However, Ubuntu has been letting me down lately. They started out trying to be like windows, or at least easy for Windows users to use. But, now they seem to be trying to blend that with the OS X interface--hot corners, a dock, and theming the hell out of it. I hate 11.10--they seem to totally mess up what I call ubuntu. When I run Ubuntu in my parallels box, I use 10.04--my favorite interface so far. While it requires some coding knowledge, terminals have never scared me.
So, now we know the basic features of each OS, here is the Price-Ease-Compatibility table, with an overall rating.
|Price||Ease of Use||Compatibility||Overall Rating|
|Macintosh/OS X||Really Expensive, Overpriced||Amazing||Ish. Most programs either run on Mac or have a Mac counterpart, but a lot don't.||4 Stars|
|Windows||Cheap||Okay, not great.||Everything runs on Windows, or it is a program specifically designed to imitate a Windows program.||3.14159265358979323 Stars|
|Linux||FREE!!!!!!||Not as great as 10.04||Nothing, Nothing, runs on Ubuntu or Linux. You have to find imitation programs or run Wine.||4.5 Stars|
I hope this compatibility chart will help you decide on your new laptop. If your wondering about the new iPad, and how awesome it is, click here.
By Calvin Spangler Young
Apple Geek/fan, iKnow it all, homeschooled nerd, and guru for any thing with the prefix of a lowercase i.