by Miguel Guhlin - CreativeCommons Copyright Sharealike-Attribution April 27, 2014
The idea of transitioning from Mac/Windows to GNU/Linux is a common temptation--free operating system that works on various types of computers, feature-rich applications, few (if any) antivirus/malware concerns, drop-dead easy. Many folks haven't made the jump because they figure they'll have to dump software they've paid for or investments in Windows/Mac-friendly peripherals. And, there's the concern of file format compatibility. Cloud-based technologies, great peripheral support, ubiquitous access to online, how-to support via YouTube and Google make these challenges more of a myth than reality. Here are some interesting reasons why a switch might be a phenomenal idea to move ahead on now:
1. The Operating System Got a Lot Better
Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and PeppermintOS.com--all different flavors of GNU/Linux--are game-changers in ease of use and friendliness for end users. Prior to them, GNU/Linux operating systems seldom worked well on a wide variety of systems. Whether it Mac or Windows, the various GNU/Linux OSs were incompatible with network/wireless components, and more. Over the last few years, a concentrated sustained effort has been made to make GNU/Linux OSs thrive on a variety of computer devices. Simply, you don't have to be a die-hard hobbyist or fanatic to enjoy the benefits of GNU/Linux OS.
2. The Small Form Factor
Small form factor computers--including Asus Chromebox, and many others (read this LifeHacker article on the subject)--have transformed the desk space, and enhanced portability. No longer do you have to mess with clunky CPUs taking up your desk; now you can duct tape it to your desk and regain space! These small form factors work great depending on your needs, match form to function, and are reliable. And, let it go without saying, people realize that GNU/Linux based (or Chromebook) small form factor computers are far safer to work with! No gunfights in the Wild West Internet where you show up with an under-powered device, a target for malware and viruses.
3. Automatic, Unattended Updates
Tired of messing with drivers and updates? Now you can get a GNU/Linux OS that eliminates the need for you to manage installation of drivers and updates; it handles them on their own! What's more, you can get the GNU/Linux OS that works best for your hardware (whether it's old or new), and rely on that. Your GNU/Linux OS will probably work as soon as you put it on your computer.
You get what you pay for--if you want to buy a high-performance computer, the cost is down significantly for smaller form factors. But, you know what? Your GNU/Linux OS of choice will work well for high-powered machines, but provide a quality experience on obsolete equipment, too (just don't load GNU/Linux on an old machine and expect to run the latest STEAM Linux-friendly game on it). Why spend thousands of dollars on fancy cases when you can get an inexpensive one that gets the job done and lasts for a few years? It's a bit like choosing not to buy a Rolls Royce to drive to the grocery store, pay your bills at the local mall. Instead, you have a device that gets the job done!
With the GNU/Linux OS working on multiple computing devices (e.g. laptops, desktops, Chromebooks, etc.), cloud storage availability, a user can flip from device to device without worrying about saving your data on any one machine and be locked on that. And, GNU/Linux OS devices don't have a problem with hacks and virus sharing, at least not as bad as Mac/Win systems do.
6. Great Sleep Mode
Being able to take a siesta is a key performance tweak for humans, as well as devices. Devices that go to sleep or are put in sleep mode, but don't come up can be problematic. My Apple Macbook Air has done that several times with the latest OS X version, failing to come alive after a short sleep. When I boot to PeppermintOS GNU/Linux, I can shut the lid, pop it back up with immediate response! It's a shame that proprietary OSs like Apple and Windows can't develop a great hibernation feature that stays stable in use.
7. (This is Sweet!) GNU/Linux Runs Better Than Other OSs
To add insult to injury, Windows OS runs better on an Apple computer than a PC. The glitches go away and the system runs with a far smoother performance. Every since OS X was created, allowing Apple users to use PC programs on a Mac, the world changed and expanded for Apple users. PC users still sat in the same place as before.
Macs are not the end-all, be-all for computing, but they do have significant advantages to a PC computer. When one actually has some time to work with one for a test drive, the benefits and amenities start to become apparent. Everyone’s needs are different, so really the best way to compare is to experience the difference personally.
One of the biggest reasons that Windows users have a hard time making the switch to a Mac is that they have obtained years and years of Windows software. Of course there is no real way to run Windows apps natively on the Mac operating system.
To add insult to injury, GNU/Linux typically runs faster and better on computers than Apple and Windows operating systems. The glitches, the "you must do it our way or else" approach, all go away. That's because you only load onto your GNU/Linux what your computer needs to work and throw away the bloatware that Apple and Windows come with. Ever since GNU/Linux was created, this has been the goal. Even though everyone's needs are different, GNU/Linux enables you to customize the graphical user interface and software to match YOUR needs. And, GNU/Linux works great on your computer hardware.
Having installed GNU/Linux on PCs that were initially loaded with Mac or Windows many times, I can say with confidence that the experience has usually resulted in zippier performance, access to tools that do not lock my documents and files into "one format that nothing else can open," helping me to avoid vendor lock-in, as well as paying for planned obsolescence.
And, you know, that's made all the difference during touch economic times and ensuring my documents are always accessible in a free, open source format, eliminating trusted computing (a.k.a. OS backdoors, spying, hackers, etc.).
- PeppermintOS desktop. http://goo.gl/8WQ43V
- Asus Chromebox. http://goo.gl/RhqQwC
- Article adapted from 7 Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure