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Re: Back to Windows??

I want to second what Craig Milling said: Linux isn't for everyone, but if you 
need or prefer a very stable system that allows you the power and control of 
Unix, then Linux is great.

I have two machines...a Gateway desktop, which I got about four years ago, and 
a Dell laptop that is now just a bit over two years old. I got both of them 
with idea that I would install Linux on them, did so, and never had much 
problem with either. The video card was not supported on the desktop when I 
first got it, but that only lasted a couple of months. The experience of 
having to wait a few months before I could get X running on my desktop served 
me well (a lesson learned the hard way). When I bought the laptop I made sure 
that its hardware was supported by Linux.

I don't really use a lot of the hardware folks have been mentioning, like CD 
writers and such, but I have friends who do. It seems to take them a bit of 
time to get them set up on occasion, but then they are fine. And as Craig 
mentioned, they then have a free, stable, multiuser, multiprocessing OS.

It's too bad that some folks have had such a frustrating time with Linux. It 
would be nice if that weren't the case. I think if they stick with it they 
might well eventually learn to appreciate the freedom and control that Linux 
gives them. But freedom in setting up a computer is not different from other 
freedoms we might enjoy...each comes with attendant responsibilities. If those 
responsibilities are more than you want to take on, or if the freedom you get 
running Linux is not important to you, then there is no shame in choosing to 
use something else. After all, most of us do not choose to become expert 
automotive mechanics or physicians. Rather, we pay other people who are 
experts to take care of these tasks for us. Doubtless our cars would run 
better and longer if we learned to maintain them ourselves (but I'd hate to 
perform surgery on myself).

The most important aspect of Linux and the Open Source movement, in my 
opinion, is the choice it gives me. I'm very grateful to the developers who 
spend their time writing this OS, as it allows me to do my work much more 
conveniently than I otherwise could (Windows and Mac OS are not an option for 
me...it's gotta be Unix). For people whose needs are different than mine, 
Windows or Mac OS might be a better solution. That's choice, and that's what 
Linux and other Open Source OS's give us. Before them, there wasn't much 

Now if we could just get more of the hardware manufacturers to recognize this 
and start giving us all more choice in which OS we can have preinstalled on 
our machines (I'd prefer none at all, as installing Linux myself is fine with 

Just my two cents.



Kevin M. McLin	Office: Duane C-328 Phone: (voice) 303-492-4053 
mcl@casa.colorado.edu		http://casa.colorado.edu/~mcl/		
  Snail Mail:  Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy CB 389, 
	         University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0389
.................................by choice.....................................

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