A New Computer

TuxWhiteBGToday I am introducing you to a “new” computer. I’m finding that people who use their computer just for email, facebook, the web, writing, spreadsheets and simple games are finding it easier, more enjoyable and less troublesome than Windows or Mac. The new computer I a talking about is called LINUX. Wait a moment some of you are saying. That’s been around since almost the dawn of the Internet and you are right.

What’s So Good About It?

First of all (believe it or not) it is familiar. Where I’ve installed it the (fussy) clients for whom things always seem to not be quite right have enthused to me about how much they like Linux.

On a more technical level, with Microsoft and Apple changing their computers to look and act like their phones, a lot of people are still having problems with the new Windows and Macs computers. At affinity we chose a “distribution” of Linux that looks and feels a lot like the old XP, Vista and Windows 7 computers so it seems familiar even if it is not the same as any one of those.

Another advantage is that the virus writers do not, yet, care too much about Linux. Like Macintosh, previously, there are not too many of them out there. Also, up to this point, most of the Linux have been sophisticated and don’t fall for many of the virus traps. I’ve used Linux since 1999 and have only run a virus scanner to catch Windows and Mac viruses on my servers.

A Linux computer is more stable. It’s design is modeled after the famous Unix operating system of Bell Labs and of Berkly Systems Development. It infrequently needs a reboot for an update and hardly ever needs one because of system problems are rare. I’ve had one system up for two years without a reboot.

Finally, it is less expensive. On a typical Windows based system you pay about twice the price of any other component to use (not own) Windows on that combination of hardware, non-transferable. When building a Linux system that part of the cost is removed. You only pay for the installation, which you pay for on Windows and Mac too.

A Hobbyist’s Computer Grows Up

Linux, like Windows, was onetime considered a hobbyist’s computer. It wasn’t ready for real work and was too complicated to use. Over the years the Linux community (Linux is a group effort, not owned by one entity) has made the system more and more sophisticated attempting to do all things that Windows and Mac do. That effort continues and now Linux is becoming the standard in big businesses and most web pages come from Linux machines. But there are many people who don’t need 99% of what computers can do. These people prize ease of use and stability for the few things they do use.

Who Can Benefit From a Home/Office Linux

As mentioned, initially the home user that doesn’t want to add purchased Windows or Mac programs to the computer. Also business that use web based programs that are not tied to Microsoft or Apple software (e.g. Access, Excel) can use Linux. Windows programs can be run on Linux, like they can be run on Mac, but not graphically intense programs like high powered video games.

All of your documents, pictures and movies can be used on Linux. They can be viewed, edited and created on Linux, too. Though a few files are saved in a format that only the company that sold them to you can decode. Some of those don’t work, yet.

You may want to consider a Linux computer in your future when you PC becomes buggy, old or too broken. And remember we have an affinity for all computers Windows, Macintosh and Linux too.