I stumbled upon How You Know When Itâ€™s Time to Switch to Linux by Katherine Noyes.
She has some good points:
- 1. Tired of Paying for Software
- 2. You’re tired of upgrading hardware.
- 4. You’ve seen one too many patch Tuesdays.
- 5. You don’t have the time.
- 6. You like speed.
- 7. You like sharing.
- 8. You don’t actually love Internet Explorer.
- 9. You want to be in control.
- 10. You’re One of a Kind
Those are all good reasons to flee that other OS on a PC or a server. I could add a few more like re-re-reboots. They are a pet peave since many of them are not actually necessary and that other OS is so slow to boot. Why we, in the 21st century should be strapped with errors of design made in the late 1980s is beyond me. No OS is perfect but surely an OS should respect “time is money” and do the minimum to inconvenience us. That other OS was designed to waste resources.
“3. Shortening of PC â€œlife timeâ€ in general
The only counter argument to make here is that current PC technology is totally sufficient for most office tasks and consumer desires and that any performance bottleneck is not in todayâ€™s PCs but in todayâ€™s COM pipes. This in itself might slow down replacement cycles and life time shortening until we find true MIPS eating applications- a priority not only INTEL should subscribe to.” Kempin, e-mail to Bill Gates, 1997.
If you are like me you don’t want M$ to pressure you to chuck perfectly good PCs in the trash.
On the other hand there are bunches of great reasons to go to GNU/Linux besides what Katherine mentioned:
- Maintenance of more complex systems on one or more PCs by networking, and a package manager,
- FREEDOM to use, examine, modify and to distribute,
- no more WGdisA and coded stickers, and
- many thousands of applications and services.
I switched in 2000 and my switch was driven only by one thing, that other OS would not work for my students. It kept crashing. Since then I have discovered more good things to like about GNU/Linux. Why don’t you?
I’ll give an example of a project that has brought me great joy as a teacher. In 2004/5, I was teaching in Deline, NT, a fly-in community just south of the Arctic Circle. The school had about 50 PCs all sucking on the same pipe. I think the bandwidth was about 64 kbits/s, just a step above dial-up. Using the Internet in class was almost always impossible for more than a few people simultaneously.
The number one issue for me as a teacher was having a resource that would give lots of searchable text and images to students. On the web was Wikipedia. The software that it runs is FLOSS, so on the ancestor of my Beast, I installed MediaWiki and downloaded (over many nights and weekends) the snapshot of the database and images. It took me nearly a month to examine all the 100K+ images and thumbnails to remove some disgusting spam (about 100 images) to make this kid-safe in a K-12 school. Then I opened this service to the school over the LAN. My students were able to access a huge resource using only a browser. The pinnacle of that success was a few times when the web access was down and kids who normally went to the lab to surf the web, used this service on an ordinary PC in my classroom to research for projects about how people lived around the world.
Since then I have ported this database to every school in which I have taught and it cost nothing but a bit of my time. Over the last few days, I updated the software to MediaWiki 1.15.5 from Debian’s repository. I ran the /maintenance/update.php script to upgrade the database and it ground away on my database, making it work with the new software. Not bad for a 6 year old database and application. No re-re-reboots were required. On Beast this thing is snappy. Search results in the blink of an eye … How cool is that?
Why suffer the agony of keeping that other OS running when you can experience the joy of GNU/Linux working for you?