Dear Windows, Good-Bye, Without Love

goodbye microsoft love linux with heart

Hi, my name is Cassi and I am a Windows survivor! In the beginning Windows seemed so perfect. It made my life easier and gave me an easy to use interface so that I could be more productive without having to be a programmer.  And it even still gave me my DOS command window. It allowed me to organize and tweak my OS environment to suit my needs and my skill level. So as we progressed, we settled into a normal regular routine.

Oh, sure we had our ups and downs I mean, all relationships do. I don’t think ours was any worse or more than anyone else’s. I still remember when Mac, the new guy in town showed up. Oh, he was a slick one, turning heads and promising everything Windows had, only newer and cooler and stronger! And I admit that Mac got one of his new friends to try to show me how cool he was; but, while his looks were impressive, I was comfortable with my own Windows, besides, if it ain’t broke why fix it, right.

To make matters worse, how was I to know that my beloved Windows would go through a mid-life crisis with the turning of the century and never come out of it!

First he, decided that he needed a new look and then he needed a new title and couldn’t settle on one…are you 2000 or Me? Do you even know who you are or what you want anymore? Why are you changing? What was wrong with the way we were? I was happy! Oh, sure I changed the desktop and background from time to time, but, I didn’t get all mid-life crisis on you just cause the 1900’s became the 2000’s! Oh, no you had to go and throw it all away! All the hard work and the building up and the years of ups and downs. So I let you have your wild ride for a few years until you stopped supporting my (XP)memories of the way things used to be!

Then you got all security conscious and protective with your Vista! So we did nothing but fight. I begged and pleaded and finally you said you saw the light and gave me 7! I could see the effort (at least I thought it was sincere at the time) and compromised that while it was not my beloved XP, it at least was not Vista. So we created a fragile balance of co-existence until you decided that we need a WHOLE NEW EVERYTHING!

So what do you do…..BOOM here’s 8, slamming through the fragile peace like Johnny through the bathroom door! I cannot find anything! I cannot change much of anything! All my favorite parts are gone and nothing is the way I like it! What happened to the WE in this relationship…..when did it become all about YOU!!! Oh, that’s right way back when you bullied all the hardware makers to ONLY load your OS on their mass produced products and I didn’t balk cause I was happy back then and I trusted you to like me happy! Instead I now have a tyrant telling me that I am happy cause you say so! NO! NO! NO! I am NOT happy!

So I pack my bags and hand you divorce papers and what do you do…..you promise me to make it all right and to do it for FREE! For my loyalty you give me 10! You tell me that you have super improved it for my ease of use and syncing and that EVERYTHING you do, you do for ME and my joy! But, what you have done is built me a golden cage! You track my every move! You watch my every moment! You force updates and installs against my will! With you No doesn’t mean no, it doesn’t even mean wait, stop, think about it, promise me more….it means yes to you. No matter how much I screamed NO! DON’T! STOP! You are killing us! You kept right on……

but, I had heard rumors of a hero in the night….

I dug in my memories for those whispers in the dark. Those breathy comments by the rebels of the web! Linux was the name….but, it seemed so strange and foreign, it looked so alien and complex. What was a girl to do?

I decided it couldn’t hurt to look, right? I mean I was in a broken relationship with NO hope, the worst place I could be, so what did I have to lose? Besides, I had always had that part of me that walked on the darkside; just cause I had been a longtime Windows OS girl didn’t mean that I was a total Microsoft mistress. No, in fact, I had always loved those Open Source guys! They knew how to give a girl what she wanted and more and usually always for FREE!

So I took a walk down Linux lane looking for my new beau and what did I find??? I found more options than I could count and more looks and styles than a 5th Ave Fashion Week! WOW! What had I been missing? How do you pick? How do you choose? I was dizzy from all the options; but, I was determined cause once a girl looses hope in her guy…..she has no option but to find a new hero! So I read and read and read some more….

I read and watched more reviews and compares and contrasts than there are sports teams in the US! And slowly and surely I weeded out the ones too techy for me and the ones too Mac’y for me. I listed all my must haves and then the extras that would melt my heart…..so my short list came down to finally 2 ……. Mint and Zorin……and I will give each their due coming up……. see who wins my heart and who gets my system for keeps or at least for right now!

It’s all about chemistry!

periodic table linux

Too much of anything can make you sick, even the good can be a curse.  Switching to Linux was supposed to be an easy thing to do. If you feel like you’re being stuck in a bad marriage with either Windows or MacOS, than you know it’s time to leave things behind and move on.

Before you decide to move on and what to do next, much like with any relationship, you ask yourself hundreds of questions but here’s what you know for sure:

  • You are tired of being controlled by what you can and can’t do.
  • You are tired of being spied on and having your every step followed and analyzed.
  • You are tired of spicing up relationship (upgrades) which do nothing except create burden on you (your system), lagging, slowing you down and showing no progress.
  • You are constantly forced to accept new rules in the relationship which only favor the aggressor (Updated polices) and leave you no room to breathe.
  • You want your system to reflect your habits and lifestyle and to be able to adjust it to your liking, not to spend a lifetime of being in the same house without being able to even repaint the wall.

So, if you answered YES to all of the above then it really is time to move on. Yes, it can be scary, but just a bit, because you are about to land in an ocean filled with all sorts of fish. They are still a fish, but different kinds, some are fancy, some are robust, some are functional and organized and some are simply byproduct spin-offs of the major species of fish.

If you really want to look up genealogy of Linux species, I suggest you start with graphic representation on Wikipedia, which traces back to it’s origin. However be ready to get confused and scroll and scroll. Still, by then nothing will be clear to you and you may feel like you regret your decision to leave the aggressor; but don’t! Because that’s exactly what happens when you enter the dating ring after being absent for so long. There’s still hope. Big one, at that.

First you need to decide what you want and what you expect from a new relationship, are you looking for a fancy, robust, functional, sleek, average, simple, complex, brain-challenging, just watching movies and play music and or do basic office/home work, accounting, media production. You will feel like a kid in a candy store. You get to pick, experiment, learn, and test the waters until you find what works for you.

Much like I did, you may have read countless articles on the web which distro is right for you, writing down comparisons, getting stuck with stats and numbers, lack of support, big community, abundance of apps in the store etc…

By now you have probably asked yourself a question all of us who transitioned from Windows/MacOS to Linux already have – How do I pick (the) one? Well, my answer to that is above – you date! You become a distro-hopper (or worse distro-whore) until you find what works for you best.

You may start by narrowing down your likes and dislikes and look for options. Within that range you can download several LiveUSBs; test them out and see how it works for you. I know this is not a moral thing to do, but if in any way you depend on one of the “bad guys” you can cheat for a bit and have “dual-boot” until you decide to boot the other one for good.

I kicked it off with Linux Mint and Deepin, my girlfriend ventured out with different distros. Unfortunately due to the nature of my business and government regulations, I kind of had to go back to my ex-bad-guy for business purposes, but I still have a “side chick” and that’s not going to change until I find a more permanent solution. And I am so looking forward to it.

Until next time,

$sudo-apt-install-happiness