Mac fanboy likes Linux substitute

Travis Perry

I’ll be the first to admit to anyone that I’ve become somewhat of a Mac fanboy. The operating system and computing components have caught my eye, and I just find it hard to tear away. Call me someone who is following with the crowd or who has given in to slick advertising, but I’ve just had too many problems with Windows to warrant my next computer system running a variant of the Microsoft OS.

I wouldn’t categorize myself as someone who hates Bill Gates and the “Micro$oft” empire. One of my most recent smartphones ran on Windows Mobile 6.0, and whenever I get the chance I’ll jump on my Xbox 360 for some quick FPS fragging. I cut my teeth on Windows 3.1 and can vividly remember the drastic and much-needed change that was brought around with Windows ’95. But the problems I’ve experienced with my most recent Windows machine have just been too much for me.

Let me set the stage: while it’s a bit dated (it’s sad how a three-year-old system can seem obsolete), I received my Dell Inspiron 600m when I graduated high school as a gift from my parents. It ran snappily for about a year before I experienced major sluggishness, which I attributed to Dell choking my system with their pre-installed junk. To remedy this problem, I was walked through the process of reformatting my hard drive and reinstalling Windows XP, and this did work… for a while. To date, I have completely wiped my computer and reinstalled Windows at least four times during the last three years, and even added a gigabyte of RAM in an effort to reduce the similarities my laptop had to a tortoise, but to no avail.

In my most desperate attempt to make my hardware useful again, I did something drastic. I changed to an operating system completely unknown and unfamiliar to myself: Linux. Why Linux, you may ask, when I have proclaimed myself to be so enthralled with the Macintosh product? It’s quite simple, really. You see, like most college students, I tend to be very, very poor, and I can’t quite afford to drop the $1,000 needed to get myself a new Macbook. So, while I am waiting, scrimping and saving for that glorious day, I did the next best thing, which was to install an operating system that worked on many of the same basic principles of OS X Leopard.

Many who have dabbled in PCs for a while are familiar with DOS, the basic underlying platform that Microsoft used in their operating systems up until XP was released. Linux and OS X are similar to that in how their base structure is a UNIX system. While the differences and nuances here can get very technical, it’s enough to say that DOS and UNIX are simply different ways in which the system organizes and handles files. In my opinion, UNIX is far superior.

I installed Linux on my laptop about a week and a half ago. While it’s been a learning experience for myself, I can say that I’ve already noticed much-improved speed in everything from processing large files to simple tasks such as turning my laptop on and off.

For the record, I don’t hate Windows (except for Vista, of course. That thing is a train-wreck!). I have many friends who have found that it is an operating system that meshes well with them, and have had little to no problems. To those people out there, I say good for you. As for me and my house, well, I’ll just be saving my pennies for the day when I can happily click onto the Apple Store website and place an order for my very own piece of the Steve Job$ empire.