Windows vs Ubuntu

Windows and the rest of the OS’s

Windows 7 is a great operating system. We all know that Windows is the undisputed leader of all OS’s closely followed by Mac and Linux. No there
is no close following. There is a huge gap between Windows and its rival operating systems. I am a Windows user all my life and one day the adventurous side of me woke up after a long time and urged me to do something. No, it didn’t ask me to trek through forests or climb mountains, all it  told me was the one single word – Linux. My curiosity worked overtime and I really wanted to see how Linux works and so I googled a lot to learn more about it and found that there are different kinds of Linux operating systems (called as Linux distros or distributions). Finally I found that Ubuntu and Fedora are very user-friendly. I chose Ubuntu and installed it alongside Windows so that I could dual-boot the system into any OS that I wish to use.

It is a myth that Linux is for geeks. The Ubuntu OS could be used  by anyone who uses a Windows OS. I love the Ubuntu world as much as I love Windows. But still I am yet to explore a lot of things. Haven’t tried my hands yet on things like video editing and DVD ripping.

The Mac world

Today I read an article in a website written by a Mac user which was about how cool his 12 inch 3 year old iBook was and how it aides him in his photography and in running his website. He says that the battery life of a Mac laptop is simply greater than that of a Windows laptop and also says that a Mac doesn’t need maintenance of any sort. It all sounded so cool and since I love exploring I immediately visited the Apple India website only to close it immediately after looking at the prices of the Macbook air. The thought that struck me was that both the Mac and the Linux operating systems are based on the Unix operating system  and so maybe Ubuntu is as good as Mac when it comes to laptop battery life and maintenance. Maybe I am wrong or maybe correct. I don’t know that yet. I am planning to buy a laptop soon and if my experiments with Ubuntu succeeds I would be buying a Ubuntu laptop.

Windows Vs Ubuntu

As far as I have experienced Ubuntu in the last few months, Ubuntu is as good as Windows. No hardware compatibility issues which I thought would be there. Ubuntu has detected my 512 MB NVIDIA graphics card and my  SoundBlaster audigy sound card without any trouble and gave me an option of updating the drivers which I gladly did on the first day of Ubuntu installation.

Trust me, every Windows user should try Ubuntu. I am not asking you to totally ditch Windows (I still love Windows) but I am asking you to install Ubuntu alongside Windows just like me. You know, it would be a different experience after using Windows all these years.

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Where are we headed?

About 10 years ago I didn’t dream of using a cell phone. The first time I saw one in my life was when I was studying 4th standard. That cell phone was big, black and had a long antennae. Now I am looking forward to owning the Samsung Galaxy S2. How times change! It’s really interesting to see these gadgets and their evolution. What do you think the future cell phones would do?

I’ve tried to list some obvious ideas:

1.       Will become more powerful.

2.       Later ,will become equal to the computers that we use

3.       Breakthrough in battery technology (something like  a single charge for many days).

4.       I am hearing about cell phones being used to pay instead of credit and debit cards (this is for real and will be available in a few months)

5.       Swipe it across a page and you would have scanned it (technology now available but not good enough)

6.       Internal memory of 320 GB or more

7.       Powerful hardware specs makes it possible to dual boot the mobile phone with different operating systems. Example – I have both Windows and Android operating systems in the same mobile.

8.       Super fast internet and data transfer speeds.

9.       Holographic images coming right out of the cell phone to talk to you.

10.   We’ll see more AI(Artificial Intelligence) and AR(Augmented Reality).

The end of Desktops?

The list will go on. Already some Samsung mobiles can be used to control their Samsung smart TVs.  But what a mobile phone will never become is a proper productivity tool. Creators like designers, programmers, journalists and writers will find it hard to do their stuff in a small screen. So your desktop and laptop will always survive regardless of how powerful the cell phone gets. Even a tablet is not good enough for the ‘Doers’ as Lenovo calls these people. Some people like Steve Jobs have predicted that the Desktop era will end. But I find it hard to believe. Yes, as the first step Google have released their Chrome books – a netbook with an OS called Chrome OS that has no hard disk. All files will be stored in the Cloud and so will the software. Google seems to be a very futuristic company. I heard this concept of even the OS being in the Cloud and when we boot our system the OS will be accessed and used by the system. Unfortunately there are many years left for such a thing to happen. The Internet is not that fast even in the US. A desktop computer is more stable and powerful than a laptop. A Core i3 processor used in a desktop and laptop are not the same. The power of the laptop processors are reduced a bit (compared to the same processor in a desktop) so that the machines don’t overheat. Moreover laptops becomes faulty way too fast than desktops. So unless these problems are solved the Desktop era is here to stay. And I’ve seen how people in big software development companies like Facebook work. They code all the time and I saw a photo (guess in a forward mail) of some people using two huge monitors to view and edit the code. The Doers need big desktop monitors. If some of the tech gurus’ predictions of the end of Desktops are to become true, I guess they will be true only at the end of another 10  or 15 years.  Even at that time Desktops will survive.

Windows vs. MAC vs. Linux

And as we all know Windows is the King of PCs and its competitors are none other than Apple’s MAC and Linux (there are lots of different Linux operating systems).  Again will MAC or Linux overcome the Windows era? No, not in another 10 or 15 years. Even after that time I see a hope for Linux, but not for MAC. The price factor plays a big role and the people at Apple have never got that right. So if we see a price reduction for MACs, Apple has a good chance because of the ‘cool’ factor associated with it. But what with game freaks and business people sticking to windows and Red Hat Linux, MAC’s chances are little. I love being a King in ‘Age of Empires’ and getting my ‘Medal of Honor’ and answering the ‘Call of Duty’ in my Windows machine. Can’t do that in MAC. Note that Linux has a software for playing windows games in Linux which works for a certain set of games (they’ve included most of the best selling games).

But, you know, anything is possible. If Apple consults me I would say ‘Either develop games for MAC or you bring the downfall of Windows PC games by promoting these Play stations. Why not produce an Apple gaming console that runs these Play station games?’ Good idea isn’t it?

I personally would like to see Linux competing with Windows rather than MAC. The thing that Linux needs most is a customer care centre. Lots of it. Those centres must also be a shopping outlet for Windows and Linux PCs so that people would see what Linux is when they come to buy a Windows PC. Can we start one?