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WHY I hate Windows

© March 2009 Anthony Lawrence
March 2009

Before we get started, let me lay down some ground rules for comments. First, you can say whatever you want: I don't censor people who disagree with me. However: if you leave a comment that plainly shows that you did NOT READ everything I said here AND every single comment that precedes yours, I'm going to delete your comment no matter what it says. Got that? I'm sick up to my ears with people who read a headline and jump to the comments section with their reaction.

I'm writing this as a follow up to my recent "I hate Windows" post. That post attracted some attention from The Linux Hater's Blog and brought a few of their readers here. Of course lovers of that blog wouldn't find much to like here.. nevertheless I'm going to explain exactly why I hate Windows.

I'm not a Windows expert

Heck, I don't consider myself an expert at anything. I'm a generalist: I've been kicking around computers since 1967 so I know a bit about this and that, but I'm no expert at any part of the field. I did obtain a Microsoft MCSE a long, long time ago (NT 4 days) but I have not kept up with that at all. I do read a bit about Microsoft internals (I liked Russinovitch's "Windows Internals", for example) but I don't live it daily and I'd bet against me passing a current MCSE test without a few months of catch-up first.

Not that I'm helpless at a Windows console. Unfortunately, I regularly run into so-called Windows support people who are a lot closer to helpless than I am, so yeah, sometimes I do some Windows troubleshooting. Only when I have to in some other context and only when the folks who should have been doing it are getting nowhere.. nobody should call me for a stand-alone Windows problem.

Well, except my neighbors - loosely defined as the 800 or so families who live in the same retirement community as I do. I WILL help those folks out with Windows problems - as a first responder. I don't charge them anything. I try to help them if I can. If I can't, I refer them on to someone who can (and who will charge them). Of course most Windows problems are fairly easy, so I do help more than I refer off, but that doesn't make me an "expert". Mostly it means I know how to use Google.

I'm not a Linux Fanboy

I'm not a Mac fanboy either. I am a Unix fanboy, and honestly that's the major reason I hate Windows: it's not Unix. Yeah, I know: I can put Services For Unix on and yeah, if I really HAD to put up with Windows, that really would take away a lot of the sting. Fortunately, I can run Linux and Mac OS X instead.

Microsoft really is the anti-unix. Their programming philosophy is just completely opposite to Unix and I just hate that. They are anti-unix in more direct ways too: through ignorance or design, they have mucked up long standing protocols and practices. Whether it's ignorance or deliberate doesn't really matter: I still hate it.

Many Windows people forget or just don't know that Unix was here first. It's very annoying to have someone come along and muck things up. It's even more annoying when they get so popular that a lot of bleeping morons think that things SHOULD be done their way!

Microsoft is an ugly company

Yeah, yeah, yeah: it's just business. No, it's not: it's cut-throat, take no prisoners, morals be damned business and I think it is disgusting. I hate to see greed succeed.

There's no point in telling me that Gates is no worse than X, Y or Z. I know that. But I still don't like him or his company. For me, they are the Evil Empire. That other Evil Empires exist is unimportant. That Apple or Red Hat or anyone else could be just as evil doesn't matter either: I don't like Microsoft, Inc.

I do buy their stock though. I can't lose with that: if they go out of business, I'll be happy personally and if they put everyone else out I ought to make money.

I'm hoping to lose everything I put in.

Windows IS annoying

My wife uses an XP machine. I hate it - it's slow to boot and even after Windows starts and teases you with a desktop, you can't do anything for minutes because it's doing other stuff. That's a design flaw in its process manager coupled with the need for virus software and a lot of other apparently poorly written background programs and overall it just adds to my dislike. The constant security updates are also annoying - yes, it's because Windows is so popular that it gets attacked so much, but that doesn't change the fact that it does get attacked.. constantly. And until Vista, the basic security model sucked: a user really has to be an Administrator or things get VERY annoying, but of course that leads to easier attack vectors. Vista is better.. but it doesn't begin to match my Mac!

I'm trying to get my wife off that XP and on to Mac. She's stubborn but we can't ignore that XP patches will stop sooner or later.. she isn't going to like learning Vista or Win 7, so maybe I can switch her then.. if not, I'll buy a new Vista or Win 7 box. Sigh..

I hate ignorance

And frankly, a lot of Windows folks are ignorant. I see that constantly: if all you've ever done is Windows, you don't know very much. That doesn't make you stupid and it isn't meant to be insulting - it's just fact. I've worked on CP/M, Pick, OS/360, TRS-80 Basic and TRS-80 Assembly, MSDOS, TRS-DOS, Tandy Xenix, Microsoft Xenix, SCO Unix, BSD, Solaris, AIX, Linux, old Macs and new.. I know a LOT of stuff those Windows only folks never will know. I also know a bit about programming: Assembly, Cobol, C, Basic, Perl.. no "expert" at any of them, but there's a lot of road that has passed under my shoes. This is a weak reason to dislike Windows as an operating system, but it does play a small part in my dislike: a lot of Wiindows folks just don't know much. I frankly get insulted when one of them casts aspersions at my qualifications and knowledge because it really is the case that I've probably forgotten more than some of 'em ever have known.

Of course how to send a report out of an ancient Pick's system serial port isn't exactly knowledge any of us need any more. At least I hope I never need that again..

Still, when somebody has worked on all those different systems over all those years, their opinion of an OS deserves some respect. My opinion is that Windows sucks. OK? If all you've ever done is run Windows for the past five or ten years, I'm sorry but your opinion doesn't mean squat to me. No offense. Oh, heck, yes I do mean offense.

I just hate Windows

So there it is. Tear me apart if you wish, but remember my warning about comments: if your comments shows you skipped or scanned, it's deleted. OK?

See also Why I love Unix.

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Tue Mar 24 23:43:26 2009: 5839   TonyLawrence

I guess none of them want to leave a comment..

They sure are leaving comments over at that Linux Haters blog. Mostly ad hominem, though there are some trying to be serious.

I tried to lighten things up, but there's apparently no sense of humor there. Probably goes hand in hand with suffering Windows :-)

Oh well..

Wed Mar 25 00:04:14 2009: 5840   anonymous

You skimped a lot on your reasons for hating Windows and spent more time talking about other things. As I said in LHB, flesh out section four a bit more.

Also, regarding updates. I feel that overall they are less frequent or it may just be that since it runs in the background at 0300 that I just don't notice anymore. Either way, I'd rather have frequent updates plugging holes than few or none at all (given the presence of bugs which I don't think will ever become a thing of the past). Background processes can easily be controlled and reeled in albeit Microsoft is still doing their best to offer more and more superfluous features that are on by default. The good news is that Windows 7 seems to address this issue better. While there have been many complaints about Microsoft in the past I feel that the company has recently stepped up its game.

Wed Mar 25 00:09:46 2009: 5841   TonyLawrence

Well, this is the "sound-bite" world - if you flesh out too much, nobody reads..

Yes, I understand that Microsoft needs to do the updates. That doesn't make them less annoying.

And yes, Win 7 will be an improvement. I have a copy here and it's certainly a heck of an improvement. But.. it's not Unix, is it?

And as I explained, that's most of it. I was exposed to Unix early on, so that's what I imprinted on. I do not like Microsoft..

Wed Mar 25 00:21:19 2009: 5842   anonymous

It not being Unix is the weakest point of them all. Using that as your stance then even if an OS that was superior to Unix in every way were to exist you'd have to hate it because it wasn't Unix. Understand my objection to this justification? I doubt you'd accept a claim where somebody said they hated OS X/Linux/Unix/Haiku because it wasn't Windows.

Wed Mar 25 00:28:55 2009: 5843   TonyLawrence

Ah, but this whole blog explains what's "right" about Unix.

The Unix philosophy of small tools that work together is beautiful. Windows "swiss army" knife mentality is ugly.

Also, as noted, I have a LOT of experience with a LOT of OSes. And I don't mean that I just used them - I mean I wrote programs in them, did troubleshooting, learned their innards..

Most Windows people haven't done anything like that. Even the ones who say they have used Linux have mostly just booted a CD, answered some questions and then used a browser - big whoop!

When I say I prefer Unix over Windows, I have a lot of experience and knowledge behind that statement.

Wed Mar 25 00:42:46 2009: 5844   TonyLawrence

I'm quitting for the day. Don't feel I'm ignoring you if I don't respond until tomorrow.

Wed Mar 25 00:44:12 2009: 5845   anonymous

Then why not just say what you mean? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that "It doesn't follow the Unix philosophy"? These kinds of things make the difference between sounding like an irrational idiot and sounding like a rational, logical person.

Wed Mar 25 00:56:45 2009: 5846   BrettLegree

Yeah, I was going to say earlier, "wow, no one wants to comment on what you said, they must be busy over at LHB", and then I had to go out for a bit - but I guess someone came by after all.

The main thing I find annoying about Windows has to be with the updates, or anything at all to do with adding/removing software - too many reboots required, which interrupt my work flow.

Now, I know I can choose whether or not to install updates - but I can't at work. I know this isn't Microsoft's fault, it is a policy decision within my IT group.

But... the fact that Windows requires a reboot for what I would consider fairly minor things irks me a bit. I could care less if there were 100 patches a day, just don't make me reboot for a web browser update...

I've made it a bit better for myself, though. Luckily we are given Admin rights (or is that lucky?), so I installed a little gem called Shutdown Guard - that way, when IT pushes out some stupid patch, I don't come back from lunch to discover that my machine rebooted and did not save my work. I just get a warning that it tried to reboot.

With a little luck (assuming no BSOD's), I can keep my XP laptop up and running without a reboot for a few weeks at a time. I manually restart the explorer.exe process every so often just to keep it "fresh" - for some reason, this seems to help keep the flakiness away.

And yet... on the same machine, Linux works better - for me. Perhaps not for everyone - but for me, and isn't that what matters?

Wed Mar 25 01:15:02 2009: 5847   TonyLawrence

Then why not just say what you mean? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that "It doesn't follow the Unix philosophy"? These kinds of things make the difference between sounding like an irrational idiot and sounding like a rational, logical person.

Well, this IS a Linux/Unix blog.. most of the people who read it already know what the Unix philosophy is - it isn't necessary to keep harping on it.

Please remember, I didn't go to a Windows lovers blog and invite y'all to come here - somebody else complained about me and left the first links.

I don't really feel that I need to write in a way comprehensible to Windows centric people. I'm not interested in gaining them as readers, am I?

Wed Mar 25 04:02:24 2009: 5848   anonymous

While that may be a good excuse for the rest of your articles it is important to remember you linked this post, where you use the line "It's not Unix", in a blog that has an anti-Linux stance (and lots of pro-Windows readers). You instructed those readers to read this post.

Wed Mar 25 05:44:06 2009: 5850   jtimberman

I'm a Linux/Unix system engineer/admin, and I believe in the Unix philosophy of one specific tool for each task/purpose.

Windows Vista makes for a great home theater system in my experience. It would have been more effort and hassle to get a Linux system capable of the same media playback options[1], and wouldn't be able to play anywhere near the library of games (none of the games I like will run even remotely reasonably on Codeweavers etc). I'm satisfied with it in that regard.

[1] Set up a year ago, to do upscaling DVD, mp3/m4a/aac music, HDTV DVR, Linux options for HDTV were pretty bad, and the tuner I have wasn't very well supported[2].

[2] Tuner worked out of the box w/o drivers and w/o issue on Vista, before SP2 even.

Wed Mar 25 10:06:35 2009: 5851   TonyLawrence

You instructed those readers to read this post.

Sigh.. it's not going to matter what I say.

It's like the whole "expert" thing. If I said I was an expert, y'all would jump over that. I said I'm not, and you assume that means I know nothing. I try to explain that, but I get nonsense and more ad hominems back.

I'm not writing for Windows people. I'm certainly not writing for most of the ignorants who frequent that LHB blog.

My feeling has always been that if you don't understand something I write, ask a freaking question. I'll answer it pleasantly. But when you start carping that I should have done this and I need to flesh out that, well, honestly I don't give a rat's patootie because plainly I'm not writing for you.

So: you don't like how I wrote this. Fine. I DON'T CARE. Move on, go back to your Linux bashing ignorant pals at LHB. Be happy, and don't worry about us: we'll be fine.

Wed Mar 25 14:40:51 2009: 5858   BigDumbDinosaur

Of course how to send a report out of an ancient Pick's system serial port isn't exactly knowledge any of us need any more. At least I hope I never need that again.

It's still better than trying to untangle a boogered-up Windows registry.

Windows is like a beautiful home equipped with the latest in amenities and appliances, but built on a cracked foundation with leaky plumbing and substandard wiring...and located in a mosquito-infested marsh.

Wed Mar 25 22:04:30 2009: 5868   anonymous

I am the administrator for hosting company, and we are small enough that I am the entire support dept. as well. On a regular basis I find that windows fails its long time users, ideas that were clear a long time ago in UNIX are still broken in Windows. When performing support I routinely ask customers to save a file somewhere they will be able to find it in a moment, since there's a self-referencing paradigm of a directory nested far below the root and variable per user (Desktop), its very common for users to expect to be able to find their file again, and not be able to, this was insanity from day 1.

Wed Mar 25 22:10:54 2009: 5869   TonyLawrence


Yeah, I see that all the time. They have no idea where the file went.. I tell 'em to try the download again and pay attention to the file name and where it's being saved..

Wed Mar 25 22:14:06 2009: 5870   BrettLegree

I wonder if that's why they added the indexed search to Vista and beyond, to help the hapless users find stuff?

Not that anyone does, because searching worked before, slowly, but it worked... I'm always amazed when people can't figure things out and you say, "Did you try Help?" - they give you a silly look, then you show them, and still they won't use it!!!

Just like they won't use Google etc.

Save us...

Thu Mar 26 01:21:48 2009: 5873   STeve

I liked what you had to say and altho LHB makes some good points, if you put most of the commentators in front of an Ubuntu machine they probably *still* wouldn't know what to do. Most people are too dumb to cope with change thanks to the public school system. Debian Linux FTW!

Thu Mar 26 03:09:33 2009: 5874   jtimberman

if you put most of the commentators in front of an Ubuntu machine they probably *still* wouldn't know what to do

Anecdote: My wife's used a Windows system for a couple years, then I switched her to Ubuntu. With about an hour of training, and random questions every so often, she was fully capable of working in Ubuntu as she was on Windows. It helps that I showed her the same programs on Windows that I use on Linux for day-to-day stuff: Firefox, Pidgin, GNUCash, KeePass. The added benefit of Linux was she didn't have to contend with system update and antivirus popups distracting her from using the computer.

That said, most of the people I know who are heavily invested in Windows through work, and likely to participate in a Linux hating blog are people who have been using Windows for a long time, and are into the "Windows Way" of doing things. I have a friend who's used PC's since he got an 8088 XT when those were new, and has progressed through the MS operating systems (sans Xenix ;)) over the years. The lack of things like Device Manager (at the time) turned him off Linux, and he never strayed from Windows since. Other Windows types I know are heavily invested in programming C# and .NET, and couldn't be fussed with learning the GNU development stack.

The thing we all need to remember is that people have different opinions and personalities. What appeals to one person won't appeal to someone else. Dale Carnegie said "Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still."

Thu Mar 26 12:35:31 2009: 5878   TonyLawrence

Naaw - we need to tie them down and beat 'em till they love Unix.

Microsoft actually is doing some good things starting with Vista. If they can cut out some bloat and continue improving security, they may have something pretty good by Win 7.

That won't change my opinions because it's still "swiss army knife" mentality, they'll still abuse standards and they'll still be greedy and unconscionable in their business practices. But at least they won't be selling XP..

Mon Oct 5 08:06:39 2009: 7068   anonymous

I'm new to using computers compared to a geek living in a retirement community. However, I know what I like and it isnt Windows. I used a Windows XP machine for the last 5 years and bought a Mac recently. Now I know why people hate the Windows OS so much. Mac is easier to use for average jo's like moms, dads, grandmas, 4 year old nephews, ect ect. It makes having a home computer fun. And now Apple has stepped up their game by making their computers more compatible with software and products you can by at a place like Walmart ... i'm smitten : )

Mon Oct 5 12:19:20 2009: 7069   TonyLawrence

Good for you!

I did finally get my wife switched to Mac. I'm not sure she is entirely happy about tha, but she is switched :-)

Sat Nov 21 13:38:17 2009: 7589   anonymous

I couldn't agree more. I switched 2 years ago and have never looked back. The only thing Windows is any good for is games and you can get a console for that. Windows is bloatware. Bloat the system to fill up any spare hardware capacity improvements so that a 2009 pc running Win-arse runs slower and is less secure than a 2005 pc runnix 'nix. Then you have to pay extra for loads of antivirus because it is so full of holes. Why isnt protection included from the start. THat would make an interesting court case. iIt is like having a monopoly on selling buckets with holes in so that other companies can spring-up and sell patches. Also I hate the mindset of Windoze - you are always feel frustrated and boxed-in. Examples are messages like "The system has crashed and lost all your work after you farted" The available options?? A box that says "OK" not a box that says "Please suggest something you*\***ing load of expensive crap". Oh and then there's always the famous "please re-install the entire operating system to fix some insignificant error ( and make sure you re-start after every single minor update / installation / driver change. That these monkeys are legally allowed to sell this heap of crap and get away with it is unreal. Linux is much better and I hope they wipe the floor (and their arse) with Windows... Don't get me started on the automatic updates...!

Wed Jan 20 02:00:08 2010: 7928   anonymous


I hate windows I just got a brand new netbook Dec 25 2009, and now it freezes after everything, I cant use the virus scanner or it freezes any program will cause a freeze and a loud beeping noise untill I restart, that would be fine if i wasnt in a coffee shop with everybody looking at it!!
I cant even use safemode


Wed Jan 20 02:07:57 2010: 7929   TonyLawrence


Even for Windows, that's not normal.

You either have hardware problems or something badly misconfigured.

Tue Mar 16 11:56:47 2010: 8223   DavidTurner


3 months ago i started using Linux Mint. Not as difficult to use as i thought. I have clean installs of vista on one computer and Mint on another. I practiced very questionable web browsing habits on both and Vista died in a day (had to get dad to fix, I'm 49. go figure). I've not the experience you have with different OS, but I see your point. Personally I hate Windows cause I have no choice to buy it when I buy a new computer at the store. Wonder what would happen if Sony said you can only play Roadshow release movies on their TV's.

Tue Mar 16 12:12:03 2010: 8224   TonyLawrence


Good for you. Actually I'm surprised you got hacked with Vista so quickly, but it doesn't matter: to me, Vista and Win 7 feel like trying to make love wearing a diving suit and scuba tank - yeah, you can do it, but why would you?

Wed May 19 05:05:41 2010: 8611   HisShadow


Deleteing a printer under XP renders the the Printers and Faxes (Faxes) control panel useless, requiring a reinstall (repair). Adding a network printer is a tortuous joke that always requires custom vendor software to complete.

Wed May 19 11:17:10 2010: 8612   TonyLawrence


No, you are very confused about something. There are things I don't like about Windows printing, but you can certainly delete printers in XP and adding network printers is easy enough (though it is odd that you say it is "local" to add a tcp/ip direct or lpd printer - but it's not torturous in any sense).

Wed Jun 23 21:09:43 2010: 8739   anonymous


“For more than two decades, Microsoft has engaged in a carefully designed and extremely successful campaign to protect and extend its monopolies. Microsoft has repeatedly made market allocation proposals to its competitors and has used a broad range of other anticompetitive and unlawful tactics to eliminate potential rivals, including tying, predatory product design, and intentional deception.

Microsoft owns several monopoly products, including its Windows operating system and Office suite of productivity applications. These monopolies are extremely lucrative: Microsoft generates more than $60 billion each year, largely from Windows and Office. It has profit margins of 77% and 65% for these two monopoly products. Over the years, Microsoft has carefully cultivated and expanded the barriers to entry protecting these monopolies.”

Microsoft A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm:
www.ecis.eu/documents/Finalversion_Consumerchoicepaper.pdf (link dead, sorry)

Tue Feb 8 01:35:07 2011: 9283   Surrelam


.........but have never tried anything else. A tech ignoramus, I was gonna take the plunge and install Linux, but when you mentioned Unix, I have to beg the question: why would I like that better than Linux?-Thanx

Tue Feb 8 01:36:19 2011: 9284   TonyLawrence


Go with Linux. Ubuntu is a great place to start.

Thu Feb 24 15:23:44 2011: 9334   BigDumbDinosaur


Dunno what got into me, but I decided to browse to Linux Haters Blog to see if its inhabitants were as rabid as Tony has suggested.

They are.

What a bunch of immature kids. With terms like Luser (evidently meaning anyone who uses or advocates the use of Linux is a loser), how can these folks expect to be taken seriously? That they think Linux is the scourge of the earth further erodes what little credibility they may have. Geesh!

Tue Mar 15 15:48:26 2011: 9379   anonymous


First I will say that I am a Windows user and practically saw the evolution of the operating systems come about. Over the years I grew exhaustive, I can affirmatively say that I believe 90% of Windows users are pirates. Haters included you can't honestly hate something unless you have used it first, I will admit I hated Linux while I was doing IT that was like twelve years ago. Over the years however I have come to look at perspectives and the way I see it now is that its all software in the end, as long as it deliver what it promises and it works that is all that matter. Suffice to say nothing is without problems, I just think people have a natural hate tendency towards Microsoft in general. All I can say is software code is where everything is at, if you understand pure programming you would know that there is no such thing as a perfect software as it is all binary ones and zeros. If we were to look at it from that angel then you would be shocked at how imperfect a world of software really is regardless if it is open source or closed. I will not rant and this is not meant as one, all I am saying it better to work within an ecosystem rather than pick and chose between better and worse.

Good Blog!

Tue Mar 15 15:59:48 2011: 9380   TonyLawrence


Haters included you can't honestly hate something unless you have used it first

But I HAVE used Windows - extensively. Did you read more than the title?

if you understand pure programming

I have done a LOT of programming, from machine language on up. Microsoft does a lousy job at many , many tasks because they emphasize ease of use over security and often seem to be ignorant of standards and long standing conventions.

Tue Mar 15 22:48:17 2011: 9381   BigDumbDinosaur


Haters included you can't honestly hate something unless you have used it first

But I HAVE used Windows - extensively. Did you read more than the title?

As have I (still do for a few things). I also use form 1040 to file my federal income tax return, and it isn't because I enjoy handing money to crooked politicians. :)

if you understand pure programming

I have done a LOT of programming, from machine language on up. Microsoft does a lousy job at many , many tasks because they emphasize ease of use over security and often seem to be ignorant of standards and long standing conventions.

I've written one or two lines of code as well and understand better than most that a perfect program is as elusive as a perfect mate. However, Microsoft code seems to be particularly vulnerable to bugs, probably a result, as Tony noted, of their tendency to put style before substance. When asked about my business accounting software, I always assure the inquirer that it doesn't run on Windows. I have a deep distrust of anything Microsoft when critical data and security are involved. Nothing that has transpired in the last decade has caused me to change my mind.

As for standards, Microsoft's position is one of flouting them. How else to explain websites that look like a boogered-up mess when viewed through anything other than Internet Exploder. And don't get me started on the twin terrors of E-mail: Outlook and Exchange. The closest they get to behaving according to standards is in the SMTP headers, where Microsoft has no choice if they wish to have their bloated mail get delivered to real mail servers.

Wed Mar 16 07:37:30 2011: 9382   anonymous


Your blog man and fair enough!

No I am not a programmer, I just don't understand the Linux/Unix world and the Windows hate that has existed since time itself all I meant to say is its better to work in an ecosystem. I use Linux openSuse under Virtual Box in Windows and it's a good OS, I mostly work with 3D software though and a Windows machine is where things work for me.

If I could pick and chose the OS of choice it would be BSD, stable, solid, secure.

Sun Jun 3 12:59:50 2012: 11053   Terry


After years of "using" windows,read that as clearing virus, reloading the OS, constantly trying keep a decrepit, poorly written sack of*\***e running, I loaded Linux. What a pleasure, no virus, no constant tuning, no fighting with printers and modems . Just turning on a machine and using it. Now Linux is on my Laptop, Netbook and box. Windows is a high maintenance, time wasting, virus hoovering antique. Anyone still running windows, any version, is either stupid or crazy.

Sun Jun 3 16:06:56 2012: 11055   muffy


I hate windows also, but I was told (by a rather unreliable source) Linux was somewhat complicated; did you find this to be true? I may be installing that when I get my laptop in the near future.

Sun Jun 3 17:24:46 2012: 11056   BigDumbDinosaur


I hate windows also, but I was told (by a rather unreliable source) Linux was somewhat complicated...

Anything that one doesn't understand will initially seem complicated. All non-trivial computer operating systems are complicated -- they do very complicated things to keep the ugliness of the underlying hardware away from the user.

In that regard, Windows is as least as complicated as Linux, if not more so. A lot of Windows' code is tasked with the so-called ease-of-use features, which as most Windows users know, make the easy things easy and the more difficult ones nearly impossible. Unfortunately, that same code that provides the user with the "Easy" button also introduces a lot of the problems routinely experienced in the Windows universe.

So initially you may find Linux "more complicated," but will quickly get accustomed to it. You can avail yourself of a GUI desktop or learn how to really use Linux via the command line interface (BASH), which is where I spend all my time (I've never started a GUI session on any Linux box -- I know how to type). Once you conquer the initial learning curve, I think you will be more than pleased with the subtle aspects of Linux, such as stability, freedom from viruses, no blue screens of death, no having to visit Microsoft Update all the time, no having to do things the Microsoft way, no...you get my drift, I'm sure.

Sat Sep 15 07:12:45 2012: 11316   Ian


I am with you there, I love the Unix philosophy and I love the control I get over it (usually). I have been wrestling with (someone else's laptop with) Windows 7 on a bad hard disk the last two days, hoping I could still get it functioning despite the disk. My current complaint is that some of the GUI processes give no feedback as to whether they are doing anything at all (eg. "rescue"). The machine can sit with the same screen for hours and you don't know whether to interrupt it or just leave it a bit longer. That said I use Windows as a client machine for doing some end-user tasks and it's fine for that, but if it breaks its opaqueness can really really make it a pain to fix. At least Unix (I use FreeBSD mostly) will give some sort of useful feedback if something goes wrong.

Sat Sep 15 17:17:58 2012: 11319   BigDumbDinosaur


The resurrection of this article reminds me that this year (2012) will be my 30th year of monkeying with UNIX. My employer way back when had a PDP-11/70 on which was running UNIX, the machine being used for scientific and technical computing. I got interested in it, read all the documentation I could find, discovered that the UNIX philosophy meshed well with my style of thinking and...well...the rest is history.

I founded BCS Technology Limited in 1985 and by 1988 was building UNIX servers to order (running Intel 80386 hardware and the old SCO UNIX 3.2 package). I've tried to keep my interaction with Windows to a minimum but have taken advantage of that vaunted operating system's many weaknesses to promote what we do here. Our most successful systems are an amalgamation of PCs running Windows...and talking to a UNIX or Linux server running Samba and, in some cases, custom vertical software. The server mostly sits in the corner or on its rack doing its duty and getting dusty. The PCs require constant maintenance and patching. Anyone see a pattern here? :)


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