On 07/18/2015 09:25 PM, James E Lang wrote:
The big discussion of Linux over the past 24+ hours has me wondering: What operating
environment(s) do other members of this list use at home and at work? What factors influence the
My first home computer was a BBC micro (anyone remember those?) That was back in the days when
programming had to be really tight, only had 32Kb (yes, Kb) of RAM; long term storage was all
external on cassette tapes, eventually upgraded to floppy disk drive (and the disks really were
floppy). I've still got that computer and AFAIK it still works!
My next machine was Acorn Archimedes, followed by RISC PC. It's a great shame that the marketing
for those machines was so poor, leading to collapse of the company. The ARM chips had a great
architecture and instruction set.
After that, I got my first laptop, a Sony Vaio running windows XP. When I upgraded, which I was
forced to do due to a machine failure, I got a laptop running Windows 7 - which is still my current
machine. A better Windows, once I'd got used to it, but it had a real downer - couldn't get driver
for my flatbed scanner - Canon didn't produce one.
At work, in my first job I used a computer called a PDP 11 (ghastly thing); can't remember what the
OS was called.
In my second job I think we started off with some sort of mainframe, the details of which are hazy
now. Later we migrated to Sun Spark workstations.
In my last real job, used PCs running windows, I think it was XP at that time.
Now in my office based voluntary work I use PCs with Windows 7. Did have a play with Win 8 on a
laptop, but hated it. It might be OK for tablets, I don't know, but it was horrible to use with
normal PC input devices.
I have thought about upgrading to Linux but have never got around to it. This is mainly because of
familiarity with certain software packages, especially Photoshop. I know there is GIMP for Linux,
but it's not a patch - for one thing, it doesn't have the concept of adjustment layers; and that
means that all my working files, which tend to be saved as TIFF with layer compression, can't be
properly loaded and edited in GIMP.I also make use of a video editor (not free but fairly
inexpensive) which can edit MPEG2 files without reencoding unchanged parts of the video, which
makes it quite fast and doesn't lose quality. Something like that probably does exist for Linux but
I haven't got around to looking, and familiarity is a big part of the story.Another thing is the
convenience of plug and play when it comes to hardware - I don't think I've ever had to manually
load a driver, everything seems to work "out of the box" and that's a very good thing, saves a lot
of time and effort. I'm not sure what Linux is like in that respect, as I've had no experience.
On my phone I have android and I tend to get on reasonably well with that.
I'm not sure what I will do if I ever need to change computer again.
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