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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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