Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Flag, the apple, or the penguin?

A friend of mine on twitter, Angel of Grief, inspired me to write this article.

Many people like to play fan boys/girls. Windows is better then Mac! Mac is better then PC! Linux beats everything! However, I don't like to play fan boy. I feel that saying one is better then the other is just plain wrong. They are all different and all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Windows: Windows has been the operating system of choice for the past 10-15 years for most consumers. It is the biggest platform to develop for when it comes to games and programs. Plus, you can build a windows computer with any part there is on the market, assuming it is compatible with the version of windows you are running. However, the greatest down fall for windows is the viruses. It is the number one operating system to be attacked, thus you always have to be careful of destroying your computers. Of course there are always virus programs, but those slow down your computer and get bigger and bigger as more viruses come out. The more viruses, the bigger the application becomes when protecting your computer.  In recent years it has become easier to keep files stored online instead of on your computer. A friend of mine works completely online, and downloads nothing to his computer. He uses Google Docs for his documents and that is were he works. The only thing he downloads to his computer is games via steam.  As you work more and more to put your things online, you become less worried over the possible attack on your computer. This way, if you are ever attacked, you have all your files backed up online.

Mac: The Macintosh operating system has been around almost as long as Windows has, just a little longer. However, it isn't until recently that Macs have gained popularity with consumers. Their marketing ploy was genius. While Microsoft was selling their Windows based computers to major corporations, Apple was selling their Macintosh based computers to schools. This way, the children would use Macintosh growing up and that would be their operating system of choice when they finally bought their own computer. Macs have been known to be good for graphic design and also productivity in general. Their user interface is also a plus, as it is much more user friendly compared to Windows and Linux. Up until just a few months ago, Macs did not really do gaming. Even though the first Halo game, Halo Combat Evolved, was launched on the Mac, not many big games such as Halo have been on a Mac since. With the addition of Steam to the Mac, gamers now have the option of cross platform gaming. Mac games, however, have a long way to go until they catch up with Windows games. Macs have not fully utilized the graphics card. Unlike Windows, Mac does not close all background applications when running a game.

Linux: And then there is the penguin, the underdog. Linux is a completely user created, and free operating system. It is very open and allows development of almost anything. However, linux does not support gaming and is only really good for productivity and flashy effects. It is fully customizable and can be installed on anything, just like Windows. It is also a very small operating system that does not need a lot of hard drive space to install. That, in itself, is a perk compared to Windows and Mac which can each take 10-15 GB minimum to install.

This is just a very brief view of each operating system. Again, you can pick which ever you feel is best. I have worked with all three and I see the ups and downs in each one. To me, Windows is for gaming, Mac is for productivity, and Linux is good for productivity and user customizability.


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