Saying goodbye to Apple and Microsoft has never been easier, or so satisfying
But it got better and better, and in 2012, I decided it was time. I asked Cory which version of Linux he was using. This was a key question, because Linux comes in a lot of different flavors. Developers have taken the core code and created different versions tailored to various needs, tastes and computing styles. While all use the essential, free-software base components, some add on proprietary code, such as Flash, to be more compatible with what users are likely to encounter in their computing. The hardware was also a key question, because not all computers have robust Linux support due to hardware incompatibilities.
One of those is Linux Mint. It’s based on Ubuntu (which in turn is based on Debian, an even more core version of Linux). Mint strikes me and many others as perhaps the best Linux for people who’ve been using proprietary systems and want the easiest possible transition. I’m sometimes tempted to switch myself, but will stick with Ubuntu unless Canonical totally screws it up, which I don’t expect.
What I like least about Linux is the occasional need to do something that would be downright daunting to a new user. No one should ever have to open a command-line window and type “sudo apt-get update” or other such instructions. No one should be confronted with a warning that space on a disk partition is too low to permit an operating system update, requiring the not-simple-for-novices removal of out-of-date OS components. No one should discover, after an update, that a piece of hardware has stopped working, as was the case for me when my computer’s trackpad went south until I found a fix in an online forum. (Yes, this can happen with Windows, but manufacturers go to much greater lengths to ensure that their hardware works with Microsoft software. Apple, too, has external hardware issues, but its elegant marriage of hardware and software remains a compelling advantage.)