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I have been interested in computer technology since the 1960's - back when I was in high school. 1965, my second year of college, was the first year I got my hands on a computer. This resulted in a 35 year career teaching a wide variety of computer technology courses at Chippewa Valley Technical College. About the first 2/3 of my career was spent in the programming, system analysis and design, data base design and development fields. Then I got into data communications, networking, and system administration. I was also my department's system administrator for many of the computer systems we had over that time.

Around 1995 I encountered Linux. After having a seige of problems using MS software on a simple task I switched to Linux to get the job done. Linux and the necessary applications worked so well I have used Linux almost exclusively since that time. I have never, repeat, never had a virus to deal with when using Linux. I have rarely had a system crash. Can you M$ users make that claim? I know that MS operating system reliability has improved in recent releases but it still baffles me why users put up with the poor reliability in earlier releases and the goofy things that still occur. A Vista user just told me of some funny things happening with it. I have heard several times of MS tech support recommending that a user reinstall the OS to solve a problem. That should not be necessary. I can understand a reboot, but reinstall, no.

Why did it take MS so long to start getting their act together? They have enough money to hire the best programmers in the world. Maybe because money is not a sufficient motivation. Linus Torvalds and hundreds of other contributors from around the world contributed to Linux, a free and open source operating system, because of a love for the project and a desire to freely share what they have produced.

If computer users' cars died as often as their computers did they would be irrate and on the manufacturers' case in no time. Yet frequent computer crashes on MS boxes were, and still are, treated as "normal". Why? Fear, ignorance? I have no idea. Bill and company have made huge sums of money on software that is only adequate, and then only some of the time. I won't willingly be a part of it. The only reason I can accept for using MS OS's is the need to run some software that is only available for Windows and no equivalent non-Windows product is available and to check for Internet Exploder web page compatibiity which is another can of worms.

I have no problem with Mac OS X. I had a Mac G3 but it died. Later I got a laptop, a MacBook Pro. It's great and I use it often. I like the track pad and of course the command line is there whenever I need it. OS X now supports multiple desktops just has Linux has for years. I have lots of short cuts to learn but that will come with time.

OS X has a Unix (BSD) at its heart. A great improvement over earlier releases. Apple has done some good things. Unfortunately they did not open up their hardware to other manufacturers to make 3rd-party add-ons. Also there prices have been higher than Intel-like boxes. Too many people shop on price and don't consider quality. A friend of mine once said, "Only rich people can afford cheap funiture." Be patient, save your money (now there is a concept that could go a long way), and buy good stuff. You will be better off in the long run.

Currently, I use Linux Mint on my main desktop, Kubuntu (a Ubuntu variant) on another desktop and Fedora on a couple of servers. Previously I used RedHat and Fedora distributions. My wife uses Linux Mint on her desktop as well.

Two heads are better than one
I have been using a dual head computer system for several years. A dual head system has 2 monitors, usually side by side. It is possible to have them function independently or as one large monitor. I use the latter mode. One logical screen of 2560x1024 pixels. This has numerous advantages over a single screen. In Linux this may be done using 2 video cards or one dual head card (2 heads is not the limit). My 2 monitors are Dell 19" flat panel devices connected to a Dell Optiplex 760 computer system recently upgraded from a 745. I have purchased several Dell systems from the UWEC surplus equipment sales. Though used they work well and have been inexpensive. The 760 has 3GB of RAM, 3 GHz dual core processor, 160GB disk drive for under 40$.

Software I use regularly:

Web Browser Firefox, Opera
Word Processor LibreOffice
Spreadsheet LibreOffice
Presentation MakerLibreOffice
Text Editor GVIM
Image Editor The GIMP
Image Viewer Gwenview
FTP client FileZilla
Email client Thunderbird
Calculator KCalc
File Manager Dolphin
2D image drawer Xfig
CD Burner k3b
Audio Player VLC
Video Player VLC
PDF viewer Okular, AcroRead
Command Line Shellbash
Terminal Emulator Konsole
Web Server Apache2
Database Server MySQL
Linux DistributionMint, Ubuntu

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