Wednesday, October 02, 2019

**UPDATE** Alternatives to Windows OS (for dummies)

Important: Please notice that since I am a novice, I'm not giving you my take on anything so much as I am providing links to information in this post. I guess I'm mostly saving you some of the trouble of hunting around for the information and, trust me, it took me a few days myself.


I was interested in trying out Zorin OS and ran into a couple of hesitations. 1: There is a $39 charge for the fully-loaded version (Ultimate). 2: While wondering about the safety of installing an additional OS, I did some Googling and ran across this:
Uh... WHAT??? 
Yeah, so... I think I will wait until I can get my brother or someone more experience to install any other OS on my PC. I did want to update and point out this possibility because I know that a lot of people jump in and do things without doing their own research. 
You have been warned...

In my last post, I talked about looking for alternatives to Microsoft's Office. I've been checking out a couple and will update that post when I've had time to evaluate the various software. For this post, I wanted to talk about alternative operating systems.

For some reason, I've never thought much about having many choices when it comes to operating systems. I barely think about any operating systems at all. I usually only think of Windows or Apple as competing brands, not operating systems. (I will focus more on those 2 brands in a later post.)

Let me first stop tiptoeing around and just admit that, I never even thought much about what an operating system actually is. And, since this is a For Dummies-type post, let's start with a definition:
An operating system is software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply, the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. Without the operating system (OS), the software wouldn?t function. (source)
When I started looking around, I was surprised by the variety of choices.  First up was Linux - which has several types of versions (or types) of systems under it.


This is probably the only alternative OS (outside Windows and Apple) that I heard of some years back. This article explains Linux (and more) and I highly suggest reading it if you are thinking of trying an alternate OS.  What I just learned is that there are several "versions" or distributions of Linux used - some of which I have on this list. I will get back to this point in a moment but, for now, here is the Linux site.

What I would want more than anything in an alternative OS is ease of use. Naturally, I can appreciate this article about the best Linux versions for beginners (updated July 2019). Hallelujah joy, right? Now, if you are someone who feels more experienced, that previous article on Linux will detail some versions you might like. For the rest of us dummies though (okay, I'm talking about myself here), these look great:

Zorin OS seems to be the one I hear about being so tailormade for Windows users. Apparently, it's got more of the look and feel that we are already comfortable with and has a lot of pre-installed stuff. And, oh yeah, I'm figuring out that dealing with some alternative operating systems means potentially having to "install packages of software". Say WHAT? I once backed out of using free software for a writing program because I couldn't figure out the installation process. Oh, crap.

I took Deepin off the above list just because there were whiffs of rumors about its stability and some people asking if it contained spyware. I don't know enough about any OS to mention one with alleged problems. 

I got a little tangled up when looking up info on Linux Mint because I ran into Linux Mint Mate and Linux Cinnamon before I stopped. I was scared it was going to turn into a full spice shelf full of various versions. It all gave me a headache so you're on your own for real with this one.

The next thing I did was check out some comparisons of the different versions. Again, there are so many of these that I can only suggest you do a search on them. For example, the first one I ran across was a Mint vs Ubuntu. I'm scared to tell you about something called Kubuntu.

To be honest, I think that I will most likely try Zorin first. Of course, I will either end up letting you know how that went or calling my doctor to up my anxiety meds.

As far as possibly switching to a Mac at some point in the near future, I have my worries about that. It's going to be tough for an old chick like me to learn something new. I have found some resources that I need to peruse though. These might be helpful to any of you should you make the big switchover:
Okay then. There is a bit of info yo get you started. I stopped looking around when I realized how many versions of versions of versions of operating systems there are. I was looking at one called Haiku and decided that I was getting in too deep for my brainpower. And, just so you know, I don't think Haiku is for the newbie.

I will, of course, come back and update or do a new post if and when I test one of these operating systems. Right now, I plan to go and look at some more about this phobia I didn't know had a name.


For today's music, here is something from the angelic voice of Jessye Norman who passed away on September 30th. This is her singing "When I Am Laid In Earth".  May she rest in peace.

 And because some people think opera is not for them, here is the Jeff Buckley version. May he rest in peace.

And for all of us, here are the lyrics as best I could find and the words should give us all something to think about.
Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.
When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.