Looking for a New OS (operating system)?

Over the past year I have been exploring various operating systems ranging from Windows XP to Linux. And I must say, I was surprised with my findings. I first started my exploration earlier this year when my Toshiba laptop of 4 years started giving me fits. When purchased brand new, the Toshiba had a Celeron processor, Windows XP Home, with 512 RAM and a 80 GB hard drive. Sounds out dated right? In 2006, upgraded the RAM to 1 GB (a $50-$60 addition) and installed Windows Vista Home. Everything was working perfectly at the time; until I installed Office 2007 Student/Home ed. I noticed Office 2007 took a long time to load on my laptop and would sometimes crash and turn my computer off.

My first mistake was installing Vista on a machine that wasn't stable enough for it. Vista claims it can run on 1 GB RAM, but I have yet to see it preform well in that type of environment. My second mistake was installing Office 2007 with a hard drive that was half way full. Both, Vista and Office 2007, require a lot of hard drive space to run. The laptop never had a virus. I did a good job of keeping it clean and free from the evil viruses that plague Windows computers. Plus, I was the only one to use the laptop. As you can imagine, it was an endless road of frustration. It was so bad that I bought a desktop and put the laptop in a closet.

After my wife and I got married in March, we took a leap of faith and moved to Oklahoma City, OK to finish our education. This is where most of my research and trial and error took place with operating systems. I wanted something "light" and easy to use. Unfortunately, Windows did not match my search criteria. Windows OS are easy to use, but by no means light. Plus, living on a student income, Windows was not in my budget. So, off to Google I went. One of the first things I noticed when started my research for reliable light weight operating systems, was the word Linux. I have heard of this OS before, but never researched it or any of that jazz. So as a curious techie guy, I started to dig a little deeper on this Linux. Come to find out it was very light and my computer's response time was quite fast. I guess you could describe Linux as the basics of a computer. The best part about Linux operating systems are they are FREE to download and to install. No licences, unlike Windows.

My Linux OS of choice and recommendation is Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu on the laptop and it works great. But before I start praising it, I need to tell you some important details. Microsoft programs are not compatible with Linux. I will say that there are free open source programs that are like Microsoft, but not exact. For example, Office 2003 or 2007 will not run on Linux, but there is a program called OpenOffice.org that is as close as you can get to the Office programs. Also, Linux uses Firefox and Opera for Internet browsers instead of Internet Explorer. Overall, I like both Windows OS and Linux/Ubuntu. They both have their positives and negatives. Again, research before deciding on your OS and always look for reviews. And it never hurts to ask your computer guy about either of the operating systems.

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