The new (crappy cheap) WiFi router in the building refuses to play nice with the TCP window scaling/Linux OS on my “real” laptop, so I’ve been forced this week to resurrect my Windows rig to get reliably online.
This has given me a chance to revisit the inevitable comparisons with the two computers side-by-side. First, a hardware disclosure: The Ubuntu rig is a vanilla 1.73Ghz Core Duo with 2Gb RAM, running Ubuntu 9.04. The Windows rig is a 2.4Ghz Celeron with 1Gb RAM, running Windows XP SP3. This is just what’s current; I’ve run the same version of both OS versions on both machines.
I run Ubuntu with basic Compiz settings enabled; I run Windows with absolutely everything stripped down (all desktop effects disabled, everything biased towards performance/away from appearance).
Some observations, in no particular order: Windows is obviously and eternally manhandling the machine. It updates in the background, hogging resources, requiring reboots, etc. Ubuntu only does this stuff when/where I request it, obviously, visibly, without seeming to slow things down much.
Adding software to Ubuntu is ridiculously straightforward. Windows… um… is annoying and expensive.
There is endless helpful advice/tutorials online for Linux (although granted, you often need it); Windows is Microsoft or Microsoft.
On the other hand: Ubuntu wireless still hiccups; not so much that Ubuntu doesn’t play nice, but more that hardware vendors make little/no effort to support consumer-grade Linux.
OpenOffice files require tweaking/conversion to work with Windows (a problem with sharing documents with my Windows-using friends).
It took some digging to get all the right codecs and packages set up in Mozilla to get a proper multimedia internet experience.
I’m obviously a raving Ubuntu convert. Before that, I was a merely tolerant Windows sufferer. Yes, Linux takes a little more effort to get running the way you need, but once you get there, it’s addictivly awesome. Unless you NEED some Windows-specific software, Ubuntu looks and feels every bit better.