30 Days with Linux

Complaining about Windows Vista is a national past time on Internet forums these days. Windows Vista “costs too much,” “has onerous product activation,” “requires too much hardware,” etc. These complaints are often followed up by a very simple boast: “I’m just going to switch to Linux (or Mac).”

But in today’s landscape, how viable is that statment? Is the threat to switch to Linux an empty one, or is it entirely possible? Linux on the desktop has been viable for years, especially for programming gurus who can solve their Linux problems by simply writing new software. It also seems to be viable for “Mom and Pop” end-users who just want a machine to write letters, send email, and browse the Web (although, admittedly, a guru will probably have to set it up for them).

But what about power users, such as the typical audience of HardOCP – those who know how to build their own computers, but not compile their own programs? Or people who may not know how to do something, but aren’t afraid of taking the time to figure it out? Is Linux truly an alternative? Can they do everything they did in Windows? The truth is, we didn’t know, but we very much wanted to find out.

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