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Solved Is Windows to Unix Worth it?

October 9, 2016 at 01:00:17
Specs: Windows 10 home, intelcore i7 / 16gb
I just received a new laptop and I love what it capable of doing but hate the OS and browser MS Edge. I remember in the 80's hearing Bill Gates talk about the future of DOS, open architecture and what people were going to be able to do with their computers. He never mentioned his or any other company running our lives. As of today I truly feel today MS does not view customers as anything other then a form of personal corporate currency.

The first time I realized the MS definition of "idle computer" and mine were worlds apart. To me a running database query isn't idle but updates were done and I lost days of work. I take some blame for doing too much overnight with a single query but it still shouldn't have been interrupted. Another time a required 48 hour simulation was transferred to AutoCAD and run. On this occasion the network was disabled and it didn't matter. Yes, I now know IT should have been informed but still, the computer wasn't idle.

With the new Windows I'm really annoyed with the browser. IE became an interface, or so it seemed, to the internet if you used a different browser like Yahoo, AOL or any other one. Now MS Edge is your browser regardless of what you see on the screen. You can do a search in your chosen browser (maybe) but choose someplace from the search and you are in edge. Choosing your own homepage is allowed but all new tabs are in edge and you have to open everything in a new tab. They have also taken away the right click "properties" option to get any information about what you actually doing. With properties I found a marketing company that was tracking me a couple of years ago. I think it was something my granddaughter picked up using my computer but how would it be found now? Something like that could cost me a job and I think MS doing away with it is only about obscuring what they are doing.

I could go on with these stories but is it really worth the troubles of dumping MS and Windows? I took some classes in the late 90's requiring the use of UNIX. Windows was fairly new at the time but UNIX was like going back to DOS except I remember there was nothing intuitive about UNIX. All I really remember was asking, "why that, it means nothing?" Copy was copy in DOS. Also, as far as I know all the programs we used at the time were specific for UNIX. I think some of the programs were also on or the computing was done in a mainframe. I can't help but wonder if the programs I have now will be any good with UNIX?

I'm not really sure what I should be asking here. I know I'm sick of Microsoft. I'm tired of feeling that I don't really ever buy a computer. It's a full term rental I have no rights over. I also don't know a lot about computers. I lost it in the 386 to 486 era. I know how to use the programs I use, need or want. If I can get them to work with a better for me OS, I think I'm up to learning new ways.

If I seem paranoid it's only because of what I've read and my concerns pale to what most discuss about MS and most I don't pretend to understand. I really would appreciate and thoughts or advice anyone would care to offer.

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October 9, 2016 at 01:55:51
As I see it, the two main considerations if you're thinking of abandoning Windows are:

1) Is Unix or Linux supported on your laptop? If it isn't you're going to have problems getting hold of working drivers for it. So check your laptop maker's driver support on it's website.

2) Will your most important applications (those you can't do without) run on Unix or Linux? For example, I use Photoshop extensively and won't use anything else, and that certainly won't run on any OS except Windows or MacOS.

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October 9, 2016 at 03:52:32
I think you would probably be better off sorting out your Windows installation. The behaviour that you mention is quite abnormal if you use a different browser and set Windows to use that as your default.

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October 9, 2016 at 07:30:34
✔ Best Answer
Unix is generally used for servers, so I suspect you mean Linux?

I'm not a fan of Win10, but you realize that you do NOT have to use Edge, right? IE11 is included in Win10 & of course, you can always install Firefox, Chrome, or whatever other browser you might prefer. However, I kinda doubt that a system with a Core i7 & 16GB RAM is used solely for the internet. If I'm correct, then you probably have some high-dollar software that's designed for Windows. There is a Linux program called Wine which acts as a compatibility layer to allow some Windows programs to be run on Linux, but it's not always successful. It depends on the program(s). It's usually best to find a Linux based alternative, but that's not always possible.

Seeing as how you are somewhat suspicious & paranoid, I would say your biggest mistake was upgrading to (or purchasing a computer with) Win10. Win10 is the finest piece of spyware ever created. Like it or not, we are all being spied on, but Win10 does it best! Do you have a mic connected to your computer? Do you use Cortana? Do you think it's idle until it hears the words "Hey Cortana"? No, Cortana is ALWAYS listening & it can NOT be shut off. Every word, every noise, is heard by Cortana. Even if you unplug or disable the mic, Cortana is still logging every keystroke. Here's a snip from the following article: "You can use Cortana from the lock screen. That’s right; Cortana is active and listening to when your PC is locked. Well, it’s supposed to be locked, but if it’s able to listen, how locked down is it, really? Not very!"

There have been numerous articles about connections between the NSA & Microsoft, NSA & Google, NSA & Facebook, & now NSA & Yahoo.

People unwittingly hand over their fingerprints, voice prints, facial recognition, retinal scans, all for the sake of convenience & security. They don't even consider that all this info is being logged & documented. Plus they post their entire live stories, movements, friendships connections, etc on social media like it's no big deal. How's that for security?

Anyhow, now that I've sufficiently scared you, I suggest you consider replacing Win10 with Win7. It will be officially supported until 2020, at which point there may be a better alternative. You will have at least cut back on the "spy factor" somewhat. In the meantime, you can experiment with Linux by running it directly from a bootable disc without actually installing it. I highly recommend ZorinOS, especially for those new to Linux. Mint is another Windows-like Linux version.

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October 12, 2016 at 05:07:46
Wow, Thank you everyone.

Yes, it was a mistake but a necessary one. I needed a new laptop and had no idea what I was in for. I know how to use some programs on a computer but about computers themselves I'm getting educated now. I was glad when interrupt errors became a thing of the past and this is much worse.

The 3 main programs I use are AutoCAD, often translated from Katia, MS Office and Cyberlink. I'm sure I can replace Office id needed. It's office 97 and for what I needed it was still working.

I had never considered Spyware. I work as an independent contractor with proprietary information that I am responsible for. How secure is anything anymore? I am paranoid but that doesn't mean there isn't good reason to be.

About IE 11, What I understand from what I've read, functionally 11 is now nothing more then a graphic interface to the actual browser which is Edge. Edge cannot be uninstalled or turned off just like I was just informed about Cortana. It doesn't matter what browser you use, everything done on the computer to and from the internet goes through edge.

I've also learned since first writing that a users ability to take some control back of a computer through trusted installer is no longer available. It seems every site you allow a cookie to is now maintaining a log file of all internet activity. Is it paranoid to realize anyone's activity can be electronically tracked legally yet the same activity in person is stalking?

I'm also concerned about the number of people with the attitude that my concerns are only concerns for people that have something to hide. I'm not doing anything wrong but when did doing nothing wrong become tacit permission to view our lives as an open book?

As for Unix or Linux? Yes I understand I meant Linux.

I will contact HP today about my options and this new computer. Thanks again everyone.

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October 12, 2016 at 15:19:47
Your understanding about Edge is mistaken. Just install Chrome and forget Edge.

You are correct that web sites generally maintain a log, but there's nothing sinister about that. All computers log activities and it is an extremely useful resource when something goes wrong. If you have a problem with cookies just block them. It will make a lot of web sites less useful, but there's no such thing as a free lunch.

I appreciate your concerns but, TBH, there are far greater intrusions on our life. In the UK, every time you use a major road or walk about town you will be recorded by CCTV - I'm sure this is true of most countries. Your mobile phone tracks your location 24 hours per day. Automatic number-plate recognition locates your car 24 hours per day. Etc., etc. If you don't like it you are free to throw away your phone, go live in a cabin in the mountains, and never touch another computer in your life. But you may miss out on a few good things.

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