Are you all about Windows 7? Maybe in your world, OS X Snow Leopard is simply unstoppable? Do you Ubuntu? What drives you to use the operating system you run on your computer? It’s something I have found myself reflect on a bit recently.

In my own home, my wife has her own home office that has an iMac as the skipper of that ship. Yet in my own home office, I have half a dozen different computers all running Linux… many of them using Ubuntu. What about Windows? Actually downstairs, we do indeed happily use a Windows 7 powered Eee netbook that belongs to my wife. Clearly she wanted an iPad, as she is anĀ  Apple woman. But for the price we landed the Eee, the iPad never stood a chance in my home.

But what about me?

Why do I use Linux instead of a proprietary operating system? Well as much as this may surprise you, it has nothing to do with OS politics and more to do with wanting to move onto something with more discovery involved. Well, at least this is how it started.

Dating back to about 2002, I had my first experiences with Red Hat. At the time, I was just not having it. Not a great match, clearly it was not a point in my life where I was ready to make room for a distro like that. In what I believe was 2004, I came across this crazy concept called a “Live Linux Distro” with Knoppix. From the moment I dropped it into my CD tray and watch in slack-jawed amazement as it detected my hardware during the boot sequence, my life forever changed.

2004, onward was filled with me running Knoppix on my notebook, then later I installed Linspire, Xandros and then Simply Mepis. it was with Simply Mepis that I finally felt ready to dual-boot my main desktop computer with both Windows and Linux. Up to that point, I ran Windows XP exclusively on my desktop machine and only used Linux distros on my notebook computer. Wireless at the time was the now dated 802.11b powered Orinoco card using a Prism chipset.

Between the years 2004 and 2010, I have learned more about how different technologies interact with computers than most people could ever imagine. Yet the interesting thing is that I was always drawn to the Linux distros that best reflected a mainstream approach, instead of the super-geeky options like Slackware and Gentoo. I like things to work, no hassles. I finally moved to Ubuntu with version 6.04. And it was with version 6.04 that I finally went full time with Linux. The only Windows instances ever run in my home after this have been in a Virtual Machine and only for reviewing/troubleshooting Windows software for work purposes.

So coming back full circle, why the heck did I dump proprietary operating systems and choose Linux? For myself, I found Linux to generally provide a more stable experience. Even when a distro released an update that might break something, I was able to repair it with a few short commands, no other issues had. This, folks, was a defining moment for me. And to those who still work so hard to say how “Linux is not ready” or it never will be… I’d suggest looking outside of the US borders. You’d be AMAZED at how “ready” it apparently is. No OS is perfect or really ready in my opinion. OS X is close, but even it can have issues requiring assistance. Windows… don’t even get me started on the frustration fest that can take place there. All operating systems are flawed.

As for my wife, on the other hand, she laughs when I share the wonders of my preferred OS, as she turns her attention back to the ever-loving glow of her Mac. For her, OS X just works. And I think that for most of us, that is all an operating system is expected to do.

Let’s hear about your OS and why you love it? Hit the comments, share what you love/like/tolerate about your preferred OS. Please spare the ” I hate _____ OS” as that is really not interesting to read. I think it’s much more interesting to hear about the benefits of OS X, Windows 7, and various distros of Linux, instead.

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