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Why I am adding Linux Mint to my mix

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I wrote earlier about how much Linux Mint appealed to me. I have to say that the more I use it, the more that I love it.

To be honest I wasn’t a big Linux person in the past. I have used it for a very long time, but it seemed that because I help people with mac/windows issues primarily for a living that I should eat the dog food. However there are three big reasons why I am using it, and its just something to consider.

  1. Privacy. It bothers me how much Windows knows about me. I watched a video a week ago that showed that even doing the search inside windows is reported to MS and that is too much. Is it convenient to search the web and the computer at the same time? I’m not sure. Most of the time I am doing a search it is because it is something I want from the local computer. For me, the web results just dilute what I am looking for. I think this should have been a more obvious configurable option. Now I have been concerned with what Microsoft knows since I started using their computers. However in Windows 11 they are really putting the clamps on people and just removing functionality for no good purpose. I rarely say this but to me Windows 11 is a step backwards. For power users, we don’t need these artificial constraints.
  2. Security. Windows is having all kinds of security issues. The mac as well. The browsers are continually getting patched and more OS holes are appearing. Linux is not immune to this, but it doesn’t have the desirability to be targeted like Win/Mac. Its really funny. I enjoyed using the mac in the past because it was a bit obscure. Now that it is mainstream it is suffering many of the same issues that Windows has. Perhaps I just like the underdog, but too many holes in security for me to feel comfortable using anymore as my daily OS. For example, Windows 11 is now putting advertisements in the OS. I don’t need that and I’m not going to look at that.
  3. Something different. When you work with Mac/Windows all day is it possible that you want something different? I currently have a mac laptop, Linux laptop, windows laptop, Windows laptop/Linux dual boot, two iPads, and another mac/PC laptop. I am not playing favorites with OS but I also think I could be bored with mac/windows. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things that I can learn in every OS. However the day to day use is well understood. I like learning and I also like seeing the difference between the options. That is what lead me to try Linux long ago and keep using it even when I didn’t specialize in it. For example, this weekend I had a problem getting the HDMI output from my dual NVIDIA card system working correctly and I researched it and figured it out. I felt great when it was working, and I am using that now. Part of why I enjoy IT is figuring things out. I spent 8 hours working on wiping/installing Linux dual boot, configuring it, exploring the options and it was fun. Frustrating at times, but I felt good when I was done.
  4. More beautiful than Mac/Windows UI. I didn’t think I would say this but Linux Mint interface is more beautiful than the Mac. I prefer everything in one line like LM has. I never was a fan of the mac dock. While interesting, I wondered why they didn’t just integrate it like Windows with the UI at the top. Yes I understand that that is where we are used to the menu, but having two screen elements to deal with isn’t elegant in my opinion. The backgrounds in LM are beautiful. The font looks great on web pages and I don’t have to worry about the changing UI of the mac interface on LM because LM doesn’t have a tablet to worry about. At least I’m not aware of one. There is a compromise that happens when you have different form factors and I don’t think that one interface is necessarily the best.
  5. Cooler and less physically demanding on the system. I just noticed but the fans are off on the MSI computer that I have as my dual boot windows/LM system. In windows the fans often run because I assume the system is using processes to work. However in LM I just noticed that the fans are off. Its almost mac-like quiet. Yes I am only doing a web page writing now, but in windows the fan would be going. That means that it must also be using less power and that is better for the environment as well. Almost all of the time in Windows the fans are going on my MSI.
  6. Bluetooth support is intuitive. I love how LM handles Bluetooth support. It makes it intuitive for the non technical user. Once the device is in pairing mode you click on the search button in the Bluetooth window and your device comes up. You click on your device and it pairs. It is faster and more obvious then it is in Windows/Mac. It also tells you the amount of signal, the battery life of the device and many other useful things to know.
  7. Better projector support. I talked before about how LM looks better on a projector than Windows/Mac did. This is a very strong reason why I was first attracted to it. I figured it was something that I couldn’t fix with NVIDIA but this has almost made the lines issue invisible. This is my first computer with NVIDIA and I have to say i’m not impressed. For the price I expected a flawless video experience and that is not what I got. Yes it does make games look amazing but now I find that I am not so thrilled with the games that I used to enjoy. However it is amazing to have a big screen and to easily see things in video/text/demos.
  8. Price. You can’t even begin to compare Linux when it comes to price. I have bought expensive mac/windows systems and had them all fail. I shared earlier that I was given an old windows 10 computer that was considered e waste by the company, and after putting LM on it it looked and worked better than my expensive mac/windows system. That is what amazed me. How could this old system look better on a projector, be easier to use, faster and be kinda fun to experiment with? Now I wonder if I have been a fool. Perhaps instead of helping people with mac/windows problems I should have focused on Linux to help the open-source moment? Perhaps in my desire to have employment I should have avoided Mac/Windows?
  9. Gaming. I have watched videos that say gaming on Linux is superior. I haven’t found it to be. I installed Steam and played two games. One that I had played before and loved and one that I had never played before. While they looked beautiful, they looked beautiful when I played them on the mac. However I just didn’t feel the same towards gaming on Steam as I once did. Most games seem like work and I was hoping the new version of that game to be superior and more fun than the old one. I haven’t read that it is. I might revisit this if that game can produce a good version but otherwise the types of games I like just don’t do it for me on Linux. I played some online games and those worked well so that might be what I do. I might try more casual games and I did try out at least six new Linux games but I wasn’t impressed. They were mostly open-source things. I don’t want to spend money to be unimpressed.
  10. Tired of the BS on Mac/Windows. I mentioned that I was concerned about Privacy/Security on Windows/Mac but there are more issues than that. There are many rough parts of Windows/Mac that are unpleasant to use. For example Windows 11 has some UI inconsistencies, and Mac keeps changing the UI of the System preferences and the location of things with every OS version. This is really frustrating for people to keep up with who aren’t IT people. I am glad they can adjust/improve, but I wonder how much of this is useful. Mac re positing the UI to better fit in with the iOS does the mac a disservice in my opinion. Windows UI don’t even get me started. They have elements of former UI in their interface and their bizarre/unhelpful error messages are frustrating. In contrast with Linux when I had the HDMI issue it said at the top in red “Invalid screen configured” and it googling gave me lots of useful suggestions. You can google Mac/Windows errors and not find useful suggestions quite frequently. Then you have to dig more and do more research.
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I am not saying that Linux is perfect. I might get frustrated with it the more that I use it and say that Mac/Windows is superior. I am just saying that using it was like picking up the needle and scratching the record when the white dude walks in. I wasn’t prepared to be surprised at how far the UI and functionality had come. It is a joy to use a computer again and something that I haven’t felt for a long time.