Or, The Joys of Ubuntu Linux
This year I began using Ubuntu Linux. I have been using it for long enough to realise that it is far from perfect. Then again, I don't think Windows is exactly perfect either. I've never used a Mac, but I'm pretty sure even they have their faults. Ubuntu is very pleasant to use, though, especially after the few days it takes to get used to a different interface. And did I mention it's free?
One of my favourite tools is the Synaptics Package Manager. Under Windows, if I wanted a new application, I had to go hunting on the web to see what I could find. Then I had to figure out which file to download (buying software is expensive and complicated). Then I had to go through the installation process.
Under Ubuntu, I say Applications>Add/Remove. I type what I'm looking for into the search box. It pops up the applications that match that description, along with descriptions and user ratings. All I have to do is pick one for it to download and install. I don't even have to click my way through license agreements, which I believe is since the products are licensed, along with Ubuntu, under the GPL.
One of my other favourites is the toolbar. It annoyed me for a couple of days, until I realised what I could do with it. It's way more customisable than the taskbar (I have one of those too). Right now there are a bunch of things I can run from the toolbar with just one click: my word processor, my feedreader, FireFox, the 'Force Quit' utility (since Ubuntu isn't perfect), a shutdown menu and an unobtrusive icon telling me that I have, er, three-hundred-and-four updates available.
I love that it's unobtrusive and automatically didn't download all those updates without asking.
I'm not too worried that I don't know exactly where my Windows disc is. Ubuntu may not be the best solution for everyone, but it's working wonderfully for me.