The Linux Experiment

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The Big Question

Wacky Word: Running Microsoft Word on Linux can result in weird line spacing and random underlining in the text.
I installed Linux a month ago wondering if I could get my work done. The answer is certainly yes. Not only that, but in some ways I prefer working in Linux. It boots up quicker than Windows, opens folders swiftly, and allows me to personalize my desktop easily--much more so than I could in Windows.

But the bigger question is whether moving to Linux is worth the hassle. If you are simply disgruntled about Windows, its lax security, and its occasional instability, migrating to Linux probably wouldn't be the best move. You'd have much to learn, and you'd end up scrapping lots of software you paid for. And Linux is not completely free of security holes, either.

But if you rankle at the limited customization options Windows often gives you, if you want near-total control over your PC, and if you can avoid the temptation of the latest software and hardware, the journey to Linux-land may be just the ticket (try running Windows and Linux on one PC, a typical dual-boot setup).

Four weeks after my experiment began, I'm still running Linux on my work desktop PC. But I have a Windows XP laptop for running the Windows apps I just can't let go of, and for trying out new software.

Why aren't I rushing back to Windows on my desktop PC? It boils down to this: peace. Working in Linux seems quieter; I don't feel under attack, my programs are not trying to sell me something, and they don't try to do things for me that I don't want done. Computing in Linux sometimes requires more work, but it also imposes fewer annoyances. And so far, that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

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