Chapter 1 - The first goal #

Linux Fox

Art by @monoxromatik

Every journey needs a place to start, and while many may like to start slow, I think a head first approach is best. So that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. The very first thing we’re going to do is install a new Operating System (OS)(1) on your computer. This is a pretty involved process. It will require you to Repartition(2) your drive, change settings in your BIOS or UEFI(3), and install a new Bootloader(4). I know this sounds really hard, but it’s not as bad as it sounds, and I assure you it’s worth it. The OS we’ll be installing is called Linux. Linux is actually what powers both Android and ChromeOS, and is a common descendant of the same system as Mac OSX. Linux is the OS that almost all of the servers on the internet use - from massive website like Facebook and Google to small Minecraft servers you can rent online to play with friends. What’s cool about Linux is it lets you get much closer to the hardware and see what’s going on, and it just generally makes writing code much easier.

Furthermore, it’s super easy to set up an amazing development environment in Linux for getting work done with code or electronics, and at the end of the day you can still watch YouTube, play most games that are on Steam, or open up an office suite, just like Windows or Mac. Unlike Windows and (to a lesser extent) Mac though, the system is laid out in a way so that all the moving parts are exposed and able to be tinkered with. No setting or configuration is locked in and you have total control over your computer with Linux. It’s not just easier to run and use software and tools for doing hardware and programming development on Linux, but it’s also easier to find and install the tools in the first place, as you’ll see shortly. Finally, Linux has a great track record of stability(5), as there are many Linux servers that run 24/7/365 to serve web pages, host services like games, and crunch big data in real time. In fact, all of the world’s top 500 super computers run Linux.

Beyond that, there’s a degree of respect Linux has for the user that Windows and Mac both lack. In Windows 10 ads are being baked into the preinstalled programs from Minesweeper to the Email client, the OS pesters you to use Edge and Bing while simultaneously spying on everything you do. If you attempt to do even remotely system level things it’s increasingly easy to get the Frowny Face Blue Screen of Death (BSOD):

Add to this the fact that Microsoft basically laid off their entire testing department, and the nightmare that Windows 10 updates have cause, forced online accounts, or well, just read this list. You’ll see pretty quickly why most ’nerds’ have a pretty deep seeded hatred for Microsoft.

Honestly, the big one for me is just how much Windows tries to force their tools down my throat.

I mean, this was a real error message I saw when trying to upgrade my system from 8.1 to 10:

do you really think Microsoft is at all competent anymore?

Note, for everything above, I mostly picked on Microsoft and Windows as that’s what most people run. I have just as many, if not more, complaints for Apple and OSX. It’s just that I suspect there will be far more Windows users reading this than Apple users.

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