David battles Goliath

For those of you that follow me, you probably know that I do not Blog on a daily basis, well at least not daily when I am up to my eyeballs in alligators and am trying to drain the swamp (Read that work keeps me busy and away from the fun things in life). But that is not the reason for today’s installment. NOOO today I take on ‘the man’. No again, not the Government (well I bet it’s all intertwined) but the Cyber man.

For decades now, I have been running Microsoft Operating Systems on my computers. Remembers Windows 3.1 or DOS? Well I do, and with each and every new system, and even with the older ones, almost every day a little window pops up telling me that there are important upgrades to my system that I must download. The inference is that if we don’t make these downloads than eventually our OS won’t work correctly and our system may be compromised. In fact many of these  updates have to do with ‘Security’. Since Windows Vista (right up there with Windows Millennium, and now Windows 8) not only are there major Security issues that they tout but also deeply embedded in the upgrades are little things that send Microsoft data letting them know what you are doing, have you ‘Activated’ Office, Windows, etc. The Big Brother in Redmond Washington is keeping it’s dirty little eye on you to make sure that you are on the up and up.

Also for a decade, my children have been telling me that  Apple computers and devices are by far more superior because you don’t have to download drivers that change the registry, they are faster to boot up and all in all a cleaner Operating system. A year ago my son got a Macbook and I had the opportunity to play with it as I had to hook it up to our family network printer and wireless router. And you know what, as much as I dislike to admit it, I liked using his computer. It was fast, and sleek. But in my mind Apple had become the new Microsoft (I will explain this later on. There’s the hook to keep you reading this diatribe). I don’t like their proprietary mentality any more than I like Microsoft’s.

So now came the time for me to move into the ‘Smart Phone’ and tablet world. Hmm. The I phone looked nice but still it was Apple and I am not thrilled with what they have become. There were primitive Windows phones and Blackberries but they didn’t seem to have what it took to keep up. So I chose Google’s Android OS. After all, I liked their browser on my computer and the direction that they were heading in. In addition, my phone synced with my tablet which synced on my browser and email on my computer.

But you know what? Google now has become Microsoft. Everyday my tablet and phone, the minute that I turn them on, automatically update apps. Many of which I don’t need nor do I want but are built into the Google Android OS. The same holds true for Apple and Microsoft. So now I turn on my phone, or tablet and do what I do with my computer, I walk away wait a few minutes and come back.

I tried to delete these apps that seem to need updating daily, which I may remind you I don’t use, but when I hit the uninstall button one of two things happen. One I get a message telling me that if I uninstall the app many other features of my phone/tablet may not work properly anymore affecting performance of my phone/tablet. Or a message that I can not uninstall the app but can uninstall the updates bringing it back to the original factory setting. Now let me remind you that I do not use these apps. And the next day when booting up the app tells me that there are important updates that need to be installed. How important can they be if I don’t use the app in the first place.

So where does that leave me, the consumer? Well I’ll tell you. Of the three computers in our house, only one (that I need for my companies portal, and our Boy Scout web page) run Windows 7. My other two run Linux. Which I might add has been voted the fastest loading, most viral safe Operating System hands down. In fact the British Government is moving their entire National Governmental Computer Network to Linux as they upgrade their system.

Next I have to find out if there is a version of Linux that I can run on my android phone. If not I bet there will be eventually.

Oh before I leave let me get back to the reference above to Apple becoming the next Microsoft otherwise a lot of people would lose sleep wondering about that. Well here is how I see it. The world according to me.

IBM has given up, for the most part, on the home computer user. They sold there notebook division to Lenova (not to be confused with the Chinese Lenovo) and focus primarily on Mainframe systems. Microsoft has gone really corporate and most businesses (ie: corporations) use PC’s in one large network. They have bought into the Windows world, Office products, Outlook for email, and things like SharePoint and other peripheral software products sold by Microsoft. Thanks to the genius of Steve Jobs, who gave away computers to schools for decades, many of our youth here in the U.S. of A. know the Apple OS very well. Then when along came the ipod, iphone, ipad, itunes, etc. these young people were there, they knew the ins and outs of Apple and their mentality. So Apple’s market share grows. Oddly enough though world wide the Android OS has the majority of the tablet and phone market sewed up tighter than a clams ass. Why because it is less expensive than Apple.  So that brings us to Google. Google is the new Apple, the upstart busting their you know what for market share, buying up companies to help them to increase their market share and expand the abilities of their OS for the common man. Eventually if things keep going their way, the majority of the world (read developing nations) will  all be on the Android OS.

But, and I repeat, But quietly in the background is this amazing Operating System called Linux. Open Source, easy to use, fast to get up and running, does well with anything but Microsoft products but they too have their software programs that work simply. In fact I can use Open Office or Office Libre and save everything that in Microsoft Office formats that Windows people can open and use.

Yes, just like Home Depot ate Rickels, Channel, and Pergament here in the States, Linux will eat at Google, Microsoft and Apple. Never forget friends, there is always a David throwing stones at Goliath.

So it goes.


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