Shortly after the start of 2018, my Windows 10 computer had trouble with an automatic update pushed out by Microsoft. Unfortunately, my system would not accept the update and the computer began an endless series of download, update attempt, update failure, and system restore. I wrote about how I was able to turn off Windows Update in a previous blog post. Getting the computer to stop trying to update itself was helpful. However, it didn’t resolve the problem of not being able to update the operating system to the current version of Windows 10.
Many years ago, I had a similarly frustrating experience with Microsoft Windows. It seems like, every few years, Windows just doesn’t want to play nicely with my computer hardware. On that previous occasion, I experimented with another operating system. The alternative operating system was Ubuntu, which was a version of Linux. I had a lot of fun trying to get Ubuntu to work as a primary operating system. Unfortunately, at the time, Ubuntu and Linux were still no match for Windows. It took a lot of work to get Ubuntu to do some of the things I do on a computer. After about a month, I decided that there were too many things I needed to do on my computer that Ubuntu wasn’t capable of doing.
After my latest issue with Windows, I did some research and found that Ubuntu was still alive and well. After so many years of being away from Ubuntu, I was pleasantly surprised at how the operating system has matured. I decided it was time to give Linux another go.
There are many versions of the Linux operating system. All of them are open-source and free. While I was bringing myself back up to speed with Linux, I discovered another version that is based on Ubuntu. After reviewing my options, I settled on testing Linux Mint.
I downloaded the installation package for Linux Mint and burned the image file to a DVD. At about the same time that I was doing my research, I ordered a new 2 TB hard drive. I had a secondary hard drive on my system that I swapped out for the new drive. I installed Linux Mint on the new drive and then instructed my computer to boot from the secondary drive.
For the past 2 weeks, I have been having a grand time with Linux Mint. Since I am somewhat familiar with Linux, it took me very little time to get the operating system configured for my computer. My biggest hurdles were getting my Brother laser printer and my Epson document scanner to work properly. There was no comparison between my current experience with Linux Mint and what my experience was like with Ubuntu years ago.
When I finished my configuration of Linux Mint, it would be difficult to see any major differences from Windows. I found that my document scanner works better now on Linux than it did on Windows. I ended up with only 2 applications that I could not duplicate on Linux; one is H&R Block tax software, and the other is a computer sailing simulator, Sailaway. Unfortunately, neither of these applications have Linux versions. If not for these 2 hold-outs, I could wipe my Windows drive clean and be done with it.
So, if you have ever felt so frustrated with Microsoft Windows that you almost felt like switching to a Mac (I said almost), consider giving Linux a try. I wrote this blog post on Opera, my favorite web browser, through the WordPress web interface running Linux Mint. I’ve noticed that I occasionally forget that I’m not still using Windows. It truly is possible to say goodbye to Microsoft Windows.