Technology

A tale of three, maybe four OS’s

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a true story. The name of the principal character has been changed. Any resemblance to persons fictional or otherwise may be coincidental. One thing that can be said with a degree of certainty is that sometimes it takes a dick to demonstrate just how good digital life can be.

Once upon a time there was a dude named Dick who had three old computers and some would say the best of three worlds—Apple, Linux and Windows.

First off was the Patriarch—the Power Mac G4 turned FrankenMac that was his trusty old comrade for more years than he could remember. It was stuck at Leopard—Mac OS X 10.5.8, forever stunted in development by modern standards, yet, speaking of standards, it would always be for him the gold standard by which any other computing device would be measured.

Leopard was the zenith for PowerPC Mac owners like Dick. At the time of its release, it had all the bells and whistles of Apple’s latest and greatest operating system while also providing the mature stability that only the last release of a major revision of OS X can bring.

Intel brought changes that left PowerPC processors behind, but those who owned Power Macs would not go easily into the night. Nor did Dick—who still fires up his faithful friend almost every day he uses a personal computer.

The second most favorite of the three machines in Dick’s fleet was his AMD eMachines T6528 tower. Originally stocked with Genuine Windows XP Home, the old stalwart has since lived through installations including Windows 7 and Linux Mint, before settling on Linux Ubuntu Mate 15.10.

To Dick, Ubuntu Mate 15.10 feels like Leopard did at its last revision release. There was no need for mobile-like apps or anything that needed to be shared, synced or linked with any other devices. While there may be ways to do so, Dick just appreciates using modern web browsers, a Microsoft compatible office suite and an email client that gives him connectivity to all his web mail accounts he has acquired over the years.

Ubuntu Mate is rock solid, updates at the click of a prompting dialogue box and generally-speaking, gives Dick a peaceful, easy feeling on his old, AMD processor tower. He knows his system is secure and up to date.

Finally, there is Dick’s Windows 10 Professional Core 2 Duo 3.9+ GHz tower with 4 GB of ram. This is the “hammer of god” in Dick’s arsenal of hardware. This is not a machine that is formidable by today’s standards, but it is a more than capable performer of Redmond’s latest operating system venture. Like the AMD tower, it sports LibreOffice as its office suite productivity software. And Dick rarely sees a day writing that either LibreOffice Writer or Office 98 Microsoft Word on the Mac doesn’t meet his needs.

HQ of AMD in Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

HQ of AMD in Sunnyvale, CA, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having Windows 10 running swiftly on hardware that Dick secured for less than $100 makes him smile. He cannot run Apple’s latest OS on old, inexpensive hardware. He can run the latest Linux operating systems on old PC hardware, including Intel and AMD processor machines. Dick smiles knowing he’s running 64-bit versions of both Ubuntu Mate 15.10 and Windows 10, respectively, on his two old PC’s.

And that brings us to the end of this walk through the park that is Carolina in Dick’s mind. His only tablet is an old Microsoft Surface RT running Windows 8.1. He has to make do with Internet Explorer 11 as his web browser and the free copy of Microsoft Office 2013 it came with. Dick is not bitter nor envious of those with newer versions of the Surface or Microsoft Office.

He types on the Surface RT—the best piece of mobile computing hardware he owns. It enables him to possess a desktop and keyboard in small footprint, tablet form. He completes his journey by taking the saved article from Microsoft’s Cloud (OneDrive) and polishing it up on an ancient, yet surprisingly still capable Asus laptop also running Windows 10 (albeit Windows 10 Home). Lastly, before releasing his missive to the masses to enjoy on whatever device they choose—phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, he smiles for the second to last time.

Dick takes one final swig of his adult beverage, nodding his head. He grins one last time understanding fully, he wouldn’t have it another way.

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