I have various PC’s, some Windows based, some linux based. I use Windows daily for the bulk of my work despite that fact that most of the systems I manage are linux based. My personal view on operating systems has always been they are just a tool to do a job, choose the right one and the job gets done, choose the wrong one and its slow and painful for everyone.
I do love the fundamentalist’s views over which operating system is best; Windows, OSx, linux, etc. Personally I really liked OS/400 on the AS/400 (iSeries), but then maybe that’s because it was designed and built to do the job required, not fulfill the need to fluff about with a thousand pointless other things.
So, on my desktop (thats the actual wooden desktop of my desk) I have 2 decent size screens. The main one is the display for my workhorse PC and its Windows, currently Vista (with which I have to say I have had very little trouble since installing it when it launched).
The second, slightly off to the side is, as it happens Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. I have fiddled with this, it runs a Mac like dock (AWN) and is used generally for web browsing, Tweetdeck (or Seesmic), Skype, iPlayer, SSH, development, etc – a general all things to all men but not Windows PC.
Sometimes I choose the Windows PC, sometimes the linux PC, sometimes my choice is made for me by what I need to do. We all use Microsoft Word or Excel, that dictates using the Windows PC. Yes, I know, I could use the linux one, but why?
The best choice is not having to choose one but rather use both.
So this brings me to mobility and the generally accepted total lack of in relation to a desktop PC. Enter desktop left, a laptop. In my case a nice 17″ Dell Vostro running Windows 7 (but with a dual boot to Ubuntu 9.10).
A little while ago, as part reward for assisting migrating my brother from Windows to Mac I acquired an Asus EeePC 901. This came with Windows XP and once set up has proven to be quite useful when lugging a full size laptop about seems too much. The trouble is XP is not a light weight operating system, its pretty heavy and slow and not very well built for low power netbooks. Its no surprise that it has taken over netbook sales though, I mean linux is scary, its strange and mostly, it doesn’t do things people want very well. I think it gets a bad rep. but no doubt about it, a normal PC user confronted with some linux distro or Windows XP is going for XP every time.
So what else is on my desktop? Well typically some other assorted junk, usually my cell phones; a little Nokia thing and a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 (which on various days I either love or hate). Normal land line telephone, often my camera (Eos40D) and always a mess of papers, notes and documents related to whatever real work I’m doing at the time.