My wife asked me a poignant question a couple of weeks ago, “If Linux is SOOO awesome, why don’t you stop using Windows?” I told her that I couldn’t play civ4. “I thought you said it was ready for use and equal to Windows,” she continued. And I realized, there are probably some others who prosthelyze about how awesome Linux is. While I think Linux is amazing, and can do some great things which are hard or impossible to do in Windows, it is not for everyone.
Linux is not for you if:
You are a hard-core gamer
Some games like Quake, Doom 3, and Unreal Tournament have released their game for Linux as well as Windows and/or Mac. If you aren’t a first-person shooter fan, you’re out of luck. Projects like Wine and Cedega, a fork of an early version of Wine, can help with running some of your Windows games. I know that Wine, at least when it was in alpha, runs Sim City 4. Cedega runs a lot of the popular games like World of Warcraft and some others. Some people claim these projects are bad because the game designers only see that we are buying Windows games and don’t know that we’re playing them on Linux. Others claim that Wine and Cedega could be used by game designers to port their games with less problems. Finally, a third camp says it’s no one else’s bussiness if they want to run Windows programs on their Linux computer. Wine has come out of alpha, as I reported last month, so future releases won’t break what already works. I’m very excited for what can be done with Wine.
You are a professional photographer/image designer
The GIMP is a wonderful program and works really well. There are basically only 3 things keeping everyone from jumping the bandwagon. First of all, it does not allow images to be edited in 16 bit mode; absolutely essential for images to be edited without losing quality. Second, the RAW plugin doesn’t hold up when compared to Photoshop’s RAW program. Third, it doesn’t yet handle XMP tags as wells Adobe’s programs. Once those three issues are settled, tons of people will be able to stop shelling out hundreds of dollars for Photoshop. It’s not that Adobe is evil, but it’s a lot of money for those of us who want to do advanced photo and visual editing and don’t make a ton of money off of it.
You Want to Author professional-looking DVDs
Actually, there isn’t a good windows program to do this – I’ve looked! At least, it must be very expensive, because they don’t carry it at Best Buy.
Now, if what you want a computer for is:
-word processing, email, web browsing, card games (solitaire, etc), light photo editing, spreadsheet, presentation software, programming in C/Java/C++/perl/or ANY language, watch videos and DVDs, listen to audio files, design 3D models, and many other things, LINUX IS FOR YOU! YOU ARE READY!
My wife hasn’t tried Linux because she doesn’t like changing. She knows everything in Windows and doesn’t see a reason to switch. However, I am COMPLETELY confident that, if I installed it, she would know what to do and would be able to do everything she wants to do. She is not a compter geek, although dating/marrying me has brought her a LOT more computer knowledge. But I am SURE she would be able to use it without any problems.
To learn more about Live CDs, check out Techn0manc3r’s post.