Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Linux is only free if your time has no value"

A web developer blogs about moving from Linux to Mac. And back! Read Arnaud / Mac OS vs Linux:
I have been using a Mac for a bit more than a year now. I bought a Macbook Air second generation. This was the most expensive laptop I have ever bought. But I thought: I am fed-up of fixing problems with my Windows OS or Linux; and I have work to do! So the Mac seemed to be a good option. It worked indeed. It really really worked well. Mac OS is a really nice thing. The hardware is also really nice. You pay the price, but it is totally worth every dime.

[...]

I [recently bought a Win7 laptop on sale at $299]... I cleaned Windows... I installed Ubuntu. I had to fight the cheap hardware to make it work properly and I "wasted" some of my precious time tweaking every part of the OS to make it really usable... After playing around A LOT with my cheap Ubuntu Natty laptop; and after over one year using a Mac, here is my conclusion: There is a lot of time "wasted" using and configuring and playing around with Linux... But I missed that!

[...]

Mac is simple and stable, so it is supposedly unleashing your creativity... but, hacking around pushes you out of the box whether you want it or not. It makes a creative person out or you, naturally.

As a Linux proponent of course I have been met with the "Linux is only free if your time has no value" argument:

This Facebook screenshot shows the comments to a person asking for a code to install Windows with. 1st comment is, basically, "buy it". And the 2nd is mine linking to Linux distros.

But as a Linux user you spend zero time asking people for codes to install your pirated MS Windows copy. And you spend no money buying a legitimate copy (no time earning those no money). Neither the time or the money spent on either of those things for Windows will make you smarter. Installing and hacking a bit of Linux will.

I wager you'll spend less time with Blue Screen of Death type incidents and you'll lose less data with linux (or Mac). Plus if you do hack around, report a bug or help out a fellow user you will be contributing to a grateful community, not doing free work for a multinational corporation.

Unfortunately, the installation part is now so easy a sea gull could do it. But a die hard Windows pirate can't.

UPDATE: This post badly needed a picture of a sea gull. So here it is. A sea gull photographed from the deck of a ferry between two Faroe isles. Need I mention the post processing was done in Digikam?

Update:

(Emphasis in quote added by me.)