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Why I use Linux

Posted on February 12, 2005 in computer-science

For more than 10 years (1988-1998), I was a loyal Microsoft customer, using DOS, some of their software developement products, and Office when Windows 95 came out.

Over the years, however, I became increasingly frustrated by the bad quality of Microsoft products, and by software designed for Windows in general. Microsoft had obviously put all their efforts to make sofware more easy to use and capture new users at the expense of quality and security[^1]. As I got tired of having to upgrade to new versions of software, just in the hope that some bugs would be corrected, I decided to switch to GNU/Linux in 1998.

I have been very happy with GNU/Linux since then. My computers have never crashed on me, and I can now concentrate on getting my work done. GNU/Linux provides many ways to automate tasks which, to me, is what computing is all about. It is true that many programs under linux do not come with nice and polished interfaces and often require reading some documentations before using them. But at least I find most them well conceived for power users (linux/unix is user-friendly! It is just picky about who are his friends).

I am a linux enthousiast, but not a linux fanatic: I recognize its areas of weakness, and I do not recommend everybody to switch to Linux now. Let everybody use the software which they see fit.

Now I would be perfectly happy if the world was not trying hard to force me to use Microsoft products: People keep sending texts attached to email using files in the Microsoft Word format. Assuming that your interlocutor uses Word is simply rude. The page ``why you should not send Word files attached to email'' provides some suggestions to avoid that.

[^1] Bill Gates has never been a good computer scientist, even less a hero, only a very apt businessman. See Le hold-up planétaire: la face cachée de Microsoft