Over the past couple of months, I’ve been doing some soul searching. If you’ve followed me for a long time, you know that I tend to err on the side of frugality. I choose photography equipment and other forms of technology based on what’s going to give me the most bang for my buck, and become what I need as opposed to what has all the bells and whistles.
Take my car for instance. I drive a 1999 Chrysler 300M. It’s considered a “Luxury Sports Sedan”. It has tons of bells and whistles, but nothing in terms of what one might call “modern technology.” For instance, no Bluetooth or GPS navigation. However, there are other solutions for that. For Bluetooth connectivity to my phone, I use a Bluetooth tape adapter. I start the car, and the tape adapter turns on and connects to my phone. From there, I can stream music or whatever. For GPS navigation, I have my phone on a suction cup mount to my windshield. Oh, and I got the car for dirt cheap.
Speaking of my phone, that has been a real cost cutter lately. Recently, as part of my soul searching, I decided to abandon Android and as many Google services as I can. This is twofold: 1) I’m just tired of Google/Android. Don’t know why. 2) I could save money by switching from a Nexus 5 to a different device on my T-Mobile JUMP plan. I also upgraded my wife to the same phone, and she absolutely loves it.
So what device did I get? A Windows Phone. Specifically, a Microsoft Lumia 640.
If you’re a Linux enthusiast that follows me, you’re probably about ready to flame me for supporting such an “evil” company as Microsoft. Well, there’s a few reasons why I might want to support Microsoft.
- The first one is that I’m starting to take more and more of a liking to their products. I think Windows 10, just around the corner, is a fantastic compromise between the feel of Windows 7 and 8. It’s pushing toward the future while not completely abandoning the past.
- Additionally, what makes Google any better? They’re slowly decreasing their openness in terms of software, while Microsoft is slowly increasing. Many are skeptical of this change in Microsoft, but I think it’s at least an attempt at turning a new leaf. In my faith, which I’m sure many of you don’t share, people deserve second chances. Microsoft is people. If you get down to it, all companies are people.
Finally, Microsoft is a significant part of the local economy where I live. I’m a fan of helping the local economy grow. That’s what brings jobs. We all know jobs are important.
Additionally, I have switched from Linux distributions being my daily driver to Windows. Again, several reasons for this.
- Better integration with my phone. This is minor, but I like it.
- I’m sick and tired of all the infighting. The most recent kerfuffle between Ubuntu and Kubuntu is a prime example of horrible community management. As someone whose very core is community and leadership, this bugs me to no end.
- I’m sick of elitist attitudes of people who run certain distributions such as Arch. Sadly, whether or not you think you have the attitude, I’ve notice it changes people who run it over time to becoming bigoted with the Arch Way.
- This leaves me with Fedora and openSUSE. I cannot decide to which community I’d like to join and make my primary distribution. I find both distros equally good, and both communities equally good. But, I cannot decide between the two. I’d rather not have the decision at all.
- I’m also quite sick of the “Free Software” crowd. Here’s the thing: I can only partially decipher code, and can’t code my way out of a paper bag aside from making a few clunky bash scripts. So, the freedom to read the code and modify it to my liking simply doesn’t apply to me. I’ve always been under the philosophy of “use what works for you”, not what everyone thinks you should use. At one point in time in my life, that was Windows. Then it became OS X. Then it became Linux. Now, it’s transitioning back to Windows. I use what works best for me. Period. I don’t care if I’m “sacrificing my freedom.”
- My main reason for switching to Linux was for futureproofing. That doesn’t quite apply anymore. With Windows 10 being free for people with a license, I don’t have to worry about not having the right operating system for software. That said, I will be keeping a Linux install on my system to tinker with, as a backup plan if I’m wrong, and because there are some tools I use on Linux that are not available on Windows (Shocker!). I could change my mind on this one. I reserve the right to change my mind on anything at any time.
- And finally, and most importantly, for many people Linux is a religion and an idol that people worship. They build their lives and obsess over it. In fact, for a while, that was me. But I’m a Christian, and I refuse to let any idol get in the way of my God any longer. Many people will say that I’m not enlightened and don’t know the science disproving the existence of God. To that, I say you’re wrong, and you’re the unenlightened one. But what have I got to lose? If I’m wrong, no big deal. I’ve led a great life and have done my part to help others. If I’m right, then there are profound ramifications for non-believers. I would say that atheists have the most to lose.
With that said, use what works best for you. As for me, I’m done. I’m done with the drama, I’m done with the hype, and I’m done with the stress. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
That said, I’ve learned a lot from Linux. I’ve learned more about how operating systems work and more about how computers work in general, and I’ll greatly benefit.