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I Guess I Really Do Like Linux

I have used Linux on my AMD powered laptop for about 3 years. It originally came with Windows of course, and our main PC in the home runs Windows 7 - my wife mostly plays Flash games on it. I have jumped around various Linux distros over the years in a weird kind of nervous "distro dance" that I can't quite explain. 

It's typically not that I dislike a particular distro and then seek a change, it's just that my particular use case allows me to make changes pretty painlessly, and I enjoy fiddling around in general. I got a small ASUS lower power PC several months ago to use as a media center PC for our basement area. It came with Windows 8.1 and I installed Kodi (formerly XBMC) as the media center app. It replaced an ancient (noisy!) PC I had used for the same purpose.

I allowed the new box to update Windows 10, mostly to try out the release version and see how much better it was than Windows 8.x, which I never really warmed to. I should say that both Windows 8.x and Windows 10 run fine on the little PC, as does Kodi. Everything is hunky dory. And yet....

One of the big things that differentiates Windows 10 from Linux (in my humble opinion) is the tiresome locking in to the Microsoft infrastructure. Now I realize Android and OS X do that to some degree also, but so far I can avoid that in most flavors of Linux.

When I went to Windows 10, I set up a local user rather than use a Microsoft account, and also changed a LOT of default settings to try to retain some privacy and not share every doggone thing I do with Microsoft. It's not that I am doing anything sketchy, rather that it is none of Microsoft's business. 

Even though I have had no operational issues with Windows 10 thus far - no driver issues, lockups, etc. - I think I will reload the little box with Linux and Kodi (or possible KodiBuntu). The tipping factor, I think, was the way that Microsoft changed the "Privacy Policy and Service Agreement" right after the Windows 10 launch. For some reason, that really rubbed me the wrong way - it just seemed egregious, and frankly a bit "sneaky".

Having said that, I think the main reason I am thinking of changing is simply that I am now more comfortable using Linux at home (I use Windows all day at work). I like the sense of "freedom" it gives me, whether real or imagined. I like that I have access to a good selection of freely available software, and that I don't need to concern myself with activation and so on.

For my purposes at least, Linux just works and I just like it better.


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