Saturday, November 14, 2009

FAQ – Operating Systems

Here’s my dysfunctional professional response to the most commonly asked questions about operating systems.

  • Q: Which operating is the best?
    • A: It depends
  • Q: Which operating system would you recommend?
    • A: It depends
  • Q: Why won’t you answer the question?
    • A: Because anyone that answers either of those questions with a knee-jerk answer is a complete dumbass, or they are lying or ignorant or are delusional from too much crack and cocaine use, or all four. :)
  • Q: I’m a graphic artist, musician, or audio engineer.  Which OS should I go with?
    • A: OSX
  • Q: I run a corporate network with 1000 users.  Which OS should I go with?
    • A: Windows 7
  • Q: I do movie-quality animation with 3DS Max and Lightwave.  Which OS should I go with?
    • A: Windows 7
  • Q: I’m a web designer (not web app developer).  Which OS should I go with?
    • A: It doesn’t matter: OSX or Windows 7
  • Q: I’m a web applications developer.  Which OS should I go with?
    • A: It depends.  If you’re working with ASP or ASP.NET or on a Windows web server environment, go with a Windows client OS.  If you’re working with PHP, Ruby or Flash, you can go with OSX.  If you’re only working with PHP or Ruby, you can go with Linux.  Otherwise, go with whatever floats your boat.
  • Q: I bought a Netbook and want to load the best OS on it.
    • A: Whatever floats your boat.
  • Q: I’m a movie producer/TV producer/advertising producer.  Which OS should I go with?
    • A: OSX
  • Q: I run a data center with several Oracle instances and are kind of tight on the budget side (aside from Oracle licenses and hardware).  Which OS should I use?
    • A: It depends
  • Q: …on what?
    • A: On whether you or your staff have any experience with Linux or Windows.  Whether you have time and budget for training.  Whether you have budget to hire more staff.
  • Q: …so then what?
    • A: Go with what fits your environment and staff capabilities, then worry about budget.  Because the first two will absolutely destroy your budget if the “solution” doesn’t fit.
  • Q: I just bought a Macbook/Macbook Pro and want to load it up with Linux or BSD and dual boot with OSX.  Is that cool or what?
    • A: No.  It’s not cool.  If you can make that setup do something like cure cancer, end world hunger or bring peace to the world, then it would be cool.  Otherwise it’s just another reason to not get laid.
  • Q: My CIO/CTO just returned from a conference and now wants to change all of our desktops and servers to a different OS.  What should I do?
    • A: Smack them as hard as you can on the side of their head with an open hand.  That should distract them long enough to make a clean getaway.
  • Q: I have no budget at all.  Just a pile of hand-me-down computers with no OS installed.  What should I do?
    • A: Either install Ubuntu 9.10 on them, buy some books and surf a bunch of web sites to bone-up on Ubuntu administration, or find another job working for someone with a budget.
  • Q: My friend says “<insert-name-here>” is the best OS.  Is that true?
    • A: Your friend is a complete fucking idiot.
  • Q: My friend says Windows is a virus magnent.  Is that true?
    • A: Where do I start…. hmmm… ok… is this the same friend that said <productname> is the best OS?  He’s still a fucking idiot.  Seriously though, viruses rarely come from “nowhere”.  They come from going to the wrong places, downloading the wrong things, plugging in the wrong devices (thumbdrives from other people) and generally doing stupid-ass things you shouldn’t do.  Getting a virus is like walking into the “wrong” part of town.  If you keep walking into the wrong part of town, you can claim (legally) that the town is unsafe and a mugging magnet.  Use your brain, or what’s left of it, and practice some common sense.  I’ve never had a virus on my home computers.  Never.  Not with Windows 3.11, 95, 98, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista or 7.  Never.  They have always been connected to the Internet and configured properly and I treat them with common sense.  You should too.
  • Q: My friend says OSX has no viruses and cannot be hacked.
    • A: Dump this friend already?  Nothing is “hack-proof”.  Nothing.  People make this stuff and people are flawed.  Period.
  • Q: My friend says Linux is hack-proof and has no viruses.
    • A: You need new friends.  Do we need to keep saying this?
  • Q: My friend says I can run OSX and run AutoCAD and Inventor in VMware Fusion or Parallels.  Is that true?
    • A: Good luck with that.  Let me know when you meet Elvis.
  • Q: Can Windows be made hack-proof?
    • A: I’m not talking to you anymore.  You are trying to upset my Feng Shui.
  • Q: I bought a Linksys/D-Link/NetGear/etc. wireless router and plugged it in at work.  Is this ok?
    • A: OMG.  Did you do any configuration changes to tighten it down? :(
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