A Big Change In My Computing Habits

Remember I said that I was going to write about more than just running here, well this is one of those posts.

Technology and I have been acquainted for many years, but there have been storm clouds on the horizon for a few years now.


Over the past several years, well actually since Windows 1.0, I have been using Microsoft Windows products for my home computing needs and in many cases for work as well. For the most part Windows with a few notable exceptions has done well by me. I returned with hat in hand, after a forced trip into the world of Apple, when I was a teacher and had to use a Mac for a couple of years. Even then I had a Windows machine to bail me out of things when I needed one.

So I have been using the Windows OS for a while.

However, my expectations of what I want from my Operating System has changed over the years and it seems pretty evident that the Windows OS is going in a different direction than I am. Their ideas of privacy, usability and whose data is it (this is not just a Microsoft issue either) are different from mine.

Although if you connect your computer to the Internet, you do not have any real expectation of privacy, no matter what OS you use.

Microsoft Windows 10 is a wonderful OS and can do more than I would ever do with it. However, do I really need that much power or capability to play a few games, some light word processing, photo management and other simple computing tasks? In reality I do not and when you add in the other issues that I do have with the direction they are heading…well it just seemed like the right time to see what else is out there – again.


Over the past couple of years I have used Chromebooks and while they do around 80% of what I want, there are still some gaps and a higher level of clunkiness that is necessary to get around those gaps than I want. However, they have shown me that I could do without Windows for most things.


On the fringes has always been this thing called Linux OS and while I really don’t want to play in the terminal too much or have to get too much into the nitty-gritty stuff, I don’t mind playing around a little bit. I have dual-booted Ubuntu on my laptop before and liked it, but not enough to keep it for very long and decided to just go back to using Windows – Linux wasn’t what I was looking for then.

However, many of the Linux Distros have matured to the point where you don’t have to geek out just to use it. With all the hullabaloo going on with Windows 10 over the past year, I have half-heartedly been looking around at other options for a while now.

Ubuntu Mate

After a lot of reading and even watching videos, it came down to me wanting to either try Ubuntu Mate or Mint. Finally, I decided on Mate and dual-booted Ubuntu Mate on my primary laptop, just to see what it was like last week.

Screenshot at 2017-04-22 20-17-59

I experimented, loaded lots of different software (yes, I still call it software even though everyone nowadays calls them apps), tried things, looked at things, broke things, fixed things, saw what worked for me and what didn’t.

I came away impressed, very impressed…a LOT worked very well for me.

The Final Straw

This morning, I booted up and went over to the Windows 10 side of the partition and got to working on something, when I was suddenly booted off the system as it did a crash recovery and took its sweet-ass time to report the disturbance in the force back to Microsoft. Okay shit happens coincidentally sometimes, not a big deal right. I get the Win10 system back up and running, actually getting what I wanted to do done and suddenly everything stops and Windows begins to run an update.

Karma, Kismet or whatever to F$%#, you want to call it, I was frustrated and pissed.

I don’t really have a lot on my computers now, most of my files are on Google, WordPress or Amazon, so whatever I was going to lose would be minimal at most.

I got out my Boot USB drive, restarted the computer and got ready to wipe the disk and install nothing but Ubuntu Mate right then. Well that was the plan, but I couldn’t get the laptop to read the Boot drive and it took me a little while to figure out what I actually needed to do.

Which was a good thing.

I had a chance to calm down a LOT, look rationally at what was going on, do some more reading to see what I actually needed to do, look at the Windows side to see if I would really miss anything.

Then I sat down to eat lunch and play on my Chromebook for a few minutes.

After I did the dishes, I had had a chance to really think this over.

Actually, this is a pretty big deal, I was planning to completely change how my laptop was configured, move to a different way of doing things, and finally if I went through with this crazy ass idea, this shit is permanent if I delete the Window 10 OS and do a compete install of Ubuntu Mate.

Guess what…

I made a conscious decision to change my Operating System to Linux Ubuntu Mate. For the first time in a while, I do not have a Windows OS Laptop that is mine. I have two Chromebooks and a Linux Laptop with the Ubuntu Mate Distro on it – Nothing else.

The rest of the day has been spent setting it up the way I want it to be, getting Google to sync to it and you know something that is very surprising to me.

Looking Forward

Right now I do not have any regrets or second thoughts. It was the right thing for me to do now. The Ubuntu Mate OS is enough operating system for what I now do with a computer now and while I am sure that I will have a few challenges at some point in the future. I will face those challenges when they get here and find the appropriate work-around for me.

Really, I just think it was time for me to finally move-on from Windows and Microsoft.

Yes, the wife still has her Windows all-in-one and I have to use Windows at work, so I will still be using Windows, but this change to having only Linux-based OS at home will be a new beginning for me.

I wonder how it will turn-out?


  1. I already have Devine Divinity and the Baldur’s Gate games loaded, can’t quite get NWN2 to work yet and have the others you mentioned downloaded ready to go. I am using WINE to use a few Windows programs. So gaming wise I am in really good shape, I had thought about going in that direction or an Android tablet and still might down the road, but for now will see how this works out. No turning back at this point 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cool – I might have to install Linux on something a bit more powerful to see how I would feel about using it as a ‘daily driver’. Not like I game a ton – but tablets are woefully inadequate at the game types we tend to play (and I have tried Baldur’s Gate I/II, Icewind Dale, Titan Quest, KotOR, Jade Empire and now Planescape Torment on the iPad) … perhaps the most workable one was Legend of Grimrock.

      So I think you are best served with Linux as a stable and capable platform. I agree with you on ChromeOS …

      Liked by 1 person

    • I put it on my daily driver and have been pretty happy so far, it is a bit old school as far as having to actually setup the computer, but I will know what I have and where it is 🙂


  2. I run Mint on 2 old towers and windows 10 on the newer ones. I tend to do most of my emailing from the Linux machines. At work i use macs and w7. my phone is andriod. I will continue to use everything. with so much choice it seems mad not to use them all. Linux works with all of my old web cams but not my scanner or printer. My latest thing is not to install wine and run windows software on linux, but rather to actually try a few more linux products.


    • I am still just starting my Linux journey at home, at work we still use Win7 and from what I can see won’t change there anytime soon. I am having fun with learning, so at home it has been win-win. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.