Yep, if you have one or two complicated programs that you use extensively in Windows, that should dictate, or at least influence, the choice of OS, meaning staying in Windows in this case. There's no need for anyone to twist into a pretzel to get work done.bertilak wrote:
I think that's typical of the Linux vs. Windows situation. Life with Linux is just more complicated. Another complication is when things change it often requires some maintenance to keep up. For example, my export/import to a spreadsheet was sensitive to a variety of things -- the format and structure of the data as it moves from place to place and the step-by-step procedures needed to effect each of the steps. Always a learning curve: Does it still fit on a page? Are page breaks in the same place? Are Images placed properly on the page? Are blanks, tabs and quote marks handled in subtly changed ways? If I have added records to QuickBooks do they break some unrecognized assumption I made? With MS Word, I can generally count on things looking the same when printed as the preview QuickBooks shows me.
In Linux's favor, however, many programs that might be a problem are not generally used on a home computer. Tax preparation and financial programs would be an exception. I recommend Linux for home use since trying to synchronize with workplace software would be a fool's errand.
I generally pop in to recommend Linux when someone has an old computer and is going to throw it out. My Linux-lovin' heart screams in pain! That computer can be used productively! It can be a handy backup. It can forestall having to go to Best Buy to buy a new computer. It can be a profound revelation that an old computer can be brought back to life and used much in the way they use their newer computers --e.g.., web-centric use.
That's the simplest use case. You already have the hardware (an old computer) and you don't have to think of Linux compatibility when purchasing a new computer. A Linux distro will either work or not on your old computer. If it does work -- and in most cases it will if you use an appropriate distro -- that can pave the way for further exploration of Linux.
If one is looking to move from Windows completely and has a complicated set of applications and services they use, that's obviously a different situation. I would just join the others on this board that recommend trying Mint. That gives the likeliest chance of success. Particularly Mint Cinnamon if a user want all the bells and whistles and the fullest set of applications. The advantage Mint has is that, although it relies on existing technology -- the Linux kernel and Debian/Ubuntu based "stuff" -- it aims to be easy-to-use, polished, pretty, easy for Windows users to understand, and applications work right out of the box.
People may have varying opinions on Linux, but it's out there for anyone to use and free. It can be a primary or backup system. Choice is good.