I feel like I need to clarify a few things so I don't start coming across as some snooty open-source, anti-windows kinda-guy. Don't get me wrong, from now on I will probably always suggest Linux and open source to anyone who comes to me with a computer question, but I still recognize that Windows and Apple and any other proprietary type of Operating System is useful in many cases. I can't speak for the reliability of the Apple products, hardware or software, because it's always been a little out of my price range. And honestly, if it's not in my price range, then it's not for me.
Windows was all I knew until I was exposed to Linux through work, and boy was that an uncomfortable experience. My family uses nothing but these two major systems (aside from myself obviously) and they all seem perfectly happy with them. They also are all very casual users so I think it's understandable to see how they are comfortable and happy with that.
On that same note, I also see the discontent from them, even being simply casual users. My father does nothing but check his email and play solitaire and he still seems to have issues. That and the hardware they run on is aging rapidly; this combination is not optimal for laptops that run Windows. But I digress...
My main objective for this bit of writing was to make the point that I don't fall into the category of someone who thinks proprietary software is evil and should go away. I think it's evil for sure, haha, but it can stay and profit off of those who need nothing more than an OS and fresh looking GUI and are willing to pay for it. I would compare it an artist and a painting. To some people, all they want to do is look at it, and they will pay to do so. For others, they much prefer to get dirty and make their own painting exactly how they want it. And then it's theirs without an obligation to pay anyone. Hell, they can share it with their friends, they can add to the painting and all enjoy it. And that spreads and people are happy. What an Eden. Again I digress...
Moving along now. I have also been wanting to talk about my second love when beginning my journey down into the inner workings of a computer began, which was Virtual Machines. WOWWWWW did I think this was awesome!! To make it even more exciting, and I didn't realize it at the time, I didn't use VirtualBox to build it. That might seem like small potatoes to some but I have come to discover that building a machine on VirtualBox is nearly as simple as turning a basic laptop on. I think I used VMM and I had to follow instructions and create folders. It was fairly involved for a newbie just messing around.
When I got it running I thought it was the coolest thing ever that a computer was running on my computer. To really add some irony to it, I read about a modification you could make to Xubuntu that would make it look exactly like Windows 95! I set it all up, modified the graphical memory so I could make the resolution match my actual computer, and went full screen to take a little step back in time.
I was smitten with this program, and then when continued reading brought constant reference to VirtualBox, I finally downloaded it and was mind-blown at how easy it made things. I was downloading ISO's as fast as I could find them and running them on VMs. I had grandeur plans of building mini networks on my laptop but I quickly realized that wouldn't work so well with the setup I had. I will still entertain a little project like this in the future to learn about networking. For now I am using Virtual Machines to test things out before I do them on my actual computer.
Until next time, Ill be reading Code by Charles Petzold. I HIGHLY recommend this book if you are interested in computer language and the very very basics of computing and how they still apply today. It has dramatically evolved my understanding in several areas. I will also be contributing to the Manjaro forums where I feel I can offer something.