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Operating systems: upgrade or reinstall? guilt or pleasure?

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Through the years I’ve run many versions of Microsoft Windows. For the last two and one-half years I’ve had Apple Macs, so I’ve used both OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard. I don’t even know how many different desktop Linux distributions I’ve installed, but I’ve certainly installed Linux at least 20 times, maybe as many as 40.

A couple of times I reinstalled Windows just to see if performance would improve, and it always did. It was a pain, though, and eventually it became scary. I say scary because of the validation scheme in more recent versions of the operating system. What if it didn’t like me anymore? What if it thought I should buy a new version of Windows because I changed the hard drive, or the memory, or the keyboard, or I parted my hair on a different side that day? With my Mac it was a slightly similar story.

I feel no such hesitation with Linux.

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