Operating Systems - Windows, Mac and Linux Distributions

A basic overview into operating systems

A look into what operating systems we can have in our homes, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh or Linux.

Episode #1-04 released on October 10, 2010

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This is Technology Questions Answered

Episode 4: Operating Systems - Windows, Mac and Linux Distributions

This is your host, Steve Smith, Founder of Zed Axis Productions, and Digital Technologies Consultant.

Thank you for listening to our fourth episode of Technology Questions Answered, and today's topic, A basic overview of Operating Systems, Windows Microsoft, Apple's Macintosh and Linux. We will talk more in depth about each Operating System in later episodes.

We'll start with a basic overview of each operating system.

Microsoft, the most successful company when it comes to operating systems, plague by viruses, spy ware, and piracy. Easy to develop for, and the most bought platform for computers, it is the most versatile operating system on the market. You can do virtually everything you want to this, modify nearly everything in the User Interface, adapt it for the handicapped, make games people can play, and you are guaranteed to have millions of users able to play games, use your applications, etc... There are thousands of things you can do in within the Windows environment, and with the new operating system, Windows 7, it is starting to get very secure, especially if you opt to purchase the 64-bit editions. You can now buy new versions of this operating system on the internet through the Microsoft Store, and buy hundreds of thousands of great games, software and addons.

Apple's Macintosh, in one word, easy. The easiest operating system to use on the market to date, the majority of people's only reasons for not using Macintosh is the lack of popular games and software the majority of people are used to. There are several programs you can install to allow for installations of Windows and Linux Distributions that make it easier to transition to this type of computer making the original transition process easier to endure. They are not identical operating systems, and most hardware is not compatible with Macintosh computers, but all portable hard-drives and cameras will work regardless. This is the most popular platform for graphic designers and film editors due to architecture of system allowing nearly real time editing.

Then there is Linux, the most flexible operating system on the market, and for almost all distributions, free. Almost all software is free to use in the Linux world. Anything you need, you can find without paying a cent. This operating system is virtually the most secure due to the requirement to enter user password to install any software, no matter what it is. Did I say that you can install Linux on any machine, old or new, and it will run, and fast, too. The most popular versions of Linux are Ubuntu, Debian, and Red Hat.

Linux and Macintosh are virtually the same when it comes to the way they are coded, as they both have the ancestor, Unix. However, this is only true for version of Macintosh using OSX and higher. Previous versions were based on outdated software.

Microsoft, Apple and Linux operating systems have vulnerabilities, the most common and notable vulnerability, is the user. The reason is that users continue to run as administrators on their computers when they should run as a limited user. This is how viruses infect most computers. If you run as administrator when you get infected, it has the administrators rights to the file system, but if your running as a limited user, it only has limited access, and as a result cannot wreak havoc on your computer file system. Now, forget that Macintosh don't have viruses, they do. Its just extremely rare. The same holds true for Linux systems. The truth about all these operating systems, is none of them are absolutely perfect. Software companies shove programs out too fast, not checking for vulnerabilities, making it important to apply updates to all operating systems, software and drivers the second they come out, to avoid getting infected or hacked. Despite not being perfect, Linux and Macintosh computers have, by far, fewer viruses, and virtually no spyware issues when connected to the internet. Windows machines require anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, etc... Linux and Macintosh, need none. Although good to have on Macintosh and Linux computers, it is not really dangerous to go around the internet without them installed. Just need to stay away from spoof sites. You can also use a Linux live disc in any computer to surf the internet in total security because viruses and spyware cannot write to the live disc. If anything happens, simply restart the computer and the session is reset and completely secure.

Now when it comes to getting new software, legally, for any of these operating systems. Its a really different ball game for all of them. Microsoft Windows software is sold all over the internet, in every store, in almost all magazines, game stores, large surface stores, and so forth. Linux Applications can be downloaded for free though the application browser, and adding new sources is as easy as surfing the internet. Apple, that's another story. You have to go to an Apple Certified store or the Apple Store. There aren't as many as people think. I personally have to drive two dozen kilometres to the nearest one. And the prices are not all Standard. Windows software for applications can range from several dollars, to hundreds, some even free. Macintosh software, that depends on the developer. Some can be really expensive because there are fewer buyers. Linux, for the most part, all software is open-source and free. There are commercial software solutions available, but these are for really specific markets of developers, companies, and organizations.

What I'd like to know is your experiences with each of these operating systems, questions about usage and transition from one operating system to another, and any commentary. In a few weeks, I will be going through each operating system independently, explaining how to use one individually. I will explain the operating conditions, and prerequisites for installation of each operating system. And, I will offer a guide of distributions of Linux in the show notes of this episode, until the Linux episode.

Next week, we will be talking about advanced encryption techniques, and I shall be posting screen shots of each step in the next episode's show notes. Please head over to our web-site, and in these show notes, select the suggested software installs, install them, and so you can follow step by step, how to hide your documents from all prying eyes, a very good technique to prevent airport security, thieves, other family members, local, state, provincial, and government agencies from seeing sensitive files on your hard-drives. This will at the very least make it very hard for anyone to see what you do not want them to find. If you have any questions, comments or stories, you may find all the necessary contact information or list of sources, software, hardware suggestions on our web-site at Triple-W-dot-Z-E-D-A-X-I -S dot-NET, as well as a list of important pod casts that you should also listen to and we have a brand new message board for our new podcast where you can all interact with us, make comments, suggestions, view others comments and questions, as well.

I look forward to interacting with all of you online on our web-site and message board, till next time, this has been a podcast, hosted by Steve Smith, Digital Technologies Consultant for Zed Axis Productions, Stay Safe and Online. This has been Technology Questions Answered.

This show was recorded using audacity, an open-source, sound recorder and editor, head over to audacity.sourceforge.net and support Audacity by donating or buying exclusive merchandise, or head over to our site and view the links in the show notes of this episode.

This show was recorded: October 10th, 2010 and is now available on iTunes and our web-site at http://www.zedaxis.net/.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Steve Smith | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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