Puget Systems print logo
Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/580
Brett Nordquist (Customer Experience Engineer)

The Perfect Operating System

Written on July 15, 2014 by Brett Nordquist
The first computer I purchased arrived at my home with two operating systems: DOS and Windows 3.1. Most full-fledged programs ran in DOS, including nearly every game in the early 1990s. Besides pool, the game I played most during my college years was called Links Golf which ran in DOS. Without Links I’m convinced my GPA would be at least a half grade higher. I offset my Links addiction by installing WordPerfect for DOS which allowed me to write reports from home instead of the school’s computer lab. 

Links Golf: The wind is in play
This was a few years before Jay Leno would step on stage and crack awkward jokes with Bill Gates to kickoff the arrival of Windows 95. DOS faded into the background while nearly every program would be written for Windows. Microsoft had reached the pinnacle of its power, but we wouldn’t realize it for a few more years. 
Most of my life I’ve run a version of Windows. Until Windows XP came along, my favorite version was Windows NT. It didn’t include USB support and searching for compatible drivers could take an afternoon. But if you could get NT working, it was solid, and seldom required a reboot. I ran Windows NT on my desktop at home for many years and happily traded support for many peripherals and games for an incredibly stable PC. 
Over the past decade I’ve run various flavors of Linux, usually on older hardware that couldn’t handle Windows. Linux actually reminds me a lot of Windows NT in that it could be a challenge to install, and drivers could be finicky. But with patience, the payoff was worth the time investment because Linux tends to be very stable. 
Fast forward to today where the most popular operating system in the world runs on phones (Android). Apple’s iOS runs on fewer devices but has won over developers with its popular and lucrative ecosystem. All the while, Microsoft has struggled to convince Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8, while  Apple gives away OS X for free. The catch of course is you must first purchase Apple hardware, often at a premium. 
Linux has made great strides towards usability on the desktop but is still seen by many as too difficult or just too different. Distros from Ubuntu and Mint are chipping away at these challenges, to the point where getting either running doesn't require the ability to write your own drivers. We offer Ubuntu on most of the custom PCs we build today, and have found it to be a reliable option for many customers. 
Each day I use a combination of Windows 8, iOS, OS X (Mavericks) and Ubuntu. Each one has its share good and bad. If I could snap my fingers and create the perfect operation system here is what it would include: 
1 The stability of Linux. 
2. The polish of OS X. 
3. The driver support of Windows. 
4. The performance of Linux on older hardware. 
5. The breadth of Windows programs. 
6. The usability of OS X. 
I don’t expect to find the perfect operating system, but would say Windows 7 has come the closest to OS nirvana. Microsoft tried to unify the desktop experience with that of Windows tablets and phones in Windows 8 with mixed results. Rumor has it that the next version of Windows will bring focus back to the desktop which is music to our ears at Puget Systems. 
What has been your favorite operating system? If you could create the perfect one, what features would it include?
Tags: Windows, Linux, OS X

Windows 95/98/XP will always be that bare-bones going too fast for it's own good experience for me. USB driver support was terrible, home networking was a nightmare, blue screens destroying the game experience but when it was all dialed in, that baby ran fast. Kernel security - forget about it, straight pipe, config file hacks, glory days of my life and 3D card explosions (both good and bad ones). I've grown up now. I want a crash-free experience, zero system maintenance (goodbye defrags, sysfile hacks, and other assorted "tricks" that magazines pushed) experience. XP got really close in the end. Windows 7 got there. Windows 8 is the wannabee step brother. I'll fire up Chrome OS if I want to play around nowadays, I guess I'm ready for the pasture.

Posted on 2014-07-15 19:55:36

Just getting some games working on Widows 95/98 was an experience, but it sure taught me a lot about computers. And the registry. Today, my kids have no interesting in learning about the inner working of computers. I was excited to show my son how to install an SSD and he didn't think that sounded fun at all. Just call him when it's ready. I haven't used Chrome OS yet, but a couple of my coworkers use it for light email and browsing and seem to like it.

Posted on 2014-07-15 20:32:40

People complained about Windows Vista, but I ran Windows Vista Professional for six years with little problems. In 2014 I've ran Windows 7, with little problems. I hate Silverlight or what ever it is called; it would be nice if Outlook would be automatically provided and integrated. But I'll be satisfied until the computer calls me "dear" like in Star Trek.

Posted on 2014-07-16 04:29:58

Windows 7 because of the as-you-type-launcher. Now add support for games and programs that worked under 98SE, but better than compatibility mode, add a VM with real Win98SE in it.

Windows 9 Pro could be just that, add a Hyper-V machine with that fx.

Features, hmm, I wan't Explorer customizable or replaceable as component in Windows and complete removal of special folders as I use a NAS and I CBA to constantly make symlinks and so on. Also let me choose between PS/CMD and fx Bashshell for Windows or so, more shells to choose from and finally built-in programs for desktop management, where what window pops up where, why, when and how. More Gadgets please, those are / were awesome. And complete removal of the dull colors in Windows 8, those can really kill a mood, they dont have the same pop as the Windows 7 color schemes have.

Posted on 2014-08-22 00:26:33