It’s time again for a rant.

There are people out there who believe that Windows is a “professional” OS.

Okaaaayyyy …

Let’s not bother to discuss what “professional” might mean but I can guarantee you, Windows is anything but “professional.” The reason is quite simple: It’s an OS for everyone. For the average computer user. Professionals use professional tools. They know their stuff, they don’t play with average stuff. You think anything about, say, a Formula One car is average? Even the finish is optimized for weight. Average cars clog the streets, professional cars can haul 400 tons and each tire costs $35’000 alone.

I have a friend who works in a garage. He has a set of tool that costs more than I ever spent on tools my whole life. One day, he had to get nut off. It was already in bad shape from previous attempts by “enthusiastic amateurs”. So he took one of his metric hexagon nut sockets that was one number too small and a hammer and hammered it on. Afterwards, he screwed it loose, forced the nut out of it’s too tight housing and the tool was still intact – barely a scratch. That’s the difference between what local DIY sells you and “professional.”

Windows is optimized to run without complaints. Errors are deliberately hidden from the user since the average computer user simply can’t deal with them anyway.

I turned away from Windows almost 20 years ago and never looked back. Sure, not something that everyone could or should do. Linux still isn’t an OS for the average user (even though we have come a long way – I can almost always set up my twin-monitor system without having to grab a text editor). But then, I need professional tools.

My fellow students wrote 100 page master theses with Word. I remember them cursing all the time. And we were studying computer science. I did mine in LaTeX: 400 pages, 0 problems. Oh, and I had everything under version control. Not that I would recommend it for everyone. But maybe, just maybe you feel like Windows and other M$ products are wasting your time: Have a look at professional tools.

One Response to Windows

  1. Kuba says:

    🙂 I did both of my theses and most of my homework under version control. Using LyX, LaTeX and makefiles. Nothing beats “make submit” when a deadline is near. Protip for wannabe engineers: If you’re using Ansys, or any other finite element modelling package for that matter, you better learn to script it. Pronto.

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