Pay more, get less

Something good happened to my laptop, and I am not sure what.

I run Ubuntu 11.04, and I'm pretty good about letting the Operating System update itself whenever it wants to.

Recently, it upgraded Firefox to version 5, and around that time, my laptop just started feeling faster. I don't know if it wast the Firefox upgrade that did it, or something else that happened at the same time, but somehow everything just feels more responsive and more fun to use.

I find myself switching back and forth from program to program and tab to tab, just to enjoy how responsive it all is.

It reminds me how fantastic the free software community is.

To me, free software is characterised by this amazing feeling of things just constantly improving, whether you pay for service or just download and DIY. When things are broken, or crappy (the software is written by fallible humans, after all), the problems can almost always be solved with a little patience and effort.

I feel sorry for the Mac/iPhone/iPad users that always have to be afraid that Apple will disable some feature they like, and more sorry for Windows users who pretty much universally complain that their computers just get slower and slower over time. And if software is broken or buggy? Then that's just life, they have to learn to live with it.

In software it really seems that the more you pay... the less you get.

This evening I'm going to help Ewelina begin an experiment in switching from Windows to Ubuntu. I hope she will eventually get to enjoy the same feelings as I do.

Tags: life, tech

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