Almost 27 years ago, I bought my first real PC. It was intel 286 with 64KB of ram and 20MB of hard disk. This was the state of the art at that time. Three years later I upgraded it to be intel 386 with 120MB hard disk and 128KB of RAM. Again that was the latest technology at the time. With these low specs with today’s perspective we managed to run AutoCAD and SAP. We managed to do complex CAD drawings and complex Civil structure calculations. Yes rendering 3D graph on AutoCAD can be done overnight, same as the structure complex calculations.
Now the minimum specs of a decent PC would be 128GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM.
During this journey, the PC operating system got evolved the same way the hardware did. I started with DOS, Then in early 90s Windows 2 appeared and for me this was a new idea but I didn’t understand what the real benefit of it. This was the case till Windows 3 came to life and I started play around with it and understood the benefit of having integrated environment that hosts all your running applications and you can run multiple applications at the same time. This was a break through and I wished if this Windows to become the main operating system. Later in 95, this came true and the first Windows operating system came to live. This was another real break through in PC history. Later, Windows NT was introduced for Servers and along the years we witnessed Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1.
Of course during PC evolving history, there was other great operating systems running the mid size servers. I didn’t really witnessed in real live the main frames but worked/seen different mid size servers like IBM AS400, IBM AIX, Digital OpenVMS, Unix…etc.
Back to the PC world, Windows has become the most famous PC operating for number of years for home use and corporates. Apple Macintosh was available even before Windows and was better operating system, but was not widely used. Due to its price I believe. Also Linux as operating system was introduced in the early 90s but was not adopted by the consumers for many years. I personally only learnt about Linux in 2007, however it was shocking for me to find that there is another operating system that is much powerful and more customisable than Windows, and is for free. Since then I used Linux for my home use. I only came back to Windows after introducing Windows 8. This only lasted for 8 months during which I was totally convinced that only Linux based operating system is the solution for stable high performing PC.
From my previous experience with Linux, I was always irritated with the work needed every time you need to do something beyond the basics and it is not granted to work. For example, I failed to get my windows phone to sync with my contacts on Linux, I failed to get my MS Exchange account to be working with any Linux mail client. It took me great effort to configure my Google account. Therefore, I decided to move to Mac and finally I bought my first Mac PC. So far it is a stable machine with far less effort in configuration than Linux.
However, Mac has its falls as well. The way applications are installed are non-intuitive, and the short-cuts and the keyboard are very different than the one used on normal PCs (Linux or Windows). However there will be a learning curve off course, the I’ll get used to it.