Let’s face it, when it comes to Windows 10, Microsoft has had some real issues with it over the last year which has definitely made some consumers angry so much, many have given up on the operating system altogether and switched to using a Mac. And while moving to a Mac is certainly an option, for the rest of us though who can’t really afford it, we simply stick with Windows 10 in spite of it’s problems and just deal with it. However, for a select few who only need something simple and easy to use without all the hassles of Windows 10, then it might interest you to know that there is third option that will probably fit your – especially if you have an older PC that needs a new lease on life. Linux Has Come Along Way I’m sure by now that many have no doubt heard of Linux, but are apprehensive of trying it because most believe that it’s hard to use and that it’s not very user friendly. But on the contrary, Linux, while challenging in the past, has come a long way over the last ten years and is available in so many different versions, or distros, that there’s practically a version for everyone. In other words, you have a choice of what best suits you instead of other operating systems like Windows which is written by a corporation that has the philosophy that they know what the consumer needs and pretty much forces us to simply accept it as the norm and if you don’t like it, well that’s just you tough luck. Who is Linux Written For? Let me first say that Linux is not for everyone. And what I mean by that is that if you are into games, running games on a Linux system while possible - does require some additional software and a service that caters to the Linux gaming community. But if you’re like most users who simply want to do things like check email, browse the Internet or using social media like Facebook, then Linux will fit the bill. Now, as for support, you have to understand that Linux is not owned by any corporation like Microsoft, but is instead supported and maintained by a the Linux community that follows the philosophy of open source which simply means its free to share with everyone and not proprietary software. In other words, what makes Linux so attractive to those who are looking for an alternative to Windows it is that it’s absolutely free, that’s right, it doesn’t cost you anything other than downloading it and installing it. Which Distro is Right For You? With so many different distros to choose from, the best place to start would be at www.distrowatch.com where you’ll find a list of all the available distros along with all the information you’ll need. So, if you’re fed up with Windows and are thinking about giving Linux a try, then may I suggest one of the two most popular distros which are Ubuntu and Mint, both of which are based on the same operating system platform and the only major differences between them is the Graphic User Interface, (GUI) which determines the way the desktop ap- pears and how you navigate the operating system overall. And while getting accustomed to Linux is faily easy, installing it does require a bit of work which first requires you to download the .ISO file of your choice and then using the Windows CD writer application to write it to a DVD which creates a bootable DVD. Then once created, boot from it which gives you the option to try it first so that you can take it for a test run to see if it suits your needs. And while it’s not my intention to sway you away from what you might be using now, I only want to point out that we do have a choice instead of letting software corporations dictate what we can and cannot use which usually ends up costing us to keep using it. [IDR’s Tech Columnist, Kenneth Herring, is an Independence native with years of experience in various technologies. He served in the technology industry for more than 27 years, having active experience as an IT instructor and computer systems engineer. Have a question for Ken about your computer? Email him at kenstechtalk@ gmail.com.]