The other important change is our new(er) public computer. The old one is awaiting reassignment to some new job. The new computer, nicknamed “Dusty” because it hadn’t been cleaned inside since it was a puppy, is better and faster. It has an operating system that is not familiar to most of our visitors. Debian, one of the most widely used members of the Linux family of operating systems, is very different from Microsoft Windows. But then, there are also great differences between versions of Windows!
The old computer had Windows XP as its operating system. That was a problem, since XP is being abandoned by Microsoft. Eventually, there would be no updates or new software available for it. Things are always changing, including the Internet. In a few years, we might not have a web browser capable of loading many websites, or accessing some email. Debian will continue to update and improve for as long as we want to use it. Besides that, Linux systems are more secure than Windows — and less likely to be attacked. Windows is a favorite target because it is so widely used as well as being more vulnerable.
Despite all the differences, Debian is just as convenient as Windows for everyday use. If all you want to do is play on Facebook, check your email, or search the Internet for information, you won’t notice any difference at all. If you open or create and save documents, or play music or movies, you will see unfamiliar programs, but they perform the same functions.
So don’t be afraid to test-drive the new system. The web browser has the same familiar homepage, with its handy links. There’s a nice Solitaire game (and more games, if you care to explore the “applications” menu at the upper left corner of the screen).