Rod Aldridge, president of the Hamilton PC Computer Club Inc, tells Chris Gardner why his favourite gadget is a computer running Linux Mint.
What's your favourite gadget?
My favourite gadget is my desktop PC running the Linux Mint operating system. I mainly use it for following my interests - discovering what we need to know and do to have a sustainable future, and promoting knowledge and policies to do this. Also for communication, mostly by email, and for listening to music and transferring it to disc (mostly classical CDs and LPs).
Why do you like it so much?
I use Linux because it runs well on my modest (five-year-old) hardware and it is free and easier to manage than the Windows operating system. This is because the system and all the programmes come direct from the system maintainers who continually update the security and features so malicious software [malware] is not a problem if you follow sensible precautions. It has programmes for pretty well everything, including all that I want to do. These and the updates are free, though I have donated to programmes and systems I find useful. I mainly use the Firefox browser with some of its useful extensions, Thunderbird Mail and Libre Office.
What would you change to make it better?
Microsoft Vista on my laptop comes in handy occasionally when I can't open an email attachment or other problems, but I will wait till I get a tablet or smartphone with a touch-screen before trying Windows 8. I wish more hardware was supported by Linux "out of the box". Some hardware makers supply drivers for Windows and Mac, but not for Linux. I had to precisely follow a particular procedure to get my Brother printer to work.
Rod Aldridge will host Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand chief executive, Paul Brislen, at Te Whare O Te Ata, the Fairfield-Chartwell Community House, 60A Sare Crescent, Chartwell in Hamilton. The topic is Telecommunications in New Zealand: Ultrafast broadband, rural broadband initiative and other developments.