Why in the hell does this topic become a reoccurring post every handful of months? I'm not opposed to fielding a ranty opinion that will be voted down, shit on or maybe even considered, but do we really have to feed the bear on this?
Maybe I'm just rubbed the wrong way on the justification for the question:
1) OP seriously references Windows 3.1/95/98? When was the last time you used a 'computer'? And we're really entertaining this?
2) OP asked and used the word 'easy'. Well, Linux isn't 'easy', it's a kernel. If you want your experience and interaction with Linux 'easy', then say that. If everything was easy, everyone would be doing it. That just tells me you're lazy; this isn't 1990's like the OS's you referenced FFS, there's PLENTY of OS's to find blog reviews on with about 30 seconds of actual search engine use, or just try anything -- most have a bootable CD or USB
I don't even know what mechanical whatever you want to monitor, control or whatever. But chances are, your environment will be Linux distro agnostic. Maybe you should have just said and explained that part of exactly what you wanted to do in a Linux userland environment, and it wouldn't been such a BSD vs. RPM-based vs. Gentoo vs. Debian-based vs. Inbreeds-of-Debian-based flame-war again.