Some people’s experience of technology is “FaceTube”, that is Facebook and YouTube. Linux, Shmninux, what the hell do I need Linux for ?
Pretty much where I’ve been with Linux since it all started a couple of decades ago – give me a pretty screen and no arcane command line coding any day of the week 😀
Plus if I’m honest, I thought Microsoft Windows and perhaps Apple OSX were better than Linux because of their commercial support.
Life has a way of making us eat humble pie, and that’s exactly what I’m eating right now. Linux I feel has come of age, and now is SUPERIOR to what Microsoft or Apple can/do/will offer.
What “got me started” with Linux recently was my desire to convert my virtually useless Seagate GoFlex Net into something useful, essentially a NAS (Network Attached Storage). I blogged about it – “Build your own Pro NAS – Seagate Goflex Net with Debian Linux, RAID1 and OpenMediaVault”. The main thing that came out of getting hardcore into it was a new found proficiency with Linux and embedded computer hardware.
Linux is/was based on Unix, the operating system of choice for people who want to do more than FaceTube with their equipment – ie geeks, professionals, commerce/enterprise and people with a little more ambition than reading or generating intelligent spam. Apple OSX from what I understand is based on BSD (Berkley Standard Distribution) which is also a variant of Unix.
Microsoft’s offering of Windows 8 was an utter farce. It seems they’d like to force us into using touch-screens or that they want to penetrate that market. All at the expense of removing my start button, and replacing it with a bunch of flat-design icons which I can’t stand, YUK. Personally I don’t want to use a touch screen for my writing or my work, it’s OK for my iPad and iPhone, but nothing really exists as yet that replaces the good old fashioned keyboard. I blogged humorously about it – “Windows 8 is … Crap, Rubbish, Awful, Terrible, Horrible, Slow, A Disaster, A Flop?” last year.
I also understand that most enterprise (big/huge business) has held off on “upgrading” to Windows 8, in favour of keeping Windows 7. Windows 7 I have to admit is good and I still use it, but Microsoft can’t continue to rest on their laurels forever, they need a real ace in “Windows 10” or they’ll go the same way as IBM a few decades ago, that is bankrupt. It’s really sad that Microsoft has become a wannbe-Apple or wannbe-Samsung … still that’s life, change happens …
Those who’re more FaceTube inclined and have the money and like the “nannyfied” experience will probably stick with Apple OSX. Some people (like me in days passed) don’t want to be knee-deep in command line stuff in order to do simple things. I used to go for the nannyfied too, but less and less these days.
Linux isn’t far behind on nannyfied user experiences – Ubuntu has commercial backing, and their offerings probably a bit too nannyfied for my tastes, so I prefer what Ubuntu is based on, Debian linux.
Side Note – My “Charisma Geek” graphic has on it kernel code from the current Debian 3.16 kernel layered onto the sky, to produce the effect of the geek-beach-dude imagining his next project whilst chilling on the beach. Also the spiral tattoo is the Debian logo.
WHY Linux ?
Linux is FREE in most cases for most ordinary human beings like you and I. It’s long been argued whether operating systems should cost money, and I think the free operating system has probably come of age right now.
Linux is OPEN SOURCE. This means anyone can customise their computer and it’s experience EXACTLY how they want it. Computing YOUR WAY, not Apple’s or Microsoft’s.
Linux has COMMERCIAL BACKING now and is a used by individuals and businesses for SERIOUS endeavours in real PRODUCTION environments. In layman’s terms what I mean is banks, commerce, insurance, internet you name it, they’re ALL using it day-in day-out. You may even own devices that run on Linux, unaware that it’s there. For instance my Seagate Satellite wifi hard drive runs embedded Linux, which I wouldn’t have know if I hadn’t have researched.
Linux has APPLICATIONS/APPS for most purposes. These apps are already out there and virtually are free. For instance Photoshop in the Linux world is called “GIMP”. GIMP has a community and does most things that you’d want to do with Photoshop. There’s also Open Office and Libre Office as replacements for Microsoft Office. And of course EVERY major internet browser runs on Linux, so FaceTube away to your heart’s content 😀
Linux runs on a bewildering array of HARDWARE platforms. It’s one of the things that impressed me the most – I can run the same Debian Linux on my desktop, my laptop, my raspberry PI (if I had one), my router (well OpenWRT is probably better for that, and that’s, erm, based on Linux). It just utterly mind-blowing how adaptable !
Linux is more RELIABLE right now than I’ve ever seen it in the past. These days I’m finding after installing it, the bugs of yore just aren’t there anymore. And I’m seeing MANY more peripheral devices like USB wifi dongles supported, and working straight off the bat.
Linux is ADAPTABLE. I can run Linux on a pocket size device which has a very small CPU, disk and memory – OpenWRT is great for this virtually runs on fresh air. I can also run Linux as a server on a powerful machine with resources dedicated to processing, mass-storage etc. And then I can also run Linux on my desktop and laptop, with a user experience OF MY CHOICE – Debian has at least 4 that I’m aware of. There’s also something called XBMC which is essentially a media player, of a very high quality, based again on Linux.
So overall I’m pretty damn impressed with Linux at the moment, and still discovering more things I like about it daily.
SO, BOTTOM LINE, with all these advantages, how can I continue to justify forking out chunks of money to Apple and Microsoft for something that’s probably not better than Linux ?
Well, I can’t. Microsoft will need to pull an ace out of the hat with Windows 10. Apple, well, I love my iPhone and iPad, but never been all that impressed with OSX, their laptop and desktop operating system – yes it’s OK, but nothing I particularly like, and with the price tag, well, it’s a no from me. Plus I HATE the hardware restriction to Apple only hardware. Yes it’s possible to Hackintosh it, but why bother when Linux is better anyway ?
The curved ball in all of this is the cutting edge that’s happening right now with the touch screen/handheld devices. Things like the Andriod operating system ARE huge for non-Apple people. I think it’ll depend on where the Chinese push this technology, as let’s face it they lead these days. HOWEVER, I can’t see Linux disappearing as a consequence, more likely I feel is that Linux will be part of it. Possibly the NEXT handheld/touch-screen operating system could be Linux based …
For beginners I’d recommend Ubuntu Linux, that’s where I started. Because of my love for customising things, and generally doing things how I want, I’ve progressed to Debian, which is better in my opinion. I also highly recommend having a look at OpenWRT if you want to do pretty much anything with routers and networking.
So … a break from the norm of lightly buttered intelligent-spam … *grins, tongue firmly in cheek* … seriously though, Linux I’ve been super impressed with all my recent experiences. And I’d highly recommend looking into it if you’re NOT SATISFIED with the rubbish Apple and Microsoft seem to think it’s possible to still charge money for. Although, I will definitely miss Windows 7, she’s been a solid ship to sail the technology seas in for quite some time, but every great lady has her day … change happens …
My only regret is, I wish I’d taken Linux more seriously earlier – my learning curve would have been perhaps gentler, and I’d be further ahead now …
Still, “anything IS possible with Charisma” …
Resources And Sources
Ubuntu and Canonical are registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd. The Debian trademarks are registered to Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
DonCharisma.org and DonCharisma.com are not in any way affiliated with Canonical Ltd OR Software in the Public Interest, Inc. We do not endorse Ubuntu, Debian, or their respective communities, Canonical Ltd or Software in the Public Interest, Inc., nor do they endorse us. We are not part of the Debian or Ubuntu projects.
The Debian wallpaper is from Debian “Jessie”, the next release of Debian – Debian 8. The Ubuntu wallpaper is from 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”, their current release.
MANY THANKS to Pixabay for the photo we used in the “Charisma Geek” graphic.