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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Linux and you...

Over the past couple years, I've slowly been moving everyone I know towards Linux. I personally started playing with Linux back in 1997, when I bought my first computer - a 166MHz Pentium. I moved over to it full time (Slackware) in 2002, when I was at grad school, and deleted windows 2000 from my computer about a year and a half later, in 2004. That was a pretty big milestone for me, but I haven't looked back.

In 2005, after the n-th round of virus deletions from my father's computer, I moved him to Fedora, and a year later to Ubuntu - and he loves it. We had a few problems in the beginning, mainly with poor network printing support and some strange modem configurations, but subsequent dist-upgrades have all solved those problems.

I converted my girlfriend's computer in 2006, when I thought Ubuntu was finally ready for her, with a clean interface, programs that met all her needs, and NTFS read/write built into the kernel.

The only computer left in the family is my step-mother's computer, which won't be a hard sell after this week. (40+ viruses in windows, and she's been stuck using my father's computer since last monday, so she's learning her way around the Linux desktop, now.)

Still, the greatest shock for me was my girlfriend's comments this afternoon. She went back to her Windows XP partition so that she could convert some movies to an ipod compatible format and discovered that she hates Windows now! Windows is too slow, takes too long to boot up, has too many windows pop up (and that's just XP!)... the list goes on. I think I've infected someone else with the Linux bug. Better yet, she told me I should convince my step-mother to switch to Linux. I wish I could quote her exactly, because she said it quite eloquently:

"At first, I was skeptical, because I didn't want to have to learn anything complicated, but once I found out how easy it was, it was easy to switch."

Linux is truly ready for the desktop. Now, if only I could convince the IT people at work to upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (circa 2003).



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