Only if I could realize how DUMB I was then!
They say, age moulds a man’s brain progressively. And yes, I learned it the hard way, after losing Gigabytes of music, photos and personal documents to a vicious virus attack in mid-2006. Thankfully, I had backed up most of the data, but fate it is, I lost a lion’s share of my documents! Ever since, I’ve been skeptical about Windows. Later that year, I got my first taste of Linux when I joined GEC Barton Hill, which loquaciously promoted Open Source. The shift to RedHat Entreprise Linux, though bumpy proved fine. I was amazed by the sheer scalablity of the O/S: it ran perfectly even on drastically-outphased PII systems! The user interface wasn’t as bad as hear-say. Gradually, I grew more used to GNU/Linux and started contemplating being an active Linux user.
Well-researched articles by the celebrity-blogger pR@tz acted as the final catalyst. After some research on my own, duly assisted (indirectly) by subz3ro I chose Ubuntu and ordered the 8.04 Hardy Hernon disc in late April. The CD arrived by mid-May, and in no time; I became the 473947th GNU/Linux user in the cyberspace! Installation was a breeze and it took me hardly fifteen minutes, even with my run-of-the-mill P4 system with a measly 512 Megabytes of differentially-speeded RAM.
No, I’m don’t intend to diss Windows with this post… Windows still owns more than 90% of the Desktop User’s market with its repertoire of memory-hogging but user friendly O/Ses thanks to aggressive marketing and the first-comer advantage. But I must admit that hardly a week after Ubuntu, I feel extremely elated at the computing experience. Though I had initial hiccups including non-availablity of codecs and Internet connectivity issues, I managed to tide over them with the help of Linux geeks. The feel of the O/S is simply mind-blowing. Gnome almost matches Windows with its user friendly features. And yeah, there was a whole lot of bundled applications; from a bundle of cheeky games to a full-fledged torrent manager! The image editor Gimp actually renders effects that are at par with Photoshop. Of course, there was the latest edition of OpenOffice which has all the flexblity and features of MS Office, minus its memory-hogging ones.
All in all, I actually feel reluctant to use the scroll keys of my keyboard to select Windows in the O/S choice menu while booting my system these days! Ubuntu scores way better in answering my day to day needs like music, movies, internet, and coding. The sluggish drawl of the ever-damned Windows applications was a far by-gone thing. Besides, the ever-essential “anti virus” is now redundant! To top it all, there’s the Free Software Philosophy which reaffirms that I’m not violating any copyright when I download free software from the internet.
So here are five reasons why I think you should embrace GNU/Linux (if you aren’t a Linux buff already) 🙂
1) Linux is fast.
2) It’s reliable and safe, so say good bye to viruses!
3) Distros like Debian are utmost scalable (which means they’ll work even on low-end systems)
4) If you’re a coder, you can tweak Linux to your liking.
5) You’ll end up having more fun than the average Windows user! Of course, you’ll miss those mad-graphics games, and a plethora of apps. But life sans viruses, worms and spyware has its merits, no? 🙂
[This blog post was conceived in a system that uses Ubuntu. Join the Ubuntu community at http://www.ubuntu.com/]