My name is David Burke. I’m 55 years old and have been using Linux on our computers for the past three and a half years. Oh, and the Penguin is the official ‘Linux’ mascot. I really don’t know why!
The purpose of this blog is to inform people about the numerous Free and Open Source computer Operating Systems based on the Linux ‘kernel’ which are available for anyone to download and use to run their desktop computer, laptop, netbook or server. You can boot a computer directly from a Live CD, DVD or USB thumb drive to try out the Operating System, or you can choose to install it as an alternative to using Microsoft Windows or Mac OS; or even install a Linux Distribution alongside Windows and dual-boot into either OS.
Linux (and Unix) based Operating Systems cost nothing to use, and the software that runs on them are Free and Open Source; meaning anyone can have access to their source code and change and improve the applications and OS according to their needs. Linux has been around for a long time, and is used in web servers, smart phones, tablets and many other devices. Linux is generally more secure than Windows, since there are no computer viruses, trojans, worms, etc. that directly effect it. But untill the last few years, ‘Linux’ had a reputation for being difficult to use and rather ‘geek-oriented’. However, today that’s no longer true! Beginning with Ubuntu Linux several years ago, there are now numerous Linux Distros that are specifically made for the average person who wants an Operating System that is easy to use, visually pleasing and where most everything ‘just works’ out of the box.
Because Microsoft has spent many billions of dollars over so many years to promote Windows, most people still don’t even realize that their are other alternatives (beside the Mac) for running your computer; and tons of great software that costs nothing to use! That is gradually changing thanks to companies like Canonical (Ubuntu), Red Hat (Fedora), Novell, Suse and many others; and the tens of thousands of programmers that are part of the world-wide Open Source Community. Unlike closed-source, proprietary software (Apple, Microsoft), anyone with the proper skills can adapt and improve Open Source software, making an innovative environment that is quickly changing to drive new technological development; and bringing improvements and increased user-friendliness to Linux Distros over months instead of years.
Okay; I’m getting too wordy here! I am not a geek (though my wife may beg to differ). It’s fun for me to learn how an OS works to some extent, but this blog is for other computer users like me who want an OS that looks elegant and ‘just works’ without a lot of shenanigans and without spending a fortune! Linux is about bringing computers to the masses; especially the third world and developing nations. ‘Linux’ is really not an Operating System, but the kernel that is the basis of hundreds of different, free, diverse Operating Systems.
Basically all you need to know to begin with is:
> Linux Distros and software cost nothing to use.
> Open Source Software can do pretty much everything Microsoft or Apple software can do, and do it using less resources on older hardware.
> Linux is NOT JUST FOR GEEKS. (Your kids or your parents should have no problem using it!)
> Every Linux Distro (and the Linux community in general) has User Forums and Chat Rooms that can quickly help you with any questions or problems that may arise.
> The Open Source Community is based on cooperation, not competition.
> CHOICE is a Good Thing!
So hopefully this blog can be a part of learning about the wonderful world of Open Source, and the future of computing. I will now step down from my soap box.
Spread the word!