And here we have the Easy Linux desktop!!

December 30, 2006

A little background.  I am not a MS Windows fan.  I have used MS operating systems since the good ole DOS days.  I enjoyed the control that DOS gave me over the complexity of tasks my job required.  I wasn’t very fond of Windows 3.1, stayed with DOS.  When ’95 came out I purchased a new computer and the wars began.  I enjoyed the GUI (graphical user interface), but I didn’t like the restrictions that MS put on the user.  ’98 was better, but still it had its problems.  I passed up on Windows ME, Windows NT, and 2000.  XP arrived and I thought I was in love.

Around the time XP showed up on my desktop I began to hear about Linux, a free 
operating system that could replace XP. Well, I managed to get Red Hat 7 to dual boot with XP. That’s about it.
Couldn’t get on the NET, couldn’t word process, couldn’t do anything really. But, I did notice the ability to change everything.
This ability to change everything in Linux highlighted one of the biggest annoyances of Windoze. Gates and company had decided what I could and couldn’t do to MY desktop. I began to search the net for ways to change the system…..and found them. I fixed it where my computer never “phoned home”. MS didn’t know anything about me. I have never even owned MS Office. I learned how to lock down XP, turning off nearly all of MS services. I used open source browsers. I used open source office suites. I even changed my “start” button to say “go away” & “touch not”. I learned how to alter nearly everything. I even had free virus protection.

I still suffered my share of viri & spyware (of which any Symantic, Norton, product is the worst). But, that didn’t bother me that much. But, I couldn’t forget about Linux. I kept hovering around Distrowatch and OSnews. I was learning about Linux. I tinkered now and again with Red Hat….booger-ed my system more than once doing it. Windows really doesn’t play very nice with anything else on the computer. I was feeling pretty good about my computing experience until……..

I made some hardware changes in my desktop. I rebooted and my computer demanded new authorization codes. This is when I truly discovered the truth about EULA (end user license agreements). I was aghast. How could they require a new code? Why did they care? I was fortunate. I had the recovery disks from IBM to redo my system completely without engaging MS. But, I thought, what if I didn’t….. They could easily say that I had tried to install on another computer contrary to the EULA, therefore owing them for another copy of XP. No, Alice you don’t own the software. No, on this side of the looking glass you are merely a pawn, chattel, nothing of consequence. That was the day I decided to make the jump.

I have tried a variety of Linux distrobutions: MEPIS, KANOTIX, DSL, Xandros, Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Knoppix, etc. I have made the rounds. I have found them all to work well enough to do the work I needed to do. I have relearned how to program a bit. I have relearned how to take control of the system. I have learned how to secure my system….no viri, no spyware…. It is a different world. I have been Windows free for over a year.

Today, I installed MEPIS 6.06 on my Wife’s computer. She is learning to love Linux. Yes some tweaking may be required of me, or her, mostly me… really only me…..always me….never her (but, that is as it has always been). She enjoys being online without the worry of malware. She is not a geek at all. She is a cook…..a wonderful cook….burrrrrrp. Sorry, got side tracked. But, she is back up and running with an operating system that she is learning. An operating system that didn’t care what computer it was on. An operating system that does all of the things she needs it to do.

Why do we accept the intrusions of companies like MS? Why do we allow them to dictate our habits? You must upgrade!!! What if I don’t want to? DO IT ANY WAY!!! I don’t see the need to constantly change my hardware just because MS decided not to support the crap they produced!!! If you don’t want to support the old systems, turn over the code. Let us do it ourselves. Its kinda like buying a car but not owning the engine. You can do most things….until they decide not to let you any more. Why don’t you own the software? Why do they retain ownership? Doesn’t make sense to me. Even Apple gives true recovery disks. After you buy the system you don’t have to talk to them anymore, if you don’t want to. But not MS. No………Billy Bob…, Gates insists on being involved in your business, private or otherwise.

I think Letterman and company had it right . While I appreciate all that MS has done……oh, yeah….helping everyone to get online easily (not ensuring they knew enough to avoid malware), helping every afford a computer (throwaway machines that are difficult to upgrade and hard to maintain), and ensuring that nearly everyone had someone watching over them (spying is more like it) to ensure they didn’t get into difficulties (or do anything else MS doesn’t agree with).

I enjoy the freedom that Linux gives me. I enjoy the control. I do get frustrated trying to figure out why something doesn’t work or doesn’t work right, but I am man enough to dig in and learn. Learning is good for us (oh yeah, that would be the teacher in me talking). Computing isn’t the scary black box type of thing they would have you believe… least it isn’t around here.


9 Responses to “And here we have the Easy Linux desktop!!”

  1. Keiki-Wahine Says:

    You’re such a geek. 😉

  2. Dave from Dallas Says:

    I also switched to Linux. I find it is easier to mess with than Windows. And much more reliable. Like the youtube link. I haven’t seen that before…HILARIOUS. LMAO!

    btw, the person that said you’re a geek is probably right. But, we geeks must ban together…it’s fun being a geek.

    Enjoy your desktop!
    – Dave

  3. keiki-Wahine Says:

    I’m allowed to say he’s a geek.

  4. alii1959 Says:

    Its funny, now that I’ve been windoze-free, I have OSX on my MacBook along with Linux on my desktops, I find the methodology of Redmond agonizing. I agree with the reliability. I’ve had my systems up for months at a time without any difficulties. Yeah the film from Letterman is a scream.

    I am a Penguinista.

  5. Daniel Says:

    Guten Tag! I was a big Linux fan until I got my Mac. I’ve loved it since I got it. Still, it’s not as new as your girl’s is. Her’s is very nice. I’ve actually done some playing with Kanotix as well. Still, I think I will be investing in a new MacBookPro to help with my web designing like your girls. Enjoyed readinging your last blog. She’s right you are a computer geek.

  6. alii1959 Says:

    Guten Tag…I hope that is good… I am a huge Mac fan too. I use a whole bunch freeware and open source software on my Mac. I have a Black MacBook…best computer I have ever owned. I am amazed at the tight integration between the OS and the hardware. I am working on that with Linux and my desktops…but, I am still learning. My daughter has a MacBook Pro and loves it. She is not so much of a geek, but she is learning to use alternate software too. I cannot believe it took me until this year to get one….so much wasted time.

    Thanks for writing.

  7. Daniel Says:

    I was in class with your daughter.

  8. Keiki-Wahine Says:

    Hi Daniel. Have you realized how messed up their time is??

  9. alii1959 Says:

    See if that fixes the time…. Yes, she told me so. Glad you are here. Hope I’m not too boring.

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