At last an Orkut-free post. As per the request of ‘Madhavan sir‘ I thought of posting something related to Linux. So, when I speak about Linux, don’t think that I am a Linux geek. I am a free software enthusiast, and had worked with Linux many times in the past. But, still I don’t think I deserve the name ‘geek‘.
I started my Linux days with Red Hat 9, the first install lead to full formatting of my hard disc. The next time onwards, I was very cautious about it. So, in from then on I used to partition my hard disc manually from windows, using partition magic, or you can even use freewares listed in this page. The interface, I liked very much, though it gave me lot of ‘shocks‘ like,
- I was’nt able to play my mp3 files.
- I was’nt able to execute .exe files (this was back in 2004).
- I was’nt able to install any games.
So, I was just going through all the menus, checking all the games and other softwares there. After, some days, I formatted everything and reverted back to Windows. But, after that I have also tried Suse, Knoppix, some could play my mp3 but was wondering why I can’t install any software. Sometime later, from one my juniors, ‘lightX’, as he is famously known, I came to know that you can’t execute exe files normally, but using Windows emulators like wine which even allows you to install and play games like half-life (Read more here). And, again I started becoming a fan of Linux.
It was then I started using CAD softwares like I-deas, ANSYS and all, as a part of my coursework. Very unfortunately, I was again forced to depend on Windows. That was a tragic end to my honemoon with Linux.
Later, I found that there are free CAD softwares, specially made for Linux. But, it was too late, I did’nt had any installation CDs, and was packing bags for my Hyderabad life. Also, because I lost much of my interest in design field, I did’nt want to waste my time in researching and studying free CAD alternatives.
Before leaving to Hyderabad, I got my free Ubuntu CDs, but I could’nt install for obvious reasons. One year passed, I came back from Hyderabad and now Ubuntu released their latest version, Feisty Fawn. I got the CDs, and was ready to give a try. Unlike my first attempt, I created an ext3 partition from Windows, and booted from the CD, installed succesfully.
Still, the mp3 problem worried me, and for 2-3 days I was listening to ‘Agar tum kaho‘ from the movie ‘Lakshya‘, which was the only .ogg (OggVorbis) file I had in my system. I did a search on net, as a proud owner of 2 Mbps broadband connection, I managed to find a solution to the problem very quickly. I downloaded Automatix, and the installation of required files were done without much effort from side.
One month later, in a mishap I lost my ethernet card, which forced me to use PPPoE via USB. Very unfortunately, Ubuntu did’nt support it well, and I did’nt had the tech-know-how to solve this. And, again someone advised me that Suse will help you in connecting to net, I managed to get the DVD (its still with me for last 2 months), from my fellow moderator at Kollam/Quilon community at Orkut. Alas! Suse did’nt help. Lastly, I got the Fedora CDs ‘imported‘ from Singapore (ahem! from my friend Anand). Installed it, had huge expectations, but all in vain. I still uses PPPoE via USB, and I don’t want to invest Rs.200 for a new ethernet adapter. Hence, I reverted back to Windows XP SP2, and now evangelises the cyber-youth to dump Windows and walk with Linux!!!!
From my experiences with Linux let me tell you a few things,
- Linux may not be as user-friendly as Windows, but for sure its not idiot-friendly (Courtesy to one of my friends who told this story that happened during his training, I forgot his name).
- You can do almost all things in a Linux system, even more than that, a Windows system can do. Check this link, which tells you ‘Why Linux is BETTER?‘.
- ‘LINUX ONLY WORLD’ is a fact, even if you say it is not, and time is going to prove it.
- Convert all mp3 files to Ogg Vorbis and show your support to free software philosophy.
- ‘Even’ in your Windows system, there are many free alternatives available. Check this link to know more. Pirating is really bad when you have free softwares available doing a better job than the proprietary ones.
So, if you feel like asking ‘hey, I feel like trying Linux, which is the best distro’. I am no one to judge the best distro award, but if you are new to Linux, the best one for you, is Ubuntu. Check this link for a list of tips to make your life with Ubuntu peaceful, free of troubles.