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.
And, there is something against Ubuntu, which does’nt really matter if you are not that strict on ‘free software spirit‘.
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