I thought I would post a quick entry today about how I came to be a Linux user and enthusiast. I guess it’s a combination of a couple things.
Historically, what happened was that I was using XP and looking at thumbnails of some pictures in their file navigator. I was looking at about 300 pictures, and I didn’t want to open them all up individually (this was before useful apps like Picasa came around). I just wanted to look at the thumbnails. Except those were too small, so I wanted to make them bigger. I spent about two hours searching online to try to figure out how to make such an adjustment. Eventually, I discovered a Windows “Powertool” that you could install. It seemed like overkill, but it did the job. What bugged me though about it was that obviously it didn’t require a Powertool to adjust image size. It just required a tweak of some bit of code somewhere in the system. That was my tipping point. I decided I couldn’t take the viruses, the expense and the closed product anymore, and promptly decided it was time for a new OS.
So that’s what brought me to Linux. What kept me here is the openness and the philosophy. Sure, at times it’s a bit trickier to get certain things done, but I love the philosophy that if I want a change, I can either make it myself if I am a programmer, or I can file a feature request with the developers. Somebody will read that request, and maybe it will get integrated, if it’s a good enough idea.
I also love the fact that I can download, install and run an excellent email server, and a top-notch web server. For free. Also, no viruses. Ever. Nor any anti-virus software to pay for. And did I mention the whole thing is free?
As for the day to day stuff, I really don’t notice much difference. At work, I use XP, which involves using Firefox, Word, Excel and Outlook (the latter three of which my work paid good money for). At home it’s Firefox, Open Office and Evolution, all of which are very similar to the Microsoft package, only with better compatibility with other programs.
The other thing I really like about my Linux system is the ability to set things up like in the previous tutorial. I did an Internet search for “Linux wake on USB”, and knew exactly how to adjust the system in a matter of moments. That kind of customization is a power you just don’t have in Windows.
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