Subtitle: Linux Will Conquer All

The first time I used a computer was back in the late 70’s. My dad used to take me with him to his office if he had to work a few hours on a Saturday (I think to get me out of my mom’s hair). He’d plunk me down in front of one of the terminals, get an ASCII game of 21 going (great entertainment for an 8 year old), and then wander into his office to do whatever the heck it was he had to do.

I can remember those green screen TTY terminals surprisingly well. They were hooked up to a UNIX mainframe that, at the time, was one of the most powerful computers in the city. It didn’t take me long to poke around and find other games, specifically Rogue (which later evolved into uMoria) . I’ve had Rogue or uMoria on every computer I’ve owned since.

Through the 80’s I was strictly a DOS boy. Not really by choice, but mainly because that was the operating system for home computers. UNIX was always, in my mind, for real computers, and real geeks new the ins and outs of them. I even resisted Windows until the mid 90s, because that GUI interface was for wimps.

Eventually I succumbed, migrated to windows, and have kinda been in that mode since. Linux intrigued me, but life had moved on, and I just needed my computer to work. Linux, I knew, was a great up and comer, but it was a hobbiest OS for a very, very long time. I tinkered with different Linux releases off and on, but none of them really cut the mustard. I just didn’t have the time to devote to the ins and outs of Linux.

About 3 years ago, that started to change. I caught on to an up and coming distribution of Linux called Ubuntu. It got me at just the right time. I was, for the first time, financially in a position to have several computers up and running in the house at any one time, so it wasn’t that big a deal to dedicate one of them to a “Hobby” OS.

Fast forward to now, and the picture has changed. 3 years can make all the difference. I have 3 PCs in the house, and one laptop. 2 of the PCs and the Laptop are running Ubuntu, and only 1 PC is running Windows. The Ubuntu Linux machines are all “working” computers – office apps, e-mail, coding, image editing, video and audio editing, and on and on. The Windows machine? Basically, it runs Windows so I can install video games. Really. The only reason I’m hanging on to windows is so I can make sure I can play Call of Duty 4, Rainbow Six Las Vegas, Civ 4, etc.

Why? Because things that are a pain on Windows are a breeze in Linux. Want to share files and drives and printers over your home network? If you’ve got a bunch of Windows machines, good luck with that. It’s a pain. I’ve done it, it’s doable, but don’t tell me it’s easy. Especially if the machines are running slightly different flavour of Windows. With Ubuntu Linux, it’s both simple and intuitive. My Home network is mroe networked now than it ever has been in the past. I’ve set aside a 250Gb drive as the “shared” hard drive, and all the computers at home have access to it, and nothing else. I’ve been able to give away my extra printers, because all my computers now share a common printer.

Sharing devices is uncomplicated on the Windows machine only if it’s hosting the device, otherwise it’s a pain. It never knows where to look. The Linux machines all know how to spot a shared device with the slightest of prompting, and also know how to use it.

And I’m not an uber geek. Really. I’m a half decent hacker, and get more out of my computers than most, but I really don’t have the time or patience to spend “tinkering” just to get something that should be simple, but often isn’t, to work.

I could go on, but I’ve learned from friends and co-workers that really, it just gets annoying when I do. All I can say is, if you have a spare old machine around (a pIII class or better will do), click on the picture below, download, burn, install, and…


Pretty soon, you’ll end up where I am. Windows will be the quirky hobby computer. All your work is going to get done in Linux.


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