Note: I wrote this article an year or two back. For a FOSS blog I contributed to. But I never published this because I wanted others to write too. But I didn’t see much enthusiasm. That’s how community works here. So after a long time I offered this to another local online IT magazine but didn’t have a reply till today (It’s been a long while but can’t complain, it sounds a bit too extreme for a generic IT mag :D ). I know sometimes it sounds outdated. But this is my blog and I haven’t posted for so long. So here we go.
Are you still stuck in windows looking for reasons why you should make the big transition? Well…I think you’d find reasons good enough reading this.
reason 00: Because it’s free
This might not make a sense to you since you can copy windows on a CD which you can buy for 20LKR. But remember that you are stealing someone else’s property. In case of Gnu/Linux, you can download it for free from the internet or you can find a friend or a Gnu/Linux user group which would give you a totally legal copy for few bucks or for zero cost. And remember free doesn’t necessarily mean ‘commercially free’ in free software.
reason 01: Because it’s “install & go”.
Normally a Gnu/Linux distribution installs in 20+ minutes depending on your machines power. Installing the OS means you are ready to go. Because it comes with office software, media players & everything an average user needs. You do not have to install software one by one like you have to do after a windows installation. I didn’t mention that Linux supports plethora of hardware now. You’ll rarely have to worry about a driver or another.
reason 02: Because it’s ‘Headache-ware’ free.
You are so familiar with Viruses, adware, trojans & all those junkware right?. You have to spend valuable time, RAM & processing power in order to stay away from those crap. But at last, once your friend came with a flash drive with some nice music videos or some flashy video files …duh… and the story might begin again if you reinstall windows.
Let’s say you get windows for nearly zero cost. But Santa or ‘avurudu kumaraya’ won’t give you RAM & Processor. Why you want to waste RAM & Processor power for both Junk-ware + anti junkware. (Poor dual cores have to give one core to junk-ware :P )
If you are on Gnu/Linux you don’t have to worry about those things any more & you can *actually use* your computers resources.
reason 03: Because it is pure knowledge.
Believe it or not, Gnu/Linux let’s you learn the real deal behind the technology unlike any proprietary OS/Software. Even if you do not want to jumble yourself with source codes, still you can learn lot of things working on Gnu/Linux. If you are ready to play with codes, since you are free to read & modify the code, you can really learn hell a lot.
reason 04: Because it can amaze your friends (even teachers).
Believe me guys, I have lots of experiences on this. I have amazed people by just copying a file on Gnu/Lnux ;). Now you won’t be able to amaze people like that. But still there are plenty of things which makes average users astonished. Nice graphics, 3D effects with compiz-fusion, emulators & even xnest is still enough to entertain your friend.
I said ‘even teachers’ because my best bud ones did it. Just don’t ask me how :D.
reason 05: Because you have lots of choices.
Gnu/Linux has lots & lots of different flavors (flavors are called distributions, shortly distros). You may have heard of Ubuntu, Fedora/Red hat, Debian, Kubuntu, Mint, Suse, Mandriva, Sabayon, Knoppix, Gentoo & list goes on and on. (You will find a good list on distrowatch.com). You can try different distros & choose what suits you best or use a different distro every month :) or even every week if you are the type.
And if you are not happy with any of those available distros, you can build your own distro too!
Apart from distros, you can switch between plethora of other goodies. Think of the desktop, You can chose between KDE(K Desktop Environment), Gnome, Enlightenment, Xfce, OpenBox & LXDE which are different desktop managers.
reason 06: Because it runs on anywhere.
From a very low powered desktops to ultra fast super computers — Gnu/Linux can handle.
You can install it on iPods, Playstations or any other similar high tech gadget. There are Cameras, Cars, Motorcycles and even radios running Linux. Don’t think the washing machines would survive.
The latest trend is Linux on smartphones. Google rolled out there own Linux based mobile OS, android and Nokia did Maemo on linux. I think it’s safe to say that a new linux gadget comes out every month. And don’t forget that the extremely popular netbooks started off with linux.
With GNU/Linux your old computer is not older enough to be dumped — in Gnu/Linux world. Vista hates your computer? Even XP don’t run smooth? It’s not your computers fault. You can find a Gnu/linux distro which runs well on your old computer without any complains + far better than XP or Vista does. You can spend your money for a new phone, iPod or for precious education.
reason 07: Because you are a hacker wanna be.
Be honest & tell me that you do not want to be a hacker. If you say no, can you explain that gleam in your eyes when you see the topic “Because you are a hacker wanna be”? Every one wants to be a hacker. And you can’t do it if you keep on using windows. Probably you’ll be a script kiddie with window. If you know the real meaning of the word “Hacker” & you really want to be one, you better start using Gnu/Linux. Find some dusty old hacking tuts to find the reason.
reason 08: Because it is the future.
You may have doubts on it. But if you just come out & see, you’ll believe it.
NASA, Google, Yahoo, Majority of Internet servers, Latest Smart phones run Gnu/Linux & there are lots more in the list. Since Gnu/Linux is powerful, free & flexible, every one is moving towards it. A huge, knowledgeable, dedicated community is around it. Big companies invest on it. Day by day it’s growing while others die. It’s the trend today & it definitely is the future.
reason 09: Because you want to get a good job.
Even though most of you do not believe this, I’m sure you are interested in this reason other than all others. Gnu/Linux with free and open source software is gaining the upper hand in the IT industry. And so the job market around it is growing rapidly. If you are Gnu/Linux savvy you might outsmart your opponent in the job market & you’ll get a higher salary too. Good luck you Gnu/Linux users :) …. or people who are willing to be.
This is the best time to make that big change in your life. Happy converting :)