So I've been using GNU/Linux for a few years and have (mostly) learned my way around things that come up quite often. I've seen a few reoccurring problems again and again such as "Which Flash plugin should I download?" and "How do I turn off that beep when I shutdown?" I've even walked my girlfriends 14 year old sister through a dpkg-reconfigure of xorg over the phone because the ATI drivers she had were broken. She was an excellent listener and it was a success.
I've learned a lot about different sorts of hardware on laptops (most students at the University have laptops), which drivers work the best, which flash plugin to use and how to remove others, etc.
I've spoken to family and friends about GNU/Linux and why its my OS of choice. I explain how open source works, why its different, and why I use it. I've had quite a few friends want to know more, see it in action, a few have dual-booted, and some even drop Windows altogether.
So far, the reaction has been great. There's a few small problems that friends run in to. For instance, my girlfriend, Brittany's iPod touch still isn't natively supported with Rhythmbox and syncing with her music library. I know there's a way to jailbreak it and sync over wireless over SSH, but I'd like to keep the 'hackiness' down with her hardware in the event something were to go awry. This past Tuesday required a BIOS upgrade on a HP Pavilion dv9700 for a friend because it apparently wasn't giving the correct voltage to the wireless radio switch (rendering his wireless dysfunctional), also the lights on the volume button ceased to function. After the upgrade, Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope installed the restricted drivers from Broadcom and it worked like a charm along with the lights on his volume buttons.
Some of the great points that get people interested is the lack of viruses. The University requires all Windows computers to have Cisco Clean Access Agent installed to verify they have the latest Windows Updates along with Symantec Antivirus and latest updates. This sofware has been quite problem-ridden for a lot of residents and the Resnet Office's solution is a clean install of Windows (hope you had your stuff backed up). *Nix computers accessing the network do not require the software, we only have to provide credentials through our browser. I've seen RAM usage on startup go from 1.33gbs to 128mb on startup between Vista and Ubuntu. They also like the speed compared to their current XP or Vista installs. One particular girl exclaimed, "I used to turn on my computer, dry my hair, and when I came back it would be started up completely. Now I can't even make it to my hair dryer!"
Along with friends, my mom and sister have been able to use and find open source alternatives to the software they had been used to running and have been able to keep compatability with their workplaces. The Gimp is an excellent alternative to Photoshop (let alone the free MS Paint that ships with Windows), OpenOffice.org has them compatable with the latest Microsoft .*x documents, (and even saving to PDF without a $449 install of Adobe Pro), Rhythmbox, Exaile, Banshee for managing their mp3 players, Brasero for audio/data CD/DVD's, etc.
I will be sure to talk to anyone that asks me about GNU/Linux and share my experiences, thoughts, and oppinions. It doesn't take one person to make differences, it has taken the entire community to do what it has done so far, and I would like to be a part of this community and give back more than I have taken.
Goodness gracious, how many blogs can one girl have?! haha. Honestly I'm not sure I could truly count all the blogs I've created over the years. I am presently maintaining a "personal diary" on a diary website, and have just created another two blogs; one to document my adventures living abroad for my family to see how things are going, and another as a more personal blog, where I intend to share more personal stuff and my views on things.
But hey, what's one more, right?! I mean after all, this is Linux.com! ;D
I have nothing useful to say right now though, but I just made this account so I thought I should go ahead and post something.
And wow, sharing a blogosphere (yeah I have no idea what to call it, haha) with Linus Torvalds, talk about exciting! Ok, I sound like a total dope, I know. But Linux is friggin badass amazing, and that's in large part due to him! So I will be fangirl over sharing a blogging world with him. ;D
I guess I ought to have an introduction post here on Linux.com.
I'm a mechanical engineer who loves Linux and has been using it (mostly) full time since 2005. I got started on Ubuntu using Hoary Hedghog and I haven't looked back.
I'm currently running Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (as of March 2009). This is the first Ubuntu pre-release I've tried. It ran well on both my laptop and my desktop.
I've tried out various incantations of Linux on my laptop in the hopes of getting it working with Linux. I tried (in no particular order): Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Zenwalk, Linspire, Freespire,Debian, and PCLinuxOS. I learned how to fix a lot from that laptop; from wireless drivers that just don't work, to graphics cards that act up, to sound issues.
Now, I'm happily running Ubuntu. I prefer Gnome to KDE.
I'm an evangelist for the Flock browser; it's my browser of choice when I have a choice.
Well, that's about it... I like using Ubuntu because it's fun to see what my computer can do under Linux, and to show Windows fans what this old hardware can produce.
I thought I might write a post on my fight to bring Linux to my Windows-oriented colleagues.
About 3 months after I started working where I work now, I got permission to install Linux on my work laptop since we all worked with virtual machines anyway and windows wasn't an actual requirement. So I installed Ubuntu.
Later we switched to a terminal server running on VMware ESXi, which I understand also uses the Linux kernel.
They tried Microsoft Hypervisor first, but it was a big fiasco.
Not long ago I convinced the tech guy to let me write something in PHP (instead of the usual ASP.Net) and run it on a Linux server. He was quite positive about this, since one of our clients has started using Red Hat and he does some system administrative work there, so he tought it'd be useful to use a Red Hat-based distro, which ended up being Fedora 10.
Since then he has gone mad with the Linux disease. He discovered how easy it was to use ISPConfig for managing websites we host, run a DNS server and an FTP server. So He set up another Fedora 10 server as a backup DNS server and later also installed a backup server with OpenFiler, which is based on Cent-OS, so another Red Hat distro.
I frequently have discussions with another colleague of mine and he's a big microsoft fanboy, but soon I will be able to ask him "If Microsoft and Windows are so superior, why do all our servers basically run on Linux now?". Just a little more and we will have more Linux-based servers and perhaps also clients and slowly but surely they will realise the awesomeness of Linux.
To kick off this blog, I would like to start with a general observation about online communities. After all, that's what Linux and OSS help us build, right? Vibrant and active online communities are just one result of open-source thinking.
The backlog of my story reveals that I once dreamed of being a writer. So big was this dream, in fact, that I can pretty much say that for as long as I've had my hands near any variety of writing instrument, I've been "in the middle of" some big breakthrough as a writer: technical, scientific, literary, or otherwise. And for as long as I've been able to go "online," I've sought communities where I can mold and shape the bits of these "breakthroughs" into tangible, manageable bytes.
Excluding the graphing calculators I had through middle and high school, the first real computer that I was able to call my own was an Acer Aspire. It was a gift from a relative. The monitor was thick and heavy and pixelated, and I obtained it during high school, somewhere in between my sophomore and senior years.
My AP English teacher once posed the question to our class: "Do you think that we've reached a sort of creative impasse in our thinking? Have we come to the end of new ideas? Has every great plot already been written? Has every imaginable human struggle already been imagined?"
"No," I answered, firmly. "Definitely not. Technology will change humanity."
And it did. Materializing with the theory of Moore's Law and extending into the fuzzy tail of cloud computing today, there's no doubt that societies have become more advanced and even more capable of advancement.
But back to high school.
Eventually I got a dot-matrix printer so that some assignments could be completed at home. Yet all the while, all I could think about was how much my computer and printer sucked and how the ones at school were so much better. And cooler.
(Granted. The computers were *not* as cool as the Apple Macintosh computers I'd left behind at my high school in Florida when I'd been working as a wee freshman on the yearbook staff.)
But keep in mind, at this point in the story, this is still is a 15 year-old's thinking.
Today I'm 29, and it's almost bizarre to think about how I've been on this planet for *almost* twice as long now. Indeed. When linux.com relaunched and I signed up, happy to have a new place to write and share ideas, I was also very happy to discover that the decidedly nifty prime number of 1979 would be mine here.
(To Be Continued == TBC)
Like everyone else, I'll start this blog with "this is my first blog ever!"
Now, I'm not a complete stranger to Linux, but I'm certainly not a guru. I got my first impression of Linux from my older brother who was using it once, now he's back to Windows. I had seen Linux couple of times, and I was seeing news and so many good things about it and I wanted to try. I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 and it was good.
It was so easy to install compared to Windows XP that I was amazed. It was so easy to install software, it knew everything about all my hardware! I din't have to use anything like those cd:s full of drivers I had stored for a reinstall. It was a dream come true, but I'm not going to admit that I was, or that I'm now such a geek that would dream about some operating system.
I have tried a lot of distributions. I've tried LFS, INX, DSL, *buntu, Elive, OpenGEU, Sidux, Gentoo, SourceMage, Crunchbang, Fedora, Mandriva, Linux Mint and more. I haven't really used those .rpm using distributions too much, with no good excuse.
I haven't been a part of any meaningful development, but I will be developing something someday. I'm studying programming, so it would be a waste if I'd not help everybody after I'll get some actual skills. I think that I want to learn C/C++ and python for starters.
I'm a huge fan of wearable computing. I've been reading a lot about it and I will soon start building one of my own after I have finished the part where I should plan everything. I have also decided to build a distribution for it, using INX-like menu based interface without normal graphical interface. I'm amazed how I can see wearable computing almost dying, when it should be flourishing because everything is so small and powerful today. I can't believe the only mentions about wearables here are from old Linux documentation.
This page seems to be lots of fun.
Document, please for the love of God, why the hell is there admins and I.T. guys out there that still do not document! I mean WTF. Do they realize how much of a pain in the ass it is to arrive at an Enterprise Company and not have any documentation to go off of?
9/10 of all the businesses I have worked for have little to no documentation. Most of the time it's the admin who claims, "why do I need to document,it's in my head." This frustrates me so much!
Most of these business that don't have documentation, ask me to then provide Documentation for them, although it gets old, this actually helps me to learn the infrastructure very quickly.
I'm not going to pretend that I am a guru. I'm not going to pretend I'm much more than a noob.
But I am, at least once, going to pretend that I know how to construct words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs in to blog posts.
So I'm issuing a big hello to the new linux.com community and am impressed at the site from the small amount of time I have spent perusing. Mostly I like the fact that there is a modern styled website that devotes itself to Linux as a whole as opposed to the distro specific groups that are common these days. Of course these distro specific forums and sites have their purpose, and in times past I would be lost with out my trawlings of the Ubuntu and the #! forums.
I hope that linux.com succeeds in becoming a thriving community along side of the more spefic forums and irc that linux enthusists already frequent, and the high number of members since the sites opening 2 days ago seems that it's well on the way.
As far as a getting to know you kind of deal I'll give you a quick rundown on myself, regardless of if you want to read it or not.
I am rather certain that I am male.
I may be 28, though sometimes I feel like im 12, hmmm, maturity is not one of my strong points. :D
I have been using Gnu/Linux (i'm trying to start using that term) since October 21st, 2007 (I remember the date because it was the day I bought my then new pc). And have spent quite a bit of time playing with different distros. Debian/Ubuntu based mainly. Though played with mandriva for a little while, as well as some Fedora releases. At the moment I am running the wonderful Crunchbang Linux 9.04.01, and it truley is a work of art. Great stuff.
Hopefully I'll be able to read a few posts of this site and learn a little more.. I'm trying to get a little more adventurous and am planning to set up a home server soon and am toying with the horribly painful concept of using an old box and trying out a linux from scratch installation, so i can finally work out what the f*** all those config files are :P
Happy FOSS tinkering people.
My first blog on linux.com.
I'm pretty happy that I could register as 'Exodus'. My nickname is always taken by someone. I guess it's my fault for picking such a used nick.
I found it incredibly hard to navigate here (the blog writter). I guess it's not as user friendly as one would hope. But persistence achieved my encounter with the blog writter. They should make a more user friendly quick link though.
I guess it's time to do something useful here, for my next blog attempts I'm sure.
Great web 2.0 elements btw Linux Foundation. And my congratulations.
Now to find how I can write articles, off to that epic voyage haha.