Which isn't that spectacular considering only I can post here. Joined the new linux.com yesterday and I'm certainly looking forward to see how this effort evolves.
Not much of a blogger really, but will occasionally try to share my experiences using linux while pretending to actually know what I'm talking about, as well as sharing some personal thoughts while pretending that somebody else actually knows what I'm talking about.
It seems to be a trend that's gathering steam. Even though its something that I would never do, I do see it happening around the web. I have gone to check on friends blogs to see what they have been blogging about and find that there aren't any new entries. After a little more investigation I find that they have joined Twitter and have been posting like crazy.
Part of me is cool with it and just goes ahead and follows them so that I can keep informed. The other part of me is sad that I can no longer visit their small part of the world to enjoy more than just 140 characters. I have decided to integrate twitter into my blog with the very wonderful Twittertools plugin. I would encourage any bloggers out there who are finding themselves spending more and more time on twitter, not to abandon their real home because a good blog is eternal and if the past is any indication of the future then who know where Twitter will be two years from now.
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)