December 15, 2002

Commentary: Over Half a Year with Linux: A Success

by Ban_Country_Music -
I have been using Linux for over half a year now. I got SuSE 8 Pro for around $80, around the time it came out. I wiped my hard drive and installed it. When it started up, I was greeted with KDM. I had feared that perhaps KDE would feel now as professional or polished as Windows XP, but to my surprise it was very polished and looked nice. I customized it, and now have a very nice looking desktop, in my opinion.

Since I began using Linux I've gotten more use and functionality out of it then I ever did with Windows. I was surprised when I saw the amount of software available in SuSE 8, and have done things in Linux that I never did in Windows. It was a much better value then Windows.

Plus, if you ever need updates of something extra, just go to SourceForge or RPMfind and fire away. Some people may say that proprietary software is better, but I'd say I've been mostly pleased with the quality of OSS, and if I can do the exact same thing with some $100+ program that I can do for free, I'm most likely going to do it for free.

Another myth I'd like to dispel is the ease of use of the Linux desktop. With a little reading, and some trial-and-error testing, Linux has proven to be very accommodating.

Starting out, YaST2 provided mostly what I needed and a lot extra (in my spare time I've done video editing and 3D rendering, two things I never plan to actually do professionally.) I later started getting my feet wet with RPMs and tarballs.

I started out with KPackage and worked my way so that now compiling software or using rpm is no biggy. If people would just take the time to learn how to do some of the things with Linux, I think they wouldn't find it too hard either.

The one area that I do admuit Linux is lacking in is games. Although, I personally do not find that to be too much of a program since I am a console gamer. For PCs I can get by with PySol and KBounce. After SuSE, I tried Slackware, Red Hat, and FreeBSD, but prefer SuSE, and that is what I still use.

So that is my Linux success story. I'd just like to finish it up by saying that Linux is indeed ready for the desktop. Like I said, I found it easy to use, and feel that with a little reading, average users will be able to navigate Linux swiftly, and use common commands like 'rpm' and be able to compile source. It really isn't that difficult.

I've become a big fan of Linux in the past few months, and I keep learning more and more things that I can do with it. Here is a screenshot of my Linux desktop for anyone who wants to to see: http://www.kde-look.org/content/files/4295-snapsho t.png"

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