With the inaugural “30 Days With” project–Google Docs–behind me, it’s time to start a new journey. Today is June 1, so starting today I will spend the next 30 days immersing myself in Ubuntu Linux.
Let me state from the outset that I won’t necessarily be as immersive this month with Ubuntu Linux as I was working with Google Docs–at least not initially. For one thing, I just spent 30 days working with Google Docs and I am happy to be back with my familiar, comfortable Microsoft Office for getting my writing done. Ubuntu comes with Libre Office installed by default, and I will definitely work with it, but the focus of the “30 Days With” project is the Ubuntu Linux OS itself, not necessarily the entire Linux ecosystem.
When push comes to shove, I still have to write, I still have to be productive, I still have to meet deadlines. If I am busy trying to just understand how to install Ubuntu and feel my way around, I will still need to jump back over to Windows and Microsoft Office to get things done. After a few days of getting my bearings in Ubuntu, though, who knows? Maybe I will end up just staying in Ubuntu and really pushing the envelope.
I have dabbled in Linux before. I used variants of Redhat, but that was eons ago in software development time–like five or six years at least. Ubuntu is commonly touted as the consumer-grade Linux; the Linux that average PC users can switch to if they want an alternative to Microsoft Windows.
Linux loyalists claim many benefits of the open source OS. For one thing, it is free as opposed to paying for upgrades to the latest flagship version of Windows, or having to buy a new PC to get a new version of Windows. Linux is also less demanding on hardware, so legacy systems that would drag running Windows Vista or Windows 7 can still cruise along nicely running Linux. Then there is the security issue. Linux is not invulnerable to attack, but the Linux OS operates on a different security model that offers better protection against common malware attacks.
So, if Linux is all that, and a bag of chips, why does it still have less than one percent market share–less than Apple’s iOS mobile operating system–after being around for more than two decades? If it is free, stable, efficient, elegant, and secure, why doesn’t everybody use it? Well, I guess I will find out, and hopefully–if you follow my journey for the next 30 days–so will you.
I have been an avid, loyal Windows user since Windows 3.0, so I am sure I am in for a bit of a culture shock. Let the games begin!