Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why I Linux!

This is my first blog of soon to be many. I need to let you know that I'm a Linux fanatic! I love Linux and I want to be a promoter of Linux. So let me begin with an explanation of what Linux is and why I use it.

Linux is an operating system. An operating system is the environment you use on a computer to run programs. Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system used on computers. Apple's OS X is another well known operating system and there are others. Linux is one as well. Within an operating system you can run your Internet browser to view the web, or run a word processor to type a letter.

Six 1/2 years ago was the first time I realized that there were other operating systems besides those offered by Microsoft and Apple. My life has never been the same.

The reason I use Linux is because I treasure my freedom in every aspect of my life. Linux is free, not just as in, you don't pay a dime for it, but it's free as in freedom. You are not free using Microsoft and Apple. What makes Linux freedom is it's license. Microsoft's and Apple's licenses are restricting. When you buy Windows or OS X you do not own it, you just pay Microsoft and Apple money to use it in the way they dictate it. Meaning you can not share it with anyone, you don't have a right to do so. You are tied to the way they set it up and structure the operating system. If you don't like the way something works or is designed, live with it. You have NO option. Remember you don't own it!

Let's compare this to a car. If you bought a car and it was licensed in a similar way as Microsoft Windows, you would not own it. Yes, you paid a lot of money to rent it essentially. You couldn't fix it up and resell it to make more money on your investment because Microsoft restricted it in their agreement with you. They do this because they feel your improving on their product is taking money away from them. Remember you don't own it. You're stuck with it as is. You can not add a new muffler, rims or decide to make it into a convertible. If you do you're in trouble. Say you don't buy a car to customize it for your own needs, you just use it to get from point 'A' to point 'B', but you've had the car for 10 years now and it's been good to you, so you want to sell it, make a few bucks and buy a new one. Sorry you can't you have to throw it way. You're not allowed to sell it and they encourage you to 'lease' a new car from them again. You can only lease, never buy.

If you're not willing to use a car under these conditions, why use your computer under these conditions?

Linux is freedom because it is open source which means the programming code is available to everyone to view and change. It can be customized to your own needs. Linux provides a community that encourages you to improve upon it, copy it and share it. For a long time I didn't understand this because, I'm not a programmer, I can't change the code of the software. But there are thousands of programmer out there in the world who contribute to Linux who have customized Linux hundreds of ways and I can guarantee you that one fits you. Plus you can contribute in others ways (which I will discuss at another time).

So instead of having to choose a 'one size fits all' operating system, you can find one that fits your needs, tastes, and likes, so it feels as comfortable as a good pair of jeans. is a great resource to 'shop' for the perfect fit.

Before I close, let me say this, Windows is not a bad operating system and maybe it does fit your needs. There are advantages and disadvantages to each operating system mentioned here. The biggest disadvantage for me in using Windows is it's restrictions. Restrictions I never really noticed until I started using Linux. Also, beware Microsoft and those 'geeks' who love it, may tell you things about Linux which are not true. I urge you to find out for yourself the truth.

As for now, I've gone on long enough, more to come, but I hope this helps explain... why I Linux.

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