We live in a bizarre world.
All the love and hype goes either to trash or to pretty/expensive baubles.
If the world is not bending at the altar of Salman Khan (bad stuff), then they’re swooning over the meretricious charms of his beautiful ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai (who can’t act to save her life).
Sadly, jewels like Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak and Irrfan Khan get the middle finger while savages wearing “Being Human” T-Shirts and pretty Miss Worlds with phony smiles and zero acting skills garner all the glory!
Well, no one ever said the world was a fair place!
A similar analogy holds good in the PC universe – If people are not blindly splurging on the latest Windows junk at Best Buy, then they’re cooing over the beautiful but pricey iMacs or MacBooks at the Apple Store (btw, few grasp the BSD Unix underpinnings of the Mac).
Alas, stable, inexpensive, wonderful, secure Linux gets little love.
Sad, but such is life! 🙁
Linux – Not Tough
Unfortunately, I came upon the charms of Linux late, in the autumn of my life.
For long, I was drawn to Windows as it was the sole option available to me. Then I fell under the sway of the Mac and its iOS siblings.
Contrary to popular belief, Linux is not that hard to install or use on a daily basis.
If you ask me, even pea-brains like Rahul Gandhi or Abhishek Bachchan should now be able to use Linux systems. Such has been the advance of Linux on the desktop front (Linux has, of course, always been a Gibraltar on the server side and used everywhere from Google to the SI blog).
No, you don’t have to be a command line guru to use Linux on a daily basis (I’m working on it). There are nice GUIs (graphical user interface) for most Linux distributions to ease the transition from Windows or OS X.
Last year, on a lark I downloaded the Fedora distribution of Linux on an USB stick via my iMac and installed it on an 1994 HP machine running an Athlon processor and with just 1GB of memory (RAM).
Besides Fedora, there are other popular desktop Linux distributions like Ubuntu.
Since it was the first time I was dicking around with Linux,it took me a couple of hours to get it going.
After the initial install, I left the system alone for a few months.
But for the last few weeks I’ve been playing with my Linux system (running Fedora 19 aka Schrodinger’s Cat and the KDE desktop) and am happy to report that there’s been no serious crises.
Although there’re occasional moments of frustration (like getting WiFi to work), the more I use Linux on my decade-old computer the more I’m beginning to love the OS (operating system).
Many Virtues of Linux
1. It’s free with a huge community of developers toiling on it. No need to pay obscene amounts to Apple or Microsoft!
2. Linux is not a resource hog unlike my Windows or Apple machines (my iMac works great only because I have 20GB RAM).
3. Linux has a far lesser chance of getting a virus or other forms of Malware unlike a Windows system (but with the hyperactive NSA, FBI and now the Indian snoops who knows what security holes lurk in Linux).
4. The GUI is good enough. Sure you may not be able to use Apple’s MagicMouse but remember Galileo, Newton and Shakespeare did better work than you schmucks without any kind of mouse. 😉
5. A lot of devices work without issues with Linux. No, You don’t have to search frantically in the wild for device drivers. For instance, my new Dynex wireless mouse installed on my Linux system without any issue.
6. Installing useful software like word processors, spreadsheets, contact managers, image editors etc is fairly simple.
I encourage all readers to give Linux a spin if you haven’t already.
It’s simpler than you think.