Monday, April 23, 2007

The New Desktop Experience of Linux in Toronto

Hello folks. Yes I know I SHOULD be doing this on my own site (which is under construction) but wanted to get my observations on Linux as a DESKTOP (as in the old Windows USERS who have little technical knowledge). Yes we all love Linux for development,as web servers, files servers and advanced "geek projects.

I'm on a mission: To show people the wonders and joys of Linux for even "ordinary" users who didn't dedicated themselves to understanding how everything works. Truth be told, I'm a Debian fan. Second Truth be told, I think Ubuntu is one of the better user geared OS distros out there. there is Mandrake but I've had bad experiences with Mandrake in the past. I won't go into OpenSuse because of issues by a friend with the layering used in the Yast tools. Plus the fact that Novell has back stabbed the Linux community by allowing themselves to be bought by Microsoft (and let's be honest, this is EXACTLY what has happened, Novell is now part of MS and whatever MS says, Novell will now do), consequently I avoid it. If you wish to keep MS from locking down your Linux as well as using Novell to attack and try to destroy Linux and the open source movement all together, don't support Novell. Period. They have been a severe disappointment to the Linux and shown a complete lack of consideration and respect for the Linux community including their own Linux customers. Samsung is also doing a MS license deal which of course is an attempt to give substance to an argument when MS knows there is none. (Like SCO who MS helped fund their attack on Linux which backfired) The one thing MS does wells: marketing (+ FUD). The only way to ensure MS doesn't attempt to attack the open source movement, is to pull our support from those who stand behind MS's attempts to destroy it. As my sister always says: Vote with your mind, vote with your heart and vote with your DOLLARS.

Anyway I digress. The real point is to show easy ways of using Linux for Desktop use. Basically I and others who are weary of MS DRM (Hollywood is now MS's customer, not us), Spyware (WGA which is now forced fed through XP, Vista and MS updates so I tell people to turn automatic updates off and do it manually), bluescreens of death, privacy violations (MS can periodically "check" on your files, any files, in Vista) and tight fisted EULA terms can go to Linux for all the desktop needs except, perhaps for some gaming (in which case go get a Nintendo Wii). People willing to try out Linux have an extremely powerful alternative (more powerful than windows actually) with countless tools, all free. My goal is to allow people to move to Linux with more confidence and ease and like many (not all) Desktop version of Linux, all my experiences posted here are free to for people to use and republish (just don't abuse by not giving credit for my work). I've already started one convert from XP (which got false positives constantly gives the "not activated" message). She got so frustrated she asked me to set up Linux for her and she is very happy now. Minor issues which I will address on this blog as I find answers. I'll also be looking at using Linux in Desktop business world as well and give examples of how Linux can be as good as or better in many ways than MS stuff out there.

I'll give as much detail as Linux converts will allow me to post. Technical details obviously, but I need permission to give specific business cases as details about specific industries (if commercial business) could potentially identify people and we all like our privacy. Oh, I am officially giving commercial Linux support to small business in Toronto. If you live in Toronto and want to know how to move to Linux in your business, I'll give a hand. New converts I'll help get started without charge. (as it helps add materials for my blog but feel free to buy a machine from me if you need one as I do have living expenses to pay). Support for existing Linux users I'll have to charge for but I believe in being fair: I do house calls within the GTA. I won't post fees here but let's just say I charge less than most people with significantly less experience than I do and I can charge less for Linux support. Being a software developer I have additional insight into some problems mere network administrators often lack.

The whole point is not so much to get me business (although I don't mind getting it) but to help people feel more confident in making the move to Linux for Desktop use. I believe Linux now has Distros that are truly ready to be desktops OSs for the average user and I want to help give a hand in this exciting era of Information Technology. Let the good times roll!

Oh, I'll be starting with a All-In-One Linux PVR (using MythTV plus a few other tools suggested by colleagues, thanks for your input Alex) using an Antec Fusion Case and a really slick Motherboard (Asus M2NPV-VM with a High Def COMPOSITE interface included, screams PVR folks). (I'm really excited about this).