Ubuntu or Windows? Why I switched.

So, as many people know, I’m a Windows Fanboy. Everything you love about your Macs, I love about my Windows. You love that you don’t get viruses (because you naively think you’re immune 😛 ), I too in my computers DON’T get viruses. You say everything is easy to find and do, I too think so with Windows, infact the level of control I have makes it even easier in my opinion. You love that it just works, I love that it does too. You see, when you’re not computer illiterate, everything is so much easier for you, and don’t take for granted the knowledge needed to use a computer. There was once a time when you had to know almost everything about the machine to operate it, and now everyone expects it to be highly “User Friendly”. That’s why most of the world shuns the Linux community, you have to know things to get them to work. Sacrifices must be made, time must be spent, you must actually love what your computer does and not take it for granted if you want it to do everything for you.

I chose to switch from Windows to Ubuntu on my laptop solely because at the time, my laptop was a dead machine. I had broke the power connector, then in a savage rage, decided to start soldering, and de-soldering parts components just because (yea, I can lose my cool sometimes). Well after the dust settled, and I bought a new motherboard and harddrive, I decided I wanted something different. My laptop needed to be my workstation if I want to get a job. I need it to be the same environment as what I’ll be using, mainly a webserver. Sure I could have stuck with the same routine, install Windows, download some environment like XAMPP and just debug as I moved the code, but I was bored. I wanted something new to try. I’ve used Ubuntu alot before in it’s early days, I wasn’t crazy for it because I was more a VisualBasic Programmer than a PHP, but now the times have changed (and I can do VB using MONO 🙂 )  so I chose to give it a whirl once more with alternatives like Fedora, CentOs, and others as a backup choice. Initially I was going to do a dual-boot, but chose to do a VirualMachine instead of Windows ontop of my Ubuntu. And now…I’ll never look back.

There’s not much of a learning curve for the most BASIC user, understand that you’re NOT in Windows, and you should be fine. Learn to use the Terminal (Command Prompt) again and you’ll be even better off. For your basic office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, no need to fret, Ubuntu came with an OpenSource Alternative for FREE! Do you like Firefox or Chrome? Well it comes pre-installed with Firefox and you can easily install Chrome. I chose Chrome because when I associate it with my Gmail, all my old Chrome settings got transferred, including apps. Out of the Box, Ubuntu recognized all devices on my computer (though I’m sure some people have issues with this) and after I installed WINE (an emulator for Windows programs) I was able to run very basic programs that I needed until I found alternatives. As I said, I installed a Virtual Machine (using VirtualBox also for FREE) to install and run Windows for any other Windows-Only development that I needed to get done.

Some things that I like about Ubuntu? Well it has multiple “workplaces” that I can use. Basically think of being able to have multiple monitors that you can switch to. Keep your Project on 1 screen Maximized, a webbrowser maxed on another, and an email/IM client opened up on the third. While you may say just use Alt-Tab to switch between the Windows, I find the workplaces to be better suited for multi-tasking. The computer is also extremely quick to boot up and get going. Almost no time is spent watching some Loading icon go around and around. Like every other computer, I run my computer tightly protected against Viruses, but even so, I dont feel like I need it so much with my install, so I deleted my ClamAV antivirus. Lastly, since I use VPN’s to protect my Identity online, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that I can utilize OpenVPN vpns without the gui client. It’s more integrated. And it shows me an icon when I’m not protected and when I am.

Really, if you haven’t given Ubuntu a try, download the LiveCD, this way you can run it without even installing it. Just download, burn it, and boot up the computer with the CD in the drive and give it a test-run.

Here’s some screenshots.

 

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