Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Why Linux?

1) As a programmer and education enthusiast, I believe in the open-source movement. I strongly believe we need to push our society towards a symbiotic society (as opposed to a "let's see how we can mentally mess with these people and make them spend money they can't afford" society). This is actually a huge issue for me. I really don't like the direction society is going in. Society should be communal, helpful, and open. It should be (positive) education-centric. Our current society does not stress this.

At risk of sounding hokey, I would like to see a "Star-Trek" society. Open and free education, people who work at their jobs because they enjoyed learning their field.

2) My first experience with the Internet was in 1995. Over the last eleven years, I've seen the experience turn ugly. "In the olden days", you plugged in the line, it worked. These days, you need (in addition):
- a good firewall (not every one will cut it), and learning how to use it properly
- the other crappy firewall because OS updates don't work well without it
- a good web browser with fewer (bad) ties to the OS; one that you can customize (to protect yourself better - think cookie, certificate, and password handling)
- finding numerous browser add-ons that prevent web sites from hijacking your browser
- a registry checker to keep tabs on other baddies that got past all of the above

Wow, I know what I'm doing on a computer and I'm frustrated and slightly overwhelmed by all of this. I couldn't imagine the paranoia and stress all you normal folk go through /*insert dorky smiley face here*/.

I'm not so stupid as to assert viruses and other problems can not happen with Linux. However, the beauty of Linux is that community enforces itself. Linux developers don't have the same pressures and obstacles non-open source developers do. Linux developers don't need to cover their butts if they do something stupid - they just fix it. Linux developers don't encounter the same office politics when solving a problem. Open source development also gives more open collaboration.

Linux developers develop because they want to, not because they have to. Isn't that nice?

Linux developers who feel they need to evil and put evil junk maliciously on your system promptly get smacked upside the head by the rest of the community. The problem gets solved immediately.

I want an OS and developers I can rely on.

3) The issues go beyond just the OS. I feel this way about other computer applications too.

4) I'm a Computer Scientist. Linux is probably something I should know a little about (even if I picked the "easy" version).

5) I'm really frugal. (From where I'm from, that's a good thing.)

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