Who is afraid of Linux?

Imagine switching on your laptop in the midst of your friends and UBUNTU boots up, it confers an immediate geekiness status on you. What can be more cool?! You can even use it to score a point or two with dem babes. Some fantasy ehn?

The first time I tried my hands on Linux was way back in the late 1990’s and it was not a pleasant experience,can’t even remember the name of the Linux distribution i tried. One major contributor to this negative experience was the fact that there was no Graphical User Interface (GUI) to explore with like you have with Microsoft Windows, it utilised a text mode interface,called Command Line Interface (CLI). Those familiar with MSDOS or GWBASIC (my,my,my) would understand.

Linux is FREE and it is instrumental to the rise and increasing relevance of the OPEN SOURCE community, the source code or programme is available to anyone to use and modify without restriction giving rise to the about 500 variants or better put, distributions, of Linux we have in circulation today. All you need is fast internet service to download files that can range from about 50MB to over 4GB.

Linux has evolved so much over the years but the CLI is still as boring and difficult as it looks but you really do not have to use it. A lot of people don’t even realize that the almighty and all popular Windows has its own Command Line Interface too and which is equally boring but you don’t have to use it. However, i must mention that the CLI is regarded as being more powerful and efficient than the graphical interface.

For ease of use and easy transition from Windows, three distributions of Linux are usually recommended; Ubuntu, Mandriva and Linux Mint. My personal recommendation is Linux Mint because its development is based on Ubuntu, which is about the most popular distribution, and it has full support for video and music files straight out of the box, which is lacking in Ubuntu. Also, it is about the most user friendly.

With this distribution, you can achieve all you do on your Microsoft Windows system and probably much more.

For those who are ready to test the waters, we are offering FREE LINUX MINT 9, MANDRIVA 2010.1 or UBUNTU 10.04 DVDs to the first 5 (FIVE) people that signify their interest through the comment box. We are also offering additional 5 (FIVE) DVDs to the first 5 GEEKS who are interested in any of the following not-for-the-faint-hearted distributions; UBUNTU 10.04 SERVER EDITION, OPEN SOLARIS 2009.06, SUSE LINUX ENTERPRISE SERVER 11.

Postage is restricted to NIPOST mail boxes within Nigeria and it is free. Alternatively, we can agree at a collection point for those that live within our Lekki-Ajah axis office in Lagos.

21 thoughts on “Who is afraid of Linux?

  1. I have been hearing a lot of things about the Linux, do u prefer it to windows?

    I heard the way it operates is close to the apple computers.
    Secondly, will partioning my hard drive with Linux and windows be a good idea.

    Thanks.

  2. Often, when you hear the word 'Linux', you are likely to also the word 'variant'.

    Now, while variety spices up the world, it also confuses and complicates it!

    When an OS has variants (by virtue of its being 'open- source'), it means that a particular application will likely not run on all the variants.
    As a software developer for that polymorphic OS, what strategy can be adopted to solve this problem? Would I not be better off sticking to developping for a 'closed source' OS?

    I understand that, at the smartphone/superphone arena, the Maemo/ MeeGo OS (which will henceforth power Nokia SuperFones like there Nokia N900) is 'Lunux based'.

    Does this mean that portable applications written for Linux – will be able to run on such Maemo phones (with flash-on-the-go ability)? See http://www.hacktolive.org..

    If this is so, if this is so – then MANY people need to be truly afraiI of Linux, and I am purchasing the Nokia N8 once it comes out…

  3. Slam Dunk, thanks for stopping by.

    A detailed answer to your questions would be long and boring but i will start by confirming that yes, both Apple Mac and Linux have the UNIX Operating System as their root.

    The fact remains that most of us are stuck with Windows for years to come, not because it is the best, but because it has the most widespread usage. That said, my choice of the 3 operating systems would be based on the following considerations; Ease of use, Hardware Compability, Proprietary restrictions, reliability and end user skills

    RESULTS : Apple Mac, Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows

    But since most of us dont have the over $2000 required to have a feel of the Mac that we can simulate to a large extent elsewhere, i'll suggest you experiment with Linux first before taking a decision.

    My next write-up, hopefully, would fully address your question on partitioning and installation of Linux on your computer.

  4. eyebeekay, welcome back. I had sent the last post before i saw yours.

    Like i mentioned in my post, there are over 500 Linux distributions, 600 will be more like it but you will notice that they all have a general categorisation, they are all based on some major distributions or package management system. Check out this link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distri

    I could count only 5 or so categorisation. Like i mentioned in my post, most of them try to ride on the success of others; Ubuntu on Debian, Linux Mint on Ubuntu.

  5. @ eyebeekay

    I must confess i did not know much about N900 until i saw the post on mobilitynigeria.com, i would be cautious with my expectations from these guys about how much they will allow we mere mortals to fiddle with their gadgets. I expect to see a lot of proprietary restrictions on future Nokia phones.

  6. @Wale

    Would you consider software availability in your criteria of choice of OS. I don't know much about Mac OS based softwares. Are they as ubiquitous as Windows OS based softwares?

    In terms of sleekness, Apple laptops are a beauty to behold. Steve Jobs must have some whizz kids in his product design team. Most of Apple's products are just really cool…

  7. @apex

    Would have replied sooner, i had to check up the word UBIQUITOUS.

    Yes, Apple products are a beauty to behold but the price tag would likely wake you out of your riverie (lol).

    Mac softwares are available but, of course, you may find less of it compared to Linux or Windows. You wouldnt find much of it in Otigba either.

  8. @apex, you said, 'Would you consider
    software availability in your
    criteria of choice of OS. I
    don’t know much about Mac
    OS based softwares. Are
    they as ubiquitous as
    Windows OS based
    softwares?'

    I could not have asked that question better myself. in the smartphone world, you see a proliferation of mobile OSes. almost every major manufacturer has, or is planning to have – its own operating system!

    now, a computing system is only as useful as the variety and quality of applications available for/on it. of what use is my Dcs player without enough dcs titles to play on it?

    I keep referring to smart/super-phones – Because that seems to be where the future headed.

    if I were to buy a new smartphone today, I will definitely carefully consider what OS it (can) runs, the future viability of that OS, and most importantly, the kind and variety of Useful applications available on that platform.

    that is why i would hesitate to pick, say, a Samsung superphone running Bada OS -with close to no apps available on/for that new shiny OS.

    but then, it is a chicken n egg problem. just like –
    …you can not get employed without experience. how do I get the experience if I do not get the job..?…

  9. @apex, you said, 'Would you consider
    software availability in your
    criteria of choice of OS. I
    don’t know much about Mac
    OS based softwares. Are
    they as ubiquitous as
    Windows OS based
    softwares?'

    I could not have asked that question better myself. in the smartphone world, you see a proliferation of mobile OSes. almost every major manufacturer has, or is planning to have – its own operating system!

    now, a computing system is only as useful as the variety and quality of applications available for/on it. of what use is my Dcs player without enough dcs titles to play on it?

    I keep referring to smart/super-phones – Because that seems to be where the future headed.

    if I were to buy a new smartphone today, I will definitely carefully consider what OS it (can) runs, the future viability of that OS, and most importantly, the kind and variety of Useful applications available on that platform.

    that is why i would hesitate to pick, say, a Samsung superphone running Bada OS -with close to no apps available on/for that new shiny OS.

    but then, it is a chicken n egg problem. just like –
    …you can not get employed without experience. how do I get the experience if I do not get the job..?…

    by the way, when paying from my phone, there no way for me to confirm when my phone has been accepted. gybe only way its for me to submit my post about 20 times.. lol..

  10. Well said eyebeekay.

    But softwares for some of these proprietary OSes like that of the Iphone/ Ipod touch are doing very well. What do you think determine the popularity of these OSes. A classic case of failure is not even the Bada OS, have you forgotten UIQ3 from Nokia?

  11. have you forgotten UIQ3 from Nokia?

    That was from Sony Ericsson, not Nokia 😉

    Have you still got any of those DVDs available? I played with 2 or 3 years back, but abandoned ship when serious work showed up. I am willing to explore what progress has been made with Linux since then

    1. Yeah, Sony Ericsson, my bad. Rather unfortunate, the company seems lost in the crowd now. Remembered that i once shelled out N78k for a P990! What was i thinking?!

      Yeah i do have the DVDs. I will send a mail to your mailbox now so you can send me ur P.O.box. and the distribution you want.

  12. @EyeBeeKay N900 runs an OS called maemo which is based on Debian Linux (same as ubuntu) for UI it uses gtk (the gnome -Ubuntu user interface) toolkit and Clutter for fancy animations. Technically applications built for Debian (arm version not the i386) should run on maemo more or less. however such applications might look out of place on the N900 UI which is touch based hence the app UI would have to be reworked to the maemo UI so as to enhance user experience. This does not mean that normal apps wont run. There just wont be too finger friendly. example of apps which have been ported over to the N900 include

    pidgin, tomboy, xchat,fbreader,abiword etc. you can find out more about maemo on http://www.maemo.org
    Moving foward Nokia has decided to merge maemo with moblin (intel os for netbooks) to form what is called meego. Meego would still be based on Linux but would be using rpm instead of debs and the UI would not be based on Qt (Kde's toolkit)

  13. bigbrovar, thanks for stopping by.

    I am really looking forward to the launch of the first MEEGO device but one thing that i still am not certain about is the level of proprietary restriction that would be placed on such devices. How easy would it be to use cooked ROMS on them?

    By the way, i took a peek at your site and i believe you are deep into Linux? Any tutorials you would like to share? Nothing deep as most people around are still trying to grapple with the fact that there is still a whole world out there outside microsoft.

  14. @Wale I also have such concerns as regards to restrictions. even android based phones such as the Droid X which was just recently by motorola comes with a custom rom which has to be taken through a process similar to iphone jailbreaking before you can access the root shell. Nokia doesnt have a record of restricting its devices but since MEEGO is opensource, i believe it will be freely available to other manufactirers just like Andriod is and they might also end up restricting the platform which will be very unfortunate.

    1. Is this the same Ajadi or should i still expect another? Yes, o, i still get Linux Mint. How many cartons? I must warn, though, that i've been having issues with our postal system, causing unnecessary delays. Send your postal details through the contact form for privacy

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