For almost a year now I have been using Linux at home.

At work we are a Microsoft shop, having just migrated all the staff’s PC’s from Windows Vista Enterprise over to Windows 7 Enterprise in a huge project called “Rotation” (more about that in another post). The servers are running Windows Server, the switchboard machines are even running Windows!

At home I was using Windows XP (seriously), and to store all my photos, music and videos (to be able to play on any machine in the house) I was running Windows Home Server (need to rebuild it thanks to Seagate and their unreliable hard drives – but more about that in another post).

Anyway, I was strolling around Incredible Connection the one day and passed an advert for a Acer Aspire One Netbook that only ran on a custom version of Linux, for the crazy price of R899.00!

I was a bit hesitant at that price as I have NEVER used Linux, I always wondered what it was like but NEVER used it. Another shopper walked by and said if I was not going to take it he would, as it is an awesome machine to have if you removed the OS and loaded Ubuntu Netbook Edition on it.  Pressed for a decision I took it with the thought that if I did not like it I could always sell it for the same low price to someone that may find it helpful.

At home, I did a Google search for Ubuntu Netbook Edition and found a few screen shots and where to download it from.

The interface looked clean and user friendly, it came with a whole bunch of apps preloaded so I clicked the download button. I then installed it on the machine. For a netbook  with only 512Mb of RAM and 2Gb SSD it was a perfect little device to surf while in bed or edit a quick document or two.  Plugging in the 3G modem it immediately detected and I was on the internet in seconds.  I started to think that Linux was not that scary after all!

A friend of my wife was in the market for a “cheap” PC to “only surf the internet” and “occasionally type a document or two”.  I said I would got back to Incredible Connection and see if they had any more Acer Aspire One’s.

I went to the first Incredible Connection, sorry no Linux one’s only Windows one’s that cost R2999.00.  Went to the next Incredible, same story.  When at the forth Incredible Connection I got to had the same story I asked the sales person why they were no longer selling the Linux one. He said to me that Microsoft had instructed their head office to stop selling it or else…

That got me thinking…why would Microsoft (whose products I used and loved) would feel threatened enough to prevent a chain store selling a Linux machine.  Thoughts of Microsoft being in the news about their anti-trust law suits and slashdot articles of uncompetitive behavior and tactics in certain countries came to mind…

I then thought about what I actually use my home PC for:  surfing the web, some website designing, editing of graphics, the occasional document or two and the fact that I did not use it for gaming (I have a PSP, DS, PS2, PS3, Xbox for that) also meant that I would not miss much that if I converted over to Linux…

I was nervous to make the change, so I built up another PC which I installed Ubuntu 8.10 on; while leaving my Windows home PC safe in the corner of my study.  I decided that the only way that I could really learn to use Linux and see if it was for me (and see what made Microsoft so nervous) was to force myself to use it NO MATTER WHAT at home.  Like I said it has almost been a year now, and I still consider myself very much a newbie but I am really enjoying using Linux (have since upgraded all the way to Ubuntu 10.04) and although I have not switched my old Windows home PC on for about 8 months now, I think maybe it is time for me to remove Windows and set it up for another purpose.  In case you wondering I still have my Windows Home Server, but I need to rebuild it thanks to Seagate…so not powered it on also for about 3 months now…

In closing I would just like to thank Microsoft for being so paranoid about Linux that they have made me see that Linux is really not that bad…  Go ahead, try it, it might just surprise you…

MadMike posted at 2011-1-8 Category: Linux

Leave a Reply

(Ctrl + Enter)