Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stepping into the box outside the box

Decisions are the motor force for a life rich with fulfillment. Life without choice stagnates and degrades into a stalemate between our dreams and our fears. A single decision can be the turning point where a lifetime wrought with loss and pain can lead a new path toward great wealth in happiness. To follow a prefabricated design for your life like a mindless drone as you embrace a false sense of security, or to cast all caution to the wind seeking the more adventurous alternative of defining your own path, defying the conventional truths the world has unconsciously subscribed to, can all be dependent on a single moment of choice.

Most choices aren't at all so grave, but I had reached a turning point and though I hadn't come to fully understand all present possibilities, I at least understood that to remain where I was wasn't an option. Windows had become too unstable and it was getting increasingly difficult to have any work done. It's a mystery inherent to the windows operating system. It will slow down over time regardless of how much you work against it's inevitability.

But what other alternatives did I have on hand? All salvaging options had been exhausted: mc afee, northon, avast, spybot, malwarebytes, etc.. Defrag and registry cleaning had become all but null. It was obvious, I had to remove myself from the issue entirely. I had to either buy a new system or replace my operating system. The later seemed more economical. After looking at the price tag on the many different versions of the same OS software however, I realized a fresh install of windows seven would cost me almost as much as a new cheap notebook would, and it'd be even more restrictive than my current version already was. Besides, the new version inevitably inherits many of the old one's flaws while creating some problems of it's own. Plus, I didn't have enough money in any case. One of the many free operating systems had to be the answer.

Free software ranks high on my favorite things list. Most free software is great in my experience, but I have been very careful. There are indeed some very bad apples out there, you've been warned. But free software for word processing and spreadsheets is one thing, a whole operating system for free is another. Can they really be equal in quality and functionality to some of the other GNU jewels I had grown so dependent on? It's something I had been considering for several years past, but it never reached critical status on the list of things that I should be moved from the back of my head to the front. However, if invention's mother is necessity, then choice is most certainly it's sibling.

Among contenders like freebsd and solaris, linux quickly climbed to victory, but as I tried to go deeper and understand linux a bit better, I'm confronted by the realization that linux isn't an OS specifically, rather linux is more like a really good foundation upon which many great operating systems are built.

So choice leads inexorably to choice. Would you prefer mint or cinnamon? Linux comes in many OS flavors, even the kernel itself has different ones! So when I finally decide linux is the one, is when I have to again ask, which linux? A question that boils all my previous ramblings in this post down to a single word: Ubuntu.

The solution to my great conundrum had been answered, but I suppose as you're reading this, the logical question you must be asking yourself at this time would be the the good old why? Simple, the main reason being that its one of the easiest linux “distributions” to transition to for long time windows users like myself. More secondary reasons would be perhaps, how sleek and sexy I found the working environment to be or how quick and lightweight all the interactions with the system seemed. Other reasons arose as I actually started playing around with the OS, as ubuntu boots up so fast on my system that I don't even care for standby mode anymore, and the fact that all the GNU apps I use are native to linux and run many times faster than on windows don't hurt me none. Also, it allows you to bend the rules of the OS and trully make it your own. Despite being a newbie I've already done some minor changes to the system to make it more personal. True, you can break it, if you jump in the deep end too quickly, but the same can be said of any other OS, but with windows you can never have this level of sheer coolness. Just lookup “cool linux effects” on youtube and you'll see what I mean.

So to conclude, change is a good thing, it leads to adventure and discovery; antonyms of boredom, and the better sources of inspiration for any artist. It can solve problems and even prevent rust, so dare to try something different for once, you might be pleasantly surprised!

No comments:

Post a Comment