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This is a bit of an old thread, but since it's back to life...
I use Linux (and BSD) because I am by trade a Unix/VMS/zOS person. I didn't really use microcomputers for much in the 80s since I was typically on workstations (which weren't x86), and at home I went on the Atari->Commodore->Apple/Apple II/Macintosh->Amiga route. I did use a bit of DOS here and there (3.3->5), but I think my first real non-toy use of x86 was OS/2 2.1.
I ended up getting stuck with a PC lab in college that did the Windows 3.11/WinNT 3.1 stuff (which seemed seriously awesome at the time... you had to be there).
I started playing with Linux around when Debian first came out with version 2 something, and FreeBSD a bit earlier than that.
Gotta tell you guys - I still consider Linux very much a toy, and probably always will. Microcomputer hardware and methods just aren't all that great
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
i switched to linux because frankly, i was curious about linux
i've used (serious use, i've experimented briefly with others but these are the ones i've truely USED)
windows windows 3.11 through xp (minus a few of the NT releases)
ms-dos 5 and 6.22
mac os 6-X.4 (or .5)
the more i learned linux the more i realized it was the os best suited for me
my first distribution was yellowdog champion server (mac powerbook g3)
i've been using nothing but linux ever since
1. I switched to Linux at the beginning of this year. I had planned to switch earlier, but then I wasn't sure if I still might need my Windows box (and so had to buy new hardware). As it turns out, I don't use it at all, and my husband is more than happy to have a machine for himself.
I switched because I felt the time has come to abandon Windows. There are a number of things I didn't like about Windows. Actually I've been a Linux and open-source supporter for years. I installed my first Linux system in 1999, and ever since kept telling myself that I would switch one day.
I am running Ubuntu, which I find perfect for my needs. Ubuntu hasn't been my first choice. I tested a number of distress on my computer, but Ubuntu was the one that worked right out of the box without the need for adjustments.
2. I still use Wordfast a lot (I have one client who requires me to work with Wordfast), so Word is a must for me. I run it with Crossover. I decided not to use virtualization software, such as VMWare, Parallels, Win4Lin, etc., because that would require me to buy an additional license for Windows, and I didn't want that. I also run a dictionary software that is Windows-only (in fact, I wasn't expecting it to run with Crossver, but found out that it does work - although not completely trouble-free).
3. I use OmegaT quite frequently. No surprise: I am a member of the OmegaT project team.
I don't use the Heart some Editor anymore, but it is another CAT tool that runs on Linux (and on Windows and on Mac).
I've been using Windoze since version 1, which is before some of you were born. ;-p (but that's beside the point - it just seemed to sound good).
I have a natural attraction to small and efficient, lean and mean... always have, since the days of CP/M (MS-DOS's predecessor, on which almost all of MS-DOS's commands were based on). I like to have a small, efficient machine, with an OS that isn't bloated. And that doesn't limit me, as Windoze CE for example, just because I didn't lay down a couple hundred more for the bigger Windoze OS. And besides, their tech support was none to speak of anyways.
I switched because I grew sick and tired of MS being in bed with Intel* (back then, and today it's all the hardware manufacturers), outdating my hardware with new releases, while doing absolutely nothing new for me. Yes, Windoze gets a little shinier each time, sometimes they stumble... but what it boils down to, is I'll still be running the same old Word and Excel, and it isn't the OS that will give them their functionality, nor change it. And when they DO "improve" something like Word, the app takes initiatives I don't want it to (like underlining and hotlinking my email address in my resume, and other automations I don't want it to do!), changes that make me long for the older versions.
* Don't think it makes sense that they are in bed? Just think of this: MS adds features to their OS, makes it better, but in the process does sloppy programming using 4GL tools to speed up development cycle at the cost of space... and forces us to upgrade our hardware. Intel is happy, they have to make faster machines to sell to us. MS is happy, because each new machine that is sold, needed to have yet ANOTHER software license... even when it is an existing MS customer... every new machine needs a license, or MS won't give the manufacturer access to their OS. So you can see how they are feeding each other.
Now, I feel that I have control, and am no longer at the mercy of these companies.
I can control what is in my OS. How fast, how sophisticated, how secure, etc, it all is. And I am not forced to upgrade my hardware just to have a new OS do nothing new for me when I am running the same word processor and spreadsheet that I was using in the previous OS. Open Office was the next step in that freedom (with some nice predecessors such as AbiWord still going strong).
There, that felt good. Thanks for starting this thread. Very therapeutic.
I remember putting CP/M and 80-column cards into Apple-IIe clones. In the mid 80's, that was a bit in the same spirit of what Linux is today: a free OS (CP/M), simple hardware, that all ran the machine faster and better than in it's original state.
I suppose there always have been those who do it with a sense of community in mind, with a desire to have something small, more efficient, and free.
Why did I switch to Linux? Well, first of all, I never purchased a home computer until I decided to explore Linux. That was in 1995, just after Windows 95 came out with a splash that summer. I got my first home computer in November 1995, but I purchased it with Windows 3.1.1 on it, with the intention of learning how to boot multiple operating systems. I used Windows here and there, but mostly to see how it interoperated, and what people were complaining about. I could get both of them to work, but I simply preferred Linux systems?
Why did I - and do I - prefer Linux systems over other systems? Well, for one thing, Linux had that "fun" feeling to it, like the very early microcomputer systems (BEFORE we called them "PCs". I used microcomputer kits the last two years, 1978 and 1979, of my undergraduate education and felt that they would become the way that people used computers). Linux reminded me of those days.
Furthermore, in 1982, a couple of years after entering the working world, I got out of the day to day job of being a PL/1 application programmer or a COBOL personnel systems maintainer on mainframe systems, and I got into a couple of advanced development projects. One was evaluating a multi-function video terminal, capable of either synchronous (BSC, SDLC) communications to mainframe systems or asynchonous communications to ASCII based minicomputer systems, plus a switchable telephone set, also programmable from the terminal. I introduced the technology to a personnel systems group that used both mainframes and minicomputers in their programming support group.
Then I moved on to an advanced development software engineering projects group, and we were assessing the use of minicomputers running UNIX software to serve as a communications hub to the diverse set of mainframe, minicomputer, and PC based desktop and data center systems.
It was this UNIX background that led me to completely get out of the mainframe programming world (which I've never completely returned to, except in two ways: testing and interoperability, which have been themes of my career). Needless to say, when I first heard of a Linux kernel being developed and packaged with GNU utilities, which I had already been using on my UNIX workstations, I took note. I was a busy UNIX systems administrator at the time that the Linux kernel was first created, but by the time Linux systems were being packaged, I had become ill, and so I read about it in trade magazines, studying as much as possible so that when I re-entered the work force, I would be ready to charge into an always fast paced environment.
I rejoined the UNIX community in 1995, working in an engineering organization, coming up with a more effective way to exchange large sets of localizations (language and codeset translations) for a variety of Asian and European languages). I came up with a set of Korn Shell scripts (which were written in a mostly sh syntax, applicable to the original Bourne Shell, the Korn Shell, and the Bash Shell).
One day, a couple of UNIX development environment engineers were standing within earshot of my office, talking about either using or intending to use Linux software on their personal systems. I had already been interested, but their conversations sparked renewed interest on my part, and that is what led to the purchase of a home computer.
I bought a book co-authored by Patrick Volkerding and a couple of other guys, and the book included a usable, but aging copy of Slackware. It had a Linux kernel that was just after Version 1, possibly 1.2 or something close to that. I think it was Slackware 2.3 or something close. It was already old, though, and as a result, it did not have the latest X server drivers for my video card. I got 640x480, eight color VGA the first time I tried X, no matter what I did, so I started to research, found out that the Diamond Stealth graphics card included in my first PC had only recently started supporting a free X server video driver. I found it, downloaded it, put it on a 3 1/2" disk, and brought it to my system, installed it, and to at least 256 color video and probably 1024x868 video, good for a 2 MB graphics card in that day. The system was fast, even more so than my relatively fast 64 bit UNIX workstation at work, so I knew that the Linux components were tight and lighter than their UNIX equivalents.
I did not have a broadband Internet system at home, so it took four more years before I was really able to do effective Linux networking from home. In 1999, I got broadband, so I increased my use of Linux, but I also started graduate school at the same time, so that slowed my pace just a bit. I did write nearly every term paper in graduate school about why I felt that Linux would become a major force in many ways in the upcoming years.
Once done with graduate school in 2001, I used Linux even more, virtually all of the time, more than 95%, but I installed several different instances, plus a real time OS, Windows, and a couple of versions of BSD to use for testing. I bought a system with two disks for the specific purpose of testing. A year later one of the companies I worked with, writing freelance articles about Linux desktop systems, sent me a computer to use in testing, and I've had it ever since, and I've used hundreds of Linux distributions since then, but the Debian based desktop versions have become my favorites.
It is really the mobile network, small, handheld devices, and the nearly ubiquitous network, not really the desktop as we've known it, plus the back end servers, that are finally putting Linux in a place where it really makes a difference. Not all that many consumers realize just how much the services they use regularly probably have either Linux or BSD back end servers or routers somewhere behind them, or how many smartphones and ISP networks have free software technologies embedded somewhere in them.
I was looking for a local mobile provider to finally offer a usable handheld Linux solution, and last November, Verizon Wireless and Motorola finally stepped up to the plate and started actively promoting and selling the Motorola Droid. Few of them say that it is based on Linux, but when you use it, if you look at the Settings, and touch the "About Phone", then scroll down, you see that it is a 2.6.29-omap1-g0dd7e0b-android-build@apa26#511 - a 2.6.29 LINUX kernel!
By the way, this Droid has been up for a mere 453 hours and 27 minutes since I last shut it off and gave it a rest. I just charge it up most evenings. Last time before that, it was up just under 1000 hours, about 950 some hours, give or take a few. Needless to say, it works without a hitch.
Distribution: Fedora on servers, Debian on PPC Mac, custom source-built for desktops
I switched to Linux to keep from getting an anneurism from Windows four years ago. Best decision I ever made regarding computers. Sure, Linux has it's quirks, but there is not that much to whine about. FAR less than with windows. I now find that there are many, and I do mean MANY things I can do with Linux that no other OS, not even BSD (I have a grudge on FreeBSD for killing my GRUB loader) can do. Started out with Ubuntu but soon discovered Fedora. Fedora user to this day. I hate 12, by the way. Can't wait for 13.
Just curious as to why you use Linux. Why do you prefer it over Windows?
Well, the original reason I started using Linux was frustration with Microsoft. Specifically, I was having to do a lot of Windows re-installs, and I hated having to call Microsoft every time to convince them to make my license key usable again.
Now, the ultimate reason I use Linux is freedom. It feels great knowing that, if I can get a hold of working computer and an Internet connection, I can do pretty much whatever I set my mind to do, without having to jump over all the barriers that proprietary software tends to put in the way.
And as a programmer, it's just awesome to have all those libraries and development tools right there at my fingertips!
So many, many reasons it's so mmm, mmm good...
Im free to do what I want, any old time...
Freedom is a major reason for me. The GPL, the beliefs... Everything. I'm a Libertarian, and proud to say that I use Linux. I can change this to whatever I want. I can get almost any copy for free. I can modify the source code. I CAN do this. I CAN do that.
Have you ever actually read a EULA? They're terrible! I believe in Capitalism. But there comes a point where I come to my own and make a stand for Liberty.
Look at this, please, please, read it all the way through:- http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...rms_conditions OMG! They may as well force you to sign your soul to the Devil himself.
Bill Gates is great at Monopoly!! No, really! Look at the theme song's lyrics!
Come on let’s play monopoly,
Cash, fun, and ritzy property,
I’ll build a house and watch my fortunes grow, passing go
Every time I play Monopoly against good ol' Bill he wins. He's too good. What with Windows, Bing, Xbox, Silverlight, NSA deals, anti-virus $$$, vendor lock-in, DRM, Microsoft Office, MSN, DMCA, Microsoft Mobile OS... AND MORE!
STOPPIT ALREADY! They are against the foundation of Capitalism. They want to own you. They hate competition. They try to take over everything. When are we going to start sporting the new Microsoft branch of the government? I just can't let that go.
Microsoft's GIGANTIC list of horrible EULA's:- http://www.microsoft.com/About/Legal...s/Default.aspx
That should say it all.
The Linux Kernel.
From a technical standpoint, it's easier to run Linux than the heap of bird droppings the call Windows NT. Linux doesn't need drivers. It has them. Viruses? You mean these pathetic, old rm -rf /'s? It's easier to run some routine maintenance on your PC then to get one of those hilarious attempts at POC's. Administering a Linux system is simple and easy. It's got loads of documentation. The kernel is open source. Tune it to your own needs M$? Apple? I wonder whats under there...
We have log messages, 100's of commands, 1000's of free pre-packaged drivers, and 10,000's of free programs at the click of a button or a simple command. Windows has prayer and reboot.
The command line interface. No, not the pathetic excuse M$ calls CMD. No, no, not that piece of junk. Linux has got some real power under the hood. Actually that is the hood. See, in Linux, everything is based on the command line. In Windows, it's all a funky obscure GUI with no technical basis. We Linux users don't care for having ourselves protected. We protect ourselves.
The cost. $0 plus tax. is about $0.00. Updates are free. programs are free. Life is free. I'm free. We all scream for FREE. FREEDOM. You have it. Do what you will. Make it run your toaster. Give it to your best pal. Burn a million CD's and put on thelinuxbay.org and never see the light of day in court. LINUX.
Because you actually can see what's going on, you can actually learn a thing or two about computers. You can understand what is up, dog. You know whats going on. Hack away. Put the FUN back in computing.
Best platform for development. PERIOD.
People helping people. I help people on here, for FREE. I get help on here, for FREE. I share my experiences with a group of friends I have never met before. I'm apart of something that I am not only proud of, but find fun too. There is more people like me on here than than in my whole town.
I have so much more to say, but at this point I'm so tired I can't think of everything else.
Anyways, this is why I use Linux. To each his own.
Last edited by lupusarcanus; 03-29-2010 at 06:52 AM.