I have been wanting to explore leaving the Windows Operating System behind after faithfully working with it since I first got my copy of Windows 386 as a young 15 year old boy. More and more over the past year this urge kept coming back, this urge to be free from a society of hoarders and exclusive patents and copyrights. My desire was for something free, something unlimited, something collaborative, something that would never again create a ‘hand cuff’ effect on the way in which I wanted to use it.
It was just a matter of time. With any big change, I experimented first using my family. Ubuntu Linux 8.10 TLS was burned onto a bootup CD, System Rescue CD was burned onto another CD to partition 3 of my children’s existing windows partitions into two separate partitions (using the unused space from, the windows partitions) one for the existing Windows XP partition and a new one to install Ubuntu. I had to know for sure what my conscience was telling me to be true… that finally Linux could replace what Windows had done for many years.
The results are shocking. Jacob (who has become a windows genius) ONLY boots into Windows to run his homeschooling software (switched on schoolhouse aka SOS). He is totally sold on Ubuntu, and is already feeling the freedom. Soon I’ll fix the SOS issue and we can claim that windows partition as extra space! Noah is a little more skeptical, but definitely the battle is on. Ubuntu keeps giving.. giving… giving… while XP taketh away. Isaac more or less is undecided, DirectX is the last stumbling block for him… and I already have something to temporarily wean him full-time in Ubuntu (WINE). Timothy started making inquiry, begging to be free, over and over again… free from XP to experience the “other side”. This leads me to what I’m up to now….
As I writie this, I am using Clone Zilla to create a complete backup image of my 200 GB windows partition. You see I had played the fool with Ubuntu, by thinking I could experience the freedom by installing it within the prison of Sun Micro system’s Open source VM called Virtual Box. All i can say is.. just don’t do that! It can be done, there really are not problems in doing so, its just fundamentally wrong to imprison a free, wildly successful, open source operating system inside a proprietary, hoarder motivated, closed source operating system. I wasn’t getting the freedom, and I wasn’t getting the TRUE performance Ubuntu has to offer.
I’m sweating a little as I watch this windows image at 93% complete. Its time to do it Mark, time to do the switch! It will take time to fully do it all…. but yes it will be done. Ubuntu will be the family operating system of choice. Just seeing what it is already doing for the boys has given me the confidence to “take the plunge”. Good-bye Bill and company. I certainly learned a lot from you (both good and bad) like any relationship. I’m on my way.
So far I’m learning Codeblocks (a cross platform open source IDE) and will likely evaluate others until I settle into my new development home within my operating system home. Once that is complete, be sure to watch for a more Linux based focus for the software that I will be posting.
One VERY IMPORTANT item to note about Linux based applications is: there are MANY applications out there, but no real guidance as to which ones are of professional quality (and there are MANY on both side of that statement). I will blog about the applications that I find professional and useful. All of the applications mentioned in this blog (with links to their websites) are of high quality and should be considered very useful.