Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A sharp left when everybody else is casually veering to the right

I've never been one that went with the flow when it comes to electronics. When it was cool to have tiny phones that flipped open I was rocking the Motorola Q and snubbing Blackberry and iPhone. I've never been a fanboy of an iDevice of any sort. Today I use a Nexus 5 and love the Android mobile OS. I'm about choices, options, and customization. Even on my computer I've always experimented in one way or the other with alternatives to Windows. Sure, I keep Windows as a backup OS for those times when I absolutely must use it (gaming mostly) but it's never my go to system of choice.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to computers in the world. There are those that buy a Mac or PC and expect to either use OSx or Windows. Then there's the other school of thought, the one in which I fall into, that's the one that says, "Okay, this system came with this garbage, now let's see what we can really make it do." It's kind of like the love affair a man has with a muscle car. You know, the guy that looks at a carburetor and sees possibilities.
It's out of this that I've come to love Ubuntu. I know there are some of you out that that look at that word and wonder what the hell I'm talking about. How do you pronounce it, let alone use it? Well, Ubuntu is a totally free operating system. That's right. No, you don't have to pay anything at all and works with all hardware. No licensing. It's a Linux variant (or distribution) and is completely customizable. As a matter of fact it's so customizable I've changed my install to resemble OSx in a lot of ways.
As you can see it's a very clean look with a bright finish to it. Much like OSx. I could have chosen any of a number of different themes and made the look feel like anything from a Windows desktop to a steampunk feel. It's completely up to the user.
There's a lot that can be done to the OS to customize it but what about functionality? What can you really do with this system once you get it set up? There's a complete office suite that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu. It's named Libre Office. The price tag on it? Free. Yeah, that's a $0.00 for the same functionality that you receive with the $400.00 tag from Microsoft Office. It reads all Office formats so you don't have to worry about trying to convert formats you exchange with somebody else. When you save a document or spreadsheet you have the option of saving it as either an Office document or in the default format for Libre Office. It's all about options and it's completely up to you.
I write this so that you will know that yes, there are other options out there. You don't need to pay for those over-priced systems that the Apple store wants to sell you and you no longer have to deal with the "blue screen of death" or the Windows 8 debacle that still continues. It's all about freedom. That's why Linux and the many distrobutions of Linux exist. To bring a free OS to the public that just works.

No comments: