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Linux Daily

Daily usage of linux, raw style

The other day this guy that lives with me was idleing around the house since he was formating his pc. He’s 100% windows user, has heard of linux, never seen it, doesn’t even use firefox. He asked me “Do you have any recommendations for me?” Obviously, I said “Install an anti-virus and a firewall before connecting to the internet, and while you’re at it, install ubuntu” and I laughed. It was half a joke, but he was actually curious because I have a very good looking desktop, mind you. After talking to him, I organized some ideas. He wanted to know what’s in it for him. I mean, this guy plays a lots of windows games, why do a dual boot? Isn’t linux for geeks?

1. Free Software makes your life simpler and more efficient

Free software means a lot of things. It comes down to saying that source code is available for download free of charge, but this has a lot of implications and consequences. For people who don’t give a shit and just want to use computers, it means that their life is easier.

1.1 Free Software means centralized distribution

Since free software can be freely distributed, ubuntu has repositories, which are basically long lists of programs available directly for download. You don’t need to go to every single homepage of each program, it’s available directly on the desktop, no hassle. Tipical use case is, imagine you want a program for downloading torrents and don’t have one nor do you know one.You go to applications->add/remove->search for torrent->Click on Transmission->Apply->password->boom, you’re done. No command line bullshit, just plain simple and fast.

1.2 Free Software means centralized updates

Centralized distribuition also implies that all updates are centralized. You can easily keep up with the latest version of all the programs and drivers you use, because they all come from the same update manager. Again, no worries.

What in the name of the lord?!

What in the name of the lord?!

1.3 Free software means no spyware and no adds

Not knowing anything else, you think it’s ok than msn messenger has flash commercials about tv programs bothering you at the bottom, eating resources and being all-around annoying. It’s not normal and you shouldn’t put up that shit. Free software means programs do what they do, and that’s that. They don’t ask you if you want to install google’s dogshit taskbar and they don’t install things without your consempt. Like it’s supposed to.

1.4 Free software means install/uninstall works

Because software is centralized and distributed in a coherent form, installing and uninstalling programs is a standardized process. You can install and uninstall programs all you want, because, again, it works like it’s supposed to. Uninstalling software in windows fails all the time, leaves a bunch of register keys, temporary files, folders, all kinds of weird untraceable trails. This does not happen in linux.

2. You can have a good looking desktop on an old computer

People assume that because their laptop is 4 years old and has a sticker that says “Designed for Windows XP”, Windows XP level of graphics is all it can do. This is wrong. Windows XP has been around since 2001, it’s ugly by today’s standards, and hasn’t evolved shit in 8 years. It was made for 2001 hardware, not today’s standards. You can have a desktop running full blown compiz-fusion on 4 year old hardware. I know, it’s my case

You think this is any good? Think again

You think this is any good? Think again

3. Better organization

A windows user is acostumed to the start menu and accessing programs using the “All programs” menu. You wouldn’t question such a thing because it’s been around for ages, but the start menu sucks. When you have a 3 page long “all programs” menu finding something is brutally confusing, you just don’t notice it because your acostumed. Gnome’s menu are uglier, in a sense, but the division in applications/places/system is brilliant. It ends ups even replacing the whole concept of “My Computer”. Once you start using it, you see the difference.

4. Linux has virtually no viruses, so you can forget they even exist

You can click all you want in email viruses, strange ads on webpages, anything. It doesn’t matter because windows viruses won’t run on linux, and there are virtually no virus for linux. If you care about your data like your photos, your documents, you have to be careful all the time and naturally use an antivirus. Antivirus either cost money or they’re free and they suck. No one uses antivirus software in linux. Ever. So your computer runs smoother because there isn’t an extra piece of software constantly wasting resources monitoring all that happens. That leaves ram for oh-my-god-compiz-fusion-is-sweet.

There. Five reasons to put up with a dual-boot. I’d go as far as say 90% of average users don’t need windows for anything except games. Got any other reasons? Leave a comment : -)

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