the big switch came after a few days of fear. fear of the unknown landscape I often referred to as ‘Linux’ in name. A free, open source operating system was not alien to me, but, I only ever divulged into the earliest iterations of ubuntu, fedora and xubuntu back in 2009.
Back then, a AMD Dual Core @ 2.8Ghz was a great option for mid-range gaming, quad-core was unheard of and Windows XP was still supported. Fast forward 6 years and we find tablets the size of notebooks packaged with equipment capable of running Half-Life 2 on the minimum settings.
The last great machine I owned was another mid-range quad-core PC. I tend to build most machines based on pricing, but, ultimately, the focus is either on gaming and everyday use when I build a machine.
Today, I spend my time on an old Dell Inspiron 1545. Gifted to me with a broken keyboard, I salvaged some parts from a similar model only to find the keyboard function remained broken as ever. After a few hours searching for potential ideas on fixing the problem (without tearing out the motherboard) I fell on ordering another keyboard for the laptop. In the interim, I needed an operating system, since Windows 8.1 is sitting on a file server, I fell back on an old 64bit 12.10 disk of ubuntu to get started.
After multiple failures getting the machine to recognize the bootable disk, I finally installed the OS, wiping all the previous data to get started. Surprisingly, the machine handled the operating system with ease and I sped away on apps such as Skype, Gimp and VLC in a matter of hours.
Now the question remains, with alternatives to both Windows and OS X, is it feasible to stay with Ubuntu Linux for the long run? I already loaded steam on the machine and 53 out of my 118 games are playable from my library at launch. These aren’t indie titles either, Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2, Bioshock 1 & 2 and others.
Paint me surprised when I found out Dolphin emulator(https://dolphin-emu.org/) is installed in a matter of seconds out of the box.
One of the few draw-backs if any, is the lack of support of my entire library, the Netflix website seems to hate Ubuntu 14.04 (but I’m sure there is an alternative anyway) and with the exception of mainstream office production applications, I’m finding little reason to switch ‘back’ to the windows environment.
Some benefits I see almost immediately, is the lack of security if any required. I have not been pestered to protect myself with anti-virus/anti-spyware or trojan removal software. Installing add-ons to Firefox is as relatively straight forward as windows without much of the same red-tape. If a program requires to be installed, I type in the root authentication password and away it goes.
More than a thousand different applications are seconds away in both an easy download method or through terminal. Which, I admit, fills me with the giddy nerd tingled as I watch the command prompt blur with progression as I type my sudo commands.
the community is immediately helpful as well. I can’t say that finding a fix hasn’t been a drudgery of frustration as windows would have me believe.
in a way, my love letter to the likes of ubuntu Linux may extend the longer I use it. It may even show up later in the future, as for now. I can’t think of any reason not to fall in love with this operating system.