Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don't Fear the Penguin

I think when most people think of Linux they think of scary black and white command lines and GUI interfaces that require a PHD in computer science to configure right.  While this might have been true back when it first started, it is no longer the case.  

Linux is everywhere and I am positive you interact with it on a daily basis, but you don't even realize it.  Small embedded versions of Linux are everywhere from routers to Roku boxes.  Full versions of Linux power everything from your company network to billions of webpages.  While user friendly distributions like Ubuntu and Mint Linux have greatly expanded the number of average joe users using Linux as their primary desktop environment, it still lags far behind Windows and Mac OS X.  But the times they are a changin...

Enter the Android.  Yup that is right, the rising star in the world of cell phone OS'es is based on the Linux kernel (think of the kernel as a kind of computer brain stem - it controls all the base functions of the phone).  This allows it to work on a very wide variety of hardware platforms.  Now I know you are saying, umm dude Android is for phones and shit, not computers!  O RLY?  Exhibit A - the Motorola Atrix. The Atrix is an Android powered smartphone with a twist; it can utilize a special "laptop dock".  The dock is just a screen and keyboard that looks like a laptop, but it totally powered by the Atrix...OS and all.  Yup you heard that right...a phone that doubles as a friggin laptop.  The way I see it, this is the future.  Take your phone with you where ever you go, sit down at your work, a coffee shop, or at home and surf, shop and post to your fav social network or blog.  When you are done, your personal data and your computer come with you.  And if Android continues to gain market share I am sure it will be done with Linux.  

So until that days comes, cozy up to Linux.  Install Ubuntu or Mint and explore everything it has to offer.  Heck, if a full install scares you, you can get a live cd or usb flash drive and boot to a "live cd".  It doesn't install anything, just runs from the cd or flash drive and gives you a nearly full Linux experience.  When you are done take the disk out and go back to your normal OS, no harm done! 

For more information on the different flavors of Linux out there check out Distrowatch  or to jump into a live cd go to Ubuntu.  

PS - Below are some Amazon.com adds that I will be adding to a few posts here and there.  The items I will post are top rated and reviewed hardware that can make your Linux machine fly.  I will only recommend Linux friendly hardware.  Peace!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the dedication. My specific thing is that I have an older PC (Win XP iirc) that I decommissioned some time ago (6+ months) that I'll be blowing out and trying this Linux experiment on. I don't know if the hardware is Linux compatible but I expect I'll find out when I implement my devious plan

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  2. I wouldn't worry about compatibility. Linux can run on damn near anything. Hell it can even run on a friggin POTATO!! http://www.bbspot.com/news/2008/12/linux-on-a-potato.html

    I have run an Ubuntu lamp server on an 800mhz celeron pc with 256M of ram. Hell I am writing this on a computer with no hard drive, just a bootable flash drive! :D

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