Does my blog have new PC smell tonight? I’m typing on an old laptop running a freshly installed version of Ubuntu Linux.
Quick explanation. Linux serves the same purpose as Windows or Mac OS. It is an operating system. Linux comes in a variety of ‘flavors’ of which Ubuntu is one.
Programs that run on Macs or Windows PCs (mainly) don’t run on Linux and vice versa.
Linux is free and user supported. It is often used in scientific applications or where 24/7/365 reliability is demanded.
Most of the Internet runs on Linux. Google, eBay, Facebook and Wikipedia all run on Linux servers. So does geofffox.com.
My reason for Linux on this laptop is different. I needed a challenging tech problem. My mind has festered aimlessly for the last few months. This would force me to focus and concentrate.
Though Linux is a powerful operating system it has never been an easy install!
There’s a version of Ubuntu called Studio. It comes with programs specifically made for media manipulation. That sounded right for me.
Ubuntu Studio loaded perfectly… except for the systems that controlled WiFi and sound. I fixed the WiFi problem, but could never get the sound working.
There are compromises I’ll make, but sound? Nah.
I tried another version… and then another before finally getting one to install! Even then I had to use an arcane terminal program to manually entre the proper code to install WiFi.
In this regard Linux isn’t ready for prime time. This stuff should have been fixed years ago.
For web browsing and most of the usual Internet pursuits Linux is just fine (after you get it working). Actually it’s better than fine because virus writers leave it alone! There are too few Linux desktops to make it worth the hackers time! Helaine’s laptop has been running an earlier edition of Ubuntu for a few years with few problems.
It’s possible this laptop will end up with its screen off acting as a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack for web development. It’s probably where the next version of this blog will come from. Or it might go back on the shelf waiting for the next time I need a challenge.
Right now it’s the laptop under my fingers. That’s enough.