This will be a longer one:
Well, in my truly wonderful but radically simplified view of the world there are many binary differences. Some things can’t be simplified down to boolean (true or false, this and that, 1 and 0) but many things expecially if they have to do with categories in a very specialised and precised way actually can.
I think there are roughly those two different kinds of people: There are those people who, after they get home from work on a friday evening, decide to call up some friends and go out.
Having lunch. (see picture) Going to the movies. Theatre. Disco. Some club. Have fun. Those kind of things. This is fine and probably very entertaining. I would even guess that the majority of people in our western societies do that during their leisure time. But there are others.
The second group of people, a group that probably includes me, isn’t really into those activities I listed above. They do it occasionally but it’s not exactly the preferred way to spend time. They also want to relax but they do it differently. They install linux. For fun. I think I’m not alone in this, there are at worst some and at best many people like me. Btw the other thing we do is photography (in many cases).
Well, the reason for me to decide that I should (again) install a linux was that I a) had some time and b) the newest Ubuntu release called Edgy was just available. So I grabbed a copy of the Kubuntu distro which, as you might or might not know, is simply Ubuntu with KDE Desktop management instead of GNOME. I simply like KDE more, no religion involved.
Well, and so I spend actually two evenings putting Kubuntu on my system, configuring it to my needs (including tricky stuff like installing nvidia beta drivers and beryl for eye-candy, adding mp3 support -ok, not so hard-, trying to put my music into Amarok through smb, get a flash-plugin for firefox (amd64 just in case you wonder why that might be a problem) and so forth. I resolved some issues and by now I have a really neat system that does most of the things I can do with MS Windows. The idea is to reach a state where eventually I can do most of my common computer stuff that isn’t gaming as well in Linux as I can do it with Windows. You might think we’re already in such a state but for my personal purposes this is not quite true. Though Linux has made great leaps in the last years it still lacks some basic things that are mostly about usability and ease of use. But they keep improving the software and the more professionals choose to support and the more ’normal‘ users (and with that I mean as far from geek- and nerdiness as possible) decide to use it and give their feedback I’m quite sure Linux will one day be the ultimate choice for an operating system. I do think that some distro needs to dissappear on this Path to Greatness because atm they keep coming and coming and the development forces are pretty decentralized and it would be good if they all worked together on the central issue of making the power of linux available to the masses (although I understand that’s not in every hackers interest).
Of course one good thing about linux is that people if they decide to use it understand that the interface can keep you away from actually understanding how everything works which is a problem if you assume that the power about informations (even one’s own) matters a great deal in the future. It’s necessary to understand that you shall not leave it to others to handle your own information, identity and access to it. I’ll probably go into these thoughts once more in a coming post about web 2.0. For now, if you feel like you have some free time, how about downloading some isos and installing a linux for a change?
echo „Have fun!“
PS: This article links to a lot of websites including helpful guides and explanations. This is therefor a multi purpose document with Portal-abilities. If you don’t feel entertained then try to feel informed. g