Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Metamorphasis - dropping out, then re-emerging.

Why is there so little time to do it all? You've got to figure out what's important, then account for due process. Things take time. Everything takes time. When your high school buddies drop out of sight and re-emerge as a garage band, you are shocked and amazed. You didn't know they could do that. You wondered what happened to them. And where was I when all this was going on? It is the same for computer users. Most folk are so engrossed in the daily use of Macs, MS XP and Vista, they never notice that there might be something else, something different in the computer world. This is why many new Linux users feel so much anxiety and have a hard time letting MS go. I went from dual-booting to virtual machines to two separate computers, one with MS the other with Linux. There are two different worlds, throw in Macs and then there are three. Each world can and does do the same things as the others but there are some areas that each excels in. Opinions can and do vary. The secret hook is that Macs and MS PC's boast in their professional and educational use as well as games. Can Linux do these things, yes, only Linux does not have the marketing machine or user base that says so and thus is not on most people's radar. So in spite of everything Linux is the choice of a smaller computer aware audience.

Due process, everything takes time, this is something I have embraced since childhood. To be left alone with my toys, to tinker, to figure it out, to go beyond the instructions and examples, I guess is in my nature. Then wonder, if Linux was your only operating system, would that be a gain or a hindrance in your world. I say often, am I the only one? Sure, there is a virtual community, but flesh and blood neighbors, friends and family are all in the MS or Mac worlds. So this desktop Linux is an continuing experiment and I am allowing myself to be immersed. I have had flings of Mac envy and falling back on MS but mostly enjoy what I am discovering about Linux. I've been through the rise and fall of a few operating systems, didn't try them all. There was Amiga OS, OS2, Commodore, Atari, BeOS, Next, and a couple more. You want a certain assurance that your OS and all it's applications are not a passing fad, that is too tied to the present time and present technology. An OS must have both the present and future in view, be flexible to grow, change and challenge, even press for innovation and be in peoples' face.

I will admit to having fanboy outbreaks about Linux, but against the backdrop of Mac and MS users entrenched in their daily use, I just want to say Linux deserves a spot as an alternative choice. Linux is not disappearing and is in fact improving with every iteration. I don't have any Linux tee shirts, I do carry around Linux live-CDs. I have a Steiff penguin which I've had before I found Linux (The Linux mascot is a penguin named Tux). I promote free and open source software (FOSS) every chance I get. Going a bit further, as a techie, I haven't had to remove any viruses, malware or those kinds of things in my many years of Linux use. Can't say the same for MS use in my life. Could be Linux is better, not a target so much, or my Internet habits are more selectively careful. I am not a social network fan, an avid game site visitor or a habitual music down loader. My interest are narrow as I don't have the time to see, do, or try everything. Yet I discover new things to explore within my choices. This is called focus. You never get good at anything if your roaming all over the place too much.

Oh, I know Photoshop is the pro-ware every artistic person should use, but there is other stuff out there like Inkscape and GIMP that if you spend enough time with could meet your needs for free. And you still, if you are so desirous, can buy and use Photoshop. You just can't run it in Linux, or can you? In any case I really like Inkscape and GIMP, finding them capable of extending my craft and honing my talents. I have not bothered to compare them to Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. If your artistic training pre-supposes that you will work for a commercial (professional occupation) concern, you should look at pro-ware, get it, use it. If not, you like me can choose differently. I know this to be true because I have known folks who mix their own photo-chemicals, grind powders to make their own paint colors or dyes, soldered computer boards to run other operating systems and don't buy consumer products when the do-it-yourself option is more fun. After you've made your choice of tools, you must focus to see what you can make them do. You can inquire what others using the tools you've chosen are doing, get tips, tutorials and ideas.

In the "Matrix" you go down the rabbit-hole to see how far it goes. You might pop, merge, become a super user or make a deal to go back. But can you really go back? The experience has changed you forever, added something dimensional to your thinking, your awareness. I have resigned to being a Linux guy, I think it's super. I have the flexibility to move between computer worlds, but I prefer Linuxville. I live on Xubuntu street and will visit from time to time other hoods, like Fedora road, Dynebolic avenue and Mandriva lane. The best is that things are both the same and different everywhere in Linuxville. Something familiar, something new.
Check out a travel brochure aka Linux distro web site, visit via live-CD or make yourself at home with an install...........you might be the One.

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