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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Its a Unix system...I know this..."

I was watching Jurassic Park a few nights ago, (well I wasn't really watching it, someone was streaming it on livestream, and I was busy working on a class project) and aside from all the screaming, shooting, wheels screeching, and roaring, one line always bothered me. For those of you who haven't laid eyes upon this movie (what the hell is wrong with you??) its about an island of dinosaurs. I'm not going to get into detailed plot descriptions, because I don't review movies. Nevertheless, by the end of the movie, all hell is breaking loose, and this one self proclaimed "hacker" girl, is put on the spot to safe the entire cast of characters from being mercilessly devoured by door opening dinosaurs. She must "hack" into the computer and lock all the doors in the park, effectively sealing them into a closed in room. Anyway she hops on the computer, and much to her delight...

So yea, when I was a younger man, I had no idea what the hell a Unix System was..nor did I care. Dinosaurs where about to eat people. But as I grew up and my interest in computers grew, I had to wonder, what was Unix? I started watching TechTv (remember that?) and a man named Leo Laporte had a show called Screen Savers, in which he'd talk about technology and Os and related things, and he'd always mention something called Linux. Back then I had no idea that these two systems were related, and I began wondering just how many operating systems were out there? Was using Windows just a tip of the ice berg? I always hate that feeling I'm not getting to see everything. Like I hate playing demo's of games, cause I know there's more to it. So I had that same feeling when I discovered so many other Operating systems.. I wasn't seeing the entire picture with Windows. I've harbored that feeling for quite some time, but now as I'm getting into Computer programming, I'm finally going to download my own copy of Linux and see how it goes. So for those out there wondering whats so special about the Linux / Unix system? While I don't think everyone is going to orgasm over these features, they are cool to have.

Open Source Code: Probably the biggest draw to Linux is the ability it gives its users to go in and change the source code. Now you do this at your own risk of course, but atleast you have the option. It lets everyone's system be customizable, and you can really do some neat stuff with it.

Free & Legal: As much as I love and hate pirating, my moral compass and stand proudly as I download this.

Control!: If something goes awry with the source code, you have the ability to fix it yourself! This may seem like a chore to some, but with Microsoft you'd have to call or have your computer serviced. With Linux your source code is available to modify as you see fit! In fact its a plus if you doand fill out a bug report cause you'd be giving back to the other users in the linux community!

Desktops: Another big draw to Linux is the ability to customize your desktops. I don't mean change the wallpaper and turn your mouse pointer into a rocket ship, I mean truely changing the way it moves and operates. You can even change your file directories, and the way your folders work.. Truly its all customizable.

There's a whole bunch more differences that I won't get into, but I'll let you all know how this ends up. Rather I like it or not. After Linux, maybe I'll try running Unix on my imac... If any of you out there run Linux or any alternative OS chime in and let me know what you think. Do you like it? They're pitfalls, advantages, tips, tricks, etc..