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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..


  1. i have seen that movie too many times to count. my husband laughs every time at the little hacker.

  2. yup, open source is the way to go!

  3. I like to USE my computers not spend all day making then different just because i can. Ill stick with windows thanks ;)

  4. I've always been a bit intimidated with linux. I can't code anything to save my life. My family would have gotten ate up by the dinosaurs...

  5. Hold on to your butts.


  6. Thanks for the info Ill be looking into this.

  7. She's to young to know that much about Unix. Anyways, Linux is really good if you have the time to invest in setting everything up. I've messed around with it a little, but I haven't ever allowed myself the time to get fully invested. It is also a great data reduction tool because of it's lightweight nature.

  8. Its amazing what kind of things you realize about your favorite childhood movies when your grow up...

  9. good stuff man, i use linux every day at work

  10. I'll stick to Windows until I have more training.

  11. It's even easy to use for people who aren't ultra tech savvy.

  12. Linux can be great or it can be hell for the first timer. I highly suggest that you try out Ubuntu. It has quickly become a very widespread distro because it is updated and easy to use with either kde (kubuntu) or gnome graphic environments. I use to dual boot it with XP. Windows was mostly there for gaming. Browsing and all other main stuff was on linux because it was much faster to boot, faster overall and more stable. I was also interested in just checking it out at the time as you are. I now run a mac. Not cause I think it's the greatest thing ever but because I'm a graphic design student and mac is still the platform of choice.

    Anyways, go for it.

    The Mighty Quinn

  13. LOL its a unix system! My favorite Linux package is Ubuntu, but Fedora is really good too

  14. i have ubuntu but never use it, command line scares me

  15. I've always wanted to try out Linux, but I always end up being scared that I might end up causing permanent damage to my computer or something.

  16. In my experience, using Linux for 5 years has:

    1. Enabled me to learn more about computing than an entire lifetime using Windows

    2. Opened my eyes to a complex and highly political world (Open Source vs. Free Software, Gnome vs. KDE vs. Unity, etc)

    3. Empowered me to use my limited hardware to its fullest potential

    4. Made me miserable when I've had to use interfaces with less user control than I'm used to.

    If you haven't read Richard Stallman's essay on Free vs. Open Source software, do so with all haste. Ubuntu is fine, depending on where you stand with the Mono issue. If you don't know what the Mono issue is, that is another good topic to read up on.

    Welcome to the land of Linux. There are many great things about using Linux, and also some challenges ahead. I always think it is great when we, as a community, score another user, part time or full time.