Journal

An Open Source Milestone...

I admit, for being a student of cyberstudies and a strong supporter for open source, that I was late in the whole Linux party. I finally have a Linux computer in my office and it has been working great. It seems that most of the barriers to entry with regards to Linux have been worked out. This is thanks to an easy installation process and a friendly user interface. I use Ubuntu and it seems a lot smoother than Windows XP and I've had none of the glitches that popped up when I used Vista. But, I have to admit that I was surprised to learn that Linux now has a 1% share on user's devices.

What this means is that one out of every 100 computers accessing the web will be running some version of Linux on it, called a distro. It seems, in hindsight, that this trend was a long time coming. I would argue the entry point to open source software for most people is Firefox. Firefox is simply a browser that allows for customization that the typical web user could apply easily and a typical web user could add add-ons created by third parties to personalize the web browsing experience.

The next step for me, and several of my colleagues, was OpenOffice.org. I discovered this little gem when creating my USB boot-able drive and adding Portable Apps on it. I am a long time user of Microsoft Office (more than a decade to be honest) and I found that OpenOffice.org performed like Office 2002 and ran smoothly. I still use Office, but I normally use OpenOffice.org when I'm on the road using a hotel computer.

Linux was the next logical place for me to play in. I've been doing research in creating a Linux box for over a year and I finally bought a cheap computer to install Linux on and run my BOINC/GRID projects. For the most part, it seems like a smart investment. With the ease of my transition to an open source computing lifestyle and how many of my colleagues adapting open source computing, I wouldn't be surprised if Linux hits 5% of user share by the end of 2015.