Yesterday I decided that “life is too short to be bound by our own insecurities and laziness” so I took a chance and decided to dump my WindowsXP installation on my laptop and give Mandrake Linux a try over there. I mean, it’s been running great on my old HP machine for over a month now and I’m at the point where I really needed a faster processor, more memory, and better video to see what it can really do.
Almost immediately I noticed it took longer to install than it did on my home system. It asked for each one of the disks I’d downloaded in sequence (that I know are crammed full of programs and utilities) while the hard drive ran and ran.
At the end of it all I was blessed with a new Linux install. Similar to the one on my home system but different. The startup screen was different, it began running through configuration files immediately, and it was loaded full of programs (something I’d had to do manually on my other system). I also noticed that Mandrake had found my PCMCIA wifi network card and, thanks to the Apple’esque Configuration Manager, had configured my connection and connected me to the local wireless access point.
It was at that point that the realization came to me, Linux isn’t just a toy for geeks anymore. It’s come of age and is now a viable alternative to the dominant Windows operating system. Self configuring, easy to operate, intuitive interface, abundance of free software programs and more reasonably (free in most cases) priced…it’s nearly perfect. Now, just to get major software vendors to break their habit of making product for Windows only and start supplying the Linux market with goods and services.