Wow, this caught me off guard this morning as I turned on my Twitter account to see what was tweeting. A tweet appeared, that almost didn’t catch my eye, about Linux being twenty years old today. If it were not for the Window$ Workstation that I was on crashing, as it froze up from a bug in its security software, I would have missed that tweet. Thankfully, armed with my laptop, loaded with Linux, I was able to read the tweet, and continue on troubleshooting why the workstation crashed. Yes, irony and sarcasm are at play in my mind on this subject between the two operating systems.
My Linux experience really did not start until 1998-99 becuase computers were still very much a costly item back then. And where I lived at the time there was no Intranet in that part of rural Canada so being hip onto what was in fashion and new, I was still wearing animal skins and hunting and gathering for my food in the time-line sense. My first computer was a VIC-20 Commodore Computer, and then the Comnodore-64. But my first experience with Linux was through SOL-unix OS ( using classic Pentium chip/with 4 MBs of RAM, and a 8G HD), then switching over to Red Hat (2003), and today I only use Ubuntu. I quickly learned the value of Open Source computing when Internet crimes started to make headlines around the world. The Open Source world of computing dirty little secret was that a password is needed all the time to install anything, whether software or updates. Hackers have to resort to other means of taking your data, and planting malware, unlike the propitiatory OS where updates and installs are done in the background, sometimes without the user’s knowledge.
The ability to program and fix and write software to suit my needs was the selling point of the free OS, a.k.a. LINUX. I was able to tailor my systems and become more productive without the huge costs that my competitors were suffering with. Remember, I did four years of university using only Linux, and I was able to do more, save money and not have to worry about system failures during upgrades as compared to my colleagues suffering with their system’s issues. In fact, I am very certain that the person who had stolen my lap top, back in 2006 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey Campus, would have had a very difficult time cracking my Linux machine becuase of the encryption that naturally came with the Linux OS.
Happy birthday Linux – the big Twenty. My how time flies when you are having fun!