Do any of you use Linux as your primary operating system? I have been dual-booting Linux and Windows for about five years now, though it’s a rare thing, indeed, for me to use the latter for anything. I know whatever you decide to use is entirely up to you, unless you are stuck using someone else’s computer.
For me, the decision wasn’t very difficult. Let me tell you a story, the very reason I’m using Linux today. Several years ago, I had begun using open source software, such as Firefox, Thunderbird and a few other Windows programs, too. Let me not forget OpenOffice (OOo), which became my main office suite, even though the software was fairly new. Everything I tried just seemed to work very well for all my needs.
I especially liked OpenOffice, because it was easy to set up sermon templates, with the help of some very nice people on the OOo forum. I quickly became comfortable with the software, and even learned how to use it together with MySQL to take care of my database needs. That was, and is, a great combination.
One day I received an e-mail from a friend, and thought nothing of the negative consequences of opening the attachment. I just knew Firefox would open, and I could view to my heart’s content. Well, that didn’t happen at all, and five minutes later, I was infected with some nasty computer viruses, which took me about a week to clean out. That was not a pleasant experience.
Somehow the subject came out while looking through the OOo forum, and I sent a question regarding what I had read. Well, it wasn’t long until I had downloaded a version of Linux, rebooted my computer, and had it dual-booting. To my dismay, I could do everything in this new operating system I could do in Windows, but in a safe, virus-free environment. With more questions in hand, some kind soul on the OOo forum steered me to Simply Mepis Linux, and I’ve been using that distribution ever since. The Mepis Lovers Forum contains a wealth of information about this great distribution. Has everything gone smoothly? Absolutely not, but neither did Windows offer a completely smooth ride.
Don Parris, pastor of Matheteuo Christian Fellowship, Charlotte NC is quite an interesting man. He has written a wonderful book about using open source software in a church environment. “Penguin in the Pew” does a far better job than I could in detailing the importance of Linux and open source software in the church and office. There are two versions of the book, and both are readily available on the net. If you have questions about Linux, this is a great source of information.
Now, why should anyone use Linux? If you search the net for the answer to that question, you will find quite a bit of material. Here’s an interesting site that clearly explains why you should begin using Linux. Now you will be able to see there are many more reasons to switch to Linux, and stop supporting Microsoft, but you’ll have to make that determination yourselves.
Linux software equivalent to Windows software from LinuxQuestions.org is another source of information for you to browse. What often confuses people migrating from Windows to the Linux environment is the lack of knowledge about comparable programs. This table should give you some insight into what is available to Linux users.
Hopefully, this article will stir your interest and cause you to do some research on your own. Personally, I rarely ever boot into Windows, and can’t remember the last time I did. If you ever try Linux, especially Simply Mepis, you might find yourselves hooked just like me.