Friday, October 21, 2005

Ubuntu - the first experience....and it fits!

Ubuntu – the shoe fits!

I am a small internet café owner in a third world country and has been in this business for nearly a year now. Business is still unpredictable at this stage. I am trained and has since been using a propietary operating system and all its applications – pirated or otherwise.

At the beginning of my business, I was introduced to Mozilla Firefox and Open Office. Since then, Firefox has been my default browser on all of my units. At that time, I wanted to change operating systems and venture into Linux. Unfortunately, my circle of friends have little or no knowledge of Linux operating systems.

Almost a year of operations, news of impending raids of businesses such as mine have been spreading and has caught my attention. Still, I was adamant to change my O.S. or buy licensed legal ones.

I have researched and found to my surprise that Linux has different flavors - “distros” as what they are called. More to my surprise that some can even be downloaded from the Internet – FREE!

On a Saturday night, having coffee with friends – one of them suggested I try Ubuntu. WHAT?!? I wanted to say wtf are you talking about? That got me to research more and finally downloaded the .iso live cd of Breezy Badger's preview. I liked it – it was like love at first sight! Still, I was hesitant to dive into Breezy.

I closed on a Friday...went to get cd's of different distros. Stayed in my shop and went on the process of elimination. For three days, I tried and installed and tried and installed...

On that Sunday, I tried Ubuntu. I installed. It fit! Took me till Tuesday evening to finish everything. I opened up at 9:00 p.m. Got me a few customers to try. It was kinda jittery at first. Wednesday came and I opened for full operations. First, I had to use a USB flash drive for printing. I didn't have the slightest idea to share my printers.

On that first week, it was trial and error all the way. I thank my customers for their patience, willingness to learn and their continued patronage. By the second week, I have learned synaptic and file and printer sharing. By the third week, I managed to get familiarized with Add Applications.

Help was provided for – by forums and mailing lists. I managed to find the local community here. Thanks to all those who helped and continue to help.

I still have problems: webcam chat, voice chat and games. Still, I will not turn back to my old OS. This is better. If for anything, Ubuntu gave me some kind of peace of mind and a whole new lot of friends.

Now, I have convinced a lot on Ubuntu and the open source. From someone whose programming skills are very rusty to non-existent, that's something to say.

I am still on my quest to solving my problems. Reading on some things...searching thru Google...indeed, Google is a friend!

I recommend Ubuntu to those like me who are clueless and has known only one operating system in their life. It's a big step but something to look forward to because it has empowered me and more people.

Now, I am paying forward by helping others. It is in this that you build friendships, communities and groups. Helping others while others help – that's a true sign that you are human. Afterall, Ubuntu is for human beings.

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