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I saved Linux for last because it is the computer OS of the future.  Windows has 20 years and then they will fade out like apple did.

Some of you might be familiar with linux, and may use it daily.  I'm thinking most people haven't.  

Linux is a kernal.  In computer terms, a kernel is the most basic and root software on a computer.  Windows has a kernel, DOS has a kernel.  Even macs have kernels now.   Very often people say "Linux" when they mean to say "redhat" or "Ubunuto".  The Linux kernel is used as the basic programming for lots of different operating systems like Ubuntu or Windows.  Unlike Windows, distributions (which is a generic way of talking about different linux based operating systems) may use the official kernel, because of the licence' or may change the kernel to better suit their needs.  What's more, even a user like you or I can build our own kernels to make our computers better for the way we use them.

This is a "symptom" of the general philosophy of people involved with linux.  Linux is licensed in a way that allows you to use the source code for any part of the operating system and change it any way you want.  You can sell your operating system, but only if you give it away for free.  That seems foolish, but it is a way of creating a niche market for yourself and maybe making some money.  An important website might be using your version of linux for free, but if they want you to give them support, it's $200/hour by phone and $5000/hr in person.  

I've used linux since 92 or so and it was rough back then.  It had a graphical user interface, but the applications were klunky.  Now, linux has become more mature and better written.  I use a particular distrobution called "Linux Mint" it is a derivative of Ubuntu Linux, which is fork from Debian Linux.  Debian Linux is among the first versions of linux that gained wide acceptance and remains popular today.   Other have built on the Strengths of Debian and given us Operating systems like Ubuntu and Mint.  

Redhat Linux was similar to Debian in that both gained early widespread use, but there are key difference mainly in the way applications were packaged.  Redhat was always the version I used.  But osome years back, Redhat morphed into a commercial subscription business, but at the same time spun off Fedora Linux.   Redhat technically broke the rules to take open source software commercial and not free, but in return they make all their software free as Fedora Linux long before it becomes RedHat Linux.

Even so, I'm not sure most people could switch from Windows today.  If a space alien landed and was forced to choose one,  he'd choose linux because it is a better OS.  However, we get used to doing things a certain way, and we don't want to change.  So Windows retains 95% market share.  All is not lost though.  Going forward, I think people will discover linux as a good backup OS.  If your Windows hard drive breaks, you can log into linux and order a new hard drive and use your computer even when it is technically broken.  In time, every virus/update microsoft updates your computer with at night that breaks Windows will give you more experience in Linux.  Soon enough, your primary OS will be linux, and your backup will be too.  Microsoft will be a game console company in 30 years just like apple is now a gadget company.

Linux will always be what people want ti to be.  There are a thousand distributions with a few majors.  

If you are concerned with security, many linux Operating systems are designed to be about as secure as is possible.  If you aren't worried, their are distibutions with more layed back security.  You can choose what you want from two, or you choose from thousands.  Thousands sounds better to me.

Anyway, you should start learning Linux now.  In the future it will be at the heart of most computers.

I think JLaw is next, so I'll leave this a week and then JLaw will take over the soapbox and hopefully be more interesting.

Chicken Dinner.


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