Friday, April 15, 2011

Linux at 20, and My Personal Experience

Linux has turned twenty, though there might be more than one known "birthday".  
A few months back, I moved my whole office progressively to Linux. 84% have Ubuntu and the rest have Fedora. Since then, I have moved almost everything to Linux and OpenOffice, StarOffice or LibreOffice (I have all three whose files are perfectly interchangeable. 
Recently I read with pleasure the following paragraph: 
Linux runs everything from air traffic control systems to infotainment systems to nuclear submarines. Linux also powers the $10-billion CERN super collider, the special effects in Avatar. Zemlin also pointed out that Linux-powered stock markets now trade “72% of the world’s equity trades in 2010.” This, I might add, was before the London Stock Exchange went to Linux earlier this year. And of course, there’s been a “complete inversion” in supercomputing. In ten years, the top 500 supercomputers have switched from 96% Unix to 96% Linux. (taken from here). 
Looking back, I think I made the right decision. I had hardly any teething troubles,  got my assembled OS free machines much cheaper, and now my employees actually prefer Linux because of its speed and its cool graphics. They also regularly raid the Ubuntu software store and use nifty little and large applications for a variety of purposes. We have a script that automatically backs up contents of each machine in the office, including the Windows partition on 2 hard disks, onto a 2TB hard disk every day between 10 am and 12 noon.
Large part of the thanks for this transition are due to Nandan Bhat who runs Linux-based certification training courses from Novell and Red Hat in my city. My only gripe is that our heavy-duty printer, a scanner-cum-printer from Canon, has a Linux driver that for some reason does not work. So occasionally, for long print jobs, I need to switch one machine to Windows.

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