[ALUG] Why Do You Use Linux?

Mark Rogers mark at quarella.co.uk
Wed Dec 22 09:01:46 GMT 2010

On 20/12/10 20:55, Simon Royal wrote:
> So what make you lot a Linux? Why do you decide to walk on the other side of M?

For me, I'd dabbled a bit with Linux on the desktop but been using it on the 
server for years (I'd guess since RH7 or about the turn of the millennium, 
whichever was first). I had a Linux desktop at home since Ubuntu 5.10, which 
was my main desktop but to be fair pretty much only used for web browsing and 
email, so it made little difference which OS I ran (and I'd built the PC 
myself so it didn't come with a "free" Windows OS). [1]

The turning point for me was at work. My Windows desktop was working fine one 
minute, but the next reported that it couldn't find a file on my hard disk, 
which after some investigation turned out to be some serious corruption of the 
partition (I think I had a background defrag going on, if memory serves me 
right - this was a few years ago). I shut the PC down to go get some Linux 
tools to start recovering files, and when I came back the PC had clearly got 
part way through the shutdown, crashed, rebooted, and Windows was busily 
"fixing" my hard disk. I did my best to recover the data but got very little 
back (although I'm much better versed in photorec and scalpel now that I was 
back then).

So, out of pure frustration (anger would be closer to the truth) which would 
have seen the PC go out of the window were there no alternatives, I put Ubuntu 
on (7.04 I think), swearing never to go back to Windows, knowing that within a 
week I'd have had to reinstall Windows just to get my day job done. Except I 
never did. In fairness I do have a second PC with Windows for those 
Windows-only jobs (part of my job requires me to use Windows-only development 
tools), but my main desktop has been Linux since then and it's enabled me to 
do a lot of things the others can't do (just the simple availability of tools 
like whois is surprisingly handy).

NB: For anyone like me managing two desktops side by side, synergy is a 
fantastic tool for making it almost seamless!

[1] A side note on this: I have replaced the PC hardware on my home desktop 
twice; once because the PC died, and once because of a planned upgrade. On 
both occasions I took the hard disk from the old PC and plugged it into new 
hardware, and everything just worked (aside maybe from failing to start X on 
older versions because the drivers were wrong, but that can be fixed from the 
command line fairly easily). You simply cannot do this with Windows, and I 
love that it makes my OS hardware-proof.

Mark Rogers // More Solutions Ltd (Peterborough Office) // 0844 251 1450
Registered in England (0456 0902) @ 13 Clarke Rd, Milton Keynes, MK1 1LG

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