Linux is an Operating System for your computer. If you are not a deadbeat in technology, you must have heard about it somehow.
Let's face it, the first thing that comes to peoples mind when they think Linux is its terminal (to which many are still scared of). Most colleges usually have at least one semester to teach the students basic shell commands in Linux or Unix; mine did. I was a bit allergic to Linux at first, but soon realized what I've been missing so far.
Flashback : Sometime in 2007 – 2008.
It all started one day when with CHIP Magazine which I got from my university and found a DVD in it containing various software. What was printed in the upper half of the DVD caught my attention.
In a green coloured layout was written, “Linux Mint”. I did not know at that time that operating systems are distributed for free in DVDs.
Since then I had the curiosity to try Linux Mint once, but brushed aside the thought since I did not know anything about how to get it to run in my desktop computer.
In the book titled, “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci”, Michael J. Gelb (Author), writes about Curiosità being the first step in awakening your inner genius.
There is also a WikiHow article (http://www.wikihow.com/Think-Like-Leonardo-Da-Vinci), which describes the same.
So I get on to the INTERNET and learn all about Live CDs, BIOS setup, First Boot device etc.
I set my first boot device to CD-ROM and inserted the Bootable DVD which started Linux Mint right before my eyes.
From freedom came elegance. (That's what it said at startup)
As Linux Mint started, I was startled at the welcome sounds that came in from my speakers. I clearly did not expect this. I thought it required driver installations like Windows did.
The Ethernet cable worked out of the box and I was connected to the INTERNET.
It was Linux Mint Cassandra.
Mint names their operating systems alphabetically like Google names Android (Alpha, Beta, Cupcake, Donut, Froyo, Ginger bread, Honey Comb, Ice cream Sandwich,Jellybean, Kitkat and so on...)
I browsed around the applications and couldn't believe that they packed all kinds of software in it. Movie players, browsers, office applications; the operating system was ready to use after five minutes of me seeing it for the first time.
I had the insatiable urge to click the install button in the desktop and own this Operating system. I clicked anyway and it took me through some formatting options which I had no clue about.
I cancelled the operation and shutdown after some browsing.
Again, Baby steps.
I had this Idea of installing Linux Mint at the back of my mind all the time from that incident. I didn't have the guts to go ahead with it. I was afraid of the uncertainties involved in the process.
I soon got a laptop and on it was running Windows 7. Due to some virus problems, I was forced to reformat my laptop, and thus opened the window of opportunity to try Linux.
I downloaded the latest version at the time and installed it.
That's me writing this article in Libre office, a free opensource Office Suite. Chromium browser (Opensource version of Google Chrome) on the left, Dolphin (file manager) on the right. The desktop environment is KDE(http://www.kde.org/).
It was difficult at start but as I learnt to mingle with Linux, it was everything i dreamt of. It was fast. Professional. Had software for almost everything I needed.
I had to struggle initially but eventually grew out of the uncertainty and never went back.
And finally I ended where I started.
PS: If you get the hang of it, the terminal is the best way to do things in a blink of an eye instead of using GUI front ends.
http://www.linuxmint.com/ (their current version is Mint 15 Olivia at the time of writing)