Thursday, June 21, 2007

Why I left

Some of you, my friends, might ask why I stopped using Windows (and what I'm using now). To answer the first question as to why I abandoned Windows, have a look at these screen shots of my desktop:

Now, seriously, who wouldn't want to use a desktop like that?

Yes, that is a true 3D desktop you're seeing and before you ask, no, that is not Windows Vista new feature.

Nothing, be it Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS X, can do this.

These are screen shots from my Linux desktop, running a piece of compositing window manager software called Beryl (now called Compiz Fusion).

Yes, Linux.

I'm now using GNU/Linux (or more commonly known as 'Linux'), specifically a Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution. The reasons I'm now using Linux, other than the cool 3D desktop you've seen above, is that Linux satisfies all of my needs. I can use it to surf the net, listen to musics, watching movies, writing documents, playing games, etc., all without having to worry or deal with virus, spyware, malware and other issues that usually plagues Windows.

What is Linux? Well, in short, it's an OS just like Windows or Mac OS. The main differences between Linux and Windows is that Linux is free (as in freedom). You can download, use and modify it in anyway (in contrast to Windows, where you didn't even 'own' the software that you buy, you just sort of 'lease' it, according to Windows EULA).

Not only Linux is freely available (meaning that you didn't have to pay, at minimum, 2,700 bath for Windows XP, 5,000 to 10,000 bath for Windows Vista or 100 to 250 bath for a pirated copy of XP/Vista) but Linux is more secure than Windows. For example, Windows's virus, malware and spyware cannot infect or hurt Linux (in fact you can even open some infected files, such as word document, in Linux without causing any harm!). This eliminated the need for anti virus software and the like (thus freeing your system resources for other, more productive tasks).

Other advantages of Linux is that it uses less resources than the bloated Windows while retains the same level of functionality as Windows and more. See the screen shots above? With all that effects turn on it only used about 250-290 MB of RAM and require only intel graphic card to work. With Vista you'll need at least 1 gig of RAM or more (2 gig is recommended), with a latest (=expensive) NVIDIA/ATI graphic card to have a decent frame rate.

Also, in case of Ubuntu (and most other distributions), Linux comes packed with all the essential applications such as word processor (OpenOffice) internet messenger (Gaim), movie player (MPlayer), etc., and the best thing is (in Ubuntu) all of the application support Thai language right out of the box! You don't have to spent 7,000 to 15,000 bath for Microsoft Office (or pay about 100 to 200 bath for a pirated one) or any other software because all you need is already included in a single CD install and all the software included is freeware/opensource released under GPL, meaning it will always remain freely available (just as Linux is) so you don't have to worry about author of a software suddenly start charging money for their software.

Of course, Linux has it's own downside. The first obvious one is that most Windows applications won't work on Linux. (there are attempt to make them work, but there's still a long way to go). This also means that most games that run on Windows won't work with Linux, so if you're hardcore gamer who want to play the latest, greatest game, then Linux might not be for you, yet.

The second issue is that Linux supports less hardware than Windows, this is because currently there are far fewer people using Linux than Windows, so most hardware providers decided not to provide driver for Linux. The third is that in order to use it, you must be ready to read, a lot. Some people might get discouraged by the fact that most document/tutorial available is only in English, most of the time. The last downside is that you'll need to familiarize yourself with it (since it is quite different than Windows). This of course takes time and effort, but nothing too hard for those who wishes to try.

Most people in Thailand never heard of Linux. Those that do often see it as being 'old' or 'DOS-like' (because it's command line interface) and dismissed it as useless or obsolete. These attitudes cannot be further from the truth! Linux have come a long way since Redhat Linux first come out in 1994-1995 and today can stands on it's own as an alternative to Windows as a OS for desktop computer.

So if you are bored with all the viruses, malwares, spywares and all the hazards/issues on Windows, want a OS that is more efficient than Windows or simply don't want to use pirated software (and don't have tons of money) then by all means considered Linux as your alternative. Remember, you have a choice (despite Microsoft efforts to make you believe otherwise).

  • For more information on Ubuntu, check out this link.
  • For more information about other Linux distributions (and Linux in general) look here.

PS. โอ! ติดลมจนเขียนซะเยอะเลย (แถมผิด grammar อีกเพียบตะหาก :P) ก็เอาเป็นว่าตอนนี้ผมเเปลี่ยนจาก Windows XP มาใช้ Ubuntu GNU/Linux แทนแล้วนะครับ (อย่างที่เห็นใน screen shots ข้างบน) ทั้งเร็ว+สวย กว่า Windows เยอะเลย ลูกเล่นก็เยอะทำอะไรได้มากกว่า แถมเรายังไม่ต้องห่วงเรื่องไวรัส สปายแวร์ต่างๆ อีกตะหาก (ดีจิงๆ)

PS2. อ้อ ตอนนี้ผมเปลี่ยนระบบ comment ใหม่แล้วนะครับ ตอนนี้ทุกคนน่าจะ comment ได้ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้ามีปัญหาอะไรก็ส่งเมล์มาบอกได้นะครับ

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