I’ve switched. Not from PC to Mac, but from Mac to Linux.

That’s right. I’m a card-carrying geek.

But I’ve switched to the friendliest Linux flavor I could find: Ubuntu. It’s free, it’s open source, and it’s MINE. Mine, because everyone that uses Ubuntu owns Ubuntu. Everything is customizable, from the Desktop background down to the very kernel the operating system runs on. I can even use entirely different desktop environments if I want, kind of like being able to run a Mac OS 9-style interface on Mac OS X’s code. Unlike a Mac, I can change the code anyway I want, and no one’ll come after me with a lawyer.

In fact, if I make it better, they’ll thank me. That’s how I get tech support now: from other users, who have tweaked and poked and written code and twisted things to work just how they want, then published how-to’s online. Check out the Ubuntu Forums for some examples.

So yeah, I’ve gotta use a command-line interface a little more now than before. And yeah, I’ve gotta spend time testing and tweaking some things to get them to work. But I can get them work, and I didn’t have to pay a dime for them.

Oh, and did I mention I can get Windows games to run, in Linux, without booting up Windows? Check out the Wine project. That’s the power of open source, folks.

Ron Toland @mindbat