Friday, December 18, 2009

Switching to Linux

Photographer Scott Rowed has penned an excellent essay on his experience in switching to Linux, and has posted it at ScienceBlogs. You should read it.

It's an interesting read. Scott acknowledges that "Changing operating systems is not a task to be taken lightly." But after experiencing a crippling Windows virus, he decided to give Linux a try. Scott expected some complaints from the rest of the family, got some, but looks like things settled down fairly quickly.

I think this sums up Scott's experience pretty well:
Yes, there were complaints. "It looks different." "My teacher can't open the report I wrote in Open Office". But after a couple of weeks the issues faded when everybody got used to the different style and realized that you could "save as" to Microsoft Word format.

I anticipated problems connecting other hardware, so it was a pleasant surprise when our printers, scanners, MP3 players and digital cameras (from the kids' Coolpixes to my pro Nikon D3) were recognized and functioned normally.

Then I was asked to present a slide show with a rented projector. I booted into Windows XP and connected the projector. Nothing. For over two frustrating hours I tried everything I could think of to make XP talk to the projector. The rental shop was closed so there was no tech support. Desperate, I booted into Ubuntu and to my shock the image instantly projected onto the screen. No keys to push, no drivers to install - it just worked.
So basically, Scott had heard that "Linux won't work" as the standard Microsoft mantra, and assumed he'd experience hardware incompatibilities. But when it came down to it, Linux worked fine with his peripheral devices. And everyone was happy with it.

1 comment:

  1. I will keep this in mind whenever someone mentions hardware incompatibilities as an obstacle in switching to Linux.

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