I have been using Microsoft OS’s since 1999. First I worked with Microsoft Windows 95. Later I found a laptop with Microsoft Windows 3.1 and kind of enjoyed it. Next was Windows 98 which I used for quite some time even after the advent of Microsoft Millennium Edition. Then came the XP I revere most even today. My relationship with Microsoft Vista was too short and now I am using Windows 7 but don’t see much innovations there compared to Windows XP. Now I am waiting for Windows 8 to come. Hope at least that will bring some features that would take the world by storm.
I have used Apple Mac with Mr. Donald Gaminitillake in 2000. I learnt Photoshop and my first web designing lessons from Mr. Gaminitillake with his computer. He had a Japanese OS of Mac and I had to fight a hard battle to learn with it as I didn’t know any Japanese. But I was able to design the first version of Horizon website with a Mac with his support.
My love affair with Linux is with a lot of disturbances. I went to Ubuntu website and ordered free CDs and they reached me but I was scared to install it as I thought Windows would be affected. 3 CDs went into waste.
Next Revantha Udugampola gave me a used PC and a CD with Ubuntu OS while I was in Badulla in mid-2006. I ran it as a live CD and worked a little but not convinced to install it as the default OS. I was scared to install it with dual boot option as I thought Windows would be affected.
Anuruddha Rathnaweera and the company of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) visited Horizon Lanka on October 21, 22, 2006 and did several lessons on Linux and related software but I was not convinced to go up to an extent of installing Linux at Horizon’s computers. But some students mastered the game and use FOSS even today.
Danishka Navin of Sinhala Firefox fame wanted to send me a Hanthana Linux version when I was in Anuradhapura but the CD never reached me as something happened when it went to a friend’s friend and got lost on the way. He again brought me a DVD after I came to Colombo and I tried to install it in a laptop with Windows Vista but it never permitted me to install it. I tried several times and gave it up.
I brought the laptop to Colombo and again tried to install it with a friend of mine who is a Linux user for some time but the DVD was missing this time and there was only the DVD case with me. I can’t remember where I left the DVD.
Yesterday, since there was a Refresh Colombo event in Colombo and I decided to attend, I left few messages in Twitter asking any attendee to bring me a Linux or Ubuntu DVD as that laptop was giving some problems. It would take a long time to boot up and will give funny responses to my commands. I wanted to reinstall the shift to another OS.
Gaveen Prabhasara @gaveen had seen my tweet and promised to send me a copy of Linux with Jude Fernando @judesfernando. I collected the set of CDs from Jude at the Refresh Colombo event. Gaveen had sent me Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Fedora OS’s and I tried to install Mint but it stuck on the way. Then I tried Ubuntu and it worked perfectly well. But Alas! The keys in QWERTY line of the keyboard didn’t work this time. The problem persisted even before I installed Ubuntu but I though it will be solved with the new OS. Now I have to wait till the keyboard is repaired to use Ubuntu. I feel that though I like Linux, Linux doesn’t like me.
Well, traditionally Linux wasn’t the esiest of OS’s to boot with. However things have moved and projects like Ubuntu, Mint and GNOME have certainly helped the cause. Things have certainly started to just work for even non-techies. That’s one of the best things happening to Linux adoption lately.
As with anything new there’s a lerning curve. You’ll find the names and terms a little different, different concepts and different tools. As far as you are ready to use Linux as you work in an Operating System (as opposed to your workflows in Windows), I’m sure you can get your work done readily.
Also, Linux/FOSS communities will be more than happy to lend you a hand, in case there’s help needed. Good luck. 🙂