domingo, 24 de octubre de 2010

Tux and the Sixth Sense: I See Dead Linux!


It was so comforting to read those features asserting the unquestionable death of the Penguin OS on desktop computers at last. Windows is growing; Linux is disappearing. That's the way it should be. Linux can stay on servers, mainframes, supercomputers, highly important systems, where it belongs, not inside computers used by plain people. After all, why would regular users want an OS that runs on supercomputers sitting on their home/work systems?

When I read the first article about the death of Linux desktop, a shock of unbelief went through my spine. Could it be true? Could the dreams of glory of these obnoxious Penguin lovers be shattered as broken glass by the supremacy of the Redmond empire that we love so much?

More posts came up; all of them reinforced the idea of how Linux plummeted. Hence, a smile of satisfaction appeared in my face as I tasted the wine brewed from victory.

However, something happened which began to unsettle me.


In my city, I had only seen a Linux computer in the wild: it was a bothering little aubergine desktop in a small restaurant. Except for that one, all of the computers that I have seen for public use were nice and friendly Windows systems. So, I expected the owner to come to his senses in a two-month period...Yet, the Ubuntu computer is still there after four months. It's one example of unexplainable phenomena in the world.

Then, I recall that only two professors used Linux netbooks in the Faculty of the University where I work. Those systems were like a pair of little insects; I knew their owners had to switch to Windows soon. But they never did. As a matter of fact, I realized that there is another professor that is running Linux on her netbook and now wants to put it on her laptop as well...And there's a dual boot desktop in one of the offices, too. Every time I see it, the machine is running Linux.

Does that mean that Linux on the desktop is still alive and kicking? No, that's simply not possible! The articles were very solid and convincing. There must be something wrong here.

Let me take a look at numbers again:

From 1 Ubuntu desktop, 1 Mandriva netbook, and 1 Mepis netbook, it has gone to 1 Ubuntu desktop, 1 Mandriva desktop, 2 Mandriva netbooks, 1 Mepis netbook, and 1 Mepis desktop in a five month period.

Slowly, unrest took hold of me as I attended an event in the Faculty last Friday. It was a speech about Open Source!

They are announcing an institutional migration to Linux!

From 4,000 licenses the University paid to Microsoft two years ago, they went down to 500 this year. With the additional budget, the University has managed to acquire new equipment for students. The madness has gone to some regional centers, where they have already substituted their Windows systems. The University is also promoting open culture with a repository called Kérwá. As if all this were not enough, the University has a mirror server for ... (the horror!) Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and there is even an institutional customized version of Open Office!

My colleagues who went to the talk also want to migrate to Linux and Open Office! Didn't they see the beautiful video Microsoft produced explaining why you shouldn't? Or how the grades of students are affected negatively if they use Open Office instead of MS Office for their assignments?

Maybe people are actually reading the EULAs and they do not like the idea that you become a serf of Microsoft (a Microserf!)....I mean, if you neither own MS Office nor the proprietary formats (.doc, docx, etc) in which you save the files, how can you claim that the documents you produced are yours?...Could that be the reason explaining why professors and researchers here are gradually abandoning beautiful MS Office and its fair price? Or is it that they read the EULA and discovered that its terms are threatening their productivity?

But the story does not end there... Why should students of a Language School want to install Linux? They are simple users, not engineers! Linux is for GEEKS, not for normal people! Are they so geeky after all? What's wrong with them?? LINUX IS DEAD!!

I have suddenly realized that I must have paranormal powers... Yes, I have the Sixth Sense! Aaaargh!

Wanna know a secret...?
I see dead LINUX!

11 comentarios:

  1. Wanna know a secret? I see dead Linux, too! :S

  2. It wouldn't be the first time I used a 'dead' operating system. I was using CP/M-80 on a 64K Z80 dual floppy system for my workstation at work on the production floor until 1989. I only stopped using it because I left that job and a lot of work records were on the system, so I couldn't just take it with me (although I was the one who brought it to the job).

  3. Sensei, back at the Pharmacy Faculty, there are about ten or more desktop computers. These are the ones used as computer lab, and ALL of them use Ubuntu!! There is only one that uses WinXP and probably because that one is the one connected to the printer/scanner. Though I don't know which OS uses the Admin, I find hilarious that every student has to use Ubuntu. Looks like UCR's Faculties are becoming self-aware of what microsoft is becoming into.
    /Santiago S.

  4. @ Vanargand,
    If what you tell me is true, then you must take me to that ghostly lab to conduct a paranormal research: I want to take some pictures of the non-existent Linux computers!
    Maybe you are right...maybe Deans have finally started reading the infamous Windows and MS Office EULAs...

  5. はい!!元気です!!先生ば?=D
    Today I was working there, its funny how some students don't seem to have any difficulty adapting while others say it out loud "i hate it!"

  6. Yes, adaptation can be an issue... for migration, I would have chosen any KDE-based distro, as they have a more Windows-like environment. Let's see how that goes xD

  7. Sure! The penguin is dead and the entire University is migrating to this is going to become a cemetery! Reading about this migration really surprised me because I didn´t expect it to be so soon. Nevertheless, it is time to open those windows and move on. I guess foreigners like me will need to start learning about Linux. However, if a person has survived using Windows, I see no problem in moving to Linux. At the end, this is a learning process that can be easy for some and difficult for others, but it is necessary for all.
    Lasso de la Vega, A

  8. Definitely, the change seems worthy. The new OS on the computers will let students and professors learn about it. Moreover, many advantages as compatibility and security benefit the whole university. If Microsoft charges high rates and does not bring a high quality service, better options are available to improve the technological area in campus. The change might be complex at the beginning, but everybody will be able to learn through the time. Just imagining that fewer viruses will infect the flash drives and computers pictures a great future with Linux or any Open Source System. Torres, Y

  9. I'm so lucky beeing not really a plain people. I feel so lucky using cheap and legal system on my desktop. My country keep high record on windows hicjacking.

  10. Where I'm from Dead linuxes are spotted more and more on library computers (mostly Ubuntu). Personally I'm a necrocomputist: I prefer to use computers running dead linuxes ... or rather, ones that have risen from the dead xD The University I'll (hopefully) be studying next year uses Fedora, looking forward to it!

    1. A necrocomputist, that's a great way of putting it! Thanks for your comment and have a good time in the University with the hat distro.