I created mandrivachronicles almost a year after I first encountered Linux. The idea was to record my experiences with the OS and to use them as reference material. After all, I migrated to Linux on my own: no Linux fan persuaded me to start using this great OS, nor I had used it before. I had no technical knowledge (I was a long time Windows user). To be blunt, before migrating, all I knew about Linux was that it was an operating system other than Windows and that it used a penguin as a mascot.
However, after having used Linux daily for a year on my netbook, I decided that it was time to install it to my main desktop computer and to say good-bye to Windows. And so this blog was born.
I never expected my entries to be read by many people and I really did not consider that my experiences could help others. It was great to see other people also enjoyed reading about my humble steps into Linux land.
I have also discovered that:
- Through this blog, I met people who inspired me with their tales of courage, knowledge, talents, and efforts. And it was painful when some of them passed away (R.I.P. Eugeni Dodonov, Mandriva) or got sick (Texstar, PCLinuxOS).
- Linux interest, despite FUD, is on the rise. You can take a look at the numbers in Distrowatch. When I migrated to Linux in 2009, it took Ubuntu 2249 visits to be the first distro ranked. Today, the 3rd position has 189 visits more than that. Back in 2009, the last distro had 73 hits. Today, the 100th position is counted with three digits and has almost two times that number of visits.
- It's OK to use the OS that you like, but you must embrace your choice and live with it. I know that some people get annoyed when they overhear me speaking of free software; it's more annoying for me when they come to me to complain about the poor performance of their Windows computers or want me to fix them.
- The fate of Linux distros (even those who are relatively strong) is uncertain. When I migrated to Linux, I chose Mandriva, which was #6 back in 2009. Today, that distro is #46. Ubuntu and Gnome had their own bumps. Sadly, Fuduntu disappeared this year.
- Linux is addictive. I started using Windows and Mandriva. Then, it was only Mandriva. Today, I regularly use Mandriva, Mageia, PCLinuxOS, Mepis, AntiX and, occasionally, Pardus.
- For non-technical computer users, it is perfectly possible to abandon Windows and MS Office; it only takes an open mind. I personally know five people who have done it without any problem. Besides, most smartphone users have already done so, but they haven't realized it.
I did notice one thing. Since I abandoned Windows, the frustration associated to using my computers has vanished. The only reminder I've got of that once-too-familiar feeling is the multiple complaints I hear from my colleagues at the office, as they try to work on a non-Linux desktop computer.