I have recently just made a family wide wipe out of Windows. My sister’s home computer recently got infected with a virus (all it took was a simple connection to the Internet) and I was tasked to fix it. My mom complained that she did not have enough games to play on the same computer. So, the solution to both these problems (and more) was just to install Linux on it.

Since I had a free CD of the latest Kubuntu install, I decided to install it everywhere. I installed it in my dad’s computer at home and also my sister’s home PC. Adding that to the Linux installs on my two laptops and my home theatre PC, makes every PC in my family, Linux running. Although I still think that Slackware is probably the coolest distribution around, *buntu makes a very compelling case for the desktop market.

The fact that this distribution has made great inroads in the short time that it has been around, speaks volumes of it. It has recently been featured in a New York Times article, along with its backer, South African billionaire – Mark Shuttleworth. My experience with Kubuntu has shown me that desktop Linux is already here. I honestly sympathise with the people who struggle along with Windows simply because they do not know any better.

However, this article was as much about Mark as it was about Ubuntu. I liked the fact that Mark is a technical guy who understands technical things and is truly passionate about open source. The fact that he is a billionaire, and who can afford to fund a free operating system out of his pocket change, is quite appealing to me. Sometimes, I feel that more of the rich would emulate people like Mark, who put their money to good use and fund things that can fundamentally change the world, rather than to just hoard everything.

People like him are my heroes. People with technical knowledge, who put it to good use, make wads of cash and continue to turn that cash into doing some real good and making a positive change in this world. Now, Mark certainly does not have enough money to take on the empire that is Microsoft alone, but with an army of volunteers behind him, he can definitely succeed – and he has just such an army of trained volunteers.

Finally, I love this quote from the article: “It is not because I need to watch porn in high-definition but because I want to see what you do differently.” – ditto.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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