[ubuntu-za] My Journey with Linux or 'A Vision for Linux / Ubuntu'

Rusty zabear1 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 5 17:43:43 BST 2010

A Vision for Linux / Ubuntu

or My Journey with Linux

 Hiya everyone,                     Monday 5 April

 On Planet Ubuntu I came across the thoughts of one Shane Fagan on the
'Think Differently' - Vision topic (3rd April). A link here:


Fagan was asking what such a vision would translate into.

 Would it be taking a bite into Apple's market? Going after die-hart's with
money? How big is Apple's market? 6%? What does it mean going after the Mac?
Making Linux or Ubuntu a better Mac? Really?

 Would it be going after MS? Trying to take over the office world? With
what? OO? Yet is OO such that Linux could seriously go for the office world?
MS Access and the world of money is still somewhat of a problem, not so? And
have not Linux tried?

 Would it be going for the world of education? If you grab them while they
are growing up with your technology, they will not forget it and will stay
with it much easier, not true?

 Such were the questions being asked. A real thought provoking article and
worth the read. I was wondering what you all would make of it? Care for some
2c - or more :-) comment?

 In his article he makes one interesting point which I was uneasy with. He
says that Linux/Ubuntu was now at a stage where the common man (my wording)
could use it without problems. “I think we already meet this aim ... “ (it
just works).

 From where I sit (my soft very small-business chair in Pretoria as a
non-geek, but with a passion for everything Ubuntu, especially the Linux
philosophy), I cannot with a clear conscience say that everything just works
in Ubuntu/Linux. Yes, I have the freedom of choice. I am using Abiword to
write this letter – it works better for me even though I could have used OO
Word. Yes, Ubuntu is free from all the licensing and tied-in market
commercialism. Yes, Ubuntu works reasonably well under normal situations.
Yes, the community is the heart and essence of Linux/Ubuntu – without such
people (thanx Karl, Andrew, John and others, some of whom I have not even
met in person, some overseas whom I probably will never meet ((Bruno in the
Netherlands and others)), I would not have grown the passion and love for
Ubuntu which I have.

 But over the few years that I have come to use Linux, I have tried various
flavors of Linux. I met Linux as Mandrake, then Mandriva, then SUSE, then
only Ubuntu and loving Ubuntu, stayed with it.

But I had to try and take my data with me, over to each new system. Not so
easy. I did not know what (which programs etc.) to use each time. How to
migrate my mail? Which notes-program to use? Jots? or Tomboy or K-notes or
what else were there? Which mail program? Thunderbird or Kmail or Evolution?

End result was not so nice. I lost some mail which I would have liked not to
have lost (a year or three of it actually). I still have trouble getting my
old Outlook mail converted – also not so easy, but then I knew conversion
would not be easy (pun intended). Currently I have some mail in Thunderbird
and some in Kmail on different computers and have the devil of a time trying
to get it together in one kraal. Same with my notes. Exporting my notes in
the various notes-programs just to another PC (and I have four) is giving me
a headache. Now for the first time I am trying to get mobile connection.
Bought the wrong connection-dongle (a Mercer) but I did not know when I
bought it that I would not be able to connect if I tried to use it (and it
works like clockwork out of the box and immediately in MS – #2%&^!!!!).

Too much choice causes a lot of frustrations. Is that not part of the
problem with the VISION thing? Too much choice? That TED article on Too Much
Choice sure makes a valid point for me (from where I sit in my chair in

 What will Lucid bring? Will I change over to Evolution because it imports
the best (at this moment of time) and can (hopefully) export to my other
PCs? What will the learning curve be? I wish I had known Ubuntu first and
not the other Linux flavours so as to have a excellent benchmark. I wish I
had known of the various pitfalls of using more than one mail or notes
program before I started experimenting. Perhaps if only someone had told me
to make use of a 'basic list of programs' (a la MS one-fit-for-all style) so
that I could have grown with a basic set of programs and then started
experimenting from that base. I wish there were an easy way to migrate my
mail from one PC to the next (and my notes too).

 Perhaps my wishlist is something which I would include in my vision for
Ubuntu – so that other who are introduced to this wonderful world of Linux
may be spared my growing pains and may start from a smaller but more stable
base from which to learn the mind-blowing taste of Java which I enjoy.

 What will Lucid bring? Stability with the LTS, that I am really looking
forward to. May the force be with it, so that it will 'just work'.

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