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Anton Dekker
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Ubuntu = Freedom!

28 November 2013, 09:51
Well, I've done it eventually! For years I have threatened to ban Microsoft and all its derivatives, spawns and pseudonyms out of my live. Obviously easier said than done, because Microsoft has completely taken over the world of our interaction with technology. I got truly “gatvol” with Microsoft reliability problems, virus fears, instability and forever crashes. I was tired of this stupid system that seems to consume itself, and every second day develop some new disease. I was even more tired and disillusion at the “so-called” Microsoft system specialists that speak a language nobody else understand, and always respond with, “Gee, I've never seen this before!” The final straw was when Windows 7, for some inexplicable reason, suddenly one day decided it will from now on refuse to read or interact with anything plunged into a USB drive!

I obviously cannot afford to go “Apple” on all my computer needs, so what to do? I acquired a Linux operating system, the one called Ubuntu. It is the package conceived by our own IT genius Mark Shuttleworth, and currently the most popular Linux package world wide. The other big ones are Debian, Fedora, CentOS and redhat. Ubuntu is basically Debian with a batman suit on. So, with an unusual bout of anxiety, I pressed the button that asked if I want to reformat my hard drive and remove all previously installed operating systems and software. And in mere minutes, Microsoft was exorcised out of my computer and more importantly, out of my live.

Suddenly I had to learn how the interact with my computer all over again. I thought it was going to be a daunting task, but it took me a very short while to find out how this new system works. Very easy, I most say, even a technological ignoramus like me can learn it. Now, next step, software. Ubuntu made it so easy. There are a plethora of every conceivable piece of software, for every conceivable task available in a special library, not unlike “Google Play” for phones. It is as simple as, find what you need, and download it. The system does the installation for you!

The package comes pre-loaded with LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox as browser and Thunderbird as mail client. I downloaded the Afrikaans spell Checker for LibreOffice, as experiment, and was kindly surprised. It is much more accurate and grammatically sound than Pharos, which I used with Microsoft Office, and it is free! Existing “Word” documents created in Microsoft Office can be read and edited in LibreOffice. You can even save documents in Microsoft Office format, when sharing documents with someone stuck in Microsoft hell. The only hiccup I had was with Exel documents. I don't know if it is my inadequacies or the system's, but I cannot seem to open Exel documents in LibreOffice without losing some data. I'm working on that one.

Mozilla Thunderbird set itself up with my gmail account, loaded and set the “pop” servers and other weird things and it didn't once asked me any “pony tail” language questions.

All my “so-called hardware problems" also suddenly completely disappeared into thin air. My computer is substantially faster, and completely stable, and “all my USB ports are suddenly working again”. The monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, web-cam, external sound system, internet router, etc. that I plugged into the computer installed itself, found the necessary drivers on the web, and is working like magic.

The question now lingers in my mind, why did I so slavishly spend thousands over the years, to further enrich an already super rich corporation, who is supplying the world with fallible, bad quality products at hugely inflated prices, if a free, easy to use, reliable system is available to all of us, for FREE? 

Well, I am an UBUNTU LINUX convert, and FREE!
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