Discovering Linux

Everywhere you look, it seems like you’re presented with two choices. Coke or Pepsi, Democrat or Republican, boxers or briefs. Always two choices…only two choices.

Tux has become the official mascot for Linux. Linux is a free operating system that's great for users looking to breathe new life into an older computer—and save a lot of money in the process. (Image © Larry Ewing/The GIMP)

It’s the same way with computers. There’s Windows and Mac, and beyond that…nothing. At least, everyone assumes there’s nothing. And so, when you decide your old computer has seen better days and it’s time for a new one, you head off to the nearest big-box retail store to fork over several hundred dollars for a new Windows computer. Or, if you’re a bit more hip, you might head to the nearest Apple Store, with its elegant atmosphere and iPad-toting employees, where you’ll fork over even more money for a computer (albeit a better one).

There’s nothing wrong with Windows or Mac. Both operating systems have their pros and cons, and for lots of people, both are more than adequate for everyday computing needs. However, most people don’t know that beyond Windows or Mac, there’s actually a third option. It’s fast, it’s secure, and best of all, it’s completely free—in more ways than just price. It’s called Linux.

What is Linux?

Linux is a computer operating system, just like Windows or Mac. In a nutshell, an operating system is a piece of software that actually allows you to use your computer. In that regard, Linux is the same as Windows or Mac: It lets you run programs, get on the Internet, and do all the things people do with computers. Linux is different than either of its more popular proprietary brethren, though, in that it does all that without costing you a dime. And in almost all cases, it lets you do it faster, with less demanding hardware.

Why should I care?

Where Linux can really benefit you—the average Joe or Jane computer user—is by saving you hundreds of dollars on buying a new computer. Why buy a new computer when you can keep your old one and give it a second lease on life? Odds are, you’ll find that you’ll be able to do everything you did with your old operating system, except faster. And if you don’t like it, you won’t have wasted any money at all.

This blog is intended to help you discover what Linux is all about and how you can put it to use on your own computer. Maybe you’re considering buying a new computer but don’t want to spend the money. Maybe you have an older computer sitting around that you’d like to revive and get some use out of. Or maybe you’re just in the mood to try something new. Whatever the case, this blog will serve as a guide as you discover and navigate the world of Linux. It’s written by a beginner for beginners, not computer geeks. And while you’re in the process of speeding up your computer, you’ll probably end up learning a little bit, too.

Are you ready to take the plunge? Step outside the box and give Linux a shot—you’ll be glad you did.

Posted on January 29, 2012, in Discover Linux and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Discovering Linux.

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