Why bring home the penguin?
Thinking of moving to Linux from boring old Windows? Now why would somebody
want to switch over from a well known and ?easy to use? OS to something used by
geeks, hackers and the like. Well, the answers could be stability, a virus
free (so far) world and good quality software that comes for free.
My favorite answer is choice. In Linux you get what you want. Of course
this also means that you better know what you want. For example: in the
world of Microsoft, if you asked for an ice cream, you would get vanilla ice
cream in a plastic cup. Bill Gates has already decided that vanilla is good for
you. The cup would probably leak once in a while and you would have to pay
through your nose for it. In the world of Linux, if you asked for ice cream,
the penguin would ask, Which flavor? Cup or cone? Would you like chocolate
chips or not? And so on. At the end of it, you would get your ice cream and to
top it off, the penguin would smile and say "No charge, it's on the house" !
Sounds good so far? But before you start reaching for that Linux CD you should
know, that ice cream does come at a price. Your own sweat and blood.
Surprisingly, a lot of people are willing to settle for that vanilla cup just
because they do not want to put in the efforts to master Linux. If only they
knew what they were missing.
Which penguin do I choose?
The first step would be to decide which distribution of Linux to use. The ones
that I have tried are Red Hat, Caldera, Mandrake and WinLinux2000. I was told
Red Hat is the best supported but when I tried to install it, it kept asking me
questions till I gave up. Same for Caldera but this time I was better
prepared. The easiest to install was Mandrake. It recognized all my hardware
and asked few questions. For a newbie to Linux, I would definitely advise
Mandrake Linux 7.0. However, Caldera is far superior in terms of look and
finish. Another option is WinLinux 2000. You can install this through
Windows. It sits a icon on your windows desktop and can be started from there.
The advantage is -- no need for partitions. I would recommend WinLinux for
those who want to give Linux a try.
I have rated the various distributions as under : 1 = Best , 4 = Worst
Installation Ease Usage Looks Packaged Features Available Support
Red Hat 4 4 1 1
Caldera 3 1 2 2