Adventures Learning Linux

From years ago I've heard of the advantages of using the Linux operating system and so I finally determined to make an all out effort to learn it. In 2003 I downloaded and experimented with several Linux distributions. All my previous attempts ended in discouragement. The Linux distributions I tried to install did not find all the devices on my machine, and I did not know how to configure it to install the necessary device drivers. I realized that if I, a person considered to be a power user in Windows and MS-DOS couldn't figure out how to install and use a Linux system, the common user who still has troubles with Windows certainly wouldn't be able to learn it either. So I determined to find a Linux distribution that I considered simple enough for the average person to install.

Finally in February 2005 I found the distribution that I like best and works for me -- Fedora Core 3 Clicking the hyperlink will take you to the download site.

If you can install Windows on your own, you can install Fedora Core 3 Linux. In fact, I would say it is even easier and more user friendly than a Windows XP installation. For one thing, Linux will give you your choice of a default language to use. That means if you are not a native English speaker and you would prefer to use the language of your mother tongue, that language is available in Fedora Core to use. Not so with Windows. You would have to buy that particular language version of Windows.

Fedora Core will also give you your choice of a keyboard layout. It was no problem for me to install an English setup using a Japanese keyboard layout. Not so with Windows. Windows will balk at you if you try to change to a Japanese keyboard using an English version of Windows and tell you you are making a mistake even though you know what you're doing, ha!

I am soooo pleased with Fedora Core 3 Linux! And Fedora Core 4 will be even better than 3 and have the newest version of OpenOffice. I read that Ubuntu is even better and more popular than Fedora Core, but because it doesn't yet support Asian character input, I will have to wait till it does before I try it.

Topics

Lessons and tips


Why I switched from Windows to Linux

I have become quite concerned over certain issues about Windows, namely virus attacks, registry cleaning, security questions, web bugs, trojans, and general maintenance. The average Windows user seems to be woefully ignorant of most of these problems. When something bad happens, they don't know how to fix it.

Though I enjoy helping my friends and associates fix their various Windows problems, it has been very discouraging to see them have the same problems over and over again. Their kids get on the computer and install junk games, malware, pick up web bugs and spyware. The user's computer gets slower and slower and eventually comes to a grinding halt. I heard that Linux is much stronger and wanted to prove it to myself and take up the challenge to see if I could actually use it to the point that I can live without Windows.

Here is a good comment about Linux from www.softwaredomain.co.uk/Linux/linux.html

"It is also worth noting that the linux operating system, once setup is unlikely to need any user intervention or changes for a long time to come unlike some commercial operating systems that continuously distract the user from their task."

Isn't that a good enough reason to at least try it?

Linux compared to Windows:

Linux alternatives to proprietary Windows software

Check out this page to see a list of Windows applications and their equivalent applications available in Linux.

Can Linux get infected by viruses?

Here is a good page about that: http://www.netproject.com/wn/17aug00.html There are not many viruses written for Linux, and even if a user downloaded one by email, because the user is by default logged in to a limited account, the virus cannot modify system settings. Only a "super user" can make system changes or add more software by logging in as "root". Even a computer administrator would normally log himself in as a limited user in Linux and only log in as root to make changes. Though Microsoft encourages people to do the same in Windows XP or 2000, very few people actually do that. And because some Windows software will run properly only if run in an account with Administrator privileges, most users would prefer to be always logged in as the Administrator. They can therefore with administrator privileges damage the system by their own hand! Not so with Linux. There is no common user application that cannot be run with normal user privileges.

What I can do so far in Fedora Core 3

Cool things I like about Linux