Jan 15, 2006

 

My computer: Free at last

Over the past few days, I've successfully migrated from the conventional proprietary operating system to the refreshing Ubuntu Linux OS. I took the plunge soon after receiving the latest batch of Ubuntu Linux CDs I requested and which got for free.

Ubuntu Linux is refreshing as it gives a complete break from the monotony of Microsoft Windows XP and its predecessors. It provides a complete set of usable software starting with OpenOffice and a treasure trove of free and open source stuff.

Right now, I am doing the usual computer stuff I am wont to do and I'm doing them sans Microsoft Windows XP and its accompanying Microsoft softwares. Needless to say, I am satisfied and happy with the choice I made.

One good thing going for Ubuntu Linux users like me is that my computer has been transformed into a fortress no virus can ever enter. Microsoft programs are so virus-friendly, users who depend on them cannot brag about 24/7 protection against viruses.

On another plane, my computer has become the latest to be freed from imperialist dominance. Yes, my computer is free at last from the scourge of Microsoft and proprietary software. If Bill Gates would have his way, I would pay thousands of precious pesos yearly just to be able to use his Windows XP and the Microsoft Office. The other software proprietors also expect me to do the same for patronizing their products.

The Philippine government and the business community (especially the SMEs) should realize the huge savings that could come from chucking Windows XP and the other proprietary software. Dollars are siphoned off by Microsoft for each and every software license that need to be renewed. Meanwhile, we are all left to fend for ourselves in cases of virus attacks or breakdowns in software security and reliability.

But more than the savings, migrating to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) provides government, businesses and individual users the power to render these operating systems, software and technology products based on our specific needs and end-goals. It is thus no surprise that more businesses have reportedly been using Linux and FOSS in their enterprises especially in their servers.

True, it would take a process of relearning, reacquaintance and review in order to master any new craft or, in this case, a new way of running our computers. For a world with only a tiny minority who have actually seen or used computers, that should not be viewed as a tall order. The new and next generations of students could not focus learning how to master FOSS, shake off the stranglehold of imperialist software companies, and help forge a technology that serves the people and helps them attain the most profound social, political, cultural and economic objectives.

One more computer has been freed. Whose desktop or laptop is next?



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