Catch 'em Young

The nature of my job offers me direct acess to a good number of smart people in the Industry, from whom I have managed to pick up a few good lessons in life. And I have had the opportunity also, to talk to so many of them about the stability and features of Solaris OS and the immediate need to adapt to a Unix flavour to explore the actual computing power of a computer. Most of them, however, were reluctant to absorb this idea, indicating how dependant they were on the more familiar Windows Operating System, but a handful of others expressed their willingness to change their Operating Environment and try out something that would give them a better control and stability. Well, it is purely a personal decision to choose one's working environment (read OS) as per the requirements, but at the same time it wouldn't also be a bad idea to try out the various options that are available and then choose things wisely.

I have found young people to be more open minded, may be because they are less egoistic. You pour ideas into them and they would start absorbing it and then would accept it if found interesting or would reject it mercilessly, but would certainly not close their ears to suggestions. So it is always good to begin a revolutionary process with them, the young ones. Afterall, they are the future torchbearers.

Richie is my nephew and he is barely 15 years old. Like many others, he has been using a Windows version to play video files, to listen to music, to surf the Internet, to prepare his project reports and perform various other routine tasks on a computer. Recently I suggested him to try out something different. I did so mainly for the following reason: I didn't want him to get into the loop of software piracy affairs and wanted him to know that there are several open source solutions available for students like him, which would not require shelling out too much of money for the OS and the other related softwares. My suggestion to him was to use Ubuntu. Why Ubuntu? Coz, it's cool. Why not Solaris? Because he doesn't require such a sophisticated Operating System. And thus I installed the Ubuntu 7.04 Beta on my machine to familiarise him with the GNOME interface. It looked awesome!

For me, the Ubuntu desktop environment just appeared very similar to that of Mac OS X. Even Richie found the well organized GNOME desktop very interesting. Without much assistance he could navigate through the menu on the desktop and found out all that he wanted on his own. Below you would see Richie enjoying his Ubuntu experience.

Richie is browsing the Sun website and has started to show interest in knowing more about the open source community. He has already had an argument at School about this newly installed OS (I wouldn't encourage that of course) and is very keen to spread the information about a 'non-windows' OS to as many people as possible. Overall, he could get used to the Ubuntu environment just under an hours time!!!

If a Fifteen year old could do this, why would an Eighteen old guy keep himself away from this change. My cousin Vivek stepped forward to start using this 'new OS.' And he was happy too with the great look and feel of Ubuntu.

For Vinu, as we all call him, this OS offered him an interesting feature: minimal (no) use of CTRL + ALT + DEL key. He also hates to spend money for Anti Virus packages and I have guaranteed him that he wouldn't require any of those softwares anymore. Know what, he is now trying to find out a mobile ringtone that matches the startup music of Ubuntu OS.

Apart from keeping themselves away from the dirty software piracy affairs, these young chaps would also be able to add values to their life by being a part of a community program, where qualities like unselfishness, sharing and the likes are given very high priority.

It is true that I don't control their destiny. Afterall they are the makers of their destiny and they might even take a route that would not involve extensive usage of a computer. But for the time being I know for sure that these lads hold an upper hand, because they at least know, unlike several other who hesitate to open to suggestions, that Windows is not the only choice that they have.

They have taken up the task of talking about this to their friends and acquaitances and I am sure several people of their age would come forward to try out this change. It would then be a pleasure to watch all of them play around with different flavours of Unix. Let me also add here that I have also provided them with a copy of Solaris 10 Developer Edition. Who knows, they might use it pretty soon!

I know there are a few out there, who wouldn't readily accept what is written on this note. I would rather encourage them to express their comments on all that I have written about. But before doing so, please ensure that your answers to the following questions are 'yes.' Only then would you be eligible to write a comment for this entry.

(1) The Operating System that you use at your home is either a freely distributed version of an OS or a commercial OS for which you have paid, and not a pirated copy.
(2) The softwares that you use at home including the office suite are either free softwares or commercial packages for which you have paid, and not a pirated copy.

If you are associated with a few young guys in one way or the other, please do guide them to the wide range of options that they have in choosing their work environment (read OS) and believe me, they would thank you for the same. Catch 'em young.


Rajesh, this catch 'em young should be read by all youngsters, this will be motivating them to know about other operating systems...

Posted by Vaishnavi on April 11, 2007 at 01:53 AM IST #

I do agree with you when you say 'catch'em Young', this is the time when people are ready to accept the change very easily. Well I tried converting my Dad in to a Linux user, loaded Kubuntu on this Laptop. I was really happy to see that he was very satisfied with the way it worked. But sadly he has to discontinue it as he had to use some proprietary client softwares which were not available for Linux. Another thing i wanted to mention was that, most of the Linux user community is invariably Windows hating community. I guess when we 'catch'em' it becomes our responsibility to tell them that, they can use Linux but do not have to hate windows for that matter. The fact that Linux and Windows can co-exist on the same box at the same time, is Linux's way of telling us, use Linux but don't hate Windows.

Posted by Kunal on April 11, 2007 at 02:14 AM IST #

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