Linux Distributions


I find that most people say they like free stuff, but when I ask them why they run windows or mac instead of a Linux distribution, their responses are either: “What’s Linux?“, “Linux is communist.“, “Linux is free?“, or “Nobody uses Linux.“. Well, to get things straight, Linux is not communist, that’s just something that the windows CEO spread around with this idea that open-source is communism; another, yes, Linux is free, free as in you don’t pay, and free as in freedom; finally, it’s not that nobody uses Linux, it’s that barely any normal users use Linux. Most super computers run Linux, along with 80% of the servers in the world, you know what server runs Linux, here’s a list: Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, etc. If you want, you can go to this website <http://www.infobyip.com/>, and look at the field called “operating system” and check which operating system your router is running.

There are many different distributions of Linux, some of the most popular being Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora (also known as Red Hat), but there are many others, many of which are available at DistroWatch (here’s the link:<http://distrowatch.com/>), a website where people submit their distributions to make it easier for anyone to find them. There is also a search page where you can look for Linux distributions that fit what you are looking for, with many different choices of categories, such as: beginners, desktop, gaming, high performance computing, multimedia, old computers, scientific, security, privacy, education, and more; all for free (here’s the URL for the search page: <http://distrowatch.com/search.php>).

Debian, the distribution I am currently using, supports the most architectures, uses very little memory and processing power, runs rather fast, and supports the most amount of desktop environments. Now, for those of you who don’t know what a desktop environment is, it’s the style of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), that is most commonly known as the desktop to most modern day users who are technologically illiterate (no offense meant, it’s just a term), or in other words, how your desktop looks. For example, a windows GUI doesn’t look the same as a mac GUI. I am currently using the gnome interface, which is the default in Debian, but for beginners there are graphical interfaces that look a lot like the windows GUI or the mac GUI, such as Macbuntu (here’s a link: <http://lifehacker.com/5665765/macbuntu-makes-your-linux-desktop-look-like-mac-os-x>),  or Xfce (here’s a link: <http://www.xfce.org/>).

Also, there is a Linux distribution from Argentina called Estrella Roja, which was maintained up to version 2.6. The people who made it are a communist group of hackers (reminder, there is a difference between hackers, crackers, and people that make stupid posts on your Facebook account while you are logged in and not looking) who made this distribution to be able to work on relatively old computers, that may not even have a hard drive. This is because they have written it to be able to run on a CD, all you need is a computer that can read CD’s and you can run it. This operating system is also hard to find, now that the group has left the project for another one called EcuRed, which is a project to spread open-source and free software (here’s a link: <http://www.ecured.cu/index.php/ALBASOL>). But there is still a place where you can find version 2.6 of the Estrella Roja distribution, here’s the link: <http://estrellarojagnulinux.wikispaces.com/>.

On other terms, when I went to school in Spain, they used a distribution of Linux called Guadalinex (here’s a link:<http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=guadalinex>), a distribution made by the Junta de Andalucía for schools to run on their computers. This distribution is meant for education and comes with many educational programs automatically installed. But when I came to the U.S.A. to study, I found that they used mac and windows, both operating systems which they had to pay for, but that’s not the part that gets on my nerves, the bad part is that then they ask the parents to donate money to the school, while I see a bunch of still working 5 year old computers going to the dump, just because mac/windows doesn’t make operating systems supporting its hardware anymore. I have told the teachers that it would save them a lot more money in the long term (and maybe even in the short term) if they switched to a Linux distributions, but their excuses are the same as always, and invalid, when they respond: “Yes, but no one uses Linux.“, “Yes, but we already use this, and it’s easier to continue with what we have.“, or “Yes, but this is what everybody knows.“. The one thing that really gets me about that last excuse, is that the school is the one always saying that they promote variety.

The main reason why I suggest schools to use Linux, is because then the students won’t be as repelled to try using Linux. Now, how is this a good thing? Well, first off, it will help the students become more technologically literate, allowing them to have an easier access to the command line, and more access to the computer itself. Does this mean that they might screw things up a little sometimes, yes, but then they will learn from their mistakes. Now, having this knowledge, they will be able to use Linux at home, this is important because that way students from poor families can get a USB drive that has down to 0.5 GB of space on it, and a really old computer (which you can buy for very little these days), and they will be able to boot into the flash drive running a very small simple version of Linux, such as Finnix, which I run myself on a USB that only has 0.5 GB, and the USB still over half of the space left.

All in all, I think that if we get the newer generations used to using Linux, it will help  greatly in the future. Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Living Advertisements


You may not have noticed, but in all wealthy countries today people are basically walking, talking, advertisements. If you pay attention, you’ll see publicity everywhere, especially on people, whether it’s on their cars, on their shirts, or on their tattoo, advertisements are everywhere. At this point in capitalism, even people have been turned into ways to sell, or things to sell. Recently, there was a something on the news here in the U.S.A. of companies that are making homeless people free, wireless hotspots, and they “recommend” you give them $10 as a donation. This is embarrassing and inhumane, and to make things worse, they have a special t-shirt that states “My name is <name>, and I’m a wireless hotspot”, it doesn’t say that they have a wireless hotspot, it says they are one, basically proving the fact that we view them as inferior.

Ask yourself this question, why do we have the losers of society? but most of all, after this question has been posed thousands of times, why do we still allow this to continue? The answer to this is simple, humans are, for the most part, selfish. All capitalist countries today have large gaps between social classes, this is due to the fact that capitalism works that way. Capitalism works when there is continuous economic growth, but not linear growth, it needs exponential growth, it needs to make more wealth than it made the year before, leading to a need for people to spend more and more. Due to that, there comes a time when people can’t spend any more, and that was when dept began, but even dept has a limit. The limit is the deadline for returning the dept, which is what many people are encountering now. How does this lead to poverty? well now, people can’t afford to buy so many things and people begin to get laid off. In capitalism, this end is inevitable.

Now, back to the previous topic, human advertisements. Because there are all these poor people without a job, it gets easier for capitalists to do things (like the wireless hotspot homeless people), by giving jobs, with low salaries, to people who are desperate for some money to sustain themselves and their families. Now ask yourself, is this fair? is this right? The best examples of a modern countries that do not have such difference in social class, are Scandinavian countries, and Cuba. This is because these countries are built upon socialist and communist ideas of equality, which limits the difference between social classes.If you go to Finland, the difference between the poorest person and the richest person is very small, and this is because they pay you on how hard you work, and obviously, you can’t work a million times better than someone else. Cuba, on the other hand, has poor because it is a poor country, but you’ll notice that there aren’t any rich people either. This is because, in communism all are payed the same salary, which means that everyone will be in about the same economic situation. Although, even though Cuba is poor, it’s not because of communism, if you look, it’s one of the richest countries in the Caribbean, and it has an illiterate rate of 0%, better than any other country in the Caribbean. Obviously, compared to the U.S.A. Cuba is really poor, but then you’re not comparing apples to apples, you should compare Cuba to the rest of the Caribbean, and in that sense, it’s quite wealthy.

So, why do people think socialism is so bad? The answer is simple, the red scare. In the mid 1900s, after World War II, the Cold War had begun, and communism was a large threat to all capitalist countries. So what capitalist countries did is to point out all the bad aspects of communism and hide all the benefits of communism and censor it from the media. This lead to the utter hatred of communism and socialism in the U.S.A., but the hatred is unjustified, like an ancient grudge that was prompted by a third party for their own benefit. This is the reason why, if you ask an American what communism or socialism is, all they can say is “big government” and “dictatorship”, when socialism is actually democratic.

This is all I have to say for now, until my next post. Thanks for reading!