Sandro T. Rafael
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LINUX

Linux is the coolest thing that happened in my life. This is a great leap in my study and career. I already worked in 2 different companies, and my advancement in learning is incredible. Linux plays a major rule to all of this.

When I started to work, I was introduced in Networking. Windows NT Server was my first love. It's a Network Operating Systems that operation is very much similar to Windows95/8. You don't need vast knowledge to use this and to administer your network. You will be an administrator at no time. Cool.

As time goes, like when I transfer to my present company, maturity and experience in administration is a must. I found many limitations in NT as my Network Operating Systems. This is the time that I try to learn new things like Linux. And it answers almost all my needs. Plus Iím learning also the core of OS and how networking and communication works in low level.

You can use Linux for a wide variety of purposes including networking, software development, and as an end-user platform. Linux is often considered an excellent, low-cost alternative to other more expensive operating systems. In fact as my experienced Linux is much better than my NT server. In our company I'm administering both MS NT server and Linux boxes. Our PDC, BDC, ERP, File/Printer, Production and Production servers are all running in NT. Windows NT administration is my biggest headache. I always experienced unexplainable things like the famous 'blue screen of death', Dr.Watson, hang-up, 'low in virtual memory', and my weekly schedule of reboot to flush the memory and after changing privilege passwords.

Compare to my firewall and Email server that are running in Linux, both are very stable. The only time that I need to reboot was when I add more hard drive, and upgrade the kernel.

I have also three 'practice Linux box' in office and one at home, all running very stable. And serve as my biggest learning tool in study of OS and Networking. 

I want to emphasize that Linux is no longer only for hobbyist hackers who dig so deep into computer code that it gets caught under their fingernails like gardening soil. Instead, Linux has found its way onto the servers and desktops of major corporations and of course in personal computers. It offers one of the most powerful and reliable systems available and as an open source system; it can be altered to meet the needs of its users.

Linux is an operating system that "belongs" to an entire community of developersm, not one corporate entity. In other words, anyone from professional software developers to hobbyist computer hackers can access and make changes to the Linux kernel-all the information about Linux is open and available to everyone. That's why Linux is known as "open source" or "free software," because there is nothing secret about this system.

With more and more people looking for an alternative to Windows, Linux has recently grown in popularity and is quickly becoming a favorite among major corporations and curious desktop users. Not only does it give users a choice of operating systems, it also proves itself valuable with its power, flexibility, and reliability.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Linux?

This is a common question to me, when someone knows that I'm using Linux. And my familiar answer is: Linux is an extremely powerful and reliable operating system that gives users a certain flexibility not found within other systems. Aside from the fact that Linux can be downloaded and upgraded for free (and therefore becomes attractive to small businesses and individuals on a small budget), it can also be altered by the user to fix bugs or meet specific operating needs.

Another advantage: Linux gives users a choice for their operating system. No longer do people have to rely on Windows or other Microsoft products to get their computing jobs done, they can turn to any number of open source programs. And if the company that developed a specific version of Linux goes out of business, the software can still be maintained. This promises Linux users a certain continuity to their systems, and minimal concern that critical updates and improvements will never stop being developed.

The disadvantages to using Linux currently include the simple fact that it can be tricky to install if there isn't support to help guide new users through the process. Likewise, users who are accustomed to using a Windows interface will have to adjust to a different system-although the adjustment generally isn't a complicated one. Some users have complained that the Linux interface is not as intuitive as a Windows interface, but Linux advocates argue that developers are improving the interface and graphics with each new version. Turning open source software into a user-friendly operating system remains one of the highest priorities for the development community, which will greatly benefit users in the long run. 

Is Linux difficult to install and use?

Users who experience difficulties installing Linux can often attribute the problem to unusual hardware or to computers that already have another operating system installed. The good news, however, is that every new version of Linux becomes easier and easier to install and use-it's a high priority with Linux development. And companies such as Dell and IBM are selling computers with Linux already installed. 

What is the future of Linux?

Linux developers are rapidly trying to make the software as user-friendly as possible and they continually create new interfaces and functionalities. Their goal is to make the programs as appealing to desktop users as they are to major corporations and agencies that depend on Linux for its power and reliability. Linux' ability to be improved is one of the strengths of open source software, simply because an entire community of talented developers can devote their efforts to fixing problems and adding new innovations. In another prediction for the future, Linus Torvalds, who created Linux, has said he thinks the future of Linux lies in supporting a wider range of systems, taking advantage of and expanding Linux' portability. 

If you finish reading up to this part, send email to me, and we will be a companion from now on. Give me your level of knowledge in Linux and whatís your interest. We will share information, and help each other to learn more about Linux. If I have any update, you will be the first to inform. My present project is leased line (ala ISP) using Linux, and Iím always making update in my IPCHAINS firewall. If you want my script in firewall, I can give it to you. I have also many references about Linux that may help you too.

Letís now start our journey. It will be a long way, but letís make it a learning and enjoyable experience. Are you ready?

Donít be left behind. Learn Linux today. 


Written: 24-Oct-1999


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