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flipping the linux switch

Recently , i bumped on to a site and what struck me most is its title "Flipping the Linux Switch" . There are two words that made be stop and read about the article "Linux" and "Switch". It reminded me a few years back when i was the network administrator of a university. I was part of the team that made the first move towards open source integration not only to the university but to the whole CICM schools in the Philippines. Most of the plans were focused on the shift from Microsoft based computing to Linux based computing. A move that may take several years before properly implemented. The main reason why it needs several years of transition is its effect on the overall efficiency of the workforce because of the sudden change in IT infrastructure. This means long hours of trainings and orientation .

I have been an open source fanatic since i met linux and until now , though using Microsoft technologies on the job, i still doing some things to move to the other side. I know a lot may have tried taking a second look on Linux only to go back to Microsft. The site gave 5 tips on getting easy with a new OS. It means trying it out and not getting dissapointed in the end . These includes:

1. Experiment with LiveCDs - Yes , linux comes with a LiveCD and you can simply have a taste of it without even going through the process of installing it in your machine. You can visit this site to request an Ubuntu linux for FREE. If you want more than the live CD , try making use of a free virtualization software such as VMWare . Microsoft also have a free Virtual PC software but i had a hard time making Ubuntu run on it .

2. Install /home on a separate partition .But it's probably the single most useful thing to know as a Linux user, and will make management and any subsequent installs of your system a whole lot easier.

3. When in doubt, use the vesa drivers!.Graphics support is sometimes an issue with Linux. Many distros give you the option to configure your card if it is not immediately recognized by the system. This is where a lot of new users get tripped up. They tend to pick the driver that seems closest to their graphics card model. Sometimes they're lucky, and it works. But if you're a brand new user, your safest bet is to use the vesa driver. You won't get fancy effects, and it'll look ugly, but you will have a graphical interface. You can then search for the correct drivers for your card.

4. Fear not the command line. You don't need to be a guru to use the command line. Sometimes the quickest, easiest way of getting to the root of a problem is to whip open a terminal, and type the name of the program you want to run. If it's segfaulting, or can't find a component it needs... the output will tell you. The command line often gives you hooks to dig into a problem, whereas just clicking on the launcher might just get you an endlessly bouncing cursor and nothing to go on. Linux is particularly forthcoming with useful error messages, but you need to know where to look.

5. Ask for help before you get frustrated.

Making the switch to Linux can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. There is a lot of advice out there, some good, some bad, and some that just won't apply to your situation. With these five tips in your arsenal, you're well on your way to a positive Linux experience.


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