Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why I get more and more convinced that I should convince people to use Ubuntu

I have just read the column of my favourite Tech Blogger Christopher Dawson from Zdnet and seeing that there are similarities in some of his experiences I decided to do a rewrite of similar experiences

Everybody knows the typical patch Tuesday cycle of our favourite OS. Every week, more and more bits of malware seem to be making their way past commercial anti-virus, firewall anti-virus, and ISP anti-virus software. New patches and downloads abound, and as a result, both my Tech guy and me personally had to re-image several computers in the last 2 weeks due to massive infestations.

This is to say nothing of the home computers that I get advices and requests (I feel like getting one of those ThinkGeek T-shirts that tells people, “No, I won’t fix your computer.”)
It has occurred to me that yes, I’m well aware that if Linux or Mac had greater marketshare, then they would be far more vulnerable to malware attacks. That being said, right now, none of the computers that I and my personal academic and office staff use (two desktops, one laptop and one file server all run on Ubuntu) have had even a blip of malware. My students who have switched over to Linux? No problems. Teachers with Linux Boxes at home? No worries. Not a single issue. You don’t notice people reimaging their MacBooks because of a trojan.

There are plenty of reasons why people love to use Windows PCs. Games, proprietary Windows-only software, generally low acquisition costs; the usual arguments apply.
However, it appears that the Tech people have to regularly turn more of their attention to ensuring that my Windows PCs stay malware free and as I observe my *buntu computers hum along happily, I’m struggling to see a good reason to stick with the Windows platform.(except of course that a lot of industry applications in multimedia and visual graphics are run on Windows based platforms; although open source solutions are already mature and also in use, not a lot of professionals use them ).

Although We don’t play games,we are into developing people to do gaming development; and were hoping that eventually we could remodel and move our curriculum away from teaching specific applications and focusing on computing concepts, and I’m tired of intrusive, moderately effective anti-malware software.

Eventually, as we go towards full utilization of open source in pur classrooms; we hope that we can find rationalizations for other tech needs.
We're hoping to eventually rely on thin clients as my tech people eventually gets the feel of an LTSP , and I simply don’t need high end kit at this level, so I can perhaps fiddle out with either a *buntu flavour that goes well on an LTSP rig. That leaves me with some other non-Mac flavor of Linux. Solaris is looking mighty nice as a virtualization platform and LTSP/Kiwi/Edubuntu and the like just might be mature enough to meet my needs at that point.

As an educational administrator, there are indeed too many options open , though, to keep dealing with the hassles of of the moment it would be wise not making any decisions just yet; I have plenty of time to give this serious consideration. Who knows, maybe the popular OS will be really awesome one of these days . But Il be relaxed knowing that because I finally have my AD tweaked just the way I like it I can always say that Using linux is the best thing next to a MAC.

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