Kubuntu 8.10 now out

I'm downloading it now as I type this.

Kubuntu is a version of the popular Linux operating system Ubuntu. I have been using Linux since 2003 and Kubuntu Linux since 2005.

Armed with an obsolete computer running an increasing buggy and annoying Windows 98, I took the plunge and installed Mandrake Linux into my computer. Because of problems with Mandrake, the growing popularity of Ubuntu and my brother's expertise with Debian (he can help me fix things up when they break or when I break them) I bit the bullet in 2005 and began using Kubuntu.

I have not used Microsoft Windows regularly now for over 5 years. That has not been to my detriment at all for the following reasons:
  1. Kubuntu, like all Linux versions, is free to download, copy and distribute. I therefore have an up to date software package that did not cost me any money to get.
  2. I was prepared to work at my relationship with Linux. I knew it wasn't Microsoft and there were some behaviours I needed to change. It took time, but I am now used to Linux.
  3. I'm not a PC gamer, which means I don't need the latest and greatest hi-performance hardware, which is expensive. You can't really be a hard-core PC gamer without Windows anyway.
  4. I don't need to spend hundreds of dollars buying office software. OpenOffice.org is just as good as Microsoft Word, Excel and the others.
  5. I do not miss Internet Explorer - not after my Firefox experience. I don't miss Outlook Express either - Thunderbird is enough for me.
  6. I don't run any anti-virus programs. Though Linux has a few viruses, I do not have any problems with spyware or malware or virus scanners chewing up processor speed. Simply having a strong root password keeps things secure. Since 2003 I have not had any problem with viruses or security.
  7. The Graphical User Interface is reasonably clean and user-friendly these days. Click here to see a screenshot of my own computer running Kubuntu 8.4.
  8. The people who run Ubuntu/Kubuntu release a new version every six months. Imagine if Microsoft did that! No - Vista users are stuck with their version for years but with Ubuntu you get a totally new version available every six months. This means a few new features, but mostly less buggy and more user friendly software that you were using before. Every six months you get to own and run an operating system that is improving incrementally and effectively.
  9. Adept Manager allows you to download all available free and open source software (and more) from a central software repository. Most Ubuntu/Kubuntu users run Adept (or its equivalent) a few times every month to get software updates. Bugs and security patches get fixed up quickly and easily and don't crash your operating system like Microsoft ones do.
  10. Wine allows an ever increasing amount of Windows software that can be emulated on Linux.
Yes, I am trying to sell you on Linux. It is the future of software. If you doubt the power and ability of open source software, look no further than Firefox, which is software owned by no one and everyone. If you've been using Firefox for two or more years, you would know just how much better it has become over time. Well - that's how it gets with Linux.

My preferred "distro" is Kubuntu. If you choose something else, like Ubuntu or Debian or SuSE or Fedora or Mandriva, you will still be able to enjoy the benefits of Linux.

One last thing - I have always maintained that the popularity of Linux will increase once the recession begins to hit. Read here for why.

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