Jul 042012

Around a month ago we ( Zorin OS team, Linuxaria and DarkDuck) announced the winners of the Zorin Contest and we published their works on our sites.

The Contest has been really successful and so, looking at all the works we have received, I’ve decided to publish on the Blog some more of them.
These works are the result of the contest rules:

Please write a short story about Zorin OS, or maybe just Linux in general.

Why do you use Linux? How did you come to the Linux world? What do you like here?
What are you doing to promote Linux? Any of these, or maybe your own themes are good.

It would be better, if your post is about Zorin OS, but this is just “nice to have”.

And now some interesting submission

From Joe Kemmler:

I first heard about Linux from a friend of mine.  He told me about this really new thing called Linux, which was “kind of like Unix.”  It was very basic, you couldn’t do very much with it, but it was free and you had access to the source code.

This was in November of 1991.

Back then there wasn’t anything like distributions.  All we had were two 5.25″ floppy disks; HJ Lu’s Boot/Root disks.  You booted the first then swapped them to finish at a shell prompt.  In fact, my friend, Erik, wrote one of the very first “How To’s” on getting Linux to boot from the hard drive.  It involved hex editing the HD boot sector!  We have come a long way since then.

Shortly after that, the first distros started to appear, and I began my Linux journey.  It started with Manchester Computing Center’s (MCC) Interim Linux in 1992, followed closely by Texas A&M University’s (TAMU 2A) Linux.  The latter was the first that could boot into a GUI but it required some serious knowledge of your monitors specs.  It was quite easy to misconfigure things and let the “magic smoke” out of the monitor.  While these both were functional, they were very basic and designed for Computer Science classes rather than productivity.

The first fully functional distro was Softlanding Linux System (SLS) released in mid-1992.  While this was a functional OS, there were a number of problems and some design issues that plagued it.  This led to a fork which became Slackware Linux.  It was with Slackware that I built the first major Linux server for the US Army in 1995.  While Slaskware was robust and solid, it lacked a package management system so upgrading, in those days, was basically wipe the disk and reinstall.  This led me to Red Hat 2.1 – 9 and then to Fedora Linux (1 – present) for my main desktop and CentOS Linux for my server.  Along the way I have tried out nearly all of the major distributions, along with many of the lesser known ones.

The one thing that has remained constant through out the 20+ years of Linux existence is that there really isn’t anything it can’t do.  Today, there is a Linux variant of some kind handling any computing task you can think of.  It’s on half the smartphones in the form of Android.  It’s the leading OS in Data Centers, Mainframes, your DVR, an overwhelmingly vast number of internet servers, in Power companies, etc.  It even ran the Mars Rover.

Linux in space.  Can’t beat that.

From Jeremy Stevens

My Story.

It started out as a means to make my own choice, not just be forced to use Windows because Dell, HP, Asus, etc. signed a contract with Microsoft.  Don’t get me wrong, what Microsoft has done is impressive.  But I am the type that wants to choose how my pc is setup.  I want to choose the hardware specs, the software, and the OS.  All the hardware vendors provide plenty of different models and provide me the choices I’m looking for.  Software, free (as in beer) and non-free, have plenty of available choices in all arenas, office, games, web browsers, email clients, etc.  It’s always been the OS that lacked choice.  Splitting Windows into Home or Professional versions, doesn’t count as giving me choice.  Asking me which OS I’d like on my new hardware is giving me a choice.
So I dumped Windows XP on my laptop about 4 years ago, and replaced it with Ubuntu.  It worked, kind of.  As new versions of Ubuntu were released, I became more knowledgeable about Debian based linux OS’s.  I came to the realization that the linux OS would always be a work in progress and I began to accept that it would continue to work, mostly.  Nothing was every 100%, Ubuntu always felt like a great idea that fell short in practice.  I realized with the split between Ubuntu and Gnome on the Desktop front, that Ubuntu was always going to feel just like that.
About 4 months ago, I read an article on www.makeuseof.com about a linux OS that makes the leap from Windows to Linux easier than all of other versions.  I liked the sound of it, so I took the trip over to Zorin’s OS website.  Beautiful website, by the way.  Once there, I headed straight to the forums.  Everyone seemed to really like Zorin.  Even those who experienced problems, never seemed to be caused by Zorin OS.  They just seemed to be typical Linux vs. Hardware problems.  So I dual booted Zorin OS 5 with already installed Ubuntu 11.10.  The installation was wicked easy.  I switched between the Win 7 and Win XP desktops, but preferred the Win 7 desktop.  Switching back and forth was easy.  I had no trouble installing any of the software I was using in Ubuntu 11.10.  Things just worked.  After a few weeks of using Zorin, I realized that it felt like I was using a finished product.  The OS and Desktop environments always worked.  Nothing ever seemed to go wonky and need a log out/log in to straighten out.  Any problems I’ve experienced, have been due to hardware vendors not respecting that their customers use linux.  I’ve never had a problem with the OS.
Zorin is my choice, now, for Linux OS.  I look forward to Zorin OS 6 and feel the same excitement about it as the rest of the Zorin community.  Anyone I meet that is looking for a change from Windows or to speed up their old pc, I tell them to try Zorin.  It’s a brilliant idea, in my opinion, to present users an environment that looks very familiar, when everything else is changing.  No matter how similar the Desktop looks to Windows, Linux provides different workflow for many tasks, installing software for example.  The idea of a repository is very strange to Windows users.  However, if you only have to focus on learning these workflow changes, instead of learning the workflow changes and figuring out the new desktop environment, It makes the process of coming from Windows to Linux that much easier.  All in all, I really like Zorin.  I think it could be that desktop, that pulls more and more Windows users into the Linux world.
By Claude Caron
Here’s an interesting thing that recently happened to me:  I’ve been testing Microsoft Deployment Tools (MDT) at work, and set up a Zorin workstation as my deployment share, created the deployment task using a Windows 7 laptop, but the share was on Zorin.  The head admin at work said that it won’t work because Windows 7 doesn’t “like” Linux….I think he blocked my Zorin workstation from the network, because no matter how I tried, I couldn’t connect to it, but tried again once I got home, and it worked like a charm….decided to try with a share on on my Win7 computer, recreated the task a dozen times, rebuilt the entire deployment structure about 4 times….I have yet to make it work.  I mentioned this to the head admin, and was offended that I called his B.S. and that it did in fact work with Zorin…he no longer talks to me because he was “corrected” in his opinion of Linux, but deep down inside, I know that it works best with Zorin, and that’s why all my Linux workstations at home have been converted to Zorin (I have a win7 PC, an iMac, and 3 Zorin machines…all for different tasks).

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  One Response to “Some submissions from the Zorin Contest”

  1. We who use Linux today have simular stories to tell, the end though is the same. We found Linux. Nothing else matters. From lazy old guys like me who prefer to use the easy to use right out of the box Ubuntu-type distros to the build it yourself Arch/Slackware/Gentoo brick by stick
    OS’s . it’s all in the end the same. Windows be damned. I personally coldn’t care less about others, opinions or whatever. It works for me.. I find that junki ones are out there, and I stay away from the junk.. Software and its use requires some understanding of the nature of the beast. Even the best intentions don’t always work.

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