Friday, January 25, 2008

Linux for 2008

I've been using Linux for over ten years now, running various flavours on servers and even a desktop or two. Ever year since about 1999 has been touted as 'the year of the linux desktop', but ironically it seems the key to Linux adoption isn't dependant on coming up with a 'better Windows' ... it's the falling price of hardware.

I've been reading about the Asus Eee PC with much interest, given the price, the features and the fact it runs Linux. A mini-laptop for under A$500 isn't a bad deal at all, and it's not surprising they're selling out of the things all over.

But what prompted THIS blog post wasn't the Eee or some new Linux feature. No, I just cleared the mailbox and amongst the usual junk mail was a catalogue for The Good Guys (a white goods retailer) There's a regular, everyday laptop on the front, an Acer Aspire 4315-100508CI with all the usual features. After rebate, the price is just A$499, which is a couple of hundred bucks less than I've seen any laptop selling for before now. And right there in the features it says 'Linux operating system'.

I'm not a Windows-basher by any means ... after all, I started using it several months before picking up Linux, and I earn a living writing Windows software. It's just that I love a good David and Goliath battle - the battling underdog with no chance of survival, the giant's look of surprise at an unexpected wound, then panic, then the reaction ... fun.

If nothing else, people looking to buy Vista down the track will be able to thank the Linux OS for a lower price ... perhaps.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


DarcKnyt said...

Simon, do you do any Linux programming alongside the WinTel stuff? Just curious; I'd LOVE to see a copy of Linux-based yWriter and yBook, and missing some of those neat li'l programs I've loved so much is what keeps me from making the switch. I mean, aside from not knowing squat about *nix, I mean.

Just curious.

Simon Haynes said...

No, I'm just coding in VB6 and now dotnet.

The good news is that VB2008 wouldn't be that hard to convert to C#, and C# apps can be run on Linux, using Mono.

Still take a long time, but it wouldn't be impossible.

However, my goal for now is to get my apps converted to VB2008 so I can leave VB6 behind.

Ordos said...

Yes,DarcKnyt rigth. You can help writers migrate from Windows to Linux if you'll make Linux version of ywriter! ;-)