Are you a Mac or a PC?
After many hours contemplating the decision to buy a Mac, I’ve decided to install Ubuntu (a redistribution of Linux) so that I can run UNIX on my five year-old Dell XPS. With the Windows monopolistic hold on the PC market and the ever increasing popularity of Apple products, we sometimes forget that there is a third option in operating systems. As amazing as the new Retina display Macbook looks, I figured it would be better to bootstrap my old PC and force myself to learn a new operating system that so many hackers and programmers love.
Ubuntu has taken some getting used to. There was a good amount of troubleshooting during the setup process to get everything customized to the way our computers work in the Starter League classrooms, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. Using the terminal/command prompt has actually taught me a lot more about how computers function, plus there are countless tutorials online that teach Linux followers how to do pretty much anything they want. Linux distributions are very simplistic and require very little memory to run (You can dualboot on a Mac or PC and even boot a Linux redistribution from a CD or Flash Drive).
My favorite part of Linux is the philosophy behind it. As a huge fan of the opensource initiative, the donation-based business model, and laissez faire capitalism; I love that Linux stands for open collaboration and values problem solving over property rights. I watched this great video titled OS Revolution that is all about the history of Linux and the key actors behind its existence. Next time you think about getting a Mac or a PC, take some time to consider the third alternative.
Edit: Music is great and programming while listening to music is even greater. Unfortunately when I decided to run Ubuntu via dual-boot, I could only allocate 30GB of memory to the new operating system. Since 30GBs isn’t much space to hold essential files plus lots of music, Spotify seemed like the perfect solution. The perfect solution until I discovered the Spotify playback skipping… I must have spent over five hours trying to troubleshoot the problem by adjusting WINE (a Linux program that allows the user to run Windows programs) settings and testing commands in the terminal. I was crushed in defeat when I stumbled upon this tutorial that shows you how to install Spotify on Ubuntu in only three commands… I tried it. It worked. I was speechless. Over the past three weeks I’ve come to learn that there is always a way to get the computer to do what you want it to. You just have to find it.