Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Switch to Linux - Introduction

I've had my eye on Microsoft’s windows 8 for a while now. Some of the ideas initially sounded quite promising; windows running on the ARM architecture along with a GUI that could work well on both the tablet and traditional PC form-factors. But as time went on, my excitement started to turn to worry. And after trying many of the developer previews and now the final releases, I can safely say I don't really like the new direction of windows. That's not say that there isn't some really great things about the windows 8 platform, there is, but it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those of us who might be considered "power users". This is why I've decided to begin making the switch to Linux. I want to make this transition from Windows to Linux a public and open experience, in the spirit of the open source concept and in the hope that my successes and failures may help others who are considering the switch as well.

Let me just quickly explain a little about myself. I've been working for a media company doing mostly graphic design and video production for the past four years. Some of my everyday duties include, creating advertisements, designing digital signs / menu boards, producing GUI elements for interactive displays as well as web design. I have also been doing a lot of programming and have created applications for the RCMP and a few educational institutions. I also wrote the digital signage application that my company now uses to deploy our product across North America. I am by no means an expert in the realm of programming, but I have taught myself enough to be fairly useful. I use dozens of windows applications everyday to do what I do, so this switch to Linux will most likely be a slow transition. In the meantime I will keep my Windows 7 system on hand until I no longer require it, which may be a while.

Although I have had my eye on many Linux distributions for a while I am a total noob and only really tinkered with a few so this blog will be coming from a new users point of view. In saying that I apologize to any Linux gurus who may be offended by my ignorance or terminology but... get over it. We've all got to start somewhere. I will try to talk a little bit about every step I take in setting up a Linux system and getting productive on it. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you have any tips or suggestions for a new Linux user that may have helped you in the beginning.


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  2. Great to hear about your switch.
    I hope you'll like Linux.

    For starters I'll recommend Linux Mint to you.
    It is a more polished Ubuntu.
    (Try the 'Cinnamon' version)

    After that you should try Arch Linux.
    It's for advanced users, but it's very simplistic, with great user base, amazing package manager abd rolling-release update model.

    As for graphics, I'll recommend go with GIMP (bitmap) and Inkscape (vector) for 2D graphics.
    Try Blender for effects and 3D production and Lightworks for video production.

    Good luck to you,
    Keep us updated!

    1. Thanks for the tips! I will try all those applications once I pick a distribution. I have just started downloading Linux mint 13 - Cinnamon and will try it tonight or tomorrow when I get a chance. What are your thoughts on the KDE desktop?

    2. You can install KDE on Mint with Cinnamon :) try them both (just choose in login screen):)