Friday, October 21, 2005

Ubuntu - the first experience and the shoe fits!

I am a small internet café owner in a third world country and has been in this business for nearly a year now. Business is still unpredictable at this stage. I am trained and has since been using a propietary operating system and all its applications – pirated or otherwise.

At the beginning of my business, I was introduced to Mozilla Firefox and Open Office. Since then, Firefox has been my default browser on all of my units. At that time, I wanted to change operating systems and venture into Linux. Unfortunately, my circle of friends have little or no knowledge of Linux operating systems.

Almost a year of operations, news of impending raids of businesses such as mine have been spreading and has caught my attention. Still, I was adamant to change my O.S. or buy licensed legal ones.

I have researched and found to my surprise that Linux has different flavors - “distros” as what they are called. More to my surprise that some can even be downloaded from the Internet – FREE!

On a Saturday night, having coffee with friends – one of them suggested I try Ubuntu. WHAT?!? I wanted to say wtf are you talking about? That got me to research more and finally downloaded the .iso live cd of Breezy Badger's preview. I liked it – it was like love at first sight! Still, I was hesitant to dive into Breezy.

I closed on a Friday...went to get cd's of different distros. Stayed in my shop and went on the process of elimination. For three days, I tried and installed and tried and installed...

On that Sunday, I tried Ubuntu. I installed. It fit! Took me till Tuesday evening to finish everything. I opened up at 9:00 p.m. Got me a few customers to try. It was kinda jittery at first. Wednesday came and I opened for full operations. First, I had to use a USB flash drive for printing. I didn't have the slightest idea to share my printers.

On that first week, it was trial and error all the way. I thank my customers for their patience, willingness to learn and their continued patronage. By the second week, I have learned synaptic and file and printer sharing. By the third week, I managed to get familiarized with Add Applications.

Help was provided for – by forums and mailing lists. I managed to find the local community here. Thanks to all those who helped and continue to help.

I still have problems: webcam chat, voice chat and games. Still, I will not turn back to my old OS. This is better. If for anything, Ubuntu gave me some kind of peace of mind and a whole new lot of friends.

Now, I have convinced a lot on Ubuntu and the open source. From someone whose programming skills are very rusty to non-existent, that's something to say.

I am still on my quest to solving my problems. Reading on some things...searching thru Google...indeed, Google is a friend!

I recommend Ubuntu to those like me who are clueless and has known only one operating system in their life. It's a big step but something to look forward to because it has empowered me and more people.

Now, I am paying forward by helping others. It is in this that you build friendships, communities and groups. Helping others while others help – that's a true sign that you are human. Afterall, Ubuntu is for human beings.

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Blogger Ronnie Ricaforte said...

Hi Chris! Like you I'm also an internet cafe owner and have been experimenting with ubuntu in anticipation of the "BSA Crackdown". It would really be good if you could share more of your experiences on the migration of your internet cafe computers.

For me I have installed hoary on six of my computers for "evaluation" purposes. It is only dedicated for internet (browsing and chat) and Open office. As for chat, I installed gyach enhanced so that as far as chatting goes the customer can experience that "yahoo messenger" look with webcam and voice chat support. As for games, its another story though. I was thinking of downloading cedega but hasn't done it yet. Will keep you posted on further development.

5:13 PM  

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