The Ubuntry / El Ubuntento

Sunday Jun 29, 2008

Open Source, OA and me

Hello visitor. And welcome to the first entry of this blog, my Ubuntu-blog-based-in-Oxford: Ubunblox. So the address came out easily as you can guess... Besides, I wanted it to be understood in every languages. I am writing only in English and Spanish and not thinking about writing in any other language (yet!). However, feel free to translate this blog to other languages, the more people find it the better for them (or not, who knows).

This blog aims to explain how I manage to walk the step towards the use of Open Source software in the pc I usually work with when I am in the offices of Oxford Archaeology. We are pretty used to the Microsoft's software and that is not bad, it is easy and it looks familiar to us. However, in OA there is a commitment to create and develop new tools related to the archaeological work and I want to take advantage of that and learn more about how we can make useful the Open Source software for an average user like me (you can exchange the words average and silly and the sentence would keep having its meaning). I am curious about all this stuff of the Open Source and I will not develop any wonderful tool which will make the world save millions of pounds but if it is true that it is so good, so challenging and so free then I want take part in it and see what all this consist on. I think it is just that, curiosity and see if I can make it useful for myself and then make easier to others to walk their respective steps.

I started getting interested about the Open Source after reading some news in newspapers. I tried the easiest thing: downloaded Mozilla Firefox and started then changing everything I could. It has billions of different add-ons, some really useful, others extremely stupid. But, the important thing, all good and free to make you modify your software as you wish. After that, two persons washed my brain. One of them is a project office in the company. We used to chat a lot about this stuff while on-site during the lunchtime between one bite to our sandwiches and the next one. The other one is a builder whose blog (Google Translator) I usually read because sometimes he posts interesting entries. He seems to have managed very well to run Ubuntu successfully in his computer starting from 0, not being a guru of the technologies exactly.

Given these combination of facts, I have decided to take advantage of the support of the IT Department and try the migration from Microsoft Windows to Ubuntu GNU/Linux. I know what you are thinking: "it is not very brave from you, smart ass, to do this with a department holding your safetty net". And you are right. However, I will try to sort out every problems by myself and those I can not just ask them to the experts instead of spending my time searching in forums whose advanced users I can not understand to find the solution. With all this, I will try to explain step by step the experiences I have and the problems I find (and how I sort them out) to make every other average user see what could happen and how s/he can do. In short: I hope to write the blog I had liked to read. Let us see what comes out...

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