viernes, 22 de junio de 2012

Testing Linux in a Serious Environment: My Thesis Dissertation

Some people still believe that Linux and other Open Source software cannot be taken seriously because, in their view, "FOSS is unprofessional."

To find out if that was true, I have tested both Linux and Open Office in rather serious environments, basically placing my head as part of the bet. To finish my degree in Education, I depended solely on Mepis Linux 8.5 and Open Office, which ran on my far-from-powerful netbook Toshiba NB-100. You can find my review of that experience here.

Two days ago, I tested Mepis 11 and Libre Office in another environment that I think my readers will consider quite serious: my final dissertation for my Master's degree. Again, I entrusted my head to a Linux distribution and to a free/libre office suite. Why? Because I really wanted to see it for myself: Was Free Software up to the challenge?

Now, some of the variables of the experiment:

1. My Toshiba NB-100 did not come preloaded with Mepis 11. It was "designed for Windows XP" but I turned it into a 6-OS-booting monster.

2. My NB-100 barely has 1 GB of RAM.

3. Mechatotoro was controlling the presentation (he is not a regular Mepis user).

4. I made the Libre Office presentation on my desktop computer and loaded it to my netbook.

5. The presentation had plenty of 3-D transitions and KDE desktop effects were enabled.

My dissertation began.  Mepis did not have any obstacles to use the projector and I had no unnecessary delays or surprises.  It was as if my modest Toshiba NB-100 were actually designed for Linux!  Too bad that Surface, the new Microsoft tablet (designed for Windows 8) did not do as well during its introduction.  People are talking about that already!

LibreOffice handled the presentation flawlessly.  The effects were neat and did not cause my system to freeze:

  This is the effect "Rochade" in action:

Here you have "Turning Circles":

This one is "Turn":

Once again I exposed myself to public embarrassment if either Linux or Libre Office had failed but instead I got praised.  Someone told me later that the presentation was smooth and it helped my audience and committee follow my dissertation without any issues or interruptions.  That's the goal of using technology in these circumstances, right?

In conclusion, Linux and Open Source Software were used again in a serious, professional environment and their performance was excellent.  I've seen XP, Vista and 7 failing during presentations and thus embarrassing the speaker.  However, some still insist that it is Linux the one that is not professional.  What a paradox!  

sábado, 9 de junio de 2012

Some Random Thoughts

I've been working quite hard lately. This semester is almost over... Still, I've been able to squeeze some free time for checking out what's going on out there. First, MEPIS users are eagerly waiting for the first alpha of MEPIS 12. What KDE will it include? How will it work with Grub 2? Will MEPIS follow Fedora and hand in $99 to Verizon in order to receive its own Microsoft key and boot along Windows 8 without any hassle? Speaking of which, I myself downloaded the Release Preview of Windows 8 and ran it on a virtual machine. I must confess I was deeply impressed by it. It made me remember so many nostalgic, forgotten memories. An image is worth a thousand words: Yes! Windows at its best! :P Now, seriously, I wonder how clueless people will react when they get Metro on their desktops. Will they like it? Microsoft will have to invest quite a few dollars to brainwash those who refused to adopt Vista/7 and still cling to XP... Now on a brighter note, Sony is apparently considering a revolutionary idea that, if materialized, will mean a significant leap forward in the field of video games: advertising that interrupts your games! You must admit it: that's genius at its best! And they still want to patent that?? Surely, they don't want anybody to steal their incredible idea. Can you imagine if Microsoft did it and included it into Windows 8? These are amazing times! We should be thankful for witnessing such marvelous advances!