Brand New Day

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Moving day. Not physically (although that will come soon, too) but digitally. Today I begin migrating all of my files, applications and other software from Windows to Linux. Documents are a snap — nothing to do, since I already use OpenOffice.org and they’re recognizable straight off my thumbrdrive. I already migrated all of my bookmarks and rss feeds from firefox to…firefox. Since I use a del.icio.us plugin to manage them both, that was easy and entirely web-based. The biggest challenge will be my Palm Treo (getting Linux to recognize it) and email: I use a windows version of Thunderbird running off my thumbdrive. There’s got to be a portable app. version for linux, but just a matter of finding it.

Ok, that’s all the boring technical stuff. For those who are even just a little bit interested but not into the details, here’s something interesting I’ve been asked already: Why Edubuntu? Why Ubuntu even? And what the heck are they anyhow?

Since Linux is open-source, anyone can take the core code, modify it, and re-distribute it. Imagine if M$ did that — you could have “Bob’s Version of Windows” and “Windows for Girls” or “Windows on a Stick” — as many customized versions as someone could imagine. In Linux, these are called Distributions. Ubuntu is one of these, and it seems to be gaining steam in the Linux community. A good friend of mine uses it, and so does Cory Doctorow (from Boing Boing).

Edubuntu is a modified version of Ubuntu (which btw is an African word that means “humanity to others”) that is designed for use by teachers and students in a networked classroom. As a former (and future) educator, this is the cutting-edge community I want to be a part of in “Linux world.” That and it’s designed so that an elementary school student can navigate the interface. Hopefully, I’ll manage.

Although like most Linux distributions, edubuntu is highly customizable, I’ve decided to leave most of the settings, applications, and even “preferences” alone right now. I know that I could make it almost identical to MS Windows, which would be familiar, but I’d rather learn it on its own terms before messing with it.

I hope the “blogumentation” of my transition is something that will inspire and encourage others to make the jump someday. Twelve hours so far, and no regrets.

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