sábado, 27 de noviembre de 2010
It's not the same hearing a thunder and seeing lightning!
Last week, the Dean called for a Faculty meeting in which the only topic was, to the dismay of those who claim Linux is dead, Free Software!
With this meeting, it's the second time in two months that professors hear about the existence of something that is not Windows and the University's ongoing plan to migrate to open source.
I wanted to post about that, but I was preparing my yearly report for the Professor Assembly and, therefore, had no time... but it occurred to me that I would use the chance to contribute by showing all professors how a computer running on Linux works. So, although they had a Vista 7 Starter laptop ready for the reports, I asked permission to use my modest netbook running Mandriva.
All my colleagues displayed their reports using the Vista 7 laptop and one professor suffered the embarrassment of MS PowerPoint 2007 not responding as she expected. I cannot say that was an "atypical behavior": all of us have seen something like that happen time and again. I felt bad for her due to the fact that she told me that she slept till late because she invested a lot of time to create a beautiful PowerPoint presentation for the occasion.
When my turn came, I had my netbook ready and woke it up from hibernation (Yes! It DOES work in Mandriva 2010.1), unplugged the VGA cable from the laptop and plugged it to my netbook. As a good OS should behave, Mandriva picked up the signal and let me configure the display in a matter of five seconds. The picking up of the signal made me a little anxious because, prior to the meeting, they had to change the projector because 7 Starter did not let them change the display size of the screen (How about that!) and I had everything ready with the previous device.
However, my Linux OS did not let me down and all the people laughed when they saw my Cosmic Cat wallpaper on my desktop # 1.
Of course, they gasped when I turned to desktop #2 and my presentation, made using Open Office, was there, ready. The beautiful OpenGL transitions made the ones in PowerPoint look like sorry excuses, especially after I said "This is the free software that the Dean is trying to promote", moved to different desktops to display other information, and returned to the presentation via Kwin Cube.
After my presentation, which went without any problem (wasn't Open Office "unprofessional" according to the MS video?), the professor who was embarrassed by MS Office 2007 borrowed my netbook to play with it for a while and loved the behavior of Linux.
Yes, seeing is believing. Now, my colleagues have seen a computer running open source software in the most demanding of contexts... and it neither got stuck, nor was difficult to operate. Oh, and it didn't blow up, either. Can you guess what software was proven to be unreliable?
For many of them, the thunder might not be as impressive as lightning. Now they have seen the truth: Linux can run flawlessly on a netbook and they were impressed. Many people are becoming aware that they can work in a more beautiful way by using Linux than by settling down with an OS that gives them the same problems year after year.