Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Humanity to others

Last week, a notice of claim of CD for my brother arrived through postal mail. Since my brother was out of town, I was the one who claimed the said CD.

It was from Ubuntu and was in fact an installer for Ubuntu Linux distribution. When my brother arrived a few days later, I asked him how much he bought the software for and he told me it was totally free. Even the shipment for the CD was free! I thought about how awesome it was.

A few days later, I came across a feature of Mark Shuttleworth from a prominent magazine. Mark Shuttleworth funded the development of Ubuntu which gives away the software totally free. He is likewise the first African and one of the few space tourists to ever go to space! Wow, and to think he is only in his early thirties!

True, doing goodwill really has its returns. Ubuntu is an African word that literally means “Humanity to others” or “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

And Ubuntu is not just free. Is it also user friendly. As the IT world know, Linux, as it is based on Unix, has always been for the techies as opposed to the Windows operating system which is ubiquitous in both the techies and ordinary user worlds.

And as Unix and Linux have been employed for servers for many years, Ubuntu is targeted to be used in desktops as well as servers. A standard installation could take only about 25 minutes and this already includes productivity software and internet features as well as games.

Dell, one of the world’s largest personal computer makers will soon start bundling Ubuntu operating system in its computers. This will mean cheaper computer because one will no longer pay for the operating system unlike with Windows.

This will be good news to the promotion of education worldwide, especially in Africa where Shuttleworth comes from. Many organizations are giving away computers to deprived countries to improve education.

And since Ubuntu is a fork from Debian Linux which makes it subsequently under the free software license, Ubuntu can be free distributed and even modified. In fact, there are already several unofficial derivatives of Ubuntu including uUbuntu, zUbuntu, Ebuntu, Fluxbuntu, and Ubuntu Lite.

Ubuntu will soon invade the world of portable devices like may Linux distros have. This will further bring down the prices of these devices.

Ubuntu is under the auspices of Canonical Ltd. Company based in London where Shuttleworth lives at the moment. One of the most admirable virtues of the company is that it treats its employees as equal participants instead of class workers.

I just certainly hope that Mark Shuttleworth will press his efforts further by making innovation to make space travel more easy and accessible for ordinary people like me. As I can remember, a few years ago, computer usage was limited to the few elites. But now, even pre-schoolers can use internet. I hope the same will be true to space travels and tourism.

No comments: