Linux and my Personal Paradigm Shift

After roughly 2 days of Googling, burning, writing, formatting, downloading, installing, and generally fighting for every byte of hard won space, I have a fully functional full-install of Linux Mint 17.1 MATE running off a 64 GB Mushkin Nano USB drive.

It’s really freaking cool, having the ability to boot into whatever OS I feel like using without needing to clear space on my main HDD and repartition it, or run out of persistent space on Live USB media every 2 hours… Not having that annoying “Install Linux” icon on my screen is also pretty nice.

It’s quick, and easy, just MAKE SURE YOU SELECT THE RIGHT DRIVE. I take no responsibility if you nuke your main OS off it’s hard drive to be replaced by Linux.

The quick version of the tutorial, i.e. The Route I Wish I had Taken Initially:

  1. Install your Live .iso file to a USB Drive that you don’t want to use as your linux hard drive (like a spare 8GB you have lying around)
  2. Boot into your Live environment
  3. Install Linux
  4. Go through options, double check on the “Partition Menu” that you’re installing to the drive you want Linux to install to.
  5. Let files copy/the installer do it’s thing
  6. When it’s finished, reboot, remove Live media, choose the new Linux option in your boot menu
  7. Enjoy fully installed Linux.

Because Linux is Free and Open Source, I had this paradigm shift. When I use Linux, I refuse to let ads/tracking software have an easy time. I installed the open-source version of Chrome: Chromium, and AdBlockPlus. It let’s me know when it blocks an ad from appearing. I decided to refuse to support the system while using Linux. I want a pure experience, one where only I choose how my experience happens, and where I have the power to modify anything whenever it suits me without incurring the wrath of lawyers or big businesses.

When ads/spyware are gone, it makes you realize how uncluttered the internet would be without them. It’s big business, absolutely, but it’s not something you have to play into.

On top of AdBlock, I’m also deciding to use Mint as my main OS for programming. I am learning Java slowly, with SQL next on my list for personal reasons. Again, shifting my world-view; I don’t have to blindly accept the programs that others have created, and if I feel so inclined, I can create an application to suit my purposes.

My mindset when using Linux can be summed up thusly:

  • Learn something new every time you log in
  • Don’t let outside factors ruin your experience of the system and the web
  • If you encounter a problem, think critically, utilize google, and solve it yourself
  • Be as safe as possible, while still being productive.

So, that’s it. It’s not the most robust world-view ever, but sue me. This is fun, and I’m enjoying every minute. I’m going to keep learning and keep working on ways to make this better. Maybe someday I’ll abandon proprietary software all together, but today, baby steps.

I encourage everyone to give Linux a try. It’s not always easy. but nothing that was worth anything ever, took no effort to attain. You can do it my way, or you can try a Live Distro until you’re ready to install it for real.

Post your experiences with Linux up here, good or bad. I’ll talk with you and we’ll see if you’re not ready to try it once more. Just for grins 🙂

Good luck everyone.

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