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Testimonials from Fedora Weekly News: Craig Dorsey

Why do I like thee, Fedora Core 5? Let me not count the ways rather let me share with the world my experience with you so far.

I have been using Windows based computers for more than ten years now. Over the last several years I have been trying out various Linux based operating systems. The first time I attempted to install RedHat back around version 8 I had no idea what I was getting into and ultimately gave up on it. I'm fairly computer savvy though spending most of my computer time using Windows I had become accustomed to having to do little more than popping in a disc to install the OS. After years of frustration with not only dishing out the dollars for an OS that was just as full of blue screens and security issues I had to explore what else was out there.

I started investigating Linux distributions again. Initially I played with various live distributions as I didn't have the resources at home to experiment otherwise. It wasn't long before I resurrected several machines from bits and pieces from various computer "graveyards". This allowed me to begin to experiment with installing Linux based operating systems on a non critical machine. I quickly learned how far Linux distributions had come as far as ease of installation, update, and use as well as what kind of freely available software there was to use to accomplish various tasks that would otherwise require me to use a Windows based computer.

Since the release of Fedora Core 5 I now have one of my desktop machines running FC5 exclusively and am dual booting my laptop with FC5 and XP. I can do nearly anything I need to on my computers running Fedora that I can running Windows. Well, what are the kinds of things that I, an average Joe, uses his computer for, you may ask. I surf the web to keep up with news, entertainment, and friends. I use it for email correspondence, or instant messengering. I am able to watch most any type of video content I run across (though it did take a little bit of work to accomplish that). I can even play Flash based games online or view .pdf documents within my favorite browser, Firefox. I can access email from my own domain via Evolution and keep up with my schedule as well. With OpenOffice included I don't have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars extra on an Office like suite of applications that are even compatible with Microsoft's big money maker. After discovering OpenOffice I can honestly say that Microsoft wont be sticking it to my wallet for their bloated Office software ever again.

What about music? Doesn't everyone that has a computer use it these days to listen to their CDs. Well, I have backed up my music collection on a 250GB external hard drive and can use amaroK to enjoy my music collection at my desk or anywhere else I can plug my USB drive in. If I want to burn an audio CD to listen to in the car no problem I can easily create an audio CD with K3b. Of course I can create data CDs or DVDs with K3b just as easily. I can even watch my favorite movies on my laptop.

So far for me it hasn't been a question of what I can do using Fedora rather what can't I do. The few things I have not been able to do are not the fault of Fedora but the fault of hardware manufacturers or software publishers. Though it has been a rare occasion I have run into a few hardware issues. The main thing that has me keeping Windows around is software that I am required to use that is not available to run under Linux as well as my video games that are Windows specific. I do make a conscious effort to keep an eye out for games that come with native Linux installs. I love to see Tux on the box and when I do I rarely leave the store without buying it, if for nothing else to support those who are developing for the Linux crowd.

To be fair not everything single thing I wanted to do worked "out of the box" so to say, just the vast majority of it! That which did not was certainly not too terribly difficult to figure out with a little research on the web. Of course there are a few things I have not been able to do with Fedora. Yes it's true. For instance, I have not been able to worry about getting a virus on my machine. I have not been able to worry about the scores of ad-ware and spy-ware building up on my system. And what is this with no "blue screen of death"? Who in their right mind would want to live without that?

Fedora has given me the freedom Microsoft never could and likely never will.