Ubuntu: From Herons to Zapuses

Open source is a rather interesting concept in a modern world of pay to play and expensive software. Free Open Source Software (FOSS) serves as an oasis for the digital community to get their hands on high quality software for free. There are no expensive licences or monthly fees, simply software that works (most of the time).

When I was around younger I remember my father letting me have the oldest family computer. It was an old Pentium III that would have been running Windows 95. My inherited computer had a major drawback: no operating system was installed on the hard drive. This is what brought on my first exposure to the open source community.

My dad had used linux back in the 90s and had suggested we take a look at potentially installing that instead of an old version of windows. After doing some research and talking to a family friend who extensively uses linux, we settled with Ubuntu as our distro of choice. I believe that the first install was Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04).

The first memory of Ubuntu that I have is when my dad and I powered up the computer and had the speakers turned up all the way. This resulted in blasting the beautiful nature sounds, drums, percussion, and voice that is the startup music of Ubuntu.

After logging in I started playing around with the default applications and decided to see if there was any recording software that I could connect to my MIDI keyboard. I had expected there to maybe be a few expensive pieces of software that would offer mediocre functionality and no support for my keyboard. A quick search online and through the Ubuntu Software Centre showed me a large variety of software with many different user interfaces and features all at the enormous cost of nothing. I can recall being nearly confused as to why people would spend so much time and effort on software only to give it away for free.

It took me a while to finally select software but it functioned marvellously. The time it took for the realisation to sink in that there was an entire free and open source software community that I had never known was definitely much shorter. From the software centre I had access to thousands of pieces of software that I could download, install and then modify their source code as I wished.

Being interested in computer and recording my obvious choice was to record music using Ubuntu. After a few months I changed from Ubuntu to Ubuntu Studio, a distro that had better musical software integration and default software. It felt so natural to give away what I had made with what others had created and given to me. The open source community wasn't about trying to make money, it wasn't about trying to be popular. The heart of the community was to give.

Over the years the amount of time I have spent using my linux partition has varied but almost always for the same purpose: to create and share. My music has continued to get better (at least in my thoughts) and so has the software I use. It was my upgrade from Yakkety Yak to Zesty Zapus that had me realise how much I have grown and the community alongside me. From Heron to Zapus and all other Ubuntu distros that were before and after, keep on creating!

Stay tuned for incoming review of Ubuntu 17.04!


Popular posts from this blog

Ongoing Linux Cheatsheet

Data Processing: Matlab, Python or Octave?

Baremetal Drivers: RFM69HCW and FRDM-K22F