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Free Software movement » Intro


You have seen Ubuntu Linux installed in a friend’s PC and want the same “wow” computer experience for yourself. 




You are an idealist who thinks that 
software should be free (“free as in free speech”).



You are a materialist who would rather have software 
for free (“free as in free beer”). 

You have seen Ubuntu Linux installed in a friend’s PC and want the same “wow” computer experience for yourself. 

As an analogy, think about a thermometer reading 64° F.
We can say that temperature itself is the data, and the measurement unit the format.
You can change the format (to degrees Celsius) while keeping the same data,
but you can’t have measurement of temperature without a measurement unit.
An interoperable application would be able to read the temperature whether it is in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. 


Als een analogie, denk aan een thermometer die 64 ° F afleest
We kunnen zeggen dat temperatuur zelf de gegevens is en de meeteenheid het formaat.
U kunt het formaat wijzigen (in graden Celsius) terwijl u dezelfde gegevens behoudt,
maar je kunt geen temperatuurmeting hebben zonder een meeteenheid.
Een interoperabele applicatie zou de temperatuur kunnen lezen, of deze nu in graden Fahrenheit of Celsius is.


Ubuntu Linux, as an OS, is, very simply, what makes your computer work. A computer is much more versatile than a TV or DVD player. You can plug different input devices into it, run applications, and expect it to do a lot of stuff. To be able to do all this, your computer needs an OS, the underlying software that instructs it in how to perform all its functions. An OS tells your computer what to do when it starts, for example. Without it, your computer would beep and wait in annoyance when you turned it on. The OS also communicates with your computer’s hardware, and with the applications that you use to perform your work. The OS glues together all aspects of your computer. The first and most important of those components is you, the user. You’re the one who chooses which applications to run, what actions to take, and whether the PC should be turned on or off. The OS needs input from you and needs to communicate to you the result of your actions. Usually, you work with applications, which enable you to do specific tasks, such as writing documents or browsing the web. Applications also need to communicate with your OS, to interact with other applications, and to make the computer’s hardware work. How they do this varies by operating system, which is why most Windows applications will not work out of the box with Linux. But, as we will see later, that shouldn’t deter you from using Linux. You also have data, the information you need to perform your work. You might save photos, documents, and other files. In this respect, the OS should provide a means to access storage capacity, whether it is local (a hard disk attached directly to your computer), removable (USB drive), or remote (a file server or online storage system). Data comes in different formats, and each format is usually tied to a specific application, which may even be registered as proprietary. For example, a document with the extension “.doc” or “.docx” has been written and saved with Microsoft Word. This is why interoperability—the ability to use different data formats with various applications—is important. As an analogy, think about a thermometer reading 64° F. We can say that temperature itself is the data, and the measurement unit the format. You can change the format (to degrees Celsius) while keeping the same data, but you can’t have measurement of temperature without a measurement unit. An interoperable application would be able to read the temperature whether it is in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. Last but not least, you have the hardware, such as graphic and sound cards, printers, scanners, and many other devices. Usually, to make a specific piece of hardware work, the OS needs a driver, a special piece of code that handles communication with the device. Maybe the greatest challenge you’ll face when using Ubuntu Linux will be getting all your hardware up and running. Although most devices should run out-of-the-box with Ubuntu, you might have to follow some additional steps to make some specific pieces of hardware work. 


Free Software movement » Intro





 
 
 
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