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Saturday, May 26, 2012

How I embraced Ubuntu.

Many people at my school are unfamiliar with the word Ubuntu, so I learned as I was spreading the word this week.  When they hear it, it evokes exoticness that has never reached humankind in years.  Neolithic ages in technologically ignorant grounds. I felt an unnerving pity for the ones clinging to the commercial, proprietary world of Windows 7 and iPhones.  Well, I digress...

On 2004, Mark Shuttleworth launched a project that would one day be recognized all over the world.  Linux may have started during the '90s, but it was Ubuntu that set the standard for mainstream Linux to come, surmounting even Redhat - one of the earliest distros - and Debian in these present years.  Ubuntu, an ancient African word which means "a shared humanity," really lives up to its name, because it is driven by a global community of developers, community managers, designers, and engineers.  The heartfelt place, the solid bond of belonging, its undeniable roots on providing free software for the world - all this is packaged into this one word, this one operating system.

It is a pity that so many people in my school never heard of it in their entire lives.  My first encounter with Ubuntu was in 7th grade, when the nascent OS looked plain convoluted, appeasing only the Linux enthusiast or power user. My parents reacted with such fury when they saw me installing it into one of our desktops; the shock in their eyes of messing with "stable Windows XP" compelled me to forget about Ubuntu for a while.  Sporadically I returned to Ubuntu into my own computer, here and there, eventually dualbooting and reembracing fellow Windows 7 for its enticing finger to gamer's heaven.  Yes definitely, I was a product of the mainstream world... and I couldn't stop hungering for more.

For years, I was vying for true meaning in this life.  I was so detached from the social world, neglecting the potential of networking, bothering not to engage in frivolous activities, clandestinely studying like a powerhouse.  The woes of the world were pricking me because I lacked a sense of belonging to the world. Of course, to act for a wasteful cause is a silly act indeed, and so many high school kids find romantic fantasies more worth living for than discovering the other side of the hurly burly student world.  But it took one conference, due to which I took leave from school for a week (and consequently leave my teachers upset), to change all that.

My perspective of life found a new target, and it transcended me to new heights.  I've began building up on that since February, when I first began showing interest of the Ubuntu community by attending the monthly Ubuntu hours in Pasadena.  However, never had it seemed so grandoise in scope of the mechanisms behind a striving community, behind that simple, aesthetic orange design of the Ubuntu website.  Everyone was a team, worth living for and serving each other to victory. This gladness... it was a heavenly tune to a wretched mind, once corrupted, that experienced a sudden transition. The cobwebs of inactivity are ripping apart, my gears churning with newfound vigor.  Never have I felt more alive!

To raise awareness of the benefits of open source is why I'm firmly for the campaign of Ubuntu in John Marshall High School. I've hanged out with giants long enough already; it's about time to act.

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