Why Open Source and Ubuntu Linux could succeed in Brussels

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Ubuntu LinuxToday, while feeling miserable and being fed up with Belgian weather, I remembered someone has said: there is no bad weather, just bad clothes. Well, in Brussels you can't find rubber boots (so I bought trekking shoes instead). And you can't use your umbrella because the wind will tear it down in seconds. So what can you do? Stay in your car? NO! Stay home and play with your favourite Linux distribution, for example ;-). That's what I did today.

Two years ago, a friend recommended Gentoo Linux for people who want to learn about Linux (as opposed to just using it). So I installed it the hard way, from source -- only to prove myself I could do it. It took me hours and days. After that first experience, I have installed Gentoo Linux 3--4 times. During these last two years I've used the system 10--15 times. It's a fantastic distribution which you can optimise and customise as much as you want. The problem is I don't have time to do that. Although the Gentoo handbook is a great resource, simple things are not always easy on Linux.

Then I discovered Ubuntu Linux. It took me 30 minutes to install it, and another 30 minutes to quickly check the basic settings. Everything works out of the box, even a USB stick which never worked for me on Gentoo Linux. As I said, I don't have too much time on my hands. With Ubuntu Linux, I can instantly start using the system, and then *if* I have time, I have the possibility to learn more about the inner depths of this great operating system called Linux.

I'm seriously considering dropping Windows altogether and keeping only my 12-inch PowerBook G4 and Ubuntu Linux desktop. Secondly, I miss the sun which is why I'm considering moving to Southern Europe (half-kidding). How could we encourage people in Belgium -- and all around the globe -- to use open source software, not only in public sector, communities and SMEs?

If you live in Belgium, start here. Otherwise, start here.