*I like Alliteration*
*p.s. Put up with all the Linux talk preceding the recommendation at the end of this post. Please.*
As you may know by now, I am a long time Linux evangelist. I love Linux and I REALLY enjoy free software - which the typical Linux Distribution is full of.
But Linux has always been a disappointment.
It hasn't gotten the acceptance in the mainstream marketplace that we all hoped it would - I mean, I've been a devout Linux User since 1994 and always hoped to see a viable User Interface developed so that people would have a real and honest choice about what their computing environment would be. But that never happened and Linux has never gotten the acceptance it deserves.
That said, there's a reason or two behind that, I think.
First - Linux is free. You can download an .iso from the Internet, burn it to a DVD, and install a brand new Linux environment on a computer. But the thing is, many people don't respect the Operating System because it IS free. Everyone from Corporate Management down to people walking the streets seem to think "if it's free, it must not be any good".
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Second - It's complex - and this is the biggest element working against its acceptance, in my opinion. On the other hand, so is Microsoft's Windows product - the thing is, for the most part, the complexity is hidden by the User Interface. In the Windows environment, you virtually never need to go to a Command Line to get stuff done. That's not the case with Linux.
That said, Linux CAN be used successfully used if all you need to do is Browse the Internet and run "office" apps like Word Processing and Spreadsheet.
To that end, there's a new "Top Dog" Linux Distribution - Mint 14. (Here comes the promised recommendation) It's downloadable (I don't care WHAT my spell check says - it is SO a word) and also available in DVD form with the purchase of any number of Linux magazines currently on the shelves of many bookstores. LinuxFormat and LinuxUser (both are large format slicks published in England) are two ready sources. Or you can do a Google search and download from a link online. If you have an old disused pc or laptop laying about (so many of us do), try doing the install - you will be surprised how easy it is. Once installed, try running through the Menu System - look and see what's there. You'll be surprised by how much you can do with your new Operating System.
Give it a whack. See what happens.