I have a new computer… for free!

Above is a screenshot, taken inside a virtual computer that is running in its own window on my iMac… completely independent of my Mac operating system. I am running MacOS X (Lion) at the same time. In fact, I even emailed the screenshot from the virtual computer to my “real” one.

Excuse me if I bore you with this, but I haven’t been so excited about a new computer experience for years!

Linux is an operating system, like Windows or MacOS X, and it is a very user-friendly and free alternative to both of those. Not only that, there are many, many very powerful apps that perform tasks usually performed by expensive products like Photoshop.

I read a lot about running Linux directly on my Mac but decided that there could be dangers to my hardware. A safe, easy way to get the benefits of Linux without the risk? Create a “virtual computer” on the Mac and install Ubuntu Linux on that. (Ubuntu is one of many “flavours” of Linux).

Creating the virtual computer was a cinch using free VirtualBox software. Youtube videos showed me exactly how to do everything.

Ubuntu Linux astonishes me with its polish. I don’t know why we have all been paying big bucks to Apple and Microsoft, but I’m glad there are a relatively small number of personal computers using Linux on the web. Those that target Windows with viruses don’t waste their time on the relatively small population of Linux (and Mac) PCs out there.

Excuse me while I explore this amazing new world.

2 thoughts on “I have a new computer… for free!

  1. The LibreOffice Suite of apps will create documents that are usable by Microsoft apps… there’s one for word processing, another for spreadsheets and one for making presentations.

    Documents can have their formatting changed by switching between LibreOffice and Microsoft Office, but there’s even a solution for that. You can run Windows applications in Ubuntu using a free application called Wine. Of course, you have to own a copy of MS Office that you can install.

    Music and movie players are part of the default Ubuntu download, as is Firefox for web surfing. My virtual installation found the web connection on its own. Firefox just worked. Thunderbird is the email app. It’s dead easy to use, too.

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