Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Apple, Linux, and the Ultimate Valentine's Day

Tuesday night. 

Emeryville, California. 

Fuddruckers, crazy-good burgers. 

A guy stops us as we are walking to our table. He looks crisp, clean with a Steve Jobs smile. He asks me (a blond lady), “Do you really use Linux?” I am wearing my ultra comfy all black hoody “ZaReason: Building Linux computers so you don't have to.”

I love this question. I smile and my eyes twinkle. I truly love this question.

I say, “Yes.”

My husband says, “Boy, do we know Linux.”

The guy smiles and tells a story about a geeky friend he knew who was “really into Linux.” With his Steve-style smile he says, “I love the concept behind free and open creation of the software. But did it plateau? I haven't hear about it as much lately.” We say we also love the concept behind free and open source software and Linux is alive and thriving.

He is sincerely happy to hear that Linux is doing well. I tell him how the turning point happened a few years ago, about how people who have never used Linux before – people who barely know how to use computers at all – are buying Linux-only computers just for the security and ease of use.

He smiles wide and expresses congratulations. I say the computers “are now so easy. A person can get a new Linux-only computer, plug it in, turn it on and be up and running in a minute or two. It'll sense the printer, sense wifi, everything.” Smiles all the way around.

I ask if the guy uses a Mac. Of course he does. He is dressed like Steve himself. So, I add, “Ubuntu is aiming to be even more beautiful than Apple.” He raises both eyebrows and I can tell he's making a mental note to invest in any Ubuntu-related company. Great conversation.

As my husband and I sit down to dinner, it feels like the perfect Valentine's Day. That public recognition of Linux = good is so delicious, sweet, fulfilling. But the real Valentine's Day present came ten minutes later. As we ate, I had my laptop open working on an article about the Secret Sauce for Building Linux Computers, deep in thought. This gave my husband the brainspace needed to think about what I had said about Linux being better than Apple. We hear this comparison often and I know many who work alongside those who use Apple computers sure are cheering for Ubuntu.

On his phone my husband went to netcraft.com, a site that analyses servers. He found that Apple's webservers are running Apache on Linux.

Apple's site is served up by Apache running on Linux. Perhaps someone already told me this in the past, but this time it really sinks in.

Apple trusts the foundation of it's company to free and open source software.

What a great Valentine's Day.

No comments:

Post a Comment