I was born with a one-button mouse in my hand.
My family members always were, and still are, avid Apple users. Macheads, if you will. I was raised on Macintosh computers (my first operating system was Mac OS 7!). We used iPods and Mac OS X before it was cool. However, I rejected my roots. Two years ago, I went to the “dark side” and started using Windows. My family was disappointed in me, but I needed to get my gaming fix! And now here I am using GNU/Linux. Kinda funny how things come full circle, isn’t it? (Going from a UNIX-based OS, Mac OS X, to Windows, and back to a UNIX-based os).
Tux, the official mascot of Linux.
Where I’m getting to with this, is that I know and respect all things computational. I’ve seen both sides of the coin (er, three sides). I’d fit right in to GCCIS (Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences) if I didn’t love physics so much!Okay, back on track. In case you didn’t know, this is a tech school. If you’re looking to come here, you might be wondering about said tech. Let me tell you firsthand, it’s everywhere!There’s blanketing wifi across all of campus. Unless you’re gallivanting around in the woods, you’re almost guaranteed to get a signal. If you need or want to be plugged in though, don’t worry. Each residence hall room has enough ethernet jacks for each inhabitant, and classrooms will usually have some plugs in the back (unless you’re in a more wired room, like one in GCCIS, in which case they could even be at each seat in certain labs). If you’re jacked in, you’ll get gigabit speeds on a Dual OC-3 network, which is up to three times faster than a T-3 line. Yes, that means you can download your games off of Steam with lightning fast speed. In addition to that, downloading content from other universities is especially fast, because we’re a part of Internet2. I have a lightweight netbook, which is handy for doing homework wherever I am. That’s also why I opted for the e-text version of my physics textbook (which was over a quarter of the price of the actual textbook. Take note, future students!) On it, I run Arch Linux. Yes, I’m aware of the joke:“How do you know someone uses Arch Linux?”“They’ll tell you.” GNU and Linux, a dynamic duo.
Aside from the many advantages of using GNU/Linux in general, there are even more advantages to using it here:1. You can learn and grow as a user: come on down to RITLUG and learn to use your computer to its fullest abilities!2. You don’t have to worry about being kicked off of the RIT network for being virus-laden (you can’t connect to the network unless you’re properly protected, and there’s pretty much no viruses for GNU/Linux).3. It’s free! Free as in free speech, and free as in $0. Handy for a typical “college student budget.” Not to mention all of the free alternatives to paid programs (need the latest version of office? Just use LibreOffice instead!).4. Speed. Not just because GNU/Linux is faster by design (although it usually is), but because of our wonderful ace in the hole: mirrors.rit.edu.Whenever you download a new program or system update in GNU/Linux, it has to come from a mirror. These are places online where files are hosted, so that they’re not all on one server (from the creators of the software, usually), causing it to get overloaded from multiple people downloading at once.mirrors.rit is one of the most comprehensive mirrors out there. Not only that, but if you’re an Arch user like me, it’s the best one there is.
I may preach the penguin a lot, but whatever your choice -- Mac OS, GNU/Linux, Android, iOS, MeeGo, Symbian, Blackberry, *BSD, or Windows (but not Vista. We don’t like you), you’ll find that your technology has a home at the institute.
Yes I wear it all the time.
Kevin Granger is a first-year physics major, who loves GNU/Linux and wishes to convert everyone to it, in any shape or form. You should follow him on twitter here.