Exactly a year ago, La Esquina de un Migrante a Linux was born in a wokshop about educational blogs in my university.
I attended the workshop mainly out of curiosity: I wanted to see how blogging was being used in the educational sphere.
I remember everything quite well: The audience was composed almost completely of female professors of varied ages. Mechatotoro and I were the only males in the group. Apparently, our female colleagues are more conscious of the impact of technology in education, or at least they showed more interest.
Part of the workshop was making our own educational blog. How to make it didn't represent a challenge to me...the real problem was what to make it about.
Mechatotoro, who had being blogging for some time already about his experiences with Mandriva Linux, suggested (again!) that I could similarly record my Linux experiences. After all, Mepis 8.0 shared a very modest slice of my hard drive since I had installed it a couple of months before the workshop.
I wasn't so sure. By that time I still had my doubts about Linux. True, I used Mepis Linux 75% of my time, but I didn't want to let Windows go. I was afraid Linux could break my system, so blogging about Linux didn't seem a good idea. Now I find that fear so ironic! :P
I heard Mechatotoro and, as an educational experiment combined with a desire to preserve my own learning, gave life to this humble blog. It was indeed the least fancy among the other fourteen newborn blogs. Unlike the others, this blog lacked a target audience: it wasn't linked to any specific course. No student would directly profit from it...Unlike Mechatotoro's blog, mine lacked a clear direction. I was not a full Linux user, so my experiences would not make any difference...I had no commitment to Linux as I had it to Windows. I would never abandon Windows...that was what I thought.
However, the more I recorded my experiences with Linux, the more I reflected on many issues: freedom, security, politics, business practices, costumer rights, computing and satisfaction, shifting paradigms...
And a paradigm shifted. I don't even remember when, but the barely visible 5 Gb partition of Mepis grew; XP had to kiss another 20 GB goodbye. Later on, XP was confined to a virtual machine on my Mepis system, and I just booted my virtual XP very ocassionaly.
Nowadays, I'm a full Linux user. I've learned something, although I am still far away from calling myself knowledgeable about Linux. Also, I've been able to help others on forums as well as to contribute very modestly to two Linux projects, basically doing what any inexperienced person can do.
Although I've heard that my Linux experience here has helped others, this blog has been a much better educational agent for myself: it taught me to value what is actually valuable---a community of human beings and an OS that works for me instead of working for big corporations who just care about themselves and my money.