viernes, 22 de junio de 2012

Testing Linux in a Serious Environment: My Thesis Dissertation

Some people still believe that Linux and other Open Source software cannot be taken seriously because, in their view, "FOSS is unprofessional."

To find out if that was true, I have tested both Linux and Open Office in rather serious environments, basically placing my head as part of the bet. To finish my degree in Education, I depended solely on Mepis Linux 8.5 and Open Office, which ran on my far-from-powerful netbook Toshiba NB-100. You can find my review of that experience here.

Two days ago, I tested Mepis 11 and Libre Office in another environment that I think my readers will consider quite serious: my final dissertation for my Master's degree. Again, I entrusted my head to a Linux distribution and to a free/libre office suite. Why? Because I really wanted to see it for myself: Was Free Software up to the challenge?

Now, some of the variables of the experiment:

1. My Toshiba NB-100 did not come preloaded with Mepis 11. It was "designed for Windows XP" but I turned it into a 6-OS-booting monster.

2. My NB-100 barely has 1 GB of RAM.

3. Mechatotoro was controlling the presentation (he is not a regular Mepis user).

4. I made the Libre Office presentation on my desktop computer and loaded it to my netbook.

5. The presentation had plenty of 3-D transitions and KDE desktop effects were enabled.

My dissertation began.  Mepis did not have any obstacles to use the projector and I had no unnecessary delays or surprises.  It was as if my modest Toshiba NB-100 were actually designed for Linux!  Too bad that Surface, the new Microsoft tablet (designed for Windows 8) did not do as well during its introduction.  People are talking about that already!

LibreOffice handled the presentation flawlessly.  The effects were neat and did not cause my system to freeze:

  This is the effect "Rochade" in action:

Here you have "Turning Circles":

This one is "Turn":

Once again I exposed myself to public embarrassment if either Linux or Libre Office had failed but instead I got praised.  Someone told me later that the presentation was smooth and it helped my audience and committee follow my dissertation without any issues or interruptions.  That's the goal of using technology in these circumstances, right?

In conclusion, Linux and Open Source Software were used again in a serious, professional environment and their performance was excellent.  I've seen XP, Vista and 7 failing during presentations and thus embarrassing the speaker.  However, some still insist that it is Linux the one that is not professional.  What a paradox!  

2 comentarios:

  1. I agree with you. Your dissertation went as planned and the presentation worked as expected. No undesired surprises, like the delay when turning off the computer because "Windows 7 is installing updates".

    Again, congratulations! Your defense was awesome!

  2. Now that you mention it, Windows embarrassed some of my students during their project presentation...