Education is undoubtedly the largest propaganda weapon in this consumerist-driven society. Having just completed matric, I realize that the first eighteen years of my life has been a period of unmitigated Windows brainwashing. It is a travesty to think how the capitalist greed of proprietary software has permeated my life for so long.

I recently began working at AfriSpatial with the intention of keeping myself busy during the holiday and earn some pocket money in the process. I was required to work in Linux which was a somewhat foreign OS to me and, afraid it would mysteriously hurt my fragile Windows PC, I installed Xubuntu OSGeo Live in a Virtual Box. At this stage life was treating me well…

One day, Windows decided to do an update which broke the harmony of my Virtual Machine by somehow preventing connection to the Internet. I wasted precious hours troubleshooting every conceivable error but this was to no avail. I had two choices: either forget about Linux and revert to the primitive ways of life before Linux or take a bold new step into a brighter future. So I actually had no choice and no more patience. I had to install Linux as a dual-boot. There was no other way.

This seemingly inconsequential event instigated a change; a purgation of conscience whose effects altered the kernel of my value system. I guess in hindsight this transmogrification was inevitable for an aspiring programmer.

Having joined the ranks of the converted Linux users, life has become so much brighter, so much more fulfilling, so much more. Gone are the days of tasteless architecture and graphics. The experience has been liberating. I blame schools for polluting their computer labs with expensive proprietary software when there are open source equivalents for just about everything (and often these ‘alternatives’ are better). Open source is undoubtedly the way forward. Anything Windows can do, Linux can do better. I am not trying to be antagonistic, just honest.

These are the confessions of an ex-Windows user.