The Heart of Linux
It didn’t happen slowly. On the contrary, it was a thunderbolt…a deep, thrumming, resounding sense of being right, of being at the right place at the right time. A sense of finding something that you knew without doubt would be important in your life. There wasn’t any need to “think it through” or “evaluate the situation.” The moment I realized the power under my fingertips, even my self-identity changed. With that moment growing like a supernova inside of me, I fully took on that new identity. As that blazing power exploded from within me, I knew who I was. I was now a firebrand. It was six years ago this month that I knew who I was.
I was a Linux Advocate. I just opted out of the cape.
It didn’t take me long to realize the uphill trudge I had ahead of me. The battle between GNU Linux and just Linux was enough to confuse any convert-to-be in front of me. When it takes more than a few sentences to explain something to almost anyone, their interest wanes quickly. It doesn’t help that I was trying to sell subscriptions to a divided camp either.
A helpful tip for those coming of age as a Linux Advocate: Temper your rhetoric when explaining just how much Microsoft sucks. It’s easy to come off as a wild-eyed zealot. These are lessons in advocacy learned rather quickly. And yeah…, that whole wide-eyed zealot thing? It didn’t work out so well for me. Nor will it for you.
As I did then, I still do.
Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue