I’m Juan Carlos, a sociologist, tech-journalist and content creator from Caracas, Venezuela. I’m not from a tech background, but I’ve always been a tech enthusiast… and as such, I’ve been making tech-related Youtube videos (in Spanish) for the last ten years.
My Linux journey is just getting started, but has many years in the making. I’ve been aware of Linux since the late 90’s when the only “big” players were RedHat (it was just Red Hat Linux) and SUSE. Live sessions were not a thing yet, and my father used our home’s PC for his work as a lawyer, so I didn’t install that SUSE Linux CD I got in one computer expo (circa 1998)
Many years later, when I was doing my MBA, my Strategy and Structure Professor was a FOSS enthusiast (“I’m just miserable, I don’t like to pay for software” – he said) and, besides Linux (he was using Ubuntu) he showed me some free alternatives to productivity software, like OpenOffice… Usually, down here, the alternative for paid software lies on the high seas, if you know what I mean .
A couple of years later, I went to pick up my then-girlfriend from her office. She was in the middle of some situation and I had to wait a bit… she pointed me to an abandoned computer in the corner of her office, it looked like the others but, as she told me, no one wanted to use it because no one undertood how… Surprise! It was running Ubuntu 11.04. I sat down and sarted to use it… and I loved it!
Fast forward to six months ago. I have been using my sister’s old 2007 iMac for basic productivity. It didn’t update since El Capitan (MacOS 10.11) and support has dropped out eniterly… to the point that it was a pain to even browse the web. Between this and the requirements to upgrade from Win10 to Win11 it felt like Microsoft and Apple were saying: “Just buy a new computer, you miserable!” - So I did the best I could do: Install Linux on this old iMac.
I installed Pop!_OS 21.04 and it was the step I needed to take in order to fall into this wonderful rabbithole. Desktop environments have been a long way since the days of Unity, and GNOME never looked better. Working on the command line was quite easy – for someone who started using a PC back in the days when Windows was just a DE installed on top of MS-DOS. Needless to say, the ride was exiting.
I grabbed all the old USB drives I had in hand to make my “Distro (hopping) Kit” so I could live-test many distros on my laptop: Ubuntu, Manjaro, Elementary, Linux Mint and, of course, Fedora. I even installed Elementary on the fist-gen Intel Compute Stick I have as a glorified media centre on my living room. Fedora was a close-second candidate… I love the clean cutting-edge implementation, but it needed more atention than I was willing to give to the compute stick. However, I’m upgrading my laptop (an SSD, new kewboard, new battery and, since is an old Pentium P6200, it can be replaced with a Core i7), it will take some time but I’m installing Fedora for sure.
There are some intangibles that most analyst and youtubers don’t consider when evaluating a Linux distro: Community support is the most important. Last weekend (April 1st and 2nd) I attended my fisrt Fedora community event: The Mentor Summit. All I can say is that I loved the vibe and energy of the community and I’ve been wanted to know more and get closer since.
And that brings me here.