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Linux Can Make You Cool -

Linux Can Make You Cool

From our Humor mixed with Reality Section, by Mark Rais for

Getting into Linux, setting up web servers and tinkering with configurations doesn't just satisfy an insatiable desire you have to create and achieve, it also makes you cool.

I'm not kidding about this. One of the inevitable results of Linux experience is coolness.

A few years ago in the midst of my technical career, I met a gentleman, I'll nickname Earl, who use to make a name solving huge corporate issues. Many knew him, and if they didn't know him they knew of him.

He'd walk into a meeting with me, listen to all the fears and concerns from folks, and then walk out of the room smiling. "I can solve this for them by Thursday afternoon," Earl would tell me as we headed back to our offices.

Now if I hadn't met him, and if at some point I didn't have the blessing of being his technical manager, I would never have believed it. I would have laughed Earl off as a silly fellow with a big mouth.

But Earl was different. Earl was cool. He'd go hide in his office for the night and the next morning he'd pop me an instant message asking if I had time to see his latest solution.

The specific issue we were trying to solve at the time was to deliver web site content across all of AOLs multiple brands, using a single publishing tool created with no new resources, that could be learned overnight, and available the day before yesterday. No one even thought there was a solution.

Any solution had to be readily available, and capable of running on what we already had. And as the technical manager who inevitably would get voice mails from heated executives, I knew it had to scale.

Earl worked his experience and the secret formula into the plan and within a week had a tool delivering pages to the staging servers. When we demo'ed the tool to the important people, one of them stood up and declared, "Now that's cool!"

They couldn't believe that he was able to deliver solutions before executives had time to get worked up.

Well, the "secret" was finally revealed: Linux servers. They are wonderful and inexpensive tools for rapid prototyping and development.

Few understood that the reason Earl could get so much work done so fast was because he had Linux servers in his office enabling him to generate, test, and deliver code faster than some engineers could boot up their workstations.

Yet, on stuff you and I can buy at the corner computer store, Earl was addressing significant corporate infrastructure problems in a matter of weeks, not months, or years. Again and again, he and a number of others on my team did just that.

In incredibly compressed time frames we were able to deliver complete new content tools for editorial staff, substantial new websites that would receive millions of page views, and infrastructure tools to help with managing content and work-flow. All this was possible thanks to their talent, stellar work ethic, and the flexible power Linux servers provided. And of course, the executives who saw it with their own eyes were calling the team seriously cool.

There are countless examples of how Linux enables people to do things that simply can not be done in non-open source environments. People like Earl, you, and I are not simply using up time tinkering with Linux, because we have proof that it can make us cool!

Of course, all of this knowledge also leads to being more marketable, better poised to take on new jobs, and exposed to a far wider array of opportunities. But for now I just enjoy the fact that Linux knowledge can make people cool.

Other humor articles to encourage Linux use include: Linux Makes Granny Cry and Linux at Its Best: Man, Machine & a Migraine.

Our "Humor Mixed with Reality" sections are intended to be lighthearted articles. You take them seriously at your own risk. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft, Windows, Microsoft Office are the registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S and internationally. ALL other service marks, trademarks, and registered trademarks are owned by their respective companies. The information in this article is published explicitly as opinions and is not to be deemed factual or verified information. For factual information refer to more than one source and judge for yourself.

Read many more articles on Linux use on our Linux Help page.

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