It was difficult to come up with what to support for this month. Do I find another software to support? Do I spend time looking for artist projects on Kickstarter to get behind? Or do I reinvest in software development that I’ve given to in the past?
The problem with trying to figure this out is that its difficult to tie your decision to any new developments in August. Most people use August as a month to do nothing and kick back, taking a well deserved vacation. I can get behind that since my birthday falls in August, but the lackadaisical last month of summer doesn’t help in making decisions on who to support instead of giving my money to an Adobe subscription.
The light comes on
Just days before the end of the month, it dawned on me. Why not give to the OS that makes my open-source tinkerings possible, Ubuntu.
Ubuntu has been a great friend over the years. I’ve been using the OS since 9.04. Ubuntu has given me the opportunity to use Linux without needing to be a programmer. I’ve even been known to dabble in the terminal unlike Apple. Apple has always given me the sense that if you mess up in the terminal, you have a likelihood that the computer will catch on fire.
An optimistic future
Over the past year, Ubuntu has been making great strides. They’ve been touting their route to true convergence between devices. This will give you the same experience between, phone, tablet, desktop and even TV. You’ll also be able to use the same software on all devices. So you can play Angry Birds or edit photos in Gimp on any device. Microsoft is in the process of offering something similar, but it looks as if Ubuntu has been the leading OS in the arena of convergence.
Ubuntu has taken its licks over the past couple years. People are still upset over their decision to migrate from using Gnome to Unity. At first I didn’t care for the Unity experience, but since the 12.04 release, Unity has won a place in my heart.
Others have been griping that Ubuntu has become too much like Apple, trying to create a dictatorship with their brand and forgetting the values held dear to their open-source community. It’s a difficult balance to be an altruistic company. I believe that Ubuntu does it’s best to create a wonderful OS experience for everyone while trying to make money in order to further its mission. And sometimes making tough business decisions make Ubuntu seem less altruistic than users would prefer.
For those that don’t like Ubuntu, there are numerous distros out there to choose from for Linux. What draws me to Ubuntu is its ease of use and wonderful user experience. Not everything is rosey like the app store, but hopefully they’ll be tackling all of the shortcomings that they may have.
Why Ubuntu is one of my favorite things
What makes me excited about Ubuntu is thinking that in the near future I can have both an Ubuntu phone and tablet. Having a phone that I could plug in a monitor, mouse and keyboard and turn it into a desktop seems like a dream come true. Or, the thought of using an Ubuntu tablet and having access to both tablet apps and desktop software all on one portable device would be perfection. I could edit photos in Gimp on my tablet or paint in MyPaint.
From a roar to a rumble
What started with enormous momentum with the Ubuntu phone Kickstarter and news of their tablet development, has become the pushing back of release dates and recalculating performance expectations for the upcoming Unity8.
Right now it seems like a good time to be standing behind Ubuntu and showing support. And what better way than with a donation. If more people would donate, they would have more in the way of resources to be able to support their endeavors. Finding their donation page was difficult to find. If you are downloading the desktop version, their is a page it takes you for support. I was able to find the donation page with a Google search.
The Ubuntu donation page give you the option to say what you’re most interested while donating by adding dollars to the specific components of the company that you would wish they would spend more time and effort developing. It’s a great way to tell them which areas of growth concern you most as a user.
If you do use Ubuntu, think about giving back and sending some money their way in support.
Completely unrelated to Ubuntu, I’m still supporting the Blender Cloud with a monthly subscription. I find the tutorials to be very helpful for a newbie like me with the software. I haven’t been able to use the Cloud as much over the past month because of the demands from my day job, but I look forward to using it soon. Blender has been slowly increasing their tutorial offerings on the cloud and its definitely becoming a robust resource.