Ubuntu: The Paris Hilton of Linux?January 11, 2007
The AOL- Ubuntu connection is one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written, by virtue of Ubuntu being so popular.
I think this one should top it because I’m marrying the freakish with the geekish. With any luck, I’ll never have to write another post again. My place in blog history is sealed!
I’ve seen an episode or two of the various incarnation of The Simple Life. I haven’t seen the video, but I have seen some stills from One Night in Paris. Ms. Hilton is an attractive young lady who is probably smarter than what is depicted in the media. But there can be no doubt about her talent for being well connected and being in the right place at the right time. Her biggest claim to fame is being in the public eye. She poses shamelessly for the paparazzi as her main job is to be seen. In terms of actual skills and talents, she hasn’t shown much above mediocrity. She’s not a great comedian and she’s not a great actor. According to many who saw the x-rated movie, she wasn’t all that good at sex. She actually shows some potential as a singer, if the one video clip I saw is any indication. But in terms of actual talent, there are many, many more talented people and most of those do not get a fraction of the publicity and air time that Ms. Hilton does. It’s sort of like just the fact that she’s popular drives even more popularity. It’s popularity gone viral, and 2006 saw Ms. Hilton at the top of her game.
And so it was last year with the release of Ubuntu’s Dapper Drake. The popularity of this Linux distribution went viral and soon a body could not even talk about Linux without mentioning Ubuntu the same way a person could not talk about Hollywood’s starlets without mentioning Paris. Was Ubuntu the fastest distro? No, the smaller RAM-based distros were quicker. Was it the most powerful? No, there were bigger and better distros out. It was the newest for about a week. It certainly is not the newest today. And yet people still rave on and on about this Linux distribution.
I think the Ubuntu fan base has many things in common with Paris Hilton’s fan base. They are perfectly willing to except something with less substance in favor of something that is simply very popular and available. Ubuntu enjoyed a lot of exposure in 2006, and it has helped elevate the status of Linux which is a good thing. Probably a much better thing than elevating the Hollywood social scene which Paris does. Hundreds of Ubuntu disks have been shipped out for free and passed out among friends. I gave out 4 of them myself to different people. Yes, I helped fuel the Ubuntu hype. None of those that I gave disks to have become Linux converts, tho. I’m actually beginning to circulate more Puppy Linux disks to people because I think it is a better distribution for newbies like me, with all of those wizards to help configure things for the computer. It’s not perfect, but it has the virtue of being faster, smaller and more feature-filled than Ubuntu.
Totally unrelated, is Peter Cofee’s 25 killer apps of all time. Unless you think Ubuntu should be one of them! I’m just holding the link here for further future discussion and a post later on.