Email: <mknisely AT mrknisely DOT is-a-geek DOT org>
My name is Michael Knisely and I am a fan of Linux. As a Computer Networking and Security Specialist I find that all the the tools available to me in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community allow me to be more productive than those in the proprietary world.
I've gravitated toward Ubuntu as my Linux flavor of choice because for the following reasons:
1: The Community - I have never worked with a community of users more ready to help someone just starting out. I've been using Linux for going on 7 years now, but I still remember the "RTFM" messages I would get when I first started, and I still read on other distributions' forums. There is very little of that here.
2: The Debian Connection - Ubuntu, by way of the Debian project, is one of the most robust yet user friendly distributions available. If you have yet to use Synaptic, use it and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. From dpkg to apt and from aptitude to synaptic, Debian has always had the best package manager available. I'm a Debian user from a while back, and Ubuntu adds exactly what I was wanting in Debian.
3: The Ease - Installing and using Linux should not be hard work. If it is, then something is wrong. With Ubuntu, seldom is there anything wrong. It is a pleasure to use!
4: Viability - Unlike some other boutique Debian spin-offs Ubuntu has the support and financial backing to be a major player in the Linux market. Not just in the server realm, or on the geek's desktop, but across the entire realm of computing needs. I am happy that I am going to be a part of this distribution as it grows to be a world player.
5: Sex Appeal - Have to toss this in... I fired up Beryl on my laptop and just by using it out and about got three new people into the local Linux User's Group. Yeah, I know Beryl isn't Ubuntu specific, but it was a SNAP to get installed. It was so easy, an MCSE co-worker of mine saw Beryl on my desktop and that evening he went home and figured out how to dual-boot his laptop and get Ubuntu+Beryl running on his machine. TAKE THAT REDMOND! Vista doesn't hold a candle to this!
On a personal note, I'm an extatically married father of one. My family and I live in Mansfield, Oh. I work for MT Business Technologies, Inc. and will soon be an adjunct professor at NC State College. I specialize in computer networking using mostly Cisco products. I hold a CCNA certificate and have certified in the BCMSN and BSCI portions of the CCNP. I am also a Cisco IP Telephony Express specialist. What does all that mean? Well, I'm kind of a network plummer.
My experiences with Linux:
Casual desktop replacements - My wife uses Linux exclusively on her laptop. Oh, and my 2 year old daughter's first word processer was gedit. I tried to get her to use vim, but her little hands just couldn't figure out the ":wq" function. As a matter of fact, thus far in the entire 21st century Mr. Gates has not received one penny of tax from my household.
Server - I run my own website and mail server at home. Previously in my career I was in charge of maintaining our hosting servers for a few dozen customers. Recently I've been working with a co-worker implemening an exciting LAMP solution for online workorder clearing. Oh, and I have hosted quite a few Counter-Strike servers over the years.
Diagnostic System - My laptops have been mobile pen-test labs, wireless hacking machines, rogue wireless APs, stress testing devices for networking equipment, slayers of switches, and the occasional transparent proxy. FOSS software makes me look good in front of my customers day in and day out.
Hand of God - It is my firm believe that God has given me the skills I have for the purpose of reaching out to the world through education about FOSS solutions. Worry not, I'm not going to beat you about the monitor with GnomeSword though.
Where I want to go next:
I am VERY excited about asterisk, and I plan on devoting a lot of my time in exploring that project.
Beryl is fantastic. I've got a blog entry regarding this. I look forward to how it will progress.
Linux routers! I am excited about the new appliances coming out that are challenging Cisco's product line and blurring the line between router, firewall, VPN concentrator, IPS, Content Filter, etc. It's an exciting time to be involved in this area.