I considering investing some time and effort into learning Linux. I have an old PC which I’m not using and I’m thinking on installing Linux on it so I can learn it without losing the use of my current computer (which is Windows based). Anyways I have several questions.
First, is this worth the effort? I’ve heard some people say Linux is superior to Windows but I’ve rarely heard the reasons why. If my understanding is correct, Linux uses less memory than Windows and is customizable. Are these worthwhile advantages? What are some of the other advantages? Please bear in mind, I’m not technically oriented, so reasons such as “Linux’s fractional modulation is twelve times as bipolar as Windows so the indefinite articulation is obviously going to be more algebraic” will not really help me. I’m also not interested in opinions such as “Bill Gates in the anti-christ so Linux is better.” Gates probably is the anti-christ but I’ll leave that area to the Justice Department and various religious authorities.
Second, how difficult is learning Linux? I have essentially no experience with programming (the last program I wrote was in Fortran). I’ve looked at books like Linux for People Without Enough Branches on the Family Tree and it seems pretty complicated. Is it as bad as it seems or is it relatively simple once you get past the jargon?
Third, if I learn Linux, what will I do with it? I realize all knowledge is good, but would I be better off putting this effort into learning to speak Japanese? Is it possible (or desirable) to run a home PC off Linux in the real world or have we already become a Windows based world? If I go to the store and buy a new game will I be able to run it on a Linux based computer without days of modification?
Fourth, what is the relationship between Linux and Unix? (Keep in mind my technical ignorance.) As I understand it, Unix is the language that Internet systems operate on and Linux and Windows are programs for translating Unix commands into semi-comprehensible language.
Fifth and final, if I do jump into this, what are some products I should be looking for? I’ve seen a cheap packet at Sam’s Club that offers what is supposedly a start-up kit of Linux programs and manuals, but I’d like to hear recommendations.