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Linux in Europe

March 21st, 2010

Before taking off to Europe, I was sincerely considering whether or not to take my netbook. I took it. It’s been a godsend. I have used it for so many things. Hostelworld, train bookings, city and country guides on Wikitravel, writing this blog, discussing souvenir requests, Netbanking, maps, emailing my landlord and flatmates in New Zealand, and of course, the ever-present and ubiquitous Facebook. It’s also pretty handy for whiling away the time on those twelve hour plane and train journeys too.

Yes, I could use the various Internet terminals that are now available everywhere, but you just don’t know if those have key loggers or not. I’m not wildly enthusiastic about the idea of someone in Europe getting access to my bank and email accounts. This isn’t likely, because most of the terminals are running Linux anyway, but it’s just easier to take a one kilo netbook, and use for as long as I have a power source, rather than negotiating use of the shared terminals.

Oh yeah – I keep seeing Linux everywhere. I have yet to see another traveller – apart from Aaron – using Linux, although you could argue that facebook looks the same on everything – but I have noticed that a large chunk of web terminals, kiosks, PoS terminals, Wifi captive portals, in-flight entertainment systems, and various embedded devices are running Linux. Though in the case of Meininger Hotels, they use Linux for everything, with a quasi Windows XP theme on the web terminals.

I am curious what has led to this. Is it developer preference, better internationalisation support, customisability, or simply a case of escaping licence costs?

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  1. David
    March 24th, 2010 at 11:31 | #1

    We’re really backwards here, aren’t we?

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