About the Linux Operating System
Linux is a freely available operating system that can be used in place of Windows on most computers. Linux can also be used on Apple computers. And infact Linux can be found on the smallest computers, and smartphones, and on to the most powerful supercomputers. Linux can also be ofetn used effectively on older computers, allowing you to get a greater life span from your computer system.
Everything you can do using Windows, you can do using Linux instead, although you may do it in a slightly different way. I challenge anyone to come up with something that provides a set functionality to the end user, with a particular information content using Windows, that cannot be reproduced effectively using Linux. Think of it as using a mobile phone: they can all the same things, but the menu and options may be organised differently from one make and model to the other. Linux menues and options may look different, but in the end they accomplish the same functions, and often more, and with less restrictions.
There are advanced things though that may be easier to do in Linux than in Windows.
Linux is Open Source (see section on Open Source for what this means exactly), and therefore allows a User to have much higher degree of control on how a computer works, and does not tie up anyone to one particular company.
Linux is safe, much safer than Windows. There are practically no Linux viruses, and even the very few that may exist would be comparatively much less harmful. This is because of inbuilt design characteristics of Linux - NOT because more people use Windows, and therefore makes the latter a bigger target for malware developers. Linux was designed from day one to be secure.
Linux is used in many advanced applications. Of the top 500 most powerful computers, over 95% use Linux. The Android system, now the most popular system for smart phones, uses Linux at its heart. Google uses Linux extensively.
There are tons of information on the Internet about Linux. Here is just a minute list:
The main Linux website: http://www.linux.org
Wikipedia entry on Linux: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
Lots of info on Linux and applications: http://lxer.com
Another Linux website: http://www.linux.com
List of Linux distributions(distros): http://distrowatch.com
(see the Wikipedia entry to learn more about distributions)
Linux Users of Victoria: http://www.luv.asn.au
Sydney Linux User Group: http://www.slug.org.au
HUMBUG - Queeensland: http://www.humbug.org.au
Perth Linux User Group: http://www.plug.org,au
Linux South Australia: http://www.linuxsa.org.au
Tasmania Linux User Group: http://www.taslug.org.au
Canberra Linux User Group: http://www.clug.org.au
Other Linux User Groups: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/linux_user_groups