star Wil Wheaton, who plays Wesley Crusher in the Next Generation series, has become, in his own words, "the world's number one Linux cheerleader".
It is surely an announcement that will send the geek celebrity icon 'where no man has gone before' in terms of regard.
According to an entry on Wheaton's personal website, he had been toying with dumping Windows for almost a year.
"The open source movement really appeals to my anarchistic and individualistic tendencies, and everyone I know who uses Linux tells me that I won't miss Windows at all," he said.
A few weeks ago his computer blew up. "Smoke and everything," he said. Just as he was about to go and buy a new one another computer arrived in the mail. It was a gift from many of his fans who had pooled their resources to buy him a replacement.
"This new computer was a gift, and it worked as soon as I plugged it in, internet and everything," he explained. "The thing is, it was running Lindows."
The much-hyped Lindows operating system, which is based on Linux but promises to run Microsoft applications, has received mixed reviews, ranging from very good to very bad. Wheaton said that his experience was a mixture of the two.
"So I'm running this Lindows for about three weeks, and a couple of days ago I break it. One hundred per cent. I messed up some dependencies and, even with the help of some really smart propeller heads, I just couldn't fix it," he said.
But the experience seemed to be enough to push him in the direction of Linux. "Last night, I crossed the Rubicon and installed Mandrake 8.2," he said.
"This install was the easiest thing I have ever done. The only glitch came when I was trying to get my soundcard to work, which was hammered out quickly and painlessly. I'm using Gnome, and I've never been happier."
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