Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement”. In the West, it is commonly used in connection with business improvement, but in Japan, kaizen can refer to any improvement, whether work-related or not. If a student studies hard and improves his exam results, or the housewife improves the families’ finances by shopping more wisely, they have practiced and taken advantage of kaizen. This article will show you how you too can benefit by applying kaizen to your computer needs.
What is Linux
I’m sure most of you reading this will be using Windows or Mac OSX computers. These are the two main operating systems used by the average home computer user. However, they have a price. You may not realize this, but when you buy a new computer, the price includes the price of an operating system such as Windows XP or Vista or one of the OSX variants. Unfortunately, buying a computer does not mean that you stop buying software. Every few years, a different, “improved” version is released, along with a not-so-nice price. Shortly afterwards, a second edition with “security fixes” was released, leading to additional costs for the user.
Linux is different. Linux is a completely free operating system that users can simply download from the Internet, burn to a CD, and reboot to install. It’s that simple and because it comes with everything you need for the average consumer, office suite, digital camera software, internet applications, etc., you don’t have to pay for extras.
Unfortunately, Linux is generally considered a geek operating system, which suggests that unless you have a doctorate in computer science, you just can’t make it work. However, the latest versions have changed all that, and now Linux is as easy to use as its two main rivals in the desktop war. A distribution of this free operating system recently received much praise and recommendations – Ubuntu.
Ubuntu – Linux for Windows users
Ubuntu, like other Linux systems, is completely free to download, install and use. It does not require any personal information or requires product registration. Just download and go.
Unlike Windows or OSX, which, in order to create a production phrase, group and arrange their enhancements in a queue and send them in groups every few years, Ubuntu releases regular enhancements when they occur, and which you can download via a notification icon in system area. This is more in line with the way Toyota produces cars. Kaizen way.
As Ubuntu is generally maintained and improved by willing volunteers, it is constantly being refined and improved. A little tweaking here, a little tweaking there and the benefits are available when they are ready and when the user asks for them, instead of the user waiting and then pressing them on the user through a new version. In manufacturing, such a process is called a withdrawal because the consumer (or customer) draws improvements to them when they require it and in the amounts they want. Ubuntu releases new releases every six months, but if you’re up to date, you don’t need to download and reinstall.
Ubuntu Linux is an easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain operating system for the masses, and a great alternative for those who are tired of constantly paying for their computer needs. This is great for business as there is no annual license fee to use the operating system or its software applications. It is also resistant to virus attacks and spyware, so your privacy is maintained and guaranteed (although it comes with a very secure firewall just in case).
Ubuntu comes with everything you need, including a full office suite courtesy of Open-Office, a free replacement for Microsoft Office, all your Internet applications – a Firefox browser, an email client called Evolution-like Outlook, and even an image manipulator in Photoshop style called Gimp. In fact, there are literally thousands of professional standard, free applications waiting to be used, and if you need specialized software that is not installed by default, such as accounting software, the main menu has an add / remove list that allows you to search and install it with just a few clicks, for free.
In fact, Ubuntu became so popular that the French government (03/2007) recently began discussing the possibility of removing its Microsoft system in favor of Ubuntu and free software, and began the change in June 2007 (source: zdnet.fr “Linux: Ubuntu install the server on the computer “).
So why not add a little kaizen, the art of continuous improvement, to your computer needs and try Ubuntu.