Linux is a computer operating system like Windows, an operating system from Microsoft. These operating systems tie everything together – all the hardware on your computer (the keyboard, the mouse, the display, the hard disk) and everything on Internet and Wireless networks – in short, everything.
That they can do this is amazing – so amazing most people cannot believe they are working away quietly in the background – linking everything in the world together. They still live in the world before the Computer – and cannot grasp what effect the Computer (and its networks) has had on them.
But I am different – I want to understand what is going on – and that means what is going on in the Computer world. So I am studying Linux, an operating system superior to Windows – that is used by many more computers in the world – because it is better, and it is free.
But to study it, I really need to get my hands on it, and play with it. I need another computer that uses Linux. I have an Android, a smartphone operating system built on Linux – but that’s not the same thing.
No problem! There are tiny computers, such as the Raspberry Pi – that run on Linux. And they can easily be connected to my Windows computer – and from there to the Internet – in short, to everywhere!
This is the advantage of loosely-linked devices – something else new on the scene. An analogy would be people, and their ability to communicate using language. Every individual has its own life – but is loosely-linked to other people.
So the overall result – a culture – operates as a system of its own. The loose linkage allows for independent action – but not too much independence.