So I am taking the plunge!
I've always loved the application and elegance of open source applications, but have never really had/taken the time to really learn them myself.
This whole past year I've been struggling with Microsoft products, most specifically MS Access, but also a lot of tech support for MS Windows and Office Suite. After all my work, assessment, and discussions with many talented and knowledgeable people...MySQL has been the favored choice of database for the data management solution I've been tasked with solving.
Which brings me to the LAMP architecture:
MySQL is benefiting from the growing interest in the so-called LAMP stack of open-source components for building business applications, Urlocker said. Rather than purchase Java or Microsoft .Net development tools, corporate customers are building new applications on the LAMP combination of Linux; Apache Web server; MySQL; and PHP, Python or Perl scripting languages.
I want to eventually become a social entrepreneur and truely help bridge the digital divide gap...seeing this aspiration, it is hard for me to realize accomplishing that goal with expensive, proprietary products. Albeit, open source does not equate to free, it does, however, seem to mean a better, more proactive business model in engaging people to help others make technology better and ubiquitious while collaborating and working together.
For me, first steps are picking a distribution of linux. I am still in the preliminary research for myself of what best suits me. So far, the big ones, Fedora, Debian, and Mandrake seem the most mature and widely supported.
I am just excited at the possibilities!
A little overwhelmed, I will be using VMWare at first, hopefully soon following a total adoption.
I hope to document my learning as I progress: More to come!