The quality of the blackjack experience online is tied to the performance capabilities of your device and your Internet connection. But what about the quality of your operating system?
For most online blackjack players this is not a consideration. Most online casinos are compatible with Windows or Mac IOS or, if playing on mobile devices, Android. But millions of computer users refuse to be hemmed in by the corporate corrals of Microsoft, Apple or Google. Instead they use the Ubuntu open source software operating system. Let’s examine what play is like for blackjack on the Linux-developed platform.
Unless your computing devices are running Ubuntu operating systems you may not be familiar with what the product can do. Its pedigree is the finest in the tech world, tracing its origins back to Bell Labs in the early 1970s. The lineage of Bell Labs goes all the way back to Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the telephone. As a reward for the revolutionary communications device the French government presented Bell with 50,000 francs which he plowed into the building of a research laboratory.
In 1925 the research and engineering departments of Western Electric and the American Telephone & Telegraph company (AT&T) were merged into Bell Labs. In 1941, under the direction of Mervin Kelly who had started with the group as a researcher in 1925, physicists, electrical engineers and metallurgists – often the top people in their field – were all tossed into an incubator of a building in Murray Hill, New Jersey.
Over the next few decades the products that spewed forth from Bell Labs would revolutionize the communications world. Photovoltaic cells, communications satellites, lasers, transistors that were the building blocks of the digital world, and fiber optic cables all saw their first light at Bell Labs. In 1969 Bell computer scientists developed and implemented the Unix operating system that became the foundation for the age of personal computing.
AT&T was required by law to license the source code to anyone who requested it which academic institutions and businesses freely did until 1984 when the communications giant divested itself of Bell Labs. The tradition of open source code continued, however, culminating in the release of Linux in 1991. Ubuntu became the default installation on the Linux operating system whose source code remains free for users to tinker with and modify. For tech-savvy individuals Ubuntu became the platform of choice rather than the closed systems of Apple and Microsoft.
How Does Linux and Ubuntu Differ from Windows or IOS?
For starters you won’t find Canonical, a privately held United Kingdom-based company that controls Linux, on any list of the world’s highest-valued companies like Android’s Google and IOS’s Apple. And you won’t find Ubuntu leader and co-developer Mark Shuttleworth at the top of lists of the world’s richest people like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Not that the South African entrepreneur is a pauper by any means – he owns a private jet and in 2002 ponied up $20 million to the Russian government to become the world’s second self-funded space tourist.
A fixed license operating system that limits use to a single device is a proven way to mega-riches in the Internet age. Ubuntu’s devotion to free and open source software is not as profit-driven. Linux users make up less than 10 percent of the operating system market but they are a passionate and active customer base. Ubuntu users take the open source code and massage it to their own needs. They share changes with others on the Ubuntu platform and if accepted by the Linux community the improvements are incorporated into the operating system. This fluidity does not lend itself to technical support, however, which must usually be obtained from user forums and blogs.
How Does All This Affect Blackjack Players Using Ubuntu?
First off, there is no small corner of the online casino universe set aside specifically for the world of Ubuntu. No online casinos have Ubuntu DNA coursing through their veins; all are developed for Windows or Mac or, most often, both. The easiest way for Ubuntu users to find an online blackjack table is with the “No Download Option” offered by nearly all online operators, especially the leading casinos. Blackjack hands are dealt straight through your browser. If you don’t already have your Ubuntu platform outfitted with Adobe Flash Player you will to download that software first.
On an Ubuntu operating system you can set up an account with an online casino, deposit money, play for money and make withdrawals all through your browser. The main downside is that the number of games available will usually be more limited than downloading a casino’s application. For online blackjack players just looking for a standard game this is not a consideration.
To enjoy the full online casino experience you can install a PC emulator that enables applications designed for Windows to run on other operating systems, including Linux. Free software that does not require a Windows license to operate is distributed by WINE (Wine is not an Emulator) Development HQ; it does not support all Windows applications. Other programs that do not require a license include CrossOver Office and Lindows, both sold for a fee.
These non-licensed products do not support all Windows applications so contact a casino’s customer service department to see if these or other emulators can be used to download the online casino. You may discover a licensed product is required such as VMware or Win4Lin. While all this may sound daunting and technical, well, that is why users choose Ubuntu in the first place.
If Ubuntu devotees want to challenge their technical bonafides dual-booting Windows is another option. Computers come out of the box with a single operating system installed but if you have the processing power and hard drive space you can install multiple operating systems onto a PC. Once this is accomplished it is a simple matter to switch back and forth between operating systems – play blackjack at an online casino downloaded for Windows or Mac and go back to Ubuntu for everyday computing needs.
And where did this name “Ubuntu” come from anyway? The word originates in Southern African culture and translates roughly as “humanity towards others.”