Monday, June 08, 2009

Linux Monday Links

Linux Monday Links

My way too big inbox tells me it's a year ago this past weekend that I made The Big Switch to using Linux as my main (not yet only) operating system. To celebrate here's some Linux Monday links:

  • Linux ate my RAM! Actually it didn't. The best basic description I've seen yet on how Linux uses memory (and why you don't need a third-party add-on memory manager like you do in Windows):
    Linux is borrowing unused memory for disk caching. This makes it looks like you are low on memory, but you are not!

    Both you and Linux agrees that memory taken by applications is "used", while memory that isn't used for anything is "free".

    But what do you call memory that is both used for something and available for applications?

    You would call that "free", but Linux calls it "used".

    If your applications want more memory, they just take back a chunk that the disk cache borrowed. Disk cache can always be given back to applications immediately! You are not low on ram!

    Too many exclamation points! But that's just the kindergarten version of the page; the geek page is here.

  • Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts on a page unfortunately named "Windows tips tricks tweaks and hacks." But a lot of the common ones are Windows-similar.

  • Distributions for your old low-resource machine. I've got a Celeron 700 MHz happily detecting aliens with Puppy Linux.

  • A former Mac fan switches to Linux:
    On a Mac, it is easy to do the small things, but once you become a little more savvy, the Mac is harder to use and harder to learn.

    Macs have this weird, non-liner learning curve that starts very low and stays shallow for a while, but then gets “super-steep” - it is very difficult to be in the tech-savvy but non-pro middle ground.

    Linux’s learning curve starts a little higher - you really have to be able to install your own operating system and brave enough to try.

    However, Linux gives you a much smoother transition from novice to native, with very helpful people to guide you on the way.

  • After trying Windows 7, this writer stays with Ubuntu: "Much of what I would consider the pros of using Windows 7 are the pros of using any windows, except now it actually feels like using a modern OS that doesn't feel as bloated as Vista so I would say that Windows 7 is merely a "bonus". Perhaps those who characterize it as a service pack to Vista aren't too far off."

  • "I think all billionaires should give away the vast majority of their fortune," says Bill Gates, but giving away Microsoft software and source code is apparantly a non-starter.

  • In response to a common "Linux isn't ready for the desktop," here's why Windows isn't ready for the desktop.
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