Monday, June 15, 2009

Linux Notes For The Week

Linux Notes For The Week

My Linux projects for the week were figuring out some file tagging in my music library and upgrading my son's Qimo ("Linux for kids") machine. Both went well, mu nine year old is happily playing, but the music will take more time due to sheer size.

Our clips for the week:

  • Open source saving tax dollars: "The CIO of a Vancouver school board quietly moved to open source last March, Reimer pointed out. By deciding not to renew its Microsoft Office licence, he saved enough money to purchase a computer lab for every school in the city and schools are now allowed to install Firefox..."

  • Reasons Linux is great for your really old computer.
    There are hundreds of stories about people who pulled an old Windows 95/98/ME computer out of their basement, put some kind of Linux distro on it, and are in a computing heaven, blissfully unaware of the age of their computer. And you never hear about people pulling the same computer out and saying, “Wow! Windows 95 solves all of my problems! Good bye, modern computing!”

    Why is Linux so dominant in this category? 2009 software on a 1995 machine is much better than 1993 software on a 1995 machine.

    Windows XP, Vista and (soon) 7 have a number of support options, either from Microsoft, local geeks, or internet forums. They’re also too slow. Windows 95, 98 and 2000 are faster, but their support is limited to a few nice people dredging their memories to help you. On the other hand, Linux has tens of thousands of people willing to help you through forums...

  • On the modern end of the hardware scale, one ongoing debate is the use of 32 bit versions vs. 64 bit versions. The 64 but versions use the full capability of the system but there are software compatibility issues. Also, it's not an easy upgrade. This piece compares the actual tradeoffs in performance. As for me, I'm sticking with 32 but on the good laptop... for now.

  • If you're an ex-Windows user making The Big Switch to Linux, you might instinctively hit ctrl-alt-del to open Task Manager, only to find yourself immediately shutting down. But you can, with some geeking, change that.

  • Last, some software and keyboard shortcuts to try. I'm still looking, though, for a keyboard shortcut that'll paste into the terminal.
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