Monday, November 09, 2009

Linux Monday

Linux Monday

With local election season over--or at least on hold until Friday's petition deadline for a special supervisor election--I'm trying to revive some of my other writing habits. It's Monday, so that means Linux.

Geeks out there know that the much-promoted launch of Windows 7 coincided with the latest upgrade to the top Linux distribution, Ubuntu. With my best machine in the shop, I haven't been able to test out version 9.10 ("Karmic Koala") in my usual setting. But I've been testing out Karmic on one of my old machines that's slated to go to a family member as soon as the laptop gets back.

For the most part, no problems; the always touchy audio and flash-based video are working well. The only issues have been byproducts of my dozen windows at once work style and limited (512 meg) memory. I've done several of the top ten things to do listed here, with the exception of the snazzy visual effects. (Never been a big fan of those.)

I also seem to be selling Linux well, at least according to this piece at the well-named Terminally Incoherent. The intended user of my old machine doesn't do much: browses, web-based email, and occasionally takes a Microsoft Office file home. Firefox and Open Office can cover all those needs. Termilally Incoherent writes:
Now, I’m fairly sure my friend will continue using Windows. I didn’t “convert” him and made him into an exclusive Linux user. But he will give Ubuntu a try, and hopefully will like it becoming an OS agnostic nut bag like me. And that’s more than I could ever ask for.

We really don’t need to convert people, or try to wean them off of Windows. All we need to do is to show them the alternatives and find places in which they work well – like mini notebooks for example.

As for those netbooks, my occasional bored forays into big box retailers find Linux netbooks less available to the non-techie masses than they were say 18 months ago. But this article says Microsoft is lowballing the Linux market share:
The study shows that 32 percent (about 11 million netbooks) of this year's netbook shipments will be used with a Linux-based operating system. Since Apple has yet to release a netbook, the remaining 68 percent belongs to Microsoft Windows, projects ABI.

As Lai points out, despite the two to one edge for Windows, this is a far cry from the 96 percent advantage Microsoft claimed to have enjoyed in April.

While I'm MS-bashing, here's a nice understandable article on why Windows security is lousy:
Desktop Windows stands firmly on a foundation as a stand-alone PC operating system. It was never, ever meant to work in a networked world. So, security holes that existed back in the day of Windows for Workgroups, 1991, are still with us today in 2009 and Windows 7.

How many people, in two thousand freakin nine, are using PCs in a stand-alone, non-networked environment. Heck, since the entire netbook market is based on the concept that a computer is just a device that you use to connect, why would you even look at a Windows netbook?

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