Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Friday, September 30, 2005

IE vs Firefox:By Brian Livingston

Is Firefox still safer than IE?

By Brian Livingston

The popular Firefox browser received a security upgrade, known as version 1.0.4, when the Mozilla Foundation released the new code on May 11. This upgrade closes a security hole that could allow a hacker Web site to install software without a visitors' knowledge or approval.

This is the fourth minor update to Firefox since the open-source browser's 1.0 release on Nov. 9, 2004. That doesn't seem like very many patches to me, compared with Firefox's dominant competition, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), which is included in every copy of Windows. But I've heard a surprising amount of comment that Firefox might no longer be as secure as IE.

At Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), held in Seattle April 25-27, for example, an IE product manager made this case explicitly. Firefox had had (at that time) "three major releases," she said, while Internet Explorer 6.0 had had none. This statement was presented as though a lack of upgrades to IE was a benefit.

In fact, Microsoft has released at least 20 major security patches for Windows or Internet Explorer since November 2004. Most of these patches were rated "Critical," Microsoft's most severe security alert level.

The evidence I've seen so far indicates that Firefox remains much more secure than IE. But it's worth our time to take a closer look.

IE users were exposed for 200 days in 2004

Some remarkable statistics comparing the major Web browsers have been developed by Scanit NV, an international security firm with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The company painstakingly researched the dates when vulnerabilities were first discovered in various browsers, and the dates when the holes were subsequently patched.

The firm found that IE was wide open for a total of 200 days in 2004, or 54% of the year, to exploits that were "in the wild" on the Internet.

The Firefox browser and its older sibling Mozilla had no periods in 2004 when a security flaw went unpatched before exploits started circulating on the Net. With the latest 1.0.4 upgrade, Firefox has retained its "patch-before-hackers-can-strike" record so far in 2005, as well.

These statistics are so important to understanding the "attack surface" of the major browsers that we should break down this study into its individual findings:

. IE suffered from unpatched security holes for 359 days in 2004. According to Scanit, there were only 7 days out of 366 in 2004 during which IE had no unpatched security holes. This means IE had no official patch available against well-publicized vulnerabilities for 98% of the year.

. Attacks on IE weaknesses circulated "in the wild" for 200 of those days. Scanit records the first sighting of actual working hacker code on the Internet. In this way, the firm was able to determine how many days an IE user was exposed to possible harm. When Microsoft released a patch for an IE problem, Scanit "stopped the clock" on the period of vulnerability.

. Mozilla and Firefox patched all vulnerabilities before hacker code circulated. Scanit found that the Mozilla family of browsers, which share the same code base, went only 26 days in 2004 during which a Windows user was using a browser with a known security hole. Another 30 days involved a weakness that was only in the Mac OS version. Scanit reports that each vulnerability was patched before exploits were running on the Web. This resulted in zero days when a Mozilla or Firefox user could have been infected.

The Opera browser also experienced no days during which unpatched holes faced actual exploits, but Scanit began keeping statistics on Opera only since September 2004.

To see Scanit's visual timeline of these holes, exploits, and fixes, visit the firm's Internet Explorer page. On that page, click "Next Page" to see the timelines for Mozilla, Firefox, and Opera.

Firefox fixes take days, IE takes months

From the record to date, the Mozilla/Firefox team has shown that new security discoveries typically result in a patch being released in only a week or so.

This was certainly true in the case of Firefox version 1.0.4. The primary security hole that was closed by that version was unexpectedly publicized by the French Security Incident Response Team (FrSIRT) on May 5. The Firefox patch was released only six days later. (The apparent discoverer of the flaw, the Greyhats Security Group, had been working responsibly with Firefox's development team and criticized the leak.)

Perhaps the responsiveness of the Mozilla development group will shame Microsoft into fixing security holes much faster in the future. The situation has become so bad that eEye Digital Security, a respected consulting service, maintains an "upcoming advisories" page showing how much time Microsoft is allowing critical problems that are reported to the Redmond company to go uncorrected.

At present, eEye's count reveals that three critical unpatched issues currently affect Microsoft's products. None of these have gone unpatched longer than 60 days, the period after which eEye considers a patch to be "overdue." But some critical, widely-known security holes went as long as six months in 2003 and 2004 without an official fix being made available by Microsoft.

Another security firm that tracks security holes in IE, Firefox, and many other applications is Secunia, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. As of today, Secunia reports that there are still 19 unpatched security flaws in IE, the most severe of which is rated "highly critical." Firefox has only 4 unpatched flaws, all of which are rated "less critical" or "not critical," the lowest severity rating. Opera has none.

Microsoft officials often excuse their tardiness in fixing security holes in IE by saying that the code is so complex that any fix has a high likelihood of breaking something else. Well, who integrated IE so tightly into the operating system that the browser is so delicate? It's Microsoft's own poor programming that causes much of the software giant's very visible problems.

Microsoft employs some of the best software developers in the world. The company enjoys a cash reserve of $35 billion and is highly profitable. Yet a tiny company that builds open-source browser software is making the Redmond giant look foolish and incompetent in securing its products.

I have no particular attachment to the Mozilla Foundation or its products. If the foundation's browser software was a threat to Windows users, I'd say so. At the present time, several serious unpatched holes are known to exist in IE, while few or none plague Firefox. This isn't a religious issue, it's just a fact.

The foundation announced two weeks ago that they'd surpassed 50 million downloads of the free Firefox browser. The application is largely responsible for knocking down IE from a 94% market share in May 2004 to 87% in April 2005, according to OneStat. That's a remarkable accomplishment, considering that IE is free and comes preinstalled with Windows. Sites with a base of expert Windows users report much higher levels of Firefox usage.

How to keep Firefox upgraded

No matter how fast Firefox's developers update it, it doesn't do you any good unless you've got the browser configured to notify you of updates. This is a simple matter, but it's worth making sure you have it right:

. Enable update checking. In Firefox, click Tools, Options, Advanced. Ensure that the selection for Periodically check for updates is on, both for Firefox and for My Extensions and Themes. This is the default setting, so most Firefox users will automatically get notices of updates.

. Check for upgrades manually, if desired. You should see a dialog box informing you of new updates as the Mozilla Foundation releases them. There's a random delay, however, so every user doesn't try to download a new version on the same day. To check whether there's an update that applies to you, click the red up-arrow that's in the upper-right toolbar of the Firefox menu area.

. Download the latest version. If a dialog box tells you an update is available, close the window, then open Firefox's download page. If you want a version other than Windows U.S. English, click the Other Systems and Languages link and select your preferred version. Download the executable file to a temporary area of your hard disk, then close all apps (including Firefox itself) and run the installer.

It's no longer necessary or recommended that you uninstall Firefox before upgrading to a new version. A few glitches affected upgrades to versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2, but this has been corrected since 1.0.3.

It's unfortunate that hackers are so attracted to browsers as a way to take over users' computers. But that's where the money is, as bank robber Willie Sutton once said. We have to accept a certain amount of upgrading as the price of using complex Windows applications. But we can reduce the threat to ourselves and others by using browsers that have a proven record of rapid, responsible development.

I'd like to thank reader Terry Engles for his help researching this topic. To send us more information about the browser wars, or to send us a tip on any other subject, visit You'll receive a gift certificate for a book, CD, or DVD of your choice if you send us a comment that we print.

Brian Livingston is editor of the Windows Secrets Newsletter and the coauthor of Windows 2000 Secrets, Windows Me Secrets, and eight other books.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Massachusetts wants freedom from Gates

With the high cost of MS Office why would any one be upset if a state government chooses to save money in the long run. The state of Massachusetts has finalized a proposed move to an open, non proprietary format for office documents, a plan that involves phasing out versions of Microsoft's Office productivity suite deployed in the state's executive branch agencies. Massachusetts expects its agencies to develop phased migration plans away from productivity suites that do not support OpenDocument, with a target implementation date of January 1, 2007.While a number of government agencies across the world have expressed plans to drop Microsoft and other proprietary products in favor of open-source and open-standard technologies, Massachusetts is the first major public-sector institution to do so in the United States. I am sure their going to use open office, StarOffice, KOffice, and IBM Workplace. Keep in mind that Microsoft Office 2003 Pro cost $159- $499. Is it right to stay with something because its what your use to. You know the saying “better to deal with the devil you know than the one you don't know”. Microsoft has made it clear that they make the rules they set the price and that you must go into debt to have their products. In the short term, yes, there will be some growing pains, but have we as Americans got so spoiled that at the first sigh of hard ship we turn into baby's. Massachusetts is with in its rights to walk a way from a product they feel screws them out money and I think they should be given a pat on the back.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

LC2000 Series Laptops

LC2000 Series is a no-compromise family of Linux laptops. Whether you are looking for a powerful Linux laptop on-the-go, or you are looking for a complete desktop replacement solution for serious development and research work, LC2000 series provides the industry's leading solution for you. Generous set of pre-installed tools will improve your productivity, while integrated entertainment utilities (e.g. MP3 and DVD playing capabilities) will provide ample excitement.

Monday, September 26, 2005

More On Black Dog

Realm Systems is a small startup with about 75 engineers. It obtained initial funding of $10M in December of last year, with series-B funding of $8M expected to close in September, at which time the company plans to launch a secure mobile terminal targeting the enterprise market. The Dogs run a Flash-based Debian Linux distribution featuring a 2.6.10-series kernel, Firefox, Abiword, an email client, and a toolchain and development libraries. "It's not really an embedded system. It just uses Flash like a hard drive," White says, adding the Realm engineers did work to allow the device's IDE controller to support the JFFS2 wear-leveling Flash filesystem.The Dog can launch a user session less than eight seconds after being plugged in.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

why the Penguins?

The following is a quote from Linus Torvalds:

Somebody had a logo competition announcement, maybe people can send their ideas to a web-site..

Anyway, this one looks like the poor penguin is not really strong enough to hold up the world, and it's going to get squashed. Not a good, positive logo, in that respect..

Now, when you think about penguins, first take a deep calming breath, and then think "cuddly". Take another breath, and think "cute". Go back to "cuddly" for a while (and go on breathing), then think "contented".

With me so far? Good..

Now, with penguins, (cuddly such), "contented" means it has either just gotten laid, or it's stuffed on herring. Take it from me, I'm an expert on penguins, those are really the only two options.

Now, working on that angle, we don't really want to be associated with a randy penguin (well, we do, but it's not politic, so we won't), so we should be looking at the "stuffed to its brim with herring" angle here.

So when you think "penguin", you should be imagining a slighly overweight penguin (*), sitting down after having gorged itself, and having just burped. It's sitting there with a beatific smile - the world is a good place to be when you have just eaten a few gallons of raw fish and you can feel another "burp" coming.

(*) Not FAT, but you should be able to see that it's sitting down because it's really too stuffed to stand up. Think "bean bag" here.

Now, if you have problems associating yourself with something that gets off by eating raw fish, think "chocolate" or something, but you get the idea.

Ok, so we should be thinking of a lovable, cuddly, stuffed penguin sitting down after having gorged itself on herring. Still with me?

NOW comes the hard part. With this image firmly etched on your eyeballs, you then scetch a stylizied version of it. Not a lot of detail - just a black brush-type outline (you know the effect you get with a brush where the thickness of the line varies). THAT requires talent. Give people the outline, and they should say [ sickly sweet voice, babytalk almost ]"Ooh, what a cuddly penguin, I bet he is just _stuffed_ with herring", and small children will jump up and down and scream "mommy mommy, can I have one too?".

Then we can do a larger version with some more detail (maybe leaning against a globe of the world, but I don't think we really want to give any "macho penguin" image here about Atlas or anything). That more detailed version can spank billy-boy to tears for all I care, or play ice-hockey with the FreeBSD demon. But the simple, single penguin would be the logo, and the others would just be that cuddly penguin being used as an actor in some tableau.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Migrating from Microsoft Windows? Think Xandros.

The Xandros Deluxe Edition 3.0. is about as friendly as Linux gets. It is the ideal Linux distribution if you're migrating from Microsoft Windows. Xandros is based on the KDE desktop. It's an intuitive graphical environment that works right out of the box and offers unrivaled compatibility with Microsoft Windows. Xandros Desktop OS assures rock-solid stability and security, along with the freedom that an open environment provides. Xandros File Manager functions as a Windows Explorer clone that beats Windows Explorer at its own game, providing easy access to both local and network files, along with integrated CD (and now DVD) burning. Xandros's ability, fresh out of the box, to interact with file and print servers on a Windows network remains unparalleled among Linux distributions. Outstanding features:- Filter out Spam, block pop-up ads, and resist most spyware, viruses and worms - Browse the Web safely with Firefox and Mozilla browsers - Protect your data privacy with an encrypted file system and personal firewall wizard- Run Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and many other Windows programs - Get single-click access to a huge inventory of free Linux and softwareWhether you're at home or school you'll find that Xandros Desktop OS has just what you need to write, chat, draw, surf, talk, e-mail, listen, and play in Linux. And you can get it all under $100.00.

Xandros never charges for updates to otherwise free software, such as or the Mozilla communications suite.

Can't wait for the latest release of Xandros Desktop OS? Then the low-cost Premium Subscription plan is for you! As a premium subscriber to Xandros Networks you'll receive:

All the free updates and fixes provided by the Basic Subscription.
Access to the latest features and enhancements to Xandros Desktop OS as soon as they pass Quality Assurance.
Special discounts to third-party software certified to work with Xandros Desktop OS.
Guaranteed top discounts to future releases or upgrades of Xandros Desktop OS.
Note: works on very old systems, ie a "300 mhz CPU."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

There is a reasonably priced office productivity suite?(No-Way)

(Yes-Way) Unbelievable as it may seem, Microsoft Office is not the only game in town.

Sun Microsystems' nicely rounded suite has been enhanced considerably over the past two years. StarOffice 7 incorporates graphics and database applications and offers strong compatibility with Microsoft Office apps. And in my opinion the price is right, $75 to $80 and it runs on Linux, Solaris, and Windows. StarOffice 7 Office Suite is a complete, fully loaded and reasonably priced office productivity suite, comparable to Microsoft Office. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, drawing program, and database client (Software AG Adabas D). StarOffice 7 Office Suite also offers graphics and photo editing, Web publishing, and more. Its user interface is easy to learn and use. StarOffice is interoperable with Microsoft Office file formats: ".doc", ".ppt", and "xls". StarOffice 7 Office Suite is a commercial product built on's open source code to provide the best value, multi-platform Microsoft compatible office suite aimed at organizations and consumers. For those who just want a free Office Suite there is 1.1, which is, the leading open-source project aimed at users of free software, independent developers and the open source community. Ooo ( includes key desktop applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program, with a user interface and feature set similar to other office suites. Sophisticated and flexible, it also works transparently with a variety of file formats, including those of Microsoft Office. You will find Ooo is included with most Linux distributions. But for those who must deal with the high price of Microsoft Office on Linux, Wine and CrossOver office can help.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Install your favorite Windows productivity applications and plugins in Linux.

CodeWeavers’ CrossOver Office permits you to install your beloved Windows productivity applications and plugins in Linux, without needing a Microsoft Operating System license. CrossOver includes an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing a Windows application simple and fast.
CrossOver Office 4.2 allows you to install your favorite Windows productivity applications and plugins in Linux. It will support the following applications:
Microsoft Office XP, 2000 and 97
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Project
Adobe Photoshop 7.0
Microsoft Visio
Lotus Notes 5.0 and 6.5.1
Various Web Browser Plugins
QuickTime 6
Shockwave Director
Windows Media Player 6.4
iPIX iPIX Viewer

Note: Version 6.0 later this year, CodeWeavers’ CrossOver Office, will enable increasing numbers of popular Windows applications, including games, utilities, and the most critical workplace applications, to operate cleanly on Linux desktops.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Black Dog Linux server

Black Dog is truly a Linux server that fits in the palm of your hand. It is the first of its kind, since itÕs entirely powered off the USB port of a host computer.BlackDog is a fully self-contained computer with a built-in biometric reader and a host of other powerful features. Unlike any other computing device, BlackDog is completely powered off of the USB port of your host computer – no external power adapter required.
It has a PowerPC 405 Delta processor, 64MB of SRAM, MMC expansion, 256 to 512MB of solid-state storage, and a built-in biometric scanner. BlackDog supports USB 2.0. BlackDog is a linux server complete with PowerPC 405 processor running Debin Linux. Second, applications run directly from BlackDog, not from a host machine. Flash storage devices can only store and serve data/applications to a host computer. BlackDog is compatible with Windows XP, SUSE 9.3, RedHat Enterprise 4, and Debian 3.1. Currently, BlackDog does not work on a Mac. However, you may initiate a community effort to enable BlackDog for the Mac. Once BlackDog is released in September, there will be a developerÕs forum at where you can coordinate this activity. When plugged into a USB port, BlackDog establishes an Ethernet-over-USB network with the host computer, serves up applications, and accesses the host computer. When plugged into a Windows XP host computer, an X server is automatically launched. This X server is configured to allow clients running on BlackDog to connect, thus allowing for access to the keyboard, video, and mouse functions. A similar process happens for Linux/x86, but requires some manual configuration for the USB device.The BlackDog can use any network that is available to the host computer.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Linux base PCs

Want Linux preinstalled on your PC?

It is rumored that the only way to get Linux is to get a distribution and install it your self. Not true at all. From Walmart's Online store there is the Balance 14.1" Laptop, 1.2 GHz VIA C3 Processor, w/ Linspire 4.5. $598

· The portability of a laptop, delivering great value for the money
· 14.1-inch LCD screen
· VIA C3 processor 1.2GHz
· 512 MB RAM
· 40 GB hard drive
· CD-ROM/DVD combo drive
· 4 cell battery with 3.5 hrs charge time to 100% capacity while system off
· 5 hrs charge time to 100% capacity while system on
· 4 USB 2.0 ports
· Linspire version 4.5
· FREE 3-month CNR Service
· Complete MS Office file-compatible Office Suite
· Includes AC adapter, power cord, battery pack
· Linspire Linux is an easy-to-use, full-featured desktop operating system that is totally familiar for Windows users of all experience levels. Linspire comes with everything you need to browse the Internet, instant message, e-mail, share and write documents, work with digital photos, listen to music, play games and much more.
· Easy and comfortable graphical interface with clear menus and icons
· Voice-narrated tutorials provide step-by-step instructions on dozens of subjects
· CNR Service subscription lets you 1-click install over 1,900 software titles in categories such as Business, Education, Games, Internet, Design and more. Automatic updates and management included!
· Complete Microsoft Office file-compatible office software suite lets you easily create and share written files (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentations (.ppt). Even create PDFs and export presentations to Macromedia Flash
· Powerful email software includes built-in spell-checking and fights spam
· Instant Messaging, Chat and free Internet phone calling
· Contact management with address book and calendar
· All-in-one digital photo manager, featuring tools to import, organize, edit, crop, enhance, and share digital photos. Hundreds of digital cameras supported. Even use your photos as a screensaver and make video CDs!
· Complete music management with Lsongs to import, organize, play and burn CDs of your favorite music Networking PCs and Printers: Share files and printers between Linspire OS and Microsoft Windows systems Plug-n-Play peripheral support.

From there is the Systemax™ Venture L340 Linspire Built-To-Order Desktop PC: from 299. High performance at a good price. It doesn't get any better than this power-packed, feature rich Systemax Venture System. For $299 you get an Intel® Celeron D 2.93GHz CPU, 40GB hard drive and 256MB of fast DDR 333MHz PC2700 RAM.
If you need more then prepare to customize this system to your liking. Systemax Build-To-Order offers literally millions of combinations. A larger hard drive, more memory or upgrade the video. They let you choose your operating system, network connection, sound and accessories. Add a cool speaker system. You can even add a monitor if you don’t all ready have one.

Again you get:
Linspire version 5.0

A Complete Microsoft Office file-compatible office software suite lets you easily create and share written files (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentations (.ppt).
Even create PDFs and export presentations to Macromedia Flash
Powerful email software includes built-in spell-checking and fights spam
Instant Messaging, Chat and free Internet phone calling
Contact management with address book and calendar
All-in-one digital photo manager, featuring tools to import, organize, edit, crop, enhance, and share digital photos. Hundreds of digital cameras supported. Even use your photos as a screensaver and make video CDs!
Complete music management with Lsongs to import, organize, play and burn CDs of your favorite music Networking PCs and Printers: Share files and printers between Linspire OS and Microsoft Windows systems Plug-n-Play peripheral support.

Good Book On Linux

So your a fraid to look at Linux? Well fear no more.

# This friendly guide gives Linux newcomers the lowdown on how to install and use Linux on the desktop-and join the worldwide community of twenty million Linux users
# Shows how to get up and running with the latest versions of Red Hat Linux as well as two other popular Linux distributions: Mandrake and SuSE
# Covers prepping a computer for Linux, booting and stopping Linux, connecting to the Internet, surfing the Web, using e-mail, working with cool Internet tools, and manipulating files and directories
# Now revised with enhanced coverage of the Desktop Productivity Suite.
# Includes a DVD that contains all of the CD-ROMs that make up the full Fedora Core Distribution, includingChapter List:

Part 1 - Getting Your Feet Wet: Getting Acquainted With Linux; Prepping Your Computer for Linux; Installing Fedora Core; Installing Other Linux Distributions; Booting and Stopping Linux; Checking Out Those Desktops; Configuring Linux
Part 2 - Internet Now!: Connecting to the Internet; Using the Internet
Part 3 - Getting Up to Speed with Linux: Manipulating Files and Directories; Checking Out the Linux Filesystem; Adding Software to Linux; A Secure Linux Box Is a Happy Linux Box; Working without the GUI; Gettin' Gooey with the GUIs
Part 4 - Getting Things Done: Putting the X in Text; Word-Processing and More with; Multimedia Wow!; Windows-Only Media Formats and Programs
Part 5 - The Part of Tens: Ten Troubleshooting Tips; Ten Cool Uses for Knoppix
Part 6 - Appendixes: Common Linux Commands; About the DVD-ROM the source code.

With the book, which is the 6th one, there is a DVD included that contains the install files for Fedora Core 3, Knoppix 3.6, Linspire 4.5, Mandrake 10.1, SuSE 9.2, and Xandros 2.5. You don't even have to go searching for the latest ISO downloads!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

CrossOver Office

Cross Over Office

If you need to run some windows apps i.e. Office XP or Photoshop 6 there is a program for linux called CrossOver Office. CrossOver Office allows you to install your favorite Windows productivity applications and plugins in Linux, without needing a Microsoft Operating System license. CrossOver includes an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing a Windows application simple and fast. $39.95. However if you strapped for cash, Wine is a program, which allows the operation of DOS, and MS Windows programs (Windows 3.x and Win32 executables) on UNIX operating systems such as Linux. It consists of a program loader, which loads and executes a Windows binary, and a set of libraries that implements Windows API calls using their UNIX or X11 equivalents. The libraries may also be used for porting Win32 code into native UNIX executables, often without many changes in the source. Wine is free software, and its license (contained in the file LICENSE in each distribution) is the LGPL. Its free down load.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A review of Linspire Five-0

If you have an old system maybe Linspire Five-0 can help. Linspire is a full-featured operating system like Microsoft Windows XP or Apple Mac OSX. Linspire combines the power, stability and cost-savings of Linux with a familiar, easy-to-use desktop environment. I put Linspire on a system that was a Pentium 2 about 400 MHz with a gforce 2 64 mb video card and 128 mb of ram.
Installation asks three simple questions: Language; install type (full install or update); and where to do the installation (entire drive or advance where you pick the partition to install on).
I put the CD in the system until installation was complete; it was a total of 18 minutes, with the actual install being 10 minutes. After installation, the disc drive opened, I removed the CD and then hit enter. The drive door closed and the system rebooted. Everything just worked out of the box. Five-0 did a superior job of detecting and configuring the out dated hardware so that I didn't have to. It has everthing you need to run a old system.

Linux (Power to the people)

Windows is the OS that is used by the majority populace in the United States. It comes preinstalled on most consumer brand PC s, but is it the best OS? Well there is the Mac operating system that some use, is it better than Windows? Clearly fewer people utilize The Mac, but dose that make it mediocre? The cost of both systems is very high for poor people. I’m sure any new MS Windows will cost about $200 for its basic version and about $400 for a pro edition. MS would rather you purchase a new PC instead and make more money along with the computer manufacturers and retailers. Windows has dominated the desktop and laptop operating system scene for so long, it's easy to see why people might not realize that competition is still out there. I feel that the meager income that many are stuck with now days should not keep them out of touch with the tech revolution. I know that getting started with a new OS is a big adjustment. Sure, Windows can be annoying, yet most of us can't give it up entirely. For others looking for a low cost OS there is Linux, an operating system that evolved from a kernel created by Linus Torvalds when he was a student at the University of Helsinki. Generally, it is obvious to most people what Linux is, however, both for political and practical reasons, it needs to be explained further. To say that Linux is an operating system means that it's meant to be used as an alternative to other operating systems like MS-DOS, the various versions of MS Windows, Mac OS, Solaris and others. Linux is not a program like a word processor and is not a set of programs like an office suite. In some cases it can be used with other OS. There are many different versions of Linux. Unlike other commercial operating systems that are controlled by one company, Linux is free to distribute and use. Some are easier to use than others. I use Linux for the every day person. This is the type of Linux that is widely available. Microsoft makes its living selling people plain operating systems and have a lot to lose if Linux ever got popular with the masses. For that reason they have done everything in their power to warn the public that Linux is something that you probably don't want and don't need. But in reality, many Linux are just as easily installed and supports just as wide a range of hardware as Microsoft Windows does. So dont be fooled into paying a "High" price for very little.

Monday, September 12, 2005


OOoFf! is an affordable alternative to costly Microsoft office suites and its less than secure secure Internet browsers. The new OOoFf! product is the combination of two leading cross-platform software programs, and Firefox. It cost about 29.95 OOoFf! is produced by Linspire, Inc., a leading producer of alternative Linux-based operating systems for the desktop and a major backer of open source organizations like Mozilla and -The first program included in OOoFf!,, is a replacement for expensive office suites like Microsoft Office. The popular office suite alternative is capable of creating spreadsheets, presentations and documents, and can read, edit and save files in the same formats that other suites use (.doc, .xls and .ppt). also writes documents into PDF format. -The second program included in OOoFf!, Firefox, is a new Web browser produced by the Mozilla organization that completely replaces older, less secure browsers like Internet Explorer. Millions of people have already downloaded Firefox because of its advanced features like pop-up blockers and sophisticated security protection from hackers, viruses and spyware. Firefox also includes tabbed browsing and integrated Google searching, which means users are able to surf the Web easier and faster than they can with other browsers. -OOoFf! products can be installed on multiple machines with no activation codes or serial numbers required. The OOoFf! boxed product comes with installation CD-ROM, documentation materials and Flash tutorials, and is compatible with machines running Windows 98 and higher , Mac OS X 10.2 and higher and Linux.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

For those who want to just test the water, there are Linux Live CD's that run your PC or Mac from the CD-ROM (no hard drive needed). Its a Linux distro that boots, loads, and runs without touching the hard disk. And whats nice is that they are free to down load or cheap to buy on CD. One is called Linspire Five-0-live. I keep a Linspire-live-Linux CD around as an emergency recovery disk, since I know it will boot a PC even if the hard disk is completely wiped out. Then there is Knoppix-Linux CD from . It plays DVD movies out the box. ( note: be sure to put live CDs in the ROM drive you dont watch DVDs on)It too will boot a PC even if the hard disk is completely wiped out. Last but not least, ubuntu-live from is a good choice as well and what makes ubuntu stand out is the fact they have a live CD that will run on Macs.

Linux is a computer operating system (OS) like Microsoft Windows, Unix, or Apple OS X. Linux has been widely accepted for use on servers by businesses throughout the world. Even if you are unaware of Linux, the groundbreaking open source operating system, it is likely you on daily basis use open source software. Most e-mail is now routed through Send mail, while most websites are hosted on Apache servers, both open source projects. Open source software is an idea whose time has finally come. For twenty years it has been building momentum in the technical cultures that built the Internet and the World Wide Web. Now it's breaking out into the commercial world, and that's changing the way we all use to think.
Microsoft Corp., who makes its living selling people average operating systems, have a lot to lose if Linux ever got popular with the masses. For this reason they have done everything in their power to warn people that Linux is something that you probably don't want and don't need. But in reality, Linux is just as easily installed and supports just as wide a range of hardware as Microsoft Windows does.
The basic idea behind open source is very straightforward. When programmers can examine, restructure, and alter the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People make it better than it was, people become comfortable with it, and people fix flaws. And this can happen at a speed that, if one were used to the slow pace of conventional software development, you would be amazed.
Because of its security, stability and low cost, Linux operating systems are now finding their way to desktop and laptop computers. Contrary to popular belief, a consumer OS should not retail for $300.