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, April 28, 2006

The Lin-Box:Koobox

If your looking for a pre-built Lin (Linux) Box, look to Koobox from Mirus, the first-ever line of desktop computers offered by a major OEM to exclusively run Linux. For some reason many people still think that Linux desktops are the domain of hobbyists and geeks. Not true. The fact that Mirus has devoted an entire brand to desktop Linux shows just how much ground Linux is gaining.

Three versions of the Koobox are available, giving consumers the option to pick the PC that's right for them.The mid-tower case is a silver and black design. It includes front access to USB ports and a headphone and microphone jack.

-For $299, you get the Essential Koobox that is just right for basic computing that comes complete with CD-RW drive, 5 USB ports, including a convenient front-side port, Internet keyboard and optical mouse, and 2W speakers. Inside, the machine they hook you up with an AMD Sempron processor, 256 MB RAM, 40 GB hard drive, and onboard video and sound .

-Then there is the $399, Multimedia Koobox, which features the Essential Koobox specs plus DVD movie player software, a 16x Dual Layer DVD+RW drive, 512 MB RAM, and 160 GB hard drive.

-Last but not least, for $499 you get the Performance Koobox which adds a super-fast AMD 64-bit Athlon 3000+ Processor.

All machines come with the full Linspire 5.0 operating system, including office suite, which has become the main Linux-based competitor for Microsoft Office. It will display most Microsoft formats and the move to open XML formats as the default for the next version of Microsoft Office will only help interoperability - even though Openoffice favors a different XML schema: Oasis Open Document Format (ODF). You get virus filtering (mostly for window base virus) and Web protection software. Linspire calls their product the world’s easiest desktop Linux. I cannot disagree. Of the different distributions of Linux that I’ve tried in the recent past, Linspire is, hands down, one the easiest to configure and use.
For my money I would go with the $399 Multimedia Koobox; mind you $399 does not include the price of a monitor.
Here's Rebel Said's review of Koobox....You might expected that the Koobox would use relatively cheap or no-name components, given its price, but you would be wrong. The system includes an ASUS K8V-MX motherboard with integrated S3 Graphics UniChrome Pro IGP (no 3D acceleration) video and sound. The motherboard accepts AMD socket 754 CPUs and has a 4x/8x AGP slot. The multimedia configuration ships a 7200 RPM 160GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ATA hard drive and Kingston one 512MB DDR DIMM chip ( The system is capable of handling up to 2GB of RAM, according to the motherboard specs ). Be warned by default when you purchase a Koobox with 512MB of RAM, you're only getting 448MB of RAM for the system ( you can reduce the amount of RAM used for the integrated video in the BIOS ) .

I must dispel a myth... Linspire 5.0 “dose not” require you to run as root (administrator).

As I said Linspire is, hands down, one the easiest to configure and use. It is configured to look and act a lot like Windows, and inexperienced users shouldn't have much trouble finding their way around the KDE desk top. It includes a good selection of software for basic productivity tasks and for normal desktop use. Users have a media & MP3 players, instant messenger, CD and DVD burning. ( Once you register with Linspire, you can download a DVD movie player for your Koobox ) The 5.0 operating system supports Java , Macro media Flash, Windows media, Divx, older QuickTime movies and so on. A must since many users are going to want to watch videos in those formats.
Where Linspire shines is its optional CNR (Click and Run) software downloading warehouse. The Koobox comes with a one-year subscription to CNR, and it's $50 per year after that for the Gold CNR account, and $20 per year for the basic. I know some are going to say: “I'm not crazy about having to pay for access to what's mostly a free software repository, especially when CNR offers little that I can't get from other repositories free.”
I know some prefer Synaptic or apt-get for downloading and package management. But For $20 or $50 per year CNR keeps track of any software updates and invites you to download them. CNR is different from Debian's normal "apt-get" command line method of installing programs in many ways. It does much more than simply install programs, it also adds them to the correct area of the Launch menu, adjusts file associations, puts the icons on the desktop or auto run directory if desired, and it manages your software library. You also get clear, easy-to-understand product pages, including: screenshots of programs, description, versions, specs, file size, etc and user support and help by program. (apt-get can not install 3rd-party, commercial applications)
Synaptic can be very user-friendly but CNR fits more the online shopping model that consumers are used to. You *can't* buy/downlode commercial products using Synaptic, however the CNR Service has many pay-for software titles on CNR like Star Office 8, Cross Over Office 5, and Win 4 Lin. You don't "need" to be a CNR subscriber to purchase "commercial products" with one click, so anyone could buy the Cedega, but they do offer discounts to subscribers. Without CNR an inexperienced Linux user would have to visit some other online shopping website just to get the program and install it themselves. I'm sure those who need propriarity software in say Ubuntu would appreciate an easier way with the CNR client.

Linspire 5.0 also includes dialers for several ISPs, which is a cool feature for home users who connect to the Internet through Earthlink, NetZero, AOL, or other dialup service providers.

You cant go wrong with this Lin Box. Ordinarily its a fuss to set up DVD playback, much less finding a legal DVD movie player for Linux. Not true here, once you register with Linspire, you can download the DVD player for your system with a single click. With CNR you can install more than 2,000 “free” Linux software programs direct from the CNR Warehouse . Just click the software you want and it installs on your computer and is ready to run.
If you need more Graphic power you can purchase an AGP NVIDIA PCI card for 3D acceleration. If you still need Windows, no problem Dual-Boot, remember theres a 160 GB. For those who hate Linspire with a passion, they can install most Linux distributions on the Koobox .

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just KlikIt!

Have no fear the klikIt! Client is here. KlikIt! certainly looks like an idea whose time has come. This is great for the none techs. It provides an easy way to download and use software for most major Debain based distributions.KlikIt! is a Graphical User Interface, that will let you Install, Uninstall and Run programs on your Linux System like Linspire.

"You will be able to View Screenshots of the programs, and read info and Tutorials about them. Everything is done only by a few mouse 'kliks'. KlikIt will provide any Linspire Five-0 user with a very easy way of managing software. KlikIt is NOT a substitute to Click-N-Run, it's just ANOTHER option... If you encounter any issues with klikit or the software installed via klikit, you can post a thread in the forums or contact Chris J. Ramaglia the program's author. Please do not contact Linspire Support for issues related to 3rd party software installs. "

please press Alt-F2 and paste:

wget -c -O -|sh

Note to Linspire users:Klikit requires Linspire Five-0. It is not designed for Linspire 4.0 or 4.5.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Can We Trust “Trusted Computing”?

I known many of my statements on this blog seemed to aimed at “geeks”. But its really aimed at every one...if you use a computer and or surf the web I'm speaking to you. My mission is to chat about “choice” and the governments responsibility to make sure we have one.

We Where Told To Trust DRM.

Digital rights management (DRM) is the umbrella term referring to any of several technical methods used to handle the description, layering, analysis, valuation, trading and monitoring of the rights held over a digital work. In the widest possible sense, the term refers to any such management. Some digital media content publishers claim DRM technologies are necessary to prevent revenue loss due to illegal duplication of their copyrighted works. However, I have argued that transferring control of the use of media from consumers to a consolidated media industry will lead to loss of existing user rights and stifle innovation in software. Napster requires users to pay an additional $.99 per each track to burn a track to CD. Songs bought through Napster cannot be played on iPods.

Can We Trust “Trusted Computing”?

TC refers to a technology developed and promoted by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG). The term is taken from the field of trusted systems and has a specialized meaning. In this technical sense, "trusted" does not necessarily mean the same as "trustworthy" from a user's perspective. Rather, it means that it can be trusted more fully to follow its intended programming with a lower possibility of inappropriate activities occurring that are forbidden by its designers and other software writers. Trusted Computing puts the existence of free operating systems and free applications at risk, because you may not be able to run them at all. Some versions of TC would require the operating system to be specifically authorized by a particular company. Free operating systems could not be installed. Some versions of TC would require every program to be specifically authorized by the operating system developer. You could not run free applications on such a system. If you did figure out how, and told someone, that could be a crime.

The EFF seems to have to good views on the subject both for and against, however Seth Schoen's article Trusted Computing: Promise and Risk, concluded that “ hardware enhancements might be one way to improve computer security. But treating computer owners as adversaries is not progress in computer security. The interoperability, competition, owner control, and similar problems inherent in the TCG and NCSCB approach are serious enough that we recommend against adoption of these trusted computing technologies until these problems have been addressed. Fortunately, we believe these problems are not insurmountable, and we look forward to working with the industry to resolve them.

We need too speak up while we still have the right too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Be very scared...

Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill

By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: April 23, 2006, 6:00 AM PDT
Last modified: April 24, 2006, 10:00 AM PDT


Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.

The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, already enjoys the support of large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America. Smith, a Texas Republican, is the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees intellectual-property law.
A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee said Friday that the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 is expected to "be introduced in the near future." Beth Frigola, Smith's press secretary, added Monday that Wisconsin Republican F. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the full House Judiciary Committee, will be leading the effort.
"The bill as a whole does a lot of good things," said Keith Kupferschmid, vice president for intellectual property and enforcement at the Software and Information Industry Association in Washington, D.C. "It gives the (Justice Department) the ability to do things to combat IP crime that they now can't presently do."
During a speech in November, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales endorsed the idea and said at the time that he would send Congress draft legislation. Such changes are necessary because new technology is "encouraging large-scale criminal enterprises to get involved in intellectual-property theft," Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses are used, "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities."
The 24-page bill is a far-reaching medley of different proposals cobbled together. One would, for instance, create a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement. Such willful attempts at piracy, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison.
It also represents a political setback for critics of expanding copyright law, who have been backing federal legislation that veers in the opposite direction and permits bypassing copy protection for "fair use" purposes. That bill--introduced in 2002 by Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat--has been bottled up in a subcommittee ever since.

A DMCA dispute
But one of the more controversial sections may be the changes to the DMCA. Under current law, Section 1201 of the law generally prohibits distributing or trafficking in any software or hardware that can be used to bypass copy-protection devices. (That section already has been used against a Princeton computer science professor, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and a toner cartridge remanufacturer.)
Smith's measure would expand those civil and criminal restrictions. Instead of merely targeting distribution, the new language says nobody may "make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess" such anticircumvention tools if they may be redistributed to someone else.
"It's one degree more likely that mere communication about the means of accomplishing a hack would be subject to penalties," said Peter Jaszi, who teaches copyright law at American University and is critical of attempts to expand it.
Even the current wording of the DMCA has alarmed security researchers. Ed Felten, the Princeton professor, told the Copyright Office last month that he and a colleague were the first to uncover the so-called "rootkit" on some Sony BMG Music Entertainment CDs--but delayed publishing their findings for fear of being sued under the DMCA. A report prepared by critics of the DMCA says it quashes free speech and chokes innovation.
The SIIA's Kupferschmid, though, downplayed concerns about the expansion of the DMCA. "We really see this provision as far as any changes to the DMCA go as merely a housekeeping provision, not really a substantive change whatsoever," he said. "They're really to just make the definition of trafficking consistent throughout the DMCA and other provisions within copyright law uniform."
The SIIA's board of directors includes Symantec, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Intuit and Red Hat.
Jessica Litman, who teaches copyright law at Wayne State University, views the DMCA expansion as more than just a minor change. "If Sony had decided to stand on its rights and either McAfee or Norton Antivirus had tried to remove the rootkit from my hard drive, we'd all be violating this expanded definition," Litman said.
The proposed law scheduled to be introduced by Rep. Smith also does the following:
• Permits wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft and economic espionage. It would establish a new copyright unit inside the FBI and budgets $20 million on topics including creating "advanced tools of forensic science to investigate" copyright crimes.
• Amends existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Boosts criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses). The NET Act targets noncommercial piracy including posting copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.
• Creates civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized must be "destroyed" or otherwise disposed of, for instance at a government auction. Criminal asset forfeiture will be done following the rules established by federal drug laws.
• Says copyright holders can impound "records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in" infringements.
Jason Schultz, a staff attorney at the digital-rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the recording industry would be delighted to have the right to impound records. In a piracy lawsuit, "they want server logs," Schultz said. "They want to know every single person who's ever downloaded (certain files)--their IP addresses, everything."

Freespire:The Freedom of Choice

Freespire is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is yours as to what software is installed on your computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice. How you choose to maximize the performance of your computer is entirely up to you.
more here...

Friday, April 21, 2006

SuperGamer-1 (PCLinuxOS P93 Game Edition )

The SuperGamer-1 is a modification of the famous and well respected PCLinuxOS distribution optimized for gaming. I will make this review brief.

.It includes 3d acceleration drivers, the underlying PCLinuxOS system, and several nice game demos.
.The Supergamer-1 dvd performed very well. I had no stability issues, even though I was running off the DVD only.
.The net connection and graphics automatically enabled.

.Sound was not automatically enabled. In fact it used the wrong driver for my AC97 codec on board sound.
.Nexuis was not playable on line because SuperGamer-1 came with an outdated version.
.Could not handle many of my favorite Internet-media file types including QuickTime and Windows Media out of the box.

In conclusion PCLinuxOS P.92 is great. SuperGamer-1(PCLinuxOS P93 DVD Game Edition) is not.

For the record, PCLinuxOS P.92 can handle many of your favorite Internet, office and media file types including Windows Media, Flash, Java, Real, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .mp3, .pdf, .mpg... well you get the picture. PCLinuxOS uses the Synaptic/apt system of package management that is so fall-out-of-bed easy, a cave man can use it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

From Incognito in Saint Louis

"No Snitches"="Code of Silence"

"In 2004 police officer Andrew Spengler, was having a housewarming party. Several off duty officers were there, drinking. Frank Jude Jr., a black male and stripper, came to the party with his stripping bodyguard, also a black male, and two white women. Apparently, at some point after arriving at the party, Jude figured out that this wasn't his scene after hearing racial comments. As the four started to leave, Spengler stated that his badge was missing. Immediately, a melee descended upon Jude. He was beaten, severly. A dozen men dragged him out of his car, beat him in the head, stuck pens in his ears, stripped him, and threatened him with a knife, all while yelling racial slurs at him." More here....

HD-DVD/Blu-ray DOA

Its a futile battle....

The competing technologies are Blu-ray, the high-definition video disc format backed by Sony and several other major vendors, against HD-DVD, which is backed by the DVD Forum and companies including Toshiba, NEC, Intel, and Microsoft.
The difference in storage space is huge: regular DVDs can hold 4.7GB of music, movies, and other data, while Blu-ray can carry 25GB of data and HD-DVD, 15GB. But despite some other advantages for each of the two new formats, the companies backing them have been unable to compromise on a single standard.

Remember the format wars between Betamax and VHS? It was a war that lasted 10 years. That was a real “WAR” with a real winner. There wasn't a new superior format video tape waiting to crush the winner of that epic battle.
While Blu-Ray and HD-DVD use the same laser, other producers thought of combining the two lasers (red and blue), in a single ray with Collinear.

It does not matter who wins the battle, Blu-ray Disc or HD-DVD, they both lose the War.

The VHS tape as we know it has been around for like 30 years now. Could Blu-ray Disc or HD-DVD have the same type of victory and dominance? Never.
Soon to lay waste to everyone is the Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD). It employs a technique known as collinear holography, whereby two lasers, one red and one blue-green, are collimated in a single beam. The blue-green laser reads data encoded as laser interference fringes from a holographic layer near the top of the disc while the red laser is used to read servo information from a regular CD-style aluminium layer near the bottom. Servo information is used to monitor the position of the read head over the disc, similar to the head, track, and sector information on a conventional hard disk drive. These disks have the capacity to hold up to 3,900 GB of information, which is approximately 160 times the capacity of single-layer Blu-ray Discs. The HVD also has a transfer rate of 1 Gbit/s.
A prolonged war between the HD-DVD/Blu-ray formats may mean consumers have a long wait for a clear winner to emerge, potentially holding off widespread adoption of high-def DVDs for years if ever because of HVD.
I'm warning everyone that the loser of the format war will the consumer if they choose to buy into hype of HD-DVD vs Blu-ray.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Nexuiz 1.5: Its Free

Nexuiz is free software, so anyone can download, modify, and share it as they see fit. Nexuiz has been in development for three and a half years by a team of amateur developers lead by Lee Vermeulen. It is a 3D deathmatch game made entirely over the Internet. The purpose of the game is to bring deathmatch back to the basics, with perfect weapon balancing and fast paced action, keeping itself away from the current trend of realistic shooters.”

This game is FREE.... Nexuiz is no replacement for a well-made proprietary game. Though Nexuiz is not intended to be an eye-candy game, it features many effects such as Coronas, reflected glow, Realtime Time and Dynamic Lights, with OpenGL 2.0, and gore. It uses DarkPlaces, an improved Quake engine. Again this game is FREE.....Nexuiz 1.5 focuses quick, deadly battles and balanced weaponry. As of the current release there are 9 weapons and 24 official maps, as well as 15 player models, with an average of 2 skins each. Cool thing is with the primitive graphics and sound you can run this game well on older hardware You don't need a high powered machine to play Nexuiz, and the detail levels are adjustable in case you have a really-really old machine.

I will say that online play wasn't too bad, but as far as I can see, Nexuiz only has one game type and thats deathmatch against only network players or bots. And yes, this game is entirely over the Internet. I want to see that part changed.
So again,playing Nexuiz will give you a Quake 3 "like" (I liked Quake3 better) experience in terms of gameplay, graphics, and sound. If you're still playing Quake 3 Arena, you may like Nexuiz.

You need.....

·200mb of hard drive space

High Quality
· A 1.5-gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 chip or AMD Athlon 1500
· 9600ati or 5700fx
· 256 mb of ram

Low Quality
· 800mhz
· Geforce Video card min
· 256 mb of ram

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Since the coming of MP3, computers have become fashionable for use as music machines. You can rip your favorite songs from your CD collection, then put them on your MP3 player and have music on-the-go. Computers are great for organizing your entire music collection, and you can even make mix CDs from your computer for use in your car. For many that player is AmaroK.

AmaroK supports import and playback of MP3, M4A, Ogg, WAV and WMA. It allows you to create file trees using artist, album, year, or genre in any order. So to find, say, all the albums that were released in a particular year, sort by year first and then by album, and a file tree opens that lists all the years in the first level, and all the albums in the second. There's also a simple search filter to find something particular.

O.S. Prime Time

I hear time and time and time again that the OS known as Linux is not ready for prime time. Is that really true?

Until the late 1980s, OS/2 was judged technically superior to Windows, the Mac featured a better user interface, and applications like WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 offered more features than comparable Microsoft offerings.
So how did Microsoft become so dominate? Simple, by offering good enough technology, superior pricing and attractive bundling. For some reason many people still think that Linux desktops are the domain of hobbyists and geeks, but improvements in Linux releases like Linspire, Xandros, and Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 will likely broaden the appeal and make Linux a viable choice for a whole lot of home desktops. These Linux desktop comes bundled with Open Office, which supports your basic word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications. They have improved Windows interoperability. You can open a Microsoft Word document using Open Office without losing formatting properties, then save the document in a native format.
But let us not forget that the most pressing impediments to the growth of desktop Linux is the need for more hardware support. Its needed a lot. Although Linux drivers are increasingly being developed in a timely manner, many drivers need to be installed separately from the main installation. Which is a problem if its the Ethernet or dial-up modem driver you need to down load from the web. I know in many cases some drivers cannot be included in the Linux kernel as they are proprietary. There also tends to be a lack of printer or scanner driver support. I guess maybe there could be a way to automatically install drivers after the main installation has finished. Could a type of OHM Initiative help this problem?


Once there is sufficient market demand, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, and the rest of the PC hardware crowd will certainly offer Linux desktop alternatives as well. and (as of February 1, 2006) sell Linspire (Linux) base PCs. Linux desktops can't yet run applications like iTunes or support a many-other consumer add-ons, but if you only need basic productivity tools and a browser to be productive, you may not care as much.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Love Linux /But need Windows: Dual-Boot

To install Linux on a Windows PC, you need to create a second OS partition to make room for it. If you have a factory-installed version of Windows on your PC, chances are it uses the whole hard disk as a single partition. So if you have a hard drive that is 40 GB, this means that your PC with the 40GB hard disk, has a C:\ drive that is roughly 40GB in size.

You can use a commercial partitioning utility like Symantec's Norton Partition Magic 8.0 to resize partitions without affecting partition contents (though it's always a good idea to back up the contents first). If you don't want to spend $70 to be able to resize partitions just once, you can use McLaughlin's free Partition Logic utility. This is a downloadable boot disk image that you burn to CD, and then use to boot the PC and create or resize disk partitions.

A typical Linux desktop installation requires somewhere between 2GB and 3GB of disk space these days, but can take up even more room if you select lots of the optional programs on the install discs. Give yourself about 8 or 9GB for Linux.
The default file system in Windows XP and Windows 2000 is NTFS, a system Linux knows how to read, but cannot write to. And no version of Windows can read or write to the Linux file system partitions. All this means that there's no easy way to work on documents in one OS, then boot to the other OS and continue working on the same files.
Best thing to do is make a FAT 32 Partition. Windows XP will support the older FAT32 system, that lacks NTFS's (FAT 64) security features and is therefore readable and writable from Linux. Give yourself about 10GB FAT32 Partition.

When you install an operating system on your PC's hard disk, the process usually puts a small program called a boot loader in a reserved hard disk location called the master boot record. When the PC powers up, it launches the boot loader program stored in the master boot record, which in turn loads the operating system or offers a menu of operating system choices. After you install Linux on your Windows system, the Linux boot loader (these days, most distributions use GRUB, the GNU GRand Unix Bootloader) replaces the Windows NTLDR boot loader.

Note: if you reinstall Windows (because you're upgrading, or recovering from an incurable spyware infestation, for example), it will overwrite the Linux bootloader with NTLDR, removing the option to boot to Linux. To restore the Linux boot loader, boot the PC with a Linux installation disc and select its rescue mode. There, you can use the command-line version of the GRUB boot loader to detect the Linux partition and restore GRUB to the hard disk's master boot record, where it will be located in most dual-boot configurations.

Microsoft Launches Linux Site

Form PC (Thursday, April 06, 2006)

Microsoft Thursday at LinuxWorld is expected to unveil a new Web site for users to find information about its Linux and open-source interoperability efforts, according to the executive in charge of those plans.
Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy group for Microsoft, will discuss the site, at his keynote at the conference in Boston Thursday morning. The site will also go live on Thursday.
Hilf, who formerly worked on Linux deployments at IBM, has been overseeing Microsoft's Linux and open-source interoperability lab at its Redmond, Washington, campus for the past two years. He recently moved into a more senior position, replacing Martin Taylor, who has moved over to the Windows Live team.
Hilf now is in charge of all of Microsoft's open-source compatibility efforts, including its controversial Get the Facts anti-Linux campaign and its SharedSource initiative, which is the company's own version of allowing developers access to some of its proprietary source code.

Working Together
The aim of the new Web site is to make Microsoft's efforts to ensure its proprietary systems interoperate with open-source software, including Linux, are transparent. The company also is encouraging advice about how to advance these goals, Hilf said.
"It's going to be the interface to all of the open-source lab work Microsoft does, where a variety of people blog--including myself and others on my team," he said. "People in the community also can provide feedback and give us ideas for better interoperability."
Even the site's name reflects this notion of an open channel of communication, Hilf said. Port 25 is the server port that sends and receives e-mail on a server, thus facilitating two-way communication, he said.
In the past several years, Microsoft has appeared to become more open-source friendly, but mainly from a market perspective. Without planning to support open source itself as a strategy, the company has realized that Linux and other open-source software is here to stay. From a business perspective, it's important that Microsoft technology can coexist peacefully in the same network with those products, Hilf said.
"The great thing is that as a market we've gotten past the David and Goliath stuff," he said. "The reality is that customers run different technologies. ... We're still a commercial software company, but in some cases people want to run Linux, want to run Windows virtualized, want to manage Linux using [Microsoft products]. In those situations we can find a way to interoperate."
To that end, Microsoft earlier this week at LinuxWorld released Virtual Server 2005 R2, the latest version of its virtualization environment for Windows that also supports the client and server versions of Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell. Microsoft also announced it would offer the product for free.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Suse Linux, version 10.1

I think that Linux is at a crucial point in history. Microsoft is floundering with their next generation operating system, called Vista. They have now developed an anti virus program that will fix the problems their operating system allows to happen. Guess what?... Their going to charge you 50 bucks a year to clean up the mess they themselves made. With the cost of hardware plummeting, the retail price of Windows XP, and with additional anti-virus and firewall software factored in; the cost can equal over a third of the total computer investment.

Linux can be obtained on CD or DVD media. You can download an ISO image, say, from many places across, and then burn that .iso file to a cd. An iso image is an image of a CD-ROM disk saved in ISO-9660 format, an exact copy of a disk stored as a file. ISO files are generally 640 megabytes in size, a lot to download. While there is generally some documentation included on down loadable iso images, there is no free technical support with a downloaded iso image. If like most, you still have dial-up or can't download an iso image, you can buy CD's/DVD's, without printed material or tech support. Look to Easy Linux or exofire CD Burn (TLL International Internet Services).

Look to.....

Suse Linux 10.1 which was created by the OpenSuse project, the Novell-sponsored community initiative that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. The OpenSuse project has more than 22,000 registered members, and SUSE Linux 10.0 recently topped 1.3 million verified installations.

USE Linux 10.1 provides a full-featured desktop designed especially for the new Linux user. It includes the latest version of the popular Firefox web browser; the latest version of the Windows-compatible 2.0 office suite complete with support for Visual Basic macros; e-mail and instant messaging clients; graphics creation, editing and management applications; and security tools like spam blockers, anti-virus software and an integrated firewall. Other new and updated features include the fully integrated Beagle desktop search engine, the Amarok and Banshee music players for the playing of MP3 files on Linux, XGL core rendering technology for richer graphical experiences for Linux desktop users, enhanced power management, and the Network Manager networking applet.

I'm not saying Suse is the best, but its one of the easiest desk-top Linux to run.