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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Resistance to change is a dead-end street

People get comfy doing tasks in a particular way. This comfort provides them with the security that they are the masters of their world. Resistance to change is a dead-end street. Old ideals and processes must be tossed aside so that new ones may be learned. It is not to say that all change is good but all change can be look at on a case by case bases. The problem is some of the things that cause people to fear change include a dislike of a disruption in their lives; meaning looking like a fool by not being able to adapt and learn fast enough, and they have a feeling of of control.

Change happens through a journey of discovery. The only pre-requisite for starting this journey of discovery is that you are willing to learn. If you realize that there is something there to learn, then you can learn it. If you realize that there are things you have not yet understood about yourself and about life, then you can understand them. What you will learn might be unexpected and surprising, but that is the nature of discovery.

Lets look at something. Does windows vista work for you? Its a question without a right a wrong answer. However, can success only be found there? There is a little thing out there called GNU/Linux. True it is not XP but is it impossible for something else not to be considered because its not identical to it. One must understand that a perfect copy may be equal, but it can never surpass. So when one looks at GNU/Linux distro in hopes that it would be better, many are inescapably hoping that it would be different. Too many people ignore this fact, and hold up every difference between the two OSes as a Linux failure. Some people just need to cling to the way certain things work, and many don't realize it. Friends of mine have tried to make the switch to Linux, only to be stopped because of one or two apps they are already familiar with in other incarnations are written only for the windows platform. The first step to success in Linux is learning to think in Linux. Take what you already know and redirect it to doing things the Linux way. Switching from Windows to Linux is like switching from a car to a motorcycle. They have two different approaches to fulfilling the same goal.

Linux is getting more mainstream exposure all the time. The biggest headache associated with most versions of Linux these days is the actual installation, but that's the case for any operating system, even installing Windows Vista from scratch on a machine can hit many snags just as much as installing a version of Linux. It's now being pre-installed by big guys like Dell and Lenovo. You even now can select among fantastically cheap computers that are perfectly adequate for the limited needs of most users. The $399 Eee PC subnotebook, Wal-Mart's $199 Everex Green PC, and even the Mirus Intel Celeron D desktop may not be super systems but they are universally affordable.

So whatever change you want in life keep your options open.What you will learn might be unexpected and surprising, but that is the nature of discovery.

Monday, February 18, 2008

my first real post of 2008

If your your seeing this site for the first time. This is not a place just for geeks. Its for those who like computers or computer software. I've been working with computers for a little while. Well not sure what to really post this time. Well I do enjoy using Gnu/Linux. I know many others use it as well.

So I will ask are you ready to switch from the Windows 9x, 2k, XP, Vista world to Linux? Well I will say in many ways Linux is technically superior to Windows 9x and even Windows NT (I know many people have never used NT).

Here are things to keep in mind... These are the main differences between DOS/Windows and Linux

  • Windows runs Microsoft Office
  • Has lots of games
  • Can be bought pre-installed at most retailers
  • Is notoriously unstable; performs poorly; crashes are frequent.

  • Linux runs OpenOffice,
  • scores of technical software
  • fewer games
  • can not be bought pre-installed at most retailers
  • Is rock solid; performs impeccably; crashes are extremely rare.

When a company releases a product, they first ensure Microsoft compatibilty followed possibly by Apple. If there is time and the company cares, they will consider Linux last. That's not a Linux problem in itself, there is no technological reason why Linux would not able to run those apps many would mention. The companies simply don't release a Linux ver. of them - and there would be legal issues in most cases if it were to be reverse engineered and made to run, thats why you things like Photo Shop CS3, Amazon MP3 Downloader, or Turbo Tax wont run.

The new year has brought a new release of the Knoppix live CD. With this CD, can run GNU/Linux right of the CD ROM. In other words... you get an opportunity to check advances and new features not available Windows world without having to install anything and breaking a perfectly good installation. Recent versions of both Windows and Mac OS X have largely been focused on “eye candy” and visual/interactive improvements rather than revolutionary new features. The most noticeable change in Knoppix live CD version 5.1.1 is the inclusion of the Beryl 3-D desktop “eye candy”with the Emerald theming engine.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pidgin: a multi-protocol instant messaging client

Pidgin (once known as Gaim) is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu and Zephyr networks.

Pidgin users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AOL Instant Messenger, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time.

Pidgin supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer, away messages, typing notification, and MSN window closing notification. It also goes beyond that and provides many unique features. A few popular features are Buddy Pounces, which notify you, send a message, play a sound, or run a program when a specific buddy goes away, signs online, or returns from idle; and plugins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, iconify on away and more.
Pidgin runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Qtopia (Sharp Zaurus and iPaq).

Pidgin integrates well with GNOME and the KDE system tray, as well as Windows' own system tray. This allows you to work with Pidgin without requiring the buddy list window to be up at all times.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Linux Edition

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is one of the best solution available at no cost to home users and provides I beileve high level detection capabilitys that millions of users around the worldwide trust to protect their computers. It provides free antivirus protection for Windows XP/2000/NT/ME/98 & GNU/Linux. Installing only 47.1 Mb of files and 4 running processes, AVG Free Edition is the smallest antivirus scanner I have seen out there so far and may well be the best choice for an older systems with severely limited system resources.

Now when installed AVG Anti-Virus in Linspire 5.1 and clicked on the Update button in the main window to try to download the latest updates from the internet, I got error:

Update process failed. Reason: Sorry, you do not have permission to execute avgupdate...

If you get this same error, this will help.

... open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

... and run the following commands:

sudo chmod 775 /opt/grisoft/avg7/bin/avgupdate
cd /opt/grisoft/avg7/var/
sudo chmod 777 run
sudo chmod 777 update/log

If you now get an error like Online update failed. Reason: Can not download the file 'avg7info.ctf'...

... you can manually download the latest updates from and save them in a special folder (e.g. /home/falko/avg):

In AVG Antivirus, go to Service > Program settings:

Then go to Update > Source, select Folder, and click on the Browse button:

Select the folder where you've saved the updates (e.g. /home/falko/avg):