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.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm a Gnu

I hope the first week of this year has been good to everyone. I’m sure everyone has seen the I’m a Pc and I’m a Mac ads on U.S. Television. Well on this site it is possible to become a Gnu. Gnu/Linux is beginning to rival Microsoft Windows, the leading desktop operating system. Gnu/Linux in many cases is absolutely free of cost to the run of the mill, non-commercial user. Linux is now over 17 years old. Its free nature meant that it developed fast, and even less than a year after it was released, there were associated newsgroups springing up.

One Saturday evening, September 10, 2005, I made my first post. If your seeing this site for the first time. I want to make it clear that this is not a weblog just for geeks. It’s for those who like computers and computer software. I've been working with computers for a little while. In that time I've used a variety of environments. Linux is freely available, and most are not required to register their copies with any central authority, so it is very difficult to know how many people use Linux to date. Could be as many as five million users. Linux 2.6.25 has 9,232,484 lines of code, up from 176,250 lines of code in Linux 1.0.0 back in March 1995. Many users do not understand the difference between the kernel, which is Linux, and the whole system, which many also call “Linux”. The system as a whole is basically the GNU system, with Linux added. When you're talking about this combination it is called really GNU/Linux. Technically, GNU is like Unix. But unlike Unix and other commercial operating systems, GNU is free to distribute and use.

The Windows desktop user community is much-much larger than the GNU/Linux one and it takes a lot to have someone switch to another operating system. I use GNU/Linux for the every day person. This is the type of GNU/ Linux that is widely available. Microsoft makes its living selling people plain operating systems and has a lot to lose if Gnu/Linux ever got popular with the masses. For that reason they have done everything in their power to warn the public that Gnu/Linux is something that you probably can’t use. I feel that the meager income that many are stuck with now days should not keep them out of touch with the tech revolution. So with Gnu/Linux a non-profit organization, can recycle, refurbish and giving away computer systems to families who are on a low income with kids at school.

I know that getting started with a new OS is a big adjustment. Yes it is true that Windows is the OS that is used by the majority populace in the United States. It comes preinstalled on most consumer brand PCs. In 1984, it was impossible to use a modern computer without installing a proprietary operating system. So in 2008 we have a choice.

In fact this post is being made on a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, that I borrowed from a friend. This Gnu/Linux version is a nice price and offers all the basic functionality you would expect from a notebook. It has the Intel GMA 950 onboard graphics, which are good enough for non 1080p HD video playback and can manage older games at low settings. I loaded Unreal and it played just fine. Last but not least, this GNU system has a 32GB solid-state drive, which has very fast storage and makes this thing very quiet and 2GB of RAM for the best performance. A 4-cell battery offers up to 3.5 hours of battery life. However the basic system has a 4 GB solid-state drive and 512 of RAM ($349.00 U.S). But if do buy the basic one and you need more power later, not to worry. The Mini 9 is very easy to upgrade than other netbooks. I have looked at many netbooks like the Aspire One, which require complex disassembly in order for you to get to the storage drive, system RAM, or wireless cards. On other netbooks they have slots for upgrades but no connections on the motherboard so it is impossible to upgrade them. This is not the case with the Mini 9. The combo of Intel's Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, and Unbutu Gnu/Linux works well for basic tasks, as long as you keep expectations modest and don't mind occasional slowdown if you try and open too many browser windows at once. If you need more power go with Dells Inspiron 1525N


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