May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
May 8, 2009
/ 14 Iyar 5769
Linux alternatives to Windows, Mac
Last week's dose of candid advice for Microsoft Corp. attracted some attention on Digg.com, an online Web site, where close to 500 people indicated reading it, and some offered comments. For the record, no, I'm not Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's love child.
But I digress.
Shannon VanWagner, a computer systems administrator in Seattle, got the ball rolling because he believes the open-source Linux operating system is our computing salvation. It's free for individuals, more or less; enterprises will want to license a given Linux distribution, or version, in order to get technical support. Because it is open, Linux can be enhanced and refined by any number of programmers, who, in turn, share their work with others.
And there are plenty of applications for Linux, some of which I mentioned last week, such as OpenOffice.org's productivity suite. There's GIMP, or the GNU Image Manipulation Program, which is a free competitor to Adobe's Photoshop. If you need Web browsing and e-mail, Mozilla.org offer versions of the Firefox browser and Thunderbird e-mail client; other browsers and e-mail programs abound.
Indeed, Mr. VanWagner, whose Humans Enabled blog (www.humans-enabled.com) is high-octane evangelism for Linux, has links that'll help you find dozens of alternatives to Windows and/or Mac applications, just about all of them free for the downloading.
That's the good news: The more challenging news is that as a new Linux user, you'll still have to get inside your computer to a degree you might not find enjoyable. To set up the operating system, you'll need to make sure it can support the computer and graphics card you already have.
Then you'll need to learn how to configure the applications you download to work on your system. This isn't an impossible task, but it sometimes isn't the plug-and-play experience many users are accustomed to finding. Thus, heartache can follow, especially if you can't find the printer driver or other device driver you need in order to get stuff done.
To ease the burden, Mr. VanWagner suggests burning a CD with a version of the Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com) free Linux system, and booting your computer from the CD. That'll get you inside the operating system and some basic applications, such as a Web browser, without changing your computer's main OS. Once you're comfortable, he wrote, slap Linux on your computer and explore all the applications that are available.
It's tempting. Call it a restructuring of your PC, if you like. Were I to do this, I'd make a solid backup of all my Windows programs and files, and have a bootable copy of the Windows OS on hand, just in case I decided to return to Microsoft territory. You don't want Linux to become the computing equivalent of the "Hotel California," after all.
As more new software arrives for Windows users, there'll be more of a temptation to switch to Linux. Costs for Linux programs are lower, and the bad taste left by Windows Vista for many users might also be a factor. Microsoft's Windows 7 looms on the horizon, but I can't imagine a single-user copy would cost much less than $150 at retail. Even if special pricing brings the cost below $100, some users would rather switch than pay.
How can Microsoft respond? One hint is in the paragraph above: run a "loss leader" special on Windows 7 when it's released. Another would be to loosen up the "student/home edition" pricing of Office 2007, which lists for $150 versus the $499 list price of the full edition. But beyond price wars, which Microsoft can easily fight, there's not much else they can do. Folks will either buy Windows or not, and as we've seen with many other stalwarts of the U.S. economy Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. products come to mind the winds of change can blow quickly and hot.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com
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