LXer Features

What Linux distribution do you use as a desktop?
By Tom Adelstein - Feb 04, 2006



I don't believe the reports from IDC and others on desktop Linux use. I keep fiddling with statistics and I get a higher figure. Now, I'm counting more than Novell's Linux Desktop and the Red Hat desktop. I'm curious if IDC even counts Linspire. But, if you start looking at downloads and do a scatter chart, the percentage runs higher than people say.

So, I started a thread in Lxer's Linux Meta Forum to get a feel for what people use.

Please go to that thread and let me know what you use. Please, also tell me why you use that distribution, if you have any annoyances with it and if you'd like something added.

On Digg.com
Comment of the Day - February 3, 2006 - The underlying value system of FLOSS
By Gary Edwards, Founder OpenDocument Foundation - Feb 04, 2006


Thanks Tom for pointing out the underlying value system of FLOSS. What makes FLOSS work isn't so much that efforts (products) are cost free, although that goes a long way towards initiating mass participation and use. It's that FLOSS is a vast exchange system where value is routinely traded, in exchange for participation and effort.

Related to :
Firefox Extensions Say it All
The Two Faces of Microsoft: Pervasive Brand Recognition
By DC Parris - Feb 03, 2006
  LXer Feature: 02-Feb-06

Microsoft is preparing a publicity campaign to address their image as a 'big' company. In this, the first of a series of four articles, LXer's Don Parris points to the pervasive nature of the Microsoft brand, and how keeping that separate from the corporate reputation keeps regular consumers in the dark.

Digg This Story
Firefox Extensions Say it All
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Feb 01, 2006


If you have any doubts about the source of innovation in information technology, you should look at the Mozilla web site. I just counted 1,028 extensions contributed by the community. Then take a look at the themes section. Even the colossus of Redmond with its billions of dollars hasn't mustered that kind of development effort for IE from its community over the years. Now, let's get familiar with underlying reasons.
Linux News Questions Corel's Support of OpenDocument
By DC Parris, Assistant Editor-in-Chief - Jan 29, 2006
  LXer Feature: 16-Jan-06

With OASIS ODF member Corel chanting a Microsoft mantra on OpenDocument - that is, they'll support it if they see customer demand - Linux News wonders aloud if a "family" connection between Corel and Microsoft exists.
Linux Growth in Developing Countries Soaring Past Microsoft
By Fernando Lopez - Jan 29, 2006

US trained technology managers proliferate developing countries. They worked in the US, they came back and they're bringing GNU/Linux with them. As for Microsoft, vendors don't even talk about them these days.
Byebye Google.
By sal paradise - Jan 29, 2006
[opionion]Google's recent decision to comply with the Chinese Governments "requirements" have brought things to a head for me. I'm not going to use Google anymore. I don't want anything to do with a company that is prepared to accommodate repression like this.
IT Professionals Don't Buy Microsoft Research & Development Hype
By DC Parris - Jan 22, 2006
  LXer Feature: 16-Jan-06

Experienced IT professionals don't buy the Microsoft hype about their R&D investments. GNU/Linux vendors can use Microsoft's questionable selling point to contrast Microsoft's investment in solving perceived problems with the libre software world's investment in solving actual problems.
Dell in Jeopardy with their Red Hat and Oracle Partnership
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 22, 2006


Ed Scannell of VarBusiness published an scathing article called Cracking Dell's Code last week. He wrote: "Shifting market conditions, poor business decisions and lagging technology are creating fissures in the direct-sales giant--and creating opportunities for solution providers." Two days later Oracle and Sun announced the renewal of their partnership. We believe Dell's luke warm commitment to Linux may make them the first casualty of the open source wave.

Also consider that Dell sold a total of 5 servers priced over $25,000 in the third quarter while HP and IBM sold thousands.
Wasted Efforts in F/OSS – Office Suites
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 22, 2006


This is the first of at least a two part series. I say that because I hold a stronger opinion today than when I first began formulating this premise. Initially, I had'nt thought out all the implications and due to the interactive nature of this format, I expect further ideas to arise.

Oddly enough, for this one instance I see a modicum of truth in one insult Microsoft throws at Linux. And that's what we'll explore together. Please don't take the polite wording of this editorial as an indication of any uncertainty on my part regarding the premise I will present. The politeness exists only because those involved seem so talented. It caused me some difficulty understanding how they arrived at the point they did.

Read on and feel free to comment with vigor as this conclusion or its consequences is not one to take lightly. Furthermore, the next part may seem quite disturbing.
Linux not standing in wait as Microsoft sinks its own ship
By Tom Adelstein, Editor in Chief - Jan 22, 2006


With the traditional Microsoft news media turning their collective ear to the rest of the industry, you have to suspect a changing of the guard. But Linux companies don't seem to guage their efforts by what the industry says about Microsoft. Linux just keeps chugging along.

So what does the Industry have to say about Microsoft? They say that though many people will swear by the invincibility of Microsoft's ship, it hasn't maneuvered all the icebergs. Collectively, the competition has started ringing up wins. With alternatives in Linux, FireFox, OpenOffice.org and Apple the Microsoft floating casino has begun to list and sway. Here's how and some of it might surprise you.
LXer Feature: Another View of the Hijack of Free/Open Source Software by the Unscrupulous
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 20, 2006


For many reasons I think, for the moment, it is better to heap praise upon our real friends than to attempt to root out the abusers. There is just too much noise to signal for even to be possible to convey the proper message.

So when the next Sap (as was so emblematicly expressed by SAP) complains about the short comings of F/OSS (because they failed to get the free labor they so ardently desired) to revive their decaying product line, just grin. I think by the most subtle means possible, in a subliminal sense, the message is being sent to the uncaring public that something is more amiss with these large corporations than their targets of the moment.

Hence, reward those worthy with praise and give scorn to those such as the above only in forums where the audience level of knowledge and interest is sufficient to understand the underlying arguments. For the rest patience, thought and contributions to the new forthcoming GPL 3. The latter, if done right, will then make it more difficult for the abusers to gain mileage with inferior products via false, misleading marketing.


GNU/Linux: An Amazing Story
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 17, 2006


Regardless of the critics, even in spite of them, the Linux Story remains one of the greatest in recorded history. You have protagonists and antagonoists, drama, plots and subplots and we have only made it through part of Act II. So much more remains for others to tell.

Perhaps, the heroics of this story makes Linux so easy to embrace.
Letter to the Editors: Major Newspapers Blocking US Technology Sector
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 16, 2006


The Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, New York Times and friends have a plan. If you work in the technology field, you don't figure into that plan. Also, why do we keep picking up the paper in our front yards and paying those monthly fees? For the Sports Section?
GNU/Linux vs Microsoft on Research & Development: What's the Truth?
By DC Parris - Jan 14, 2006
  LXer Feature: 13-Jan-06

Linux News raises questions about Microsoft's alleged $6 billion per year investment in R&D. Is it money well spent, or are they just throwing it away?

Digg Story
Comment of the Day - January 12, 2006 - Refreshing View on Piracy
By Teron - Jan 14, 2006
Teron writes: I recently rented the film Aliens vs. Predator.
Haven't watched it yet, don't know if it's cr*p or not.
But, when I put the DVD to my PS2 to watch it, up jumps a commercial.
It was that commercial that made me write this.

"You wouldn't steal this, you wouldn't steal that. You wouldn't steal a movie, right? Movie piracy is stealing. Stealing is against the law. Piracy is a crime."


Failure to Curb Microsoft Falls Over to Massachusetts
By Gary Edwards, Open Document Foundation - Jan 14, 2006


Maybe the title should have been "Does Microsoft Use the DOJ as a Shill Against Linux and any other competitive threats?"

Sadly this story carries over into the events taking place in Massachusetts, where raw intimidation of the worst kind was used to send a most chilling messages into a critically important marketplace of government information management systems.

Related to:
Does the DoJ Use Microsoft as a Shill Against Linux?
LXer Feature: Interview with IBM: DB2 in the Mid-Range Market
By TxtEdMacs - Jan 14, 2006
In a rush to arrange an interview just as the holidays rapidly approached at the end of 2005 a series of mis-communications has resulted in a more interesting set of questions and answers than might have been otherwise expected.


Comment of the Day - January 10, 2006 - MS Open Source Point Man - a Dummy
By SFN - Jan 14, 2006
SFN writes: I knew I shouldn't have read this but I guess I just can't help myself. As usual, MS - this time throwing it's voice through ventriloquist dummy Martin Gregory - is presenting us with ideas that run the gamut from baseless opinion to bald face lie. Let's take each point one at a time.

Related to:
Microsoft's open source point man
Bible Desktop 1.0 Released
By DC Parris - Jan 14, 2006
  LXer News Story: 10-Jan-06

The Bible Desktop Project released Bible Desktop 1.0, a Java-based Bible study program, on Saturday. Thanks to a committed, responsive development team, Bible Desktop is maturing into a solid Bible study tool.


Diggable
Microsoft Pushing the Platform
By Gary Edwards, Open Document Foundation - Jan 14, 2006


In response to The Boston Globe In Agony Over Peter Quinn?, Gary writes: Big media is corrupt and long ago lost the trust of their readership... Where's the Department of Justice? Or how about Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly? Talk about being asleep at the switch! And it's not just the reprehensible array of intimidation, FUD, and outrageous corruption of democratic processes to further their own business needs that should cause us all to shout loudly that Microsoft be immediately hauled back in the docket.
The Butterfly Effect Part II: Inside the Chinese Firewall
By Charles Spencer - Jan 14, 2006
This is the second part of my series on the Internet in China. I recently returned from a year teaching at a Chinese University. During my time in China, I had the pleasure of getting to know the state of the Internet in China, both directly and indirectly, through my own use of the Internet and the classes. In my last article, The Butterfly Effect: Microsoft, Security, and the Developing World, I dealt with the effect of pirated software and security and its impact on development. In this article, I would like to cover my experience of the Chinese Firewall from the inside and the way we contribute to censorship in China.
It's Microsoft Tax time again.
By Sal Paradise - Jan 14, 2006
It's nearly time folks, are you excited? That's right, the "new" version of Windows is almost upon us and down at Redmond the coffers are being readied. Microsoft are getting ready to collect another pile of money from your children, your governments, your hospitals and your paycheck.
Microsoft Getting Closer to the Fire
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
A dispute that has kept the House Ethics Committee from considering Majority Leader Tom DeLay's activities may have ramifications for Microsoft. When one begins to untangle the remarkable political organization created by Microsoft and lobbyists Preston, Gates Ellis et al, you find some uncanny coincidences.
Does the DoJ Use Microsoft as a Shill Against Linux?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


Have fears of a resurgence of communism led the DoJ to suspect GNU/Linux communities of having anti-capitalistic agendas? If so, have they allowed Microsoft to engage in anti-trust to stop Free Software?


Is Microsoft Buying Anti-Virus Companies to Undermine Linux? You Decide
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
By Quashing Linux Anti-Virus Software Support, has Microsoft Taken to Tactics in Restraint of Trade?
Did Bill Gates Invent Linux and Has He Erased the Evidence?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
Someone has started rearranging content on the Internet to suit their own purposes and the culprit might be a convicted monopolist. This article examines some compelling evidence and asks Congress to investigate.
A Year Without (MS) Windows: Completing the Conversion of a Windows User
By DC Parris - Jan 12, 2006
  Many people aspire to run a pure GNU/Linux environment, but often complain that some device or program is stopping them. LXer's Don Parris shares his transition from a pure Windows environment to a pure GNU/Linux environment, and how he has fared over the past year. Does he see a need to go back to dual-booting?
Following Bill Gates' Linux Attack Money
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
Recently, we witnessed the power of Microsoft's political machine when one of the champions of free and open source software, Peter Quinn resigned as CIO of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In my opinion, Microsoft just blinked and everything went south. Other writers have also commented on the chain of events in Massachusetts. For example, Andy Undegrove writes a farewell piece in his blog to the maligned public servant. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols also writes an article about this issue in Microsoft Wins, Open Standards Lose. Steven writes: "CIO Peter Quinn's story tells us that if you go up against Microsoft, you can expect everything and the kitchen sink to be thrown at you."

Well Steven, as much respect and admiration as I have for you, Microsoft didn't even breathe hard. They looked in the direction of bean town and people started doing their bidding. That's what happens when you own a country.

One of the top stories of the year at LXer warned mightily of Microsoft's capabilities. So, I brought it back out and rewrote it. It you don't get it this time, you never will.

Anyone doubting the power of Microsoft, should consider what we said at the end of June 2005. We've also added the preceding article to this text - and made some changes. But the documents we uncovered are still in place. The people within Microsoft's grasp politically are still listed. This isn't a story you scan. This is one you read.

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That in its essence, is Fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power.
What if the Microsoft trial was rigged?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


We're reviewing evidence, which with collaboration could demonstrate that Microsoft went around the legal system to influence the courts, that Linux was used as a straw man and our esteemed leadership not only knows it but fixed it. Keep in mind, all of this exists in theory. No proof exists and people who subscribe to the belief that these situations are true have nothing on which to rest but a conspiracy theory. In fact, no collaboration has ever come forth.
Microsoft and Abramoff: Influence in an Anti-Trust Outcome?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


[Ed note: This article went into embargo right after publication. We brought it back after finding new evidentary material on which we will report soon.]

As a news organization, we first reported back in June that we had suspicions that ties existed between Jack Abramoff and Microsoft. Our initial report tied together research when the Washington Post disclosed that Preston Gates had paid an invoice for a trip made by Tom DeLay to play gold in Scotland. (Sorry that's a Freudian slip. I meant golf.)


Abramoff's guilty plea of last week helps us make our case and allows us to demonstrate our suspicions regarding Microsoft's ties to the Bush administration. The guilty plea also allows us to question whether Microsoft received favorable treatment by the Bush Justice department by paying Abramoff and his aides and partners, starting with Ralph Reed.

Our main concern deals with whether or not our government can use Microsoft's status as a monopoly and possible ties to a slew of politicians to stop its global attack on Linux.
Leaked memo from Intel shows Major Linux Effort
By Tom Adelstein, Carla Schroder - Jan 11, 2006
LXer received a document from a source with the message "I read your article on linuxJournel about countries growing use of Linux. The attached article was posted in Intel's intranet site." It reveals that Intel expects to sell hundreds of millions of Linux-based computers in rural China. If Intel can sell a Linux computer in rural China, why can't they do the same thing in the United States?

Is it such a risk? Look at IBM in the US, they have committed to Linux with facilities, staff, sponsorships of projects. Was the risk so great for IBM? Obviously not. So, Intel, put up!

[Ed: Original published in November and updated in light of new reports. -tadelste]
Time to Cull Proprietary Software from Open Source Branding
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 08, 2006


For all the good the Open Source concept has done, perhaps we need to start thinking about more restrictive terms. I just rejected an article from IT Week that demonstrated the depths to which people will go to get on the train. The writer seemed to praise Microsoft's UNIX Services as a step toward killing Linux by bridging the gap.

That's why I believe it's time for a culling as GNU/Linux and the Open Source Craze draws proprietary companies to take on the brand.
Time to Bar Windows From the Enterprise
By DC Parris - Jan 07, 2006
  LXer Feature: 5-Jan-06

LXer editor, Don Parris, responds to Scott Bekker's article, Seven Reasons Not To Bar Windows From the Enterprise". Bekker's article considers a general mistrust of Microsoft, along with more "practical" (read technical) reasons why Microsoft has not earned a spot in the enterprise workplace. If you're an enterprise customer, there is one solid reason to bar Windows, Office, and Microsoft in general from your business.


Digg Story
Comment of the Day - January 5, 2006 - Fundamental Mistake in Article About Ubuntu
By SNF - Jan 07, 2006
SNF comments on Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article: "First, the good news: although they go by different names, there's really no fundamental difference between the Ubuntu brothers. "

[ed: While Steven is one of our readers most popular newswire authors, he writes alot. In this case, I agree with SFN's comment. -tadelste]

Related to:
Reviewer finds Ubuntu good, but not good enough
Comment of the Day - January 3, 2006 -
By Fritz - Jan 07, 2006

Fritz writes: Here's my conspiracy theory of the day.

Microsoft writes insecure buggy code on purpose.

Related to:
Don't wait for Microsoft to fix WMF flaw
Basic Autotools
By Jason (Jay) R Fink - Jan 07, 2006
Setting up software for distribution can be a daunting task. Most of the the time, a well written makefile does the trick. Sometimes a little more is needed - or even expected. The GNU autotools for setting up a software distribution can help iron out some of the problems a programmer might run into.
Password-less Encrypted Connections with OpenSSH
By Jason (Jay) R Fink - Jan 07, 2006
Believe it or not a lot of users out there do not know how to set up password-less encrypted connections with OpenSSH.
Comment of the Day - January 4, 2006 - Why SCOX got another $10M
By number6x - Jan 07, 2006
number6x writes: Am I certain they are criminals? I believe so, and stated that it is my opinion. I believe that Ralph Yarro and others involved in the Canopy companies engaged in activities that will not stand up to investigation by authorities. But I guess that they are not technically criminals, until they are convicted. By law they are innocent until proven guilty.

Related to:
SCO out to kill SuSE
Slush Funds, Litigation for Linux Advocates
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 07, 2006


Opinion: Microsoft cannot afford to lose in their Office Productivity Suite and their influence in Government. Microsoft executives have always referred to Office as their cash cow. They cannot let the OpenDocument Format kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

Secondly, if any governments switch away from Microsoft products, Redmond would lose the lynch pin of its upgrade revenue. So, they just cannot allow someone else to become entrenched where they hold all the keys. They're playing an interesting game in these two areas which few understand.
iAudio Follow-Up: Using GNU/Linux to Make Video For iAudio
By DC Parris - Jan 07, 2006
  LXer Review: 28-Dec-05

Need to know how to make your video clips work on your iAudio? Check out iAudiophile!
Is The Boston Globe In Agony Over Peter Quinn?
By DC Parris - Jan 07, 2006
  LXer Feature: 2-Jan-06

LXer editor, Don Parris, responds to an article by Kathleen Parker regarding her editorial, "The Brutal Blogosphere".

Digg Story
Linux News Model Letter to People of Influence Supporting ODF
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 01, 2006
It is time to get the "True facts out, in contrast to the imagery and illusions that are dispensed ubiquitously by the behemoth of Redmond. If you can identify individuals open to rational argument that are not already bought off by the latter, please feel free to employ any part of the model letter: ideas, text, citations to make your points. This has now become a necessity to get some sort of rational balance between citizen rights and currently overwhelming corporate power.
Are You Replacing Windows with GNU/Linux?
By DC Parris - Jan 01, 2006
  LXer Encore Feature: 1-1-2006

LXer editor Don Parris takes a straw poll that he believes points to the fact that Windows is becoming more and more irrelevant. Read and weigh in!


Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920's
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 01, 2006
LXer Day Desk: 11-27-2005

Prohibition of alcohol (1920-33) in the US failed. People thought it would reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and ghettos, improve health and hygiene. It was a miserable failure on all counts. It affirms the economic theory, which predicts that prevention of mutually beneficial exchanges fails.


An Interview with Lawrence Rosen Open Source Lawyer - Part II
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 01, 2006
Lawrence Rosen publicly backed Microsoft's Open Office XML as sufficiently open to all parties to warrant its use as an open data format. It was because of this stance, I thought LXer readers would be interested to learn upon what basis he came to this decision and to learn if he has any doubts. This is the second part of the interview where he is pursued by a gang of three. It was an interesting battle, see the aftermath and let us know who won. Our hope it will be freedom for all.
LXer Feature: An Interview with Lawrence Rosen, Open Source Lawyer
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 01, 2006
Lawrence Rosen publicly backed Microsoft's Open Office XML as sufficiently open to all parties to warrant its use as an open data format. It was because of this stance, I thought LXer readers would be interested to learn upon what basis he came to this decision and to learn if he has any doubts. To say more would be unfair to the interviewee, hence, please read his responses. While the interview is short there is much to consider.
LXer Feature: Early results of the (Dutch) Windows refund survey
By Hans Kwint - Jan 01, 2006
 LXer feature

Sometimes as a Linux user, you wish you could buy any computer with Linux preinstalled, or if that's not possible, just without an operating system, but that's not the reality. If that isn't possible, is it possible to buy any computer with Windows pre-installed, and then, return the unused Windows, and ask a refund for it? That's a question many non-Windows users ask themselves. The answer however, isn't clear to consumers. There's only one way to find out: ask your hardware manufacturer. Or do they neither know the answer? Time to find out.


LXer Feature: Interview with Marten Mickos CEO of MySQL AB
By TxtEdMacs - Jan 01, 2006
In this interesting interview with Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB, TxtEdMacs finds the kind of information many people want to have but simply don't know how to ask.

For example, Marten says: "We are not competing with Oracle, because they are the kings of existing database applications. But when it comes to new development and new paradigms, that's where MySQL fits in".
Comic Book Hero? Busy Executive by Day and Linux Developer by Night
By H. Kwint - Dec 31, 2005
  LXer feature

Fabio Marzocca represents a new class of innovators in the twenty-first century. He's living proof that talented people can make a contribution to global technology even when the corporate maw would eat them up and spit them out. In what other era of human endeavor would such an individual be allowed to make a difference?

Fabio: Ubuntu developer, but also member of the Italian Ubuntu LoCoTeam, father of two children, and for his employment, dealing with company management and reorganizations.

LXer interviewed him, and asked him questions about his personal life, his view on Linux and Ubuntu in particular, and about two applications of which he is the developer and maintainer: the BUM graphical Boot-Up Manager, and the Baobab graphical disk-space viewer.

We invite you into his life to see what the future may bring.

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