LXer Features

Is Linux an Alternative or Does It Stand Alone?
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 27, 2005

LXer Day Desk: 12-26-2005

Linux represents a computer technology designed from the bottom up rather than a copy cat. As long as people compare it to Windows, they cannot grasp its power and uniqueness. Simply put, Linux isn't Windows.
The Open Standards Monopoly Challenging Innovation in Redmond
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 22, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-22-2005

In trying to portray the dirty tricks in which Microsoft seems engaged with regard to the Open Document Standard, I encountered difficulties articulating the problem. Each draft I wrote seemed like ranting. Even Gary Edwards of OASIS confessed that he had trouble writing about it because he felt he needed to lampoon Microsoft to get the point across. So, this article takes the point of view of a Redmond fanatic and praises Mr. Gates and his techniques for fighting in an open environment. The major points seem to emerge when you consider RFCs and IEEE standards the monopoly. I hope you enjoy it.
Microsoft Needs to Get The Facts Straight on OpenDocument
By DC Parris - Dec 19, 2005
  LXer Feature: encore January 1, 2006

LXer editor Don Parris says it's one thing for Microsoft to promote their own format in favor of OpenDocument, yet quite another to misrepresent the facts regarding OpenDocument's development.




Running Linux - Fifth Edition
By Tom Adelstein - Dec 17, 2005
O'Reilly & Associates greatly expanded the fifth edition of Running Linux. It reflects the maturity of the operating system and the wealth of software available for it. The book now covers consumer topics such as audio and video playback applications, groupware functionality, and spam filtering, along with the basics in configuration and management that always made this perhaps the most popular book for Linux.
Congress: Clear the Air and Stop Preloads
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 17, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-16-2005

American consumers do not like living in the dark when it comes to products we buy. In that respect, we don't believe citizens of other countries do either. So, with consideration to the people who drive the US economy, we would like some straight answers to questions which should shine some light on an area of darkness with which we lived far too long.



1. Does the US Administration lobby on behalf of Microsoft and if so should it cease and desist from such activity?

2. We ask Congress to evaluate the administration's role with regard to Microsoft's monopoly.

3. We ask Congress and the President to prohibit Microsoft preloading agreements.

4. We ask for Congress to perform a comprehensive review of Microsoft's political activities including and starting with the House Ethics committee's failure to investigate the links between Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Preston Gates &Ellis and the BSA.

5. We request Congress to enact laws requiring Original Equipment Manufacturers to disclose their policies with regard to selling Microsoft products.

6. We ask for schedules of payments to and from Microsoft and OEMs be disclosed immediately to the public so we can ascertain the influence exerted on consumers buying computers and computer related products.

Comment of the Day - December 15, 2005 - Response to Possible Industry Regulation
By pendraco - Dec 15, 2005
pendraco writes: Read the article more closely -- for that matter, try staying abreast of what the media as a whole continues to say about Microsoft and their good buddies, the [U.S. Federal] government.

Related to:
Linux Technology not Stopping Microsoft

Digg Story
Superior Linux Technology not Stopping Microsoft - Time to Call Uncle Sam
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 14, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-14-2005

Back when the Communists ran the Soviet Union, truth never reached the outside world. Within the big computer manufacturers, media relations people have gestapo like power. Want to keep your job? Never let them find you quoted in the newspaper, especially about Microsoft.

But today, the time has come for you to find out what lurks behind the corporate veil, particularly when it comes to the subject of Microsoft and Linux. President Bush open this gate! Mr. Bush, tear down this wall!

Related Article:
Congress: Clear the Air about Microsoft, Apple and Linux
How Tech Education Can Help Your Congregation
By DC Parris - Dec 14, 2005
  LXer TechMinistry: 13-Dec-05

LXer editor Don Parris considers how ministries of all faiths can help computer users and others through the use of technology.



Digg Story
Linux News says Netscape's Browser Regaining Market Share
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 10, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-09-2005

So, everyone one forgot that Mozilla got its code from Netscape. A Press Release back in January 1998 said, "The company plans to post the source code beginning with the first Netscape Communicator 5.0 developer release, expected by the end of the first quarter of 1998. This aggressive move will enable Netscape to harness the creative power of thousands of programmers on the Internet by incorporating their best enhancements into future versions of Netscape's software".

So, maybe those folks who say the code endures while companies come and go - have a point. Whatever, Netscape's browser is back.
Add LXer to new Gmail RSS feed
By Bjorn Stadil - Dec 09, 2005
Gmail just added a nifty RSS feed directly into your Gmail account. It is easy to do but LXer is not yet one of the default tech sites so you need to do it manually.

Go to Settings in your Gmail account and click on the new Web Clips tab. Then take this URL http://lxer.com/module/newswire/headlines.rss

and paste it into the search box. Google will acknowledge this as a valid feed and the add button will appear. Hit it and presto your are done

You probably need to edit the initial feeds. I had all kind of gunk suggested by Google.

Digg

Comment of the Day - December 8, 2005 - Why I choose Ubuntu
By gardion - Dec 08, 2005
gardion writes: Well here is why I choose ubuntu. Some of these things Mepis may have but it is the combination of these things that really impressed me with Ubuntu.

Related to:
Debian Stabilizing the Linux Landscape
Snakes and Rubies in Chicago
By Sean Lynch - Dec 05, 2005

On Saturday, December 3rd 2005 the Chicago Area Ruby Group and the Chicago Python Users Group presented Snakes and Rubies, talks by Adrian Holovaty, one of the creators of the Django framework for Python, and David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails framework. The talks were given at DePaul University. These web development frameworks are shining examples of web 2.0 technology brought to life. The DePaul Linux Users Group and the Depaul Computer Science Society (ACM) were also instrumental in sponsoring this event.

Paper Machines and Phantom Computers - Has Microsoft Gone Too Far Against Linux?
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 05, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-05-2005

Has Microsoft repeated history in its fight against Linux? We wonder if the Redmond company has confused the proposed implementation of the Open Document Format as part of the fight against Linux. One only has to look back at anti-trust litigation from 1968 to shed light on the question. Have the people who are supposed to represent the interests of we, the people, failed? You must answer that question for yourself and so should the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Ergonomics Exposed
By Keith Winston - Dec 03, 2005
As you are reading this, how far away are your eyes from the screen? Is your mouse at a 90 degree angle with your elbows. Are your feet flat on the floor or on a carefully positioned foot rest? If you are like me, the chances are probably not.

Working long hours on a computer can create many physical ailments. These include eye strain and a host of musculoskeletal disorders. I should know, I have suffered many of them and need to consciously work at preventing new problems.

Diggable
Comment of the Day - December 1, 2005 - Legal DVD Players for Linux
By bmac - Dec 01, 2005
Bmac writes that legal DVD players exist for Linux. Can you switch the licensed components in these distributions to your own?

Related to:
The RIAA - Hollywood - DRM - Linux Suicide Pact
Saving Windows from Obsolescence in a Free-Market Economy
By DC Parris - Dec 01, 2005
  LXer Feature: 12-01-2005

Bill Gates said he wanted to be able to make the next paradigm shift. Libre software has created a free-market economy in the technology realm. Don Parris offers Microsoft some free consulting to help them make that paradigm shift. What do you think of the two approaches he suggests?

Diggable

Using Libre Software to Web-Empower the Church
By DC Parris - Dec 01, 2005
  LXer News: 12-01-2005

The Web Empowered Church aims to web empower 10,000 churches by 2010. Using Typo3 and other libre software, this ministry could change the way churches view and use the Internet.

Diggable
Review of some useful sysadmin-utilities
By Hans Kwint - Nov 29, 2005
 LXer feature

Every sysadmin has his own "can't live without" tools. Today, I'll review some tools I can't live without, and some others which just make life easier. The covered tools include command line tools, GUI tools, and even a webpage.

Diggable

[Ed: Hans wrote this very useful article. He says that plenty of other tools exist for admins out there besides the ones he uses regularly. Maybe some of them are on your list. Let us know about your most valuable utilities in the comments section. -tadelste]

Comment of the Day #2, November 29, 2005
By Dinotrac - Nov 29, 2005
[Dinotrac did some independent research and analysis, instead of accepting the article's premise like a good little consumer. -tuxchick]

Here's the part that's really getting their goat:

Year to Year growth in ULW share:

Windows: 5.0%
Linux: 23.7%

And then, when you consider the great unreported "market", Linux uptake is huge and growing faster by far than Windows servers.

The bottom line: A Microsoft monopoly in the server room is a pipe dream.

See the article, thread, and complete comment here.

Comment of the Day - November 29, 2005 - Maybe Mac Isn't Such a Good Alternative
By WolfRune - Nov 28, 2005
WolfRune writes: PCs, by their very nature, are closer to Open Source than Macs. IBM developed the original specs, and then opened things up to the market. While this obviously was a mistake for them, it's been a boon for the general populace. Without this, there would BE no "clone" machines, only the kind of monopoly that Apple now maintains.

Related to:
Linux Desktops will get killed by Microsoft this Christmas
Comment of the Day - November 28, 2005 - What brings you to LXer
By Chris - Nov 28, 2005
Chris writes: I don't think anyone has heard of the "lxer effect" on a website yet, and that's a good thing. It's hard to be a community when you don't ever recognize anyone due to sheer size.

Related to: Thread: What Brings you to LXer
LXer Readers: You Made a Difference. Thank You!
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Nov 26, 2005
This morning I received an email from Andy Oram at 6:59 AM telling me about the Story of Peter Quinn coming under investigation for traveling to open source conferences. Andy is my editor at O'Reilly and the best person I know. He immediately wrote an article called Another desperate attempt to discredit Massachusetts OpenDocument adoption. I immediately submitted to Slashdot and Digg.com. I just saw the article on the front page of Digg.com and Slashdot .

more...
Comment of the Day - November 25, 2005 - Places to buy Linux Computers
By cyber_rigger - Nov 25, 2005
cyber_rigger writes: "Here is my collection of links for Linux and no-OS."

Related to:
Linux Desktops will get killed by Microsoft this Christmas

Diggable
Linux Desktops will get killed by Microsoft this Christmas
By Tom Adelstein, Editor in Chief - Nov 25, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-25-2005

If you want a desktop or laptop and you want to move to Linux then you're cooked. You have very few options and retailers have used low-cost Linux systems to bait and switch users. So, why don't the major Intel vendors offer Linux? Short answer: Microsoft. The old monopolist still commands and makes demands on its OEM vendors.

What's worse? Unsuspecting PC buyers will be faced with the need to upgrade to Vista in the near future. So, that bargain PC from Dell will probably keep on costing you money. Do alternatives exist? We like to think so.


OpenWrt RC4 White Russian is out...
By wjl aka Wolfgang Lonien - Nov 23, 2005
Today is a good day. The maybe best, maybe most free, and pretty sure most modular Linux distribution for our favourite routers was just upgraded.
Linux News Responds to Washington Technology on OpenDocument
By DC Parris - Nov 23, 2005
  LXer Feature

LXer editor, Don Parris, responds to a confusing and misleading Washington Technology article focused on OpenDocument.

Diggable
Comment of the Day - November 23, 2005 - The Sky is not Falling
By jayrfink - Nov 23, 2005
jayrfink writes: Things are not as bad as you might think.

Related to:
Linux News: Does Microsoft's Monopoly Power Extend to Government and Media?"
Linux News Asks is Microsoft's Open Office XML Strategy in Restraint of Trade?
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 22, 2005
Under an older theory of monopolistic practices Microsoft may be in restraint of trade. In its obsession with Linux, could this be the third strike? You should ask your attorney.

Diggable

Comment of the Day - November 22, 2005 - Writing Editors About Microsoft
By Tuxchick - Nov 22, 2005
Tuxchick writes:"Since reporters on the tech beats tend to be so unquestioning of the Microsoft party line, pitch it as a political story to higher-up editors".

Related to: other media contacts for 'Microsoft's Monopoly Power
LXer Feature:Survival Guide For Women In FOSS: Drumming Up Customers
By Carla Schroder - Nov 22, 2005
Striking out on your own means entering a whole new exciting, fulfilling world. You'll meet and handle new challenges, and develop self-confidence and poise worthy of a UN diplomat. You'll directly reap the rewards of your creativity and labor. Today we'll talk about how to develop a solid clientele, and finding customers that you enjoy working with.

Related articles:

Survival Guide For Women In FOSS: Striking Out On Your Own
Survival Tactics For Women In FOSS, part 2
Survival Tactics For Women In FOSS, part 1

Diggable

Linux News: Does Microsoft's Monopoly Power Extend to Government and Media?
By Lxer Day Desk - Nov 22, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-22-2005

Does Microsoft's Monopoly Power Extend to Government and Media? That seems like a rhetorical question given their little power play in Massachusetts. Is now the time to share our experience with the rest of the world?

Diggable

Thankful for Freedom
By DC Parris - Nov 21, 2005
  LXer Thanksgiving Day Feature

Linux News pauses to give thanks for libre software, the libre community, and most of all for freedoms that cannot be easily rescinded.
Report on Banks Choosing Windows Over Linux Twists the Facts
By Lxer Day Desk - Nov 21, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-21-2005

A report in ComputerWorld about Banks choosing Windows over Linux is a copy editor's dream. Too bad, it may never have seen a copy editor. Or if it did, perhaps it was a copy editor in the advertising department.

Diggable

Linux News says Mac OS X could destroy Microsoft
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 20, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-20-2005

Apple can alter its business plan slightly and become the well-liked dominant force in the technology market. Everything Apple needs sits right in front of them for the taking. We're just sitting here waiting to restart global innovation and take the PC to the next step.


Comment of the Day - November 19, 2005 - Novell impressions
By cjcox - Nov 19, 2005
[Ed: Our commentor is a Linux Guru and one of the most knowledgeable IT people we know. He has an inside track on vendors and insight into the market few people can match.- tadelste]

Chris writes: SUSE has certainly gotten a bad rap. The true shame is that Novell is responsible for spreading their own FUD against themselves. Novell doesn't believe in SUSE. Until that changes, Novell doesn't have a chance.

Related to:
Why did SuSE Linux's founder resign from Novell?
LXer Day Desk: The newest “Get the Facts” report
By Hans Kwint - Nov 18, 2005
 LXer Day Desk: 11-18-2005

Two days ago, Microsoft sent out a press release about a study commissioned by Security Innovations, titled “Security Innovation Finds Microsoft Windows Platform More Reliable Than Linux”.

Now, from previous “Get the Facts” studies, we know, what Microsoft states in its press release, and what the report itself states, are often two different things.

Lets look into this study to find out if it made big errors, and lets try to find out how Microsoft distorts the facts found in this report in their press release.
Diggable

Ministers Speak Up, Encourage Action
By DC Parris - Nov 18, 2005

LXer Feature

A small group of ministers spoke out on OpenDocument, challenging Microsoft to support it in their office suite. The reaction we drew was mixed, but largely positive. We simply expressed what many already felt, but words are meaningless unless followed by action.

Diggable
Linux News says Digital Rights Management Picking on the Wrong People
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 18, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-18-2005

The Digital Rights Management (DRM) people think that Open Source Software advocates cause piracy. In my experience, the people pirating their materials use Microsoft Windows. The vast numbers alone should bear that out.

Some astute observers would see that OSS advocates live up to a higher moral standard. If you have ever worked on an OSS project, you would know that pedantic adherence to the rules comes along with self-policing.

Diggable
LXer Feature: What if Microsoft Became Our Friends
By Carla Schroder - Nov 17, 2005
What would happen to Linux, Free Software, and Open Source Software if Microsoft reformed itself? What if Microsoft abandoned their evil, customer-hostile, restraint-of-trade ways, and did a complete turnaround? Would FOSS even have a reason to exist?

Diggable

Linux News says Microsoft Engaged in Persecution and Discrimination
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 17, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-17-2005

Many American conservatives recoil when people bring up the issue of persecution. They call it un-American. We quote the US Constitution when it serves our interests. But when someone is in the minority, reminding the majority of our rights under the constitution means encountering verbal abuse.

So as unpopular as the following argument may seem, let me remind you that a democracy that guarantees citizens certain rights and privileges forms the foundation of our system of government. Vocal incriminations will not change that.

Now, let's take a closer look at some core issues of ethics.
Diggable
Libre Software Resources for Non-Profits
By D.C. Parris - Nov 16, 2005

LXer Feature

Let's face it. deploying computer technology in non-profit organizations can be a real challenge, especially if you don't have a bunch of tech geeks on staff. Well, meet the organizations that will show you how libre software can help you accomplish your mission without having to re-allocate your operational funds to your IT budget. These organizations can guide you from planning to implementation.

Diggable
Linux News Questions Microsoft's Need for a "Get the Facts" campaign?
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 16, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-16-2005

If Microsoft offers a superior product to Linux then why would they need a "Get the Facts" campaign? Over the years, the Redmond computer technology firm has learned that buyers make decisions based on who else uses a product. They know executives will say to themselves, if Rayovac uses it, then it must be good enough.

So what do you see? Just about any time a major publication runs a story about Linux, Microsoft gets them to place a "Get the Facts" advertisements nearby and often right in the middle of the story. That seems pretty suspect to me.

Do you ever wonder if publications run Linux stories just to garner Microsoft's ad money? Or have you considered that desperate times call for desperate measures? It makes me wonder.

Diggable
Comment of the Day - November 15, 2005 - What's not to like?
By Dinotrac - Nov 15, 2005
One of our editors, Don Parris asked : "I'm curious to know what brings you here? If you have recently made us your primary news site, perhaps you'd share your reasons?" Here's an interesting response.

Related to:
Survey: What Brings You to LXer?
Linux News Wary of Gartner Reporting on Microsoft Vista
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 15, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 11-15-2005

Not to suggest that Bill Gates and Michael Dell have any influence on famed Gartner Distinguished Analysts, I tend to look skeptically at their pronouncements. Once Silver Lake Partners, a Silicon Valley private equity-investment firm took an increasing stake in the Gartner, I started pondering the effect of having Bill and Michael as investors in Silver Lake limited partnerships. So, when Gartner said, hold off on Vista until 2008 I started looking for a catch.
Diggable
Comment of the Day - November 13, 2005 - Can't Win for Losing
By ahz - Nov 13, 2005
ahz says: "we use GNOME at our office, and I really like it". But, he has some other comments you should read.

Related to:
Gnome versus KDE on the Corporate Desktop
LXer Feature: We should celebrate Live.com
By Bjorn Stadil, Senior Editor - Nov 13, 2005
In this article, Bjorn suggests we offer Microsoft a laurel and hearty welcome to Live.com. He must know something about this Achilles heel.


How Microsoft's Enterprise Desktop Stifles Linux and How to Fix it
By Tom Adelstein - Nov 13, 2005
Every time I read an article suggesting that Linux cannot budge Microsoft off the Enterprise Desktop, I have a private laugh. If you knew what I did, you would laugh too. The only problem I can see: It's not a laughing matter.

Diggable

Comment of the Day - November 12, 2005 - Why People Switch to Linux
By cstura - Nov 12, 2005
Cstura writes about his experience with computers and why he chose Linux.

Related to the thread:
Why do people switch to Linux
LXer Feature: The Art of Learning New Interfaces (For the Technologically-Challenged)
By DC Parris - Nov 11, 2005
A great many people find new interfaces downright puzzling. However, most interfaces share common features. Having been there and done that, Don Parris shows the technologically challenged how to find their way around nearly any graphical interface, whether it's an operating system GUI or a new office suite.


Diggable
LXer Feature: Survival Guide For Women In FOSS: Striking Out On Your Own
By Carla Schroder - Nov 10, 2005
Most women, when they plan their careers, think in terms of having jobs. But why limit yourself? The computing world is a haven for the self-employed, and the FOSS world supplies tools and opportunities you won't find anywhere else...The whole idea is to do something that you find personally rewarding, get paid for it, and do it your way.

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