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Bill Gates and Microsoft have dominated the computer operating system almost from the outset of personal computing with the 'Windows OS' brand. (henceforth WOS) It is a situation which causes danger to personal data and even national security due to it notorious flaws. Whether due to ideological reasons or simple market dominance, hackers probe for vulnerabilities, find them and then exploit the holes they find for whatever their purpose.

An alternative is needed.

Take the red pill and the jump...

Mac OS can be as vulnerable to malicious attack if the user is careless...

Do we need what the malware protectors are selling? Can we trust them to provide us with protection? What do the results show so far?
As to the need, there are still no viruses of substance to report; same with worms; both of which could be dangerous to Mac users.
Will the malware protectors provide Mac users with protection before said malware strikes? Thus far, they have not. Finally, what do the results show so far?
FUD. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt emanating from malware protectors.
It’s the FUD I want to remove, and it’s protection I want to have. For now, common sense and Mac OS X seem to be doing a better job than the malware protectors.

With care, a Mac user can stay safe, but anyone who has tried to protect a Windows machine knows how difficult it can be, especially if it is a shared machine.

What's the alternative? Open source software. (OSS)

In the last few years the development of OSS operating systems has seen the rise of a large number of Linux based operating systems almost all of which are almost infinitely better at denying a malicious attack. I say 'almost' because after all, the systems are coded by humans, nobody is perfect and the risk is not zero.

Read this for some guidance on which to choose...

If you are just moving from the MS to the GNU World you might be asking yourself right now what distro should I install on my box?, along with a whole bunch of other questions like will Linux run on my box? Will it be hard? Will I find help online if I run into an issue, just to mention some of the questions that run into your mind right now.

This mini How-To tries to answer those and more questions starting from the most basic ones.

Will Linux run in my box?, the answer to this is yes, Linux runs on everything, If you have an old toaster with storage capabilities and memory you can install Linux on it!, How is this possible? Well, Linux is supported for most human known processors from i386 (old Intel), k7 (old AMD) to a64 (AMD 64), ppc, sparc, alpha, x86-64, and so on. As you can see the question is no longer will it run on my box, but, what kind of box do I have.

When selecting your Linux distro you need to have 2 things in mind, first what kind of computer you have, and what do you want to do on your Linux box.

It is no coincidence that I write this on the release of the next Ubuntu update. Code named Maverick Meercat, 10.10 represents the latest choice for users of the most popular of Linux based operating systems. Click on that link for more options. There are scores, if not hundreds out there.

Ubuntu has become popular because of its ease of user crossover from WOS, and the Open Office software bundled with it. Open Office is also OSS and free to install, even on your Windows machine! The inclusion of the productivity suite, along with Firefox and now a very efficient aggregator of on-line social activities, the MeMenu, and cloud computing, puts Ubuntu at the front edge of innovation.

Don't get me wrong, most of the leading flavours of 'nix operating systems are just as productive and flexible. It's just that I'm a Ubuntu user, and have been since I (this computer n00b) rescued a dead IBM laptop with a PABX install disk and swiftly followed by Dapper Drake 6.06. Oh... fun times working through the bugs in those early days with the ever patient forum helpers.

That's a story that probably doesn't need to be told since those bugs have been long squashed, and the future belongs to working through hardware compatibility issues with manufacturers. With the rise of Ubuntu, Red Hat, Linux Mint and other flavours (heh), those problems may soon disappear.

Recently Microsoft has suggested that sick computers should be excluded from the Internet until they have been cleaned of viruses, malware etc.

Sick PCs should be banned from the net says Microsoft

Botnets can contain millions of machines Virus-infected computers that pose a risk to other PCs should be blocked from the net, a senior researcher at software giant Microsoft suggests. The proposal is based on lessons from public health, said Scott Charney of the firm's trustworthy computing team.

It is designed to tackle botnets - networks of infected computers under the control of cybercriminals. Putting machines in temporary quarantine would stop the spread of a virus and allow it to be cleaned.

"Just as when an individual who is not vaccinated puts others' health at risk, computers that are not protected or have been compromised with a bot put others at risk and pose a greater threat to society," he said in a blog post.
"In the physical world, international, national, and local health organisations identify, track and control the spread of disease which can include, where necessary, quarantining people to avoid the infection of others.
"Simply put, we need to improve and maintain the health of consumer devices connected to the internet in order to avoid greater societal risk."

So, how do you go about swapping from WOS to a Linux system?

Well, I'm going to put you on a path from which if you choose it, you may never return... but likely never regret:

Four ways to give desktop Linux a test drive

The corporate world is catching on too...

11 Biggest Open Source Success Stories That Are Changing The World As We Know It
Posted by rationalbeing on Monday, August 23, 2010 / Labels: Featured, OpenSource

According to Fortune, Open Source is slowly gaining acceptance in the corporate world. More and more corporates are beginning to see the merits of Open Source and have started embracing it. But all these changes didn't happened overnight. It was rather a painful journey. 'Sharing' was never a good thing for Corporates until recently. These changes were largely brought about by a string of Open Source success stories that happened over the years.

There's really no reason why you can't. Go on, give it a spin...

I forgot to mention, Ubuntu looks good too!


There appears to have been some concern that a new user would be left out in the cold without help with their new Linux system.

Here is a thread which just popped up in the forums, resulting from a question from an admitted Windows advanced user. I'll post his/her question here, and let you head over to the thread to see the response...

which distro: asus w3z\stable\fast\multitask

all right, here's yet another "which distro" question from a newbie. Took the distro test and dug distrowatch but couldn't make up my mind!

I don't have much time playing around with installations or live CDs, so I'd like to find the right distro right away.

So, first, my hardware is ASUS w3z laptop, main specs are:
AMD Turion™ 64 Mobile Technology, 128KB L2 cache, 25W, MT-30/MT-32/MT-34/MT-37/ MT-40
ATI Radeon® Xpress® 200m
DDR333, 1G
ATI Radeon® Xpress® X200, 32MB
100 GB 2.5" 9.5mm IDE HDD w Ultra DMA133 / S.M.A.R.T.

1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
1 x Headphone-out jack (SPDIF)
1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x RJ11 Modem jack for phone line
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
3 x USB 2.0 ports, 1x IEEE 1394 port
1 x TV Out (S-Video composite)
1 x Type II PCMCIA 2.1 compliant
1 x SIR-115.2Kbps supported
1 x Infrared Port

My typical work scenario involves massive multitabbed web browsing, multiple documents (mostly pdf) viewing, documents editing and some peer to peer (mostly bitorrent). I use my laptop in different houses and offices, so I need to often change network configuration and peripherals (i.e.: printers, modems) set up.

Speed (including boot time), stability and responsiveness are my main goals. I'm (no lynching here) a windows advanced user, never tried linux but I'm willing to spend some time tweaking if that's needed at the beginning in order to put together a stable machine.

So I need: - fast and stable multitasking - not insanely complicated installation and later updating, package installing, etc. - customizable desktop environment - excellent file manager with ability to search for words inside documents, pdf\doc previews, operating on multiple (including win) partitions, file details, etc. - a desktop manager that allows for fast windows switching and content display - excellent pdf management, rendering, editing etc. - easy network management to get peer to peer working behind diverse network situations (wireless hag, Lan cable, etc.) - decent peripherals recognition (nothing weird, I'm talking about external mouse, printers, USB drives, cameras, scanners, extra monitor, etc. but they frequently change) - ability to read\write windows partitions - community support (i expect things not working

I'm not sure my hardware will perform well under some SUSE or Ubuntu; Mint, too, sounds very tempting in terms of easy of use\installation, but similar concerns. So I was thinking more of Lubuntu for speed,; also gOS desktop environment looks interesting.

Sorry this was long.

What d'you guys think?!


Originally posted to Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 06:43 AM PDT.


Will you give Linux a spin?

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