Archive for the 'Open Source' Category

Ditching Windows: Why I think Linux May Become More Popular

So, here is the scenario:

You are in charge of an businesses IT decisions and budget. It is time to start upgrading computers. Here are your options: Stay on XP forever, move everything to Vista, switch to Mac, or go with Linux.

1. Stay on XP forever: Every thing in the world of Windows XP is stable. Your employees know how to run it, all of your hardware works, and all of your software works. But XP won’t be supported forever, so eventually, you won’t have drivers for new hardware and the software you buy won’t support XP. This isn’t a next year thing, but within the next 5-7.

2. Move to Vista: I say move, because in my experience, it is not an upgrade. If you move to Vista, you will now have to train all of your employees on how to do many basic functions, as most of them are different then they are in XP. You will also probably have to hire developers, as any software that was created for your company will more than likely not run well, if at all, in Vista with out changes. All employees will also have to be trained on any changes here, as well. Much of your computer equipment will also have to be upgraded/updated. Printers that work fine in XP may not work at all in Vista, and even if it’s “Vista Certified,” that doesn’t mean that it will work flawlessly. Many computers that are not ready to be replaced may not be VISTA ready, so they will need upgrades or need to be replaced even though they work fine with XP.

3. Switch to Mac: Lets face it, Macs are expensive and most companies can not justify spending that much money on computers. You will also have to, again, redevelop most of your programs and train all of your employees.

4. Go with Linux: Training will be a big cost here. Lets face it, it’s not Windows and many users are scared when they get out of their Windows comfort zone. Your IT department should be able to put together a group of apps and a desktop style that is fairly close to the look and feel of windows. You will also have to redevelop many programs for you company. But much, if not all, of the code could be found else where, thanks to open source software. And a lot of hardware is fully compatible with Linux (yes, not all, but, like I said, a lot). Here is the big point, though. COST. Your company will no longer have to pay licensing all all of those computers running Microsoft Software.

I have not been using Linux for all that long, but I keep hearing that companies are scared to make the switch because of the training required and the need to re-develop their software. Most companies will no have to face this with Vista, as well, but Vista and the Office Suite are a heck of a lot more expensive than Linux and an Open Source word processor like

What are your thoughts. I haven’t researched the numbers, but in my logically based mind, it makes sense. I would really love to hear from some people in the field to see if my ideas are that far fetched.

Giving KDE another try

I have been using Linux for about a year now.  I started off using OpenSuse with the KDE desktop environment.  I wasn’t all that impressed with most of the user interfaces in SUSE, so I quickly switched over to Ubuntu, which uses the Gnome desktop environment by default.  I was much more pleased with Ubuntu than I was SUSE and never looked back.  Being relatively new to Linux, I was never relay sure if my preference was from changing desktop environments or from changing distributions.  After feeling conformable with the majority of task I have been doing lately, and hearing about all the great news with KDE 4, I decided to give it another try.  So far I like it, except for on problem, I can’t get KDE 4 to load right.  Worse case scenario, I’ll have to wait for April for Ubuntu/Kubuntu 8.04.

Can’t wait, Linux on Wii

If having Opera on the Wii wasn’t enough, news from Wired has it that linux may soon be on the Wii. I can’t wait. The video explains how they are exploiting a weakness that must be present for the Wii to be backward compatible with Game Cube games.

End of the holidays

Well, today was the official end to my holidays.  I had to go back to work.  I only worked two days last week and four the week before that.  I got thrown right back into things today.  The weather caused mass chaos with 3 foot snow drifts next to our building and planes coming in late.  The holidays were good to me, though.  I got to see my brother who doesn’t come into town near enough for only being a three hour drive away.  My wife and I also got many of the things we were hopping for this Christmas, including a miniDV camcorder, the Wii, Guitar Hero, and a new wide screen monitor.  The camcorder got me to final download some OSS video editing software.  After I get to use all the programs or fall head over heels for one, I will post a review.  I did get use Adiocity just before Christmas to put together some audio for a video for my mom, and thought that was a great program, but again, more of that to come later.

I hate Windows

If you haven’t come to realize it from any of my previous posts, I am not a windows fan. For Christmas, I received a KVM switch so I can run both my Linux box and my wife’s (and when I’m forced to use windows) PC. I also used all of my BestBuy gift cards to get a 19″ wide screen monitor by LG. I had some minor problems getting it set up on Ubuntu, having to change some configure files to get the 1440×900 resolution that the monitor likes best. It was running well within 30 minutes. The Windows PC on the other hand was the monitor upgrade from hell. It initially worked OK, but wouldn’t display in the proper resolution. I tried loading the optimization software that came with the monitor and it prompted me to re-boot. Upon rebooting, upon rebooting, I received a nice little notice that windows was booting in to low resolution, low color mode. The graphics card was only displaying 8 bit color and a resolution about half the size of what the monitor was meant to run. So, everything was huge and only displayed in 16 colors. After an hour and a half of working on it and too many reboots to keep track of, Windows would no longer boot. “Time to format and reinstall, their goes most of tomorrow” I thought. I continued to have problems, like having the wrong key code for the SP version I was installing (I realized I have too many windows disks from over the years). It’s now all up and running. And the monitor looks great!!

Gusty Goblin

Ubuntu 7.10 beta is here!! Code named Gusty Goblin, the new release has me excited (I love new software). I will be trying some of the live CD’s this weekend, I hope. I have wanted to try out Kbuntu, Xbuntu and Edbuntu for some time now, and I think this will be my incentive to try them. Look for my review early next week!!

Unveiling the Desktop (Meme)

Desktop picI got tagged for another Meme by Nick. It’s funny that he tagged me with this, as I was about to post a screen shot of my desktop anyways to show off some eye candy. As you can see, I’m not much for files on my desktop, but I wouldn’t say I currently have a “clean” desktop. Unlike the last 4 people in the tag line, I do not have a Mac, but run Ubuntu Linux. I have installed gDesklets which is running the launcher across the top and the all of the desklets along the left and the weather across the bottom of my desktop.
Now, a question for any Ubuntu users out there: Is there a way to ether a) get different backgrounds when using multiple desktops or b) have rotating images. I have both of these options on my Suse desktop, but I like Ubuntu better on my laptop.
My last order of business is to tag someone else, but my problem is the only blogger that I know that regularly reads my site is the person who tagged me. So, If you are reading this and have your own blog, please leave a comment and let me know that you.

Opera Mini Beta 2 release

I downloaded Opera Mini 4’s second Beta release. There are some neat things that are working great. On top of all the features that were in the first Beta release, they now have a customizable search page, where you can add search fields from all over the web onto one page (all of which you can access just by pressing #9). One of the features I was looking forward to trying, the land scape mode, is not available for BlackBerries. This disappointed be, but I may soon find it in the third Beta release, we shall have to wait and see. On an upside, the Opera Mini team was able to incorporate the normal selection and back buttons on the BlackBerry, so I no longer have to use my qw and op keys. Anyways, after I play around with it some more, I will have another post for you. I have to get off to work though (doh!).

Customizing Firefox

FirefoxAlthough this weekend was very busy, I did get to play around with my Firefox. I knew there were a bunch of plug-ins and extensions, but I never got to play around with many of them, and I just discovered all the themes. All of their add-ons can be found on the Firefox web site. Most Firefox users have herd of Greasemonkey which lets users alter the Java programing or upload other’s User Scrips. I also found Stylish, which lets you do the same thing as Greasemonkey, only for CSS instead of. Now, I won’t tell you how, but, but with a few of the above mentioned add-ons, I was able to get my Firefox to look like the screen shot I posted. What are your favorite Firefox add-ons. I have a few others, but I’m going to save those for later posts.

Opera Mini Update

So I have been using Opera Mini for about two weeks now. I have few complaints about it. The only major complaint, which may be with my cell provider and not Opera, is that they have 9 different network setups. When the user prompts it to, Opera Mini does an auto optimization test, but I’m not quite sure what that does. For whatever reason, when I’m at work, I have to run this test up to 4 times a day. This will happen when I move from the south end of the building to the north end. I have a feeling that I am between two towers, but I don’t know why I have to keep running this test. If I don’t, the browser will be extremely slow, and sometimes won’t load pages at all, but as soon as I run the test, I’m off and running like normal. But hey, a minor inconvenience for a great piece of FREE software.