Never a better time to switch to Linux

With Microsoft having launched their new Vista operating system on an unwilling public, there’s never been a better time to abandon Microsoft to their fate and switch to either Linux or an Apple Mac.

Not only has Vista been a more effective Linux advert than anything Microsoft have done previously, it coincides with the rise of some VERY nice and easy to use distributions of Linux. Before I go on, I’d like to thank two major players here…..Microsoft and Ubuntu.

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Going commando on the internet

Contrary to popular belief; Microsoft is NOT a PC, nor is a PC Microsoft. For most of us have learned what we know from friends, family and acquaintances……all of whom have asked the same question which is based on an assumption. “What version of Windows are you using?

Given the dominance of Microsoft in the marketplace it’s an understandable assumption that everyone else does use Windows. The idea that anything else can exist does not even cross many users minds, so the things that are almost exclusive to Windows are seen as “PC” issues……not the accurate label of “Microsoft” issues.

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The participation ratio

Recently Dell asked their customers if they’d like to be given the option of Linux instead of Windows as the pre-installed operating system on their new PC and were overwhelmed by the numbers who said “yes“.

Some on that feedback forum complained that the ratio wasn’t accurate because the “Linux geeks brought all their friends in to make it appear to be a higher demand than it is, and that normal people still want Windows.

So what’s the reality? I’d say a bit of both…..let me explain.

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Why won’t they believe us?

Sometimes I just sit back and laugh, imagining the frustration of the PR department at the core of the New Labour spin machine. I can picture every one of them shouting the same phrase at the TV……”why won’t they believe us?

Next week the people of Scotland and Wales elect a government, the people of England elect local government, and the New Labour spin machine is hitting hard with the “independence will destroy Scotland” line…….and they are being ignored. I wonder why.

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Return of the mainframe?

The PC has evolved from being standalone machines which don’t talk to each other, through dumb terminals which get their resources and documents from a central mainframe, to a combination of both as we have now. Our PCs are now more connected on OUR terms than ever before…although this may be another phase, if we all follow the Google marketing plans.

Microsoft have set the interaction method we are all used to with our PCs. They made us expect to see the “start” button at the bottom left, the clock at the bottom right etc. They made us expect the Office suite as it is. They don’t innovate much, but rather buy designs from others, and brand them as Microsoft. This does not change the fact that they set the bar.

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Mandriva Linux finds Speedtouch USB DSL

I’ve been planning to switch over from Windows XP Pro to Linux for a long time now, I’ve seen a better world, but my software requirements and PC hardware has held me back……now the last of the technical objections has been swept away.

Over the next week or so I’ll be sorting out my back up situation, clearing out old files etc…..then making the switch to Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring One. I’ll finally be 100% Linux……a day I’ve been looking forward to for so long.

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Who is going to kill Luke Skywalker?

One of the things which strike me about the “Legacy Of The Force” era of the Expanded Universe is the reluctance to kill off the Original Trilogy characters. Jacen Solo is now 40 ish? He’s a fully grown man. Han was about 30 in SW4, add another 8 or 9 to the Thrawn Trilogy where Jacen was born…..and you have a man close to 80…..yet he’s still being treated like a young-ish middle aged man for the action.

These characters are not immortal. They have to die at some point. The “New Jedi Order” series killed off Chewbacca and Anakin…..personally I was stunned at both because they were central characters on the hero’s side…..but since then, nothing.

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