Battlefield Survival Guide (by Wild Bill Raider and Marc "Bayonet" Bellizzi)
Do you want to tell me anything?
What's all this GNU/Linux thing?
GNU/Linux is an Operatve System, just like Windows or MacOS.
Is based on Unix Operatve System, that has been working and getting tunned-up for the alst 30 years. But is
different to others in that is freee. This means that you can legaly copyr, sell, lend, use, modify... all what
you want to do and all those actions are legal. On the other hand, this is not true with neither Windows
nor with MacOS. If you do such a things with them, you are commiting a crime. Also, Linux is multiplatform,
that is, works in nearly anthing that resembles to a computer. Some examples:
- Intel-compatible computers, equal or better than a i386 (like Intel i386, i486, Pentium, PentiumPro, Celeron, Pentium II...; AMD K5, K6, K6-2, K6-3, Athlon, Duron; Cyrix; els IBM...)
- Apple computers, included iMac, G3, G4...
- Computers with Motorola 68xx CPUs
- SPARC Servers and Workstations
- Servers with Alpha CPUs
- 'Embeded' systems, like digital VCS systems, phones,...
Cost: the most visible difference
Having a personal computer, with an office suite, a program for digital
image processing, multimedia players-mp3 encoders, applications to develop webpages, security for
internet ussage (firewalls), software to record
CD-Rs,... has a nearly zero cost on Linux. It is absolutely legal for a friend to lend you some Linux
CDs, so you can install all of this for a cost of zero dollars. Even more, it can be used for any number of
Don't you think for a minute that when you are buying a computer you are getting
for free Windows, MS-Office and all those programs. You are really paying for all that. Nobody
can give for free anything from Microsoft. It is ilegal to do so. The cost of all that is included in
the price in the computer.
What's the cost of all that in Windows?
Let's think of a system, more or less similar to Linux. I mean, similar in
stability and performance. Of course, to act inside the law, all those programs can only be used
by a single member of your family. If your family has, let's say, three computer users. you would need
to multiply the cost by three!
|Data obtained from BestBuy and GlobalComputer
|Operative System MS-Windows 2000
|Office suite MS-Office 2000 Standard
|Image processing program, Adobe Photoshop 6.0
|MP3 encoder/player Music Match JukeBox
|Webpage editor MS-Front Page 2000
|Norton Internet Security 2001
|Roxio (formerly Adaptec) Easy CD Creator 4.0
The not-so-obvious advantage: Freedom.
Linux is, above all, Freedom (in capital letters, please). Even though it is much more
stable than Windwos, even though it is a truly multi-user system, even though its cost is close to zero, the
best thing that we get with Linux is Freedom.
Let's start by the time of getting Linux You have the freedom of choice. Choose to get it
through any of those options: someone can lend it to you, someone can give you a copy, you can download it
from internet, you can buy it to someone that burns CDs and you can buy it to any of the "brands" or to the
distributors. All this is legal.
On the other hand, other Operative Systems (and other programs) can only be acquired to an
authorised dealer, you cannot copy it, you cannot lend it. You cannot do anything like in Linux because it is
against the law. If you are doing something like this on Windows, you are breaking the law. No joke here.
Let's talk now about the graphical interface. They say that Linux is like the old
MS-DOS. This is as far from the truth as you can get. First of all, the graphical interfaces on Unix systems
(Linux is a Unix system), has been around for more time than the equivalent graphical interfaces from
Microsoft or Apple. Take a look to some screenshots of my
system. Or take a llok tothis web,where you have a representation
of Linux's most popular desktops. And Gnome and KDE are far more beautiful than Windows. Here you have a web dedicated to Linux Themes.
Those Linux pages are a compilation of tricks from all over the internet and from the knowledge acquired in
my day-to-day use of Linux. Very useful has been, specialy for the Netscape's section, MandrakeUser.Org that, even though has lots of information, it's only