Internet Connectors intention is to inform people on how to use today’s computer technology to enhance your day to day lives. Often this new technology is perceived to be to complex to use, however when shown and given the proper instructions, this should not be the case.
Much of the software technology we talk about is freely available software called “open source software” ie. Firefox web browser, Linux Mint. This “open source software” is free to use forever and there is never a cost to you, period. All the “open source software” programmers are asking for are donations to keep these software projects alive and to continue updating their software. Is that a lot to ask for a freely given out software that is often better designed and programmed then commercially available software? What more can you ask for?
The “open source software” that we will discuss here is mainly only available in Linux based computers, however some of the open source software is designed to work in both Linux and Windows ie. Firefox web browser. This blog is mostly geared towards the Linux version and users.
Linux based computers are nothing more then your average home desktop computer running a Linux based operating system instead of a Windows based operating system. Most later model desktop computers will run a Linux based operating system just fine and in most cases faster and more stable, needing less computer resources. You’ll find Linux Mint www.LinuxMintNow.com the easiest flavor of a Linux distribution to transition over from Windows.
In the past, Linux was difficult to install on computer, however since many of the hardware manufacturers now provide the Linux drivers for their hardware, it’s not much of an issue any more. Hardware manufacturers are now on board with Linux because they see the potential of future sales. With Russia’s government and their schools now switching over to Linux from Microsoft by 2015, the masses here will soon wake up and see the potential of open source software.
Now with that being said, let us show you some of the open source projects that maybe of interest to you giving your old computer a new life. You will be surprised what an old computer can be used for. Don’t throw it out just yet. You’ll see what we mean.
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You must of noticed for yourself the blunders Microsoft has made with Windows 8 (no start button), now adding one in 8.1. First there was talk of Windows 9 coming out, now they decided to call it Windows 10. I’m also hearing they may offer Windows 10 for free. Could it be from the pressures they are feeling from Apple offering free upgrades and Linux making more inroads into the desktop area? I read HP is interested in developing a Linux operating system for their pc’s. As Linux keeps on getting better and better, the pressure keeps mounting for Microsoft to perform and put more money into advertising.
Linus Torvalds (The inventor of Linux) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds recently stated he wants to dominate the desktop operating system world. Linux has practically dominated every other computer environment, why not the desktop?
With Google making inroads into the office suite world with there free Google docs that is in direct competition with Microsoft’s office suite, and Windows 8 turning out to be a design and marketing nightmare for Microsoft, are they going to be able to right their Titanic type sinking ship? Throw in the Microsoft’s version of a tablet, the Surface, that is not selling very well, will they pull out of this tailspin?
Personally, they are going to have to pull a miracle rabbit out of their hat, but I don’t see that coming anytime in the future. Here are my reason I don’t think they can do it:
- The computer operating system war is heating up in so many directions. With Linux now a excellent choice to use on most desktop/laptop machines and Apple with their solid operating system and computers, this gives you solid choices instead of Windows.
- Microsoft is now playing catchup with Google in the web based office suite arena. Google docs came out first and now has a substantial market share in this area.
- Microsoft’s Surface (tablet) is also so very late in the game. There are so many quality and inexpensive Android type tablets already out there, like the Google’s Nexus line, why go with the Surface?
With Microsoft’s sinking burning Titanic ship, that can’t steer around these massive obstacles in front of them, I wouldn’t be buying any Microsoft stock anytime soon, if I were you.
Why are people still buying into the commercial operating systems like Windows 8? Have you read the various reviews on how non-user friendly Windows 8 is? They designed it to have a tablet look and feel to it. The button icons on the desktop are huge. They were designed that way so if you had a touchscreen, you couldn’t miss them with your fingers. That’s great if you have a touchscreen computer, but what if you don’t? It takes up a ton of turf on your desktop. From what I’ve read and heard, it’s not easy to change it back to a normal desktop that most people are accustom to. Enough bashing of Windows 8. There’s a ton on the Internet if you do a search.
If you are looking for a traditional looking desktop, with the look and feel of your old windows, you got to give Linux Mint 14 (mate version) a try. I’ve been using it now for about a month and I’ve found it to be rock solid stable. Try it on an old desktop or laptop if have to. See what Linux and open source software can do for you for free.
Once you burn the ISO of Linux Mint 14 to a DVD, you can then try it in the Live DVD mode without doing any harm to your present operating system. Boot your computer with Linux Mint 14 DVD and you are in the Live mode. Try the operation system and the various programs that come with Linux Mint 14 and see how it runs on your computer. Keep in mind, since it is running off of the Live DVD, everything will be running slower until you install the operating system on your hard drive of your computer. To get Linux Mint 14, go to http://www.linuxmint.com
Note: There are various version of Linux Mint under the download button. I prefer Linux Mint 14 (mate version, 32 bit). If you know you have a 64 bit compatible computer, you can use that version, however if you are unsure, the 32 version will work on most all computers.
Google is now starting to charge for more and more of their services. You could see the writing on the wall that they were going to start charging for their business services. So far they have been smart enough not to charge for individual personal Gmail accounts and Google docs. Hopefully, they will draw the line there. If they don’t, the public will look elsewhere for an email client and Googles pubic relations reputation for free services to non business users will take a huge hit.
Google could go a long way if they would announce publicly that individual gmail accounts will stay free, period. I definitely will be keeping an eye on this ongoing story.
Microsoft Office now has some fierce competition on there hands. It’s about time. Their stranglehold on the office suite of applications is going to be cooked by the likes of Google Documents and LibreOffice (free open source software) http://www.libreoffice.org/
I’ve been using LibreOffice’s suite of office programs for years, however Google Documents has really opened my eyes to the power of what Google can bring to the table. We use Google Documents paid enterprise version at work because it does offer a few more features, but non of them are show stoppers for the average home user or small business.
To get set up and use Google’s free office suite of programs (word processor, spreadsheet, power point presentation program, drawing program) all you have to do is get a Google email account. Once you have your email account set up, click on the documents tab above and you are there. Simple as that.
Let me give you a run down on some of the main reasons Google Documents has it going on:
- There is no programs to buy (all free). The suite of programs are all web based programs in the clouds.
- All your documents are stored automatically encrypted on Google’s servers in the clouds.
- Since all your documents are in the clouds, you can get at them from any computer and smart phone that has a web browser and an Internet connection.
- You can put these documents in a shared mode so everyone that has an Google gmail account that you want to share them with has access to them.
- In the suite of the programs you have Google chat that also allows video conferencing, and while your video conferencing you can bring up documents to share and work on together in real time.
These are just some of the highlights Google is bringing to the table all for free. There are many more features, just to long of a list and more being added all the time.
Microsoft, watch out for Google, they want your head.
I’ll take a decent laptop computer over any tablet computer any day. Can you really type that well on a virtual keyboard on a tablet compared to a conventional keyboard on a laptop? I don’t think so. Of course the screen on most tablets are much smaller compared to laptop computers like the one I’m using (15.4 inch screen).
I suppose I can see some of the upside of using a tablet computer like it’s generally smaller (including the screen) and lighter, but is it really worth it for most home and office users of a computer? The answer is mostly no, no and no.
The hype that Apple sold about tablets was done with a ton of their cash in advertisement, like they do for any of there products. Apple made their money on their tablets being the first in, but now that the fad is over, the manufacturers that are late to get in the game may not fare so well.
If you have the money to burn and you just want have fun viewing media, a tablet might be right for you. If you want to be more productive and have fun viewing and editing media, a laptop computer will leave a tablet computer in the dust.
Valve confirms Steam and Source for Linux, signals low confidence for Windows 8
Another sign Linux will be running the most popular video games in the near future. It’s a matter of time before you get on board and start running Linux as your desktop operating system.
If you would like to listen to what’s new about Linux Mint and other information regarding open source software, checkout the Linux Mint MintCast at http://www.mintcast.org Click on an episode and the audio should start playing with an audio player you have installed in your computer. You will find the hosts of the show very knowledgeable about Linux Mint and other computer related topics of interest. Your also guaranteed a few laughs with the chemistry between them.
With the upcoming release of Windows 8, not everyone is getting so excited. If you read through this article http://www.extremetech.com/computing/121015-windows-8-may-drive-me-to-linux Written by Matthew Murray of Extremetech.com , you’ll understand why there is a real consideration for many people to switch over to Linux.
Basically, he is saying if Microsoft doesn’t change the pre-release version of Windows 8 to something that is more Windows centric for the final release, he is going to switch to Linux as a desktop operating system.