Posts Tagged ‘windows’

The Linux share of computers around the world is increasing, and people are beginning to notice that there are more operating systems than just “Microsoft” and “Apple”. My personal tendency is toward Linux, mostly because, unlike Windows, it doesn’t treat you like an idiot. The best thing about it? It’s free. Anyhow, it seems that the French national police have discovered that they can cut their IT costs by an amazing 70% simply by making the switch from Windows to Linux.

According to the article:

Until 2004, a large part of the IT budget was spent on software licences — between 12,000 and 15,000 licenses each year. In 2004, an accountant in the Gendarmerie Nationale tried OpenOffice and, after finding it a surprisingly competent replacement for its paid counterpart, started pushing for it to be adopted within the organization instead of Microsoft Office.

After a while, the police force completely switched over to OpenOffice for all their office needs along with adopting Thunderbird for email and Firefox for browsing. The switch was easy and required little to no training since the open source apps had a similar interface to the paid ones.

In 2007, they decided to go one step further and switch to an open operating system.

Now that’s gotta hurt Microsoft’s pocket just a little bit. Still, that’s a minor loss compared to entire countries (Russia and Cuba, for example) abandoning Microsoft altogether.

My personal recommendation is that you at the VERY least go take a look at what the fuss is all about. If you head over to the Ubuntu website, you can ask them to ship you a free Ubuntu Linux CD. Not a trial version, but a full, working operating system. Best thing? You can try it before you install it and see if you like it.

[Link: Unixmen – French police switch from Windows to Linux]

[Link: Unixmen – Cuba says ‘No More Microsoft’, joins the Linux bandwagon]

[Link: OSNews – Russia to develop nationwide alternative to Windows]

[Link: Ubuntu Linux]


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Network World has an interesting list of the worst uses they’ve seen for Microsoft’s premier disaster, Windows. Some of those uses are seriously odd–there are always alternatives one would hope. One of my favorite uses:

To display a static green arrow over the open TSA security lanes at Detroit Metro.

I kid you not, at the main security checkpoint to get into Detroit
Metro there are monitors over each metal detector. The ONLY thing
those monitors ever display is a big green arrow pointing down. Oh,
occasionally they display a blue screen with a Windows error notice.

The only other daft use I can think of for Windows is as a primary operating system…

[Link: Network World]

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Many people tend to use the operating system that their computers come with, frequently without any idea that alternatives are available. Usually, this operating system is Microsoft Windows. Occasionally, those users may have heard of this “Linux” that exists out there in the geekosphere, but aren’t sure what it actually is, or what it entails. So here’s a quick primer.

Linux is an operating system, much like Windows or Mac OS. It’s the interface between you and the computer, and enables you to run programs and applications. The chief difference between Windows and Linux is that (mostly) Linux is free. Linux also exists in several flavors, or distributions, and the differences between them are insignificant for the uninitiated. Currently, one of the most user-friendly ones for people coming from Windows is Ubuntu Linux, which by default comes pre-installed with web-browser, office software, media player, and all sorts of other goodies that you’d either have to download or buy were you stuck in a Windows system.

In fact, if you wanted to check your options, take a look at these 25 reasons to convert to Linux–it’s actually a smarter choice. And if you were worried that you wouldn’t be able to run your favorite Windows programs? Worry not: most Windows programs have an equivalent or can run on Linux. At last resort, you can always install Windows as a virtual system within Linux!

[Link: 25 Reasons to Convert to Linux]

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At the Child Support Enforcement Department in Helena, Montana, USA, all the Windows games (you know the ones: Solitaire, Minesweeper, Hearts, and FreeCell) were removed from the computers (just like at a certain company we all know and love so much).

“If state employees have time to play computer games, then there are too many state employees.”

My question is, do you think an employee is entitled to spend their lunch break relaxing with a nice game of minesweeper? Or, as is said in the article:

“If state employees are playing computer games during their lunch hours, [they’re] encouraged instead to take a break and leave computers.”


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