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Shutting Down Windows: A Hobbyist's Guide to Linux

Shutting Down Windows: A Hobbyist's Guide to Linux




Author: David Torre
Editing: Mathew Tschirgi, Cecil Casey, Matt Barton
Online Layout: David Torre
Screenshots: David Torre

If you've been on the web as long as I have, chances are you have heard of Linux. This operating system has been slowly gaining popularity in the last 10 years and is being developed at a rapid pace. Linux is a well-rounded operating system suited for just about any task. I could go into the specifics of setting up this OS for general use, but there are hundreds of guides (The Linux documentation Project, Gentoo Handbook) on the Internet that do that far better than I could. Rather, I'd like to focus on why you should use Linux instead of the popular Windows operating system. Linux's status as free, fast, secure, customizable and compatible makes it a worthy alternative to Windows.

Certainly Linux has many merits; however, perhaps the most significant is that it is free. In the words of the Free Software Foundation, that means “‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer’”1. Under the GNU General Public License (GPL), the source code for Linux is freely available, and you are free to make modifications and share them with the community, as long as you also give others the same rights that were given to you. You might not be a programmer, but while having source code access may not be useful to you directly, you might find that it is useful indirectly – I'll explain this in detail later. Most Linux distributions can be downloaded off the Internet free of charge, and you'll find that the vast majority of software on this platform is also free or very close to it.

WinZip Registration Popup Window
Remember, if you don't register it after the evaluation period, it's illegal to have.
This inexpensiveness is one of Linux's greatest strengths. Feel free to install as many programs as you want – you'll rarely see a single pop up window nagging you to register your program for a fee. Sure, other operating systems have their share of free software (in price), but I'd argue that the quality of the free software on Linux is much higher than that of free software on Windows. For example, I have not come across a completely free graphics product on Windows that is as complete as the GIMP2. Unlike free programs like Microsoft Paint which is included with Windows, with the GIMP you can do things like make custom brushes, use filters, and convert from/to multiple image formats. I have also not seen a free Office suite on Windows that is as nearly as robust as OpenOffice.org. This suite has a word processor, a design tool, a spreadsheet, and presentation software, among other applications. The word processor alone is good enough for me to type up this article and revise it with my colleagues. It seems like the best “free” software on Windows is actually shareware, which usually means limited features in hopes of getting you to pay for a full version. A good example of shareware is WinZip, which technically you can use without paying forever, but each time it opens you are asked to pay for the full version.

This brings me to another point. Because the majority of Windows software is either shareware or completely commercial, many Windows users with limited incomes (minors as well as adults) are driven to illegally copy software. If one is to be productive on their PC, and cannot afford to purchase software such as Microsoft Office($399) and Adobe Photoshop CS($649) that person is usually left with no other option than to crack or illegally download software. Software is manufactured usually in an all-or-nothing mindset, in which you either get a robust, feature-filled version for a high price or an extremely crippled and limited version for free or for a modest price. Now, consider if these users had the opportunity to use free tools that had all the functionality they really needed? I admit Nero is nice, but am I really going to use half of its features to burn CDs? K3B, a free CD burning package, has quite a robust feature set and does everything I need it to do – and I do not have to pay for it. Many Linux users can say with confidence that they do not have a single pirated application on their computer – how many Windows users can say that?

File and MP3 Renamer Registration Popup
$19.95 to register this? You must be joking.
This is not to say that Linux does not have commercial software; it's just that one does not require commercial software to be productive on Linux. I have paid for two software applications on Linux, both of them are software applications that allow me to use Windows software. I really don't mind paying for the occasional application on Linux. It's just that I dislike being constantly nagged to pay for programs – especially when those programs are so simple that I could write a shell script in 15 minutes that would accomplish the same thing.

Linux is a fast operating system. Part of what makes Linux so fast is the fast filesystems that it supports. Unlike Windows that only supports a basic filesystem, Linux allows you to choose from multiple efficient filesystems, the most popular of which are ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS. One of these filesystems, ReiserFS, squishes small files together in the same area of the disk so you may store more data on the same disk. It also is remarkably fast. Have you ever tried to copy a folder on Windows that contained many thousands of tiny files and noticed how slow it was? This does not happen with ReiserFS because of the way the data is stored. ReiserFS, like other Linux filesystems, is journaled, which means that a log is kept on each successful write. This means that you can never corrupt your files and have to run a utility like ScanDisk to recover data or space. Defragmenting a hard disk is also usually completely unnecessary because of the efficiency of the Linux filesystems.

For those that are concerned about gaming performance, you can rest assured that the latest Nvidia drivers are made available for Linux. Although ATI does provide Linux drivers, they are not kept as up-to-date as the Nvidia ones on the Linux platform. Even when you play Windows games on Linux, it is a native implementation (not an emulator). This means that you will not have to endure a significant framerate drop to play games in Linux.

Networking in Linux is also much more reliable than in Windows. Unlike Windows, Linux and other Unix systems were designed from the ground up with networking in mind. Windows, on the other hand, had networking tacked on through the still-widely-used Winsock technology. This means that Linux users enjoy stable, always working network connections. With an ssh server running on one's machine, you can truly access your machine from anywhere. I currently use the gnump3d music server to listen to my music files from work.

Linux is truly one of the most secure operating systems out there. There are virtually no viruses on Linux. This is due in a large part to the separation of user and root privileges in Linux. Just about every program on Linux runs as a unprivileged user with no write access to anywhere on the hard disk except the user's home directory. Even if a malicious program was able to be executed, it would have no write access to the program directories it needed to spread. For normal day-to-day use, a limited user account is perfectly adequate. If you need administrative privileges (for instance, to install software), you can do so by typing “su” at the shell followed by the root password. A common practice is to temporarily “su” to root to install a piece of software then typing “exit” to change back to a limited user.

You'd think that the availability and transparency of source code on Linux leads to more exploitation of security holes. Amazingly, it is quite the opposite. Source code transparency ensures security holes in software are quickly found and repaired. After all, on Linux, a user doesn't have to wait for Microsoft to fix a bug. Oftentimes experienced programmers are able to submit patches to source code trees to fix problems before they become epidemics.

The componentized design of Linux is a great asset to Linux's security. Many basic OS functions that are part of everyday use, such as cron (a program scheduler) and XFree86 (the basic GUI framework) can be interchangeably replaced with alternatives that have the same basic functionality. This is possible thanks to the openness of the source code as well as Linux's great design. One can install and use dcron or fcron instead of vixie-cron for a scheduling service, or X.org instead of XFree86 for a GUI framework. Although one can use alternative programs on Windows to minimize the risk of viruses, it is not possible to replace Windows components such as Task Scheduler, Device Manager, and the GUI framework at the microcode level.

The customization options available in the Linux operating system make it, like so many other Unices, a true hobbyist OS. I use the word “hobbyist” in the same way that the Commodore 64 and Amiga systems were “hobbyist” computers. With Linux, computing is fun again! If you know a Linux user, chances are he or she is working on a project. Say that you want to put together the ultimate user-friendly media server. It is not uncommon for a Linux person to put together a shell script for a project like this.

Speaking of scripting and programming, Linux is truly a programmer's best friend. Advanced scripting capabilities are built directly into the shell – think of MS-DOS Batch files on steroids. Want to rename a bunch of mp3s all at once? Do it with a one line shell script. If I had a bunch of compressed files I wanted to extract at once, I'd type something like “for x in *.tar.gz; do tar xvfz $x; done”. It sounds complicated, but once you get into the shell, it becomes second nature and you'll wonder how you ever got by without one. If you have a scripting task that is more suited for a dedicated scripting language, fire up a python or perl interpreter and fire away. Of course, for those who prefer compiled code, you can code in C++ without buying expensive development tools like Visual C++.

Scalability is one of the best assets of Linux. I see many Windows power users turning off every graphical effect in Windows to speed things up. Imagine if these users had the option to replace the bulky Windows GUI with a slimmer, faster one – they'd set this up in a second, right? Well, as you may have guessed, you can do this too on Linux. If you are the type of person that would like to get every millisecond of performance out of your system, you can switch to something minimalistic like TWM or Blackbox. If you ever wondered how fast your system would run with a GUI slim enough to run on a 386, you can wonder no more. You would think that that would be enough configurability for just about everyone, but Linux allows you to go even farther. If you are nuts about pushing the most performance out of your game, you can set up X to launch your game instead of a window manager! Personally, I like GUIs that are full featured and full of graphical effects, so I have been known to be comfortable using either KDE or Enlightenment.

World of Warcraft running under Linux
Cedega allows you to play games like World of Warcraft
under Linux (click to enlarge)
Linux is extremely compatible. A Linux machine can read NTFS, FAT, Macintosh, and even Amiga partitions! Support for nearly every piece of hardware imaginable is in the Linux kernel – and you can set it up to load only what you need! Of course, most users are concerned about running Windows software and games under Linux. Windows support under Linux is done using Wine, a recursive acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”. Wine is free to use, but some of the more cutting edge support is done with commercial versions of Wine. Rest assured, these will be some of the only pieces of software you'll need to buy on Linux. Crossover Office ($40) is a great general-purpose commercial version of Wine. With it, you can run much-depended-on applications like Adobe Photoshop, the Microsoft Office suite, Trillian, Internet Explorer and iTunes. There's even support for using Windows browser plugins under Linux, so you'll never need to boot Windows to enjoy the latest QuickTime movie trailer. For gaming, Linux users can use TransGaming Wine, now known as Cedega. This subscription service is only $5 a month (you can cancel your subscription if you don't need/want to keep current) and allows you to play games like Half Life 2 and World of Warcraft in Linux. Cedega subscribers get to vote on new features and new games supported, so the monthly fee is worth every penny. Cedega's programming team works hard to ensure popular games are supported within days of release.

Linux compatibility extends to emulation, as well. Most of the popular Windows emulators such as MAME, ZSNES, Daphne, Dosbox and UAE already have Linux ports. There is also a number of Linux-exclusive emulation projects. Retrogaming hardware also is widely supported – I use a USB-connected X-Arcade controller for most games, and a cheap Gamecube-to-USB adapter to use my Gamecube controller in games that require an analog joystick. Even if you need to use the elusive emulator that is only on Windows, you can usually use Cedega to run it (that's right, an “emulator” running an emulator). If that fails, you can always keep a Windows partition around for gaming. Once you become comfortable in Linux, you might find that you'll not need Windows but once in a while.

As you can see, Linux is free, fast, secure, customizable and compatible with just about anything you can throw at it. As such, it is a very robust OS and a joy to use. I hope by portraying Linux in a positive and truthful light that I've encouraged you to get your hands dirty with this innovative Operating System. If I had to pick a distribution to recommend, I'd recommend Gentoo (mostly for the package system), but there are many great distributions out there. Don't be afraid to get a spare hard drive and try out a few distributions. Your journey awaits!

1http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
2I encourage all readers to download this free graphics editor. A Windows port is available. The 2.0 release was a complete overhaul both in interface and in features. Now, more than ever, GIMP is a truly complete graphics editor, and has completely eliminated my need for Adobe Photoshop. http://www.gimp.org/

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Comments ...
bullet Yoshi-M | 08 Jan : 11:29
Comments: 4

Registered: 29 Oct : 13:03
A great article that touches on all the positives of the Linux platform. However some of the examples you give to "play up" Linux incorrectly casts a more negative light on the offerings of the still capable Windows platform.

Note: I'm approaching this from a "devil's advocate" point of view. I enjoy Linux (Mepis specifically) but I don't think it's right to misrepresent another very capable platform like Windows.

In regards to software on Windows: you bring up the point that in order to get software that works you either have to fork over a ton of money or "crack" the software to use it illegally. That is most certainly false. For the budgeted computer user they could spend about $80 to $90 on the very capable Paint Shop Pro which gives you many features to manipulate and create digital art. There's also GIMP 2 (which you mention in your notes at the end of the article) which is a bit difficult to use but is free. For word processing and spreadsheets (if you don't already have something on your computer-many new machines come with Works or Wordperfect Suite) the inexpensive PC Suite by Sofware 602 is no nonsense and not bloated in file size or in features most people won't use. If the computer enthusiast needs more features they should be happy to know that Open Office is also available on the Windows platform (I don't seem to see you mention it as cross-platform). Into 3D graphics and animation? Anim8or does skeletal based animation, texture mapping and a slew of features for free. Audio manipulation? Try Audacity, which I happened to use to transfer an LP to MP3 with great quality. Zip programs? Windows XP has zip file creation and manipulation built in but you can also get free software like FreeZip! or the even better ZipItFast!

Linux's security is always brought up as a good reason to switch and I agree. It's a tough little nut to crack...until someone gets the urge to build a better nutcracker. No OS is immune to the only bug that can't be fixed: the person at the keyboard. While it is more difficult to get malware/viruses on a Linux box, we cannot dismiss education on proper surfing/computer use. Windows can be pretty secure if one gets firewalls (free-Zonealarm), use software that isn't riddled with security holes (browser: Firefox and email: Thunderbird, for example), don't download questionable material from questionable locations from the Net (P2P, porn sites, newsgroups, etc.) and so forth. With a little education a Windows machine can be pretty secure for the common user.

The final thing I have to touch on is the WINE and other "Crossover" products that allow Linux users to user Windows programs. If the idea is to shutdown Windows, why bring over the baggage from that platform? If Open Office is so robust, why try and get MS Office to work on Linux? If the idea of using a Linux OS is to get away from proprietary software why continue to support that model? Wine and Cedega, while very capable, do not totally allow computerists to "have their cake and eat it too" with Windows programs. For example: the popular Office 97 doesn't totally work: Access and Outlook don't function. Also the user will sometimes have to jump through a few hoops to try and get their favority piece of software to work (check out this site for a small example). Even if you get it to work, is it 100% reliable (well, using an MS product, 80% reliable)?

Like Linux, the "free" stuff is available for Windows if you look for it. Both platforms provide great tools. It all boils down to choice. Like the author said, give Linux a whirl if you are tired with Windows. You can get CD runnable versions (like SimplyMepis or Knoppix for example) so you don't goof up your Windows install and many include drive repartitioners that resize your Windows drive so you can dual-boot with Linux. But ya gotta remember the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Don't necessarily cripple your computing enjoyment by flinging yourself totally in either direction. If you can't get the work done or have decent play time the way you want it, why hamper yourself?

bullet Matt Barton | 08 Jan : 13:18

Comments: 169

Great response, Yoshi-M. I'm going to let David speak for himself on these issues, but I do want to point to a few great resources related to this subject that interested readers should explore:

Your software rights or the best tools: often a sad choice by Jem Matzan

Does Linux have Game? by Bruce Gain.

Both of these articles suggest that the move to GNU/Linux does involve a certain amount of sacrifice, and the best interim solution is to ride the fence with a dual boot.

I may decide eventually to abandon XP totally and commit myself to GNU/Linux (I have a dedicated Simply Mepis machine here and love it!), I'm being lazy now and telling myself that I'll make the switch after Longhorn, the new DRM-intensive Windows, becomes a "necessity."

In all honesty, I think most people would be using GNU/Linux already if Windows didn't come bundled with so many computers. I also think more people would switch to GNU/Linux if it weren't so easy to share unauthorized copies of Windows. Microsoft hasn't made much effort to really fight unauthorized sharing, and I think that's what has helped it become such a standard (they DO crack down on corporate use, which is where most of the money is anyway).

bullet bytorx1 | 08 Jan : 15:19

Comments: 11

Registered: 23 Mar : 18:27
For those wanting to explore some of these great open source applications in a win32 environment I recommend TheOpenCD:

http://theopencd.sunsite.dk/programs/</a>

It is a complete win32 iso with many popular cross-platform applications that will give you a taste of some of the excellent software you can find in linux.

A bootable distro like MEPIS or Knoppix as Yoshi-M points out is a great starting point.

bullet Bill Loguidice | 08 Jan : 16:21

Comments: 307

I have to disagree with your statement Matt that Microsoft hasn't made much effort to fight unauthorized sharing of Windows. That may have been true of all versions of Windows prior to XP, but between the XP OS and the latest versions of Microsoft Office, the active activation process I've found to be very effective. There ARE ways of getting reduced cost versions or low cost small business bundles that offer significant savings, but Microsoft's use of copy protection is as good as anyones at this point.

Windows current dominance certainly has a lot to do with the fact that its STILL bundled with most computers, but, as usual, there's much more to it. One factor is the fact that there are so many OTHER people with Windows systems, Windows is still used dominantly in the office, Windows software is what is predominantly on shelves, most new software is released JUST for Windows, etc. It has a momentum that will take years and years (and years!) to slow down, yet alone reverse. It may never happen, but it's certainly nice that there are VIABLE alternatives as described in the article. I may never switch myself and my days of alternate OS' are likely behind me since I relegated my Amiga 500 to number 2 status to a 386 Windows PC, but I'll be keeping a close eye on developments nevertheless.

bullet David Torre | 08 Jan : 16:39

Comments: 13

Yoshi, you make great points. I don't feel I'm misrepresenting Windows. I think my point is best made with the statement in my article: "Many Linux users can say with confidence that they do not have a single pirated application on their computer – how many Windows users can say that?" If Windows users really can be productive using exclusively free tools, then why is there so much piracy on the Windows platform? I did acknowledge that there's a lot of free stuff on Windows, but it is my opinion that the quality of the free stuff on Linux is on a whole much higher than that of Windows freeware. Although applications like the GIMP and OpenOffice.org have been ported to Windows, the vast majority of open source software is not ported. Many of the KDE programs are high-quality and are Linux exclusive.

I have been able to get stuff done in Linux for free that would be literally impossible to do legally in Windows for free. I found a utility that converts DiscJuggler images to Binchunker so I can burn them with K3B. I haven't found a way to do that on Windows without a commercial program like Alcohol 120%. I am definitely not playing down the quality of commercial software -- I am endorsing Crossover Office! It's just it's easy to find completely free software for Linux, whereas in my Windows experience you have to try a bit harder.

bullet David Torre | 08 Jan : 16:51

Comments: 13

Oh, and for those that are curious to what exactly this article has to do with retrogaming, I consider Linux to be a hobbyist OS, and hobbyist computing ties closely to retrogaming (were not the C64, Apple II, and Amiga platforms hobbyist computers)? Can you play video games without some sort of a computer?

bullet Bill Loguidice | 08 Jan : 16:57

Comments: 307

Well, for anyone who has a question about this what this has to do with retrogaming, who cares? The editorial direction of Armchair Arcade was always about videogames AND computers, with a significant focus on the classic. Just because this is our first non-game centric article doesn't mean that more weren't planned or will be on the way. They will. Like our multimedia stuff, it will never be the focus of Armchair Arcade, but it will be a part of it.

Also, to address the piracy point, there's so much piracy on the Windows platform because it's THE dominant platform with all the best commercial software. Whenever you have a platform with commercial software, you have piracy. It's always been that way and always will be that way. When more commercial applications permeate the Linux world, there'll be rampant piracy as well. It's a problem that will never go away and has nothing to do with there being free alternatives or not.

bullet Mark1970 | 09 Jan : 17:49

Comments: 114

I have installed Linux and other OS'es on my computers quite a number of times, always dual booting to see if I would/could completely move over to Linux, OS/2 or BeOS. I never succeeded in moving to just one OS because there were always some nagging failing hardware support issues or software compability issues that kept me from totally moving over. Then it just hit me, why should I want to use one platform exclusively?

I have a couple of computer systems in the house (shared between me and my girlfriend) and as a real old school computer fan I use quite a few OS'es with enthusiasm and with great fun.

But I must say windows is the most compatible game platform (although backwardscompatibility with dos and win95 games leaves quite a bit to be desired), that's why it is still my 'main' os. But for the rest it suffers from major design flaws, it's architecture is just paradise for hackers, in my opinion more so that Linux or BeOS.

Windows applications just sit around in the system waiting for 'input' and with 'messages' Windows controls the programs. A 'message' gives a command to a window/application or control. The major fault is that Windows doesn't check who/what the message is from so that applications can be fed malicious input that cause crashes, buffer overflows, fatal exceptions or simply start processes that aren't meant to be started. The way Windows deals with fatal exceptions is also quite wierd, it often just tries to restart the crashed program from it's memory position so that inserted code is automatically executed. Windows is organized in such a way that certain programs and processes that are usually running have administrative/server rights regardless of the fact that the user working on the machine only has guest rights. One of these programs is the microsoft help program, and this program can actually be fooled to run another program, even the DOS command prompt. Just because it doesn't check the type of file that is started (.hlp files are the ones that are supposed to be started). But a malicious can easily run the command prompt from the windows help program and that command prompt window automatically has it's parent's administrative/server rights and the system is blown wide open.


bullet Mark1970 | 09 Jan : 18:00

Comments: 114

erratum: But a malicious user can easily run the command prompt from the windows help program and that very command prompt window automatically has it's parent's administrative/server rights and the system is blown wide open.

bullet David Torre | 10 Jan : 03:33

Comments: 13

so, no votes yet?

bullet Mark1970 | 10 Jan : 10:50

Comments: 114

Hey, I just voted

bullet Dragon57 | 10 Jan : 11:14

Comments: 8

Registered: 23 Mar : 00:05
OK, how do you vote? I am not seeing any reference to do so.

bullet Mark1970 | 10 Jan : 12:59

Comments: 114

Right underneath the article, there's a drop down button. You can only vote once. But for some reason it's not always showing up correctly.

bullet Matt Barton | 10 Jan : 13:16

Comments: 169

I've got no idea what's wrong with the voting thing, but my guess would be that something changed in the most recent update. We probably have some holes in our custom CSS or template (something missing) that is causing the gap. I'll look into it later.

bullet Dragon57 | 10 Jan : 13:45

Comments: 8

Registered: 23 Mar : 00:05
Well, I see the rating box, but there is no dropdown or anything. I have tried IE and Firefox and still can't see it. Oh well, I will wait until someone looks into this.

bullet Bill Loguidice | 10 Jan : 14:55

Comments: 307

Yes, Dragon57, voting works sporadically unfortunately. That and sometimes the e-mail/print icons break. As time permits, hopefully some of the team can look at some of these bugs in e107.

bullet forcefield58 | 10 Jan : 20:35

Comments: 34

Registered: 23 Nov : 22:54
I don't see the rating or dropdown box...

bullet David Torre | 12 Jan : 17:32

Comments: 13

The voting should work now. Please vote on this article!

bullet bytorx1 | 12 Jan : 23:01

Comments: 11

Registered: 23 Mar : 18:27
The rating frame is empty for me.

bullet Dragon57 | 12 Jan : 23:06

Comments: 8

Registered: 23 Mar : 00:05
The rating is still empty for me as well.

bullet Matt Barton | 13 Jan : 09:57

Comments: 169

Apparently, e107 gets screwed up when somebody updates an article (the ratings go berserk). Ah...The joys of a CMS. Hopefully they will fix this in the next release.

bullet Havok69 | 13 Jan : 22:05

Comments: 2

Registered: 13 Jan : 00:48
I truly love the idea of open source, and support it wholeheartedly. I have installed and used Linux on a number of my systems over the years.

Unfortunately, I keep coming back to Windows just because of the availability of software that is not quite there yet for Linux. Before everyone goes off the handle attacking me on that statement, yes I am aware there are many fine software packages available for Linux distributions that can mimic virtually everything I could buy for Windows, but if you are a gamer especially (like me), forget it... (Consoles really don't do it for me - I can see that point coming).

I am glad to see that more and more people are at least trying Linux on their systems, and now you can actually buy some systems with Linux preloaded. I think KDE and Gnome have come a long way towards a more user-friendly and intuitive GUI, but still have some shortcomings.

It's only a matter of time before regular joe user can honestly choose Windows or Linux on a desktop.

For those of you that would like to try Linux without the hassle of formatting your drive, check out Knoppix:

http://www.knoppix.net/


bullet JimSG1 | 26 Jan : 17:41

Comments: 8

Registered: 08 Jun : 20:51
I currently have two "Main" systems... one for gaming and one for everything else.

My gaming machine is a Windows XP pro system.

The everything else machine is Fedora Core 3 Linux (downloaded a DVD iso). To me, the Fedora distribution feels like Mac OS X. I truly enjoy using Fedora Core as my primary machine. I use OpenOffice, Gimp, Firefox, Thunderbird, a Quicken-compatible checkbook program, a host of video and audio editing software, and a ton more. Linux does fall short as a gaming platform...but that will improve with time. As more people begin to use Linux instead of Windows, gaming will be a natural progression for Linux.

bullet Bill Loguidice | 26 Jan : 20:32

Comments: 307

You would hope that commercial gaming would be a natural progression for Linux, JimSG1, and it certainly could come to pass, but the Linux world is accustomed to getting stuff for free more often than paying, so it may be a tougher hurdle to expect an influx of commercial games anytime soon. Not even MacOS does all that well with getting very many new games, and that still has a minor lead over Linux.

bullet Gerryc | 15 Feb : 20:46

Comments: 5

Registered: 15 Feb : 20:33
David wrote:
I found a utility that converts DiscJuggler images to Binchunker so I can burn them with K3B. I haven't found a way to do that on Windows without a commercial program like Alcohol 120%.


From the K3b site:
K3b is a CD and DVD burning application for Linux systems optimized for KDE.


Maybe I'm missing something, but... Why does a Windows user need a Windows program to convert DiscJuggler images to Binchunker so that they can use them in a Linux burning program?

bullet Gerryc | 15 Feb : 20:57

Comments: 5

Registered: 15 Feb : 20:33
Matt wrote:
Apparently, e107 gets screwed up when somebody updates an article (the ratings go berserk).

Did you read this on an e107 support forum or something? Do you have a link?

Off Topic: Cool head and facial hair btw. =D

bullet Raenydyne | 29 Jun : 05:55

Comments: 3

Registered: 29 Jun : 04:16
Microsoft keeping people from pirating? I decided to install XP on my kids computer and the activation popped up. Didn't realize it was going to happen. There's no way I could put the old OS back on since the computer was a throw away. So I looked for a minute or two and found a workaround online. Just thought I'd comment on that. XP is too open to close. It worked for a while though I didn not hear of a working patch for years. This one is not a crack, it still allows windows to update. There is a glitch where any hardware added wont install afterwords, doh!
Oh yeah, Linux. I want to go Linux and totally support Windows emulation under Linux. It's not the same, whoever thought it was a bad idea just think about it. It would make me go from thinking about getting Linux to doing it, NOW. Not ahving to switch would be nice. I used to use Virtual PC a lot because the built in emulation in Windows XP never worked right and wqas hit and miss all the time.
The graphics programs sound like something my wife would be interested for her business. maybe she is in fact ready for Linux more than I. She ahs bought two versions of PSP, and now she dabbles in the pirated version of Photoshop. But Linux and the program you posted could be all she needs. Neither of us want all of the features in Photoshop. My sister bought it and let us use it and we deleted it because it was overblown. For my own needs, I like PhotoStudio, which is even cheaper than PSP. The only thing I need PSP for is to open a jpg and save it as a gif. Good thing my wife needs it for her business or it would be a waste of money. But Photoshop is way too overpriced. Do they ever wonder how much money they could've made by selling a light version? Now everyone can get a free cracked version. Sorry if you don't like hearing that, but I think we would have purchased a lite version. We buy a lot of software and find that most warez do not function right no matter how good the "scene" is. There are little things they are doing to make their programs slower when cracked, and even worse, like the pop up boot screne "you are using copyrighted material you do no own" etc. Photoshop has better methods against piracy than MS.


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