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Category: Tech

Linux Is Here To Stay

You may have read here before about my ventures with Linux on the home pc, where things must work for the whole family, not just me the Linux Geek.

Back in March or so, I grew tired of Windows XP on my home desktop. I was sick of having to keep up with WGA cracks (ahem), sick of bloated crapware, and not interested whatsoever in Vista.

So, I installed RedHat Linux (Fedora Core 6 to be exact). This was highly tolerable for a couple of months since I was used to using it at work all the time, and I am well versed in RedHat operating systems. However, it caused issues for Alicia because it just wasn’t intuitive enough, and it didn’t just work. There was always some fingling needed to be done in a terminal window.

I decided a few weeks ago that I would install Ubuntu 7.4 Fiesty Fawn, and I haven’t looked back since. When I learned that Dell was shipping PC’s with Ubuntu instead of Linux, I knew it must be time. The installation was fast, and it was insanely simple to do. The Ubuntu developers have thought of everything, and it seems like they are driven to make something with mass appeal that is better than Windows. In my opinion, they have.

It just works. Plugged in my iPod, it worked. Plugged in my old NTFS data drive, it worked. Plugged in my USB card reader, it worked. All of it works. Needed a codec to watch some video clip, and Ubuntu went and found it easily, letting me start watching within seconds.

The final test of Ubuntu’s readiness for the masses was how well my wife handled it. So far, the only complaint is that she cannot listen to music she bought from iTunes (until I work around that). So all in all, Ubuntu passes with flying colors.

Links and News

According to W3Counter, which maintains a pretty good cross sampling of web site users (from what I’ve hear, anyway), the use of Firefox for web surfing has risen to an impressive 25%. That is so great to hear, as Internet Explorer is and continues to be the bane of web developers and designers everywhere. Good riddence, another 10% of IE users!

I have long been a scavenger for the best deals on items I am seeking to purchase. I was pleased to find one tool that encompasses many of the bargain-hunter sites I am used to visiting. Before you buy anything online, be sure to stop at!

I discovered an excellent streaming radio station at They play a delectible sampling of alternative and indie music. If you are into that sort of thing, then check it out.

More to come…

Geeky Stuff

On the Dell website, they detail all the cool stuff Michael Dell has in his personal tech arsenal. I was suprised to see his primary laptop runs Ubuntu Linux, Open Office, and Firefox. Guess he’s as fed up with Window as the rest of us!

Speaking of (free) alternatives to (upgrades from) Microsoft products, Thunderbird 2 is out! I have been eagerly waiting for this, as it will introduce some cool new features, such as the ability to tag your messages with keywords. Ooh! I gotta go upgrade now…I’ll let you know how it goes!

Kurt Vonnegut, Dead at 84

Ah well…Tingaling!

Sorry, I haven’t had time to make any Song Of The Week postings. Been running around like a headless chicken, juggling jobs, kids, and flaming kittens. On Tuesday I gave notice that I’m leaving my job with P3I, where I am working for the Air Force, and will soon be starting to do full-time contract work for a marketing company based in Raleigh. Luckily, this does not mean I will be moving!

I’ll post more info when I know more about it all, but in the mean time, make sure you check out the Top Ten ’80s Robots (We Expected to Exist By Now). It’s funny ha-ha.

The Biggest Shot In The Foot Ever?

For the last few weeks, the techie blogs have been circulating stories about how Microsoft Windows Vista can be installed and used for free for 120 days. You see, Microsoft gives you 30 days to try it out for nothing, but then they will disarm it and require you to purchase a license to continue using it.

Someone found out that Microsoft had built in a way to extend that 30 trial to 120 days through a little registry tweak.

Well, now someone has figured out how to extend it indefinitely, not by hacking or cracking the operating system, but by using the built-in tools that Microsoft included in the operating system.


“It appears that crackers need not break Windows Vista activation because Microsoft has done it for them! Brian Livingston of Window Secrets writes in Microsoft allows bypass of Vista activation about how to allow you to keep your Vista box running indefinitely without activating it.”

It is likely that MS will try and fix this through some future patch, but what will they break in doing so? They obviously had a need to provide this functionality for some reason.

Now that I’ve abandoned Winders on the home desktop completely for RedHat Fedora linux, this makes me chuckle. However, maybe I’ll give it a shot and see what happens!