Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Switch to Linux? Here's a few Reasons!

Linux = freedom (.)

+21,000(plus) free software packages - this includes all types of programming tools, networking/PC Repair tools, office tools, scientific research tools, media tools, photo tools, kids learning games, bible study tools, the list goes on and on

+Drivers for most common software (pretty good considering the drivers aren't usually provided by the mfgr)

+At least 14 different Office Productivity tools to read/write in Open Document Format (includes and now IBM Lotus Symphony). These tools also save to MS formats (i.e., xls, doc, etc) and export to PDF natively.

+Actually reduces the pirating of software since people can get software free instead of "getting a copy" of a software title from someone else

+Feeling and being empowered to do what YOU want to do with your operating system and software

+Having piece of mind and actually learning more about using computers

+Virus/Malware free (note: use your firewall to be safe anyway)

+No controlling corporation requiring you to "activate with the genuine disadvantage" and/or suddenly dropping support for a proprietary format that you've been forced to use

+No upselling of software for mega-profit by tying the Operating System into working best only with the same-mfgr software

+2500(plus) different versions of the Linux Operating System to use/extend/share/enjoy

+No locking your data up into a proprietary format since programs are open-source and typically use world-renowned standards

+Instant CoolGuy (advanced user status) just for installing and using Linux



Shannon VanWagner

Monday, September 17, 2007

A story of a man, converted by the Freedom of Linux

Ok so here's my "conversion to Linux story" - Hopefully it will make someone else open their eyes as I have.

About three years ago I started a new job as a Windows Systems Administrator. Something I always remember is this guy who used to blurt out "we should use Linux to fix it!" every time we were having problems with a system or server. I used to laugh and tell the guy he was crazy. That person actually tought me a valuable lesson....

As the past three years have whirred by, I've supported Windows Server/XP and the whole string of up-sold software that goes along with the Microsoft operating system.

I have also been unfortunate enough to have experienced first-hand, how terrible the stranglehold created by Microsoft products is on its users. It has been painful.

I say, Microsoft is given too much control over products that run the business world, the products that some of us spend our working lives trying to up-keep, optimize, and make sense of.

After all that work, you would think we who use Windows would be the glorious ones. But we are not, this is because Microsoft takes the credit, credit that is then used to simply sell back to us(at ridiculous profits) in their next "upgraded" version of the same old software. Where's the love?

Microsoft controls when you upgrade, when you migrate, when you are up, when you are down, when you can share, and ultimately when you are left to do nothing but spend more time/money/resources to upgrade to their next "irrelevant" version of software.

To be dedicated to Microsoft and the ideal for which it stands, it is necessary to be either blind or ignorant (or both). I say stop wasting your life for their glory. Get yourself involved in GNU/Linux and experience freedom like you never have before.

I consider myself lucky because I have managed to see my way across the decay of "consumer content" and have peered through to the Freedom that is GNU/Linux. I can only wish that people everywhere will begin to see for themselves how much they are limiting humandkind by using Microsoft products (sad but true).

People that invest and believe in Microsoft are much like "puppets" in one respect. I'm not saying that to put down people that use Microsoft (I hope they can one day open their eyes too, just as I did), rather it's that after experiencing Linux and the Freedom it beholds, it is rather impossible for me to maintain a vote on the side of such a greedy company and selfish ideas(checkout the OOXML vs ODF war for more info). Microsoft users, take a good look at those billionaires(execs at Microsoft) because you made them... was it worth it? What's in it for you? Their future is secure, what about yours?

I've come to realize the real deal. And I'm here to tell ya, the real deal is Linux.
GNU/Linux is an awesome system that is only exceeded by the awesome philosophy it is based on, empowerment of users and infinite freedom - this is a combination that can't be beat!! GNU/Linux is the road to the future!!

Me, I was using Linux on and off (but not as a primary system) for about four years.
And then about six months ago, I had a massive realization in life and elected Linux as my new primary Operating System - I then added Kubuntu Linux as a dual boot to both my home computers and also to my work computer. Even though we have the dual boot on the home computers, we rarely ever boot to Windows. I've since switched one of my home computers over to fedora 7. Both systems are great and so much better than Windows!!

So now I'm trying to do as much as I can with Linux in a professional capacity. Presently I've been successful at connecting SuSE Linux up with Windows Active Directory for our developer systems.

I know that SuSE Linux isn't the most favorite distro of Linux right now (e.g., deal with Microsoft), but I'm glad to have learned something about Interoperability. If you take a look at the board members of Novell, you will see that they are mostly from IBM (old partnerships die hard).

Besides, we Linux admins need to have the skills to migrate user data from Windows to Linux, right? I also manage some Red Hat Linux servers. I truly enjoy working with Linux and so I'm eager to get even more experience with Linux from the professional aspect.

One thing's for sure, people around me now think I'm crazy, because I'm all about "Linux this and Linux that". Hopefully they too will have the same realization experience as I have had with Linux.

Converting to Linux is on par with revolutionizing your country and becoming a free nation - there's few things in life that provide this type of feeling.

Linus is a hero - the article is true:

So I say thanks so much to Linus T., Richard S., GNU/Linux, FSF, FOSS, ODF, and all others that represent technology as a means for human advancement!!

Go Linux!! Go Freedom!!

Shannon VanWagner

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ever been in this situation: "Help, I've deleted a data partition from my computer!"

Ever been in this situation: "Help, I've deleted a data partition from my computer!"

Well, here's a couple of simple approaches that can fix your problem and have you up and running in no time:

Deleting a partition or even files doesn't necessarily mean they are actually removed from the disk.

Enter the Linux LiveCD

1.)SystemRescueCD with the TestDisk utility (amongst other great tools)
Use the Linux TestDisk utility to recover your Windows(or other) partitions...
The TestDisk utility can be found on the SystemRescueCd - a free bootable Linux(of course) disk you can boot to and then recover the partitions with. Get it here:

2.)GParted with the TestDisk utility (amongst other great tools)
GParted utility. This all-in-one Partition Mgr replacement (of the Linux flavor) empowers you with the capabilities of not only recovering partitions with TestDisk, but also you can resize/move partitions(gparted), take screenshots, edit files with vi, image a disk(partimage), and have read/write access to NTFS partitions (ntfs-3g).

Linux is the way to go my friend. Once you get up and running, you'll be ready to reap the benefits!

There are many other great Linux Utilities available in LiveCD format, checkout the website "LiveCD list" for more information (look for "rescue" in the category) :

Good Luck! Hope this helps you as much as it did me.

Shannon VanWagner