Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Linuxville, how to dress like a native.

One of the biggest complaints MS Windows users have about using Linux or any other thing is that they have so much invested in MS software. Many have quite a large library of applications and games accumulated over the years. The thought of trashing it all looms above them like a potential stock market crash. I am here to tell you not to fret and fuss. You can vacation in Linuxville and when you come back, your place has not been ransacked. I am talking about a live-CD Linux and a jump drive. Then if you decide to stay, there are ways to run your MS stuff, so if you must, you can. You know all this, you just don't believe it. So, go a head and set up your computer to boot from the CD drive first, pop in the live-CD and see. Live-CD's are good for a few things. First is the tryout. You can use the real software as a demo to see what's there. Practice, you can become familiar with what Linux looks like and feels like. Then as a rescue OS, just in case your MS Windows crashes and you need to get at files on your hard drive. Finally the install, because once you use to using it you might want a permanent residence. Even if you are a die-hard MS person it is handy to visit once in a while just to learn some OS flexibility, to expand your skill set. Very useful in today's job market. Can look good on your resume. Hey after all, you've been to Linuxville.

Found another great book, "Test Driving Linux, from windows to linux in 60 seconds" by David Brickner. It's for users, not administrators.

Dressing like a native is easy these days as a number of programs that are standard fare in Linuxville also have MS Windows versions. We are talking open source software. Open Office, Firefox, Gimp, Abiword and others that can be freely downloaded off the net. If you are using them already we can speak the language mon! I wish there was a printed book that illustrates and explains all the various Linux applications but, the web will have to suffice. Check out http://www.linuxalt.com, it exposes you to a lot of unfamiliar names that do things similar to what familiar MS Window programs do. I hope you look them over and then if they are included on your live-CD you can appreciate them.
I want to warn you, they can be habit forming. You might see penguins in your sleep.

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