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A page to provide some introductory material about their computer from CFK. (Hmm, some or all of this might be covered by RandyPlessor in the orientation class, and, will have to be careful here to not get too political / controversial.)


Linux vs. Windows

  • Whatever comparisons we give here will change with time
  • Many Linux enthusiasts consider Linux to be more stable and faster than Windows -- this is very true if you compare the commnad line of Linux to the Windows GUI
  • Some Linux enthusiasts believe Linux is immune to viruses, worms and so forth -- it is not, but:
    • Windows viruses generally do not affect Linux machines (I'm thinking that there could be Java based viruses (or exploits of some sort, and I guess I've heard of some, that can affect Windows and Linux -- file deletion type stuff is what I recall)
    • to date, Windows has been a bigger and more favored target for attacks by crackers (not hackers) and "script kiddies"
    • Linux obtains [some | much] of it's resistance to viruses, etc., by its use of a system of file ownership and permissions which sometimes makes the system a little more confusing to use but reduce the danger of worms etc. Modern versions of Windows are starting to incorporate a similar system of ownership and permissions, at least partially for the same reason.
    • <one more just slipped my mind>
  • Linux works with older computers (but requires more memory)
  • Linux comes with many built in application and games
  • Most games and software you buy in a store will not work in Linux (yet -- this will change)
    • Mention Wine, win4lin, etc.??

  • Some things are a little more frustrating in Linux -- see LinuxFrustrations for a list of some of those and hints on making things easier

  • If you value Linux and the free software that comes with it, remember that most of it was created by dedicated hobbiests (need a better description) who subscribe to the beliefs of the Free Software Foundation or the Open Source <something>. At times, proprietary software companies try to influence legislation to the detriment of free software. When the opportunity arises, please support free / open software.

  • Brief statement of what free / open software is?
    1. Source code is available to everyone
    2. Anyone can modify the source code to fix a problem, improve the product, or create a new product
    3. The Free Software Foundation goes one more step that might be considered more radical or controversial, they require that if you incorporate free software in a new product (or improve an existing product), that new product must also be free software and be distributed in accordance with these three bullets (or not be distributed) (nned to be careful here to distinguish using a free software tool (compiler or whatever) vs. incorporating code from a free software product)
    • On advantage of the above is that software can live forever expound
    • Some proprietary software companies are starting to label their software as open without necessarily subscribing to the three bullets above -- a typical approach is to make the source available only to certain people or organizations, and to require that it not be disclosed to anyone else, and to require that any fixes or modifications become the property of the proprietary software company
    • Proprietary companies have used free software -- Microsoft's TCP/IP stack came from BSD (??), Microsofts <something for Linux??> runs certain Linux / Unix utilities on dos / Windows.
  • Proprietary companies sometimes argue that that the third item above (that if you use Free Software to create another product the new product should also be Free Software) is unfair, but, to my mind, this is really no different than what they want -- if you create a new product incorporating their software (again, don't confuse this with using a proprietary tool like a compiler) they want to own the modification or new product. So, in one case a proprietary company wants to own the derived product, in the other case the Free Software Foundation wants to "own" the product, but, if the Free Software Foundation owns the product, it is really free for everyone to use.
  • See <a page on some other site, maybe Wikilearn> for a list of legal and legislative issues which may affect your rights to free software now or in the future.
  • Clarify free vs. free beer?


  • () RandyKramer - 14 Feb 2003
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

Topic revision: r1 - 2003-03-17 - RandyKramer
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