Linux Desktop News
A look behind the latest headlines in the Linux desktop arena.
by Web Editor
25+ Reasons to Switch to Linux
The Linux users group (LUG) of Bellevue, Washington, recently published an article titled "25 Reasons to Convert to Linux" on the group's Web site. The comprehensive lists discusses the well-known reasons why "Businesses, educational institutions, governmental agencies and other organizations around the world are converting1 their computer operating systems from Microsoft Windows to Linux at an increasing pace"--cost, licensing issues, support from the community and security. Other reasons on the list for switching center around ideas of openness, in terms of the source code and file formats, and the benefits that openness offers users. By the end of the list, which also notes that Linux is an ethical and law-abiding computing option (unlike others), the Bellevue LUG makes a solid case for switching, offering reasons for every motivation, whether its based on financial, security, ethical or performance concerns.
Not bad work for a LUG that meets a few miles down the road from Microsoft's main campus in Redmond, Washington.
If you're interested in finding a Linux user group in your own neighborhood, check out this comprehensive list of existing LUGs. LUGs are a great place to meet other users of various levels to share information, ask questions, receive help and develop your Linux skills.
OperaMini Browser Released
If you don't have the newest, most expensive cell phone and no plans to spend $500 on a new Blackberry anytime soon, but you'd still like Internet access, OperaMini might be the answer you've been looking for. OperaMini is a full Web browser designed to run on low and mid-end phones that can run Java applications and have an Internet connection--most phones made since 2001, according to the Opera site. Instead of putting the technology for processing Web pages in the phone itself, OperaMini connects the phone to a remove server that does pre-processing work and then sends the information on to the phone. OperaMini also makes use of Opera's Small-Screen Rendering technology, which reformats Web pages for viewing on mobile devices.
Industry analysts predict OperaMini will be used in more and more new mobile phones. But you don't need to buy a new phone with it already installed. You can download OperaMini directly to your phone from the Opera site and go from limited Internet service to a full browser.
The Fifth Edition of Running Linux was released last month, and if you don't already have a copy, get one. Running Linux is one of the best-written and most helpful Linux books available. It serves as a great resource for new users wanting to install Linux and learn how to do the basics. It's also a great problem-solving book when you've been using Linux for a while and want to change or fix something manually on your system.
For the new edition, the authors have added new information on audio and video playback applications, groupware functionality and spam filtering. They also discuss remote login and e-mail encryption.
What's really great about Running Linux is its organization. It's divided into four parts, each of which will serve you well as you develop your Linux skills. Depending on your needs, you may never move beyond "Part I. Enjoying and Being Productive on Linux". Or, you may find your interests developing in programming and system administration, in which case "Part IV. Network Services" will be a great help. Either way, Running Linux is a smart investment for any Linux user.