Daily Archives: December 24, 2011

How To Use Linux

This is a rewrite and amalgamation, into one post, of a series of earlier posts written for non-geeks just starting out with Linux. The idea is to provide the gist, a few important facts, and some fun suggestions, slowly and easily.

At some level all operating systems are the same, but in some ways that will matter to you, Linux is very different from the others. The most important difference, which causes both the really good things and the annoying things to be true, is that Linux and most of the software that you will run on Linux is OpenSource, as opposed to proprietary AND it is produced by a diverse group of entities that share a single, continuous, common, and sometimes harmonious community. If there are two “competing” applications that do more or less the same thing, it is not at all unlikely that the people who make the software could meet up and decide to merge them into one project, rather than try to kill each other in the usual corporate way. If there is a single project within which differences occur as to what the project should be like, the project can be split (“forked”) and there are no law suits over the ownership of the computer code … they simply evolve in different directions thereafter. Or, more importantly, one or more of the divergent ideas will not be crushed by the Marketing Department because it is less sale-able even if it is better in some important way.

The most important outcomes of the community-based and non-Proprietary models, for you, that you will notice and that will make a difference in how you use the computer, are:
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