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Author: christy

Linux Declares Victory Over Microsoft

Linux Declares Victory Over Microsoft


Linux has been battling against Microsoft for almost two decades now. When Linux made its debut in 1991, very few thought it would ever be more than a vain attempt at a free operating system. Most computer users were dedicated Microsoft users. As Linux developed and popularity grew, Microsoft began to sit up and take notice.

Linux has declared victory over Microsoft after their long battle. In fact, with the exception of the desktop, Linux sees itself as beating everything Microsoft has to offer in other categories. Many of the servers throughout the world are Linux based. A decade ago, many businesses chose to use Microsoft servers, but the cost and maintenance was more than businesses wanted to handle if they could avoid it. Linux provided a more stable, extremely cheaper alternative.

Though “geeks” were the first to dive on board the Linux wagon, many home users decided to give Linux a try. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen by installing a free operating system and free software? Taking a chance on Linux just involved a learning curve and a little time to install. When Live CDs made their appearance, there was no reason not to try Linux. No installation required. You could boot straight from a CD without modifying your hard drive or losing your Windows operating system.

Unlike Microsoft, Linux is open source, meaning the source code is freely available to build upon. This has resulted in custom Linux operating systems geared towards specific groups of users. Microsoft works to appeal to the masses. Linux works to appeal to everyone, from the home user to the most advanced users. How many users can say they were able to tweak any Microsoft source code to better fit their needs?

If users didn’t want to give up Windows, Linux was absolutely fine with this. Unlike many Microsoft and even Apple applications, Linux gave users software that was compatible on almost any platform. Not only is the software compatible, but it’s free. With software costs seeming to skyrocket everytime something new is released, free alternatives are going to make a huge dent competitors’ profits.

Linux now powers many of the most popular consumer electronics as well, such as the Amazon Kindle. Though experts don’t exactly believe Linux has completely beaten Microsoft, there is no denying that some version of the Linux operating system or software is almost everywhere now. Linux is a force to be reckoned with as they believe in customization, full user control and compatibility. Microsoft has never been able to compete with those ideas. In the end, Linux and Microsoft both have their place. For most users, a combination of the two works best, making both successful in their own way.…

Great Cell Phones for Seniors

Great Cell Phones for Seniors


As adults, senior citizens depend on us everyday to be there for them whenever they need something. But you still want to stay in touch with them, and make sure your senior citizen stays safe, and if an emergency happens, that they can easily call for help. The perfect gadget for a senior is a cell phone.

However, if you mention something to your senior about getting a cell phone, they will most likely refuse, saying that a cell phone is so complicated, they won’t know how to use it. And to tell you the truth, most cell phones on the market today are not senior-friendly.

But not all cell phones on today’s market are complicated. Some creative minds have designed cell phones aimed at senior citizens which feature things like large buttons, hearing aid compatibility, large text and a button for easily dialing 911.

Below are some phones designed for seniors.

1. UTStarcom Coupe (Verizon Wireless, $39.99 with 2 year contract) 
The UTStarcom Coupe is Verizon’s “senior phone” which features a 911 button, three buttons that can help connect you or first responders to three different ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts that you specify, large buttons and a large text menu that is easily navigable.

2. Samsung Jitterbug ($147, Jitterbug.com, with plans that start at $10 a month) 
No, I’m not kidding. This phone really costs $147! But some say the price tag is really worth it. This phone is designed for seniors, and seniors only. It features a loud speaker with cushion, a Yes/No interface, instant access to an operator who can help you out with your phone, and a phone book. Plans for this phone start as low as $10 a month for a 911 only plan, and as high as $80 a month for an 800 minute plans. There are also plans in between the two at reasonable prices. Note, however, when you call a Jitterbug operator for help with your phone, 5 minutes of your monthly airtime are deducted. And if your senior needs a lot of help with his or her phone, and you have a plan that doesn’t include that many minutes, your senior’s airtime may be drained just by calling a Jitterbug operator for help. People also complain about the phone itself being too bulky, and the phone plans being too expensive.

3. Motorola F3 (TigerDirect.com, Unlocked, $34.99) 
The Motorola F3, originally designed for people in developing countries, is a phone that is very easy to use. Its greatest function is making and receiving calls. It also has a basic phone book, selectable ring tones, basic tools, and that’s it. The interface is so simple, a senior could probably learn how to use the phone all by themselves. Plus, this phone is unlocked, meaning that you can use it with any GSM carrier, which includes AT&T;, Alltel, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more (see list of all GSM carriers at http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_us.shtml).

4. Nokia 1100 (http://www.crayeon3.com/c3/pc-1012-150-.aspx, Unlocked, $45.70) …

Drivel – A Multi-system Blog Client for Linux

Drivel – A Multi-system Blog Client for Linux


Today I’ll review a neat piece of software called Drivel. Drivel, which to be honest is a bit intentionally demeaning, is a desktop client for Linux to allow users to post their thoughts and feelings (drivel?), to any number of different blogs. Designed for the Gnome Linux desktop environment, I’ve found Drivel to be a simple, easy-to-use client that has a lot of features that I would want in a blog application, plus some I’d never use but other people definitely would.

First of all, is Drivel for you? If you post to an Advogato, Atom (Blogger 2.0), Blogger 1.0, LiveJournal or Movable Type blog, then the answer is ‘yes!’ Drivel supports all those blog types out of the box. In addition, any blog systems based on one of these will work as well, such as WordPress and Drupal, although they may need a bit of tweaking to work correctly.

If you have a couple different blogs, or are sharing your computer with someone who has a blog as well, you can both use Drivel. Just set up both accounts, then when one of you wants to post, log into the correct one. Or, if you’re the only person who’ll be using Drivel, and you only have one blog, you can set it up to remember your password and automatically log in whenever you start up the program.

Once you’ve logged in, Drivel presents you with a completely empty blog window, with the name of your blog at the top. By default, you will be able to write the post, edit the subject line, and determine whether or not the post is public, private, or friends-only. If you click the little triangle at the bottom of the window, you’ll reveal even more options, such as spots where you can input your mood, the music you’re listening to, and more. You can turn off commenting for a particular post, tell Drivel NOT to auto-format your text, and select a different picture. You can also back-date a post.

Like any good 21st century client, Drivel allows for certain html formatting, such as bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, superscript and subscript, and also can create lists. You can indent text to set off a quote, and can also insert a link, picture and (assuming your account permits it), a poll as well.

When you’re ready to post, simply hit the Post button at the bottom of the window, and your post will be sent off and within seconds, your thoughts will be posted for all to see. Or, if you don’t think the world is quite ready for your latest tome on Britney’s underwear, or lack of, or the latest gossip about Hollywood celebrities, athletes in trouble with the law or the big movie busts of the summer, Drivel can simply save your post as a draft until you’re ready to unleash your thoughts on an unsuspecting public.

Drivel does more than just post to your …