"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"
8 Reasons to Make the Switch
Here are 8 reasons to switch to Linux, the free OS:
- It is free. Download from the Internet and install it now.
- Free upgrades. Find the Kernel on the Internet and download the
latest guts for the system.
- It runs Win3x,95,98,etc. Some programs, not all. Your programs will
run and look the same as in Windows. Find the Wine project. It is
trying to be 100% free of Microsoft code, in order to further promote
freedom of action on the PC. They use the API of Windows, and write
the code for free! When a Windows program won't run in WINE or WABI
the Linux system can be installed AFTER you install Windows. Then the
LILO bootloader can boot either Linux or Windows, without any upset
at all of your delicate and unstable Windows setup. A dual-boot PC is
able to run almost everything and it tastes great, but is not less
filling. Create with the GIMP, post it to the net, save it in DOS and
use it in your office suite.
- It runs DOS. Some programs, not all. See dual-boot, above. Your
programs will run using the Dosemu. It makes the programs see a DOS
system on your machine, and they go. Yes, even Warlords II will run
just fine. You just need a paid-for DOS version to install and a hard
disk partition is recommended.
- It runs Unix. Your Linux is a PC version of the powerful Unix OS.
The universities, NASA, the research institutes, computer scientists
and software developers are using it since the old days of computing.
You now have access on the Internet to thousands of programs. They
range from obscure utilities to fully developed productivity systems.
Oh, by the way, they are free to download and are written by the best
minds in the computer world. "Microserfs"(recruited by the monopoly),
are best left in their circular, singular limited world so that the
real free thinkers can write you great innovative, unlimited programs
that can solve real world problems.
- It runs Macintosh. Yes, you just get the emulator and your Mac
programs will see a Mac system on your PC. Playmaker Football, anyone?
- It is fast when used as a network server or for multi-tasking. The
ISP (Internet Service Provider) community is becoming a large growth
area for Linux, with over 20% of them using it. That percentage is
growing as the mainstream shrinks. The choice of Linux as your office
productivity system is really a no-brainer: Speed, Versatility, Price
(free), Upkeep (free), Support (free on the Internet) and Adaptation.
Your upgrades are free and you keep up with all the innovations in the
realm of computing by virtue of your ability to run all the different
operating systems and their software on one machine. Any questions?
- You contribute to the expression of freedom of thought and action
when you choose Linux, the free OS. By way of contrast, just ask
yourself 'How many times have I paid for an upgrade of my system?'. If
the answer is one or more, then you paid too much. Again, ask yourself
'Did I need to upgrade when the owners of the OS told me to upgrade?'.
If your software was running just fine when you were told to upgrade,
then who is running your life?
Finally, ask yourself 'Does following the dictates of the
Windows-Intel monopoly make me an independent PC owner?'. If you can't
run a piece of software that sounds like it does what you want done,
because it is not available for your "operating system", then why do
you continue to let yourself be limited by the owners of the monopoly
Switching to Linux lets you run the software that you hear
about and lets you choose which programs you want; which programs you
need; and most important, when to buy them.
Staying on Microsoft's schedule, for example, will have seen
you purchase four upgrades to your "operating system" in the last ten
years. DOS 6.22, Windows3x, Windows95 (DOS 7.0) and Windows98 have an
inevitable progression built into their "release" so that you give
your money to the richest man on the planet on a regular basis. That
regular flow of cash is keeping Microsoft solvent, paying the
investors and limiting choices for the 90% of PC users who are trapped
in the Microsoft endless loop of upgrades.
Why am I so adamant in my condemnation of the monopoly? The
reason is that in May of 1998, Microsoft "released" Windows98. That
caused a huge buying surge for Microsoft, because their captive users
were truly afraid of being left out of the "innovation" loop. At the
same time, a press release on the TV claimed that Windows98 had fixed
three thousand (3,000) bugs in the Windows95 "operating system". Only
a true monopoly would even let you know that you had been inflicted
with three thousand (3,000) bugs in your last software purchase. To
top off the irony, the United States government and 20 of their states
were taking Microsoft to court on anti-trust suits over their
exclusion of choices for consumers on which browser to use on the
That left me with the logical question of whether you PC users
had a choice of how to run your PC and get only the programs that
you want or need. The answer is that the lawsuits are illogical, since
you the consumer can run Linux, use just the Microsoft programs you
want and run any browser you want and run any system you want, all on
one PC. Therefore, Microsoft can wedge their captives into any type of
mess that they wish, simply because you can choose to run Linux and
still be connected to the masses by virtue of your versatility.
Your business can run the same software as your contacts and
share the same type of files and be totally connected, even with the
extra 10% of the market that is not on Windows-Intel. You win and
you win with Linux.
Copyright © 1998, Bill Bennet
Published in Issue 30 of Linux Gazette, July 1998