I used to think that the best first step to explore Linux was through a live Linux CD. A live Linux CD is a bootable CD that contains a complete Linux installation compressed onto a CD. The KNOPPIX Linux Live CD, is perhaps one of the first and most popular examples of a bootable Linux CD. In order to boot this version of Linux, all you would have to do is first, make sure that your computer is configured to boot from the CD-ROM. Most modern IBM-compatible PC's come already configured to boot from the CD-ROM. If not, you would have to modify your BIOS configuration to include boot from CD-ROM as the first option in the boot order. The only other consideration to boot the CD was whether your PC met the minimum hardware requirements.The two most important hardware components are the video graphics card and the amount of random access memory (RAM). From most people, they meet the minimum requirements and then some, because the live Linux CD is optimized to run on the most meager of systems.
I remember back before the Internet Browser war was lost by Netscape, web sites used to attempt to deal with the fact that each browser had a large percentage of users. Following the fall of Netscape, web developers lives became infinitely more simple. No longer did they have to create their sites to support multiple browsers. With leisure, laziness, and over-confidence, they could select Internet Explorer (IE) as the de facto Internet Browser. Ultimately, this has lead to them building a web site they will include features that will only display in IE.
Well, in my opinion, those good ole days for web developers are over. For over a year now FireFox, from the Mozilla Foundation, has been picking up users at a rapid pace. With an estimated 179 million FireFox downloads, the estimated amount of web traffic originating from FireFox web browsers is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. For those users of FireFox (or Opera or any other non-IE browser), we regularly run across web sites that do not functiona correctly. For me, this occurs with such regularity that I pose the following questions: "When will the web development community start developing FireFox friendly web sites?" It is simply a matter of numbers. As the FireFox user numbers climb, it will become more difficult to ignore such a large percentage of website visitors.
Last month, I came to the conclusion that the small and medium sizes businesses in the United States and beyond could hold the key to the next stage of growth for Linux. It wasn't but days after writing "Getting the Job Done" when Xandros announced the availability of Xandros Server. The Xandros Server attempts to bring to small and medium sized businesses (SMB) the same ease of use and philosophy that Xandros has previously used for making one of the simplest and easy to use Linux desktop distributions.
According to sources at Xandros, the Xandros Server, is a seamless replacement for any file, print, or groupware server for enterprises and SMBs that also cuts workload management by 30 percent through the automation of administrative tasks. Andreas Typaldos, Xandros CEO, stated further "We took a solution-oriented approach to creating Xandros Server by doing a massive amount of engineering up front, so as to make the benefits of Linux server technology accessible to enterprise administrators and SMBs".
Issue number 13, May 2006, of TUX now is available. Subscribers, you can download this issue here or simply follow the Download TUX button on the right to download the current issue. If you're not yet a TUX subscriber, consider subscribing today for instant access to this issue and many more!
TUX's Editor in Chief previews what you can expect in the May issue.
by Kevin Shockey
While preparing the upcoming issue of TUX and researching some information for this article, it struck me that the small business market could be incredibly important for desktop Linux. As Doc Searls has been telling us for years now, the information technology market is moving towards a do-it-yourself approach. In that respect, no market is more do-it-yourself than the estimated 5,591,003 small businesses located in the United States.
Small business owners often work as salesperson, accountant, janitor and whatever other job position might be required, including information technology administrator. Due to the limited personnel typically employed in a small business, the owners must do whatever needs to be done, even if that means installing and maintaining all of the initial software on their desktop computers. Linux, with its scratch-your-own-itch mentality, should fit well in this environment. But so far, it's not.
A guide for when and how to use styles instead of manual overrides in OpenOffice.org documents.
by Bruce Byfield
Styles are the chief feature that make office suites more useful than electronic typewriters. In OpenOffice.org, however, styles are even more important than they are in other office suites. Most word processors offer character and paragraph styles, but OpenOffice.org also includes frame, page and numbering styles. Even more importantly, OpenOffice.org extends the concept of styles to other applications. Impress, for example, has a system of styles, whereas PowerPoint, its MS Office equivalent, has none. The same is true of OOo's Calc and MS Excel. Once you understand why and when you should use styles, you'll find OpenOffice.org's tools for managing and applying styles second to none. You'll also start to unleash the full power of OpenOffice.org.
A small, yet slick desktop that, when combined with Rox, provides a powerful alternative to KDE or GNOME. [This article initially appeared in TUX, issue 12.]
by John Knight
Here's a desktop that happens to be a favorite of mine, and a favorite of readers too, Fluxbox. Aesthetically pleasing, minimalist, slick, simple, elegant and lean, Fluxbox is easily one of the best lightweight desktops available. Fluxbox is based around the coding, look and feel of Blackbox, a much-revered desktop of the past, but Fluxbox picks up where Blackbox left off. Adding usability enhancements, entirely new features and updating to newer standards, Fluxbox takes Blackbox into the 21st century.
When you are exploring something for the first time, you often have many questions and aren't sure where to start. At times like those, it is great to have a friend available of whom you can ask questions. Then, when facing that new task, you reach a new level of confidence by knowing that someone is there to rescue you from a dead-end or an incorrect menu selection or two or three.
If this sounds like you, and you're going to be in Boston April 4-6, 2006, stop by the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. You'll not only find a trusted advisor to get you going and comfortable with Linux, you'll find two! During the upcoming LinuxWorld Boston event, Nicholas Petreley and I will be presenting the The ABCs of Desktop Linux: Everything You Need to Start Using Linux Today. Nicholas is the former Editor in Chief of TUX and the current Editor in Chief of Linux Journal. I'm the current Editor in Chief of TUX.
Issue number 12, April 2006, of TUX now is available. Subscribers, you can download this issue here or simply follow the Download TUX button on the right to download the current issue. If you're not yet a TUX subscriber, consider subscribing today for instant access to this issue and many more!
TUX's Editor in Chief offers a peek at what you can expect in the next issue.
by Kevin Shockey
A distribution smackdown is going on, and it looks to be a no-rules brawl. That's right, TUX is cooking up something special for its first anniversary issue.
In Issue 12, available April 1, 2006, TUX features its first Linux distribution review and comparison. We feature seven reviews of some of the most popular Linux distributions. As explained in our review introduction, we wanted to capture these reviews from the freshest "out-of-the-box" perspective possible. For me, this was important because once you've used Linux as a desktop for a few years, you tend to forget what it feels like to be new to Linux--especially if the new user happens to be an ordinary user and not an engineer.