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  • OSS and CSS Software Information Wanted

    Posted on Bluetrix Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Questions: Browsers and desktop software OSS and CSS Software Information Wanted

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    This topic contains 19 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  mn– 1 day, 17 hours ago.

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    • #238622 Reply

      Bluetrix
      AskWoody Lounger

      OSS and CSS Software

      I am not an expert on anything except for what I want, and even that is questionable at times. This isn’t an “us” vrs “them” issue. (Win, Mac, Unix) I’m more interested in clarity of thought. What do you and why do you.

      I understand the difference between OSS software and CSS software, inasmuch as OSS software code is openly available and can be altered either by yourself or on a platform shared by many. OSS is open to collaboration and scrutiny by anyone so inclined. OSS has an advantage that anyone who can write code can aid in development of a software program. Typically this software is under constant revision.
      While OSS is portrayed as safer because it’s code is available for review, this “safer” isn’t always a fact, imho.

      CSS software is a done deal, not open to revision by the masses. It’s more wysiwyg programming, released to anyone that cares to use it. This applies to both free and pay for use software. It’s updated at the developers discretion and might be revised because of feedback from users, bug fixes or possibly additional features. Many times you can get a CSS program for free at first but down the road it might cost you for a newer version, but that’s just a marketing ploy widely used.

      I can name several OSS and CSS programs that are popular enough, or orphans that a niche user needs that I use or have used. I am grateful for both open and closed source software. What I would like to know is: What programs do you use, OSS or CSS and why? For instance only Unix OS is really an OSS (all distros), yet it’s use is proportionally less than Mac or Windows. (Sorry Woody, I omit Chromium on purpose. it’s google … I am so biased)

      Personally I use both OSS and CSS software if it meets my needs. If I am wary of a program I will open it in VM and try it out. I don’t love any software that phones home because I can’t tell what it’s sending, but if a program is useful enough I will make exceptions. Always have been and always will be conflicted about that. Using GlassWire, (a CSS prog) I can tell if and when a phone home is being used and act accordingly. *note* plz correct any misconceptions I may have.

      Just trying to understand and place both better, comments anyone?

    • #238784 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      Actually, UNIX(r) is nowadays a very confusing mix of open and closed source, usually. AT&T System III descendants are closed source except for OpenSolaris (first release in 2008, discontinued in 2010; never a complete version of Solaris), but since origin of the software means nothing for the UNIX name, the different UNIX distributions don’t necessarily share any code at all. Inspur K-UX is both Linux and UNIX(r), for example.

      Also non-UNIX Mac means MacOS 9, since OS X is both UNIX(r) and in large parts of the core system internals also open source, even though you can’t practically verify the installed binaries… and the user interface seems to be closed-source anyway.

      So yeah, open source doesn’t necessarily mean much if you can’t verify the connection between the code and binaries.

       

      As for what I use … whatever gets the job done, preferably within budget. Open source has the specific advantage that it’s easier to get it fixed if there’s a problem, at a previous job we had a building full of software developers anyway so if it was more efficient to have it fixed in house… …and we did have slightly tweaked versions of some tools because of that. (If it’s just an internal tool and doesn’t go into product deliverables, the source doesn’t have to be released even under GPL, remember)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #238904 Reply

      Bluetrix
      AskWoody Lounger

      @mn- Thanks for filling me in on Unix. My knowledge is limited to what I have read on the subject recently. One website’s information I drew on to call Unix and all it’s flavors a catchall was: https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/4091/is-linux-a-unix  It said, “Linux is the most prominent example of a “real” Unix OS”.  I incorrectly lumped all Unix as OSS. That’s because I read a great deal about how Linux being OSS makes it a great thing, which it actually might.

      I did read at: https://www.coredna.com/blogs/comparing-open-closed-source-software what you alluded to as “in house” developers. It used a financial criteria for OSS v CSS use in a company setting. Informative read imho.

      It was Fred Langa that introduced me to “free software is a good thing” years ago, free doesn’t automatically imply a program has ulterior motives, OSS or CSS developed.  For the budget minded computer user free can be a very good thing. This is especially true for most users, whom for the majority have no skills to develop anything more than an email. I certainly could be included in that group, though I like to think I have progressed past the neanderthal  stage to at least the iron age 🙂

      I started this topic partly because of a response I received to a CSS prog I suggested. I was told by the person that responded that they would never use that prog because it was CSS. Personally I think the only thing that is really closed is that mind set, so I appeal to Woody’s masses  for a little clarity. I appreciate your feedback. I’m with you, whatever works.

       

      • #238911 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        That article does have some rather significant omissions.

        You actually can get open source software with support, service, auditing and extensive documentation. It might be more expensive than a package deal on a well-packaged closed-source product, since they don’t have vendor lock-in for future sales, but you can get it. Then again you can change support and customization providers later.

        For the really security-conscious buyer, you want an independent audit on the source code and binaries with no NDAs, and that is usually only available on the open source side. Yes, this means you pay for it separately to ensure it’s really independent…

        See, closed source side of things tends to have everything bundled together and monetized through just the software license, or license + ongoing support. Open source side, you don’t usually pay for the license at all, but then you’ll need to buy everything else separately or do it yourself.

         

        This does tend to make open source particularly attractive to 1) those who can go with the do-it-yourself way, such as independent professionals and organizations that already have the abilities for that, and 2) large organizations that are concerned about continuity and security and have the resources to either buy independent auditing, software support and whatever services or assign an internal department to do that, such as governments and very large corporations.

        Small and medium businesses in fields other than IT tend to be neither of those, but there are exceptions.

        • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  mn--.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #238929 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          … For small & medium businesses there’s the other angle:

          Open source tends to be free of charge for the base product at least, and for large projects with multiple independent support providers, these support providers tend to be quite good at pushing all the fixes “upstream” so as to benefit from each other’s work. So with large user base mainstream projects like Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice… Linux… the usual disadvantages of open source don’t apply much.

          That leaves pretty much the feature set and price (total cost over lifetime) as relevant criteria.

    • #238956 Reply

      Bluetrix
      AskWoody Lounger

      “That article does have some rather significant omissions.”

      I can’t comment with any authority like you can on what Sam Saltis did or didn’t leave out of his article. What I can comment on is how he wrote the piece. Normally I wouldn’t be motivated to read an article like that, but I wanted to learn something from both sides of the fence. For a thousand words or less I didn’t expect it to be all encompassing. It was easy to read and he does preface the piece with:

      “But let’s start with a few basics to help you get in the conversation.”

      I might not be a scholar on the subject after reading his article, but one has to know the ABC’s before learning how to read. In that light, I thought he did a pretty good job of presenting exactly what was offered, a few basics. You didn’t contradict what he did say, so I will assume I got the truth as for what he did say, as basics go. If I leave the table with more knowledge than when I sat down, that’s a good thing. I did leave with questions though. For instance, he said:

      Third party systems and developers are also able to use a variety of mechanisms to enhance “closed” source software.”

      He only offered some basics, I assume that’s the reason he omitted an explanation about *what* “mechanisms”. I’m all ears for enhancing stuff, that tid-bit left me hanging. I can guess that one ‘mechanism’ would be reverse engineering. I am not, nor do I aspire to be a developer, in a few days I will probably forget I had the question until it surfaces again in the future, 🙂 it just would be interesting to know. Just as thanks to you, I know more about the workings of OSS v CSS in the realm of development considerations.

      “For the really security-conscious buyer, you want an independent audit on the source code and binaries with no NDAs”

      I’m probably misunderstanding what you wrote. Even though I pay for an audit, I can’t require a NDA on information I gained through it? I should at least be covered with a SA for information I pay for, even if the original SC was freely available. I’m guessing you meant an OSS SC that I get audited shouldn’t be covered by a NDA when I get it. Either way that seems non-sensible to me. If it were CSS SC, I could see the owner not wanting anything divulged should you change your mind and not buy, so some sort of cya would be in order, either a NDA, PIA, CDA or at the minimum a SA. Only minor differences between all of those. I wanted to buy a company once, I wanted a P&L with my own audit. Owners required a NDA before releasing their books to my accountant. Made sense to me, information is valuable.

      About 4 years before I retired, the company I worked for was swallowed by a multi-national corporation, at the time we were using Windows10 in our 200 or so PC’s and laptops. There were many different OS programs throughout the new corp, our Win10 was but a pimple on a boil. They started out in house to have everyone on the same system, so the right hand would know what the left hand was doing. IT told them they couldn’t combine sales, marketing, engineering and manufacturing and other aspects in one OS. So what did the Corporation do? They bought a software company just to develop a system that could. I think the purchase price was just at 10M. Even though the umbrella’s release was staged, it was still a nightmare. Before I left it was up and running. Learning curve was, well lets just say I never really learned it before I left, not that I didn’t try. 🙂 Toss enough money at a computer issue and it can be solved, even if no one is happy with it.    déjà vu

       

      • #239083 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Yeah, those little things about aftermarket enhancements to closed source software…

        For example, hooks to operations such as file open – a security product will wrap that “open” into “open in scanner, scan for malware, if clean proceed to original operation”. Another product would override file open and close to keep a local in-memory copy for applications that don’t do internal caching, for a speed advantage.

        Then, undocumented / reverse-engineered interfaces to the internals of some product or another – again some security products have been found to do this with Windows, which one was it again where this caused problems with Microsoft’s patches for Spectre/Meltdown…

         

        The other thing – I remember a case where a software audit was agreed on only with the condition that the exact problems found were not to be released to any outsiders. Not very good to argue that you don’t recommend version X of product Y when you can’t say why, even in private.

        • #239123 Reply

          Bluetrix
          AskWoody Lounger

          “Yeah, those little things about aftermarket enhancements to closed source software”

          I understand your examples, the position I am taking is … How did they do that? Like watching a magic trick, you will probably never attempt the trick but you would like to know how it was done. Just nosy.

          “I remember a case where a software audit was agreed on only with the condition that the exact problems found were not to be released to any outsiders. Not very good to argue that you don’t recommend version X of product Y when you can’t say why, even in private.”

          Pretty much my point on the NDA (non disclosure agreement) issue. Not much honesty among thieves eh?

          • This reply was modified 6 days, 14 hours ago by  Bluetrix.
          • #239849 Reply

            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            Little tricks like that can be done through various means – disassembly being the major but by no means only one.

            Any unencrypted program executing in a known command set (in binary) can theoretically be deconstructed back to a set of source code, and since mainstream processors need to be fed unencrypted machine commands… well, nontrivial programs are a real bother to disassemble fully but you can usually catch things like “file open”.

            Then there’s the layered libraries thing – you can specify search order for system library functions such as “file open”, and then make sure your modified version is found before the default version and satisfies all of the other requirements (compatible inputs and such). If the application is split into main file and multiple libraries, you can theoretically even get between those.

            Then are the applications that have a separate extension mechanism that is exposed on purpose… even if it may not be particularly well documented for the public.

             

            Most closed-source software EULAs forbid disassembly but, you know, void where prohibited by law… and disassembly for purposes of security is explicitly not allowed to be forbidden in some countries nowadays. Library preemption doesn’t even require that.

    • #239086 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      Hello @Bluetrix-

      I use Windows 7, which is a closed source operating system (as all Windows operating systems are). Most people are familiar with closed systems because of marketing, design for ease of use, and support… so for most of us, when we obtained our first computer, it came with a closed source operating system… but it gave us a lot of things we could do that we couldn’t do before we had the computer, so it felt good and liberating for us… and we didn’t know anything else, as it was Microsoft or Apple that did the marketing and introduced/induced us to buy their closed source product.

      I’d like to introduce another term for consideration- “Free software’ where free is about the end users freedom, rather than price. “Free software” is often confused with open source, and I’ll refer you to “Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software” by Richard Stallman as to why they are similar, and not the same.

      The problems with closed source operating systems and programs is very well demonstrated by what Microsoft is doing with W 10. It may have been offered as free (as in price) in the beginning, but it does not allow end users to be free. Although you could say that buggy updates are W10’s biggest problem, the common theme of eliminating end user control and shaping the operating system to serve Microsoft’s purposes rather than be useful to end users runs throughout other problems with the system- forced updating, forcing Home users to beta test, forced telemetry, forced internet searches, unwanted programs, advertising, and SaaS (Software as a service- ie- renting). More and more people are aware that Microsoft has taken over their hardware to do what Microsoft wants rather than what the end user wants to do. The problem of a lack of freedom is the misuse of power. Most people, at a gut level, prefer personal freedom… and will label obviously self-serving proprietary software as mal-ware. However, we’ve been focused on using what freedom we have to make the proprietary system (Windows) work for us (ie-how to control updating), rather than the ethical issue of choosing free software rather than proprietary software in the first place. Freedom is chancy- has its risks- You might have to give up having the latest bells and whistles. You might face malware distributors of programs with back doors that aren’t yet identified. You might not have complete compatibility with non-free software that is commonly used by others (but that is because the proprietary software is defective by design- designed to limit your freedom). Personally I view what Microsoft has done as immoral- their current products are malware that increasing disregards my values, and my freedom. Because of that, I’ve chosen not to buy (further support Microsoft) Windows 8.1, have avoided W10, and am experimenting as to which Linux distro will suit my needs…

      For the time being I’m using a mix of free, open source, and proprietary programs. I have very limited financial resources and limited physical resources, so that mix reflects how I was introduced into computing, and what has been available along the way… and the fact that I know more about what choices I actually have now, rather than relying on commercial marketing to inform me. When and where I can I will choose free (as in freedom) software, over strictly open software… and open software over proprietary software. I believe that the individual choices I make matters… I donate my time and energy to the Lounge because of how much the people here have helped me. I think that knowledge and choices are basic to freedom, and I’ve found that here. I value my freedom, and the freedom of others. I’m not to the point of not buying proprietary software again… but I want to make sure it serves my purposes, and not the purposes of others… and having a hard time finding anything that meets that standard. Having found the freedoms of learning, creating and communicating in the internet and computing, I want to support software and developers who will support my personal freedom to use their product to suit myself, and that don’t corrupt their product with malware that data mines (to be used to manipulate, market, and milk value from me). From my conversations with family and friends, most are not aware of free (as in freedom) choices in hardware, or software, let alone why free (as in freedom) is at stake when making their choices.

      Here is a link to the “Philosophy of the GNU Project” which includes multiple links explaining the value of free (as in freedom) software further. And here is one to the Free Software Foundation (FSF). One of the things that I’ve been considering jumping to is Linux Mint for its comprehensive package and ease of use… but weighing how much I, personally, am willing and able to adopt free (as in freedom) software (as compatibility with non-free programs requires non-free elements). Basic human freedom, whether of religion, language, personal expression, financial, health care choices, governmental, or response to corporate marketing is important to me… Supporting those same freedoms for others, is also important to me. Just as countries have governments that range from corrupt dictators to those that support personal freedoms, our choices in computing can enslave us, or set us free. Right now we can vote by choosing what type of software we will support. But to vote we should be knowledgeable about the consequences of the choices we make. Free, or not free?

      The closer we come to end of life for Windows 7, the more important discussion of free (as in freedom) becomes. That entire subject is often missing when talking about what our choices are… but I think it is critical when evaluating what will serve me, rather than serve others. I’ve chosen not to adopt W10, not to be a beta-tester, and not to move to Windows 8.1, rejecting the abuse of power that Microsoft is promoting. It remains to be seen if I have the ability and resources to adopt computing software that will serve my needs, rather than the needs of others. For now, I’m using Pale Moon for browsing, Thunderbird for e-mail, and Gimp for photo-editing… but still on Windows 7…

      Thank you, @bluetrix, for offering a chance to explore the differences between open source, and closed source software. I see no problem using proprietary software that supports my personal freedom… but I’m seeing less and less of that available. It has increasingly become a socially acceptable presentation of malware that abuses me, rather than empowering me… and it doesn’t matter what company or product I point to. Everywhere I look I’m seeing more commercial, closed source software that is attractive bait on a hook… too often hiding the hook and the real objectives of the provider. Not wanting to get hooked, I’m avoiding it as much as possible for the future.

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #239109 Reply

      Lars220
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks Bluetrix, mn-, and Elly, very informative and educational. Much is above my understanding, but I appreciate learning from all of you. I experiment a little, basically Windows 7 pro x64 with VirtualBox guests Linux Mint 19 and Windows 10 Pro 1803. I really like Linux Mint 19 for a basic home (not business) user, and recommend Elly investigate it. Here is a link about the new features in LM19, I like it because it comes with a lot of FOSS Free Open Source Software pre-installed right in the installation iso. Firefox, Thunderbird, Libre Office, VLC media player, GIMP, just to name a few. There are something like 58,000 downloadable software programs in the Software Manager Repository. ( Free also )

      https://linuxmint.com/rel_tara_cinnamon_whatsnew.php

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #239116 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have a new-ish Mac and, as  mn-  has explained already, Mac OS X, renamed recently macOS, is a UNIX-like system based on BSD. How this came to be is an interesting tale very nicely told here:  https://www.howtogeek.com/295067/why-is-macos-software-sometimes-labeled-darwin/ . Because it is UNIX-like, it is also compatible with software from the Free Software Foundation (GNU https://www.gnu.org/software/software.en.html ), software that can be downloaded and installed free of charge. Which gives one occasion to use both proprietary (Mac) software and (GNU) free software. GNU software and other free software developed to run on LINUX is sometimes also available for Windows as well as for Macs. But I found that their developers tend not to like Widows at all and have no problem telling those who want to install their “for Windows” version that, yeah, you can do that, but they really don’t think much of Windows. That does not seem to be the case when it comes to Macs. Go figure.

      As to the benefits or otherwise of using truly free software on LINUX computers, I know people that have been doing that, intensively, for years and years, and are very pleased with the results.

      But LINUX has a rather steep learning curve, so it is for those who are very motivated and also know others that are already quite familiar with LINUX and won’t mind giving them a hand when they are still finding their legs. Also, unlike for Mac or Windows, the people at LINUX discussion forums are not always terribly sympathetic to newbies.

      As so often is the case, freedom is not for free. Nothing that really matters is, although it might not priced in terms of money.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #239182 Reply

      Bluetrix
      AskWoody Lounger

      @elly
      From, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” to Microsoft’s
      “Where do you want to go today”, those advertisements were pointed at one thing, freedom. It’s not just something we want, it’s something we need. If it weren’t for copyright infringement Woody could easily use those quips to describe this site. (you gotta change ‘a Honda’ to AskWoody)

      I can understand where you are coming from in your response.
      Elly, I’m sure you will be using Win7 until it will no longer do what you want it to do, continued M$ support or not. Win7 will not stop working because M$ stops updating it. The world didn’t stop turning because of Y2K either.

      If you have read a few of my posts, you know I am not happy with M$ for many reasons. For now I am a captive audience by choice, but I misbehave. Having successfully blocked M$’s insidious, constantly blotched updates on my Win10 Home with a CSS “free” program, I am now on a quest to block the “not” spying they do in the name of telemetry support. Spybot-Anti-Beacon blocks some telemetry for me, but not all. It’s “free”, as in no money cost to me, it’s a CSS program. I do not trust the “privacy controls” Win10 offers.

      We can’t dictate what a CSS program will do and have little control over what OSS programs do, but we can misbehave 🙂  eh, chalk it up to my silent form of protest.

      Take WordPress, it is an OSS entity. “AskWoody” runs on it. It makes little difference to users what platform Woody runs on as long as it runs. I’ve migrated away from FireFox to Waterfox. I use Startpage now instead of google search or DDG, even though the search results are powered by google. Go figure, lol, I really detest google. I guess by using Startpage I threw out the bath water but kept the baby. Minor protest, a little hypocritical in nature, but still feels good. In a way you could say I am freer.

      On the OS front, I use Win10 Home. I stopped updating at Winver 1803. Only been a few months so no ill effects yet.

      I installed: VMware, https://www.vmware.com/products/player/faqs.html  (it’s free and CSS)
      After much reading on Linux forums, like Lars220 chose, I decided on Linux Mint Tara 19 also. And as OscarCP pointed out, at times Linux forums are helpful, but don’t expect those environments to mirror AskWoody’s. I run Linux on the VM.  There are a lot of things that are similar to windows in Linux Mint, but major things that aren’t, it is a learning experience. Wade before you dive in. It’s really not difficult to install Vmware and then open Linux in VM. That was my choice rather than trying dual boot or making a complete leap to Linux. Preparing for an OS change after 25+ years, well it’s like moving out of your old neighborhood without all the boxes. If I can do it, you can 🙂  Besides, in VM it’s virtual, you can’t harm anything on your computer.

      On a different note …
      Like people often do, they can agree on a subject with reservations. I tend to turn away when someone preaches at me. Mr. Stallman does that. He has some good points, but for me his approach to informing is more on the lines of demanding I listen. What he says may be valid, how he says it is annoying. I will strain to hear a whisper, yet turn a deaf ear to a shout. I’m not saying I agree to disagree with you, I’m saying I don’t care for Mr. Stallman’s approach.  No matter how noble his cause or intentions are, his soap box is a little to high off the ground for me.

      I always enjoy reading your posts Elly, you are informative and help out a lot of people. Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

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      • #239437 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Lounger

        Bluetrix,

        Mr. Stallman has a reputation for being an annoyingly enthusiastic firebrand. But his heart is in the right place and his deeds are noble ones.

        Much the same as Mr. Linus, who can be famously outspoken and whose comments of those things he disapproves can be quite withering.

        Richard Stallman has been from the first a guiding light of the free software movement and founder of the GNU, while Torvald Linus started the LINUX part of that movement by creating the kernel of what is now called LINUX, making it possible to ran UNIX-based OS on regular Intel/IBM clone PCs — the ones now we are all using at home and in the office. Until then, to use UNIX one needed either an expensive type of desktop computer known as a workstation or a main-frame computer, as ordinary and much cheaper PCs could not be used for that. The big deal about having some kind of UNIX available on PCs is that, in its various forms, is widely used for such computer work as running network servers, doing scientific and engineering calculations, and so forth. Now Chrome, Android and Macs run some form of UNIX under the hood. The nice thing for me about a Mac is that I can get under its hood to use its UNIX-like OS in line-command mode. And that it is compatible with just about any LINUX software I really need to have. As to the graphics, the browsers, music and video streaming, plus all the rest, it is nice to have that as well.

        For more information:

        https://www.gnu.org/music/free-software-song.en.html (where you might be able to hear Mr. Stallman singing the FSF song – Note: “hackers” is used there in its original meaning of “very skilled at programming”).

        https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/09/linus-torvalds-apologizes-for-years-of-being-a-jerk-takes-time-off-to-learn-empathy/

         

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        • #239465 Reply

          Bluetrix
          AskWoody Lounger

          @oscarcp I’m going to come back to your post later, I need to look up some URL’s first.

          On the Torvalds front … yeah he was heaping it on like the world couldn’t understand why he was so right and no one would automatically agree with him. I have read about his taking a short sabbatical to learn how to better communicate with people. I forget the site I read about it on, but someone compared him to Steve Jobs. We all pretty much know the Jobs story, he was a KA and take names dictator who resurrected the same place he was booted from six years earlier because he wasn’t ummm … nice.

          @lars220 I totally agree it takes time to wade through most things Linux, to start at least. Learning Windows has a curve too unless you enjoy what they plop down in front of you, as is. I mentioned that to mn-
          That’s because I read a great deal about how Linux being OSS makes it a great thing, which it actually might. And that great deal of reading only scratched the surface I think. That doesn’t include the Linux forums reading, omg if I may use that. Still from what I read, Tara was the best choice for me.
          When one steps off the Windows train to board Linux Express, you can be sure you aren’t in Kansas anymore Dorthy. 🙂 Thanks for the links.

        • #240021 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Technically, it was possible to run UNIX-like operating systems on regular PCs even before Linux. It’s just, only Minix was free and it wasn’t a very complete system… BSD was in a legal hassle with licensing, but Microsoft Xenix and its descendant SCO UNIX was available if you knew where to buy and had the budget, similarly SunOS/i386 -> Solaris/i386.

          You can still find old embedded or semi-embedded systems running SCO UNIX if you know where to look.

          SCO OpenServer 6 recent versions are still advertised to have some compatibility for Xenix/286 applications (from 1984), even…

    • #239421 Reply

      Lars220
      AskWoody Lounger

      Four links for some of my favorite FOSS Free Open Source Software websites. With a little searching one can find software for both Windows and Linux, but I am not sure about Apple. A lot of Android apps show up also. For Linux I prefer the Linux Mint (19) Software Manager Repository. Take a look at the fossbytes com page for Windows 10 alternative programs.

      https://fossbytes.com/windows-10-free-open-source-software-alternative/

      https://www.fosshub.com/

      https://itsfoss.com/

      https://sourceforge.net/

      Warning: one can spend a lot of time browsing these websites, so set a timer 🙂

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #239845 Reply

        Bluetrix
        AskWoody Lounger

        @Lars220- Nice list, lots of stuff to read and have a look-see at.

        I will add one to that list. It’s for anyone that would like a simple overview of 6 Linux distros and what can be expected from each. It’s not all-encompassing, but it’s where I got my 1st real unbiased view of Linux flavors. (so I think)

        https://itsfoss.com/best-linux-beginners/

        I use win10 but this is an excerpt for Win7 users.

        Windows 7 lovers who are really not into where Microsoft is heading with Windows 10 will find Linux Mint lovable. Linux Mint desktop is pretty similar to Windows 7 desktop. Similar toolbar, similar menu, similar tray icons are all set to make Windows users feel absolutely at home.
        As always, ymmv

    • #239550 Reply

      Bluetrix
      AskWoody Lounger

      @oscarcp
      From an article published in Psychology Today

      I paste this excerpt that sums up my thinking.

      Eric Raymond, who co-founded the Open Source Initiative in 1998 has this to say about Mr Stallman: “What he has is a commitment to his ideas that is utterly total. And it’s very important to him that people not only behave in the way he wants them to behave but think in the way he wants them to think.” He summarizes: “Most of the community respect Richard but don’t buy all of his premises.”

      As I noted to Elly, I’m not agreeing to disagree. Many people that have a fine tuned aim in life come across as less than personable, and that’s understandable. I also say that while I’m not in total disagreement with the message Mr. Stallman has, there has to be some middle ground. It would be ludicrous to claim that there is only one way to do something, and if not done exactly in that manner you fall short of any intended goal. Evolution doesn’t happen overnight.

      Mr. Stallman’s goal is quite apparent, his methodology fails to include the human spirit. We have the right to do something partially, or not at all. That is real freedom.

      • This reply was modified 4 days, 6 hours ago by  Bluetrix.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #239649 Reply

        anonymous

        Bluetrix,

        Unlike Steve Jobs, these two gentlemen cannot fire or blacklist anyone. They do important, helpful and useful work, and people are truly thankful for that. As far as developers and users of free software go, they are no one’s bosses and, as far as I know, even want to be that. Individual freedom is not imperiled by these two gentlemen. In fact, it has been considerably strengthened by their work that has made possible truly free software widely available and provided the basic tools needed to make it happen.

        Unpleasant? Yes, sometimes they can be. Tyrants that will bend us to their will? Not really. So, why not just take the good they have to offer and ignore the rest? Is not that hard.

        Edited: Please respect the lounge rules

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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