Newsletter Archives

  • Trying Linux on your Windows system



    Trying Linux on your Windows system

    By Sandra Henry-Stocker

    Did you ever think you might like to give Linux a try without making a commitment to a new operating system? Well, guess what? You can!

    In fact, there are a number of ways to pull this off — without disrupting, interfering with, or unseating your Windows installation. You can install a command line tool on top of Windows 10, run a Linux desktop on top of Windows, run a full Linux distribution with its own GUI from a DVD or USB drive, install it as a second OS and decide at boot time which you want to run, or install Linux on some old PC you don’t use anymore.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.6.0 (2021-02-15).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.6.F (2021-02-15).

  • What Linux is and why it has persisted



    What Linux is and why it has persisted

    By Sandra Henry-Stocker

    When all your friends are using Windows and the desktops at work are all running Windows, Linux might be one of the last things you’d even think about.

    Anyone who has never taken a dive into Linux may wonder why anyone would bother using what might appear to be a nonstandard, aberrant, fragmented operating system with hundreds of different builds. There are, however, many reasons why Linux has become a successful OS, why hundreds of Linux distributions have come into being, and why Linux enthusiasts are so enamored with it.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.2.0 (2021-01-18).

  • Windows vs Linux, take 346,782

    I just read Paul Thurrot’s blog, taking John Dvorak to task for ripping Microsoft about the outrageous price of Windows and Office. Dvorak’s conclusion:

    I can get a complete Intel motherboard with an Atom processor, ready to install in a box, for about $100. All I need is a $30 memory module, an inexpensive hard disk ($50) and a case/power supply ($75). For $255, I can have a pretty nice cheap machine. Now I have to add the most basic version of Windows for $199? And Office for another $399 (standard no-frills edition)?

    Let’s add this up: Hot little computer: $255. Basic low-end Microsoft software: $598.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Paul notes that you can get Windows Home Basic for much less money. (He’s right, but who in their right mind runs Windows Home Basic?) You can get Office Student & Teacher for less, too. When I do the math, I come up with $120 for Vista and $90 for Office. That means the software for a bare-bones system costs almost as much as the hardware.

    What’s wrong with this picture, indeed?

    Just last week I published an article in Windows Secrets Newsletter that describes a screaming Windows 7 machine that I put together while working on my Windows 7 book. The whole thing cost $295 (not including the monitor). It’s easy – you can do it, too, if you know what to look for. (The article is in the paid version of the newsletter, but you can subscribe for any amount you care to donate.)

    What John says is absolutely true: increasingly, Microsoft is pricing itself out of the game. Sorry, Paul, but them’s the facts. It’s like the old maxim about a five dollar horse and a ten dollar saddle – except nowadays that five dollar horse looks more and more like a Kentuck Derby contender.

    Microsoft is facing very serious competition from Linux. And more and more, it’s hard to beat free.