Saturday, August 29, 2009

Top Linux Games

There are a lot of great games for Linux. Check out our list of free games. Tons of fun and very addictive. Enjoy!

1. Warzone 2100 - Great real time strategy game

2. Nexuiz - Amazing first person shooter

3. TORCS - 3D racing car game

4. Glest - medieval era strategy game

5. Assualt Cube - cool first person shooter

6. Yo Frankie! -  cute game and nice graphics

7. Urban Terror - great multiplayer game

8. Cube 2 Sauerbraten - popular FPS

9. Tremulous - FPS with elements of RTS

10. World Of Padman - amazing graphics

11. Wormux - Funny battle game

12. Scorched - 3D artillery game

13. Trigger - great car rally game

14. Alien arena - Another great FPS

15. Secret Maryo Chronicles - classic sidescroller game

16. X-Moto - simple graphics but lots of fun

17. Frozen Bubble - arcade game

18. Bos Wars - futuristic RTS

19. Freeciv - turn based strategy game

20. Flight Gear - free flight simulator

21. Hedge Wars - Fun and addictive game

22. Warsow - Fast paced FPS

23. Chromium - 2D arcade scroller

24. Supertuxkart - racing game

Great place for Linux news.

Linux news is a very popular site. It features great articles about open source software. The topics range from educational to politics. If you are interested in the latest Linux news than you should bookmark this site. Also, you can create an account and add stories that you find on the internet about GNU/Linux and open source. The editors will look over your submitted story and if it is good they will publish it. Check out the Linux news website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Google Chrome OS a Linux saviour?

Now that Google is creating their own operating system, a lot of things might change for the computer industry. However, Google Chrome OS will probably not be a Linux saviour because there is nothing to save. The GNU/Linux project is on the right track and is in no need of saving. It is flourishing and a lot of people are switching over. It is definitely going into the mainstream and it is a mature project. With Google coming on board with Linux, it will be just another distribution. We already have hundreds of them and several that are very popular and of very good quality that can compete with proprietary software.

Nevertheless, Google Chrome OS will be important because it will introduce more people to Linux. It will act as a gateway into the Linux world. A large company such as Google can definitely get a lot of people to try out Linux or switch over completely. This is important because it can increase the market share. Google has a lot of finances behind it and know-how. It can challenge a large and established company such as Microsoft. Once someone uses Google Chrome OS and they are not completely satisfied, they can switch over to other distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint Linux, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva or many others. Google Chrome will be just another partner in promoting the world of open source software. The more companies that are behind Linux the better for the whole open source community. Linux is definitely becoming a force to watch out for and a lot of companies are realizing they can no longer ignore it. Having Google supporting Linux and creating their own OS just proves that Linux is becoming very important not just for servers but also for desktops, laptops and netbooks. Google Chrome OS will be able to introduce a lot more people to the great concept of Linux.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If stuff was according to Microsoft.

Microsoft is very good at manipulating its customers and destroying competition. It is a company that time and time again has proved to be using all kinds of tactics to maintain its market dominance. Some of these tactics are just plain illegal and others are very unethical. But, if Microsoft would have its way and we would not oppose it this is how things would probably look.

-Each time you click on the start button 5 cents would be deducted from your credit card.

-GNU/Linux would be outlawed as a Communist plot and anyone using it would be sent to prison.

-Mac computers would be running Windows.

-Only Microsoft applications could work on Windows.

-There would be no compatibility between other platforms.

-Having a monopoly would be completely legal. 

-Everything would have a patent and Microsoft would own each and everyone of them.

-If you try to create a website, it would have to be for Microsoft standards and not international ones.

-Upgrading would cost an arm and a leg.

-Each time you get the blue screen of death you have to pay money to unlock it.

-File formats would be encrypted and only Microsoft would be able to decrypt them.

-Digital Rights Management would be in every application imaginable.

-Microsoft would rule your life to the smallest detail.

-No hardware would be able to function without Microsoft software. Vendors would only make hardware for Windows.

-Even though the quality of Microsoft Products would be low it wouldn't matter because you would have no other alternative.

-A bug would be a feature.

-All competition would be eliminated or just bought and disassembled.

-There would be 100 upgrades a year and you would have to buy every single one of them or your computer would not work anymore.

-Anti-trust law would be scrubbed.

-History books would be altered and Microsoft Windows would be the first operating system created.

If you have some other interesting and funny ideas to add please leave them in the comments section below.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hedgewars: Worms like game

Hedgewars is a free and open source game. It is a Worms like game and works on Linux, Mac OS and Windows. The latest version was released in May of 2009 and is licensed under GNU General Public License version 2. In this game teams of small hedgehogs battle against each other. You have different weapons such as dynamite, bazooka, fire punch, grenade and many others. The game is a turn based game where each team gets a chance to attack the opponent. There are many creative maps to choose from. The game is cute and very addictive. Strategic positioning of your team is also essential so that you can prepare for a secondary strike. To view a video of Hedgewars click here. Or check out their website and download Hedgewars for your computer and start plotting your evil and cunning attacks.

Hedgewars website.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Of course its Political!

Some people are arguing that GNU/Linux users should stay away from politics and just concentrate on the technical stuff of the operating system. The problem with this is that politics is part of everything we do. Especially a huge software revolution such as GNU/Linux will be littered with political issues. It is impossible to not get involved in politics if you are part of something so revolutionary. Even though I don't like people who are extremists, it is important to keep a healthy balance that deals with politics and technical issues at the same time. Politics is about who gets what, where and when. The GNU/Linux community is often not a priority for major hardware manufacturers because the market share is small on desktop computers. Some companies are consciously trying to undermine the open source movement or limit its adoption. However, because GNU/Linux is slowly growing you can see more companies coming on board and realizing that even the Linux community should no longer be ignored. This is where politics comes in. Why does the GNU/Linux community always have to be second best? Why don't we have the support of software and hardware manufacturers? How can our government allow monopolies to exist without stepping in as they should? Having Microsoft Windows pre-installed on majority of new computers gives users little choice. In a democratic society a monopoly should be disassembled so that innovation, competition and progress can occur.

People such as Richard Stallman are very political but Linus Torvalds is much less so. This creates a good balance between the two individuals. Little bit of Stallman mixed in with Torvalds and GNU/Linux community users and you get something that is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Politics is crucial in everyday life and this is especially true for the GNU/Linux community. We need to be aware of a lot of issues that concern us. Open source software is a big challenge for the established companies such as Microsoft and Apple. They do not want to create products or services that can work with and benefit Linux. They are trying really hard to stifle Linux so that they can protect their markets. This is not fair and hopefully with more people adopting GNU/Linux these companies and many others will no longer be able to ignore us and use tactics that are inappropriate.

For the people who want to stay out of politics and just concentrate on technical issues, that is great. Just don't be too harsh on people who realize that politics is also important and they put their energy into that. A healthy middle ground would be the best. It would be nice to see companies supporting GNU/Linux and taking it seriously. It seems that slowly, hardware and software manufacteurrs are getting the hint but it has been a long and hard battle which will continue for quite a long time to come. It is not easy to ignore politics and especially for a software revolution such as GNU/Linux.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Short, sweet and profound.

A short video with a profound message. Nothing is more powerful than an idea who's time has come. GNU/Linux is here to stay and is being adopted by millions of users around the world.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What is this Linux thingy and why should I care?

A lot of people are hearing things about GNU/Linux but are confused about what it actually is. They don't know much about it or why it is important. They are wondering if they should learn about it or maybe start using it? This article will introduce some simple concepts for people who would like to know a little bit more about GNU/Linux.

There are two main operating systems that almost everyone knows about. Microsoft Windows is one of them and currently it is very dominant. It runs on most desktop and laptop computers. If you go into any computer store you will see that Microsoft Windows is pre-installed on many machines. The other is Mac OS which runs on Apple computers and is becoming very popular. However, there is a third operating system that is gaining momentum, people are starting to take notice and are switching over. GNU/Linux is a free operating system that anyone can download and use. It features thousands of free applications that are of good quality and allows you to do stuff you would do with your Windows and Apple system. To download GNU/Linux all you need is a blank CD so you can burn the OS image. The installation is a breeze and the interface is similar to other operating systems mentioned above. There are things you will have to learn as with any new OS but it is not that difficult. There are a lot of advantages to installing and using GNU/Linux. Lets give you a brief introduction.

Linux was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Since then it has matured tremendously and is a competitor to Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. An important concept about GNU/Linux is that it is open source. That means the software is not proprietary. There is no one company in control of GNU/Linux that is dictating to you what you can or cannot do. Because Linux is open source, anyone can copy, edit and distribute it to as many people as they wish. It is a new way of thinking about computer software and a revolution that is changing the computer industry.

You might ask yourself how is this possible? Is open source software even feasible? Well, because GNU/Linux is open source there are many volunteers that contribute to it and some companies pay their programmers to code for GNU/Linux. Now that Linux is gaining popularity large companies have a lot of interest and are putting finances towards the project. Open source software has been around for a long time and still continues to thrive. I guess it is feasible and GNU/Linux is proving that open source can be a good competitor to proprietary software.

To download GNU/Linux you need to get a particular distribution. The most popular ones are Ubuntu, Mint Linux, Fedora, openSUSE but there are many more out there. There are hundreds of distributions of GNU/Linux and each distribution is geared towards a particular user. It is important to start off with a popular distribution of Linux that is geared towards ease of use. This ensures that things will work out of the box and minimum tweaking is required. Later on if you want to get more technical with Linux you can try out other distributions that are geared towards professionals.

Why would anyone want to use GNU/Linux? Well, there are a lot of reasons but the most alluring is that GNU/Linux is completely free. It does not cost a penny and anyone can download it. A regular operating system will cost you around $200. So price is definitely a huge factor for people switching over. This saves people money and also allows them to install it on mutiple machines without licenses. Even most of the applications that you install on Linux are available for free. This gives your operating system tons of functionality from editing audio/video, playing games, surfing the web, editing documents and many more. Another reason that people switch to GNU/Linux is because of its open source nature which gives additional power to the user. Because anyone can copy, edit and distribute the software there is no one company that can control things. This is very good for innovation, comptetition and freedom for the user. GNU/Linux is a computer software revolution and many people are realising it. People are not happy with other operating systems that lock them in and dictate the rules to them. With GNU/Linux it sets you free from restrictions and limitations that are created by certain companies. Linux will run on many different computers from servers to desktops, laptops and even many gadgets. So why don't you learn more about GNU/Linux and join the world of open source software? You will be impressed at how innovative and progressive it is.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flight Gear: Free flight simulator

Flight Gear is a free and open source flight simulator. The initial release was in 1997 and development still continues. It is licensed under GNU general public license. The latest version is 1.9.1 which was released on January 25, 2009. Flight Gear is a cross platform application. Usually it is grouped with games but it is more of a simulator so for people looking for a arcade style game this is not for you. Initially, it is difficult to learn how to fly the airplanes but there are tutorials and a manual available. There are a lot of key functions that you need to learn before flying for the first time. The simulator allows you a choice of several different airplanes and many airport locations. If you do like flying simulator software then Flight Gear is something you should try out. You can download additional maps, scenery and airplanes later on as you get comfortable with the simulator. To download and get additional information about Flight Gear go to their website.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bos Wars: futuristic RTS

Bos Wars is a free futuristic real time strategy game. It is cross platform and features single player and multiplayer gameplay. The point of the game is to destroy your enemies while building up your war economy. You need to pump resource magna that you can get through hot spots. Like in other RTS games Bos Wars has the fog of war. You need to explore what is beyond it with your units. There is no research for buildings so that you can start construction right away. Check out their website below.

Bos Wars site.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

At the expense of GNU/Linux.

This article is based on a true story. The names have been changed to protect the individuals involved. It all occurred in a government department where an IT lady had a great idea about converting their computers to GNU/Linux. Let's call her Gillian. Gillian was assigned to research GNU/Linux and found out that it would meet all the needs her department required and could be easily used instead of Microsoft Windows. Moreover, this switch to open source software would save them a lot of money. Gillian made a nice proposition outlined in a paper that documented all the steps she and her IT coworkers needed to take for this transition to happen. A lot of people liked her idea and thought it was feasible. Gillian even managed to convince the higher-ups who thought it was a good idea as well. However, like in all bureaucracies large or small, she still needed to get approval from the management. Little did she know that the management never genuinely wanted to switch over. Instead, they took Gillian's research and did what they wanted to do from the beginning. They used it as a leverage to get the Microsoft representative to get them a much better deal. They said that they were going to switch over to GNU/Linux if Microsoft doesn't give them a discount. The Microsoft representative didn't want to lose this client and gave them a very nice deal comparing to what they were paying before, so they wouldn't switch their computers to open source software.

After Gillian saw what has happened with her idea she was furious. She realized that her boss never intended to switch to GNU/Linux and only played her idea to threaten Microsoft to get a discount. Her thorough research was used for the exact opposite than it was meant for originally. And she could not do anything about it.

A lot of companies are using GNU/Linux as a leverage to get discounts from software vendors. They don't actually care about Linux but use it as a tactic. It is sad that they are not seeing GNU/Linux as a real alternative that could save them money but only as a leverage for a gain from existing software vendors. What they do not realize is that if GNU/Linux was not a viable alternative, Microsoft would not feel threatened and would not offer them discounts. Most of these individuals do not even know what GNU/Linux is but they know that Microsoft and other software vendors listen when you mention switching over several hundred or even thousand computers to open source. Lots of shameless practices were committed in the name of GNU/Linux and this is just one of them. Hopefully in the future, companies will take GNU/Linux more seriously and realize that it is a very good operating system that can benefit their business needs and that even discounts from Microsoft vendors will not be enough to stop them from switching to open source.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Avidemux: open source video editor

Avidemux is a free and open source multi purpose video editing software. It is licensed under GNU General Public License and works on different platforms. The user interface is easier to use then most other video editors. Avidemux supports a lot of audio and video formats and has subtitle handling. You can cut, append, add filters and re-encode into different file formats. There are tutorials on their Wiki page to help you get started with Avidemux. If you have any questions there is also a forum page that addresses a lot of them. Check out the video editing app Avidemux on their website.