Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The growth of Linux in developing regions.

Since I started my Blog I noticed an interesting trend. A lot of the readers and individuals who link to my Blog are from developing regions around the world such as China, India, Indonesia and Central/South America. However, most of the time when I am writing about Linux I am concentrating on the North American and European market and there is a huge audience that I am not targeting mainly due to the fact that I don't know much about these regions. One thing is for sure though, while the adoption of Linux is surely increasing in the "West", the future of Linux growth will certainly come from the developing world as well.

China has more internet users than the United States even though the penetration of the internet is high in the U.S. but is still low in China. This means that China has a huge growth potential in this area. Most of us are aware that China uses a lot of pirated software but in recent years the government has been trying to crack down on it. So the trend that is occurring now is that instead of people and businesses purchasing genuine copies of Windows, they are switching to Linux. This might be both a cost issue and the fact that Linux is a great alternative to Windows. With its huge population of 1.3 billion people, the Chinese market will definitely increase the presence of Linux in the world. Even the Chinese government has its own version of Linux because they like the fact that they can see the source code of Linux for political and security reasons...

Indonesia and India are other countries that are linking to my Blog as there seems to be interest about Linux in these countries as well. This might stem from Linux being cost effective or having low hardware requirements. Just like China, these countries have a large population. Indonesia has 240 million people and India has 1.1 billion. There is a huge growth potential because the penetration of the internet is still very low as well.

Even though majority of the time I am focusing on the North American and European market there is a huge Linux user base in other regions of the globe as well. China, India and Indonesia all have a viable Linux market and in the future it will surely increase. The growth of Linux is occurring in the "West" but the developing world will also play a huge role in this trend.

Are you from Asia or are you knowledgeable about the region? What can you tell us about the adoption of Linux? Are people using Linux for political reasons, cost effectiveness or low hardware requirement reasons? What is the trend in the school system, government or private sphere? As more people will purchase computers and connect to the internet, do you think they will use open source or proprietary operating system?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Freedom to choose

I like open source software but I think that the Linux community shouldn't try to force every application to be open source. The important thing about Linux is that we have the freedom to choose. We can choose from many different Linux distributions and applications. We as users get to say what we want installed on our computers and what we don't. However, forcing everyone to use open source software is against the idea of freedom to choose. Everyone should have a choice and if you are running Linux and you choose to run proprietary software that is your option. Linux is about choice and freedom and I think we shouldn't take that away from anyone. Even from the people who are supporting proprietary software. The Linux community needs to be a little bit more tolerant of other users as well. Linux is open source but you can run a lot of proprietary software on it. It seems that some applications especially very technical ones will never be open source. Personally I wish everything was open source but I don't want to force it on people. Lets be tolerant of proprietary software on Linux and also users freedom to choose what they want installed on their computers.

Uruguay has provided Linux laptops for students

Primary school children who didn't have computers received a Linux laptop from the government. This is a nice way to minimize the digital divide between people. Technology is important in today's society and especially in education. It is important to teach children how to use computers from an early age. Having Linux running on the laptops is pretty nice too. They can learn about open source software as well. Check out the article here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dropbox, a nice way to store files online.

Dropbox is a great service for online file backup. It integrates well with your desktop. All you have to do is drag and drop your files into a folder and automatically it will sync and store your files online. This is a great way to keep your files accessible from anywhere and you can even use your browser to upload files. Other great features are collaborating on a file between several users and syncing a file on multiple computers. Dropbox gives you 2 GB of space for free and you can upgrade if you need additional space. Dropbox works on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and iPhone. Visit the dropbox site to learn more.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The best video player out there!

VLC media player is a great application that works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It is by far one of the best video players out there. It can play various video file formats as well as DVD's, CD's, VCD's.  VLC media player is free to download and use. It was initially released in 2001 by a group at Ecole Centrale Paris and since then has become very popular. Today, it is an open source project and anyone can contribute to it from around the world. It is amazing how many different audio and video codecs this application can handle. This is definitely a good media player for watching videos off the Internet. It is licensed under the GNU general public license. If you are looking for a great video player for your computer then VLC media player is it. Check out their website for more information, skins and to download the application.

Website for VLC media player.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This Linux thing is getting out of hand.

People are slowly realising that Linux is out there. They might not be installing it en masse but they are aware of it. Ten years ago if you asked someone on the street what is Linux most people would not have a clue. However, today this does not seem to be the case anymore. People know that Linux is an operating system. They might not be well informed about it or know where to get it but it is in their vocabulary. This is definitely a good thing. Slowly Linux is getting into people's consciousness even without the huge marketing of large corporations such as Microsoft and Apple computers. There is much more debate going on about Linux. Many forums, Blogs and websites dedicated to the subject. More people are trying Linux out on their systems and the good news is a lot of people are sticking with it. They are realizing that it is a very good operating system with tons of applications. The year 2010 might not be the year of the Linux desktop but as I wrote in my previous article it doesn't matter at all. The spread of Linux will not come in one year but it will be a gradual transition. Each year few more people install it and stick with it. Then they tell their friends and so on. Right now Linux is about 2% of the desktop computer market and is definitely on the increase. It is an emerging market and is changing the computer industry. Open Source has a lot of potential and is a revolution in itself. This Linux thing is getting out of hand. People are actually realising that it is a great alternative to Windows and Mac OS. They are installing Linux and sticking with it. The future for Linux looks very bright and promising.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The best anti-virus.

Last week my mom forwarded an email to me and I started to laugh. The email was to warn me about a virus that is spreading and destroying peoples data. I called my mom and told her that she does not have to worry. I explained that this virus is for Windows OS and she is running Ubuntu for over a year. Even if she downloaded it she wouldn't be able to run it and the virus would not know what to do on the Linux platform.  My mom is not very technically savvy but she is happy with using Linux. I installed her system and made sure that it is easy to use. I explained to her that the best anti-virus software is Linux.

I always thought that this virus thing was mostly just fear installed in people. Every time you go to a store you see McAfee or Norton Antivirus. The sales people are trying to scare you into purchasing their products. The bottom line is to make money of the fear of users. I am not sure if the anti-virus products are still the same as they used to be in the past but I remember them always popping up. Somehow, I always thought of the anti-virus software as a freaking virus itself. Always needing something, taking my computer resources and being a horrible nuisance. Just get off my screen!

Like a lot of things in our society, all you have to do is instill fear into people and then sell them products to protect themselves. Antivirus software is big business and the industry is very good at scaring the common computer user. Most viruses could be avoided just by following simple common sense rules. Anyways, my mom found out that she is immune to majority of viruses that are out there and that her precious data is safe for now. The way Linux is created makes it difficult for viruses to function. Linux is the best anti-virus software.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Students, you don't need Microsoft Office.

It is hilarious to be in a computer store when students are going back to school. College and University students think that they need the latest Macbook pro and that they have to purchase all this additional software. Most of the students do not need the latest and the most powerfull computers. They never use them to their full potential and they spend tons of money that they usually do not have. The back to school season is about hype and buying into certain brands. Mac computers are expensive and spending all this money seems to be ridiculous. Especially today when school tuition and books are so expensive. However, there are tons of alternatives for students to save money for themselves. You can look into buying a PC which is several hundreds of dollars cheaper and will do the same thing as a Mac. Another big business during back to school season is software. You probably noticed that when you go to a store to purchase a computer every sales person is pushing on you additional products. Most of this is software or extra warranty. However, the most important software for students is an office suite. Microsoft Office is overpriced but you can choose Openoffice which is a great alternative and is completely free. It is not a trick or a free 60 day trial that will expire on you. Anyone can download it and use it on their computer. Most of the functionality of Openoffice are more than any student will ever need. Openoffice is also compatible with Microsoft Office formats. This free office suite works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. You can save a lot of money by choosing free software instead of expensive applications that are being pushed on you by sales people. The whole point of College or University is to make you think outside of the box and to see things differently. Do not be pressured by the marketing of large corporations that tell you that you need an expensive laptop, software and additional warranties. Try to look for alternatives such as openoffice and save your money for things that really matter. Visit the Openoffice website to learn more or to download their office suite.

Openshot video editor

OpenShot is a video editor for Linux. The project was started by Jonathan Thomas in 2008. The goal of OpenShot is to be a free, stable and user friendly video editor. It is licensed under GNU general public license. OpenShot supports many video and audio file formats. You can resize, trim and cut clips. There are also video transitions with real time previews and many other features. To download OpenShot or to learn more about the application go to their website.