Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why have you switched to GNU/Linux?

A long time ago when I was using Windows I realized that many applications were trying to constrain me from doing certain tasks. I was unable to play a certain format or had to install applications that I did not want on my system. I started to think critically as to why I am using Windows and if there is some kind of alternative that I could use instead. Prior to this, I used Mac OS but I knew that both operating systems are proprietary and want to limit the end user. I got tired of being manipulated to use a particular application and having bloatware already pre-installed on my computer. After searching the Internet for alternatives to Mac OS and Windows I found this really cool concept that is called Linux. I didn't know much about the OS but gave it a shot. I played around with several distributions till I found one that fit my needs. When I started using Linux, which was more than a decade ago it was still relatively hard to use and it was mostly for hobbyists. However, it was the concept of open source that kept me intrigued. I loved the fact that no single company such as Microsoft or Apple had any of their applications installed on my computer. I had the power for the first time to modify my system as thoroughly as I wanted, from little tweaks to major changes that required know-how. Today, I am happy that I switched to Linux full time. My system is fast, reliable and very stable. Linux enables the end user to finally have a lot of power. Over the years I have seen Linux mature and evolve. It has developed from something basic and geeky to a full featured operating system that anyone can use. The Linux operating system is ready for anyone who is searching for an alternative to expensive and proprietary software.

Everyone has a different story why they switched to Linux. I would like to hear your story and why you made the switch. Was it financial, political, technical or other? Are you using Linux on a Server, Desktop, Netbook or another device? Please leave your comments below.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So you want to be a Hacker?

Linux is a great operating system to learn about network security. If you are interested in learning more about the information security field then Back Track Linux distribution is something you should definitely try. The latest stable release is Back Track 4 which was released on  January 9th 2010 and includes the most comprehensive security related tools. Back Track 4 is not only geared towards professionals but for all types of skill levels. You can use Back Track as your primary OS or boot it from live DVD or a thumb drive. It is a very popular penetration testing distro which allows you to learn about network vulnerability and many other related security issues. It includes tons of applications and is based on the Ubuntu distribution. To download Back Track 4 go to their website.

Good bye Microsoft!

Even though today most desktop and laptop computers are still using Microsoft Windows, there is a huge shift occurring in the computer industry. With the latest announcement that Google is banning Microsoft Windows in its workplace and shifting to alternative operating systems such as Mac OS X and Linux, things for Microsoft are not looking very good. With Linux already being a mature OS, it can definitely go head to head with Microsoft Windows and Mac OS as well. Pressure on Microsoft Windows is not only occurring from the desktop, laptop and netbook market but also from many other devices such as Tablet PCs and smartphones. Today, a lot of people do not connect to the Internet only through PC's but through many different technologies. It is these new technologies that along with alternative operating systems such as Mac OS and Linux are lowering the usage of Microsoft Windows overall. With the release of Google Chrome OS at the end of the year, Linux will take even more market share away from Windows. It seems that Microsoft is slowly fading from its dominant position and loosing its monopoly. Only through innovation will Microsoft be able to defend its place but it seems that this is very unlikely. Microsoft has become too big and sluggish. It is time to bid Microsoft good bye and embrace the up and coming alternatives.