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Microsoft Windows

What Linux Software Replaces Which Windows Software?

Tux, as originally drawn by Larry Ewing

Image via Wikipedia

Different operating systems use different programs to perform different functions. For example, Windows uses Internet Explorer, Netscape / Mozilla, and other programs to provide users with e-mail service.

If for some reason you or your company switches from Windows operating system to the Linux operating system, your first response may be to run through around screaming, “Where will I find my e-mail?” “Where will my file-sharing programs be?” “How will I find anything?”

Just calm down and take a deep breath, because this article is going to give you the Linux program names for Windows programs on some of the most widely-used ones. This way, when you first tentatively approach your computer after Linux has been implemented, you won’t feel like you’re navigating uncharted waters.

Both Windows and Linux software programs can have different names. Not all the names will be listed here, just some of the more common ones. Remember, too, that your company may have several Linux programs to choose from, and not all of them will appear in this article.

  • E-mail: If you currently use Outlook Express in Windows, your e-mail program may now be Kmail, Gnus, or Althea.
  • Address book: Windows uses the address book feature included in Outlook; in Linux, your address book may be in Rubrica, Flashget, Go!zilla, or another program.
  • Web browser: Internet Explorer, Netscape / Mozilla and others are used on Windows; coincidentally, Netscape / Mozilla is one of the Linux programs that can be used. Perhaps your company will choose to remain with a familiar one. If not, look for Galeon or Konqueror.

 

Working with Linux

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

You’re probably already aware that the Linux operating system (OS) is quite different from others, especially the Windows operating system. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s harder to use. It just takes a little getting used to, and once you do, you’ll most likely be impressed at how the Linux OS works.

Take surfing the ‘Net, for example. If you currently use the Windows Operating System, you probably use Internet Explorer to get to whatever home page (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) you use. With Linux, you may use Netscape / Mozilla. Basically, this program works the same as Internet Explorer. Once you get to your homepage in Netscape / Mozilla, you simply type in your keyword or key phrase and get your Internet links.

Which program do you currently use for documents? If you have Windows, you may use Microsoft Office. In Linux, you can use Open Office, Star Office, or Office. These are very easy to use, just like Microsoft Office programs are, it’s really just a matter of learning where your icons, shortcuts, and other function keys are on the Linux program toolbars. Once you do, though, you’ll be cranking your work out just as fast (if not a little faster) than you were before.

The important thing to remember about Linux is that most of the software is compatible with the Windows OS. If you do happen to run across some software that only works on the Linux OS, don’t let that “scare” you. Again, Linux is fairly simple to navigate through and learn. And, if you do need help, there are websites such as thecliq.org, which deals primarily with Linux-related information that you can go to for information.

 

Using Adobe Reader with Windows

When working with Adobe Reader it provides access to books and documents. When working on Adobe Reader with Windows, particularly Windows Vista, it reads as well as uses PDFs right on the internet.

Using Adobe Reader with Windows or any other operating system means access to a variety of files in PDF form. These could be menus or articles. There are constantly updated versions of Adobe Reader available for download. It is a good idea to make sure to install the latest version to get all the new features.

*Start using Adobe Reader by installing it. This can be found on the Adobe Reader website.

*Just click the download link to get started.

*Be sure you trust the site before doing a download. Malicious software could be attached to it that could cause viruses on you computer. One reputable example is if you download it from Adobe Reader you should not have to work.

Click to download once the location to keep the file has been selected. Remember to read and sign the user license agreement as well and accept it. Upgrading takes less time. It often happens automatically with a pop-up reminder. The computer user sees the information that the latest version is available and they decide to download it now or not. The pop up will return on the screen as a reminder in a day or two if it has not downloaded.

Computer owners might decide to purchase Adobe Acrobat. This is Adobe Reader, but it is a full version. It offers more features such as PDF editing and even hypertext linking function.

Needing Windows Media Player

It can be annoying when visiting a website ready to watch a video or even listen to music, but it doesn’t happen. An error message indicates the computer needs Windows Media Player (WMP) to show that video or play that music.

Some computers come with WMP already installed or perhaps it was installed and quit working for some reason. It might just need an upgrade. Well, getting WMP installed on a computer is just a click away. There is a download available for all sorts of systems that can work with WMP. If it is being downloaded for the first time find the latest version. It is free so getting the latest will help out in the long run. Keep in mind some older computers could have a rough time with newer programs. Try the new program first and if it doesn’t work go down the list until it does install properly.

If working with Windows 7 or Vista be prepared for problems because the WMP plug-in is missing. There are other Windows programs that have this trouble too.

*Try installing a new WMP with Firefox for the new plug-in or restore the plug-in.

*Don’t reinstall the WMP program through the original download because it still won’t work. It will take forever to try and the message will again be an error.

*Use the Media Player Connectivity add on to get the WMP to work if there is still a problem.

Furthermore, keep in mind that WMP does not work unless the computer is connected to the internet and has a live internet connection. If it is and still doesn’t work then check that the Internet connection system on the computer is set to active or online mode.

Looking Through Windows 95

The startup screen from build 347.
Image via Wikipedia

Imagine a flying, multicolored window with a pixilated tail. It’s more than likely that you’re imagining the logo for the Windows operating system upgrade Windows 95. This upgrade, launched in 1995 (as the name suggests), changed the market for operating systems substantially. It was the first interface that was completely marketed for home users, and its success is unmatched in the history of software updates. There were many reasons Windows 95 became so popular; mostly it was what it had to offer the average user. A number of the specifications included in Windows 95 are explained below.

Windows 95 introduced what was known as the task bar at the bottom of the screen. Also included were the revolutionary Start menu and file manager.
It lengthened file name possibilities, which was important for its 32-bit construction.
Integrated MS-DOS into the operating system so that it worked in the background.
It introduced and popularized the feature of plug and play for PCs.
Windows 95 continued to include a 16-bit kernel so that it would still work with older programs.
Eventually included with the operating system was Internet Explorer, the go-to web browser for PC users.
The operating system allowed for an unheard of level of multitasking.

Windows 95 certainly wasn’t Microsoft’s first operating system; it also wasn’t the first to see success. Before it were systems such as Windows NT, various MS-DOS incarnations and other Windows products, but Windows 95 was the first real packaging of software for everyday computer users. It was easy to use, it was intuitive to use and it marked the moment where operating systems became interesting and useful for those not in the field of computer technology.

Following Windows 95 were many iterations with a similar interface. Each subsequent upgrade has built on the same ideas originated in Windows 95.

A Brief Look at Wine for Linux

When you make the switch, and start using a Linux distribution as your operating system, you may feel a little nervous. Many people today have grown up using Windows Microsoft, and they are comfortable with the look, feel, and programs that come along with it. Luckily, if you have made the decision to use Linux, but still have some Microsoft programs that you want to use, you are in luck. There are programs out there that will allow you to do this. The most popular of these is Wine.

Wine, like many other open source programs, is free. It allows programs that are written and used by Microsoft to be able to run on other operating systems. Some people are concerned that Wine is an emulator, but it is not. It acts as a compatibility layer.

The Wine project was started in 1993. It has since its inceptions, been somewhat of a difficult process for its developers. Not only are some of the documentations of Windows incorrect, but many things have had to be reverse engineered, which requires a lot more time and effort.

Some people are concerned that wine hurts other applications that are made to be used with Linux, or that it is completely pointless. While people who use Wine to gain access to Windows based programs may not use the similar open source program, that does not mean that there are not many more people that are using those programs. Many people feel the need, or legitimately have the need to use certain Microsoft programs, and if a program like Wine was not available, they would not be using Linux at all.

Wine is a program that is constantly being changed, added to, and updated. currently, not every Microsoft program is working, and the program will continually be expanded. If using Windows programs is a concern that you have about moving to Linux, don’t let it be a concern any longer.

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Comparison of Open Source and Closed Source Software

Logo Open Source Initiative

Image via Wikipedia

There are many things to take into consideration when you compare open source software and closed source software. Closed source software is also known as proprietary software, and open source is known simply as open source.

Closed source software, or proprietary software is licensed by the owner of the software. The owner of the software has the exclusive legal rights. These rights are given to the purchaser of the software. Usually this is given in the form of a license that the states that the purchaser is allowed to use the program or software, under specific rules and regulations. The user is not allowed to modify, reverse engineer, or give the product out to others under the legal restrictions of the license. Many products that you may use on a daily basis may be closed source software. Adobe Flash Player and Photoshop, Skype, and iTunes are examples of proprietary software. Microsoft Windows is another commonly used example of a closed source software that is well known.

Open source software like File Zilla and the xvid codec on the other hand gives us the availability to not only share technology and information freely, but also to adapt it and make it usable how we want it. Many times, open source software is free to use, as well as give to others. There are many types of open source software, including Linux, WordPress, and even Mozilla Firefox. A very large number of types of software are now available through open source, and more are becoming available every day.

Many people prefer open source software like file sharing Ares Galaxy from the Ares website whenever available. They like the fact that it is open to be changed, updated, and adapted. The price difference that you will generally see between open source software and closed source software is generally significant, as well, and at times, this plays a large part in the decision of many as to what software to go with.


More Reasons You Should Switch to Linux

So you have heard a lot about Linux. You are doing your homework, trying to find out whether or not it is right for you. You have come to the right place. Here are four more reasons you will like working with Linux.

* Interoperability of Networking – Linux is built in such a way that it is very strong when it comes to needing the ability to interoperate with computers that run different operating systems. As more business, schools, and offices connect with each other through networks, more of them need the ability to become compatible with computers it encounters on the network. Linux’s software, Samba, allows Linux to become a client on a Window’s based network. Linux servers can even be used to run computers that are based on Microsoft Windows. Besides that, Linux also includes software to network with Novell’s Netware and Apple computers.

*You Are Not a Customer – Windows is only put out by Microsoft. Apple creates their own computers and software. Linux, on the other hand, is created by many different people who all work together, share information, and develop openly. So, when you begin using Linux, you become part of a community as opposed to becoming a customer of a company.

*Size Doesn’t Matter – Linux is the most frugal of all operating systems when it comes to allocating resources. While it is widely known that Linux makes your computer run faster than Windows, there are other positives. One example would be if a single Linux System acted as a terminal server and used outdated hardware as thin clients. While that might be a lot of technical jargon to some, what it really means is that Linux can be used to combine many computer parts that others would consider “trash” and turn them into a powerful system.

*Linux Is Configurable – Linux is truly a multi-user OS. Each user can have configure his or her own individual preferences on the same computer. The way the desktop looks, what icons display in which area, and start-up programs are all changeable based on user preference.

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Linux and Indie Games

Kartoffelknülch - Linux Games for Children
Image by Udo Herzog via Flickr

Indie game creators often shy away from putting out versions of their games that support Linux platforms. Indie game creators make it easy for the Linux system users to obtain driver downloads. They do this because they do not realize how big the Linux market is. In fact, the Linux market is growing daily.

Windows has long been the top dog when it comes to operating systems and having game designers support their platform. Slowly but surely, more have begun supporting Apple as well. Linux, however, has been left behind until very recently. More game developers need to support Linux Operating Software.

First of all, while the Indie developers create the games for their enjoyment, many of them create them to make money. Because Linux is open source software, they assume that Linux users won’t pay for a game. Actually, Linux users are more likely to pay for games that they enjoy than young Windows users who are likely to attempt to obtain pirated software.

Also, for an Indie developer to make money, he has to make a name for himself. People have to know who he is to get a gaming review site to even glance at his games. Because so few developers give Linux games a second look, there are reviewers who focus on Linux alone. A game that gains only moderate popularity in Windows can become huge on Linux, thus exposing itself to people who use both platforms and actually promoting the games in Windows further. To put it in the words of the game developers from Wolfire, “A lot of people heard about and supported Lugaru simply because we had a Linux build”

Lastly, if you develop correctly, there is no extra cost or time involved in making your games Linux compatible. There are many frameworks that support Windows, Mac, and Linux at the same time. So choosing one that only supports one type of operating software doesn’t make sense. Pygame, Ogre3D, and Bullet are all examples of cross-platform frameworks.

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Linux Gives Old Hardware New Life

The majority of computer users have a need for only a few basic abilities. They want their computers to access the internet. They need office type programs. They need a place to store photos. And, they need to be able to watch and store home videos.

Any computer user that had a Windows based computer would groan at the thought of trying to do any of those things on computers that are five years old. They would laugh if it was suggested that they use a computer that was ten or twelve years old.

That is one of the amazing things about Linux. The programming has such a small footprint on the hard drive and takes very little RAM to run properly. Many people claim that running Linux on old computers actually creates a better running and faster machine than running the newer versions of Windows on machines that are a couple of years old.

One example comes from a popular Youtube video of someone who loaded Linux onto their old computer. The computer was a Pentium 3 800. It had only 128 MB RAM. The video shows the user watching a basketball game online, opening and closing windows with ease, and even changing workstations in a way that one would expect to see in a Windows commercial.

Because Linux comes with Open Office and a web browser, users have the ability to do anything they need right away, with out waiting to upload more programs. While storing videos and digital photos may not work well on an older computer, anyone can hook up an inexpensive external hard drive to store those types of things.

With all of these features, it is clear that Linux isn’t just for computer nerds to have a strong understanding of computer programming. Linux is for everyone. If you need to find a way to do it, Linux can help.

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