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Lou Grinzo Archive

Communicate With the Masses
When I saw that Linux Magazine recently accepted paid advertising from Linux's arch-nemesis Microsoft, a.k.a. Evil Empire to End All Evil Empires, I expected a minor backlash from some of the less enlightened and more politically high-strung readers. But the knee-jerk reaction, as shown in the Letters pages in the October issue, was so strong and utterly clueless that it actually shocked me, despite the fact that I've seen more than my share of the Linux faithful in action. Even though that reaction was limited to a very small percentage of readers, it clearly has some serious implications for the future of Linux and, to a lesser extent, the open source movement.
Hot Tips!
Think you know every nook and cranny of Linux?
A tour of the Linux
Last month we started talking about the "big picture" differences between the Linux filesystem and the Windows filesystem. Aside from the high-level differences, there are also major differences in the directory structure under Linux and Windows. If you remember from last time, we discussed the fact that the filesystem is actually organized as a "tree" with a "root" directory at the top level symbolized by a forward slash (/) under Linux, and a back slash (\) under Windows (see Figure One for a diagram of how the Linux filesystem is structured). So, with that starting place in mind, let's take a look at the directories hanging off of the root directory under Linux and comparing them to their Windows counterparts. The first stop on our tour:
Revenge of the Barbarians
Pop quiz: Name the one company that will have the greatest influence on Linux's future on the desktop. Red Hat, thanks to their dominant brand? How about IBM (or any of the other Big Companies Who've Recently Discovered Linux™), with their seemingly bottomless pockets and religious conversion to open source? Or can we cheat a little and say it will really be two companies, thanks to the desktop competition that's shaping up between Caldera and Corel, a.k.a. "Linux's Killer C's?" Or will it be Microsoft, in one form or another, a tantalizing possibility?
Connect to the Net
Everyone's got a LAN at work or at home these days. Here's how to use Linux to let every computer on your LAN, including Windows boxes, access the Internet through a single connection.
First Look: KDE 2.0
Linux's path to total world domination runs straight through the desktop. One look at KDE 2.0 will
The Real Road Ahead
Though these two operating systems are sometimes pitted as adversaries, they really can play together quite nicely, provided you know what tools to use.
Coming Soon: Microsoft Office for Linux?
Every time Microsoft moves a finger the news booms across the entire computer industry like rolling thunder. And if word gets out that our cousins from Redmond are so much as thinking about twitching a pinkie, the Linux community dissects the potential act in just about every way and from just about every viewpoint imaginable. That's why I find it odd that I've heard no one mention two issues with the recent Microsoft news that strike me as being obvious.
Ever Wonder What Actually Happens When X Starts Up?
I recently installed the shipping version of Red Hat 6.1 onto a bare hard drive. The installation went very well, and I told Linux to install KDE, my preferred desktop, but not GNOME. When I logged in and ran the infamous command to launch into my graphical (X) environment, what greeted me was something I'd never seen before -- KDE running with Enlightenment and using the GNOME panel across the bottom of the screen.
Get that Zip Drive Up and Running
Iomega Zip drives are so ubiquitous in the PC hardware universe that I expect to see a report soon that archeologists have discovered an Egyptian tomb with mummified Zip cartridge instructions. It'd probably be in Mac format, though.
A Look at Linux File Managers
File managers have a curious, some would say unique, place in desktop computerdom. They seem to be only slightly behind text editors in their ability to trigger religious conflict among true believers. It's not hard to find instances of one user reacting to another's choice of file manager with, "You use what???", a situation that can quickly put the "personal" (as in ad hominem) back into personal computing.