Have a penguinista in your life? Need the perfect holiday gift? Look no further! Here’s a parcel of presents that’ll please even the pickiest geek. Best of all, none will put your eye out.
It was the night before Hanukwanzachristmas, when all through the halls, not a creature was stirring, because all had gone to the mall. The stores were brimming with the usual fare, and last-minute shoppers spent money with nary a care.
But the geeks were restless and yes, even sad. They didn’t want Elmo, a scooter, or some such fad. “Give us RAM, dual cores, and an iPod,” they said. “Or we’d be quite happy with Bill Gates’s head.” Why old Saint Nick couldn’t believe his ears, as geeks are quite friendly the rest of the year. Lucky for Santa, he read Linux Mag, and he stuffed gadgets and gizmos into his bag.
On Hanukwanzachristmas morning, the geeks are back to work, tinkering and tampering with all their new perks. Ah, LEDs, kernels, game consoles, and megabytes. It’s a great Hanukwanzachristmas, and to all a good-night.
Enjoy Turkey, Ham, and Roast Beast
If life is full of tough choices, then Christmas overflows with quagmires. Turkey or ham? Live or artificial? To nog or not to nog?
And then there’s the perennial question, Linux, Mac, or Windows? Indeed, the impending new year offers a bumper crop of system software, including Ubuntu 6.10, (already out) Windows Vista (may be out by the time you read this, but don’t rush — wait for the first service pack), and Mac OS X “Leopard” (Yes, Mr. Jobs. Of course, we can postpone Christmas. What’s that? Don’t announce the date? Not even Santa can know? Oh, yes. Very hush hush.)
Linux is bulletproof, you can splurge on nog with all of the cash you save, and the little penguin is just so cute. Then again, Mac OS X is loaded with sugary eye candy, oodles of applications, and offers the best software and hardware integration on the market. But then there’s Windows Vista, the must-have for The Ghost of Christmas Future. Decisions, decisions.
Luckily, thanks to Parallels by Parallels, Inc. (http://www.parallels.com), you don’t have to choose between all of the operating systems — run them all on the same Intel Mac. In fact, with Parallels Desktop for Mac ($89), you can run any Linux distribution, Windows, BSD, OS/2, Solaris, eComStation, or MS-DOS in a fully-functional virtual computer at the same time as Mac OS X. No muss, no fuss, no rebooting, or complex setup required. Parallels virtual machines work exactly like a real PC, so you’ll be able to use your peripherals and connect to the Internet without any complicated configuration.
Grab a 15-inch MacBook Pro (http://www.apple.com), starting at $1,999, and you can even take all of the operating systems with you — to visit your in-laws. Lucky you.
Console or Cluster Node?
If you’re one of the fortunate consumers to land a Sony Playstation 3 (Figure ABC) this Christmas, consider yourself very, very lucky. Not only is your new super-console in short supply due to manufacturing hiccups, but the machine can also run Linux.