Where is this dreamland in which Windows “just works”?

First of all, I have to say it is not my intention to bash Windows. I am not a Windows hater. I actually like Windows. I use it at work every weekday, and I have found ways to have a generally pleasant experience with it. I like Mac OS X better than Windows, though, and […]

The 6 Best Ways to Secure Windows

Introduction Step 1. Install Windows updates automatically Step 2. Make your primary account a limited user account Step 3. Use Firefox with the NoScript extension Step 4. Read up on social engineering and how to avoid being the victim of it Step 5. Do not pirate software, music, or movies Step 6. Avoid all “antivirus” […]

Software installation in Linux is difficult

Linux is for geeks only. Software installation in Linux is difficult. It is not for the faint-hearted. Let’s take, for example, installing a simple game of Hearts. In Linux, you’ll have to download source code and have to compile it from source, and then you’ll run into dependency hell and have to track down all […]

Software freedom does affect the end user

As a follow-up to an older post of mine (“Open Source for Non-Programmers”), I wanted to post a little bit about arbitrary limitations in software. Thank God even Apple is now leaving behind DRM in its iTunes Music Store (Amazon has been doing so for quite a while with its MP3 store). While the music […]

Windows and Linux on netbooks… what stays on?

Right now, there’s a lot of debate among computing enthusiasts about whether Microsoft’s claim of 96% sales on netbooks is true… or meaningful. I tend to believe the percentages, but I don’t think it means what Microsoft seems to imply it means (“We’re better. People prefer us”). I do believe Windows users would rather stick […]

Conficker worm – silent is still deadly

I find the “news” coverage of Conficker to be absolutely disgraceful. Is this what passes for journalism? I want you to imagine that there is a parasite that can invade your body and reside in there indefinitely. Once in your body, it could give you a heart attack, it could poison your blood stream, or […]

Should Linux users hush up about Microsoft?

Someone linked to Good Linux Users Don’t Talk About Microsoft on the Ubuntu Forums. I started to type up a reply, and then it got so long that I figured it was more of a blog entry than a forum post. Besides, who wants to hear about our broken toilet flush, anyway? Okay, let’s see. […]

Do you filter the help you give online?

I’m a moderator on the Ubuntu Forums, and we have a policy about log-in-as-root tutorials (especially logging in as root graphically), which is basically that they’re banned. We don’t let people post instructions for logging in as root graphically. You can read here about the justification for that. It’s a little odd, though. I’m in […]

The antivirus paranoia culture

Recently, I’ve spent some time looking at the computer section of Yahoo! Answers, and it’s a fascinating place from a sociological perspective. If the questions and answers popular there are indicative of what common attitudes and practices are among Windows and Mac users, then this is how a typical user operates: Install free antivirus software […]