The Linux community’s mixed messages

I’m a long-term (three-year) forum member at the Ubuntu Forums. I’m also a moderator there. I realize that in any online community, even one built around a common interest, there will be a diversity of members and a diversity of opinions. Nevertheless, there is a problem with mixed messages in the Linux community. I’ve seen […]

The futile search for global hotkeys on iTunes for Windows

In the over three decades I’ve spent on this planet, relatively few of those years have I spent listening to music on a computer (desktop/laptop). Yes, in the old days, I listened to records. I think the first one was Def Leppard’s Pyromania. I spent a long time loving tapes, though, and making mix tapes […]

Fanboy isn’t just a generic insult. It means something.

Warning, for those who know me in person: This is an extremely geeky post. Proceed with caution. Just as forum users will sometimes fling the label troll against anyone who argues with them, many forum users (particularly in computer-related discussions) will throw around the term fanboy without making the term meaningful. Most of the time, […]

Why is Windows forcing me to reboot?

Despite being a Linux user who will probably never again buy a Microsoft product, I am not a Windows-basher. I don’t particularly like Windows, but it’s not terrible. If you force yourself to operate as a limited user (instead of the default administrator), it’s as secure as Mac OS X or Linux, and it generally […]

Teach kids computer skills, not computer programs

Frequently, in online discussions of the putting of Linux and/or open source in schools, the idea of preparing children for the Windows-dominated workplace comes up. The idea is that most workplaces use Windows and Microsoft Office and will sometimes even require proficiency in certain Windows applications, so how would putting Linux and open source software […]

Is security through obscurity better than nothing?

Before I started using Linux and getting into frequent online discussions with other Linux users about security issues, I had no idea about computer security. I thought having a login and password was enough to keep the “bad guys” out, should my computer ever be stolen. Most people I know think the same. My dad […]

Why is Firefox in Windows better than Firefox in Linux?

I like Firefox. I use it at work. I use it at home. I get annoyed when I have to use other people’s computers and they don’t have Firefox installed. I have to say, though, as a three-year Linux user, that Firefox on Linux sucks, and that there’s absolutely no good reason for this suckage. […]

Linux can be Windows sometimes, can’t it?

Quite frequently on the Ubuntu Forums, someone will make a suggestion that Ubuntu (and/or Linux distros in general) adopt a feature or approach that Windows has to handling a task. Inevitably, someone else will counter that Linux is not Windows and then link to the appropriately titled article “Linux is not Windows.” The problem is […]

Without education, it doesn’t matter which OS is “more secure”

In Linux online communities, oftentimes there are debates about which operating is the most secure—Windows or a Linux-based distribution. The debates usually go something like this: Do I have to worry about security in Linux the way I did in Windows? No, you don’t have to. Linux is much more secure. But isn’t that just […]