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Lifestyles

February 8, 2008

Tech, G.P.: Linux experiment is going my way

Well, it's the middle of winter, I don't ski any more, and even the dogs are yawning with boredom.

My kids have grown up and moved out on their own, so it's pretty quiet around here, for the most part.

I've plenty of time to putter around doing whatever I want after work, since I gave up my business about a year ago. So, what should I do?

Picture me with a glass of brandy near the keyboard, a slight wry smile coming to my face and my fingertips together near my chin as I begin to form a plan.

Maybe it's time to experiment on my wife ...

Now, don't get all wound up. It's not a mad scientist kind of thing, or anything you're likely to find on a less-than-mainstream Internet site.

It's an idea I've been toying with for a while, and now might be a good time to do it.

I've been wanting to confirm a theory that I've held for a while now, that the Linux operating system has progressed enough to be usable by "regular" computer users.

For those of you who don't know what Linux is, picture a run-of-the-mill PC, and then think of Windows, which runs on it. Windows is the operating system of the computer.

A PC needs to have an operating system to do anything, but that operating system doesn't necessarily have to be Windows.

Linux is also a PC operating system, but it's not Windows. It's a different operating system.

It does essentially the same function, but it's not made by Microsoft, and therefore is not subject to all of Microsoft's licensing requirements, quirks and costs.

For years, the holy grail for Linux enthusiasts has been to see it replace Windows. Realistically, that's not likely to happen any time soon, but there has been steady incremental improvement.

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