Friday, November 9, 2007

Linux - No assembly required.

(Click Image for larger view)

I had fun drawing the above comic strip. Because, nowadays, it seems everything needs to be assembled. This is especially true of Windows. When you buy a computer with Windows pre-installed, you get some bundled software. But two things are true:

1.) You paid for that bundle of software. It may not be listed in the price of the computer, but you had better believe, you paid for it.

2.) Bundled software is very seldom a top-shelf offering. The bundle is designed to give you a taste of what is possible. It's an introductory level software package. Sooner of later you're going to need an advanced tool or feature. You won't have it within the bundled software, so you'll be marching off to the software store to find a piece of software that has the features you need.
Which means, you're plunking down another $40.00, $50.00 or even $100.00.

Next, you'll bring the software home, open it, drop it in your DVD/CD tray, and install it. Then, you have to file it (and the license number) away in a safe place. Because if you ever lose the disk or the installation license, you're out of luck. You won't be able to install the software again, especially if windows crashes and you have to due an entire system re-install.

With windows, you'll need to install a firewall and an anti virus program. Sure, these come with some versions of Windows, but the pros recommend you get a third party program to "plug up" the holes in Windows security. More money spent. And again you'll need to install this software. And, if it's an anti-virus program or similar utility, you'll be required to purchase a yearly subscription. More money.

Want desktop publishing? Well, this very rarely comes standard on a Windows system. So, off to the software store to buy yet another disk. The same goes for Graphics, photo editing, Office suites,...the list goes on.

Pretty soon, you're going to have a rather large stack of disks and license codes that need to be saved.

As I mentioned earlier, heaven help you if you have to reinstall all this software! It could take hours of loading disks, punching in license codes and waiting for the application to install.

Linux is better. When you install Linux, it already comes with top shelf, full featured software that gets you immediately up and running and using your computer. And the software is all open source. No need for license codes.

And Linux is immune to Windows viruses! here's no need to install an anti-virus program or pay for a subscription to this type of service.

Linux comes with the following (most or all) pre-installed:

OpenOffice - A full featured office suite fully compatible with MSOffice.
The Gimp - Full featured Photo editing software compatible and a rival to Adobe's PhotoShop.
K3B - a CD and DVD burning utility
Pidgin - Instant messenger
Thunderbird, Kmail, Evolution,etc. - email clients.
Firebird/Mozilla - Web Browser
Amarok - Full featured MP3 music player
Kaffeine, VLC, MPlayer - DVD/multi-media players
DIGiKam - Powerful full featured Photo organizer and editor
InkScape - Vector Graphics editor
Scribus - Desktop Publishing
SuperKaramba - desktop widgets
Xsane - Scanning utility
Kfax - Faxing utility

The list is endless. And more software is being developed every day by Linux community members.

Linux comes with so many software titles pre-installed, that once Linux is started, you simply begin working on your computer. No further "assembly" is required. It's all there and ready to go!

But, if you chose to explore more software offerings, it's a simple matter of obtaining the software from the repository or a one click installation system. There's no need to visit the local software store or spend additional dollars! Linux software is free, open source, full feature and always available in your distribution's repository. No need to store a mountain of CD-ROM disks!

Get Linux. No assembly required.

Got a question about cartooning with Linux, or Linux in general? Email me at: If I use your question on my blog, I'll send you an original, signed George comic strip!

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