Thursday, December 3, 2009

Linux Is Amazing!

I got wind of this from the PCLinuxOS forums.

Here's a Linux enthusiast who created a theme for Ubuntu Linux. The theme makes his Ubuntu Linux disro look just like Windows XP! This way, you can sit your family members or friends in front of the system and they'll feel right at home. They'll think they're using Windows! (Except they won't have the BSOD, viruses, or spyware to contend with).

After using it for awhile, you can surprise 'em! Let them know they've really been using Linux all along!

See? Linux is easy!

Get Linux

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Cyber Monday!

Today is Cyber Monday! As defined in Wikipedia, "Cyber Monday is a marketing propaganda term that refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday being the busiest day of the year for retail electronic commerce."

Online holiday shoppers are going to be logging on to the various "big box" web sites to try and get a deal on the latest electronic gadget to give as a gift this Christmas.

May I suggest Linux? And specifically, give a try. has terrific prices and builds its systems with PCLinuxOS. I'm running PCLinuxOS and I gotta tell ya, it's a terrific flavor of Linux. It's very stable and very cutting edge! Everything works!

Why give a Windows computer this Christmas when in three months time, you're only going to hear that it's either slowed to a crawl or been infected with a virus?!

Give Linux!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday. A Better Buy!

It's Black Friday. One of the biggest shopping days of the Christmas season!  But, before you grab that charge card and rush off to buy the latest and greatest in computer hardware, please take a moment to consider the following:

Recently, I started a thread on the PCLinuxOS forum.  It was regarding a comment a Facebook friend made about his computer.  It seems that his Firefox browser would not launch and he could not send Email.  In addition, his primary browser was crashing.

Here are some of the comments forum members posted (some have been on, you'll know why):

"Not surprised.  I saw one that was taken apart at the local computer store.  All it was is a few components put together into a case...It was simplicity in itself, even the inside of my custom box looks more complicated.  It was getting its screen replaced.  That's when I knew, that these are just expensive but flimsy pieces of hardware."

"I guess people really do believe that they will just magically work perfectly forever."

"Problems with drivers is what occurred to me. I'm also curious as to whether the power supply would be up to most add in video cards available now."

"problems in these are extremely common, the previous os had a error that if you tried to move files from a laptop or desktop to a external device and if the device was removed or something happened in the middle of the process, the file was deleted from both devices, vanished.  the current update breaks many things on the system that was supposed not to be a problem."

"The software contains continuous unfixed security flaws that are never getting patched promptly enough. Some folks are discovering said flaws and reporting it to the manufacturer on the quiet and end up publicly releasing the specifics of the flaw due to frustration of no fix being available soon enough."

Okay, now what did I edit form these comments?  The name of the computer being discussed.  Care to guess which computer?  Dell?  HP?  Acer?  Sony?  Gateway?  Lenovo?

You'd think it would be any of these and the problems being discussed were ones occuring in Windows.

However, all of us were talking about problems happening with the Apple Mac and the Mac OS!

That's right!  My original post   had to do with a problem a friend was having with his Mac computer.  And I was surprised.  Because all I've ever heard is that Apple computers are the most reliable, easiest computes on the face of the planet.

It appears many feel that Macs aren't all they're cracked up to be.  And the price tag for a Mac can be staggering!

The other alternative, Windows, isn't much better.  If you're not paying a high price for Apple hardware and software, you're paying extra dollars to protect your Windows system from bugs, viruses, and spyware.

Then there's Linux.  It's affordable (free), secure, and friendly!  Linux will bring your older hardware to life! Linux will run blazingly fast on new computer hardware!   Linux has a friendly and helpful community to show you the ropes.  Best of all, Linux has tons of free software!

Christmas 2009 finds families pulling in their belts more than usual.  Why spend hundreds or thousands on a Windows system or Apple Mac?   Both have their own share of headaches.

Get a Linux Computer!  Save money and free yourself from overpriced hardware and software!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Google operating system, known as Chrome OS is on it's way.  It's open source, utilizes cloud computing, and boots in 7 seconds!  Google is working to get it to boot even faster!

And, you guessed it, it's based on Linux!

"Chrome OS itself is built on Linux foundations so many people could find themselves using a version of Linux without knowing it"

A Q&A with ore information can found here.

In the meantime, get Linux.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Speed Up Your Computer For Only 25 Cents!

"Every time Windows boots up some programs automatically load up at the same time, and many of them are ones that you don't even know are running in the background. Over a short period this number can increase to 30-40 programs, which is enough to slow even the newest of computers" 

So goes the pitch of a recent email ad.  These folks are trying to sell a product which "makes your computer start up much faster by analyzing your Windows startup sequence and giving it a de-clutter."

It goes on to talk about how revolutionary it is and all the wonderful things it will do for a Windows computer.  And the asking price is only $19.99.  And, I have to be honest here.  When I used Windows, I gobbled up software from this company.  They make some outstanding Windows software.   I'm not knocking them.  I am knocking the fact that you need to have such a program on your Windows system.  And another program, and another , and correct all the problems windows has!

Look, if you really want to make sure your computer boots fast and all your programs launch fast, simply get Linux. 

For 25 cents, Linux will start fast, run fast, stable, and secure.  Linux will do all this and more.

How did I come up with the 25 cent price point?  Simply buy a spool of DVD-Rs,  download Linux, and burn the ISO to a single disc.  One disc from this spool costs 25 cents.

25 cents beats 20 dollars!  And with Linux, you'll be free of Windows viruses and malware.  AND you won't ever have spend hundreds of dollars for Windows again!

Slow computer problem solved.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Amazing Deal For Christmas!

I receive a variety of emailings from different online retailers. I enjoy getting these email ads and seeing some of the new technology being offered. I especially enjoy receiving email ads from because they have some remarkable deals on computers and electronics. I purchased a refurbished scanner from them for only $65.00! It works wonderfully well! I'm very happy with the purchase. Plus, the scanner is a dream to use with Linux.

Now, check out the latest offer (above) that I received from It's an entire Linux computer system (Refurbished P4 3.2 GHz desktop system with Ubuntu Linux, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers) for only $179.99!!

This system is perfect for a family needing a starter system for the kids or as an extra computer system in the den or kitchen. It's priced so low, it'll make a great Christmas gift! Plus, it's Linux. You'll be free from Windows viruses and malwre and have a ton of free software at your fingertips. and ubuntu Linux is one of the more widely embraced and community supported distors around. Ubuntu is easy to use and easy to get help.

Here's the link.

I spoke with the folks at and they told me it's easy to get this deal on their web site! After the computer is added to your shopping cart, at checkout, simply add the code "TC1." The monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard will then be added to your order and the price will be reduced.

The offer expires on 11/25/2009. So do a little early Christmas shopping and get a great deal on a nice Linux computer!

Get Linux.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I just Joined Facebook!

I joined Facebook yesterday.  My cartooning friend, Chris Browne (of Hagar the Horrible fame), invited me to view his profile, etc.  In order to do this, it was required that I join.

Well, I wanted to see what Chris was up to, so I joined.
(Wanna see me on Facebook? Just click on the Facebook link on the right.)

Now, I've written how you to need to be careful when it comes to surfing around these social networks.  The same rules of caution that you use when going through your email should apply.

But, the great thing is, because I run Linux, I need not worry about a Windows virus attacking my system via a social network.  Linux is imune to Windows viruses and malware!

I've noticed that a lot of my cartooning friends use Mac, so they have the same kinds of protection from Windows Viruses.  But this protection comes with a hefty price tag!

Linux is Free! Simply, download an ISO, burn to disk, test it on your current sytem, and then install.  That's it!  You'll have a brand new computer up and running in less than 30 minutes!

Linux has a ton of free software, is safe and secure, and doesn't come with a large price tag (Mac pros start at $2499.00! Yow!)

Unless you have money to burn, then just get Linux.  (And if you do have money to burn and buy a Mac, snd me the equialent dollars, Mr. Money bags.  Do you realize what kind of awesome, powerful  Linux system I can get for that money???)

Get Linux.

(Upate - I changed my profile picture from my cartoon George to a pic of me.  Still deciding which one works better and is safer from a business standpoint.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Speed Up Your Computer.

As many readers of this blog already know, I love radio! I listen to the radio in my studio when I'm at my drawing table or in front of my PCLinuxOS computer.  I have an internet radio, so I can dial in stations from all over the country and even around the world.

Lately, I've been hearing the same few radio commercials over and over again for online products that allow users to speed up their PCs and improve its performance.  They promise some sort of online diagnostic that will clean up your windows system and unclog whatever is slowing it down.

I have my doubts as to their legitimacy or if they even work.  Heck, I'm not sure what the cost is, but I'd guess it's in the $20.00 to $40.00 range. I'd be wary of downloading any kind of program and installing it on my windows system without first doing a lot of research.   You could be doing more damage to your system than you are aware.

If you REALLY want to speed up your computer, don't run Windows, run Linux instead!

Like the snail above, Windows is slow.  This is because Windows slows down over time due to repeated software installations, fragmentation of the hard drive, and numerous anti-viruses and anti-malware programs running in the background. Not to mention the times when Windows has to update itself due to security problems.

Linux doesn't have any of these headaches.  It's immune to Windows viruses so you don't need to run numerous anti-virus programs in the background.  A Linux hard drive doesn't have to be defragmented.  It handles files and software much more cleanly than Windows.

Linux simply performs better and faster than Windows.  And Linux is free.  So you don't have to pay  a licensing fee to Microsoft, a maintenance fee to an anti-virus software company, or a repair fee to any of these these 'Supe Up my computer" web sites.

Get Linux and always run fast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Not A Linux Geek. Really.

The above comic strip is a stereotypical gag dealing with computers and the whiz kids who know how to fix 'em.  It's all in fun.

The thing is, folks picture me just like the geeky computer brainiac in the comic.  But, really, I'm not a Linux geek.  Sure, I run Linux, but I'm not sitting at my computer hammering out hundreds of lines of computer code. I'm not.

When I run Linux, I'm pointing and clicking just like anyone else would do in Windows or Mac.  That's it.  Linux is that easy to use. No kidding.  I'm running Linux at the same level and understanding as I would run Windows or Mac.

Granted, since running Linux, I've learned more about my computer, its hardware,  and the way the OS works. But this would be the same if I ran Windows or Mac.

It's like this..with each operating system you're going to have to learn something.  How it works, the "moves" around it's desktop and GUI, how to install software, etc.

In addition:

With Windows, you're gonna have to learn about anti-virus software, virus threats, and malware.  And you're going to have to shell out some hard earned cash to buy this additional protection.

With Mac, you're going to learn that you're locked in to Apple hardware for sure.   Granted, Apple makes the hardware, OS, and software to work seamlessly, but it's gonna cost you.   Mac is simply more expensive.  Buy a Mac and you'll learn to part with your cash.  (If you have the cash, and don't mind, well God bless ya.)

With Linux, all you have to learn is, well, Linux. And the cost is, well, free.

So which of the three would you prefer to learn?

Get Linux.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PCLinuxOS Magazine for November 2009!

The latest issue of PCLinuxOs Magazine has hit the internet stands!  Get your copy today!

This month's issue  has lots of great stuff!  There's a terrific article on Google Wave and an introduction to Kooka, a KDE software app for scanning with your scanner.  Also included is a Double Take cartoon and Gimp Tip from yours truly!

Here's the official announcement:

The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the November 2009 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine.
In the November 2009 issue:
Scanner Saga: Part 2
Command Line Interface Intro: Part 2
Catch The (Google) Wave
Manually Create A Live USB Flash Stick
Double Take & Mark’s Quick Gimp Tip
Absolute Beginner’s Guide To LaTeX on PCLinuxOS
Flashback: Simple Backups With Grsync
Gadgets & Gear: Silvercrest OM1008 Wireless Mouse
Behind The Scenes: Joble, In His Own Words
Favorite Wallpaper Sites
Ms_meme’s Nook & Forum Foibles
Linux Ads Hit The Airwaves
Ohio Linux Fest 2009: 40 Years Of Unix
Dual Boot Windows 7 & PCLinuxOS
Multimedia Mean Machine: Mencoder

and much, much more!
This month’s cover celebrates the American holiday of Thanksgiving, and was created by Timeth, a member of the PCLinuxOS Beautification Team.

Get Linux.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Linux: Secure. Windows 7: Not So Much.

 A recent news article from The Register details how Windows 7 is still vulnerable to virus attacks.

"Out-of-the-box Windows 7 machines are still vulnerable to eight out of ten viruses, according to a test by security firm Sophos.

"The experiment proves that the improved User Account Control (UAC) features built into Windows 7 are not enough and that additional anti-virus protection is still required."

So, when you purchase that new Windows 7 system or buy a new boxed version, you had better make sure you install a third party anti-virus program.

But, if you would simply get Linux and install it on your computer instead of Windows, you'll have a safe and secure system right from the start!

Linux is immune to Windows viruses and malware.

A great way to test your system's security is at the Shield's Up! website.  The web site will probe your system and let you know if any ports a open or any other vulnerabilities are exposed.

The above graphic is an actual report from my Linux system. And as the report says, "Very nice."

Get Linux, get secure.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Avoid Social Network Pitfalls. Get Linux!

I got an email from an old college buddy the other day.  He was looking for me up on one of the popular social networking sites. 

I explained to him that I don't use these sites. In addition, I pointed out all the viruses that pop up on many of these social networking sites.  Viruses like this one, this one and this one.  Or how about this user's experience?

Because I use Linux, if I really wanted to open a social networking account,  I'd be immune to these viruses. Why?  Because these viruses target Windows systems and users.  Linux is immune to Windows viruses and malware.

I realize that social networking sites do their diligent best to rid their landscape of such malware, viruses, and phishing scams.   However, they can't catch everything.  All users need to be vigilant.

If you want to be safer and more secure on a social networking site, simply get Linux.  You'll have an easy to use desktop with thousands of free software apps.   And you'll be more secure.  With Linux, you'll be immune to any Windows virus tht may infect/exploit your favorite social networking site.

Get Linux.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Activation Frustration? Not With Linux!

Yesterday's blog post illicited this comment from an anonymous reader:

"And don't forget... No product activation!

"I was on my way from New York to Germany. When I arrived in my room, Vista informed me my PC needed activation and would only work for the next day (can't remember the exact message). I don't know what triggered this message, as everything worked fine, and Windows was activated months before. Because I was on a business trip for the next 2 weeks, I could not get my laptop working until I arrived back home. Luckily we were able to transfer my importation documents that evening. What a mess!


My nephew had a similar experience with his friend's desktop.  Although the laptop had Windows Genuine Advantage and was properly and legally activated, the system locked out the user.  He called Microsoft only to get an automated messaging system.  When he entered the activation code, he was told that the copy of Windows was not legitimate and the technical assistance recording hung up.


Sometimes, you need to be a wizard or magician in order to open Windows and get it to work!

If you want to avoid this kind of hassle, simply get Linux.

With Linux, you'll have a free, open source system that will never ask for an activation code or lock you out.  You'll have a wonderful desktop environment with thousands of programs and a welcoming and friendly community of users who will help you get up and running.

And none of those folks is a recording.

Get Linux.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Windows 7 Versus Linux.

In commenting on one of my previous posts, reader Zaine Ridling said:

"Completely agree with you here. Win7 is a golden opportunity to see that Windows isn't impressive when placed against a mature distro like Mint or openSUSE. I went to a Win7 party, but the host agreed to install copies of Win7, Fedora, openSUSE, and OSX, and then compare them.

"And yes, they were more impressed by how fast and how many programs that were ready to run after spending 15-22 minutes installing Mint and openSUSE. They even liked KDE better than Win7's UI. However, because it didn't run Photoshop -- which only one person used -- they were willing to pay the $320 to stick with Windows.

"Quite telling."

Thanks for the comment, Zaine.

I want to address the one person you mentioned who required Photoshop. Photoshop is certainly an amazing program. One reason (but not the only one) why some folks need PhotoShop is due to CMYK color separation when creating images for print (magazines, newspapers, etc.). Well, the majority of us don't need to use CMYK at the commercial level. Which is why most of us don't plop down $600.00 plus for the commercial version of Photoshop. Most Windows users will purchase Photoshop Elements (or similar) for about $100.00.

Now, I just wanted to make two points to first time readers of this blog and others exploring Linux.

1.) If you really want to run Photoshop, all you need do is purchase and install Crossover or install Wine for free. I've blogged about running Photoshop on Linux before. It works seamlessly and runs quite well.

2.) If you don't need CMYK, The Gimp does everything Photoshop Elements and other non-commercial graphics apps do. And Gimp is FREE! I use The Gimp when creating all my cartoon features with no problems whatsoever. Like the above drawing (taken with a digital camera), I draw my stuff with good old fashioned pen to paper, scan, and then do all my digital editing in Gimp. I don't need CMYK at the moment. If/when I do, I'll use the option as described above.

So, if you really need PhotoShop, you can use it in Linux. I you don't need Photoshop, you can run Gimp for free! It works just like Photoshop and is every bit as powerful.

Get Linux. (not Windows)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surprise! It's Already Started.

Blogs and websites are already starting to report the "Windows Upgrade Hell" that many are experiencing when upgrading their systems from Windows Vista to the New Windows 7 operating system.

College students, too, are experiencing problems when trying to install the new Windows 7. The problem stems from a Microsoft offer. For a limited time, students can purchase Windows 7 for only $29.00. However, it appears when students download and install the package, it's either corrupt of missing some key files.

I spoke with my nephew Mike (he has a CSI degree and works in the IT field) about installing Windows 7. He was on his way to his local MicroCenter to buy a copy of Windows 7. (He has to keep up with anything and everything new in the computer industry. And yes, he runs Linux) When installing Windows, Linux, etc., Mike always backs up his files, wipes his hard drive, and then does a fresh install.

Ultimately, these folks are going to have to do the same thing. Microsoft recommends this for sure if you're moving from Windows XP to Windows 7.

From the BBC's review:

"If you are aiming to upgrade directly from Windows XP to Windows 7, be aware that Microsoft doesn't recommend it. Not only is it likely to take significantly longer, the directory structure is different between the two and many applications may not work if not run after a "fresh" installation."

So, if you're going to upgrade, why not just upgrade to a better OS? Back up your files, wipe your hard drive, and simply install Linux. You'll be more secure, have thousands of free software titles available, and the price is a lot less than the $200+ that M$ is asking. Heck, Linux is even less expensive that the $29.00 students are paying. Linux is free!

Get Linux.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Windows 7 Launches. Get Linux Instead

This week, Microsoft attempts to undo all the problems of its Vista operating system debacle by launching a newer version of Windows, now called Windows 7.

Stores like Best Buy are stocking up on Windows 7.  They're anticipating crowds of hundreds of thousands to come bursting through their doors scrambling to get this new shiny gem of a Windows OS.

I'm not holding my breath.

Look, don't buy into all the hype. Just get Linux. You'll avoid the crowds and price tag. You'll also avoid Windows viruses, Trojans and spy-ware.

You can download Linux for free, install it on any computer you own, and have access to thousands of terrific software apps.

Plus, Linux has one of the coolest 3D environments around!

Get Linux.

Friday, October 16, 2009

PCLinuxOS Magazine! October Issue!

The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine October 2009 issue released.

The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the October 2009 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Andrew Strick, Assistant Editor. The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.
In the October 2009 issue:
  • Phoenix: PCLinuxOS XFCE 2009.4 Released
  • A User's KDE 4.3 Experience in PCLinuxOS
  • The Gutsy Geeks Speak Linux
  • Scanner Saga
  • Command Line Interface Intro
  • Scripts-R-Us: GTKDialog
  • Top Seven Reasons to Use PCLinuxOS Over Window 7
  • Double Take
  • Through The Lens: Gimp Basics
  • System Secrets
  • Game Zone: Second Life
  • Gadgets & Gear: SanDisk SansaClip
  • Ms_meme's Nook & Forum Foibles
  • and much, much more!
This month's cover celebrates Halloween, and was created by Timeth, a member of the PCLinuxOS Beautificaiton Team.

Click here to download.
Visit the online HTML version

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September Issue of PCLinuxOS Magazine!

The latest issue of PCLinuxOS Magazine is now available!  Lots of terrific stuff in this month's issue! Both seasoned and newbie Linux user will enjoy it.  Get you copy at: (a 6.7 MB download)

 The official announcement follows:

The New PCLinuxOS Magazine September 2009 Issue

The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is happy to announce the release of the September, 2009 issue. This month's issue includes:
KDE 4.3 vs Windows 7 Comparison
Behind The Scenes: An Interview with Neal Brooks
IRC: The Forgotten Chat Frontier
Through The Lens: Photo Management Software
How To Set up Easy Samba File Sharing
How To Make A Cheap Film Scanner
How To Share A Printer With Windows Without Samba
Video File Format Cllomparison
PCLinuxOS on the Acer Aspire One
Creating Movie Archives with dvd::rip
Computer Languages A to Z: C and C++
Scripts-R-Us: Repo Speed Test
Double Take by Mark Szorady
Forum Foibles
And much, much more!
This month's cover celebrates the "Back To School" time of year, and was created by Timeth, a member of the PCLinuxOS Beautificaiton Team.

The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is created monthly for the PCLinuxOS community, by volunteer members of the PCLinuxOS community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor and Andrew Strick, Assistant Editor.

The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is created under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License and by downloading, you acknowledge and accept this license agreement. Download size: 6.7 MB.

You can download the 79-page PDF version of the September 2009 issue of The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine here: (a 6.7 MB download), or view the online HTML version of the magazine here:

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I drew the above comic strip almost ten years ago. Back then, most folks had phone modems and were dialing into their internet connection.  They were crawling along at snail like speeds. It took forever for images, video and other large files to download. I remember having to wait 30 to 40 minutes to update a web page. It took that long to upload images, files  and other changes.

Today, with most households clipping along at broadband speeds, the slowest part of the internet connection is sometimes the computer itself.  And most of these home system are running Windows. And, over time, Windows gets slower.  Windows is susceptible to malware, spyware, pop-ups, etc. all of which slows the performance of the system.  These unwanted guests clog memory, run in the background eating up resources and just bog down the system

If you want to improve overall computer system performance, switch to Linux.  Linux is immune to Windows malware, spyware and viruses. You won't need an anti-virus program or any other defensive app running in the background  blockin potential threats. Linux is immune to those threats.  So, Linux is free to use all its resources to run the programs you want to run.

Get a faster system. Get Linux!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Working With Linux.

I received a really nice comment from a blog reader named yoyo.  In my reply I let yoyo know that  everything here is fine.  I'm not on vacation or sick.  I'm just trying to get back up to speed with blogging.

The big news has been  my cartoons appearing in PCLinuxOS magazine.  The PCLinuxOS community was kind enough to include me in their publication.  I contribute a monthly Double Take cartoon and a tip on using Gimp.  The column is called "Mark's Gimp Tip."

I'm working on the September issue and have planned for a a neat file download to accompany the column.  At least, I'm hoping to get this coordinated. Stay tuned.

It's been a fun and productive project and, of course, all the work is done in Linux.  All the page layout is done using Scribus and all the artwork and digital image editing is done in The Gimp.

It's easy!

That's the main concern most folks have when they contemplate switching over to Linux.  They wonder if things are going to work the same way as in Windows. The answer is, "Yes!"  If you can run Windows, you can run Linux.  In fact, in many ways, Linux is even easier to run than Windows.  And you won't have to worry about Windows viruses, trojans and spyware. Linux is immune. So say goodbye to the additional cost of Anti-virus software and other programs that are constantly running in the background slowing down your computer's (Windows) performance.

Linux is fast, familiar, friendly, and easy to use.

Get Linux.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cash For Clunkers.

There's been some curiosity and a bit of hysteria over the Government's web site which dealers log onto in order to process their "Cash For Clunkers" sales.  At the beginning of the process, according to The Glenn Beck Show, by accepting the terms or agreement on the government's web site, the dealer would be turning over all control and ownership of their computer to Uncle Sam. 

Now, if this is indeed happening, I'm not sure exactly how the government is accessing  a dealer's computer.  It may be loading a program that runs in the background and tracks everything on that computer.  I don't know. It's purely speculation on my part.

But, I can venture a guess that all the computer systems involved are probably running Windows.

Windows allows users to run at full administrative level.  Clicking any kind of agreement or downloading any file could potentially launch a virus or piece of malware.

This is why I run Linux. Linux does not allow users to run at an administrative level unless they specifically give it permission by entering a root (administrator) password. Users run Linux at the "User" level.  In order to install software or update the system (from its repository), Linux requires root (administrator) privileges.

So, before you can change anything on a Linux system, you need to be in root.

And, Linux is immune to Windows viruses and malware.

Windows, on the other hand just lets ANYTHING run.  Double-clicking an unknown file could bring about disastrous results by installing a virus or spyware.

If you want a safer, more secure system free of viruses and malware, get Linux.

Monday, August 10, 2009

PCLinuxOS Magazine for August 2009!

The New PCLinuxOS Magazine
August 2009 Issue

The New PCLinuxOS Magazine, which comprises volunteers from the PCLinuxOS community, is proud to announce the release of it's August 2009 edition. This edition continues the magazine crew's commitment to a monthly release schedule for the magazine. The magazine is also pleased to announce that Andrew Strick (Stricktoo) has accepted the position of PCLinuxOS Magazine Assistant Editor.

The magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and by downloading, you acknowledge and accept this license agreement.

The August 2009 edition includes:

  • PCLXDE: The PCLinuxOS LXDE 2009 Remaster
  • Master The Remaster
  • Repo Spotlight: addlocale and GetOpenOffice
  • Behind The Scenes: Up Close With Old-Polack
  • Through The Lens: Scanners With PCLinuxOS
  • PCLinuxOS International Community Update
  • Audio File Formats Comparison
  • Georgetoon Double Take Cartoon
  • Mark's Gimp Tip
  • Wiki Wicket: Setup checkgmail in PCLinuxOS
  • ms_meme's little nook
  • Forum Foibles
  • Using Bookmarks in Konqueror
  • PCLinuxOS Mascot Competition Winner
  • And Lots more!
You can download The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine from

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back To School With Linux!

I just received my first back to school notice in my email box. It came from PCMagazine.  They're touting "Back to School software."  But they also feature a review of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.

I looked it over and I'm not impressed.  You can read the review here.  If you currently run Windows XP, well, you'll want to know about "XP Mode."  This is virtualization software that allows XP users to run XP legacy software in Windows 7.  Problem is, it doesn't work very well.

And other questions about Windows 7 are cropping up.  John C. Dvorak's column  details some of the backlash.

Despite this, Windows 7 has been shipped to manufacturers and you'll start to see it on computer systems in stores around October.  That's not quite in time for back to school, but don't worry. There's an even better back to school solution for you!

Linux!  Linux is the perfect computer operating system for back to school! It's free, loaded with a ton of software, immune to Windows viruses and Trojans, and much more stable and secure.

And if you run XP you can run it inside Windows using Vitualbox without any problems! And Windows XP works terrific in Virtualbox!  I run it this way when I need to run Intuit's Quickbooks.

Why pay for Windows 7 ( starting price of $120.00 for the bottom rung offering) when you can simply download Linux for free and install it on your desktop or laptop?

During these challenging economic times, it makes sense to dump Windows and go with Linux.  Families are on tight budgets.  So, there's no need to pay hundreds of dollars for a new back to school computer system when the current system will do.

My guess is, your current home system has slowed down and become clogged with spyware, pop-ups, etc. Your first reaction is to try and scrape up some money and buy a new Windows system. Stop!  The problem isn't the hardware, it's a faulty OS called Windows.  Download Linux, install it to your computer and you'll have a new system just in time for the school year!

Linux. It's great for school and the entire family!

Get Linux.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Add A Search Engine to Firefox Search Bar

Here's a quick, easy and terrific Firefox tip I came across while surfing The web with Firefox.  Go to the Firefox  Add-ons area and get the following Add-on:

It's called, "Add to Search Bar 1.8."

Once installed, you can then add any search engine to the upper right search bar in Firefox.   Simply visit the search engine's site, place your mouse in the main search bar area, right click and select, "Add to Search Bar..."  The Search Engine will then be added to Firefox's search bar!

This Add-on works for both Firefox in Windows and Linux.  So, if you run Windows, make the switch to Firefox.  It's more secure and customizable than IE.  Then just do yourself a favor and make the switch to Linux.  Firefox is the main web browser and, running in Linux, you'll have a safer, more secure internet and computing experience with no threats from Windows viruses and Trojans.

Get Linux!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tron 1982 Light Cycles

Yesterday, I talked about the movie Tron and how it really inspired me to get on the computer learning curve.  Take a look at the above clip from this 1982 film.  This is the Light Cycle sequence.  Even by today's visual effects standards, it holds up fairly well.  You can easily see how much of an impact this film had on me and others. (You can view an extended version of the clip here.)

Back in 1982, desktop computing was in its infancy and I was becoming interested in using this emerging technology.  Tron helped ignite that curiosity.  Over the years, the thirst for more and better computer technology took me on a journey using several different operating systems.

I started out using BASIC, then a little bit of MS-DOS, then Windows (3.X, 95, 98, XP, and all its variants).  But, as Windows became more and more bloated and prone to virus attacks and security breaches, it became apparent that I needed something else.  It only took one or two virus infections to convince me that Windows was no longer the answer.

I had heard about Linux since about the time of its creation.  I was always intrigued by it.  And I wanted to give it a try.

Well, making the move to Linux was quite easy!  You can make the move to Linux, too!  Download the ISO, burn it to disk, pop it in your CD/DVD drive, reboot your computer, and run the OS!

If you like it and everything works (audio, video, etc.), simply click on the desktop install icon and in about 15-20 minutes, you'll be running Linux!

It's easy, cutting edge, and well supported by a terrific community.

Get Linux!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Back in 1982, Disney released a groundbreaking movie called Tron.  It was the first time (that I can remember) that a film extensively utilized CGI to bring the story to life.

Well, I loved the film.  Here was something that upped the ante when it came to special effects and visuals.  Up to that time, the only thing audiences saw were the kinds of effects featured in Star Wars and films like it. And while those visuals were quite impressive, the film makers of Tron used every bit of computer technology, film technology, and animation processes available at that time to create a world no one had ever seen before.  A world inside a computer.  Tron brought to life Light Cycles, Flying disks, and other computer elements.  And the final result was stunning!  It was cool.  The film was a big reason why I embraced the computer.  In those early days, I saw the computer as a tool to help me create cartoons and other cartoon content.

Tron's filmmakers were really thinking outside the box.

In the same way, Linux developers and community members are constantly thinking outside the box and improving the OS.  Linux offers so much more.  Why settle for the same mundane Windows expereince when you can be using Linux?  With Linux you can customize the desktop, look, and feel to your own liking.  Once you have Linux on your desktop, it's yours.  You own it.

You can contribute to Linux in a variety of ways.  You can develop code for it, write about it, advocate for it, help others it Linux, etc.  You can share Linux with friends and family.  Simply burn a Linux disk and pass it on to family, parents, friends, faculty, students...everyone!

Simply explore the many Linux distributions available, pick one, and try it out.

Right now, I'm using PCLinuxOS on my laptop and have just added it to my desktop.  It's cutting edge, has all the progams I need, supported by a terrific community and well, everything works!

So, after you get Linux installed on your computer, give the MPlayer Quicktime Plugin a test drive by watching the trailer for the new Tron sequel, Tron Legacy.  Or test out how great Flash works in Linux by watching the trailer on  Like Linux, this film is cool raised to a new level!

Tron opens 2010 in Disney Digital 3D.  Linux has a cool 3D desktop!

Get Linux.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lightning Brushes

Yesterday, I posted a friendly reminder about lighting and protecting your computer.

I needed an image for the post, and quickly turned to The Gimp to create it.  And it was easy!

I first went to Deviant Art and downloaded lighting brushes for Gimp. You can get those here.

Extract the file and drop it into your /.gimp/brushes folder.

Then, Open Gimp, select the brush tool, scroll down the brush tool menu and select a lighting bolt. Adjust the color and size and click the mouse on your canvass.  You've just created a lighting bolt!

Use a dark solid color as a background so the lighting effect stands out.  For added effect, I used a dark gradient.

Get Linux, Get Gimp, get creative!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


This is just a friendly reminder. It's summertime (here in the northern hemisphere) and that means thunderstorm season. Remember, when a severe thunder and lighting storm rolls through, unplug your computer equipment, including your cable or DSL connection.

Make sure that EVERYTHING is unplugged! Even though you may have unplugged the computer's power cords, if you leave the cable connection hooked into your system, you're still at risk from a lighting strike....even miles away. Lighting can travel down that wire and zap your computer.

So, when the weather gets bad and lighting flashes, unplug your computer completely. Also, purchase a good quality surge protector or battery backup. Sometimes storms arise when you're not home to unplug.

Get Linux.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Google OS

Google has announced, through their official blog, that it will be launching its own operating system in 2010.  It's being called "Google Chrome OS" and, you guessed it,  is based on Linux.

"Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel."

So, if Linux is good enough for Google, isn't it good enough for you?  Why wait until 2010 for Google Chrome OS?  Get Linux now!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another Windows Virus! Had Enough Yet?

Yesterday, Microsoft issued a warning regarding a malicious virus that affects users of Windows XP running Internet Explorer.

The warning can be found in an article here.

The text is as follows:

"Microsoft Corp. has taken the rare step of warning about a serious computer security vulnerability it hasn't fixed yet. The vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software. It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims' machines. The victims don't need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that's been hacked. Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability. People are drawn to these sites by clicking a link in spam e-mail. The so-called 'zero day' vulnerability disclosed by Microsoft affects a part of its software used to play video.
Microsoft urged vulnerable users to disable the problematic part of its software, which can be done from Microsoft's Web site, while the company works on a 'patch' ó or software fix ó for the problem."

So just by simply visiting a web site, (when using Windows XP and Internet Explorer), you computer system can become infected! 
The virus has already hit China.

Windows XP users are being advised to visit this Microsoft Security Advisory (972890) site for more information and links to a workaround.

My advice is to simply pitch Windows and get Linux!

When you run Linux, you won't have to worry about Windows' security flaws, viruses, Trojans and other vulnerabilities. Linux is immune to these Windows problems!

In the meantime, if you're running Windows XP, at least do the following:

1.) Stop running Internet Explorer.

2.) Update your Anti-virus software.

3.) Get Firefox. It's a better, faster, more secure, and more customizable browser.

4.)  Don't click on any links in Email spam.

5.) ASAP, Get Linux!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth Of July!

Have a wonderful 4th of July!
Get Linux!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

PCLinuxOS Magazine Scores With Readers!

The new PCLinuxOS Magazine has been available for only a couple of days and already it's a big hit with readers. I'm told that the magazine has been downloaded over a thousand times on the first day of release!

One member (Far North) on the PCLinuxOS forums wrote, "It's been quite a while since I've read the PCLinux Magazine and physically used PCLOS. However, after reading the July 2009 issue and seeing the forthcoming updates to PCLOS, I'll be back.

"The Magazine was an enjoyable and very interesting read. I'm looking forward now to the August edition and to XFCE and E17 versions of PCLOS.

"Keep up the great work!"

Get your copy by going to the PCLinuxOS Magazine site.

In addition, mirrors are starting to pop up. I'll have links to these posted in the next day or two. Anticipated demand for the magazine is going to be high.

Get Linux.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PCLinuxOS Magazine Now Available!

The new PCLinuxOS Magazine is now available free for downloading! It's a terrific issue with lots of information, tips, and tricks to get your PCLinuxOS system running it's best.

I've had a chance to take look at the current (July 2009) issue, and it's a chock-filled 45 pages! A few highlights that caught my eye at first glance: There's a very informative article on graphic file formats which is a must read for all artists and photographers. In addition, there's a terrific article on PCLinuxOS and digital photography. For new users, there's a piece on how to utilize the Update Notifier app to help keep your PCLinuxOS system current and up-to-date.

And, the folks at the magazine were kind enough to invite me along as a contributor. Each month, PCLinuxOS Magazine will have a special Linux version of my Double Take cartoon (distributed nationally by

The above image is a thumbnail teaser of the cartoon running in this month's edition. To see the entire cartoon, simply download the magazine at http://www.pclosmag.

The official announcement is as follows:

The New PCLinuxOS Magazine, which comprises volunteers from the PCLinuxOScommunity is proud to announce the release of it's July 2009 edition. This edition brought forth several decisions from the new crew to bring it forth to a monthly release and the selection of a new Chief Editor, Paul Arnote aka parnote.
The magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and by downloading, you acknowledge and accept this license agreement.
The July 2009 edition includes:
The Phoenix Master
MiniMe 2009, PCLinuxOS 2009.2 and Zen Mini
The Simplest Way to Rip Audio CDs
Community Packaging
Using AT&T's Newest 3G Modem with MiniMe and 2009.1
ms_meme's little nook
Through the Lens
Graphic File Formats Comparison
and more!
Visit and download your copy of The New PCLinuxOS Magazine July 2009 Issue now!

So, I hope you'll take a moment to download the magazine. It's terrific! (and looks great, too! ) You'll find it both entertaining and informative. And you'll understand all the more why so many folks are embracing PCLinuxOS as their Operating System of choice.

Get Linux

Monday, June 29, 2009



and thank you for choosing PCLinuxOS. We bring all the power of Linux to your desktop plus our famous "cool-friendly touch" -- we hope it provides complete satisfaction. We highly recommend that you visit to take full advantage of news, help forums, and access to hundreds of high-quality applications for your PCLinuxOS system.
Forums : Community based help forums have been established to discuss various issues with PCLinuxOS. If you would like to participate in the discussion you will need to register yourself on the PCLinuxOS forum. Please note we do not use your name or email for any marketing purposes.
Projects: is a separate community run site geared toward developing handy tools, documentation, graphics and other things for PCLinuxOS.
PCLinuxOS WIKI: A community based user guide has been established where users can find answers. PCLinuxOS Wiki
Donations: The success of PCLinuxOS is dependent upon monetary donations from you. If you would like to see continued development, please consider making a modest donation to this exciting project. Donations are made through Google Checkout to provide a safe and secure way to send funds. 

That's the message that comes up in your browser when it is first launched in PCLinuxOS.  And it covers just about everything you'll need to know when you first start using this terrific Linux distribution.    It's a road map of sorts as you climb behind the wheel of this new finely tuned sports car.

Believe me, if you want to breath new life into you PC, get PCLinuxOS!  If your PC is sluggish and straining and suffers from "Windows-itis", then click on the above road map and get a better operating system!

If you already have PCLinuxOS, then you are to be congratulated!

Get Linux.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Music Slight of Hand.

I'm continually amazed by Linux and how software rich it is. There are thousands of terrific software applications at your immediate disposal. Simply open up the Linux repository with Synaptic (or similar package manager), search for the application, and click to install. After a few moments, you're using that particular piece of software! There's no fumbling for disks or entering numbers/codes to unlock or verify the application. Click, install. It's that easy!

And you need only be engaged with the Linux community to learn about all this terrific software.

I've always said that the best part of Linux is its community of users. Linux users from all over the globe are always there with a helping hand, tip, trick or tweak to get your system running optimally.

A case in point is this blog. I created it to advocate Linux. In the process of telling the world how wonderful Linux is, I've met many experienced Linux users who have introduced me to Linux software, desktop managers, file managers, etc.

And because of a blog entry the other day, I learned about a terrific little app called AudioKonverter from PCLinuxOS users.

AudioKonverter is a KDE service menu that allows you to convert audio/music files from one format to another. Simply right click on the audio file and convert from MP3 to Ogg or WAV to MP3 or FLAC to M4A, etc. It's that easy! The above screen shot from my PCLinuxOS laptop shows exactly how effortless it is.

So, for instance, if you have an .avi video file of your daughter's piano recital, you can use AudioKonverter to extract the audio portion and save it as an MP3. Load the new file to your MP3 player and listen to it in your car.

And I learned about this terrific app from Linux users, specifically, PCLinuxOS users. You can do the same thing. Just get Linux.

I HIGHLY recommend that you get PCLinuxOS. Download it, burn it to disk, run the Live CD and then install it. You'll be saying goodbye to all the Windows headaches of spyare and viruses. You'll also be saying hello to a stable, secure operating system with thousands of software titles (like AudiKonverter) and a wonderful welcoming community of users.

Get Linux.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

PCLinuxOS! Everything Works!

One of the most biggest challenges with some Linux distributions is getting all the multimedia to work. It's a real disappointment to not have Quicktime movies or Flash video play from popular websites like movie trailers or

The really great thing about PCinuxOS is that everything works! All my multimedia (MP3s, Window Media files, AVIs , DVDs, OGGs, etc.) work right out of the box! If for some unknown reason, I can't get a specific media file to play, it's just a simple matter of downloading the correct codec or data file from the repository. (and the PCLinuxOS community is right there to give a helping hand!)

The above screen shot shows my PCLinuxOS laptop streaming audio from I've sometimes found radio stations' audio streams to be a bit tricky in getting to work in Linux. But not with PCLinuxOS! I simply navigate to the radio's web site, click the link for the stream, and in a few moments, I'm listening to the station!

If you've read this blog before, you'll know that I love radio. I have an internet radio that sits next to my drawing table and I also have an XM radio subscription for my car. XM also allows you to stream the channels from their website. In the past, other Linux distros I've used have failed or stumbled in interpreting the XM radio player or audio steam. But PCLinuxOS (via Firefox) brings the player up and streams all the XM channels with no problems!

Want more multimedia ease of use? Well, as you know, DVDs are incredibly popular with folks of all ages. Without a doubt, one of the first things a person will do when using a new computer system is drop in a DVD to watch the latest Hollywood spectacular. Again, some Linux distros have asked users to jump through a series of hoops in order to get a commercial DVD to play. But with PClinxOS, just drop in the DVD and hit play!

So play DVD movies, listen to MP3s, online audio streams, and other entertainment with no hiccups or glitches. PCLinuxOS handles 'em all! It's so easy, you'll think you're running an Apple Mac (but with out the hefty price tag) or a Windows system ( but without the viruses and pop-ups!)

Get Linux!

Friday, June 26, 2009

PCinuxOS Rolling Along!

PCLinuxOS is known as a "Rolling Release Distribution."   This means that  you install PCLinuxOS once and update it when new applications become available from its repository.

The app that helps monitor this is "Update Notifier."   The screen shot above shows it in action. You launch it once and it sits in your system tray.  Update Notifier periodically checks to see what new software updates are available.  It flags you and allows you to make those updates with a couple of clicks of the mouse.

This keeps your PCLinuxOS system up to date and always the latest version!  Once you install PCLinuxOS and update it regularly, you won't have to install again in order to get the newest/latest release.  You'll have the latest release!  It's seamless and updating takes just a few minutes two to three times a week (or whatever frequency the updates occur.)

It's one of the big reasons why I'm such of fan this Linux OS!

Get PCLinuxOS!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Took You So Long?

In my last blog post an anonymous reader asked a friendly question in the comments area, "What took you so long? PCLinuxOS isn't exactly a well kept secret..."

How true!  I've popped that Live CD of PCLinuxOS in and out of my computer for a few years now.  I've known about it and I've played with it, but I've never really gone the final step of installing it...until now.  This time around, I gave it a good close look.  And I'm so happy I did!

(Yes, that's my PCLinuxOS laptop desktop above.)

What took me so long?  Well, for one, I've been using a laptop that already had a very nice Linux distro on it. And my desktop system is a "rack system." This allows me to plug in any number of hard drives with any number of partitions running a variety of Linux distributions.  It's a geeky, high tech way of being a kid in a candy store!

So for the past few years, I've been swapping out hard drives on my desktop system, partitioning, and installing a new Linux distribution.  With so many Linux distributions to choose from, sometimes a really outstanding one like PCLinuxOS gets lost in the shuffle.

This time around though, I felt I needed something to enliven my laptop.  I looked around for a distro that had good wireless support.  At times, wireless and Linux can be a tricky thing (especially for new users).

Currently, I run Kiowa Linux on this laptop and wireless support has beeen very good.  Seeing that PCLinuxOS is very similar to Kiowa, I decided to give it a try.

Well, after test driving the Live CD, it didn't take long for me to decide to partition the laptop drive and add PCLinuxOS!

And, as I explained in yesterday's post, wireless came right up! 

I'm so happy with this Linux distro, I have plans to partition a hard drive on my rack system yet again.

If you have a laptop, give PCLinuxOS a try.  It's user friendly, easy to install, and just about holds your hand  during the process of  getting wireless connected.  And it has one of the friendliest and most helpful user commuities around!

So, I'm here to tell YOU, don't make the same mistake I made by letting this gem of an OS get lost in the shuffle.  As you investigate Linux, cut to the chase and get PCLinuxOS.

Even better, if you need a new computer, consider one with PCLinuxOS already pre-installed!

Get Linux!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PCLinuxOS! Wow!

It seems that I blog in fits and starts. I get excited about Linux and, day after day, shout to the world through this blog about how terrific it is! Then deadlines loom and I find myself withdrawing from the bloog and needing to be at my drawing table.

So, my drawing table called and, for the past two months, I've been cartooning and running (If you don't see George or my other comics in your local paper, ask for them!)

But, in between, I've also been running PCLinuxOS 2009.1!

I don't know exactly how it happened. I guess I just wanted to have new OS on my laptop. I was dual booting between Windows XP and Kiowa Linux. While Kiowa Linux gets ready to release its latest and greatest, I decided to try a new Linux distro. And I wanted something similar to the look and feel of Kiowa and Mandriva. Well, that's why I loaded PCLinuxOS. And I'm so glad I did.

PCLinuxOS loaded in a snap, found all my hardware, configured my graphics card, and presented me with a number of wireless drivers to install. I selected the first one and my wireless came right up!

The extras bonus in all this was the PCLinuxOS forum and community. A really terrific, friendly bunch of folks who are welcoming and ready to help! I had no problems correcting minor issues because i had the help and support of the PCLinuxOS forum.

So, do yourself a favor and buy or download PCLInuxOS 2009.1! I'll be talking about it in the days and weeks to come. If you run the Live CD (or even install) you can follow along!

Get Linux!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sangean Again!

The reason why I love Linux so much is due to the commitment and dedication of its community. Linux users and developers are quick to respond to help you through the slightest challenge or problem you might have experienced while familiarizing yourself with this wonderful operating system. The community is always there to help. I've made some wonderful friendships through using Linux. These new Linux friends have introduced me to open source technologies that have enhanced my cartooning and computing experience.

In the same way, the folks at Sangean really stand behind their products! As you may recall, I've blogged about how terrific the Sangean WFR-20 interent radio is! Recently, I had a slight problem with the radio and called the folks at Sangean. They were only too happy to help me out! My radio is fine. Its up and running and streaming music from my Linux Mint computer and allowing me to listen to over 15,000 radio stations from around the globe!

Sangean and Linux. You can't go wrong with either one. Both stand behind their products. If you're looking for a terrific radio (and have a broadband connection), definitely get a Sangean WFR-20 WiFi Internet Radio & Media Player!

(Also, you may want to consider the new Sangean WFR-1 WIFI Internet Radio. It's in stores now!)

Likewise, if you need a terrific operating system that folks stand squarely behind, get Linux.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Mr. Obama

Tomorrow is tax day here in the U.S.  A lot of Tea Parties are going to take place. People are just plain mad!  I'm mad, too!  I'm forgoing talking about Linux today to join my fellow citizens and raise my voice in protest to all the wasteful spending our government has been doing.  The following comes from Jim Z and sums up the situation far better than anything I could ever write.   Bravo, Jim!  Please feel free to copy and pass along to others.

Dear Mr. Obama

Dear Mr. Obama,
Tomorrow I will be sending $3000 to the IRS.

Too bad,  if I had that money I can think of a lot
of things to do with it.

The guy down the street is a carpenter.
He's been looking for work for a long time.
I was thinking of re-finishing our Kitchen floor.
Looks like I won't be doing that this year.

I also know a guy who does vinyl siding.
I would love to get my house sided,
and $3000 would certainly be a large part of the
cost.  But I  guess I won't be doing that this year.

I know an electrician who is out of work.  I'm
sure he could help me upgrade our electrical
service.  Too bad, I won't be doing that this year.

Perhaps I could put the money towards a new car.
I know someone at a dealership that is really in need
of the business.
Oh well,  looks like I can't do that this year either.

Instead, I am handing it over to the government so you
can "stimulate" the economy.

Am I missing something here ?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My New Scanner!

My new (actually refurbished) scanner arrived last week and I've been putting it through the paces here in my studio.

It's an HP Scanjet 8250. It has an automatic document feeder and a flat bed scanning area of 8.5 x 14 inches.  This larger scanning area comes in handy because I draw my comic strip 4 inches by 13 inches.

In a previous post, I was looking at modifying the size of my comic strip template and drawing it a bit smaller to accommodate my Umax scanner.  I used Scribus to design the template and was all set to go when a Freespire community member pointed out how this HP scanner was at for only $65.00.  I jumped on the deal!

The scanner is wonderful!   And the really great thing is, Xsane supports it. All I had to do was pull the scanner out of the box, plug in to my USB port on my Linux system, power up, and I was scanning!   No software or drivers to install.  Xsane was already in place to handle the scanner.  (and Xsane and Kooka both support the ADF feature!)

Here's the neat thing.  I've been using a Umax scanner in Linux for the last year or so.   All I did was unplug it, then plug in the HP scanner and Linux did all the rest!   The HP scanner was up and running in an instant!

Each scanner just works in Linux!  It's true plug 'n play.

Since I  run a rack system, I plugged in windows XP to see how the HP scanner would fare compared to Linux.

30 minutes later, I was still installing drivers and software. I had to restart the system a couple of times, as well.

After finally getting all the necessary software installed (some would not install.  I have to check with for another disk),  the scanner worked nicely.   But, it did take about 30-40 minutes for software and drivers to install.

So, I'm quite happy with my new scanner.  It allows me to scan larger pieces so I can continue to draw my George comic strip 4 inches by 13 inches.

And Linux and Xsane support this scanner, so set up was a snap!  I plugged in and was scanning in less than 30 seconds!

Get Linux!