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)