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ITMyCareer.com.au: Linux zeroes in on Microsoft hegemony

May 13, 2001, 21:00 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charles Wright)

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What a surprise: SuSE, Red Hat, and Mandrake all make major releases and happy shoppers aren't lined up around the block like parents anxious over Cabbage Patch kids at Christmas. On the other hand, this article maintains that "the learning curve for Linux no longer looks like one of those looming Mt Arapiles cliffs that rock-climbers dangle from."

You no longer have to search through unending volumes of HOWTO files to install and configure Linux. It has plug-and-play. It's not quite so broad-reaching as in Windows, but it is faster and, in four test installations with a wide array of video cards, sound cards, USB etc, it failed to pick up the drivers for only one relatively uncommon network card.

Installing a dial-up Internet connection proved to be breathtakingly simple - just a matter of inserting the ISP's phone number, user name and password - and the business of hooking up to a printer, which with early versions of Linux seemed somewhat like networking a particle accelerator, has become pain-free.

There are cavernous depths with Linux - dark twists and turns, which you navigate by arcane commands - but only the adventurous and the initiated need tinker with them. The average user can choose to live pretty much entirely in the comfortable surrounds of the desktop, which he or she can set up to duplicate the look and feel of Windows, the MacOS, BeOS or whatever.

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