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The Guardian: Linux without Tears

Sep 09, 1999, 14:19 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Christopher Lynas)

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"One of the reasons some of us use computers is that they are supposed to save us time. Reality can often be different: we end up spending immeasurable amounts of time crashing and rebooting, for no obvious reason. Some of these time-wasting frustrations are not down to our hardware, but are a result of the operating system being used."

"Apart from a few exceptions, we haven't had much choice. Microsoft has had a huge influence on how PCs have developed, and holds increasing influence over the internet. But now, the times they are a'changing. The alternative is Linux, an operating system whose kernel was created in 1991 by student Linus Torvalds. Linux has grown and matured to such an extent that it now occupies third place behind Windows NT and Novell's Netware in the server soft ware league. And it is the most popular single operating system for web servers, with a third of that market. Consider the computer graphics in the film Titanic..."

"One of the advantages of GNU/Linux is that it is available free, as long as you install and maintain it yourself. Last year, the Mexican government embarked on an ambitious project to equip 140,000 schools with computers. The licence costs of Microsoft Windows were so high, even with volume discounts, that the Mexicans opted for Linux, saving an estimated $124m. Over a large installed base, the cost advantage of Linux becomes compelling."

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