Tag Archives: UNIX

An OS for the Rest of Us: PC-BSD


Sick of Windows and Linux? Mac OS too pricey? Looking for something different? PC-BSD to the rescue!

What is PC-BSD?

Before we get into the review, here are some highlights from the PC-BSD site discussing PC-BSD and its requirements. For a comprehensive look at what’s in this release, see the changelog and the release notes on the PC-BSD site.

Highlights of this release:

* Moving the FreeBSD base version to 6-STABLE
* Xorg 7.2
* KDE 3.5.7
* Compiz-Fusion 0.5.2
* Support for Flash7 in native BSD browsers. (Konq, Opera, Firefox)
* Official NVIDIA drivers to simplify activating Hardware acceleration.

Minimum system requirements:

* Pentium II or higher
* 256MB Ram
* 4GB of free Hard Drive space (Either partition, or entire disk)
* Network card
* Sound card

Now I know that some of you are probably very skeptical about the idea of using BSD as your desktop operating system. Maybe you’ve never heard of it. Maybe you have heard of it but have heard that it’s not very user-friendly or that the software is hard to install or manage. Put aside whatever preconceptions you have about PC-BSD because you’re in for a real treat—if you’re in the market for a new operating system.

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Is it time for Microsoft to abandon Vista and move on to something else, as soon as possible?


Is it time for Microsoft to abandon Vista and move on to something else? Maybe Microsoft should consider doing what Apple did and create an OS based on an existing UNIX based system (BSD, Linux, Amiga, etc…). Or maybe Microsoft should “move up the time table” of Windows 7, Min-Win or Microsoft Singularity and make a radical change? Or maybe they incorporate some of the forgotten features of Longhorn into a “new and glorious” Operating System? How about taking some of their experimental technologies, like “Singularity” and fusing it with a UNIX based OS? Or Microsoft just buyout Novell now and make a new Linux based OS (Microsoft SUSE)? Hey, I’m not saying that Vista is totally bad; however it is starting to look more and more like the “Windows ME” situation. My apologies to the Windows ME lovers still out there on planet “Wishful thinking”, but I digress! In some of the business sectors I work in, I.T/MIS departments and various individuals alike will not touch Microsoft Vista or even allow one connected to their network. There are still issues with legacy software and recently purchased hardware. You need to justify making the upgrade and unfortunately for many businesses, but not all, it just is not there. Now, maybe you home users can tolerate the incompatibilities and problems. One of my extended family members recently purchased an HP system with Vista Premium (they forgot to ask for my advice). Let’s just say “she is not a happy camper”! Too many problems and issues with hardware and software left her with no option but to return the “lemon”. She just did not have the time to deal with it and neither did I.

I use Microsoft Vista 64-bit business edition, at my place of work. It runs great, but I have 4 GB of RAM, a nice SATA drive and a supercharged video card (512MB); along with a whole host of goodies, however I imagine I am not the “average” person or small business. They say that “time is money” and many I’ve spoken with, who do not want to spend that amount of cash and time with Vista. In addition they are often saying, with an assumption, that they will wait until SP2 (Service Pack 2) before they make the dive into the Vista world; if that even happens. Recently Microsoft came out with their revenue and profit numbers, on Vista. I am sure it was meant to show a positive spin on Microsoft’s financial outlook. It also was probably more to do with the release of Apple’s new Operating System called Leopard. However, how are the OEM and retail figures broken down? How many OEMs are allowing downgrades to XP, just to ensure the sale? Acer, Dell and others have made recent changes and moves; allowing users to downgrade to XP or even get Linux distros like Canonical’s Ubuntu. Microsoft cannot simply bury their electronic heads in the sand and hope the issues go away. Sure Microsoft is large and they can “weather the storm”, however I just wonder how much time Microsoft has before it starts to impact on them as a company? Maybe they are planning something in secret and will take a page from Steve Jobs and say nothing. Maybe Bill Gates will come back and lead them to victory. Or better yet, maybe they should outsource it? Sorry, it was just an idea!

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

What would happen if Microsoft actually bought out Novell?


I started to think today that the implications to the Linux / UNIX world would be substantial, with Microsoft working so close with Novell. With the recent ruling that SCO no longer owns the rights to UNIX makes me wonder. Since Novell is now the owner of UNIX, what game is Microsoft really playing? Will they possibly buyout, merge or work even closer with Novell, creating a Microsoft Linux hybrid? What would happen if Microsoft ended up owning UNIX? Now that would be funny, and not at the same time. But then again, I am probably thinking pie in the sky. With Vista out of the blocks at a snail’s pace, will they opt to focus on Linux, lessening the impact on their OS business. This is probably more complicated now, since the release of GPLv3; however it will be extremely interesting to see what they decide to do over the next few years. My guess is that they simply do not want to put all their eggs in one basket, since they are being attacked from all sides. If Microsoft even purchased Novell, they probably would not be interested in SUSE anyway. More than likely they are now interested in the prospects of owning the rights to UNIX. It is probably more complicated then this, but who knows. I will leave that to lawyers and insiders to figure out. The fact is Microsoft is interested in making money and the investment in Novell is not sometime to take lightly. Microsoft must do something soon, and diversify; finding new streams of revenue. They will need new vision, thinking outside of the box. In the end, they may have actually play their cards right. Otherwise, they will simply be another point in history.

 

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario