Windows

Ubuntu's two big advantages over Windows and Mac

There are two very important areas where Ubuntu Linux has significant advantages over both Windows 7 and Mac OS X. See what they are and join the discussion.

I've been using the latest version (10.04) of Ubuntu Linux since April and there's a lot to like about it. I announced earlier this year that I was giving desktop Linux another look, and I went with Ubuntu because it is the Linux distribution most focused on a desktop OS. I have lots of observations about the Ubuntu experience and how it compares to Mac and Windows, but I'm going to save most of that feedback for another article.

Today I want to talk about two significant advantages that Ubuntu has over Windows 7 and Mac OS X. This came up last week because Apple displaced Oracle as the new world leader in security vulnerabilities, according to a report from Secunia. And Ars Technica astutely pointed out:

"The report includes cumulative figures for the number of vulnerabilities found on a Windows PC with the 50 most widely-used programs. Five years ago, there were more first-party flaws (in Windows and Microsoft's other software) than third-party. Since about 2007, the balance shifted towards third-party programs. This year, third-party flaws are predicted to outnumber first-party flaws by two-to-one. Secunia also makes a case that effectively updating this third-party software is much harder to do; whereas Microsoft's Windows Update and Microsoft Update systems will provide protection for around 35% of reported vulnerabilities, patching the remainder requires the use of 13 or more updating systems. Some vendors-Apple, Mozilla, and Google, for example-do have decent automatic update systems, but others require manual intervention by the user."

That leads us to Ubuntu's first big advantage.

1. Comprehensive software updates

In a world where most of the security vulnerabilities are coming from third-party applications, Windows and Mac machines are at significant risk because they run lots of these apps and those apps aren't always updated automatically, which leaves the machines open to attacks.

Again, to be clear, both Microsoft and Apple have comprehensive updating systems for their software -- both the OS as well as company apps that run on top of the OS. The problem is with the software (programs, extensions, and plug-ins) from other vendors and the inconsistent methods they use for updating their code to protect against known flaws.

With Ubuntu, there's one comprehensive software updating system. This is possible because Ubuntu has a centralized repository of applications and the only third-party applications that make it into the main repository are the ones that have been tested by Canonical (the company that produces Ubuntu) and are proven to work with the OS. This means that the Ubuntu main repository doesn't always have the very latest version of Firefox, for example, but you can be sure that the one it does have will typically install easy, work smoothly, and remain updated automatically.

There are also other repositories of applications that you can connect to with Ubuntu, but these are supported by the Ubuntu community or by commercial companies. Still, if you trust them and connect to them, then their updates are also automatically run through Ubuntu's Update Manager (below). As a result, Ubuntu offers a much more centralized and effective way to keep computers up to date -- especially if you stick mostly to the software in its main repository.

2. Integrated app store

While managing Ubuntu's software repositories is handled with an administrator tool called Synaptic Package Manager, there's also a much easier way to browse through the official Ubuntu-sanctioned applications. It's called the Ubuntu Software Center and the people I know who have used both Ubuntu and the iPhone typically say, "It's just like the App Store."

From a user perspective, the Ubuntu Software Library has a very similar experience to the iPhone App Store or the Android Market. You simply open it up, browse or search through different categories of applications, and download the ones that you want to try. It's basically an app store for the PC.

And, while iPhone and Android have a mix of free apps and paid apps, the apps in the Ubuntu Software Center are nearly all open source and free of charge. Like iPhone and Android, you have to sort through a fair amount of chaff in order to get to the wheat, but it's still a terrific 21st century computing experience. Both Windows and Mac need to learn from the app experience that is driving the mobile device market. Ubuntu has already beaten them to the punch.

If you add that to the fact that Ubuntu does a better job with software updates (a big security boost), then Ubuntu becomes a much more viable alternative for modern PC users, especially those who access most of their services and enterprise apps via a Web browser.

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About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

243 comments
Kostaghus
Kostaghus

Yes... My office colleague is a great Linux fan. HOWEVER... What the heck can I do with Linux, except writing memos that will open poorly in Office 2003-2007 and Excel files that won't, using Free Office. As to the rest... What can I say? I usually perform a lot of image processing, DTP and layout and also some database programming. Please tell me what can I use for VisualBasic with Linux. And what can replace Photoshop (don't give me the Gimp thing because it doesn't!) or QuarkXPress... So, for Internet browsing and writing in Notepad I can use Windows 98 or 2000 which are even faster and will run on "slimmer" systems than Ubuntu 10.4 (which by the way - refused obstinately to install on my Pentium3/400, 256 MB SDRAM, 16MB Banshee video, 40 GB HDD system. A system on which both Win98SE and Win2k will run like the wind!!!

sar10538
sar10538

I've been using SuSE for donkey's years where Yast's package manager has supplied 2) and the updater applet has supplied 1). You're beginning to put a standard MS marketing spin on this saying that Ubuntu invented these things. I've got four of these amazing round things on my metal box outside the house and it makes my metal box run down the road really smoothly. I think I'll call the round things wheels, isn't that great!!! I wonder when other people will catch on ;)

ddalley
ddalley

If you had, you would have posted about a major fault in the updating system instead of wondering off-topic so often. Geesh! The system just dies when things like dependencies can't be resolved and for other reasons. Then we have to, one by one, figure out which of maybe 147 files in the list is the culprit, which isn't always obvious. This is not a comfortable experience and doesn't do Linux any favours. Within the last week, Firefox had an update with about 5-6 files released that didn't install. I just guessed and unchecked all other files but one, then installed the one. In the end it worked, but it was the first time I did it that way. Most of the time, though, a dependency just stops the update process dead and we're sitting there like a lame duck scratching our heads. The experience should be able to let us skip typical update problems much better than it does today.

dwdino
dwdino

X11! Take a laptop, install linux. Now get a docking station and attach two dual monitors. In the middle of working suspend the laptop, close the lid, and dock the system. Power back up. Now find your screen. You can man handle X and fix the configuration, or you can use W7 and simply have your monitors auto config.

shaunsweb
shaunsweb

I find it funny how many fanboys we have here. Lets be real there are good reasons for all three systems and you don't have to bash someone to say I disagree and this is why. Heck for every positive reason in all three systems you could argue it is better to support the other. Mac as a graphic arts platform you could easily argue that not many people would know the difference in the slightly off color palate to care and Mac users can open your Windows files so it shouldn't be an issue at all. I've heard bashing of free AV software. Yes MSE fails and no I wouldn't trust them to protect my computer. That is the case with a lot of the paid programs too. Many of them slow your computer to a crawl. I wouldn't say Linux is completely safe in this arena but lack of market share always means lack of viruses. That is the key reason Mac has had such success with security by staying under the radar of virus programmers. Open Office is way better than it used to be but still has some compatibility issues. But it is good enough for the average user to get by with a free product possibly business but you run the risk of having really messed up formats when going between systems. MS holds the market share for two reasons. The business side of things require consistency in format and since they have been the computer to use in business for so long people are just used to it and continue to buy it. Though I see a huge potential for that to change if a computer company were to start a great ad campaign, cough apple( wishing it was Linux instead.) Windows also holds a large enthusiast base when it comes to the gaming world as not all games will run on Linux or Mac. So that fear keeps some people from making the jump, not all of course. Personally I use PC and Linux, I would prefer Linux. The system seems to respond much better in Linux than PC. So obviously it is the better system the problem is there is still some lack of support due to market share and that is what is holding Linux back. Think of it as simple as the Android iPhone battle. Android has the greatest potential iPhone has the greatest app support because it was first out has great advertising and originally had no real competition in the way they marketed the phone to people instead of businesses. This is how I see it now. Win works great for business home and school, but bloated. Linux works good-great for business home and school depending on how you use it and as open office cleans up its format inconsistencies. Mac works for home/school with some issues and can be used for business in limited arenas.

Stovies
Stovies

I liked you findings, as they are what I have begun to see with this UBUNTU 10.4 I would be using UBUNTU all the time except that I cannot for an obvious reason. That reason has to do with proprietary software like CAD programs and Publishing programs. I Use Serif?s PagePlus X4 since it is the best Publisher at a value price and it does all that the more expensive programs do. AutoCAD will not work on UBUNTU for obvious reasons, but then my version of AutoCAD will not work on Windows 7 and Autodesk has the same anti-customer philosophy as Microsoft. What the proprietary software providers are afraid of is that if they gave out driver code the developers of UBUNTU etc. would make these paid for programs available to everybody. They are not wrong, but there are others that are equally fed up of being ripped off by these expensive companies. They charge big company prices that smaller companies cannot justify regarding the expense and so the smaller companies stick with older versions longer. I am waiting for someone to produce a CAD program that works well enough commercially and that runs on open source. Then it would be UBUNTU only.

kandyass
kandyass

The software center application replaced a similar one called add/remove software that is present in every gnome based distro I have ever tried, so its not really fair to call it an advantage of Ubuntu specifically. It is clearly not fair to say the repository system is a unique advantage of Ubuntu versus other distros. You could say that the launchpad bug reporting/management system is a unique advantage though. MS and Apple probably do have something similar, but it is tainted (from a user perspective) by the profit motive of those companies, and users don't get to participate in diagnosing or trying to patch their own systems.

whatnut
whatnut

They are not apps and it's not a store. It's a repository of shared technical, intellectual and entertaining work. Keeping You up to date instead of the other way around. Don't put too much into the frontend. Slackware's netpkg is just as easy.

lacruzad
lacruzad

This comparison is just for fron-end interface, and not for deep features, like compatibility. Not all software are developed for Linux, there is a lot way to walk. Specially drivers for devices. Big problem with Ubuntu distributions....

smbale
smbale

Ubuntu is better than windows

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I have been using Ubuntu now through several versions and found a couple of disconcerting facts. Changing the logon screen was easy, now you have to do back flips to get a different logon screen in 10. I had to go through a web hunt to find the magic steps. The Ubuntu people also included a neat little battery utility that allowed you to mouse over it's icon and see how much of your battery charge you had used. No such luck now, the version 10 (yes, I know it is 10.z.z.z.z., did I fall asleep there?) version battery utility is virtually useless. So, the last hurdle is, I just want to let them know. Can I just log in and send them an email? Nooooooo, I have to go through a whole series of "jump this high" requests and become some kind of lurker on their "community" site.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

What's with people and this "App Sore" crap? Apple says they have 200,000 apps for the iPhone. Big woopie. That means 75% of them are probably junk with crapyy user ratings. Having a choice between 35 apps that can help you find your iPhone is no great advantage. If I am looking for something in an OS, I'd be looking at a secure environment [lately you can rule out OS X before Windows], that has compatibility with all hardware [Linux? not as much] and that can be supported well [Linux at roughly 1% of the OS share?]. On the other hand you have Apple where you are forced to have OS X on hardware bought from Apple - paying an extra 25%+ for it. Of course you got Windows. Every malware writer is gearing their crap after dumb/naive Windows users - some who shouldn't own a computer. So the best solution? DOS. No virus or malware for years now. :-)

PhilM
PhilM

A couple of years ago I was contacted by a French lady (I believe in Montpelier) who wanted to offer her company's services to maintain a list of our software and its versions. This was so that they could keep our company up to date with app versions etc. Didn't take it up but a good call none the less. Me? At home? OpenSuse with repositories. No brains required! :-)

PhilM
PhilM

A couple of years ago I was contacted by a French lady (I believe in Montpelier) who wanted to offer her company's services to maintain a list of our software and its versions. This was so that they could keep our company up t odate with versions etc. Didn't take it up but a good call none the less. Me? At home? OpenSuse with repositories. No brains required! :-)

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

I admit that I'm a "newbie" to Linux. However, Linux (any distro) has the longstanding reputation for being the most stable OS available. Stability, reliability, dependability, and consistent support are the mainstays of any OS. Linux seems to meet this criteria far better than most, especially Microsoft systems. I look forward to comments from others as its certainly a learning experience that I sincerely appreciate from all of you. --- Lee

EarlMelton
EarlMelton

I'm relatively new to Linux and Ubuntu. Big advantage, IMO, is that it takes less time to boot up to where I'm ready to go to work than Windoze does...TO SHUT DOWN!!!

evp
evp

Even a TUC marked USB WIFI do not work => Disabled (no turn on switches)

chad
chad

MacUpdate offers a simple way to quickly find all available updates for your installed 3rd party apps and install them. This included security updates. http://www.macupdate.com/desktop/

BeccaG64
BeccaG64

Now you've done it.. I am going to have to look deeper into this OS.. Never thought I'd consider anything else.

danekan
danekan

Ubuntu does a better job than Microsoft AND Apple at recognizing new hardware. You can literally plug an Aircard in from Verizon or Sprint for example, not load any b.s. software or drivers and it will just work. You can't do this on a mac or a PC. (A mac will see the hardware and be able to use it, but you have to know the dialing settings to actually take advantage of it, without the software) Standard wifi cards just work out of the box on any laptop model I've ever tried... (which admittedly, was usually a Dell... but the cards are various models from Intel and Broadcom). Also I've noticed that the radio tuning seems to be slightly improved on the same exact hardware. if I dual boot a windows / ubuntu system, the Ubuntu system almost always sees most wifi networks that Windows doesn't even see. ...I've had similar experiences with other obscure hardware just working out of the box.

darpoke
darpoke

That you can run two OSes, both more than a decade old, on a poorly resourced machine (by today's standards)? Kudos. I can run Nintendo games from the 1980's in an emulator on my iPhone. Big whoop. They were written in an age when hard disks were measured in MB, RAM was measured in kB and CPUs were measured in tens of MHz... Ubuntu's latest release is a current OS, distributed *this year*. Of course it won't scale down to that level. You try running the latest Windows release on one of those boxes, let me know how you get on. FWIW, you'll get Ubuntu 10.04 on an older box than any copy of W7. And you'll get a version of Puppy Linux to run on boxes that wouldn't handle your favoured dinosaur Windows versions. Of course you won't be able to find a VB IDE on the Linux platform - it's proprietary software that leverages the .Net framework only found on Windows pcs. You can use open source tools to program in Java, Coldfusion, PHP, PERL, Ruby and dozens of other languages. There are plenty of non-proprietary platforms out there. You can run a full application-integrated, database enabled web server without spending a penny on anything other that your internet access (and hosting if you need it). I'll concede that Photoshop is the market leader of image manipulation but for those who can't afford the ?600+ pricetag for the software alone, Gimp does provide a great deal of functionality for the low, low price of ?0. And it's cross-platform.

ddalley
ddalley

"I Use Serif?s PagePlus X4 since it is the best Publisher at a value price and it does all that the more expensive programs do." Chances are you haven't used PageStream, then. It is commercially published, yes, but it is not expensive and can do pretty well anything the big boys can do. It is available on *all* popular platforms, too.

kirovs
kirovs

If I understand correctly you need scribus. Take a look at it. And Quark Xpress works under wine. I do not know about CAD programs though.... Still you can always test through wine (runs Win programs in Linux).

kandyass
kandyass

The cli is still way more efficient to use if you know what you're after that the app store, I mean software center in Ubuntu.

drac13
drac13

this is a nice feature, Microsoft should also include it in their OS, so users can go to a single place to check the compatible and latest available softwares for the platform, which can also check the usage of pirated softwares installed....

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Getting familiar with the community and where to ask questions may be a hassle. You can always call Canonical and buy support though. Like any major distribution or software platform, support is available. That's not intended to sound harsh but if you don't want to go the community help route, you can purchase support from Ubuntu or go with a distribution more focused on your needs. I seem to be past my GUI modding days else I'd also try and offer some tips. All my machines boot to text and I load GUI if needed rather than by default. It's not for everyone but if your tech savvy, it may be worth considering. (I know it's what got me past the last GUI graphics issues I had).

mrdelurk
mrdelurk

For professional audio and MIDI, Ubuntu (including the Ubuntu Studio version) is still 30 years behind Mac or Windows. I guess for office tasks and online activity (what most people use computers for) Ubuntu is fine. My recollection of Synaptic Package Manager was "argggh... I'll take the 'install anything anytime' Mac approach anytime over this." And frankly, the way Ubuntu dealt with graphic login as admin didn't endear it to me either. But hey, to each his own... I tried it, it didn't work (well) for me, but it may still work fine for what you need it for.

ambrose.neville
ambrose.neville

AppFresh provides similar functionality to MacUpdate Desktop but without the subscription cost (or polish, to be fair). The hilarious thing about this is how much stick do you think Apple would get if they extended the app store style paradigm to their desktop OS in the way that Canonical does it...

Zwort
Zwort

Do it. It detected all of the drivers on a relatively new Acer of mine, where anything pre-vista will not. I found it quick and a joy to use at first glance. When I have time I will treat it more seriously and allow it to go online. One of my main problems is firewalling. I find this holier than thou, 'use IP chains not a GUI, it's the only way to understand what you're doing' argument to be a tad contentious and founded on the premise that I have time to be an old fashioned geek.

hal1976
hal1976

The title of this post should have been more along the lines of "Features of Linux to win you from Windows/Mac". I don't think these are necessarily advantages of Ubuntu but more a validation of the FOSS structure and how it can be employed to provide better security, improved functionality etc etc After all, IMHO this may not have really been possible if the software to be updated had a very strong commercial interest vested in it...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If it's the user interface the person has issue with, Gimpshop may be a better choice; I've not used it though so can't provide personal experience. In the end, specialty programs will always dictate the platform though. If one can't live without Photoshop or AutoCAD specifically then they'll have to use the OS that those run on. Now, first his old hardware, he could look at Xubuntu if he wanted to stick with the latest releases but use low resource hardware.

kandyass
kandyass

I cant recall the name of it but there is an application that you can use to download and install lots of freeware on windows from one easy interface. I'm not sure how it does with updates.

kirovs
kirovs

I am pretty certain the most advanced video editing exists for Linux (Avatar, Matrix anyone?). I regularly do my laymen video editing (and some audio of course) in Linux (and I am pretty happy with it). Am I missing something?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The problem with Apple's App Store now is that it's restrictive towards what titles get in (not just what quality gets in). They also change the API according to Mr Job's weekly mood. it's the same as Microsoft, they could both provide central repositories or at least central management. They both just need to do it with a stable and clear policy plus a lack of restrictions against "that competes with our own product" programs.

serpentsnare
serpentsnare

When using one of those solution on OS X, does it check to make sure the update has been signed using a key I explicitly trust? If not, then they are not a solution, but rather, a trojan horse waiting to happen.

jeslurkin
jeslurkin

Looks interesting as a possible alternative for MS Windows. Might be more work than I would care for, tho'. :)

darpoke
darpoke

that there were non-Windows Windows window managers! Nor did I know such a sentence was even typable. So you can actually change from the default Windows WM? Is it a hack, does it reduce stability or anything?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My experience is as a user from the "how does this fit together and what minimum parts do I need to install". Someone with developer experience may be able to clarify further. A good way to think of it is as kernel and userland. Linux is the kernel but doesn't do anything without some userland layer to interact with. X.org is the GUI kernel but doesn't do anything without the DE/WM layer to interact with. Normally, the config file or command line specifies a DE/WM which gives you the pretty display. KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment all provide that GUI shell and the visiual elements and behaviors that make up the user interaction. Alternatively (or by accident), one can specify an application to load up. When doing this intentionally with something like a web browser, I could interact with the main window but the rest of the screen was greyed out (hound's tooth'ed out as it where). No title bar, title bar buttons or boarder; no move, resize, destroy, minimize or mouse menu for window management. if your right click on the menu; those functions where not available. In windows for example; restore, move, minimize, maximize, close. Now, I did have the browser's internal widget elements. I had the menu; File, Edit and so on. Those functions where all internal including the browser's own "close" option. Success.. maybe? Then I opened the plugins dialog which does not have it's own close button. When opening, it's position was by upper left corner (1,1) over top of the main browser window (also 1,1) and it's menu. So, now I have a window I can't move or destroy (close from outside the prog) blocking access to the main window file menu and it's contained close (close from inside the prog). If the program provides the function within it's own code; your good. If it's a function provided by the desktop environment to manage the program; your hosed. Windows is built differently due to widgets being in IE's DLL files. When you change your shell to Lightstep or Rainmaker, you can still reach out to those shared libraries (hence, IE can't be fully uninstalled). When you place a text box in a .NET program form, your pulling that element from the shared library. Because of this coupling, you also can't load Windows without a shell or you just get a black screen. It's not like Win98 where one could rename win.com (win.exe?) and end up at a dos7 prompt fallback. The old text environment hosting the GUI layer on top was flipped in NT/XP so the GUI environment now hosts text cli windowed sessions; the recovery console is a separate boot sequence. offtopic; I've seen some gorgeous Rainmaker desktops on Win7. DE modding is alive and thriving on Windows still (last time I mucked with it was in the Lightstep days a decade ago and it was a rough buggy thing).

darpoke
darpoke

I actually was being sarcastic but now I realise I'm unsure I fully grasp the complexity! So when I'm programming in VB .NET (if one can call this 'programming') and I call a messagebox, all I'm passing is content for the message, a title and what format I want (i.e. a warning, information etc.) - is it the Windows window manager that actually builds the window that appears? So it sounds like a window manager is separate from both the kernel and the applications themselves. What happens if an application wants to manage its own windows, is that possible, or feasible, or just plain crazy?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I may be missing the sarcasm but encase "what is a window manager" was an honest question: TWM is a basic window manager. It does little more than display a background and provide a way to interact with windowed programs. It is the absolute minimum one needs to layer over the graphic engine to work with GUI programs. It's named literally; The Window Manager (TWM). This is like naming a word processing program "Word Processor". X.org (formerly Xfree86) is a graphic engine. Without a window manager of some form or desktop environment (which includes a window manager component) you'll get nothing more than a blank screen and whatever program you may have specified to open; no window border, no title bar and buttons but you can interact with the program's own GUI elements. Imagine separating IE (the windows window manager and widget set) from the graphics engine it sits on top of. Same graphics engine back end provided by Windows but easily interchangeable layer on top to manage the display and interaction with the windowed applications. On the window manager/desktop environment side, there is at least twenty if not more choices available focusing on various user needs. On the graphic engine side, there is X.org which sits squished inbetween the graphics you see and click on and the text environment providing the base userland on top of the kernel.

darpoke
darpoke

Sounds like a plan! Let's do it! What's a window manager? :-)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

DE = XFCE, KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, Afterstep Xorg = formerly Xfree86 base = basic stuff for cli work on top of kernel kernel = Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, HURD (BSD's tend to differ by kernel more than userland wrapped around it so I listed a couple) "X" or Xorg, Xfree86 is the supporting layer between user CLI environment and user GUI desktop environment. You would be hard pressed to find a BSD or Linux based distro not using X behind whatever desktop environment is installed. I think the bulk of X is the video driver for the applicable GPU and a framework for running the DE on top of. The most basic DE I'm aware of is TWM (the window manager) which used to install with X as a default backup. I think XFCE is pretty commonly available if not installed by default. I only have intimate experience with Mandriva and Debian which have both had it available but I can't see a general purpose distro not having it as an option. Specialty distros are another story as they're generally very focused on a use case and specific package list. X is one place where we could do with some competition though. Lots of distros, lots of desktop environments, one X squished between them all like the cream in an oreo. Competition from a second GUI support layer option would be welcome. I hear the X developers are getting a little too used to being the only show in town. Jaqui is probably has more experience in that area though.

darpoke
darpoke

Thanks for the exposition, I hadn't really considered the role of X in the Linux DE in that much detail. Are there other distros that use X out there? I have some old hardware that I'm looking to put something lightweight onto - it runs Ubuntu but if something more suitable would be faster that might be preferable. Is the window manager the only difference between X|K|Ubuntus?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Ubuntu is GNOME and Kubuntu KDE; both are heavy desktop environments requiring more current hardware. Xubuntu is XFCE desktop environment which is much lighter on resources and tends to run well on older hardware or bleeding fast on current hardware. They are all window managers for X (Xorg) which sits between the kernel and desktop environment providing the base support for GUI. Kernel Xorg (GNOME or KDE or XFCE) Alternatively, there are distributions aimed at low resource use from other providers separate from Canonical's *buntu family and resulting forks.

darpoke
darpoke

I take it Xubuntu is Ubuntu with the X window manager, rather than GNOME or KDE...? Is there much of a difference or is it simply less resource-intensive? On a completely *different* note, had you seen this? http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20100723/ttc-life-us-india-laptop-fe50bdd.html Linux FTW! I only wish someone would post some specs, such as what OS and resources are included. But still, good on them. We don't all have to kowtow to Apple, Microsoft and Adobe...

Zwort
Zwort

Well that is good. It reminds me of the time, more than a decade ago, when Buffy Sainte Marie was regarded as something of a geek for using the Mac to do her sound. The Mac an exemplar at pretty, but not the nitty gritty. What of industry standard databases and other documents, and I do not mean just the MS stuff (from which I have successfully maintained a distance since the beginning)?

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