Recently, I

wrote a series of article/downloads

explaining some of the steps I personally take to secure and prepare a new

Windows-based PC for the Internet and daily use. There was nothing

earth-shattering contained in the articles – nothing that would send shockwaves

through the IT universe. However, they were, and are, a nice compilation of

some common things to do to a Windows PC.

As part of

the article/download experience, I asked for input from the TechRepublic

community on some of the other things IT professionals, in their infinite

wisdom, might do to prepare either their own personal PCs or the enterprise PCs

they maintain. There are several well-thought out and informative suggestions

in the discussion

thread attached to the articles and I appreciate the response.

But now to

the heart of the matter; several of the posters gave the usual “why don’t

you install Linux and life will be so wonderful” response. I’m getting

really tired of these comments. An operating system is just an operating

system—it is a tool, nothing more. Using one OS instead of another doesn’t help

save the planet, it doesn’t earn you brownie points with anyone that matters,

and it won’t make your petition into a better afterlife any more or less

palatable. No one should choose one OS over another because in doing so you can

“stick it to the man.”

Well, my

Linux evangelists it is time to practice what you preach. Instead of a flippant

remark that helps no one, I challenge the Linux users in the TechRepublic

community to take a true leap of faith and actually help the community

understand and possibly even use Linux. I’ve installed Linux now and again and

I know there must be at least 10 common things that most, if not all,

installations require.

I am making

a sanctioned and official writing assignment and making it available to any

TechRepublic member who is up to the challenge.

I want you

to write a full-fledged, well-thought out, spell-checked article/download on one,

or all if you wish, of these three subjects:

  • 10
    things you should do to a new Linux PC before connecting to the Internet
  • 10
    things you should to every new Linux PC
  • 10
    things you should know about every Linux installation

If you can

write a good 800+ word article/download on any or all of the topics above,

TechRepublic will publish it and pay you $200 for your effort. You can use any

of the previous 10 things

article/downloads that we have published over the last few months as a

guide to style and tone. I’ll treat your submission like any submission I

receive from a contributor. I’ll edit it, possibly ask for rewrites or

additional explanations, make suggestions, etc. Screenshots, diagrams, and other

imagery is always welcome.

Since we

can’t publish 10 articles with the same title, this is going to be on a first

come, first basis. If you want to tackle one of the assignments, add a comment

to this blog post and reserve it. Once you accept the assignment, you’ll have

until 11/16 to send in your submission. And if you have additional ideas on

topics we should cover in the Linux universe, add a comment and perhaps we can

make an assignment out of that too. Have questions or need clarification; post

a comment and I’ll answer it.

Send your article/download submissions to the Content Inbox or send me a private message and we’ll make other arrangements.

Want to keep up with who’s “On

the Soapbox” each week? Use this link to automatically

subscribe to the Blog Roundup Newsletter and have it delivered directly to

your Inbox every Wednesday.