In our last episode,

I asked an incredibly stupid question about moving

files between Windows and Linux machines (I assumed that floppy disks

weren’t an option due to presumed storage format issues; I was totally

wrong) and my readers gave me some pretty wild Samba-based advice.

Thanks, but that’s a little above my pay grade. I can move my Word docs

between machines pretty easily with an old-fashion floppy, though OpenOffice

doesn’t accept our internal Word templates. I’d chase down a solution,

but since we’re moving away from a template-based document system, it’s

really not worth the trouble. Instead, let’s take a look back at my original goals for Wacky Linux, and see where we stand.

  • Use an entirely free distro of Linux, requiring absolutely no outlay of cash for any reason, not even for disks Check, thanks to Ubuntu 5.10.
  • Get the notebook up and running efficiently without upgrading
    its five-years-out-of-date hardware. Check.
  • Ability to connect to a Windows-based home or office network

    without any intermediary server. Plug straight into the router, CAT5

    and go. Still to be done (I need some way to simulate the local Windows network authentication system).

  • Ability to run OpenOffice or an equivalent word processor that can open MSWord files that I use for my work. Check, since Ubuntu comes prebundled with OpenOffice 2.0.
  • Ability to run an Internet browser that can handle Outlook Web Access clients, so I can log into my work mail from home. Check, since Ubuntu comes prebundled with Firefox, which can handle OWA.
  • With the help of an over-the-counter USB wireless transceiver, connect to home and office Wi-Fi networks. Still to be done (This will require buying some hardware).
  • Full end-user security lockdown of the notebook, including a free virus scanner and firewall. Still to be done.
  • A GUI interface that keeps me out of the command prompt realm 95%

    of the time, can run all the above-mentioned apps, and won’t crush the

    performance of the weakling processor. Check, since Ubuntu comes with Gnome.

For all my complaints about the video driver problems and my ignorance of the disabled root account,

Ubuntu has actually done most of what I needed right out of the box. My

next task (which I expect to be easiest) is finding and installing a

firewall, virus scanner and anti-spyware app (and don’t say Linux

doesn’t need them–everybody needs them).

So, can anybody recommend a good, free, Linux-based firewall, virus scanner and anti-spyware app?

Keep up with the Trivia Geek’s ongoing Wacky Linux Adventures with the wackylinux tag. If it doesn’t say wackylinux, it’s not really a wacky Linux adventure.