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Welcome to the LinuxFocus May/June 2003 issue

[flowers of may] Recently at a party I met a woman who is working for Microsoft. Even though I wasn't exactly in the mood of diving into the topic Linux vs. Microsoft with her she couldn't resist mentioning that she thought the (natural) monopoly of Microsoft was a good thing for everybody. The company would offer good products for a good prize. Hmm, for some people this might be so. But why is Linux a success then? How does it come that I as well as many other people like Linux so much that we can't imagine working with Windows ever again? There are many reasons why I like Linux: First of all I like to have a choice and I like my freedom. Some people like a tough boss or dictator because then they don't have to take responsibility and they don't have to think. For those Windows certainly the right system to use.

Linux however gives you freedom, freedom in every meaning of the word.

By using Linux I have many choices. It starts with the distribution I am using as there are many, it goes on with the look and feel of the desktop and even on the operating system and kernel level I can customize it as I like. I have the freedom to change the programs, to add functionality, to use them as I like and as often as I please. I am not spied by anyone and nobody tells me when I should change or update. I can maintain and use my Linux PC for as many years as I like. This is especially important for server systems which can generally live for a very long time, 5 years, 10 years...

But of course this freedom has its price and you don't get a "free lunch" by using Linux: you can't use Linux successfully if you are not ready to spend hours and hours to learn about the system. Unless you are only using those programs that already come with your distribution you will find that e.g. the installation often is tricky or the program has some bugs that need to be fixed first.

Whether you value this freedom enough to be willing to pay this prize is finally up to your choice!

But if you do LinuxFocus might be able to help you get the necessary know-how.

Enjoy reading!

--Katja Socher--

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