What does not work with Microsoft Windows

What does not work with Microsoft Windows
(Translated freely and with permission from the website of Ray Benjamin)

Microsoft Windows has been the dominant operating system for personal computers for more than 10 years. During this time, he had little competition. While Windows was making considerable progress in usability, there are many problems that have appeared and are still unanswered. There are situations in which it is simply easier to use an operating system such as Linux. The following is a list of my favorites:
  • setup time - if they don't come preinstalled, you have to install all your applications before you can do something useful. The majority of Linux distributions, once installed, you have hundreds of applications installed and ready to operate. You even have multiple options for a task given as a word processor or e-mail client.
  • virus - Windows computers are most susceptible to viruses and other malware,"because the authors of those programs want to affect the greatest number of computers possible. They write programs to attack the most popular system; Windows. There are some malicious programs or 'malware' for linux, but even less popular than Windows, Linux is more secure, so it is more difficult for these programs infect a Linux system. The Security section for details.
  • defragment the hard drive - time after the Windows file system becomes fragmented. Files are broken into small pieces that are scattered throughout the disc. To keep your machine running at full capacity, you have to periodically run a defragmentation application, which takes hours. Sometimes getting the defragmentation application to work is a challenge by itself. Linux file systems do not suffer the same problem of fragmentation so there is no need to defragment. (Are still fragmented, but only up to a limit.) Defrag will not damage anything, but you will not win much).
  • security updates - you may have probably noticed is that you are constantly applying updates to your Windows computer. That is, you give you account if you were always diligently applying updates and not leave that they accumulate. (Some professionals you have reported that between 10 and 25% of their time is used by applying patches to Windows computer networks). Then, once you have updated the system, you almost always have to restart. Linux also need security updates, but somewhat are less frequent and much less annoying since the update process almost never requires restart.
  • pop-up Windows - this is a big problem with Internet Explorer, the browser included with Windows. Microsoft has worked very little on this product in the past five years and has fallen behind in features such as blocking of popup windows and ads that are common in other browsers. While IE does not work on Linux, you obviously don't have this problem. Instead you probably use Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, or other browsers available under Linux.
  • blue screen shots - although these have become much less common with Windows XP, still happen. For some inexplicable reason your computer is blocked and all that you have is a blue screen with a dark message in it. This simply doesn't happen in Linux. Linux has a protected kernel, which means that application programs can not interfere with each other or with the same kernel. You can lock an application, even your desktop system can be locked, but they can normally be restarted without having to restart the computer.
  • blocks - even if not appear blue screens, there are programs that are blocked in Windows or fail in some really interesting way that leaves you no choice except the tres-dedos greeting (Ctrl-Alt-Del). Again, for the same reasons given above, this no less likely in Linux.
  • restart to install apps/hardware - Linux uses an architecture of modular modular kernel that can load and unload drivers for devices as needed. Thus restart to install hardware is very uncommon. It is still more difficult to have to restart to install or upgrade an application. Usually the only thing you need to do is restart the application that was running while it is updating.
  • limited 'scripting' capabilities - although work by using Visual Basic, you can automate is only a speck of capabilities present in Linux scripting. Linux contains several languages for scripting: Bash, Python, Perl, and others.
  • Devourer of resources - Windows is to become a little in a Devourer of resources. Each new version of Windows requires a substantially more powerful computer to move it. Linux is used in machines ranging in capacity from embedded systems to automobile engines, to routers from network, to super computer clusters. As Linux has grown in size and complexity, still usually use few resources for itself, leaving them for work that really need them.
  • problems with the registry - Windows uses a registry to collect information about the applications that is stored when the applications will not run: information such as preferences and where was the application on the screen at the time of closing. This information often not cleaned properly log when applications are uninstalled, leading to a record that grows continuously, and that decreases the performance of the computer. Often the only way to fix this is to save all your data, reformat the hard disk and reinstall all applications. Linux uses hidden files for the same purpose (except for Gnome that uses a system similar to the windows registry). All you have to do to uninstall a Linux application is usually run a script program.
  • changing to a new computer - Windows, switch to a new computer is difficult, expensive, or both. Many people just assume they will lose much of their personal information like mail and others. Even update a Windows computer is complicated by the need to register again after any significant change in components. With Linux, your personal data are stored in your directory into the 'home'. Switch from one computer to another often is not more difficult to copy your 'home' directory and perhaps by installing some of your favorite applications.

Have Linux to make it so big?

You're probably wondering what makes Linux so popular. What makes it so great, anyway? What if we talk about freedom, stability, security, flexibility and inevitability?

Linux distributions

Linux is distributed by a number of different groups. Each group takes the original Linux and adds its particular mix of applications and patches. Called these "flavors" of Linux distros or distributions. You may have heard of some such as Red Hat Linux, Mandrake Linux, Debian Linux, and SuSE Linux. There are literally hundreds of different distributions. Many of them are oriented to certain uses. Linux is used in minimalist systems such as GPS GPS receivers, routers, PDAs, mobile phones, even TiVO recorders.


The word free has several definitions. They are important both of them to talk about software. He named them frequently as "free as beer" or "free as in speak". "Free as beer" refers to the price. "Free as in speak" refers to what you can do with something. Linux is "free as in speak" because you can adapt it to your own needs.
The majority of Linux distributions can download from the Internet unless it costs you nothing. Some offer downloads free of charge, and also sell a packaged version that comes with CDs, a manual, and support. Others cost between $ 50 and $ 200 and include commercial packages that are not included with the free distributions.


Linux is much more stable than Windows. This is the result of two important features of how Linux has been created. First, Linux has been modeled on UNIX and includes, as part of their fundamental design, a protected core . The kernel or kernel of an operating system is the part of the operating system that organizes the different applications and controls access to different resources of the computer. When the kernel is protected, any application can make own kernel or another application are blocked. In addition, Linux has been written by volunteer efforts of programmers. Volunteers are rewarded not with money but with the respect earned by their respective contributions. The quality of the work they do is what determines if your code is included in Linux or is rejected. Each piece of code is reviewed by several developers until it is included in the Linux source code tree. The Linux source code is reviewable by anyone with a web browser, so the errors can be found and corrected quickly.


Linux is also more secure than Windows. As mentioned before, this is due partially to that Windows is a popular system. This makes it a system more attractive for malware authors. The other main reason stems from the nature of open-source Linux. The resources available to find and fix faults in Linux is huge. When a new security alert appears on a security hole potential in Linux, code to fix the problem usually is made public on the same day. This is important in a world in which malware writers are to exploit each security hole known at the time of discovery.

Open source versus closed source

Source code

Computer programs are written in different programming languages that are more or less understandable by humans. A program called compiler takes the original code written by the programmer, called source code, and convert it to binary code made of zeros and ones which is what the computer understands; called machine code. The end result is an executable named file. (Sometimes, if the code must use several programs different at the same time, the result is a library that is also a binary file.)
I have frequently used the term code in this article. Open source projects are those where the source code is available publicly on the Internet. Usually open source projects also allow anyone that you wish to participate. They are more inclusive than exclusive in this sense. The most successful projects become exclusive when deciding which code should be used. Anybody can send patches or changes to the source code, but every change is carefully reviewed and judged on its own merits before being added to the public source tree. In this way only the best code of each programmer finally reaches the application.
Linux is one of many successful open source projects. Another important is the Apache project. The Apache project has created one of the most powerful and popular web servers. The decision to build the web server Apache on Linux is probably one of the reasons that Linux has been so successful. The combination of this powerful and free web server and operating system of first order has helped has grow internet. Because these components were free, many web businesses that have grown would have been sunken by the license costs that charged commercial software developers. As a result, we have a much more rich and robust Internet.
Many large corporations have seen the value of open source techniques. IBM, a company that used to be it all about central computers, now has a robust system of consultancy around Linux. IBM has contributed also with developers and source code for their own projects on Linux to strengthen the project. Cisco systems, a major network hardware manufacturer has released the code of one of their most popular routers, the WRT - 54 G. SUN has finally released Java doing open source.
The real strength of the open source development comes from the large number of people who can participate. The common problem that is usually face the development of software used to be that once you pass a certain number of programmers, add more only increased communication problems by what was not worth the effort. The methods of pioneers such as Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux, and the Apache project have shown us that it is possible to bring together the efforts of a large number of individuals to a project and get fantastic results.


I think that the open code movement is going to bring a big change in the world of software development. It is becoming clear that the open source development is far superior to the techniques of closed-source that have been used in the past for some types of projects. The projects that have been most favored by open source development techniques have some characteristics in common. The most important is that there are a large number of users potential. If potential users are technical, it is more likely to be successful. The limited resources that are spent in commercial applications also slows the development of open source applications.
I think that we see as gradually open source projects get to dominate areas such as operating systems, development tools, network applications and common office applications. I think that there will be a great support for the development of open source to create programs of Government and educational use. Finally, I think that the programs developed for high-security applications will be finally code opened by which any potential security flaw will be discovered quickly and eliminated.

Problems with Linux

Linux is far from perfect, is better than many of its alternatives. While Linux is much easier to use once configured the system, it can be difficult to master. It can be difficult to discover how certain utilities unless you know how to seek help. I am currently working on a HOWTO precisely that problem-oriented.
Some people concerned that they may not use your old Windows files. Now there are applications like Open Office to read and write MS Word and Excel files and let you work almost in the same way as always. There's even a package (or programs) that allow you to run Windows software directly on Linux (wine).

Music and Video

There has been a battle between the owners of the copyright of the music and video and music and video consumers on who can copy what and when. In addition, there are currently some problems of copyright and patents that have not yet been clarified that put into question open source media players. Some of the more conservative districuciones like Fedora Core, are avoiding the problem by eliminating the players of their distributions or limiting versions included those that reproduce only those formats recognized as free of any dispute. This can be a problem if you want to see videos on the internet or listen to your favorite music.
The most popular distributions for beginners, Windows and Xandros include some commercial packages that allow you to play video and music, making the transition easier.

Who actually develop Linux and other open source programs?

The simple answer to the above question is: the same people who write the rest of software that is used in the world. Developers working on open source come from a diverse range of backgrounds. Some are students looking to learn to practice, some are engineers who work all day for their companies software projects, some are scientific computing who want to implement their own ideas.
Linux began as a personal project by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linus Torvalds was studying in Finland computer science at that time. He wanted to create an operating system similar to UNIX that would work on your personal computer. He announced his rather primitive kernel source code on the Internet and invited others to use your work and improve it based on their ideas. Many people made contributions to create robust and popular operating system that is used today. Linus Torvalds never requested financial reward for the work that made in Linux, although some other rich became distributing and supporting Linux. A few years later some of the companies that prospered thanks to the work of Linus Torvalds gave him stock and established an organization to control the development of Linux where Linux Torvalds is currently working.
A website dedicated to documenting the history of these operating systems can learn more of the history of Linux, UNIX and related operating systems in Grokline . You can learn more about Linux here n..


Linux has many advantages over Microsoft Windows. It is more robust and secure than Microsoft Windows. Open source applications are available for all types of common business tasks such as word processing, e-mail, and spreadsheets. The only section in which Linux is still delayed by far is in games.
Switching to Linux is not as difficult as it used to be, and this improves day by day; We will detect more users use it more errors and more support will give companies and componentsmanufacturers. You can install it and configure it quickly and you can still share files with your friends and colleagues who use Windows. The situation is only going to better as Linux continues to improve thanks to the contribution of thousands of enthusiasts.
Copyright Ray Benjamin
(Translation and expansion by David Losada).
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