[sticky] Tired of paying for Windows? Linux is your answer!

Welcome to PrescottLinux.com, we are a local team dedicated to informing dispirited computer users of the tri-city area that there is an alternative to Microsoft Windows. You may very well have a Dell PC right now, did you know you paid Microsoft a percentage of the cost of that PC? With Microsoft’s versions of Windows, you are paying them for the privilege of providing you with an operating system that will open you up viruses, spyware, and all types of malware. Windows by far is the biggest platform for attracting all the unwanted nuisances floating around on the Internet.

If you have kids in the house going online, then you probably have had problems with your Windows computer catching a virus, and all the popups, hijacking of your computer, etc. It is an expensive nightmare to try to get that computer cleaned out. That’s where Linux has a huge advantage over Windows- It is designed from the ground-up with security in mind.

Linux is Free and Open Source Software, a concept known by the acronym, FOSS. As such, you don’t have to pay for Linux, most of the software that runs on Linux is also free and open source. All your favorite applications, such as Mozilla Firefox, web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail client, Sun’s Open Office, their office suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s Office, as well as many other programs you are probably using already.

Linux also gives you freedom from knowing that there isn’t a big, centralized corporation controlling what do you with your computer, with just its shareholders in mind.

We will add more posts here to explain the virtues of Linux periodically and hope to inform the public.

There’s a GHOST in Linux’s Library

Patches for GHOST, a critical vulnerability in glibc, the Linux GNU C Library, now are available through vendor communities for a variety of Linux server and desktop distributions. Qualys earlier this week reported its discovery of GHOST, a vulnerability that allows attackers to remotely take control of an entire system without having any prior knowledge of system credentials. Qualys security researchers found the GHOST flaw and worked closely with Linux distribution vendors in a coordinated effort to develop a patch for all affected systems.

7 reasons why I prefer elementary OS Freya over Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn"

elementary os vs ubuntu

When we laid out our featured article on things you need to do after installing Ubuntu 14.10, we shared a few little issues we have had with the latest Ubuntu release. Well things got worse, and I decided to try something else for a change. I’ve been using elementary OS Freya as my daily driver since then. And I have to say, I’m mighty impressed so far. And the fact that Freya is still very much in beta makes the whole affair all the more interesting. A list of reasons why I prefer elementary OS Freya over Ubuntu 14.10 at the moment.

Implementation of Workspaces

elementary freya vs ubuntu 14.10

When it comes to desktop UI’s, if there is one thing that I could not live without, it must be the multiple workspaces feature. Most Linux interfaces has this by default (except the recent Ubuntu Unity releases, another change which I don’t like much). But the implementations varies from one distro to another. Freya has one of my favorite implementations of multiple workspaces functionality. It is simple yet very polished and sophisticated (though I have to confess that I like GNOME Shell’s implementation of workspaces more). 

Application Launcher

elementary freya review

It has to be fast and accurate. That is the only thing I expect from an application launcher. I don’t care about fancy animations or blurred out eye-candiness. Catch my drift? Yes, I’m talking about you Unity. We have discussed about Unity’s performance woes in detail before but things haven’t changed much since. On the other hand, Freya’s launcher is like a breath of fresh air. It is super-fast, nimble and very accurate. Some third-party apps I installed from outside of default repos doesn’t seem to appear while searching for it even though it is there in the Launcher list, the only glitch I’ve faced so far, and a very isolated one at that. Probably will get fixed when final release happens. Unity desperately needs to fix its launcher though. 


elementary freya review

Actionable notifications, one of biggest advantages elementary OS has over Ubuntu in my opinion. There is a notification for everything including your Terminal actions, which is great. Implementation is just perfect and it is actionable, unlike in Unity. There is even a notifications-specific tweaking tool within the System Settings app.

Design and Performance

elementary freya

Though I kind of like Freya’s minimalistic design language, design is nothing but a matter of taste. But consistency in design is non-negotiable. And Freya ranks highly in terms of design and consistency in my opinion. But what makes it even better is its outstanding performance. It definitely feels lighter and much faster than my Ubuntu 14.10 installations (have two of them in fact). We have been impressed by the performance of previous iterations of elementary OS as well and this one is no different. Freya offers blazing fast performance. 

Desktop Zoom

elementary freya OS

Desktop Zoom is one of those features I so dearly missed ever since the advent of Unity and the demise of good old Compiz config settings manager. And it is enabled by default in Freya! Just hit Super + =/- and you are good to go. And it works so smoothly without any stutter whatsoever.

A Boot Splash Screen that just works!

elementary freya review

My favorite Ubuntu’s has almost always been 04 releases, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS being one of my favorite to date. But boot splash screen is one thing that never seem to work properly even with all the tweaks I could find on the internet. In elementary OS Freya “beta” though, it just works! The glowing elementary OS splash screen has been ‘glowing’ without a glitch ever since I started using Freya back in Oct-Nov.


elementary freya review

Yes, ‘hotcorners’ are not unique to elementary OS, Unity Tweak Tool will help you replicate the same functionality in a jiffy. But still, Freya comes with ‘hotcorners’ feature tucked neatly inside the Desktop settings app. Very handy.


Back in 2012, we predicted that elementary OS Luna could be the start of something big. Looks like we were right all along. Except for some stray incidents, Freya has been remarkably stable for me. But still won’t recommend it on production machines owing to the fact that it is still a beta. I hope that the developers are able to iron out all the minor issues before the final release. 
Unity, on the other hand, is undergoing some major rework lately and I hope Ubuntu comes out on top again by the time Ubuntu 15.04 “Vivid Vervet” is released. After all, Ubuntu has been my go-to distro since forever. But until then, I think I’ll stick with elementary OS Freya. See, this is what I love about Linux, even if your favorite distro goes kaput, you have plenty of alternatives to choose from. Good luck to both the projects and thanks for reading.

Debian Forked: All for Devuan and Devuan for All?

A group of developers made good on their threats to fork Debian Linux late last year, after the community’s leadership voted to replace sysvinit with systemd, making systemd the default init boot process. The Debian Technical Committee’s decision spurred several key Debian developers and project maintainers to resign. Some of them formed a new community dedicated to developing a forked Debian Linux distro called “Devuan,” pronounced “DevOne.” The split is largely philosophical.

Zenwalk Linux – A Walk on the Quirky Side

The developmental path and sketchy developer website may cast an unfavorable impression about Zenwalk’s trustworthiness as a serious computing platform. The ho-hum impression when first running the live edition does little to encourage users to take this Linux OS for a stroll. Zenwalk Linux becomes a bit more impressive once you get beyond the awkward first-time experience, but it comes with a number of problems that might be prohibitive for a new user looking for an all-purpose Linux OS.

Ubuntu Aims to Make the IoT Snappy

Canonical on Tuesday unveiled Snappy Ubuntu Core, a new rendition of Ubuntu targeting the Internet of Things. Snappy Ubuntu Core offers a minimal server image with the same libraries as “traditional” Ubuntu, if we can call it that, but Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core can be upgraded automatically and rolled back if necessary. This so-called transactional or image-based systems management approach is ideal for deployments that require predictability and reliability, according to Canonical.

From the Blogosphere With Love: A FOSSy Farewell

The past week has afforded plenty of fodder for conversation here in the Linux blogosphere: the MintBox Mini; the Steam for Linux file-deletion bug; and the latest in the Systemd saga, for example. However, this week seems like a good time to revisit some classic gems from days gone by. As chance would have it, several favorites focus on a theme that’s particularly relevant round about this time of year. Can you guess? That’s right — it’s the oh, so sweet spot that can be found at the intersection of Linux and Love.

Adobe Opens Lightroom’s Door to Android

Adobe last week released an Android mobile app as a companion to its Lightroom desktop application and cloud service. Lightroom is a photo processor and image organizer developed by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X. It is not available for the Linux desktop. Adobe released a mobile app for iOS last year. The new app will include all of the functionality of the iOS mobile app — but refined to take advantage of the Android platform, according to Shared Mangalick, senior product manager for photography at Adobe.

Docker Security Questioned

Security questions recently have been raised about Docker, a promising technology for running applications in the cloud. Docker is an open source initiative that allows applications to be run in containers for flexibility and mobility only dreamt of in the past. “Since the 70s, programmers have been talking about reusable code and the ability to migrate applications,” noted IDC analyst Al Gillen. However, “that’s a dream that’s never been realized.” Docker has the potential to run an application on any device.

Samsung Tries Out Tizen in India

Samsung on Wednesday released the first Tizen-powered smartphone for India, the Samsung Z1. The Tizen phone offers localized entertainment apps and a simpler user interface than Android, the company said. Tizen is an open source platform that Samsung has taken the lead in developing. It is an offshoot of the Linux OS. Samsung announced a new line of Smart TVs powered by the Tizen operating system at last week’s CES 2015. Tizen OS 2.3 enables faster boot time and quicker access to apps than other mobile OSes.

Loving Linux in a Touchscreen World

Well it was a fairly quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, as much of the mainstream tech world staggered directly out of their New Year’s revelries and into the halls of CES.
Not that Linux didn’t have a presence at the gargantuan show, mind you. It was there, all right — not just in phones but in TVs, smartwatches and cars, to name just a few examples. Still, there was no denying that the mega-event left things a little more peaceful than usual for those of us who chose to stay put in the Linux blogosphere.