Linux Blog

Linux For Everyone!

Filed under: General Linux — at 12:12 am on Friday, January 30, 2009

Today, while I was in the shower I was thinking:

“What way do people closely interact with Linux everyday without even knowing it”

With the recent re-regurgitation of the old GNU vs. Cisco case it came to mind that many people use Linux on a daily basis by using their routers. While this is not the best example of Linux in its prime it is a good way to demonstrate the versatility of the Linux operating system. To some, the concept of an operating system running on anything other than the latest and greatest hardware is alien. To Linux users this is part of its beauty.

I personally have two Linux powered routers. The first is a cheapo Belkin that is not very well suited, the second is the better supported WRT54G.

There are many variants of the WRT’s My personal favorite is DD-WRT because this is what I’ve used for a while, and I’m most familiar with it. I have an office with quite a lot of equipment that is somewhat distant from my cable modem and access point. What I use the first router for is a static access point, next to the cable modem, the second router has been re-purposed to be a full time bridge. I encrypted the communications and set up some static IP’s. I have a hundred or so DHCP lease IP’s available for friends and virtual machines. Whats great about this setup is DD-WRT does a great job as a bridge and hardly ever drops. My cable connection has gone out far more times then the bridge, if it ever has at all. I am able to connect many machines to the Internet over wireless while keeping my office communications switched. I do not have any of the hassles of multiple wireless cards with touchy Windows and Linux drivers and random dropped connections. The wireless bridge is so reliable I am able to do VOIP over it, with QoS to ensure that my calls always have priority over streaming media and other network traffic. DD-WRT truly has been the best thing that I’ve ever done to my routers and is really a great replacement for the Linksys junkware.

With this in mind next time your dearest Windows zealot complains about the stability of their Small/Home Office router, perhaps taking a stab at the stability of Linux (if their router even runs it) how about you educate them on the versatility of Linux. If you like, you could walk them through the very easy steps of installing a WRT variant onto the router (if possible) and enable Linux’s full potential to shine through.

Low cost PC’s in China. Is Linux about?

Filed under: General Linux — at 11:56 pm on Monday, August 6, 2007

I was listing to NPR late yesterday evening on my way home from work. There was an interesting tech talk going on about computer manufacturers in China. Notably Dell and Lenovo (IBM). They are both offering PC’s for around $199. The Dell ships with Windows, but I am unclear on what the Lenovo ships with. Since the dirt cheap Dell ships with a monitor, keyboard & mouse but its competitor the Lenovo desktop only ships with a keyboard & mouse. A television is used for the monitor. It makes me wonder what OS the Lenovo is running.

Apparently the Lenovo shipped in April. There are rumors that Microsoft, one of Lenovos partners has been cooperating with the company to deploy Linux machines. Microsoft pushing Linux in China? Thats a interesting concept, but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with it. It does make me wonder if even Microsoft has come to the conclusion that the cost of Windows is too high.

There is a huge market for low end PC’s in China the NPR radio show reported. With 800 million potential customers who wouldn’t attempt to make a profit if given the chance? What better way to maximize profit then to use an operating system with a such a low cost to maintain? Given the potential customers are mostly rural farmers that earn only $600 a year its possible that they could still afford a computer if they saved up for a while. The show also went into say that the computer could be a powerful tool for the farmers. I agree with this in that they would be better able to predict when to buy and sell produce. They could check the weather to make sure that grounds are soft for planting crops the next day.

The low end computers would be a good asset to own. I am proud of the Linux operating system if the rumors are true. I wish the best to Lenovo and Dell and hope they are successful in their business in China.