Tag: linux apps

Linux Operating System – Things I’ve Learned About This System Over the Years
By Richard S. Corbin

The Linux operating system is being talked about more and more these days. The current financial crisis has had large corporations as well as governments rethinking what it costs to be online and just how much is being spent on computing technology.

A recent BBC news feed reported that a portion of the government dealing with the public could save millions of pounds yearly by switching to Open Source for it’s computer needs and indeed would be switching this year.

Here are some things I’ve learned in the last 5 years of using Linux( Ubuntu and Kubuntu versions):

  • Easy to acquire this technology. Linux is everywhere on the internet. You simply download it or send for a CD copy of it. I think the cds cost about $5.00. Not bad for a complete operating system.
  • The system includes a full office suite, e-mail program, web browser, audio and video programs, graphics programs, photo software, CD/DVD software etc. Also, there are many different types of the software mentioned to pick and choose from. I’ve seen lists of over 20,000 different software packages to choose from. It’s simply amazing. However, I must mention, just because this software is free does not mean it is cheap or poorly made. An example is the Open Office Suite that comes with the operating system. This suite is made by Sun Microsystems and is equal to and better than Microsoft Office in many ways. (Have you priced Microsoft Office lately?)
  • Very user friendly software. You can run it from the CD and try it out before you even load it on your computer. Also, you can install it along side your existing software so that you can compare them and decide for yourself which one is better.
  • I have learned how to set it up and simply use it or with the help of support from around the world I have tweaked it and changed it to suit how I wanted it to operate. Don’t get me wrong, I have totally messed up my system also. However, with all of the free support I have fixed the problems I have created too.
  • I have tried different distributions of Linux also. Sometimes having three versions on my computer at one time, just to see how they compare!
  • It was surprisingly liberating to get out from under the restrictions of Windows. I could do whatever I wanted. Upgrade, downgrade, tweak, and even mess up, knowing that I could just download a new version if I totally screwed up my computer. No registration, always supported, no costly upgrades. Freedom with my computer. And if I chose to set it up and not mess with it but use it continually I could do that. I actually have a second computer to try different stuff on.

I would have to say that my experience with Linux over the years has been a blast. I feel like I am in control. I have never had to take my computer in to have it serviced. Which I might add was why I switched from Windows. I was in service a lot and paying big bucks to have someone fix it because I couldn’t afford to call support and get them to try on the phone to fix it. I was very frustrated to say the least.

Now you can try the Linux operating system for yourself and have some fun and freedom.

At the following site you can see a comparison of Windows software to Linux software. There is also a free gift. http://www.linuxez.info

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Free Linux Games – Part 1
By Levi Reiss

Damn Small Linux can be an excellent tool for learning Linux commands and running the Linux operating system. But what if you are not interested in becoming a computer nerd; can this software still be useful to regular people? The answer is a resounding yes; you can make use of this tiny operating system whether or not you want to learn the sometimes gruesome details of operating systems. This article presents several free games that are immediately available once you have downloaded and installed Damn Small Linux.

To access these games either click on the DSL button in the lower-left hand corner or on the Apps icon toward the top of the screen. Then open the 17Games: there are eleven; Canfield, Freecell, Golf, Mastermind, Minesweeper, Pegged, Slide_Puzzle, Solitaire, Taipei, Thornq, and Xtris and Taiedit which is not a game, but a game editor. We will examine the first six games in this article saving the rest of them for a companion article. As with any gaming systems, be careful not to get addicted.

Canfield is a relatively complicated single-deck solitaire card game. If you are not familiar with this game you’ll have to go to a source such as Google to find out how to play it. There is no help function. And sometimes the cards move fast, too fast to learn what is happening if you don’t know the game.

Freecell is a relatively complicated single-deck solitaire card game. I think that it’s easier to win than Canfield but maybe that’s because I am an ex-semi-Freecell-addict. It’s a lot easier to get addicted to Freecell on Windows because their version includes a seed number that lets you replay it. There is no such seed number in this version of Freecell.

In spite of its name, Golf is yet another card game one that is fairly well known. For more information about this game access http://www.delorie.com/store/ace/docs/golf.html

3Mastermind is a game in which you use a mouse to drag colors from the palette (on the left) to the empty cells in the guess row. When the four cells in the guess row are full, right-click on the right of the screen to see how you did. There will be one black peg for each cell that is the correct color, and one white for a color that is not in the correct sequence. Keep going and you can eventually figure out all the colors in the row. If that’s your thing.

Some people will remember Minesweeper from the days of Windows 3.1. The goal is to clear a field of mines by clicking on a square that has no mines and right-clicking on a mined square to deactivate it. The screen indicates how many mines are adjacent to a square that has been deactivated or clicked on. One false move and you lose. When you start the game you can choose from four levels by enter 1 (the easiest), 2, 3, or 4. I vaguely recall that Windows 3.1 gave me more options, but frankly Damn Small Linux’s Minesweeper is a good time waster.

Pegged is a field of thirty penguins and thirty-one spaces. Initially one space is empty. A move consists of one Penguin jumping over another generating an additional empty space. You win if at the end of the game there is a single penguin. You really win if the solitary penguin is in the center square. Some would say that you really, really win if you close the Games menu and get back to work.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet. He loves the occasional glass of wine as exemplified by his wine websites including http://www.theworldwidewine.com. He teaches Linux and Windows operating systems plus other computer courses at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new website http://www.linux4windows.com which teaches you how to download and run Damn Small Linux on Windows computers, even if they are “obsolete.”

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Free Linux Games – Part 2
By Levi Reiss

Damn Small Linux can be an excellent tool for learning Linux commands and running the Linux operating system. But it’s also great for playing games. This article presents several free games that are immediately available once you have downloaded and installed Damn Small Linux.

To access these games either click on the DSL button in the lower-left hand corner or on the Apps/ icon toward the top of the screen. Then open the Games: there are eleven. A previous article discussed several. Now we will look at Slide_Puzzle, Solitaire, Taipei, Thornq, and Xtris and Taiedit which is not a game, but a game editor. As with any gaming systems, be careful not to get addicted.

Do you remember a hand-held non-electronic game in which there were fifteen moveable tiles and sixteen squares? By moving the tiles correctly you could reconstitute a series of numbers. Slide_puzzle is similar but even more challenging. First you load an image, a graphics file such as a jpg file. I didn’t have one readily available so I opened dsl-4.2.xFirefox went to google images and downloaded into the /home/dsl directory the first crayfish image that Google offered me. Then I loaded it into the game which chopped into into pieces to be reassembled. Left-click on a tile to slide it into the adjacent empty space. Right-click to see the original image. If you are really good you won’t have to take a peek at the original image. It helps if you have chosen an image that’s easy to reconstitute. I don’t recommend crayfish.

Solitaire is the good-old Klondike solitaire card game. While testing it for this article I did win twice in a row and came close the third time. This is the solitaire that I remember as a kid. Watch out, it’s moderately addictive.

Taipei is a very addictive game in which you try to remove pairs of corresponding tiles. Of course if a tile is covered by another tile you must first remove the covering tile. To find out if a tile may be removed right-click on it. If it changes colors it may be removed by clicking on its available partner. The partner tile is usually a copy (9 and 9, Heart and Heart) but any direction tile may be paired with any direction tile, and any color tile may be paired with any color tile. The numbers in the lower left hand corner of the screen indicate the number of remaining tiles and the number of tiles that are presently removable. In one game I started with 144 and 12. By judiciously removing two tiles I went to 142 and 15. I lost that game, like I lose most of the time. If the rules sound a bit complicated, they are. But you can learn by playing. And you can always press the Backspace key to undo your latest tile removal. The last time I played I was blocked, pressed the Backspace key, and went on to win. Some would say beginner’s luck. The instructions claim that every game can be won. I don’t believe it.

Taiedit lets you modify the game of Taipei. Good luck, this application looks moderately sophisticated.

Thornq is yet another solitaire card game. For more information about this game access delorie.com/store/ace/docs/thornq.html

You may not believe me, but I won this game without knowing how to play it. Beginner’s luck. The point is that Damn Small Linux offers a wide variety of solitaire card games. The final game offered with the system is xtris, a version of Tetris, the game in which you arrange falling blocks. This version offers a few controls including the possibility of playing several games at once.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet. He loves the occasional glass of wine as exemplified by his wine websites including http://www.theworldwidewine.com. He teaches Linux and Windows operating systems plus other computer courses at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new website http://www.linux4windows.com which teaches you how to download and run Damn Small Linux on Windows computers, even if they are “obsolete.”

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I made a good find on Digg.com today that reveals the author’s 24 top Linux programs, and I like the list so much I thought I should blog about it.

Do yourself a favor and have a look:

http://laptoplogic.com/resources/top-24-linux-apps

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