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Category Archives: Operating systems

Some thoughts on upgrades and Mint Debian

At some point in the future historians will be able to look back and pinpoint the exact date when updating your PC went from being a good idea to a bad one. And note that I’m talking here about updating the software on an existing, working computer, not buying a shiny new one off the shelf. Personally I would put the watershed mark around 2008. That was about the time that I tried to update a copy of Windows Vista on a new laptop, only to have all the data implode, and discovered that the laptop didn’t come with any kind of recovery disc. It was a good thing in a way, because it made me commit to Linux for the first time, in the form of Mandriva. But it should have taught me a lesson about updating. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Mint OS, Operating systems, Other distros

 

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The recent history of Mint

The Age of Distros

By the mid-2000s, with the arrival of reliable, attractive GUIs and an increasing supply of new applications software, Linux was not just for geeks any more. An enthusiastic worldwide network of users and developers began packaging and distributing their own favourite ‘flavours’ of Linux. These ‘distros’ usually consist of a Linux kernel, a bundle of essential and useful applications, and a GUI – GNOME, KDE or XFCE – customised with icons, colours and pictures. They were sent out on CD, or later made available on the Web, in easy-to-install packages. Some came with the backing and support of large corporations; others were produced by a small team or a single developer. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in LINUX, Linux Applications, Other distros

 

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Open Source software

At some point in learning about Linux, every new user asks the obvious question: “If this stuff is so good, how come they give it away?” It’s a big compliment, because it recognises that Linux distros and their accompanying software are often first-rate, world-class programs, as good as or better than their commercial counterparts. And it’s not that easy to answer. But we can start to make sense of the idea by setting out two alternate approaches to the idea of history and culture. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in LINUX, Mint OS, Operating systems, Other distros

 

The Road to Linux

UNIX

UNIX was developed in 1969 in the computer labs of the US phone company AT&T, by a group of employees including Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie. The philosophy of UNIX was to roll all the basic low-level functions of the OS into a single bundle called a ‘kernel’, and to supplement this with many relatively small and simple add-on programs for carrying out specific operations. Another feature of UNIX is its heavy reliance on the C programming language, developed by Kernighan and Ritchie, which also became immensely popular and widely used. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in DOS, Gnome, KDE, Mint OS, UNIX

 

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