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‘THAT’S a cool looking notebook,” the customer at the computer shop said.

He was referring to the Asus Eee PC, an ultra-portable notebook that I was buying. The notebook’s small form factor and attractive price had made quite an impression, and he asked me a few more questions. The fact that the computer had no hard disk but used a flash memory drive seemed to intrigue him, but the idea of Linux—the operating system installed on the Eee PC—seemed to stump him. He had only heard of the operating system but had never used it.

What about programs, he wanted to know. On Linux, I explained, all your software is free (in both senses of the word). There is no need to pay exorbitant licensing fees or use pirated programs and you are free to modify them to suit your needs.

list of commonly used Windows programs and their counterparts in Linux:




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