It's doubtful there are many people out there at this point that don't already know that support for Windows XP will come to an end tomorrow, April 8th. Despite that, a number of individuals and businesses will continue to run the operating system.
This doesn't likely apply to those maintaining an HTPC, as this tends to be a more geek-savvy set, but no doubt a few are out there. For those users, XBMC has passed its judgment, and the verdict is Linux.
Microsoft's Windows XP dies on April 8, and I will not be among those who mourn its loss. The sad part about the death of XP is that those who still run it might not even realize that their operating system is now dead.
Today, as Microsoft discontinues support for Windows XP, a 12 year old operating system, users all over the world find themselves with only a few options to choose from as they move on. It's not surprising that Microsoft encourages users to migrate to Windows 8.1, but of course, there are other alternatives. The best one by far is Linux. With over 100 distributions, Linux not only offers flexibility, but also reliability and support.
There are two basic ways to run Windows programs on Linux. One is to use CodeWeaver's CrossOver Linux. This program enables you to run many popular Windows applications on Linux. Supported Windows applications include Microsoft Office (from Office 97 to Office 2010), Internet Explorer 8, all current versions of Quicken up to 2014, and some versions of Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop CS.
Earlier in April I wrote about link-time optimization support for the kernel nearing reality. LTO support for the Linux kernel has been in the works since 2012 but only with Linux 3.15 will it become a mainline possibility. Link-Time Optimizations via GCC and other compilers allow for various compile-time optimizations to be applied across the binary as a whole. Enabling link-time optimizations can yield some significant performance improvements but results in much slower compile times and with large programs can cause problems due to the size of optimizing the complete binary at once.
AMD (AMD) is stepping up investment in open source Linux development for embedded devices through a new partnership with Mentor Graphics. The collaboration is aimed at encouraging open source development for AMD's latest heterogenous and multicore processors.
This week, Microsoft ends free support for Windows XP, cutting off the supply of security updates and bug fixes to anyone unwilling to pay the $200 per desktop fee MS is asking for extended support.
XP machines aren't just going to explode at midnight on 8th April but with hackers and malware authors already comfortable with the antiquated OS, it won't be long before some new exploit is discovered that will never be fixed. In short, if you value security then it makes sense to stop using XP.
Other than Windows, users and companies could look at Linux versions that run many Internet servers and those in companies. GNU/Linux is also at the foundation of Google Inc’s Android mobile OS.
Linux distributions include Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary, Zorin and Lububtu. Ubuntu 12.04, for instance, comes pre-installed with the LibreOffice suite—a Microsoft Office equivalent. However, migrating applications from Windows XP to a non-Windows (read Linux) platform is easier said than done. But then, Linux distributions are free.
Parsix GNU/Linux, a live and installation DVD based on Debian, aiming to provide a ready-to-use, easy-to-install desktop and laptop-optimized operating system, is now at version 6.0 Test 3 and is ready for testing.
Manjaro 0.8.9, a Linux distribution based on well-tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and 100% compatible with Arch, has just received its third update pack.
Manjaro developers usually launch several update packs for the latest stable release of their distribution, bringing new packages and some new Linux kernels.
Microsoft's decision to stop providing technical support for Windows XP after Tuesday has caused a great deal of confusion and consternation among the millions who still use the trusty old operating system. I've opined that there's no reason to ditch Windows XP, which will continue to work as it always has, and that you can safeguard its security by installing a good antivirus/antimalware program.
However, there is another solution that is faster and more secure than Windows XP - or any other version of Windows. It's Linux, the long-suffering stepchild of the PC industry.
Changes for the F2FS file-system with Linux 3.15 include the introduction of support for large directories, performance improvements for some server workloads, new sysfs entries for better tuning F2FS configurations, and several bug-fixes.
For most organisations the primary reason for moving from Windows to Linux is perceived cost savings. The secondary reasons are factors such as interoperability and greater compliance with standards, which themselves bring longer- term cost benefits. Unlocking interfaces and data from vendor lock-ins may be rather time consuming and costly in the short term, but doing so brings considerable cost and efficiency pay-offs in the long term.
One of the payoffs for the City Council, other German councils, the Linux community and other interested parties, has been the development of LiMux, the German language Linux distribution which has since been approved as an official distribution by the German government. The work of Munich will make it easier for others to follow.
In an ideal world, LiMux would provide a model that would inspire more government-sponsored IT projects in the UK, which are all too often outsourced to proprietary interests. Whether it does or not, is yet to be seen.
The Linux land has a reputation, especially among developers used to Windows, of being – let's say – somewhat savage, uncivilized. We've all heard the ghost stories: things being downright broken, lack of documentation and general despair; people coming, exclaiming: "what the fuck?!" and going right back.
Well, I've been exposed to the Unix philosophy, coding practices and general way of things for just under 10 years. This experience makes me comfortable with the platform, but I've still had a lot to learn in the past year in making the transition from Linux development as a hobby to making a living out of it. I'd like to share some of the less obvious tricks I've put up my sleeve – this time regarding the build system.
Every month Valve publishes a comprehensive hardware and software survey that reflects what is being used to run the Steam client. It’s been pretty accurate until now, but a couple of months ago Valve made a few small modification and eliminated most of the inconsequential entries for various other distros.
As the name implies, this distribution is known for its small size and versatility. The developer integrates a large number of packages and an attractive desktop. This latest iteration is not one of the most important, but it does features some interesting changes.
Before installing a Linux system even in a dual boot install, make sure you back up all your files in case something goes wrong! There are many different versions of Linux. I have one computer with a recent version of Ubuntu, which is one of the more popular versions of Linux.
Under the ministry of human resource development, government of India's one laptop per child (OLPC) project 'Akash tablet' will be available in market in 3-4 months at a cost of around Rs 2,500. The tablet which will be the first of its kind to have a dual book and dual board as it will use both Android as well as Linux operating systems will perform the job of both, a tablet and a computer. It will be the cheapest tablet in the world.
There is an alternative to tossing your computer or paying for expensive upgrades. The solution I've been talking about for at least a decade is to make the switch to a GNU/Linux operating system. Now, you've got a reason to make that switch and it's never been easier.