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Linux... changing the face of computing.

By: Christopher Hicks

Are you frustrated by your computer? Whether you're a first time user or a mainframe assembler hacker, the answer is almost definitely yes. You're probably using a Windows machine. That is about to change. And this change will have as much impact on you, your computer, and the economy as the Internet already has.

You may have heard of Linux. It's been getting lots of press lately - 20 or 30 articles per week. The week I'm writing this report we find the San Francisco Chronicle asking:

Linux already has won the hearts of techies the world over, and lately, the free operating system has carved out a place on corporate servers. Could the typical office worker's desktop be the next stop?

The answer is a resounding yes!

Linux is a radically different kind of operating system from any that has ever been popular. It's an Open Source operating system. You can read the definition if you like, but it's a simple concept. Open Source means you get the source code and no if's and's or but's.

What good is this to real users? First and foremost, we get much better software. This is true especially for non-programmers. The Internet provides the best collaborative environment ever for writing software. Wouldn't you do better work collaborating with all the people worldwide who are interested in your project? Linux is a wonderful example of the results possible.

Then there is all the ultimate ability to cover your *ss. I can't count the number of times that I've heard large software vendors (Microsoft, SCO, Delrina, etc.) say " expect it to work?" The computer industry is getting better, but your software vendor won't place your interests very high unless you're in the Fortune 100. Open Source eliminates vendor dependance.

Open Source eliminates vendor dependance. (I know I said it twice...but it's important.) Quite simply, you have the power of choice like never before. What's safer: one supplier or the choice of several? When you buy Windows you have only one choice for bug fixes or upgrades. When you run your business on Windows you are relying on Microsoft to fix critical bugs in a timeframe that meets your needs.

Linux is different. If you need something you have a large variety of choices. Anyone can fix bugs. Anyone can provide you support.

If you're thrifty, you can download it, install it, and get free support through voluntary groups on the Internet. If you're running mission critical applications, you can choose a support vendor that has the power to fix show-stopping bugs in a time-frame and budget that meets your individual needs.

My last point about linux is merely a reminder for those of you who've skipped the tremendous amount of linux press. Linux is fast and stable. Reboots are rare. Security bugs are comparatively few and are becoming less frequent. As you may have guessed, these bugs get fixed fast. In fact security bugs in linux are usually fixed within a day of discovery if not within hours.

Flamingo Internet Navigators is committed to Open Source Software and Linux. Our customers benefit from this in many ways. The solutions we recommend don't have to include thousands of dollars for buggy proprietary software. Our engineers are happier and more effective. We can fix many problems remotely instead of travelling to your site. Our equipment is more reliable because Linux is much less prone to viruses, worms, security bugs, and doesn't need to be rebooted every day.

FINI's commitment to this technology is a commitment to the future of computing.

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