Linux in Computer Shopper

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Linux is about the most exciting thing to happen to the computing field in years; since the internet arrived in the UK back in 1989 or thereabouts, maybe even since the invention of the PC.

Of course, some people just don't get it. But if you're reading this, you probably want to at least learn a little more.

I published what I believe was the first review in the mainstream computer press (in Computer Shopper in June or July 1994), and I've been using Linux as my main OS since March 1995. Since October 1998, I've been writing a monthly Linux column in Shopper.

Here's where the articles go to die after the magazine comes off newsstand sale. Note that the month indicates the month in which the magazine comes off the newsstands -- the articles are actually written and copy filed about three months before then:

Yeah, I know this hasn't been updated for a long time. I ceased writing for shopper in 2004; I have a backlog of approximately two years of articles that I really need to reformat and add to this site, but am having a wee bit of trouble finding time (due to, for example, selling novels). Watch this space, okay?

Future plans include a round-up of open source website construction toolkits, coverage of KDE 2.0 and Mozilla, and the usual off-the-cuff rambling about the Linux philosophy, which corporations Don't Get It (and which do), and a smattering of introductory pieces.

If you have a bee in your bonnet or want to know why I'm not covering something, feel free to Bug me.

Meanwhile, Here are some vague meanderings about the subject that haven't appeared in Shopper. Be advised that some of it is a wee bit out of date.

What I'd like to do here is provide an ongoing stream-of-experience sort of thing, explaining why Linux is cool, what's new, and what's worth knowing about; not a simple list of links to explore, but some commentary about the subject.

How to make a livable desktop -- or at least, eleven useful things to know about.

Linux Everywhere -- cool stuff for bringing your Linux desktop to Windows NT (and vice versa).

Making KDE work with other applications: Part 1 -- how to get the KDE desktop to recognize applications and files belonging to other programs. (Obsolescent -- describes KDE 1.0, not updated.)

KDE Themes. More about customizing KDE; this time, how KDE gets its look and feel. (Not just how to use the KDE Control Center!) (Obsolescent -- probably irrelevent from KDE 1.1.2 onwards, which has full theme management.)

Why free software is a good thing -- or rather, why I (as a paid programmer) don't see it as a threat to my job.