Monday, July 25, 2005

Declarations of Independence from Microsoft

In my continuing effort at staying current and trying to improve my desktop, I have installed Mozilla's Firefox. I hate being a Microsoft clone. One of the sucky things about Corporate America is if you work in a "Microsoft only" shop, employees get denied better products as managers are so fearful of not being a 'sheep'.

I have always had an Apple computer as long as there has been an Apple Computer. It is the innovative company that Microsoft tries to eventually mimic.

I am running on a Compaq Presario, WIndows 2000 that is dual-bootable with Red Hat Linux. Why do I have a WIndoze box? Because in 2000 when I was last in the market for a PC, my then employer wanted me to log in from home and of course, they were a Microsoft-only site and they didn't support Mac OS. Because of security paranoia, they had only given 'approval' for Windows 98 and by the time I bought this, 2000 Pro was the 'new' operating system. It is still doing its job after 5 years so I can't complain, and now I can tell potential employers that I'm not a terrorist or anti-American because I do Windows. Someone told me the other day that Bill Gates said 'he can't find good workers" so thats why he goes to China and India for talent. Where the hell are you looking, Bill?

When I bought the machine from Compaq, I company I used to work for and before it became HP's indigestion, in an effort to cover Carlie's ineptitute, I told the sales guy that I had intended to dual-boot the amchine with Linux. He said it would 'void my warranty' and they would not support that. Why? Because Compaq became a Microsoft exclusive company as well. Even in the Dell catalogs, you never see a machine pre-loaded with an OS OTHER than Microsoft. But Its No Monopoly we are told. I said, "If I am going to pay 2K for a machine, I'll install whatever I damn well please. But because Red Hat Linux does not play well with Winmodems, I could never get to the outside world. So I used Linux to play with various system stuff, like getting more proficient with a Unix varaint, but the OS was of limited sue to me because I couldn't connect to the outside world. Now, thanks to DSL, I can, since i bypass the internal modem. My only problem now is figuring out when to play with Linux, because I HATE rebooting my machine. I am finally settling into some semblance of normalcy after my cross country trek. I can honestly say I nvver get bored on a computer.

After the introduction of the Ipod, however, I reconfigured my disk space to take back most of the space I had devoted to Linux, since my original plan was to use Windows only when forced to. To be fair, I haven't had many major complaints about how I have been doing things and I am a creature of habit, so as long as it works, I am happy.

But with recommendations from blogs andn others, I have decided to download and install Mozilla's Firefox as my default browser. I love learning something new. I used Opera for awhile, especially when my Temp folder was filled with the maximum number of files and I could view attachments in IE for the longest time. Rather than spend countless hours trying to figure it out, I knew I would eventually, but I have limited patience when my routine is disrupted.

One feature I liked about Opera and now Firefox is opening a new 'tab' or another window within the browser, which will help me keep desktop clutter down and hopefully, conserve some memory as well, because I had to keep re-opening IE. Expect tabbing to come soon to IE now that others already came up with the idea.

Opera had a 'free' version and a 'paid version' which contained no banner ads, but I didn't bother, but no ads with Firefox, so I like that.

I won't get rid of IE just yet, however, since some companies are and probably always be, 'Microsoft only' sites and won't do anything with any other browser. While I can't afford it right now, I would encourage people to contribute to their favorite software developers and other producers of things you use to encourage further creativity. Among some of the sites that will ger by financial support in the future would be Firefox (although I want to explore it features further),'s Ipodder software, a Podcast collector and PodcastNYC for good quality Podcast content.

So, if you don't want Corporate America telling you what THEY have decided is worth having, support your local and favorite software geeks...


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