Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

LinuxRant: it Just Gets Better....

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Migrating to Ubuntu - the OS which all the hip young things are using nowadays - has had a side benefit which I had not even considered when making the decision to make the change.

I was primarily looking for something secure - I have had an intolerable time of late, with chuckleheads the world over who take advantage of Windows vulnerabilities. And once your PC has been got at once, it seems that no amount of cleaning can remedy it (not even a hard drive low-level format and complete reinstall of WInXP from scratch).

Also, I wanted some solid encryption capabilities - for no other reason than it (data encryption) is something governments hate. Anything non-violent which is hated by government, is almost definitely something I support.

The side effect will be well-known to Linux users - that is, the ability to set up my full site (the old RantPRO) and to access it as if it was a local drive. In Windows I could do several things - but all involved the use of some form of client software as an intermediate step. I needed PuTTY plus a mySQL client to log in to the site's databases, I needed an FTP client to change operating files (PHP scripts, mostly).

But now, I can access site files directly, them modify them, then save them as if they were on my own drives. Furthermore, I can - having installed all the necessary Linux-based software - create an exact replica of my site's environment (PHP, mySQL, Perl, APACHE and so on) and test run new file changes in real time on my PC, knowing that the performance will be identical on the webserver.

One thing eludes me (for now)- how to get a couple of Windows-only apps to run under Linux. WINE has not worked for a couple of them (TradeStation and PhoneTray), and our ISP's firmware won't work either (and we can't connect without it).

But at the end of the day, the writing is on the wall for Microsoft. Windows Vista will be a flop, and - as with the browser market - the maturation of high-quality freeware operating systems will see users flee MS offerings in favour of better, more secure (and free) alternatives. It is already the case that MS is haemorrhaging market share in the browser market - and operating systems is next.

Fingers crossed, tomorrow will see the return of the OzRant...