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The Death of Windows

 by: Stephen Bucaro

I have always regretted how Microsoft price gouges and rips off computer users. I really regret Windows XP activation. I have always intended to convert to Linux, but it isn't easy for a Windows user since version 3.0.

Recently, I purchased the book "Moving to Linux" by Marcel Gagne. The interesting thing about the book is that it includes a bootable Linux CD-ROM. "Knoppix" is a special version of Linux that you can run entirely from your CD drive. You can run Linux without uninstalling Windows or making any changes to your PC.

I tried the Knoppix CD on a Windows 2000 machine with a 200 MHz pentium II and 128 RAM, a very low power machine by today's standards. Linux provides you with step-by-step status information, and I ignored several error messages as Knoppx was booting. It took a while for Linux to boot from the 52X CD-ROM drive, but then Windows 2000 also takes forever to boot on this machine.

To my amazement, Knoppix booted successfully, with the proper screen resolution and access to all the drives. To my further amazement, the CD-ROM contained OpenOffice.org 1.0. I used OpenOffice to create a file. I couldn't save the file to the hard disk, probably because of access rights (NTFS or Linux), but I could save it to a floppy disk. Later, I opened the floppy disk file on a different Windows 2000 machine with the Windows version of OpenOffice.

In his book, Marcel Gagne gives you several tips to make knoppix start faster and work faster. For example, he provides a command that creates a Linux swap file on your Windows partition, and a command that saves Knoppix configuration to a floppy disk.

Note: If you have a broadband Internet connection, you can download Knoppix from www.knoppix.net (700 MB). You also need to know how to burn raw data to CD-R. The book gives you all kinds of information about the different Linux distributions, appications, and how to use Linux, plus the included Knoppix CD is all set to run, so I think the book is worth the extra cost.

If want you to explore and learn about Linux without uninstalling Windows or making any changes to your PC, Knoppix is the way to go. Maybe someday everyone will carry a Knoppix CD and a CD-RW to use on any computer they find. That day will truly be the death of Windows.


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About The Author

Copyright(C)2002 Bucaro TecHelp. To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com. To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter Send a blank email to subscribe@bucarotechelp.com


mobile satellite television guide

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Until recently, people used a technique called symmetric key cryptography to secure information being transmitted across public networks in order to make mobile satellite television guide shopping more secure. This method involves encrypting and decrypting a mobile satellite television guide message using the same key, which must be known to both parties in order to keep it private. The key is passed from one party to the other in a separate transmission, making it vulnerable to being stolen as it is passed along.

With public-key cryptography, separate keys are used to encrypt and decrypt a message, so that nothing but the encrypted message needs to be passed along. Each party in a mobile satellite television guide transaction has a *key pair* which consists of two keys with a particular relationship that allows one to encrypt a message that the other can decrypt. One of these keys is made publicly available and the other is a private key. A mobile satellite television guide order encrypted with a person's public key can't be decrypted with that same key, but can be decrypted with the private key that corresponds to it. If you sign a transaction with your bank using your private key, the bank can read it with your corresponding public key and know that only you could have sent it. This is the equivalent of a digital signature. While this takes the risk out of mobile satellite television guide transactions if can be quite fiddly. Our recommended provider listed below makes it all much simpler.

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