The Quest for a reliable and payable Operating System

 page 2: mainly about Internet topics   [24. Apr 2002]

 security aspects primarily of UNIX systems   [1. Aug 1999]

 Animated GIF: the GNU/LINUX Samba penguin   [29. Oct 1999]

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 GNU-LINUX package guide   [9. Dec 2001]

 about Mac OS X    [31. Jul 2002]

 UNIX system overview   [new since 29. Sep 2001]

 my new UNIX alliance site   [20. Oct 2001]

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(last updates 27. May, 18. Jul and 2. Sep 2001: free software link, Open Source Site, another distribution and package guide [see above])

Nowadays much cheap hardware exists and also a lot of software for many operating systems. For most people this last aspect may be the most important: which operating system to use. There are three important platforms at now: the UNIX world (of which the non-commercial GNU/LINUX is at least logically a part of), the Microsoft Windows world and the MacIntosh world. All of these systems have advantages and disadvantages of course, but in my view one of these is totally superfluous: the Microsoft Windows. This statement will surprise many people - I'm sure.

The reason is, that in respects of reliability and costs (the direct and indirect costs) all todays Microsoft systems (from Windows 95/98/ME to NT and 2000) are absolutely inacceptable. They are highly unstable, buggy and very slow, which is only partly covered by the ever increasing hardware performance and resources. Even more the Microsoft people have already lost any real control about their own Operating Systems, because they are far to complicated and with to great complexity overload, to be controllable at all. And finally the Microsoft Corporation is more like a criminal union than a real corporation by exploiting all measures to fight any real or eventually rivaling companies, regardless if the methods are legal or not. This last fact has caused the U.S. government to take a number of offensives of Microsoft against others to the justice to stop the arrogant and totally unscrupulous Bill Gates and his commercial empire. 

Current remark: Now the end of MS's power is nearer than most people thought and maybe many still think. Because the judge decided about an obvious situation and striking facts, also the Supreme Court will agree at least with the major points of his decision and the only realistic consequence is the division of Gates' gang into three parts (OS, [personal] applications and network) --- or at least two, to seperate OS and the rest: otherwise it would be virtually impossible, to rob MS off its illegal economical influence. But this will now happen later or never, maybe a strict control established over M$ will help more or equally much!? By the way: the stock market will now see a generally downwards movement of the MS shares and this will cost the criminal Gates also the most of his illegal gained money... The judge Jackson is obviously even brighter then the US government (he considered a three-part breakup), which wanted to make only two parts out of MS. And a development, which has already caused much headache among the MS criminals, is the rapid growing GNU/LINUX distribution. An interesting account about the probable future evolution you can read on the multi language available report The Last Dinosaur and the Tarpits of Doom. It's not exaggerated, as one could think, but only a straight extrapolation of currend trends into the future. Indeed, despite MS will try --- of course in vain --- to avoid effective measures performed against them for as long as possible, they will face their demise visible for everybody this or next year.

This is very important: without limitation of it's power one day the Microsoft people will gain control over all companies and countries and finally all people in the world - and the freedom will vanish by an unprecedented threat: commercial monopoly control of informations.

Therefore a simple rule all freedom loving people should obey: fight Microsoft in the most effective way, what means, don't buy or pay for any of their products! Read more on my fight against the Redmond mob page.

The newest attack against liberal and for the community really useful software development comes from an unusual group: top European agencies plan to enable patenting software. This would be a major fault, preventing much of the now widespread GPL licensed, free developed software model success, because companies could take legal actions against one or other of them... Only by claiming their patents! Therefore I invite you to join the following petition of the EuroLinux logoEuroLinux Petition Organization.

The alternatives are twofold: people who don't want explore possibilities of computers in great detail, for example system programming or similar, will get the most out of the Apple MacIntosh systems, which are - in contrast to Microsoft - not only claiming, but really delivering user friendly features.

And for more professional users there is clearly the option for any UNIX system, regardless if it is SUNs Solaris, HPs HP-UX, IBMs AIX, DECs ULTRIX or Silicon Graphics IRIX and so on or, the best choice for private users and an increasingly good choice also for professional users, the GNU/LINUX system, which costs nearly nothing (you pay only for the data media and the manuals). Now follow some useful links for GNU/LINUX users and interested people. Banner Exchange Network


GNU/LINUX discussions
It's the central communication platform for GNU/LINUX. It contains lists of newsgroups and usegroups for every type of LINUX user: from apprentice to expert. Of course also lists of software, sorted by using areas and so on, are accessible.


More GNU/LINUX Software

Another site offering paths to desired LINUX software. Contains a search input box.More LINUX Applications

More GNU/LINUX Applications

 With the now rapidly increasing number of applications the aspect to find what 
 you are searching for get also more and more important (examples: SAP, Oracle, Sybase and so on are now offering software for it, another example: Corel Draw is currently ported onto LINUX too!). Here you have another directory of useful  sites, systematically ordered (frames are used), categorized and equipped with  standard buttons, so you can search and find quickly the requested items.

Free Applications Watch  seems to be terminated!

This one is also a very quick new versions and new software delivering site: well organized, it completes above two sites with providing free software links to the net, not solely for LINUX, but for all UNIX platforms most generally and sometimes even for M$ Win. Current hint: Regretfully this fine site seems to be gone --- read there further. At last I liked it most of these three (the two immediately above included): what a shame!

Sourceforge Open Source Site

The currently most important open source projects site. A high percentage of important projects of the community is hosted there, and as with the above link site, it features a useful search function too. Maybe the most direct path to many open source projects so far.


The only really useful Search Engine around:

For general searches about computers or LINUX you should always consider the newest major and clearly best Search Engine. The reason is the link evaluating method to rank pages, which is by indirect usage of homepage owner knowledge a far better guide, then automatic HTML page contents evaluation by always stupid computers and programs; either you may limit it to LINUX by this call: Google LINUX search or type in any search terms into the search box:

News for GNU/LINUX
This is a mail overview and search system, in which you can try different keywords for the purpose of getting specialized informations. In principal, it's not limited to LINUX, but can be used for all topics. At this time it's in transition from the old Dejanews to Google, which hasn't established all contents again yet --- but the superior Google search in the news is already a progress of course.


LINUX Online logoGNU/LINUX official homepage
Also a good starting point, presenting among other topics the main distributions (Red Hat and SuSE and the minor ones). Besides you can especially search for the fast growing literature about LINUX.


LINUX international logoLINUX International
An organization with the .org extension, but nevertheless offering expensive memberships for 500$ and more per year - so far the bad news.

You can read however many of the news at this site without being a member and most corporations, which offer any software for the LINUX platform, are united in this organization. Remark: the site looks now slightly different, but seems to be still useful. For example, you may register now yourself as LINUX user or better --- if applicable --- as LINUX computer owner and help this way, to promote and label the further distribution of LINUX (and increase therefore the demand for more LINUX software) and also help to fight against the criminal Microsoft gang.

Online LINUX Gazette

Another source of informations as article collection, sponsored also by the two below mentioned, leading LINUX distributors. There are also mirror sites, but the older articles can only be read at this main site.


S.u.S.E logoSuSE English    SuSE Deutsch    Knowledge Portal
This Germany based company offers the most complete distribution so far. It contains especially a detailed manual with more than 500 pages, at now seven CDs and a DVD with the base system and many useful applications (and a variant with even more CDs but without manual especially for upgrade and expert purposes). A personal edition for the typical home user with just 3 CDs (one mostly superfluous, so you have to deal with just 2 generally) is also available. Also an installation support for the starting time is included. Finally the administration tool with name YAST(2) (Yet Another Setup Tool) has meanwhile developed to a level, which allows also users not familar with UNIX systems installation and administration in nearly all aspects in a simple, broadly automated manner. Current version is 7.3 (October 2001).

German flag
Diese Distribution aus Fürth bietet die z.Zt. vollständigste Version von GNU/LINUX. Besonders hervorzuheben sind das mehr als 500-seitige Handbuch und die sieben Installations-CDs und die DVD mit sehr vielen nützlichen Anwendungen inbegriffen (es gibt auch eine Sammlung von noch mehr CDs ohne Handbuch speziell für Updates und Expertenzwecke). Eine Version (Peronal Edition) für den typischen Heimanwender mit nur 3 CDs (wovon dann fast immer nur die beiden ersten gebraucht werden) ist mittlerweile ebenfalls erhätliche. Auch wird eine Installationsunterstützung für die Anfangszeit gewährt. Schließlich hat sich YAST, ein Administrationstool, inzwischen so weit entwickelt, daß auch für Anwender, die UNIX nicht kennen, der größte Teil der Installation und Pflege von LINUX recht einfach, übersichtlich und weitgehend automatisiert möglich ist. Aktuell ist die Version 7.3 (Stand Oktober 2001).


Mandrake logoMandrake  Deutsche Fassung
This is a French distribution and currently the only serious competitor to the German SuSE distribution regarding ease of installation and use, extent and (online) support. While there is a less elaborate and good handbook, generally Mandrake doesn't require to use it (extensively), and experts can help themselves out anyway with it. If you want an alternative to SuSE and are no UNIX/LINUX expert, Mandrake if for you. It uses the RedHat special rpm features, so you can in most cases use RedHat rpms directly --- an advantage, because the proprietary RedHat rpms are not seldom the only rpms which are offered by narrow minded third party solution providers (installable binary GNU/LINUX package offers should include always RPMs respective Debian apt packages for the four distributions listed here at least: SuSE, RedHat, Mandrake and Debian). Currently it has version 8.1 (autumn/winter 2001/2002).


RedHat logoRedHat  neu: Deutschland-Abteilung
The other main distributor of a complete, from the delivered CDs installable LINUX distribution. There are slight differences to SUSE: it requires a little more knowledge to use (the handbook is also much smaller) and is desired more for the professional users, who want control themselves completely the scripts and update processes.

Debian logoDebian logoDebian GNU-Linux  Deutsche Hauptseite
This is the most open GNU/LINUX system in existence: based on pure free and open software, it delivers about 4,000 (!) packages, a superior package manager (regretfully incompatible with the inferior, but much more widespread distributed RPM), which eases up and shortens considerably upgrades of single packages as well as of the complete system, and maximum portability. For example it's the only major distribution, which doesn't come with a fake entry (softlink!) and treatment of sh as bash, but with the true original UNIX (a)sh. This is much better for portability especially regarding traditional UNIX systems like Solaris etc. But it's notable tougher as the easy to install SuSE or Mandrake and also more demanding regarding your administration capabilities as RedHat. But for purists and high playing LINUX administators it's worth a trial or may be even your best bet to choose...


This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit

A big ring with numerous different GNU/LINUX sites (more than 300): one of the most usable information resources about this UNIX system. Astonishing are the frequent requests for mtools, which you need for simple work with MS-DOS diskettes - but with UNIX systems, diskettes with a MINIX or similar system are not widespread, of course (besides bootable ones).

A remark about the mtools: if you know the corresponding MS-DOS commands, you will need only a short look into "man mtools", to get the names of the mtools-utilities. For those, who are not so familiar with MS-DOS commands, it should be enough, to read the required section in this manpage. It's relatively easy.


There you can find a number of further interesting pages about LINUX, ranging from stuff for beginners to stuff for professional users and also some related topics.

Some safety Remarks...

This is an ever increasing topic in terms of importance. Because all MS platforms (NT included) are easy to crack for an average hacker, I will present only remarks which solely or at least primarily apply to UNIX systems (I don't know enough about Apples Mac, to judge it or give hints for it):

Safety/Security of UNIX/LINUX systems...   [1. Aug 1999]

The International Anti-MS Network
The Webring connecting anti-Microsoft sites...

A fatal exception OE has occured in module SOLITAIRE at 
10B3:23A132C9.  The current application will be terminated.

   * Press any key to continue.  There is a 1% chance that 
     another application won't crash.
   * Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to restart your computer.  You will 
     lose any unsaved information, and your hard drive could
     crash with all the wear and tear the Windows boot
     procedure will place on it.

...with the goal of ending the Blue Screen of Death.


There you can read about the crimes, aggressions and other infamous actions of Gates' Microsoft gang. The hits on this ring are similar frequent, than the ones on the LINUX webring - there is no difficulty, to interpret this right... There is indeed much hatred already created by the behaviour of the unscrupulous Microsoft people. See too on my fight against the Redmond mob page.

  Polish Site with Links for Chemistry

Don't be afraid, that site is in English. As scientist I clearly support such a venture, which offers many further special links for chemistry software suitable for LINUX, often also for other UNIX systems and sometimes (Java!) also for others.


For I present some links with video animations (for example the space movie archive, see astronomy pages), it seems especially adequate to present some animation players for LINUX too:

This is a good player with control panel for the mostly used MPEG-1 animation format. It's available at this Berkeley university site as executable program for most platforms (especially UNIX versions) and also as source code, which requires compilation with a standard C compiler (in general GNU) on UNIX platforms. If you have the SuSE LINUX distribution, it's already included in the standard release (the release with manual).

MPEGtv  Plugger - for animations

This site offers a simple MPEG-1 player without control panel, but more important, a plugin interface, with which you can watch MPEGs, AVIs, Quicktimes (at now only less Version 3.0) and a few others, more seldom used  in the Netscape Browser, MPEGs even online during they are loaded (how fast depends of course of the data transfer rate of your connection). It's also free and available as executable for LINUX and other UNIX systems. The first site contains a simple MPEG-1 player, with which the second sites plugin works as described. To watch the other mentioned video codecs you need the following animation player xanim.


original xanim homepage

Original xanim homepage   German and US mirrors were cancelled!
This multi format animation player is the most useful for non MPEG animations - it works also with MPEGs, but less well as the above presented players. Therefore you should it use with Quicktime and AVI videos mainly, it can manage also a number of less widespread formats. Despite it's included in the SuSE distribution, it can be necessary to access the source code for compilation at one of the now three sites above for two reasons: actuality and additional (object) code, which is by copyright reasons not included in the compiled distribution.

Real Video logoReal Video site   UNIX download page
An animation viewer using a little other technique (as MPEG player also available for audio only). An internet connection must be active for standard use, but offline use after copying of the main animation file is also possible. The (basic) UNIX/LINUX versions (Real Player 8.0) are downloadable without payment for non-commercial use; only the email address and a few further informations (no credit card ones!) are requested for this. For the most considerably distributed UNIX systems (especially GNU/LINUX and Solaris) this basic player is available, despite the more capable pay version is only obtainable now for the insane MS platform; this basic tool is sometimes useful also for UNIX users.

  some more animation players and codec informations


CBM Drivers for LINUX
A former colleague of mine offers some self-written device drivers like the old, big and controller equipped floppy disk drive VC1541 of the C64! He is active developing further tools for that ancient, but honorable platform.


Corel (Draw) and so on...
The Canadian company Corel, on some fields biggest rival of MS Applications, has with the program Draw a leading graphical program (and also a suite with some more stuff). Now they have --- earlier then originally announced! --- the offer of a version for LINUX available. Despite this one (version Draw 9) is a little intermediate, because it needs WINE, a Windows emulator for LINUX, and a special WINE library addition, developped by Corel itself, this is a big step into the right direction. It is due to independent reports even not as slow, as emulated applications often are. I'm positive, that Corel will do it right finally and offer a LINUX standalone version; but I guarantee you: to port such graphically extensive programs from "one" Windows API (MS 95/98 resp. NT/2000) to another (X-Window of UNIX/LINUX) is no easy task and needs much time. This was much easier done for Corels Word text processing system...


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