Open Source Software and Software Freedom


Linux is open source software. This means that the community that uses the software also openly contributes to it, and opens the source code for all to see which has more benefits than I can list here. These pages below are my effort to give back to the Linux and open source community, and also to help those that wish to remove the restrictions and spying activities of closed source software.

Hopefully, they will provide a good reference tool for some, and at the same time demonstrate that Linux can do just about anything you can imagine, often times way more than closed source software alternatives. Whether you know it or not, Linux is all around you today, used in small devices to large servers, and offers much more freedom to its users. All information provided has been obtained personally from my years as a systems administrator in multiple environments.


Open Source Operating Systems and Software
Desktop Platforms
  Open Source Software vs. Commercial Software:
Migration from Windows to Linux
An IT Professional's Testimonial

I finally sat down one day after years of frustration with Microsoft products. After 12 years in the IT world running both open source and closed source software side by side, I have come to realize that open source wins, and has been in my opinion for a long time. Many businesses and individuals are blindfolded by Windows and do not realize that open source reaps many benefits. Not only from a cost standpoint, but from a bunch of political reasons as well. Many do not realize that Microsoft has been playing the game of vendor lock-in for many years with its customers, is strictly focused on making a profit instead of writing quality software, and in the end the customer loses. With open source, nobody is out to make a profit, and therefore you get quality software that costs nothing. This article goes into vast depth of these concepts and provides supporting reasons and evidence behind them.
  Migrating from Windows to Fedora 10 Linux
Common tasks to get a Linux system up and running for those just getting started, and a few tips to get around some common issues on a fresh Fedora installation. I have documented fixes that I needed to put in place, as well as provide some helpful suggestions on software installations and customizing Linux.
Mobile Platforms
  Using Open Source Software on Google (Android) Mobile Devices
Maintain Privacy and Freedom

Apple and Google control most of today's mobile devices. Unfortunately, over the years as Apple and Google have grown and obtained most of the market share, they have started to enact restrictions and spying activity on devices that run their software. This has grown so much that they are now thought to be even more powerful than certain parts of our federal government. However, there is a solution to fight this behavior, and that is to use open source software that is not owned or controlled by any large tech company. Using a non-Apple or non-Google phone that does not run any proprietary software is difficult to obtain, set up, and may not be a viable option. This guide contains steps to obtain as much freedom as you can by using open source software on Apple (iPhone) and Google (Android) devices.
Server Platforms

Linux Router and Firewall Setup
Why purchase an expensive and locked down hardware router/firewall, when you can set up a Linux computer to act as a router/firewall at a fraction of the cost? Linux provides a very powerful solution which can match functionality and even surpass models by Cisco, Dell, HP, etc. What many people don't even know is that many routers made by Linksys/Cisco run Linux on them. One of the most stable and popular Linksys routers, the WRT54GL, is based on Linux. The system can be upgraded and hardware easily replaced on a Linux router computer because it takes advantage of the modular design of an ordinary PC. My instructions provide the basics for setting up a powerful router/firewall computer using CentOS. This was also tested on a Pentium II 266 computer, which easily handles as a router/firewall.

  Linux Web Content Filter (E2Guardian) Setup with Linksys WRT54GL router
How to set up E2Guardian, one of the leading web content filtering solutions that runs on Linux, with a Linksys WRT54GL router running DD-WRT firmware. E2Guardian is a powerful filtering solution and completely customizable, for small home use to corporate use as well. The default Linksys firmware does not have enough capability to interface with an outside web content filter like E2Guardian. This tutorial shows how to set up E2Guardian on a Raspberry Pi, which is ideal due to its low power consumption and stability.

Open Source Cloud and Social Networking Platforms
Maintain Privacy and Freedom of Speech

The demand for social networking has grown over the years, and even more so in recent times. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google have encountered huge growth with users in the numbers of millions. Unfortunately with this massive growth, these same companies have started to leverage their user base to censor and block content, even for political reasons. Luckily, there is a vast number of open source alternative platforms available, to provide the same experience, but without limitations and dangers of big tech.

  The Linux Store
Show your Linux pride! This CafePress store has everything from t-shirts, sweatshirts, clocks, mugs, you name it. Rare and hard-to-find items with great Linux (anti-Microsoft) gear. Designs in this store were created with Inkscape.



Archived Blog Posts on ZDnet:

Licensing Woes of Proprietary Software
Linux users, get your Windows refund today
Desktop publishing for Linux at its finest
Linux and Open Source Software at the center of security
What happened to Dell?
Microsoft lashing out at Linux, open source
The Windows Tax refund at Dell, continued
The Firefox and Internet Explorer showdown
Browser wars and market share
Linux Recipe for DVD Creation
Will Windows continue to be Windows?
Facts and misconceptions about 32-bit vs. 64-bit on the desktop
IP Rights, Again?
Frustrations of supporting Windows
Retaining Windows functionality, in Linux
Being virus and malware-free
Being locked in with proprietary software
Windows Server 2008 drops the ball for Mac compatibility
Complete Linux font management
Dell reiterates that Linux is safer than Windows
Open source alternative for Active Directory
Free software at your fingertips
Why I still hate Windows
Linux: 100% "Try before you buy" -- for free
Operating systems: all about personal preference
Linux: No bloatware, popups, and annoyances
Windows 7: reasons to migrate?
Keeping things simple: the Linux kernel
Dell at it again: Windows vs. Ubuntu Linux
Is your PC slowing down?
Rebooting is for Windows
Support pitfalls of proprietary software
Device support in Windows vs. Linux
Dumping Windows, moving on with Linux
Dumping Windows, moving on with Linux, update
Leveraging proprietary software at the expense of customers
Ksplice for Fedora Linux now available for free
"Here you have" virus: How did you fare?
Limitations of Windows PowerShell vs. Linux SSH/bash
Backwards application compatibility in Windows 7 and Linux
Final solution to Broadcom wireless on Linux
Linux package management is brilliant
Microsoft's dwindling market share
The Command Line: Nothing to be scared of
Microsoft eyes as a direct competitor
SELinux, De-mystified
Linux EXT4 Filesystem showing impressive speeds
Embarrassed to recommend Microsoft software
Experiences with (very) rare Linux crashing, upgrades
Hidden costs of malware
Experiences with Windows 7 64-bit hardware support
Which OS for life critical applications?
Linux is a win-win for education
Microsoft burning the Open Source bridge
Out with Windows 2000, in with Fedora 14
Out with Windows 2000, in with Fedora 14, part 2
Virtual is the way to go
Windows/Linux driver support comparison
Articles of Roy Schestowitz
Linux turns 20, the future is bright
UI changes, and giving the users a choice
Concerns about software patents
Time required for a base Windows 7 install
Good times with Fedora Linux upgrades
Getting help with open source software
Observing reliability of journalling filesystems
Extra strain caused by malware
Could Nouveau be the future for nVidia hardware?
GNU/Linux software updates for the enterprise
Simple yet powerful backup solution for Linux user data
Keeping things simple in IT
Why I (still) steer away from Microsoft products
Windows 7 user data saved with Linux
No apologies for Microsoft Windows
What "free" means with Open Source software
Windows 7 registry problem, fixed with Linux
How Linux handles hardware problems
More Windows 7 corruption and repair woes
Digikam : premier photo management on GNU/Linux
Gone with Windows 7 : RunAs for Explorer
Fragmentation within the NTFS filesystem
Windows 7 driver signing conundrum
Downloading genuine software
Setting up a Linux bandwidth emulator
User influence on gigantic corporations
Print Management: Microsoft is getting it right
Microsoft's two-edged sword in the software patent saga
Time wasted with buggy software
Capturing screenshots in Linux
Building a powerful & affordable firewall with Linux
Microsoft Windows: Not good for video signage
Three years on the GNU/Linux road
Boycott against corporate greed
The Linux Desktop: Rich with educational software
Some entertaining Windows logs
Complexity of Microsoft Exchange bites us again
The Microsoft way... or the Highway
Out with Windows 8, In with Linux


More content will be added as I come across and have a chance to publish it.