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The IFX Group Linux Information Page

The information in this section is presented without any warranty. We have gathered or created this information mostly for our own use, but we are happy if it can also help you. Some of the information listed here is specific to just the Linux Mint or Xubuntu distributions. Using some of this information on other distributions may need a little modification. Check the help forums for your Linux distribution if you have any doubts about compatibility.

If you don't have a current backup, make one now!

  • Casey's Conky Reference with Examples
    A complete reference guide with examples for Conky, the desktop information utility.
  • How Microsoft Helped Me Move To Linux
    Microsoft is afraid of Linux. This much is well documented and yet Microsoft seems to be putting a lot of thought and effort into getting me to leave Windows and move to Linux by making my Microsoft Windows Experience so awful and sometimes painful that the only I choices have are between continued Microsoft branded masochism or finding something else. The following is my personal account of a few of the many things that pushed me over the edge.
  • Security and Virus Infections
    Are virus infections related to virus scanning? If so, how can you protect your computer from infection?
  • Linux SMB/CIFS Shares
    How to use Ubuntu Linux to combine Windows and IPAD-OS shares into one common place.
  • Useful Internet Safety for the Casually Paranoid User
    I hear about the risks and I know the rules. The Internet is not a safe place. But there is a growing middle ground between safe and risk that always seems to step on my ability to just do what I want on the Internet.
  • The Buffet of Desktop Linux Distribution Choices
    Nearly every person in the western world has experienced a buffet meal where all of the choices are laid out in plain view with as much or as little of each item ending up on the plate as desired. This concept is virtually unknown in the poor places of the world where food is so scarce the only choice is between eating or not.
  • Tightening the Financial Belt Around My TV
    It is called Cord Cutting. Over the years our home TV entertainment budget slowly grew. Our monthly cable/satellite TV bills went from about $20 a month to almost $100 a month. It did not seem all that bad at the time because each step was only a few Dollars extra and what is an extra $5 a month anyway?
  • Going Linux
    The steps to install Linux on almost any old Windows computer while keeping your ability to run Windows whenever needed.
  • My Custom Ubuntu Setup
    Every now and then I like to upgrade my computer hardware or move to a new machine which requires a completely fresh installation of the operating system. This is very easy with Ubuntu because most of the programs I use (Firefox, LibreOffice, etc.) come pre-installed and are ready to use from the first boot. This is my customization and personalization list to get a fresh Ubuntu installation right back where I started in short order.

We like Linux Mint and Xubuntu because they both have a predictable and reliable release schedule for major version upgrades with bug fix updates available continually as they are made. This is a very good thing if you are used to other operating systems that have track records with years between version releases that even the software maker can't accurately predict to a single year. Continuous bug fix updates are even better if you are used to other operating systems that only release bug fixes once each month (or more) because the longer the time grows between when a bug is found and when it is patched, the more you are vulnerable.

Important note: If you choose to try Open Source Software (OSS), you should expect things to be different from the closed source software way of thinking you may have known in the past.

  1. Expect no obligation. Nobody owes you anything. You didn't pay anything, so there is no financial obligation. Anything anyone in the OSS community does for you, whether it is writing the code or supporting it, is voluntary. This is both the strength and weakness of free/open source software. Commercial (paid) software support is available for open source software if you need it, but unlike closed source software nobody is required to pay for support they don't want or need.
  2. Expect exploration and community. The OSS world has almost no marketing budget while the closed source world spends billions of Dollars every year trying to promote their software. You may need to search for open source that fits your needs. This may be easier than you think because there is a world wide community of OSS users willing to help, if you politely ask.
  3. Expect no guarantees. The most important thing to remember is that there is no guarantee any software will do exactly what you want right out of the box. Closed source software may allow you to recover some of the cost you paid if the product does not work as advertised. Since OSS is available for free, you are free to try many different programs to see which one meets your needs.
  4. Expect involvement. The good news is that, compared to closed source software, you have a much better chance of improving OSS simply by providing constructive feedback directly to the programmer - something that is nearly impossible with some closed source software. This lets you communicate your needs and thoughts to the programmer and lets the programmer focus their development time on the things that have the most benefit to the people that actually use their software. It all starts with you getting involved by expressing your needs and desires.

Embrace OSS and a whole world of new choice and opportunity opens up to you.