GNU/Linux time is here again

Sunday, January 29, 2006 8:42 pm By BigLig

This entry is being prepared on my laptop as usual, but what is new is that it is being done using the GNU/Linux operating system. A recent re-reading of some of Richard Stallman's work is partially to blame, but the main reason is that I now consider there is a chance that it might actually be possible to move to free software, as the critical applications I need all have solutions now.
First, Outlook. While there are dozens of mail readers available, I sometimes need to access my Exchange calendar. Now that my Exchange server is upgraded to 2003, I can use Outlook Web Access to do that. There is also a chance to get the Evolution connector working. I may still have issues accessing my mail archives – which are in PST format – but I'm sure I can think of something, and I have dual-boot if needed.

Second, Netsupport Manager, which is a remote control application (similar to PC Anywhere). This was a sticking point for a long time, but the other day I discovered, while idly playing with a Knoppix CD, that it runs very well under WINE. The fonts need some work, but it is usable.

There are other tools I use all the time – such as Word, Excel, XNView, Remote Desktop, and Firefox, but all of those have Linux versions or functional equivalents.

Holdouts like these two programs are a common reason to hold back moving to Linux on the desktop and it's nice to get past them.

Next post will report on my install experiences.