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Comment Try live CDs, stick with major distros (Score 3, Insightful) 573

You could save a lot of time by trying different distributions via Live CD/DVD. (Many distros install discs actually double as an installer and a live CD.) Obviously you don't want to do this long-term but it would be an easy way to test drive and see which stock interface appeals to you before jumping in.

I'd definitely go with a major distro so that it's easy to find setup/troubleshooting instructions online. Different distros may store files in different locations so even though all Linux flavors are largely similar, it can be really frustrating trying to look for a certain config file and realizing it's not in the same place as the directions say it should be. Once you're more experienced you'll know where to look but it can be a deal breaker when you're just getting started.

Some to look at are Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora. Personally I prefer Debian-based distros but that choice is probably not very relevant until you start diving deeper into things.

Comment Just having cameras is probably a good deterrent (Score 1) 508

I am not a security expert...
I've never been broken into, but for peace of mind and the geek factor, I wanted to have cameras at my house. I got a cheapo Zmodo kit from woot and set it up so the path to all the doors and windows can be seen by at least one camera. That, plus window stickers advertising video surveillance, make a pretty good deterrent. I don't have any items that would make my house a target compared to neighbors, so hopefully a would-be smash-and-grab thief would move along to a place that doesn't have a camera recording them smashing in the front door.

Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 364

Do those "updates" perform equally well (Cough, iPhone 3) and are all of the features available (cough, Siri) on all of the platforms? If the answer to either question is no, then what is an upgrade besides a change to the text in the version number and perhaps some alternate windowdressing?

You could make the same argument of Windows, Mac or other operating systems. You may not get every new feature because the vendor set a minimum requirement that is too high. But even so that's just one or two missing features out of a plethora of other changes.

And don't forget the importance of changed/new APIs that may will eventually be required to actually run the latest apps. So I argue that would be beneficial to update even if you got zero new user-facing features.

Comment Re:What about other mapping systems? (Score 1) 284

What happens if I want to hide my access point from Apple, Google and Skyhook at once? Should I name by AP as


or will this be a global suffix?

From TFA:

Finally, because other location providers will also be able to observe these opt-outs, we hope that over time the “_nomap” string will be adopted universally. This would help benefit all users by providing everyone with a unified opt-out process regardless of location provider.

Comment Not sure why it matters (Score 1) 284

I value privacy as much as the next person but I don't see why this matters. Network names do not give away anything personal unless you *choose* to put something personal into the SSID. And if you do that you have "opted in" to broadcasting your personal information. Or am I missing something here?

Comment Host somewhere else while learning LAMP admn (Score 1) 382

Even if it's just for fun that's a heck of a lot of users to let down if you run into trouble. I'd be concerned that even if you get it set up and running, some day it will go down and it'll take several days to figure to while the community languishes. I'd host somewhere else until you are really comfortable and familiar with LAMP administration.

Comment Umm, what? (Score 1) 656

in a year or two, it wouldn't be surprising if all software is made available as an ISO on a USB drive

Why have ISOs on a USB drive? If you need to boot to install something (such as an OS) you'd boot straight from the drive. For anything else I think "in a year or two" it'll look pretty much like it does today -- app stores and package managers. What will change is that less and less software will be sold in stores.

Comment Just depends... (Score 1) 360

It depends on what they want to do with it, and whether they have any sort of IT support.

If they have somebody doing tech support already, just wipe the drive and give them the computer (with restore discs just in case they want to use the bundled OS.)

If they don't have support but have any sort of established standard OS, then install the same OS as they're already using.

If they have no support and no standards, it's pretty much just up to you. A Linux distro if they just want to surf the web and use a word processor. Windows if they want to be able to install software purchased in a big box store.

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