OS Follies – Windows Vista, Linux GNU/Ubuntu and Mac OS X

This presentation covers three popular operating systems: Windows Vista, Linux GNU/Ubuntu and Mac OS X.

Barbara AndrewsVista: Barbara Andrews

  • Comes with a lot more drivers so fewer things need to be installed
  • Service Pack is coming out in the first park of 2008 (support for XP will go through 2014)
  • Vista is more Mac-like, graphics-wise. Much more visual cues and helpers, such as a variety of desktop “gadets” (like Mac widgets)
  • Start menu is pretty much the same, exept “start button” have been replace with Windows icon
  • Built-in computer search, which is also useful for locating programs
  • No more fly-out menus – everything is dropdown
  • Windows explorer has search box. They’re trying to eliminate menu bars so tools and features are not hidden.
  • New: Snipping Tool – allows easy screen capturing to convert any section of screen to jpg and email. It also allows annotating these images
  • New: User Account Control – alerts user when some non-user-initiated process begins. Pops up whenever something unusual is happening, to warn you of viruses. But it can be annoying
  • New: Photo Organizer – similar to Mac’s iPhoto, it easily puts photos in folders and allows basic function, such as redeye reduction, size reduction, cropping, etc., and also has various print options (multiple images per page)
  • Task bar shows thumbnail of minimized program
  • Alt-tab has new Windows-tab 3D program scroll feature
  • New: Built-in Parental Controls – inside user accounts, you can create a “child” account, and then set things like website filtering, time limits, block programs/games based on ratings or other criteria
  • New: Allows USB Flash Drives to be used as additional RAM (“speed up my system” auto-detection). This portion of the flash drive then becomes dedicated computer memory, and can’t be used for data storage
  • Windows Defender firewall comes standard
  • Question: How much RAM?: Presenter using 1GB, so 2GB (which has been recommended) is not necessary

GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) Wes Hamilton

  • Reliable: Linux is known to be reliable, and is increasely becoming a realistic alternative to Windows
  • Powerful: Linux gets more out of a computer, so older computers get new life
  • Freedom to Choose: Open Source means lots of different developers working on lots of different projects, so there is a lot of available options (good projects rise to the top, and bad projects fall away)
  • Ubuntu: Secure, Simple: Made for people to use, and doesn’t have virus like Windows. For root-level changes, it prompts you for admin password (like Vista, but doesn’t prompt you every single time)
  • Computer settings are divided between “preferences” and “administration” – administrator settings requires password
  • Afforable: It is free
  • Does not force applications at you like Windows (who sell desktop space for new installs)
  • Allows for switching between different “workspaces” instead of minimizing programs.
  • Comes pre-packaged with software: games, Firefox, Open Office software, photo editing, an dmore – doesn’t require additional installations
  • Default view is a desktop, but also has a built in terminal program
  • File storage is slightly different than Windows – everything can be found from desktop menus
  • Niche for libraries: give new life to old WinX computers – for free
  • Can Windows be undone to add Linux to an existing system? Yes, but it’s involved, because Windows wants to take up all available space. Windows partition can be shrunk to make room for Ubuntu, and then ask on bootup which OS to boot into
  • Question: Is there anti-virus for Linux? Luckily, not many viruses written for Linux. There are some worms, but patches come out quickly. The anti-virus is called Clam (ClanWin for Windows). Doesn’t run in background like Windows programs, but is more of an on-demand scanner
  • Question: What about wireless? It actually depends on the hardware of your wireless card. Broadcom is kind of hostile to open source, so their equipment doesn’t work very well
  • What about Overdrive and DRM? Depends on vendor and how they feel about open source – web-based programs work better. Also an idea is to run a Windows-emulator within Ubuntu (VMWare) and run the Windows programs that way

Scott KehoeMac OS X Scott Kehoe

  • Pronounced “O.S. ten”
  • Links available on Scott’s del.icio.us/bibliotechy/osx
  • Once you go Mac you can’t go back” – it’s true, because Macs make computing fun again
  • How different is Mac from Windows? Right-click still works, file formats and peripherals (mice, USB drives, CDs, DVDs) all work the same, almost as much freeware and most windows programs have Mac-versions, and now Macs use a lot of the same hardware
  • OSX and libraries: work just fine with printers and other peripherals, no virus, spyware or bloatware, built-in firewall with “invisible” wifi (easy to set up in Mac), comes with secure mode (like Deep Freeze), has built-in PDF support (don’t need Adobe Reader and keep up with updates), Firefox works the same, many kids get familiar with Macs in school, and using Macs make the library look tech-savvy
  • Current version is OS X 10.4 Tiger. Next is 10.5 Leopard due in 10/2007 (kind of the equivalent of Windows XP’s Service Pack 2). Has a new built-in feature called “Time Machine” that is a backup system – backups all versions of all files
  • Apple Stores are a great resource – free wifi, classes, hands-on experience, and tech support at the “genius bar.” store finder
  • Macs are keyboard-oriented, so lots of shortcut keys. F9 displays all open windows in miniature. System search (“Spotlight”) works really well to find documents, programs and even email messages
  • Office 2008 is due in late January 2008 (Mac’s version of Office 2007)