Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where to Get Linux

A blogger talks about ways of obtaining Linux at

He doesn't mention my favorite method. I like to buy Linux CDs from online sources such as and I've been able to get single live/install CDs for less than $5 bucks, including shipping.

For those who don't know, "live" Linux CDs (like Knoppix) allow you to "test drive" Linux without installing anything to your hard drive. The system runs completely from RAM, and while it's slower than an installed system, it's a nice way to take a good look at Linux. Most live CDs now include the option to do an installation to your hard drive. These CDs contain complete operating systems, and there's tons of additional software is available for free -- all you have to do is download it.

Also not mentioned by the author are the free live/install CDs that Ubuntu sends out. They even pay for the postage. You might have to wait several weeks for them to arrive, but the key word here is "free." I've taken advantage of this offering, obtaining several Ubuntu and Kubuntu CDs over the past few years. Ubuntu might not be the perfect operating system (is there one?), but it's almost always good enough to use, and to keep me from needing to purchase any Windows software.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


After the Lakers won this year's NBA Championship, the accolades poured in for coach Phil Jackson. Now with 10 rings, he's being called the greatest NBA coach ever.

It's difficult to dispute, since the only measuring stick is the number of titles won. But I hesitate to jump on the bandwagon. As with great players, there have been many great coaches who won fewer or no championships. So many things have to go right: You need to have the right players, the right organization (top-to-bottom), and you need to get the right calls in the game.

You never know how things would have turned out for Michael Jordan without Scottie Pippen, for Kobe Bryant without Shaquille O'Neal or Pau Gasol, or for Jackson without any of those players, or without a GM or owner who could put together the right collection of players.

During the Lakers' series with Orlando, there were a couple of games that could easily have gone the other way. The Lakers escaped with a win in game 2 when Courtney Lee missed a potential game-winning lay-up. They escaped with a win in game four after Dwight Howard missed a couple of free-throws, any one of which would have iced the game for the Magic.

And nobody knows how things would have turned out if Boston's Kevin Garnett had not gone down with an injury and missed the playoffs.

Phil Jackson had no control over any of those things. He may simply be the most fortunate NBA coach ever.