Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Operating Systems”

What Operating Systems Do You Use?

There was a time, back before smartphones and tablets, when most of us used, at most, only three operating systems. Indeed, for the average computer user there was only one operating system that mattered and that was Windows, which held a 95% market share. Even those of us who used Linux or Apple at home usually had to use a Windows computer at work–which remains true today.

However, today’s computer users daily come into contact with many other operating systems than merely Linux, OS X and Windows. Smartphone and tablet users boot into Android and iOS, with some even using the more open Firefox OS and Sailfish OS. To traditional consumer computers we can now add Chrome OS for those who don’t mind doing most of their work in the cloud.

Linux for Seniors 101

In my age group I am an anomaly. I turned 60 years old last September, a birthday I wasn’t supposed to see. Any time you can ignore a doctor’s prognosis of terminal, I suggest you do it. It worked out well for me. But no, beating cancer to this point isn’t what puts me into the anomaly category…

It’s knowing how to use a computer. Not because I know how to work on them or how to write a working script for a system call. I’m an anomaly simply because I know what to do after I turn a computer on.

You think I’m kidding, huh? Unfortunately, I am not. My Reglue project deals primarily with financially disadvantaged kids in Central Texas. I also have the opportunity to interact with the parents and guardians of those kids. The kids figure out their machine in a couple of hours. It’s the 50 and above folks who hesitate.

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

A Very Linux Christmas

Since 2005, with the exception of last year, I have “worked” every Christmas day. I accentuate “worked” because I am lucky enough to have a job that feels more like a hobby than it does labor. I give computers to kids who cannot afford them. What’s not to like? I plan to work some of Christmas morning this year too.

This year is a special though.

Why?

Because I wasn’t supposed to be here. In fact, I wasn’t to be anywhere. Not in one piece anyway.

I was supposed to be dead.

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

Reglue ’12 Geeks’ Update

I’m smiling right now. I just discovered that FOSS Force has some compassionate and generous readers.

I heard from Ken Starks with the Reglue project yesterday. He has his 12 Geeks of Christmas. This is great! It means that 12 school kids who’ve been trying to keep up with their school work without the benefit of computers will return from winter break with that obstacle overcome. What’s more, they’ll have a leg-up because the computers they’re receiving will be loaded with a special school kids version of Linux.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Unicorn Media
Latest FOSS News: