Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts

Promoting Linux and Open Source Software Freedom in Atlanta Since 1994

Geek Approved Gift Ideas

Below are a some gift ideas for that are recommended by the friendly
members of the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts group. Like all the best things
in life, the best suggestions below are Free. While these Free, Liberating,
Open Source Software suggestions are Geek Approved, you will find they
are far more User Friendly and User Empowering than comparable
commercial offerings and and can deliver the invaluable gift of Technology
Freedom to any friend or family member, from grade school youngsters
to grandparents.

OUR #1 GIFT SUGGESTION (of course):

Linux runs Google and most of the Internet, so it’s the clearly the best choice
for running your Personal Computer, too!
— There are literally dozens of popular versions of the user friendly, virus free
Linux Operating System that are available as bootable CD disks. These “Live”
CD disks not only let you explore the freedom of Linux without changing
anything on your computer, but they can also be used to install Linux either
in place of or in addition to your existing OS.
— Currently, the most popular and broadly supported desktop edition for the
everyday computer user or internet surfer is UBUNTU, which can be downloaded
or requested for free from the Ubuntu web site.
— Because every user and developer is free to distribute and customize and
improve Linux Open Source Software as they choose, there are literally hundreds
of other customized or specialized Linux OS & software combo packages available,
almost always for Free. A comprehensive list of the many Linux “distros”, as well
as links to distribution copy services, provider sites and other resources, can be
found at the Distro Watch web site.

OUR #2 GIFT SUGGESTION (in keeping with the first):
(available for any computer)

Why suffer viral commercial software when better tools are available for
every computer without the MafiaSoft license threats, restrictions or costs?
— The full list of Free, GPL, Open Source Software that is available on the
internet could fill an encyclopedia, but our list is limited to a few of the
most popular and common applications. All of the programs we’ve included
have versions available that will run equally well on Linux, Mac and Windows
systems. Since Open Source Software runs the overwhelming majority of
web sites, internet browsing and email tools are at the top our gift list.
Clicking the links will take you to the project and download sites.

== FireFox / Thunderbird cross platform internet browsing and email tools.
More than half of the internet users in the world have chosen FireFox as
their browser of choice. The Mozilla offerings are generally more secure,
more extensible, more stable and more standards compliant than any of
the Internet Exploitative commercial offerings.

== Pidgin portable, multi-platform, multi-protocol IM and Chat client.
Pidgin is just one among a number of the free, flexible, user friendly FLOSS
offerings for Internet Messaging. There are also many unique free tools for
enhancing and integrating social networking activities, like those found in
the newest Ubuntu Linux desktop.

== Open Office (.org) provides a complete, file compatible replacement for
expensive commercial office suites. The Open Office suite provides feature
competitive software for Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations,
Databases and more. Versions are available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
While Open Office includes the ability to read and write restricted MS Office
formats, its defaults to writing files in the non-viral, publicly distributable
and globally recognized Open Document Standards.

(the software is still free but hardware may cost a few dollars)

— Because Linux is fully Open Source, computer makers and distributors can
easily scale and modify the Linux Operating System to work more efficiently in
in any hardware device. Because Linux is free, they can provide products at
lower cost where ever fair markets exist. Chances are good that you are already
using a Linux appliance in your home or office right now in the form of a Linux
based modem or switch or router or wifi gateway device.

== A majority of the newest, slickest and app rich Smart Phone models being
released today (like Android and models from HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Motorola)
are running on FLOSS Linux operating systems and software. Free of the rigid,
inhibiting restrictions of proprietary software development, Linux based Smart
Phones present unlimited application and modification opportunities to both
users and app developers.

== Many NetBook models (especially those sold outside of the U.S.) ship with
a Linux OS and hundreds of free, feature rich applications installed by default.
Not only is Linux more efficient and cost effective, but the availability of free
Linux software and it’s built in resistance to computer viruses can save users
thousands dollars with any computer purchase. While almost any computer
can easily have Linux installed on it, there are also NetBooks, Laptops and
Desktop computers shipped with Linux (and all the most common software
applications) pre-installed are available from a number of custom and
mainstream distributors, including several models from Dell.

The list above barely scratches the surface of what is available in Free,
Liberating Open Source Software, Operating Systems, Computers,
Appliances and Gadgets. Just include the terms GNU & Linux in your
Google searches to find many thousands more Geek Approved Gift Ideas!