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Just say NO to Microsoft


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© November 2005 Anthony Lawrence

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Subtitled "How to ditch Microsoft and why it's not as hard as you think", and with a cover graphic showing a large flyswatter descending on a unhappy Microsoft Butterfly, this is a book I think might be become quite popular.

In the forward, John Dvorak praises Microsoft for what it used to be, and then describes its present state as being like Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons: "Filthy rich and nasty but with no punching power".

But this is not a book that bashes Microsoft. Well, that's not entirely true: it's hard not to look like bashing when all you are really doing is telling the truth. But the author isn't out to convince you that Microsoft is the Evil Empire. All he does is delineate the problems in intelligent and easy to read chapters, and then show you what you can do with a Mac or Linux.

Yes, Mac or Linux, because most of this book is about open source applications that run on either OS. But you could also say that most of this book is a history of how we got to where we are, with numerous sidebars explaining pivotal moments in the short history of computing. This is, in fact, a fascinating book that is well worth reading even if you are solidly staying with Microsoft or had jumped ship long ago.

I really liked the sidebars and historical notes. Tony Bove has a definite knack for noticing what's important and succintly explaining it. If this book were software, we'd say that it is "feature rich". There's an amazing amount of information packed into a few hundred pages.

This is definitely NOT a hightly technical book. There's nothing here about compiling Linux kernels or the like. It's therefore quite suitable for non-technical computer users, and I think anyone who has even the most faint interest in computer history will find it worth reading. I highly recommend this: don't hesitate, buy it, you won't regret it.


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