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 10 Major Reasons To Switch To Linux 
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Post 10 Major Reasons To Switch To Linux
10 Major Reasons To Switch To Linux
by: Max Rubin

1. It Doesn't Crash

Linux has been time-proven to be a reliable operating system. Although the desktop is not a new place for Linux, most Linux-based systems have been used as servers and embedded systems. High-visibility Web sites such as Google use Linux-based systems, but you also can find Linux inside the TiVo set-top box in many livingrooms.

Linux has proved to be so reliable and secure that it is commonly found in dedicated firewall and router systems used by high-profile companies to secure their networks. For more than ten years, it has not been uncommon for Linux systems to run for months or years without needing a single reboot.

2. Viruses Are Few and Far Between

Although it is possible to create a virus to target Linux systems, the design of the system itself makes it very difficult to become infected. A single user could cause local damage to his or her files by running a virus on his or her system; however, this would be an isolated instance rather than something could spread out of control.

In addition, virtually all Linux vendors offer free on-line security updates. The general philosophy of the Linux community has been to address possible security issues before they become a problem rather than hoping the susceptibility will go unnoticed.

3. Virtually Hardware-Independent

Linux was designed and written to be easily portable to different hardware. For the desktop user, this means that Linux has been and likely always will be the first operating system to take advantage of advances in hardware technology such as AMD's 64-bit processor chips.

4. Freedom of Choice

Linux offers freedom of choice as far as which manufacturer you purchase the software from as well as which application programs you wish to use. Being able to pick the manufacturer means you have a real choice as far as type of support you receive. Being open-source software, new manufacturers can enter the market to address customer needs.

Choice of application programs means that you can select the tools that best address your needs. For example, three popular word processors are available. All three are free and interoperate with Microsoft Word, but each offers unique advantages and disadvantages. The same is true of Web browsers.

5. Standards

Linux itself and many common applications follow open standards. This means an update on one system will not make other systems obsolete.

6. Applications, Applications, Applications

Each Linux distribution comes with hundreds and possibly thousands of application programs included. This alone can save you thousands of dollars for each desktop system you configure. Although this is a very small subset, consider that the office suite is included as well as the GIMP, a program similar to (and many people say more capable than Adobe Photoshop); Scribus, a document layout program similar to Quark Xpress; Evolution, an e-mail system equivalent to Microsoft's Outlook Express; and hundreds more.

For the more technically inclined, development tools, such as compilers for the C, C++, Ada, Fortran, Pascal and other languages, are included as well as Perl, PHP and Python interpreters. Editors and versioning tools also are included in this category.

Whether you are looking for Instant Messaging clients, backup tools or Web site development packages, they likely are all included within your base Linux distribution.

7. Interoperabiliis 'ok' or 'bad'? Easy. There is one relationship that has stood the test of time and wheathered all previous house price booms and busts - the relationship betwen the house as an asset, and the return on that asset.

What do we mean by this? Any asset has a 'return' - what you make for holding the asset. Houses traditonally 'return' in 2 ways - by capital appreciation (house price growth) and by rent (if you own a house, you could rent it out). As it can be difficult to create a simple equation that factors in both these elements indivdually, they are usually rolled together, to give an easy way of comparing the required sale price of a house against it's 'true' worth.

Is it complicated? No. It's simple. If the price of a house is 12 times or less the annual rental income you can achieve from that house, then it is a 'buy'. A good investment in other words. These levels were last seen in the UK almost 5 years ago, and in the US over 3 years ago. Conversely, if the price of a house is 20 times or more the annual rental income you can achieve on that house, then it is a definite 'sell'.

As an example, say you want to buy a house priced at $100,000. You know that the house currently rents for $10,000 a year. According to the calculation, the house will be a 'good buy' up to 12 x $10k, i.e. $120,000 , so in this case yes, it is worth buying now, as you are likely to both cover the mortgage costs with the rent, or even make a small profit on it, and also benefit from any coming capital growth.

Another example, you own a house that rents out at $20,000 a year in a swanky neighborhood. You notice that identical houses in the street are up for sale (and selling!) at over $500,000. Guess what - it's time to sell - the house is over 20 times more expensive than the annual rent! Chances of any more capital appreciation in this market are slim, and you can actually make a far better return by simply selling the house and putting the proceeds into an interest bearing bank account. Interestingly, most amateur investors tend to hold property rather past this point, and end up unable to sell as the market tips to the downside. If the figure of annual rent to price is already way past 20, you may be too late to sell easily.

Not as complicated as it seems, is it? Just remember the '12 - 20' rule, and you should be able to enter an exit the house market at the very best times.

About The Author

Mike McVey writes for the site for mortgage advice free!

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