Google hosts as Ira Hyman introduces PC LinuxOS

The lobby at the Google building.
The lobby at the Google building. Photo by Koen Machielse.

Can Linux change my business? Can Linux improve my business? Is my Ipod safe to use with Linux? And what about the movies I stored the last couple of years? A meeting raises questions, and questions are often begging for answers. With Google as host, everybody interested in Linux could join the Linux User’s Group on March 21, 2007 at 76 Ninth Avenue, Manhattan to talk about and discuss the operating system that is Bill Gates’ biggest fear.

I must confess, I had never used Linux before, and it never crossed my mind to use it in the near future. Like many people I was using Windows for years, brought up with the system. Using it at University, using it at the library, using it at home. It’s right there everywhere you go. Ira Hyman, speaker of the night and Director of Product Development at The Linux Loft, a Manhattan based company, advocated for people to use PCLinuxOS, one of the many distros Linux has, tried to convince people to take a closer look at this piece of Linux-art.

Ira Hyman answers some questions
Ira Hyman (middle) answers some questions afterwards. Photo by Koen Machielse.

Linux, for me as a Dutch student from Amsterdam and Windows user, is only a word that crosses my mind when passing the local computer store or chatting with the engineer fixing my “blue screen of death,” a typical Windows problem. The problems I just mentioned belong to the past using PC LinuxOS, Hyman explained. It’s a good selling point when trying to convince Windows users, who universally face problems with viruses, spyware and worms. Generally they repair their Windows systems and go on, not knowing there is another way to explore the World Wide Web and to fulfill the maximum ability of their computers.

It’s not necessary to run an anti-virus program on your Linux system. Who doesn’t remember those days or nights that you are not able to use your computer because the system needed to be defragmented, or you needed to scan all the drives, or you were to busy with programs like Ad-Aware or Spywareblaster. I’ve lived through those nights, and they were terrible. They cost time, they cost energy, and they often leave you with errors in the morning you don’t want to see.

Screenshot of the PCLinuxOS desktop.
Screenshot of the PCLinuxOS desktop.

Are you an owner of an old laptop or a slow computer? Maybe you just don’t have the money to buy a new one at this point of time? Don’t worry. Ira Hyman gave his presentation on a seven year old 500 MHz laptop using PCLinuxOS. He surfs on the Internet and does his daily work without any problems. Like many other people I took away a free PCLinuxOS CD. Having installed it after the meeting I’ve been using the distro for a month now. I have never had to restart my computer and all its applications run perfectly.

Dump Windows and start to use PCLinuxOS? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the person, but a closer look at this piece of technology will not let you down. It’s difficult for people to leave their accustomed desktop with its MS Word, Norton and Photoshop icons. Most of us have used the Windows system for years, and do not have the time or the will to read another huge handbook. How to make the transition? You can always make a dual boot system (on start-up you can choose between Linux and Windows), and you can also “meet” PCLinuxOS by running it as a live-CD.

Simply place the PCLinuxOS CD into your CD-ROM drive and reboot the computer. Without altering or touching your hard drive data, PCLinuxOS boots into a complete Linux operating system from the CD. You do not have to install anything to use PCLinuxOS but you can still use all its software and try out all the features.

No more blue screen of death? It sounds interesting after all.

For more information about PC LinuxOS visit:, for more information about the New York Linux Users Group and joining them visit and for more information about the Linux Loft visit

Jonathan Slaff
Jonathan Slaff writes on cultural events from the brainy, the edgy and the good. He helps us keep ahead of the curve in the world of the arts and culture.