Best Place to Escape Bill Gates (2006)

Florida Linux User Exchange

Tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars every year to Microsoft for a buggy Windows operating system ($299) and Office suite ($399) that crash at inopportune times? Let the men and women at Florida Linux User Exchange (FLUX) show you an alternative: Linux, a free (free!), open-source PC operating system developed by a community of programmers from throughout the world. Once the operating system of choice for the world's geekiest geeks, Linux has matured into a true, user-friendly Windows replacement -- complete with point-and-click interface and plug-and-play compatibility. Plus, a variety of other Linux-compatible software packages -- such as Microsoft Office replacement OpenOffice (free!) and Adobe PhotoShop competitor the GIMP (free!) -- have allowed Linux to become a do-any-task alternative to Bill Gates' clunky but ubiquitous operating system. Compared to Windows, Linux is a virtual Fort Knox -- immune to all Windows viruses and worms. Interested in switching? Just hook up with FLUX, whose members are more than happy to help computer novices and geniuses alike. FLUX meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. "We are a pretty friendly bunch and always welcome new faces," says Adam Glass, one of a small group of people who founded FLUX in 1997. "The presentation topics range from basic to advanced," Glass says. "Some are given by FLUX members and others by technical experts who are visiting South Florida." So if you're ready to finally dump Bill Gates, pack up your computer and head to the next FLUX meeting. They'll help you get up and running with Linux in no time -- and, of course, no charge.

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