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Anglický čtenář v Doubravníku [5]

02.04.2005

Zaujala Vás předchozí lekce na téma LINUX ?
V pokračování se dozvíte zase něco navíc...


Reading 4
Linux for Common User at Doubravník 2

You are highly recommended to start reading of this article with the comments following the text. As usually you are also recommended to use your dictionary as often as possible and to learn by heart all the new world and expressions. Special attention will be paid to the expression written in italic characters (= psaných kursívou).

This time we will continue discussing the general problems met by common users of operating system Linux in Doubravník. Well, we have said that the real difficulties with Linux arise when you install it; - configure it; - add new hardware, such as a modem or printer - install new software. However, if you are careful in your preparation and you are ready to experiment a little, you can make installing and configuring Linux as easy as installing and configuring Windows. Moreover, living in Doubravník we are lucky enough to can look for, and easily find a helping hand.

This is a commonplace to say that Linux is great because it runs on very old hardware! This is only partly true; the reason is confusion about what exactly Linux is. The Linux kernel is extremely compact, efficient and flexible, and it can be installed on an enormous range of hardware and adapted to a wide range of tasks. It can certainly be installed without difficulty on any Intel 486 or 386 PC (počítače, které běží na těchto procesorech). The problem is that on its own (sám o sobě), the kernel is of little use. In the reality however the user is obliged to choice one of the distribution of this operating system. For most of us is rather difficult to solve this problem. So we must take in consideration (= vzít do úvahy) what a Linux Distribution actually is.

What exactly is a ″distribution″? Which is the best one? A distribution is a package of software comprising - the Linux kernel itself; - other software which together with the kernel forms an operating system (similar in function to Windows); - a collection of applications (aplikační programy); - a number of installation utilities which enable the user to install and use all the system. Which distribution is best is not an easy question to answer, firstly because people's needs differ, and secondly because Linux is developing at a phenomenal speed and any information on particular distributions will quickly be out of date. At the time of writing this piece of reading, there are well over a hundred different Linux distributions to choose from and it is rather difficult to choose the correct one

The packages are put together (= sestaveny) and distributed in some cases by commercial companies. We know that the Linux operating system consists of the actual core or kernel and a large number of various user programs. We need these programs for secure and convenient operation. These application programs are usually installed on a computer. To use other operating systems, you usually have to get application programs. The majority of application programs for Linux, however, are either freely available or can be used free of charge, it means without paying a license fee. Linux can therefore be considered a package, an operating system with many application programs that are available free of license fees. Although you can obtain all of these Linux-based programs via the Internet, but downloading huge amounts of data is unavoidable. For this reason it may be advantageous to store (zde = uložit) the Linux operating system, together with all the free user programs, on CD. Such a collection, or distribution, offered by various commercial companies, usually includes (in varying size and quality) printed installation instructions and installation programs, some of which are very sophisticated. While the price of these distributions - almost in the provider's eyes - is justified by the costs of producing a CD and providing the installation aids to make Linux available to most users, it does not include licensing fees. You do not need a license for Linux when you buy a distribution, and after you have purchased (zakoupil si) the distribution, you can install it on any number of computers. The question of pirated copies also does not arise (silné sloveso). Moreover, the provider offers a limited support generally for six months. The most common distribution in our Republic are: SuSe or Red Hat.

As we have seen and said :
The Linux kernel is the system core. It provides (poskytuje, dává k dispozici) the technology to interact with the computer hardware and to allow higher applications to make use of the computer hardware.
A Linux Operating System, as used really, is a combination of the Linux kernel and installation and configuration programs simplify (! sloveso) using Linux technology to operate a computer.

A Linux Distribution is a combination of a kernel, the components needed to make up the valid operating system, and enough applications to create a full working environment. Not only do distributions come from different vendors, but most vendors also make different distributions available for special purposes. Linux distributions can differ in the number of applications. All the distributions actually on the market include the main applications as we know them from the Windows desktop environment which represents a desktop system that should serve the defined needs of a desktop computer user. For example, it has always a full version of OpenOffice, the free Office application, and basic communication applications. This feature has Linux in common with Windows, but in spite of that fact Linux and Windows are different. So many differences exist that we cannot describe all of them here. However, we will discuss some of the major differences later on. At this point we will only mention that Linux is case sensitive, it means that Linux differentiates between lower-case and upper-case characters for filenames. The files muj.txt, Muj.txt and MUJ.TXT are totally different and can coexist in one directory, which is not possible in DOS based operating systems.

Enterprising individuals have installed the Linux kernel and certain other carefully selected software on old Intel 386 machines in order for example to use them as firewalls or routers - a task for which one ( zde neurčité zájmeno, přeložíme člověk) would normally buy a rather expensive piece of hardware. This is one way how to use an obsolete hardware instead of throwing it away and I am practicing this way with some success, but it is of little interest to a typical user. The flexibility of the Linux kernel and associated software also means that it is possible to install a working operating system and the software needed by a particular computer user, such as a word processor and an Internet browser, on an old PC. There are however two problems with this. The first is that the older the hardware, the more carefully the various pieces of software will have to be selected to run on it and the greater the effort involved in adapting them to get them to run together. The second is that even if you manage to get such a solution to work, there will be difficult to obtain user-friendliness and speed. Linux may well enable you to get one or the other on older hardware, but not both features at the same time.

Linux is great because it never crashes! Again, this is only partly true, and again, the reason is the same: the Linux ″kernel″ is extremely stable - but you will need more than just the kernel. A Linux system can be thought of as a number application programs for various purposes. Beside Linux kernel, there are other GNU utilities making up the foundation of the operating system; these are generally variants of code that has been developed over many years in the UNIX environment, and are also very reliable. Then nowadays there is always the X Window System, and it is what enables Linux to have a graphical user interface (GUI).

The desktops: the most common of which are KDE and GNOME. (Both of them make part of SuSe distribution). These are what make Linux a user-friendly operatig system. Then there are applications. These may be native Linux applications (i.e. applications written specifically for Linux, or at least for its close relative, applications ported (i.e. re-written) from Windows applications, or applications running on special software (such as Java). These parts of operating system do not generally share the legendary stability of the Linux kernel, although not being particularly unstable. In practice, this means that crashes on Linux are extremely rare, if at all, though they should not be excluded completely. Linux' provides multitasking capability and it means that only the one application crashes, and other applications open at the same time are not affected by this crash. At the very worst, only the X Window System is likely to crash; the user may have to log in again (přihlásit se znovu) and relaunch the applications, but it is extremely unlikely for the whole system to have to be rebooted.

Linux is great because it's free! Linux is free. But ask someone why they use Linux, and they're unlikely to give that as a reason. Linux is not really about ″free″, but about ″freedom″ - freedom to use software, to copy it, pass it on to friends and colleagues, and even to modify it. Freedom to use older versions if you like, for example because they work better with your older hardware; freedom from having to upgrade, freedom to select what suits you.

Linux is free. Most of the associated open-source software is also free. This means that licences are free: you can install one copy of the software on several PCs, lend the CD to your friends in order for them to do the same, burn copies of the CD, etc. The makers of a distribution, however, charge for (nechají si zaplatit) the actual media upon which the software is supplied. If a manual and/or technical support is provided, they will also charge for these. The licences for complete distributions differ slightly, but most are fairly liberal: so liberal, in fact, that some companies make a profit purely by burning cheap copies of well-known distributions and selling them at a fraction of the price. This is (in most cases) perfectly legal. Distributions can generally be downloaded free of charge from the distributor's web site.

Comment to the text read:

Some comments have been mentioned in the above text. Anyway, take your dictionary and look for the words in italics! This time, I will point to some following words only.

There is the problem with the English word free, because it has two meaning = svobodný a bezplatný/zadarmo. As you are going to see, when we want to express only the second meaning we must say ″free of charge″. (charge zde znamená náklad - obecně náklad i fysický, náboj a pod.).
You have surely noticed that we use ″at Doubravník″ and ″in Doubravník″. The choice is given by the attitude of a speaker. When he is familiar with this place he uses ″in Doubravník″.
I would like to turn your attention to the word ″use″. There are some words in English whose pronunciation differs when the word is a substantive or a verb, although having the same spelling. Look it up in your dictionary ! Another word of this type is ″advice″.
Notice : the older the hardware, the more carefully - čím starší je hardware, tím pečlivěji...
Study the verb to like in your dictionary! - is like to, is likely to
At the very worst = úplně v nejhorším případě


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