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Let me start with those fundamentalist worshippers at the shrine of Saint Steve of Jobs - the Scientologists of the Greater IT Way.

Since the Mac has taken on the PC processor - and also taken on a whole bunch of Windows applications - and since Microsoft has weaseled its Genuine Advantage spy program on to our PCs - plus its recent fantastic claim that it now more or less owns Linux - and since I happen currently to be using Word on a Mac, I guess I'm throwing in the towel on the Mac-jokes front.

Maybe this column should start up a rehabilitation programme for true believers betrayed by the transmogrification of a pearlwhite way of life into a branch of the clunky Windows ownership industry.

As for not-Microsoft Linux, it runs great as a desktop operating system - up to a point. The Linux forums are still running hot on the topic of not implementing multiple screens. This proves, in this column's mind, that it is not yet ready. But with the February start of the muchdelayed Big Brother Vista, the Windows XP replacement, I might just have, multiple screens or not, to take the Linux plunge. Noël.

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