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Regular readers will know this column has a sneaking affection for Linux. Linux the idea, that is. I was reading a review of Feisty Fawn, the latest version of the wildly fashionable Ubuntu Linux, at tinyurl. com/3ch525.

The reviewer concluded that Ubuntu should change the name of this version to Crappy Cow on account of being pathetic about installing essential video drivers. He recommended Xandros Linux but reckoned readers would be better off buying a Mac.

I have been running an increasingly acrimonious correspondence on your behalf with a spin monkey from the French Linux firm Mandriva. My correspondent made the usual extravagant claims. I pointed out that what took lots of accurate typing in Linux could be done with a mouse click in Windows, and that four-year ownership costs of Mandriva and Vista were much the same. Miffed, he vanished into the French electronic ether.

Actually, Linux gets cheaper and cheaper the more computers there are.

But all that typing of mysterious instructions and looking up how-to books is just a bit much. Not to mention the language. . .

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