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How to Get Off

With the Internet and the Web, it no longer matters which type of system you use or even which applications. All most people need is a computer that runs a browser, an email program, and a suite of office applications. The software you choose depends on the hardware you choose. Look at the chart to the right.

The first choice to make is whether to use a standard PC or an Apple Macintosh.

If you start with a standard PC (such as one from Dell or Gateway), you can still choose either Microsoft Windows or Linux as your operating system. If you intend to stick with the pre-installed Windows system, you are stuck using Microsoft code, but you can still choose non-Microsoft applications to protect yourself. Open Source and commercial applications are available that match or exceed their Windows counterparts.

If you start with a Linux-equipped PC, you are halfway there: all you need are Open Source applications. You can turn any Windows PC into a Linux PC simply by downloading and installing a free copy of Linux (or purchasing a Linux CD for a small fee).

For a single, one-stop-shop alternative to using Microsoft software, you can’t go wrong choosing an Apple Macintosh. From the ground up, the Mac system has no Microsoft code, and although you can run Microsoft’s applications (such as Office) on a Mac, you certainly don’t have to.


Tips on Using Alternatives:

Change Windows Media Player settings to allow other players