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Just Say No To Microsoft: How to Ditch Microsoft and Why It's Not as Hard as You Think: How to Ditch Microsoft and Why It's Not So Hard as You Think [Paperback]

Tony Bove
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

24 Nov 2005

Just Say No to Microsoft begins by tracing Microsoft's rise from tiny software startup to monopolistic juggernaut and explains how the company's practices over the years have discouraged innovation, stunted competition, and helped foster an environment ripe for viruses, bugs, and hackers. Readers learn how they can dump Microsoft products--even the Windows operating system--and continue to be productive. The book also shows how to work successfully and seamlessly with computers and people who are still hooked on Microsoft software. Includes full explanations of alternate operating systems, such as Linux and Mac, and outlines various software applications that can replace the familiar Microsoft products.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (24 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159327064X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270643
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 17.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,800,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Tony Bove has written more than two dozen books on computing, desktop publishing, and multimedia. Tony not only provides free tips about the iPad-iPod-iPhone-iTunes ecosystem on his Web site (www.tonybove.com), but also published an iPhone application (Tony's Tips for iPhone Users).

Referred to as "the Isaac Asimov of tech publishing," Tony founded Desktop Publishing/Publish magazine and the Inside Report on New Media newsletter, and wrote the weekly Macintosh column for Computer Currents for over a decade, as well as articles for NeXTWORLD, the Chicago Tribune Sunday Technology Section, and NewMedia.

Tracing the personal computer revolution back to the 1960s counterculture, Tony produced a CD-ROM interactive documentary in 1996, Haight-Ashbury in the Sixties (featuring music from the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane). He also developed the Rockument music site, www.rockument.com, with commentary and podcasts focused on rock music history.

As a founding member of the Flying Other Brothers, which toured professionally and released three commercial CDs, Tony performed with Hall of Fame rock musicians. Tony has also worked as a director of enterprise marketing for leading-edge software companies, as a marketing messaging consultant, and as a communications director and technical publications manager.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
We all know the game of Monopoly from Parker Brothers (and if you don't, go to www.monopoly.com). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By J. Scott TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book a year or two ago, at a time when I just didn't think it was possible for me to ever say goodbye to Microsoft.

I'd tried various versions of Linux over the years. Either they just didn't work for me, or they were clanky and awful, and in one memorable case I totally wrecked my computer system trying to install it!

And yet I kept getting more and more fed up with the way Microsoft imposed more and more restrictions on what I could and couldn't do with my own computer, and having to get their 'permission' to reinstall my legally purchased software.

So I bought this book, and read it as if it was a page-turning thriller. It's not just about Linux - the Macintosh is covered too (In fact, at times I got the feeling that the author was more of a Mac fan than a Linux fan.)

This very entertaining book covers its subject from all sorts of angles - starting with why you might want to ditch Microsoft in the first place, both because of the system's technical and security flaws and the whole 'monopoly' philosophy behind it. For all the main types of software you might need (word processing, web browsing, etc), he shows a range of the (mostly free) non-Microsoft programs that are available. Since many of these are available in Windows versions, it's possible to make the move from Microsoft gradually and easily.

The book is an interesting and entertaining read even if you have no intention of ever ditching Microsoft products. As the blurb on the back cover says, "You are about to read one of the most interesting overviews of modern desktop computing history that's ever been written."

Things move quickly in the computer world, and this book is now about 2 years old. Is it still relevant? Yes, perhaps more so than ever.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading by anyone 20 Nov 2005
By Anthony Lawrence - Published on Amazon.com
It doesn't matter if you are a committed Microsoftie, someone who dumped their OS years ago, or someone just starting to get tired of putting up with the problems of viruses and never ending expense: this is a great book for anyone.

I noticed another reviewer complaining about inaccuracies and Microsoft bashing: actually I think the author worked hard to avoid any of that, but unfortunately just telling simple truths about Microsoft does look like bashing: it's impossible to avoid.

Easy to read, fun, and packed with historical information. Even if you have no interest at all in switching, you will enjoy this book.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There *are* alternatives to Microsoft... 29 Jan 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Contrary to what it may seem, there *are* viable alternatives to Microsoft. Tony Bove strongly suggests you adopt them in his book Just Say No To Microsoft - How To Ditch Microsoft And Why It's Not As Hard As You Think.


Part 1 - You Say You Want A Revolution: Playing Monopoly Is No Longer Fun; All You Need Is A Mac; Linux - Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Part 2 - Rehab For Your Microsoft Addiction: Slay the Word and You'll Be Free; De-Microsoft Your Office; Media Lib - Microsoft-Free Music and Video

Part 3 - The Whole Network Is Watching: The Message Is The Medium for Infections; This LAN Is Your LAN; Browsers and Your Own Private Identity

Part 4 - Getting On With Your Computer Life: Twelve Steps to Freedom from Microsoft; Where Do You Want to Go Tomorrow?; The Truth Is Out There; Citations; Index

If you're a Mac fan or a Linux fan, you'll most likely agree with everything Bove says. He is rabidly anti-Microsoft, and has little to say that's good about the company. Microsoft's cash cow software, the Windows operating system and Office, is drawn and quartered as being overpriced and buggy. The alternatives are to use either Mac's OS X or a Linux desktop distribution. As far as Office, he makes the strong case that the free OpenOffice.org suite will allow the vast majority of the users to do 100% of everything they're used to doing, with virtually no learning curve. Browsers? Protect your computer, dump IE, and go with Firefox. The net effect of all these suggestions is to have an environment that costs far less than comparable Microsoft offerings, as well as having a more secure computing experience.

By no means is the author even-handed in his comparisons. The writing is strongly opinionated, but that's what makes it fun to read (in my less strident opinion). Some of his statements caused me to mentally step back and wonder why I continue to live with some of the limitations that Microsoft has put on my computing experience. While I won't be removing all vestiges of Microsoft from my computing environment, I will be more willing to question the common wisdom going forward...
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Say NO to Microsoft 27 Nov 2005
By Andy Kaufman - Published on Amazon.com
As a user of Microsoft products, I found that this book points out many of the problems and failures of Microsoft while offering an alternative that works a whole lot better.

By creating humorous examples that parody Microsoft's configuration and options, the author has turned techno-babble into an entertaining and enjoyable read.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone looking for an alternative operating environment and for everyone who is frustrated with Microsoft products. You won't find a more interesting and entertaining computer book on the market today.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Microsoft Alternative 17 Mar 2006
By D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Tony Bove's JUST SAY NO TO MICROSOFT: HOW TO DITCH MICROSOFT AND WHY IT'S NOT AS HARD AS YOU THINK is for any who have doubts about Microsoft's products and patches. Introductory chapters cover all its flaws and move on to explain how one's PC can be liberated from Microsoft products entirely. Chapters provide background history of Microsoft, detail its practices which have discouraged innovation and competition, and explains how competing operating systems work and how users can obtain and use these systems. Finally: a clear history and explanation of Microsoft's pitfalls and how to overcome them - by switching to an alternative that works.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn How Microsoft Took Over The World 25 Nov 2005
By Dan McKinnon - Published on Amazon.com
Tony Bove's 'Just Say No To Microsoft' reads like a book that features an author who hates how Microsoft has taken over the world. The obvious response to this statement is "who hasn't?" From it's very beginnings when it sold to IBM an operating system that didn't yet exist, Microsoft has played by only one rule: only the strong survive. It's this belief that has made Microsoft quite possibly the strongest company since the steel companies of the early 20th century, and its this belief that keeps Microsoft in the front of the pack today. Whether you like them or not, if you use a computer on a daily basis you will find it hard to avoid using Microsoft products, but that is exactly what the authors tries to point out in this book, that you don't need to use Microsoft in order to be productive.

While the author spends a lot of time focusing on the Macintosh and Linux to avoid the scourge that is the mighty Microsoft, my favorite part of this book and what I think makes this a great read is the history contained within. Discussing the roots of Microsoft's birth and how common applications like Word and Excel go to where they are today is the centerpiece of this book. While I agree that users CAN live in a Microsoft-free world, I also believe that the latest XP operating systems and the Office suite are tools only to be avoided due to reasons of cost and if you are outright sickened by the control that Microsoft has and cannot take it any more.

This is an entertaining read and I think this general entertainment is the focus group of who this book should be for. If you don't want to go the Microsoft route you probably already have substitute applications in mind so I don't think that much can be learned about how to avoid Microsoft, more how we go to where we are today (and it's a fascinating journey).

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