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Thread: Switching From Windoze to Linux

  1. #1
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    Switching From Windoze to Linux

    Finally got around to installing Linux.

    I have two computers, one for work, and one to drive the TV monitor, to mostly watch sports, or antique shows, like "Antiques Roadshow" or "Pawn Stars."

    Anyway, the desktop (floorbox ) had 4 GB ram (max allowed), and stalled out a lot of times. It had Windows XP on it.

    I saw another box at the auction which said "Windows 8" on the outside, and I got it for $5 (I was the only bidder, I could have had it for $1). I got it home and discovered it only had 2 GB ram on it, but the real problem was the password protected hard disk. So it booted up fine, until I got to the password screen.

    I decided to install Windows 7, to get around the password. That would scrub the hard disk, and get rid of the password protection. I have heard the stories about Windows 8 being worse than 7, and so they came out with Windows 10 to cover up that debacle, so 7 would be an improvement on 8. After a day and morning, which included at least 20 trips to my other computer to look up solutions to this problem, that problem, this weird message from Microsoft, this glitch, that workaround, in other words your typical Microsoft installation experience, I finally got 7 installed.

    However the system was still blocked with the password screen. The hard disk was not password-protected, a more basic system architecture was. The dog next door started howling, maybe he was bellowing in sympathy with my screaming.

    Doing some research, there are a number of solutions on how to reset the password even if you don't know the original password... After another day I finally unraveled that puzzle, put in my own password, and had access. Success!

    Accessing the internet and piping it in through the box to display on the big TV screen, however, the TV shows were glitchy, they stopped, you get the circle that keeps revolving ("working...working...working..." or should I say ""churning" ). No improvement on what I had previously.

    Finally, I decided to look up Linux. How easy would it be to install? I have been thinking about Linux for a long time, why not give it a go?

    I downloaded Linux Lite on a USB flash drive ("Thumb Drive" they call it now). No download problems, and it's free. Set the BIOS to boot from the flash drive, and installation was a breeze. Instead of the usual 2-day ordeal when installing Windblows, Linux was up and running in less than an hour, and part of that hour was waiting for something that was already done.

    The TV ran fine, powered by the Linux computer, with 2 GB ram, but I also ordered a 4 GB memory stick, so it has 6 GB in all, now.

    Anyway, if you are fed up with Microsoft bugs, problems, glitches and paying through the nose for new versions and upgrades, so Bill Gates can be a "philanthropist," try the Linux Lite. And of course it can be set up as dual-boot system, so you can choose to start-up from either system. I am going with Linux on my main computer soon.
    Government is like Fertilizer. A little is good, too much is a pile of crap.

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  3. #2
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    I have now installed Linux on four ancient laptops on which windows had choked and died, in at least two of the cases virus-laden monsters (after the kiddie contingent had loaded and run dozens of downloaded games). In only one case was there a hardware issue - a dead drive and I had a spare laying about.

    They all work fine and acceptably fast. No driver issues, wifi, everything. Two of them are in use by 'older generation' who just wants to get on the internet and stuff like that. No significant learning curve issues (at least related to linux - digging up forgotten passwords was the only issue).

    In all that time, only one issue that required me fixing anything linux-related (install had gotten a bit borked, fixed it after five minutes on internet) - and one of the backup computers was pressed into service.

    Installation of Linux was far, far easier and faster for me than trying to fix windows.

    No problem using any language we need, either.

    I used Ubuntu, I tried Mint on another computer temporarily, all were fine; I didn't see any compelling advantage of Mint over Ubuntu for our uses, and Ubuntu was a tiny bit more Windows-like (learning curve-wise) and one person was already used to it.

    I'd use Ubuntu or Mint again without hesitation for most basic uses; if someone needed specific software, they can do that on whatever platform they like without my help (unless I already use it myself).

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  7. #4
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    US military also prefer Unix and other systems over Windows. Who wants your weapons system to break down when you're under attack?

    "Please wait - rebooting. Unable to process "fire" commandN"

    (in the Space Shuttle) - "Oxygen system not working..."
    Government is like Fertilizer. A little is good, too much is a pile of crap.

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    By the way, for anyone who wants to test Ubuntu Linux on their computer to make sure everything will work:
    -download Ubuntu;
    -follow the instructions for making a USB bootup key;
    -stick it in your computer and bootup;
    -select test out or try out ubuntu on this computer (some language like that);
    -try it.

    You can install it next time if you like it, it won't touch anything in this mode - the next time you boot up, take out the usb key and you are right back where you started.

    I've found on windows computers you can reliably install and have dual-boot (either windows or linux will work, select at startup). YMMV, if you have important stuff on the computer, make a backup, if it fails, it's not my fault.

    I also occasionally run Linux on a regular destktop in a virtual machine. Use VirtualBox for free. It's also a free and simple way to try and use it. (I do this so I know more or less what's going on when relatives ask for help). This is a bit more fiddly but isn't complex. My one hint: the settings by default allocate too little ram and display memory to the virtual machine, and it can run very slowly. Adjust in settings.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    By the way, for anyone who wants to test Ubuntu Linux on their computer to make sure everything will work:
    -download Ubuntu;
    -follow the instructions for making a USB bootup key;
    -stick it in your computer and bootup;
    -select test out or try out ubuntu on this computer (some language like that);
    -try it.
    I would add, test it out on a separate device, do not fully trust that "this can in no way harm you existing installation", copy data / documents for the execution of the test, and be prepared for a learning curve that is not that flat, and to spend some time on this.
    You can do almost the same on any type of platform, Linux, Mac, Windows, some thing may just have to be done a bit differently, but be aware that some specific software is only for one specific platform/OS and you are forced to go with that, but in general all can be done at any platform, so no need to test word-processing / spreadsheet / drawing / presentation / picture/video edit, they are all a question about spending time to learn how to operate, spend your time testing the more special programs you are using, they may be a big showstopper.

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  12. #7
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    Hans, I won't outright disagree with your recommendations and cautions - all wise - but I will say that the learning curve for simple uses is pretty simple. I mean webbrowsing, mail, word processing, etc. Music and videos and simple photo stuff are getting pretty simple too.
    I wouldn't use it myself on a daily basis for the stuff I care about but if I had to use one just for plain web stuff and communications (email etc) I would hardly notice the difference.
    And it has been easy enough for two almost eighty year olds to use without complaint - although they are not very demanding.

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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    By the way, for anyone who wants to test Ubuntu Linux on their computer to make sure everything will work:
    -download Ubuntu;
    -follow the instructions for making a USB bootup key;
    -stick it in your computer and bootup;
    -select test out or try out ubuntu on this computer (some language like that);
    -try it.

    You can install it next time if you like it, it won't touch anything in this mode - the next time you boot up, take out the usb key and you are right back where you started.

    I've found on windows computers you can reliably install and have dual-boot (either windows or linux will work, select at startup). YMMV, if you have important stuff on the computer, make a backup, if it fails, it's not my fault.

    I also occasionally run Linux on a regular destktop in a virtual machine. Use VirtualBox for free. It's also a free and simple way to try and use it. (I do this so I know more or less what's going on when relatives ask for help). This is a bit more fiddly but isn't complex. My one hint: the settings by default allocate too little ram and display memory to the virtual machine, and it can run very slowly. Adjust in settings.
    What advantage is there with Ubuntu, or Mint Linux, over Linux Lite? I assume using the word "lite" implies that it is not as "in-depth" as the real thing? I am only looking for a good paint program (to create graphics and edit photos) and a good text editor like the OpenOffice writer I use on Windows. Also I use Excel and the OpenOffice version, I think it is called "Calc".
    Government is like Fertilizer. A little is good, too much is a pile of crap.

  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheInterocitor View Post
    What advantage is there with Ubuntu, or Mint Linux, over Linux Lite? I assume using the word "lite" implies that it is not as "in-depth" as the real thing? I am only looking for a good paint program (to create graphics and edit photos) and a good text editor like the OpenOffice writer I use on Windows. Also I use Excel and the OpenOffice version, I think it is called "Calc".
    I have no idea really on the differences between the different distributions and the theological differences between them - I would guess that "Lite" refers more to the hardware requirements (although probably also less stuff included in standard distribution to keep hardware requirements down). But I'm only guessing - internet will have information.

    Libreoffice/OpenOffice are usually included in most base distributions. I use Libreoffice including on regular non-linux computer; no opinion on which is best, but libreoffice does all the basic office stuff competently enough. It has a 'drawing' module but I haven't used it personally, maybe that will do part of what you need in terms of creating graphics.

    There are all kinds of photo/graphics programs of varying levels of complexity. Honestly I don't use linux for this stuff. Both Ubuntu and Mint provide ways to download software and recommended packages with a minimum of fuss (I presume most other distributions do too), but I can't recommend specific programs for that. Mint and ubuntu include some basic photo functionality (at least viewing photos certainly works), but I dont know beyond that; simply haven't needed it. So it depends what you're trying to do.

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    Some people say, Bubunta is more "user friendly"
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  18. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatAndy View Post
    Some people say, Bubunta is more "user friendly"
    My understanding of all three mentioned above is that they are all based on same underlying system (two others are based on Ubuntu which comes from Debian?), with each having a slightly different emphasis. I don't care enough to dive any deeper.

    That said they can look and feel a fair bit different even if the underlying system has a common base.

    To each their own - literally.

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  20. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    Hans, I won't outright disagree with your recommendations and cautions - all wise - but I will say that the learning curve for simple uses is pretty simple. I mean webbrowsing, mail, word processing, etc. Music and videos and simple photo stuff are getting pretty simple too.
    You are right, my recommendation should just be read as: "Use a separate device to test it on", and backup, backup and backup.

    I once had a long evening with a man that just had installed Linux in a dual-boot configuration, and all went on fine until he for some unknown reason manage to f...up some of his files, not that great to tell a man that his company's accounting program just had vomit and pissed out all data, and he now had to load his backup because all data was lost, did he had an up-to-date backup? No, did he had a working backup? No.

    So now he think that Linux is the worst in the world, reality is that he was experimenting with things that was not for experiments, and shit happens as they say.

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  22. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheInterocitor View Post
    What advantage is there with Ubuntu, or Mint Linux, over Linux Lite? I assume using the word "lite" implies that it is not as "in-depth" as the real thing? I am only looking for a good paint program (to create graphics and edit photos) and a good text editor like the OpenOffice writer I use on Windows. Also I use Excel and the OpenOffice version, I think it is called "Calc".
    I would go with Ubuntu Linux or Mint Linux since its widely supported, better hardware support and you will have more help from Ubuntu community if you run into problems. Personally, all Linux have their own flavours such as different desktop managers and preinstalled applications so you'll have to decide which one you'll be more comfortable with. I'm a diehard Mac user and I ditched Windows in 2012 with no regrets. I have strong background in unix systems from my university days so I can easily switch between different OS such as Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X and built several Hackintosh using Mac OS X.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    My understanding of all three mentioned above is that they are all based on same underlying system (two others are based on Ubuntu which comes from Debian?), with each having a slightly different emphasis.
    I agree with Rem wrote above about a bit better support on Ubuntu, also ppl told they feel it's simpler to use it after long experience with Windows.
    For me personally there is no problems, I started from Cyrillic clone of RSX-11 (СМ ЭВМ) and RDOS (Data General) in mid-8x.
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