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mrken
01-08-2009, 02:16 PM
Windows, Mac, Unix, Linix, Redbox, bluebox green box, I don't care, I just want an OS that I can use.

The reason we bought a computer back in 93 was so I could use a word possessor and my wife could use Word and Excel. We chose MS Office because her office used it and we chose a PC because it was MS. She needed a computer to be compatible with other computers.

There have been times I really hated Microsoft, but to be fair it has done what I wanted it to do without being too complicated. I mean but that that I could figure out what I needed to do most of the time, my wife figured it out when I could not. The trouble is that my wife knew Windows 95/98 and to some extent ME and 2000. XP is a new animal to her and computer hardware was never her strong suit. We are now getting to the point that I know some that she does not and I know almost nothing.

Way back when we got rid of the 486 box I asked her to install Linux on it so I could learn that. She laughed at me. She learned Unix and Linux in school so she was familiar with it but she figured I was not going to be able to figure it out after watching me flap around on our PC.

I am not a geek and I don't really want to dedicate my life to figuring out an alien technology. So, my question to you is is the Linux technology advanced enough that an old guy like myself can use it? Would I have to lock myself away in a closet and not do anything but reading manuals for the next several years, or, could I learn it by using it. The only machine I have to put it on is an old 500 that my wife makes me use instead of my old 486. It is only supposed to be for playing my old games on but she still has a bunch of junk on it still that she wants me to keep.

Anyway, can an old guy like me really use Linux, or is it really a group of Linux fans poking the rest of us to sink or swim? I can use Windows but the cost of all these operating systems is killing us. We have four XP machines, two 98 machines and an old 95 machine.

Another point I have to bring up is all these programs I have, will I still be able to use them or do I have to get rid of them or not be able to share with any of my family as we do tend to move between machines sometimes. Our hardware as well. How can one use Linux in a Windows environment, and how does one deal with the issue of programs having to be written for the OS?

Freejack
01-08-2009, 02:46 PM
Problem 1: Programs.

What programs are you using that you regularly use on your Windows boxes?

Office: Use OpenOffice
PaintShopPro: Use Gimp
IE: Use Firefox

Problem 2: System

Unless you're talking wireless, Ubuntu Linux would be your best bet. Wireless on Linux has been such a problem for me that I haven't tried it in about a year (I tried Ubuntu on my Mac last year).

It boots easily, installs quickly, and from what I've seen, has a real good interface.

You're close by. You're more than welcome to drop by some Saturday (or even Sunday as I have a Shadowrun game this Sunday :D ) and I'll be more than happy to chat with you and show off my gear.

Carl

Edward
01-08-2009, 03:36 PM
I am not a geek and I don't really want to dedicate my life to figuring out an alien technology. So, my question to you is is the Linux technology advanced enough that an old guy like myself can use it? Would I have to lock myself away in a closet and not do anything but reading manuals for the next several years, or, could I learn it by using it.

Linux is very easy to use these days. In corporate deployments, IT departments sometimes install Linux on former Windows computers without mentioning it to the users, to test their reaction. Quite often, the users don't notice that they're no longer using Windows.

There are two key issues: Hardware support and applications. If your hardware is supported, installation will be easy. If you have any hardware that is not supported, installation can be pretty difficult. If your hardware is old, it's probably supported, but you won't know for certain until you try it. You might want to try an Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com) CD to see whether it recognizes all your hardware. You simply put the CD in the drive and reboot from the CD. Ubuntu starts without installing anything on your computer, and you can poke around to see if all your hardware is showing up correctly.

If you take your computer to a local LUG (Linux User Group), they will install Linux on your computer free of charge. Check out CLUE (http://cluedenver.org/display.php?node=installfest).

Do you have broadband? Dialup can be a problem, because many modems are software modems (winmodems) which are only supported in Windows, but broadband is usually recognized automatically.


The only machine I have to put it on is an old 500 that my wife makes me use instead of my old 486. It is only supposed to be for playing my old games on but she still has a bunch of junk on it still that she wants me to keep.Generally speaking, Windows programs won't run on Linux, just as they often won't run on newer versions of Windows. If you play old games on this machine, then you probably don't want to get rid of the current OS, because they probably won't run in either Linux or a newer version of Windows.

Are you running Windows 98 on this computer, or XP? Whatever it is, I recommend staying with it if you want to keep your old software. You may be able to use some of this software under a newer version of Windows, but probably not most of it. If it's running Win 98, this computer really shouldn't be on the Internet, because vulnerabilities are no longer being patched. This machine should probably be dedicated to playing old games offline.


Anyway, can an old guy like me really use Linux, or is it really a group of Linux fans poking the rest of us to sink or swim? I can use Windows but the cost of all these operating systems is killing us. We have four XP machines, two 98 machines and an old 95 machine.

Another point I have to bring up is all these programs I have, will I still be able to use them or do I have to get rid of them or not be able to share with any of my family as we do tend to move between machines sometimes. Our hardware as well. How can one use Linux in a Windows environment, and how does one deal with the issue of programs having to be written for the OS?Can you consolidate your old software on one computer, or on two computers if you and your wife each need one? With six computers, surely you can spare two for legacy applications and modernize at least one of the others. Or do your kids use the others?

Do you have an Internet computer, which you use only for Internet and email? If not, you may want to consider setting one up. Having one computer (or two, one for each of you) that is used for Internet access and nothing else is a very good idea for security reasons. This would be the ideal candidate for a Linux installation.

It is possible to have Windows and Linux on the same computer. Windows should always be installed first, because it doesn't play nice with others. After Windows is installed, install Linux. (I recommend Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com) for a new Linux user.) Linux will set things up so that you can choose between the two operating systems each time you boot. Dual booting is a good arrangement, but having one Windows computer and one Linux computer is an even better arrangement.

Be sure to make a complete backup before doing anything, unless you don't care if you lose your data. There's always the possibility of data loss with any OS installation or upgrade.

As a first step, I suggest installing OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org) and Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/) on your Windows box. If you download your email (or would like to do so), then install Thunderbird (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/) as well. If you can switch to those three programs, then you'll be able to use on an Internet-only machine with no problem. Even if you never go any further, at least you don't have to pay for Microsoft Office anymore.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Unless you're talking wireless, Ubuntu Linux would be your best bet. Wireless on Linux has been such a problem for me that I haven't tried it in about a year (I tried Ubuntu on my Mac last year).

Wireless is still a problem, but it's gotten significantly better in the last year. I can recommend the Asus WL-130N (http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=12&l2=42&l3=137&l4=0&model=1711&modelmenu=2) for desktop use. It uses the Ralink rt2860 chipset, which has an open-source driver available (http://web.ralinktech.com/ralink/Home/Support/Linux.html) (though it isn't included in the kernel yet). For that matter, anything with an Ralink chipset is a good bet; they're pretty good about releasing open-source drivers.

cplmac
01-08-2009, 07:02 PM
Funny how at the end of the posts, there was an ad for "Windows XP Fix". Now I will admit that I do use Windows XP, sorry tesral, but unlike others, I have not had any problems. Even to include the acquistion of Norton Internet Security 2009. Sometimes I wonder if it just comes down people having to much software running on their computer. I currently have less than 25% of my hard drive filled.

Etarnon
01-09-2009, 09:20 PM
I haven't had any issues with XP, since EVE online forced me to install it a few years ago to keep playing.

hueloovoo
01-10-2009, 05:24 PM
To reference a post I made in another forum, I wanted to point out, I found a very good reason to use Linux at one time. I had a Thinkpad 365XD (I think, it's been a while) I bought for $30. I wanted a laptop I could use to write stories anywhere I went, and it seemed perfect for the task. The Win95 install it came with however was broken, so I tried installing Win95 from scratch. After an eternity of working around the "won't boot from CDROM" problem, I found out it simply would not run Windows 95 at anything faster than the pace of a slug climbing up a hill of rock salt. Also, drivers for half of the hardware were utterly useless, and the originals were no longer available.

A little bit of searching netted me Damn Small Linux, AKA DSL. It's a very simple Linux OS with a GUI, that fits on a 50MB partition, and will make pretty much any machine run. For over a year, it was my favorite sysem, until the keyboard simply fell apart and died.

I still look back fondly on my first laptop, and on Damn Small Linux.

Rochin
01-12-2009, 10:40 AM
I have been using Vista 64 for almost a year now, as well as Vista 32(my wife and kids computers) I have found that it is simple almost to the point of a cave man can do it to get network printers going. I had issues in Xp, not so in Vista. I have not had any BSOD, locks ups or crashes since installing it. Some older software can be a bit tricky to work with and some older hardware. Overall Vista seems to make it easier to do what you need to do. A home network is also near brainless to set up.

I know there are many that do not like microsoft and or vista or both. If you have not used vista, give it a go. I was happy with xp and now am even happier with Vista. Though I am a bit put off with how fast windows 7 is comming out(feel cheated a bit)

MortonStromgal
01-12-2009, 11:13 AM
Generally speaking, Windows programs won't run on Linux, just as they often won't run on newer versions of Windows. If you play old games on this machine, then you probably don't want to get rid of the current OS, because they probably won't run in either Linux or a newer version of Windows.

Are you running Windows 98 on this computer, or XP? Whatever it is, I recommend staying with it if you want to keep your old software. You may be able to use some of this software under a newer version of Windows, but probably not most of it. If it's running Win 98, this computer really shouldn't be on the Internet, because vulnerabilities are no longer being patched. This machine should probably be dedicated to playing old games offline.

Can you consolidate your old software on one computer, or on two computers if you and your wife each need one? With six computers, surely you can spare two for legacy applications and modernize at least one of the others. Or do your kids use the others?

Do you have an Internet computer, which you use only for Internet and email? If not, you may want to consider setting one up. Having one computer (or two, one for each of you) that is used for Internet access and nothing else is a very good idea for security reasons. This would be the ideal candidate for a Linux installation.

It is possible to have Windows and Linux on the same computer. Windows should always be installed first, because it doesn't play nice with others. After Windows is installed, install Linux. (I recommend Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com) for a new Linux user.) Linux will set things up so that you can choose between the two operating systems each time you boot. Dual booting is a good arrangement, but having one Windows computer and one Linux computer is an even better arrangement.


Two things 1. with the release of wine 1.0 I have yet to find a windows pre directx 10 program that does not work (im sure that there are some I just havent found them yet) and 2. you can use a live cd version of linux or install ubuntu in windows (you can even remove it from add/remove programs when your done). Making test driving linux easier than ever.


I have been using Vista 64 for almost a year now, as well as Vista 32(my wife and kids computers) I have found that it is simple almost to the point of a cave man can do it to get network printers going. I had issues in Xp, not so in Vista. I have not had any BSOD, locks ups or crashes since installing it. Some older software can be a bit tricky to work with and some older hardware. Overall Vista seems to make it easier to do what you need to do. A home network is also near brainless to set up.

I know there are many that do not like microsoft and or vista or both. If you have not used vista, give it a go. I was happy with xp and now am even happier with Vista. Though I am a bit put off with how fast windows 7 is comming out(feel cheated a bit)

I think if you have the right hardware this is true. Its hard to tell what actually works well with vista though as "vista compatible" means nothing. Don't worry about windows 7, its just vista with some changes you can do yourself. The big selling point of windows 7 will be for people who dont want to configure their OS it will be better out of the box and hopefully "windows 7 compatible" will mean just that.

Rochin
01-13-2009, 08:02 AM
After trying the windows 7 beta, it is not just stuff you can do with Vista. The kernel is different and most of the interface is different. It is similar to Vista, but different.

MortonStromgal
01-16-2009, 01:29 PM
After trying the windows 7 beta, it is not just stuff you can do with Vista. The kernel is different and most of the interface is different. It is similar to Vista, but different.

My problem with this is... How do you rewrite a kernel in a year? I firmly believe its still NT at the core.

Rochin
01-16-2009, 02:44 PM
My problem with this is... How do you rewrite a kernel in a year? I firmly believe its still NT at the core.


On the message boards for vista and win 7 as well as some press releases(now I am not in anyway a software programmer, or even close so it is just what I have read) they wanted the win 7 kernel for vista, but do to time restrictions, the ditched it. So they have been working on what is now the win 7 kernel for a while now, or that is what has been reported.

MortonStromgal
01-16-2009, 05:03 PM
On the message boards for vista and win 7 as well as some press releases(now I am not in anyway a software programmer, or even close so it is just what I have read) they wanted the win 7 kernel for vista, but do to time restrictions, the ditched it. So they have been working on what is now the win 7 kernel for a while now, or that is what has been reported.

Sort of true, They were working on rewriting parts of the Windows NT Kernel till around 2005 when any further work was axed in order to get Vista ready to ship(Vista still includes the changes to the kernel which were finished). Windows 7 they went back to continue this work but this isn't a bran new thing like NT was or else you would have to rewrite all your drivers, its more of a completion of what Vista was supposed to be. I have seen a few new back end features but my understanding is that these will be coming down the road in Vista SP2 (more likely SP3 IMO). A lot of the reviews I have been reading are showing "new" features for windows 7 that I can already configure from the command line in Vista. The big question is will the new filesystem be ready for windows 7 launch or will we still be using ntfs. I believe (and at leased a few others I've talked to in the biz) that windows 7 is just a good way for Microsoft to get out of the "Vista Compatible" horror that has befallen them.

from wikipedia (not claiming its the best source just the quick one to find) "Unlike its predecessor, Windows 7 is intended to be an incremental upgrade with the goal of being fully compatible with existing device drivers, applications, and hardware.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7#cite_note-2) Presentations given by the company in 2008 have focused on multi-touch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-touch) support, a redesigned Windows Shell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Shell) with a new taskbar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taskbar), a home networking system called HomeGroup,[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7#cite_note-leblanchomegroup-3) and performance improvements. Some applications that have been included with prior releases of Microsoft Windows, most notably Windows Mail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Mail), Windows Calendar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Calendar),[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] Windows Movie Maker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Movie_Maker), and Windows Photo Gallery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Photo_Gallery), are no longer included with the operating system; they are instead offered separately (free of charge) as part of the Windows Live Essentials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Live_Essentials) suite."