Author Topic: Windows or Linux  (Read 1614 times)

A.M. Thomas

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Windows or Linux
« on: April 23, 2009, 07:06:21 PM »
I bought a new hard drive for my laptop and I'll be reinstalling the OS soon.  I'm trying to decide between Windows XP and Ubuntu.  Which should I pick?

Is Linux even worth the trouble?  I've only used it a few times so I'm not too familiar with it.  But I sure am sick of Windows.  Is Ubuntu good at automatically detecting wireless Internet?

(In before, "Get a Mac.")

I'm not a chicken,  you're a turkey.

JP

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 07:15:39 PM »
It depends what you want to do.  I've tried ubuntu and there's a lot of stuff it couldn't do out of the box.  If it's a newer laptop drivers could be an issue too. 

Unless you have really basic needs and really have trouble getting porno viruses on windows i'd say don't bother with ubuntu.

JP
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yesno

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 07:20:04 PM »
I've installed and used Ubuntu.  It's fine, but with Linux you need to either (1) Be a master or (2) Stick with defaults.  With Ubuntu, that means just stick with default package repositories, and if something you want isn't in them, you don't get to have it.  (One exception:  enable the non-free repository and you'll be able to install Flash, etc.)   

You'll also need to do research and make sure your particular laptop is well supported:  drivers can be a problem.  Wireless internet and sleeping are the two biggest problem areas, followed by sound.  If your hardware is supported, then you'll not run into problems.

Mark Pilgrim puts together pretty great "essentials" lists now and again:  http://diveintomark.org/archives/2008/10/28/essentials-2008 .   Check out past years, too.

I disagree with him about using Gmail instead of a local client, but web apps vs. native apps is a decision you have to make yourself.  You could probably get away with going all web app for most everything, if you don't mind undermining everything that's good about humanity.

REGARDLESS OF PLATFORM YOU NEED TO BACK ALL YOUR SHIT UP ONLINE CONSTANTLY OR YOU'LL BE VERY SAD ONE DAY

And my advice is that Windows is useless and evil; the worst of all possible worlds, and necessary only if there is a specific application you need to run.  Sadly, there often is for me.  Also if I *were* to run Windows I'd wait for Windows 7, which is sort of modern, but without the headaches of Vista.

JP

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 07:27:32 PM »
With Linux you need to either (1) Be a master or (2) Stick with defaults.  

Yes that's what I think and it's put better. 

I've had very little problems with Windows XP and don't feel the evil because :

1. I have the firewall on and am almost always behind a hardware firewall.
2. I have virus software
3. I use Firefox
4. I reinstall a clean copy of windows every year or two
5. I don't install any firesharing software or go to any porn sites.
6. My little family is careful about not clicking on dodgy pop ups.
7. I always do the little yellow update shield.
8. I don't install garbage from download.com
9. When I install a printer I just add the driver not the whole bunch of garbageware.
10. I try and have software not install stuff that runs all the time.

I think that's it.  If you do all of that you will be smooth sailing on XP.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 07:34:22 PM by JP »
1. My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
2. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
3. Straight Up - Paula Abdul
4. Miss You Much - Janet Jackson
5. I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi 
6. Toy Solider - Martika 
7. Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals

yesno

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 09:02:37 PM »
With people moving to Linux or the Mac from Windows, sometimes they get really frustrated in the first few days because there are things they don't know how to do, and thus assume the new platform can't do.  Or they think that one way is "right" and the other is "wrong."  For sure, different things that Windows, OS X, or different desktop Linuxes do have their pluses and minuses, but it does amaze me how attached people are to continuing to do things they way they've been doing them.

Desktop computing isn't a finished product, and there are tremendous advances that have been made since XP came out.  The amount of time between XP's first release and now is roughly the time between Windows 3.1 and Windows XP.

A.M. Thomas

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2009, 09:56:26 PM »
I am a regular user of OS X, but not on my own computer because I can't afford a Mac (if I could, I would).  It is far and away the best OS I have ever used.  For the rest of us, though, there's either Linux or Windows Vista/XP.  I think Vista is an extremely flawed OS and a step backwards from XP.  I tried Windows 7 for a bit and it will probably be the best version of Windows when it comes out, but still miles away from OS X.

Really, I thought the OS wars were stupid until I actually started to use OS X regularly and Windows did way too much to bother me.

Linux seems like another whole headache, but I think I may make the leap.

I'm not a chicken,  you're a turkey.

sushi cowboy

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 11:47:28 PM »
Why not partition your hard drive so you have the option which OS you want to boot?

I have a PPC PowerBook with 60 gigs partitioned to OSX and 20 for Ubuntu - just enough to play around with and use for basic needs. I haven't had any issues with my wireless card drivers and that's not bad considering Ubuntu isn't even geared toward the PPC architecture.

Yes, any Linux distro takes some getting used to but there's an endless amount of resources from FAQs to message boards. Once you learn some basic terminal commands you'll be rolling smooth. Possibly the coolest thing about Linux is any and all applications are free.

I say set up a dual boot. And also do some research to find out what distro will run best on your machine. I should be running Yellow Dog but I was hasty in setting up Ubuntu. yesno is definitely right - BACK UP EVERYTHING! Externals are cheap and worth every penny.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 11:55:24 PM by sushi cowboy »

yesno

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 12:01:24 AM »
I back up to an external, I just recommend having some kind of iDisk/Jungledisk if you work away from home a lot.

A.M. Thomas

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 09:52:08 PM »
I'm now posting from my new OS: Linux Ubuntu 9.04 (64-bit)!  I feel like a bit of a nerd, but I'm happy I won't have to use Windows anymore, though I will probably use dual-boot once Windows 7 comes out.

I'm having a lot of fun so far.  Looking for cool apps and stuff.  Any Linux users here?  Any app recommendations?  I need to figure out how to change my fonts.

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yesno

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 10:05:08 PM »
Congratulations, nerd.  The biggest Linux productivity sink is over-fiddling, so watch out for that.  The purpose of a computer to do stuff with it, not to it.  Took me a long time to learn that.

I like Gnome better but KDE comes with tons of cool toys.  You could check out the KDE stuff.  Install via Synaptic and it will take care of the dependencies.  You can always run KDE stuff on Gnome and vice versa.

You're never going to get really good typography for free, since most fonts are proprietary.  Start by figuring out what font format you need.  Then you could just steal them off a Mac or something.

Since you're a writer, I highly recommend taking the next nerd step and using a text editor (rather than a word processor) whenever possible.  I use TextMate on the Mac both for writing, and for doing the weird transformations on text I keep end up having to do when I assemble these hodgepodge documents.  (Remove linebreaks and funky characters from copied text, fix capitalization, etc.)

Also, Amarok, the media player, is awesome.  It sucks that some kinds of iPod/phone syncing only works with iTunes.  (Oh, you can run some Windows directly under Linux via Wine, and I think iTunes is supported.)

A.M. Thomas

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 10:09:26 PM »
Congratulations, nerd.  The biggest Linux productivity sink is over-fiddling, so watch out for that.  The purpose of a computer to do stuff with it, not to it.  Took me a long time to learn that.

I like Gnome better but KDE comes with tons of cool toys.  You could check out the KDE stuff.  Install via Synaptic and it will take care of the dependencies.  You can always run KDE stuff on Gnome and vice versa.

You're never going to get really good typography for free, since most fonts are proprietary.  Start by figuring out what font format you need.  Then you could just steal them off a Mac or something.

Since you're a writer, I highly recommend taking the next nerd step and using a text editor (rather than a word processor) whenever possible.  I use TextMate on the Mac both for writing, and for doing the weird transformations on text I keep end up having to do when I assemble these hodgepodge documents.  (Remove linebreaks and funky characters from copied text, fix capitalization, etc.)

Also, Amarok, the media player, is awesome.  It sucks that some kinds of iPod/phone syncing only works with iTunes.  (Oh, you can run some Windows directly under Linux via Wine, and I think iTunes is supported.)

I remember reading about TextMate and thinking it was awesome.  I'll definitely look into that.

I've already got Amarok.  diveintomark is very helpful.

Thanks for all the help, yesno.

I'm not a chicken,  you're a turkey.

yesno

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 10:38:06 PM »
Don't get your hopes up with TextMate, Linux boy.

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Re: Windows or Linux
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 10:53:38 PM »
I love the idea of Linux in concept but I'm just too set in my ways to change. Read up on Ubuntu but got scared when I found out I'd have to be doing a bunch of line commands.

 

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