Migrating family members to Linux

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Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:15 pm

So I've talked my youngest daughter (she's 18) into giving Linux a shot as her desktop OS. She plays PC games only occasionally these days, and is certainly willing to deal with dual-booting on those rare occasions where she needs a gaming fix.

I went with Ubuntu 10.04 -- as their latest LTS release, it should (in theory at least) be a little more stable, which ought to give a better impression for a first-time Linux user. Just got done installing it a little while ago; it is set up to dual-boot with her existing Windows XP installation.

All of her hardware was supported out-of-the-box. This included her WiFi adapter (I never got around to running Ethernet up to the second floor so she connects to the home LAN via wireless), and her Wacom Bamboo pen tablet (this one impressed me; we'd previously had a fair bit of trouble getting it to work smoothly in Windows). Getting the printer driver set up for the Epson multifunction that is shared off of my wife's PC was also a piece of cake. 2D video was working fine out-of-the-box, but I went ahead and installed the proprietary drivers for her nVidia GPU to ensure full OpenGL support.

I showed her Synaptic, and told her to check Synaptic first whenever she wants to install something, before attempting to download packages off the Internet. I also mentioned that I had pointed it at the local Ubuntu mirror I maintain on the file server in our crawlspace (so software downloads through Synaptic would be very fast); after taking a few minutes to explain to her exactly what that meant, she rolled her eyes and said, "Only in this family!" :lol:

I walked her through installing Gimp and Inkscape (that was the point at which we had our "Holy crap, the Wacom tablet just works!" moment).

We're still trying to figure out what she'll be happiest with as a music player app. Her fave on the Windows side (MediaMonkey) isn't available for Linux. I think we're going to give Amarok a go, with Audacious as a fallback option.

We'll see how it goes. It is certainly possible that she'll end up going back to Windows, but I think I may have a Linux convert on my hands! :D
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:10 pm

I've migrated two of my college peer group (family?) over to Ubuntu. Doing the support is a bit annoying for me (one has a MBP, so that was quite a headache jut to set up), but it's worth it and they're both happy with it. (Plus, it's allowed me to break more and learn more.)
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:50 pm

What's the real advantage though, if she still has to dual boot? That's what ultimately wound up killing Linux for me.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Currently running OpenSUSE on two desktops, have not found a reason to dual-boot yet. When I get my laptop I'll have to compare battery life between Windows and Linux, and I think Windows will win there because of driver refinement, but Wine works wonders for games. Took about 10-15 minutes to set Steam up on Wine and that was the most time I had to spend on anything. Might take a bit more time on Ubuntu, but I doubt it. I'd love to transition all the computers in my house to Linux, but without Blu-ray support and the ability to run Adobe Premier Elements our HPC will have to stay with Windows.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:07 am

paulWTAMU wrote:What's the real advantage though, if she still has to dual boot? That's what ultimately wound up killing Linux for me.

Well, so far the system is more responsive, and her WiFi adapter and Wacom tablet both seem to be working better than they did under Windows (yes, we had tried updating the Windows drivers for both of those devices). If her usage patterns are what I think they are, there's a fair chance she will be able to stay in Linux the vast majority of days and boot to Windows only rarely. (I could be wrong... we'll see.)

This whole exercise was an indirect result of a morning several days ago when a bunch of stuff all went wrong at once, causing her to be late for school. Some of it was Windows squirreliness, some was due to procrastination (waiting until the last minute to print out an assignment which was due that day), and there may have been a bit of PEBKAC (or PEBMAC... M=Mouse :lol:) involved as well. But the bottom line is she was royally POed at Windows, MS Office, and Lord only knows what (or who) else. I half-seriously suggested that I could install Linux on her PC, and she took me up on the offer.

So far, all of her "I need to make sure I can still do X" things have worked out-of-box, or had a simple solution. Granted she's only been using it since this afternoon, but I'd say that's a pretty good sign. I've been out for several hours (just got back from driving her brother back to school), and her PC is still responding to pings on the Linux IP address; so whatever she's doing with it right now it is still booted into Linux! :D
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:59 am

Was she P.O.'ed at Windows 7 or at some ancient operating system from a decade ago? Ubuntu today is nearly as good as Windows was 9 or 10 years ago.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:13 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Was she P.O.'ed at Windows 7 or at some ancient operating system from a decade ago? Ubuntu today is nearly as good as Windows was 9 or 10 years ago.

It was Windows XP. However:

1. I disagree with the "9 or 10 years ago" part of your statement. I would say that it is an improvement over XP SP3 (which is what it is replacing), and Vista (on older, slower hardware like we're dealing with here).

2. It costs us nothing to try other than my time to install and support it, and her time to take it for a test drive. I'd be installing and supporting a new OS either way, so that's a net win in my book since I'm significantly more familiar with Ubuntu these days than I am with Windows 7. She also seems interested in learning it; and anyone else who has teenage children knows it is a happy day when you find something that piques their interest. :wink:
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:43 am

I am trying to migrate my sister (turning 18 this week) over but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I already converted my brother over based on using an old laptop as a HTPC (using XBMC). He is very impressed at how fast and responsive his computer is now, plus its free.

JBI - How tech savvy is your daughter? If she games, I am guessing she must be more tech savvy than the majority of the people who use computers. I am not sure how well Ubuntu would work on other people who are less familiar with computers. (like my parents, who use Windows and Office at work, I think using Ubuntu, and LibreOffice at home would confuse them)

But nonetheless I am very interested in your daughters thoughts on it because there are a growing number of older systems in my family and from what I have seen is Ubuntu brings them two-three more years of life at least. (minus a major hardware failure)
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:11 am

So I've talked my youngest daughter (she's 18) into giving Linux a shot as her desktop OS. She plays PC games only occasionally these days, and is certainly willing to deal with dual-booting on those rare occasions where she needs a gaming fix.

I went with Ubuntu 10.04 -- as their latest LTS release, it should (in theory at least) be a little more stable, which ought to give a better impression for a first-time Linux user. Just got done installing it a little while ago; it is set up to dual-boot with her existing Windows XP installation.


So essentially... instead of running one OS that does everything she needs - she's going to use two OS's and reboot whenever she wants to switch between gaming and her other usage? I just don't see the point. It'd be one thing if there were things she can do on Ubuntu that she can't do in XP (unlikely) but otherwise, this just sounds like running Linux to say she's running Linux, which is silly.

I would say that it is an improvement over XP SP3 (which is what it is replacing),


Except for the part about it not running all the stuff she wants to run :)

I can certainly see not wanting to run Vista on older hardware (I'm actually one of those rare folks who is happy with Vista, at least on decent hardware) but in all honesty, I've just never seen the point of dual-boot setups. For me the time spent rebooting when I want to run certain things, or messing about to find replacements for apps that I use in one versus the other outweighs any minor (and let's be honest, they're minor if they exist at all) performance increases.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:23 am

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:JBI - How tech savvy is your daughter? If she games, I am guessing she must be more tech savvy than the majority of the people who use computers. I am not sure how well Ubuntu would work on other people who are less familiar with computers. (like my parents, who use Windows and Office at work, I think using Ubuntu, and LibreOffice at home would confuse them)

I wouldn't say that she's technical, but she is very comfortable with computers. Until a year or so ago most of her gaming was stuff like AOE and older shoot-em-ups like UT04; lately she's been playing less of the "serious" games, and more "casual" games (which generally work OK in Linux now that Flash support has finally matured).

I don' think Linux would go over particularly well with my parents (Dad is amazingly tech savvy for someone in his 8th decade but I still think it would be too much of a disruption, and Mom would just freak), older daughter (way too dependent on Office '07 for work-related stuff), or son (heavy FPS gamer). It might be an option for my wife; at least it would prevent her from getting all those malware infections! :lol:
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:30 am

cphite wrote:
I would say that it is an improvement over XP SP3 (which is what it is replacing),

Except for the part about it not running all the stuff she wants to run :)

If it works better for 95% of what she does, and requires a reboot for the other 5%, that's still an improvement. We also have not checked yet how many of the Windows games she plays will run under wine.

And for that matter, Windows didn't run all the stuff she wanted to run; at least, not reliably. WiFi, pen tablet, and printer drivers were all slightly buggy, leading to a frustrating user experience. Linux used to get knocked (and rightfully so!) for poor driver support; but I think the tables have turned.

This is an experiment. She knows her usage patterns better than I do, and it is up to her whether she goes back to Windows or not.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:35 am

just brew it! wrote:
I don' think Linux would go over particularly well with my parents (Dad is amazingly tech savvy for someone in his 8th decade but I still think it would be too much of a disruption, and Mom would just freak), older daughter (way too dependent on Office '07 for work-related stuff), or son (heavy FPS gamer). It might be an option for my wife; at least it would prevent her from getting all those malware infections! :lol:


I can definitely relate to the malware/virus infections. Got to reinstall windows on my sisters computer next time I see her because she is loaded up with viruses from what I can tell. I want to put people on linux based systems for this reason alone. It still stinks that a Linux based system can't fill some major voids that would make it more mainstream. (mainly gaming and blu ray playback and office support) I would love Microsoft to come out with an Office based Ubuntu variant. I know I am dreaming but its interesting non the less.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:37 am

cphite wrote:Except for the part about it not running all the stuff she wants to run :)

I can certainly see not wanting to run Vista on older hardware (I'm actually one of those rare folks who is happy with Vista, at least on decent hardware) but in all honesty, I've just never seen the point of dual-boot setups. For me the time spent rebooting when I want to run certain things, or messing about to find replacements for apps that I use in one versus the other outweighs any minor (and let's be honest, they're minor if they exist at all) performance increases.


My computer boots in less than a third the time in Ubuntu 10.10 that it does in 7 (specs in sig), the desktop is better set up for productivity, and my battery life is slightly increased. Compared to running Access 2003 in a VM, that's a huge advantage.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:47 pm

What gets me is the attitude that shows up in things like the assertion that Linux is a decade behind Windows or that it has major gaps or why use it when you still need to keep Windows handy or whatnot.

It is very hard to learn anything when you don't want to.

If your focus is on the tool and not on the job and you are stuck in the idea that only one brand of tool defines the entire market, then maybe a bit of imagination is in order.

The current state of Linux, like with Ubuntu, is that of a state of the art OS that installs easily, just works, and comes with applications for most common needs bundled in. You don't have to worry about licensing issues. Updates and system maintenance are trivial matters. The risks of system corruption from external attacks and most internal misbehavior is significantly reduced.

Of course, you can find exceptions and flaws. You can do that with any OS so parading them as deficiencies is, IMHO, rather dishonest. There are indeed some applications for specific purposes that are not readily available for Linux but that need is easily handled as most distributions install with dual boot capability. - that contrasts with the fact that most Linux applications are cross platform which has its own advantages.

The question, for me, is why some are so stuck on a particular platform that they troll discussions like this and seem unable to see or understand other points of view.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:00 pm

I suppose the holy wars and fanboyism were inevitable, but it's still annoying to read charge and countercharge; STFU.

Back on topic: my wife was able to figure out Ubuntu easily enough for a time when her NIC wouldn't work in Windows, but going full-time is Right Out because of a gradebook program she needs and due to her greater familiarity with MS Office, and because OOo will sometimes screw up formatting. Oh well, there's always the daughter. :P
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:18 pm

What gets me is the attitude that shows up in things like the assertion that Linux is a decade behind Windows or that it has major gaps or why use it when you still need to keep Windows handy or whatnot.


Because, while the "decade behind" thing may be wrong, those are perfectly valid questions. If your OS doesn't do the things you want to do, and there is another OS that does do those things then it's perfectly valid to raise the question of why you'd go with the former option. In the case of JBI's daughter, it sounds like Ubuntu does the vast majority of things she needs it to do, and that there are significant enough performance gains on her hardware to make it worthwhile. The reason we now know that is because of the discussion.

The current state of Linux, like with Ubuntu, is that of a state of the art OS that installs easily, just works, and comes with applications for most common needs bundled in. You don't have to worry about licensing issues. Updates and system maintenance are trivial matters. The risks of system corruption from external attacks and most internal misbehavior is significantly reduced.


I'd agree with most of that, with the qualifier of "usually" added to the first part. There are times when Ubuntu can be a real pain in the butt to get working properly. Yes, this also happens with Windows - but it happens a lot more often in the Linux world, and, generally requires more time and effort (and expertise) to fix when it does happen.

Of course, you can find exceptions and flaws. You can do that with any OS so parading them as deficiencies is, IMHO, rather dishonest. There are indeed some applications for specific purposes that are not readily available for Linux but that need is easily handled as most distributions install with dual boot capability. - that contrasts with the fact that most Linux applications are cross platform which has its own advantages.


Nonsense. Exceptions and flaws ARE deficiencies, and it makes perfect sense to put them out there in a discussion. There are shortcomings in Linux, just as there are shortcomings in Windows and even (dare I say it?) MacOS. The fact that there are lots of popular applications that you cannot run on Linux is absolutely a deficiency in Linux. Now, you can certainly argue that there are benefits to running Linux that outweigh that deficiency, and for some people that hold true, but to pretend it's not there is far more dishonest than talking about it.

The question, for me, is why some are so stuck on a particular platform that they troll discussions like this and seem unable to see or understand other points of view.


Yeah, go figure... :roll:
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:23 pm

JBI, when you set up the dual boot did you install Linux first then Windows? Or did you leave the current Windows install alone and install Linux?
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:04 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:JBI, when you set up the dual boot did you install Linux first then Windows? Or did you leave the current Windows install alone and install Linux?

I installed Linux alongside the existing Windows installation.

Her hard drive got replaced several months ago (it was making funny noises), and upon examining the partition layout yesterday it appeared that what I must've done when I replaced the old drive was to simply clone over the old drive to the new (larger) one without expanding the C: partition. So there was still about 160GB of unpartitioned space available on the drive. I installed Linux to the unpartitioned space.

The Ubuntu installer automatically created a boot menu with Linux, Windows, and Memtest86+ on it.

In the past (not this time), I have also dual-booted systems where the Windows NTFS partition needed to be shrunk (using the Linux gparted tool) to make room for Linux. It always makes me a little nervous doing it that way, but the only ill effect I've ever seen from it is that Windows typically runs an automatic chkdsk on the C: partition the next time it boots.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:41 pm

cphite wrote:There are times when Ubuntu can be a real pain in the butt to get working properly. Yes, this also happens with Windows - but it happens a lot more often in the Linux world, and, generally requires more time and effort (and expertise) to fix when it does happen.

Whether Linux problems require more time and effort and expertise to fix is debatable. More time and effort (and expertise you don't have) is also required to fix Mac OS X problems if you're used to Windows, but that's just a function of familiarity, not an inherent property of the OS. It's a bit skewed for people on TR who are probably already skilled at Windows and coming to an unfamiliar system; they've already incurred the cost of gaining expertise on one. Also, whether things break more often in Linux vs Windows is so context dependent that I think it's meaningless to claim one happens more in general.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:03 pm

Annoyingly, about the only thing keeping me from using Linux on my work machine is that I really can't stand Open Office (for various reasons) and need Office 20xx installed :/. I tried to get 2007 working via WINE but it suffered from a bit of graphical corruption which would have just driven me crazy. 2010 was a no-go from the start. Aside from the Office issue, Ubuntu was actually really nice, although it didn't feel quite as fast as Win7 did on the same hardware (Latitude D530, 2ghz Core2, 2GB DDR2, 64GB SSD).
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:45 pm

My point wasn't that Ubuntu Linux is bad compared to Windows XP. My point was that Windows XP is bad compared to the current state of Microsoft's art which is Windows 7. 9½ years is a very long time in the tech world.

Although I'm not currently running Linux on any of my 3 machines, I did run Ubuntu as the primary OS on one of them for most of a year. Have the anti-Windows zealots spent as much time with Windows 7 64-bit?
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:17 pm

The only way to migrate smoothly is to look at how someone uses their computer (applications, etc) and find out if the equivalent or alternatives are available on Linux. Then do a trial run for a while. Once they feel it works for them, then you can dump Windows...This is what I did for myself and for others who live near me.

You can't just blindly dump someone onto Linux without a thought. It'll blow back in your face. Mainly because Linux requires one to learn and know what they're doing. You just can't "wing it". You need to understand to solve issues.

Transitioning someone from one OS to another is a gradual process. When you do it right, its pretty painless or even uneventful. (I've helped migrate folks and small businesses in my local area. They like it as their productivity has gone up in the past year or so. We have a community of troubleshooters, so issues are often addressed quite quickly when encountered. More often than not, its mainly due to hardware failure: someone tried to save money on buying a generic name part.)

Today, I don't use Windows as my full time OS like I did back in 2005. Its currently regulated in a virtual machine (Guest OS in VirtualBox) for minor roles. It rarely gets used.

Then again, I don't play computer games and see computing as a tool for solving problems. So I'm more into security and software development in C, C++, etc.

My only annoyance is with HD accelerated playback and Flash 10.2 acceleration being supported with Nvidia only video cards and IGPs. (So its a bit pointless in buying an AMD/ATI video card or using Intel IGP.) ...I guess it isn't a major thing, as a Geforce GT220 or 240 video card is affordable.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:36 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:My point wasn't that Ubuntu Linux is bad compared to Windows XP. My point was that Windows XP is bad compared to the current state of Microsoft's art which is Windows 7. 9½ years is a very long time in the tech world.

Yes, we understand what you were saying. And your point that Ubuntu was "nearly as good as" (exact quote) XP is inaccurate and unfounded, as others have pointed out. Ubuntu installs more effectively than Windows 7 (live-CD, Wubi, builds for a crapton of architectures, a bootloader that understands non-Microsoft OSes...), is graphically at par with it, has a better set of workflow features (one virtual desktop, MS, really?)... I can go on. I'm not arguing it's better for all uses, but that it's better for some and worse for others. They're equivalent.

Have the anti-Windows zealots spent as much time with Windows 7 64-bit?

I spent more than a year and a half with Windows 7 x64, months with Windows 7 Build 7000, several months with Vista in both bitnesses, and most of my early computing life (extending to this day on school library computers and in a VM) on Windows XP. So no, I haven't spent the same amount of time in your ecosystem as you have in mine, I've spent a good deal more.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:44 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Have the anti-Windows zealots spent as much time with Windows 7 64-bit?


I've been using Window 7 64-bit since it was released. It is a fine OS. Heck, I was one on the few people that liked Vista (once they sorted out the various driver issues). That being said I have no use for Windows 7 beyond my gaming rig. I spend the majority of my time in Ubuntu, Mac OS X and iOS. I prefer Ubuntu 10.10 over Windows 7.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:47 am

that I really can't stand Open Office (for various reasons) and need Office 20xx installed :/

I liked the word processor, couldn't stand the spreadsheet though. ALthough for home useage, eh. I think it'd work.

If I didn't like gaming so much I'd switch to Linux at home pretty easily at this point; Ubuntu has it's quirks but they're not that huge. I just don't understand the whole point of dual booting without significant performance gains (which it seems like she gets using Linux so power to her).

The only reasons I would switch (again if gaming weren't an issue) are performance and price...and if you have to get a copy of the current windows anyway price goes out the equation.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:18 am

The software marketplace has improved greatly in the last decade or so on the Linux front. Still, there are a few must-use apps that make it a no-go for our household:
*Windows Live Writer. Best blogging software bar none.
*Zune. We use the Zune pass and I don't think there's a linux way to do that
*Excel. I'm a VBA addict, so don't think think I could make the switch to OO

That's a seriously shorter list than before, so they're making great headway.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:24 am

paulWTAMU wrote:If I didn't like gaming so much I'd switch to Linux at home pretty easily at this point; Ubuntu has it's quirks but they're not that huge. I just don't understand the whole point of dual booting without significant performance gains (which it seems like she gets using Linux so power to her).

The only reasons I would switch (again if gaming weren't an issue) are performance and price...and if you have to get a copy of the current windows anyway price goes out the equation.


I remember reading somewhere (this was about a year ago) that some people were gaming under Wine in GNOME and seeing FPS increases due to decreased system overhead. You may want to see if your games are compatible at all and test it. Gaming may not be an issue.

Addressing performace improvements: I've had 4 machines running Linux; an 800MHz PPC iMac with 512MiB RAM, an Atom 330 with 2 GiB RAM, a dual core Pentium D with 2GiB RAM and an Athlon XP with 1GiB of RAM. All machines have run OpenSUSE 11 (the Pentium and the Atom are now on 11.3, the others were 11.1). Every single machine has felt faster than the Windows machines in my house or at my school. My school has Core 2 Duos clocked at 2.4GHz with 4GiB RAM and the primary Windows machine at home is a C2D @ 1.86GHz with 4GiB RAM while the newest laptop is an i5-460M (I think) with 4GiB of RAM running 7 and the older laptop is a mobile Pentium running Vista with 2GiB of RAM. All the Windows desktops run XP, but honestly for normal desktop usage my Atom feels about as fast as the i5. It can't compare at say folding, but general web browsing or small applications that you'd run on an Atom are way faster. Boot times are also comparable between the Windows 7 laptop with a 7200RPM drive and my Atom with a 5400RPM drive. The Atom may actually be a little faster, but there isn't much of a difference.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:47 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:My point wasn't that Ubuntu Linux is bad compared to Windows XP. My point was that Windows XP is bad compared to the current state of Microsoft's art which is Windows 7. 9½ years is a very long time in the tech world.

...and you'll note that I didn't say I thought it was better than Windows 7.

Have the anti-Windows zealots spent as much time with Windows 7 64-bit?

I don't really consider myself to be an anti-Windows zealot, though I definitely have one for an office mate at work. Believe it or not, I often find myself taking the Windows side of the argument with him! :lol:

I actually transitioned myself over to Linux right about the time Vista came out, so no I have not spent a lot of time on Windows 7 other than helping other people set it up. It seems nice enough, and I'll probably build myself a Win7 box (or at least set up a Win7 VM) at some point; but I don't see it becoming my primary desktop OS.

stmok wrote:Today, I don't use Windows as my full time OS like I did back in 2005. Its currently regulated in a virtual machine (Guest OS in VirtualBox) for minor roles. It rarely gets used.

Then again, I don't play computer games and see computing as a tool for solving problems.

This describes both my home and work usage scenarios pretty accurately.

At work I'd say that ~90% of the time I spend at the computer is in Linux doing software development or generic stuff you can do in any OS (like running Google searches). The Windows VM is used for running Outlook, IE (stupid broken IE-only corporate intranet apps), and editing any Office '07 documents which may subsequently be edited by Windows users (LibreOffice's MS Office import/export filter still isn't good enough to trust with critical documents). All of the other software developers are running Linux or at least have OpenOffice installed, so I tend to use OpenOffice/LibreOffice for documents which will stay within the software department (or which only get published outside the department in PDF form).

At home the percentage of time on Linux is probably more like 99%; lately the only thing the Windows VM gets used for is running Microchip's MPLAB development environment. And even there, the code development still takes place mostly on the Linux side, with MPLAB used mainly to run builds and upload code to the target devices.

paulWTAMU wrote:
that I really can't stand Open Office (for various reasons) and need Office 20xx installed :/

I liked the word processor, couldn't stand the spreadsheet though. ALthough for home useage, eh. I think it'd work.

Bottom line is, in a MS-centric corporate environment you can't completely get away from using MS Office. The document portability -- while it is much improved and good enough for casual use -- still isn't quite up to snuff. And if you need to look at MS Visio or Project files, there isn't even a half-working solution (that I'm aware of...) on the Linux side.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:28 am

just brew it! wrote:
paulWTAMU wrote:
that I really can't stand Open Office (for various reasons) and need Office 20xx installed :/

I liked the word processor, couldn't stand the spreadsheet though. ALthough for home useage, eh. I think it'd work.

Bottom line is, in a MS-centric corporate environment you can't completely get away from using MS Office. The document portability -- while it is much improved and good enough for casual use -- still isn't quite up to snuff. And if you need to look at MS Visio or Project files, there isn't even a half-working solution (that I'm aware of...) on the Linux side.


Yeah, pretty much. Visio and Excel being the main sticking points as far as I'm concerned! Glad I'm not the only one that finds OpenOffice a little iffy for work use.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:42 am

Access is another huge one; it's all my work uses for databases. OO Base doesn't even pretend it czn work with .mdb files, and it's a good thing, because that might be a disaster. As a matter of fact, Access 2003 is the sole reason I have a virtual machine at all.
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