Migrating family members to Linux

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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:03 am

grantmeaname wrote: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.

Access databases are a blight upon the database world. Access is a toy DBMS that MS and thousands of developers have coerced over the years into doing things it was never designed to do, with predictably horrible results.

It's not like MS can't produce a decent database engine; MS SQL Server is good! Too bad Access had already become so entrenched by the time MS started pushing MSDE (the stripped down version of SQL Server) and the subsequent SQL Server Express products as the DB engine of choice for desktop and small client-server deployments. (Smart move on their part even if it was too little, too late to save us from Access Hell; MSDE is likely the reason that Open Source RDBMSes like MySQL and PostgreSQL didn't gain more of a foothold on Windows.)
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:15 am

I've been moving as many of our access DB's over the Sharepoint. A much better solution. That works pretty well with linux though, at least SharePoint 2010.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:52 am

I think we could use a dedicated 'Acccess dumping ground' sticky thread.

I'm actually fond of Access overall. I agree it's awful as a real database serving more than 1.3 people --and this crappiness covered a big part of my grad school expenses. Clients became convinced of its deficiencies (HIPAA guidelines helped), and migrated many old Access databases to SQL Server. And thankfully, I was able to avoid/refuse developing Access front-ends the whole time. I can't stand these hacked together VBA routines.

Now that I'm doing mostly statistical analysis, any dataset in Access is so much better than the crap typically stored in Excel. If it's in Access, at least it doesn't need an explanation of what is indicated by (a) blanks, (b) cells with red/green text, or (c) cells with pink/purple background.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:16 pm

cphite wrote: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.


Eh. The Vista is slow on old hardware bit is overblown and people way overestimate the changes 7 made. JBI didn't list the specs of said box, but I'd be surprised if a box runing a modern distro of Linux couldn't handle Vista or 7. Of course I primarily interact with Solaris, so maybe my frame of reference is all skewed for Linux.

Regardless, I don't see why anyone much cares. There's nothing wrong with JBI's little story and if IT interests her this is a real opportunity to broaden her horizons. As for the rest of us? Who gives a f--- so long as it works?
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:43 pm

Eh. The Vista is slow on old hardware bit is overblown and people way overestimate the changes 7 made. JBI didn't list the specs of said box, but I'd be surprised if a box runing a modern distro of Linux couldn't handle Vista or 7. Of course I primarily interact with Solaris, so maybe my frame of reference is all skewed for Linux.


Based on my own experience with various machines, Vista is slower than XP on older hardware. There are ways to pep it up - disabling some of the eye candy being the most obvious. But it does have higher hardware requirements than XP.

Regardless, I don't see why anyone much cares. There's nothing wrong with JBI's little story and if IT interests her this is a real opportunity to broaden her horizons. As for the rest of us? Who gives a f--- so long as it works?


I don't know that anyone "cares" per say, aside from it being an interesting topic of discussion.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:49 pm

I'm glad JBI took the time to describe this. In many ways, this is a best case scenario of giving desktop linux to a family member. He knows and can support linux better than almost all the population, yet he's not a fanatic and has a good grasp of the big picture (as shown in his other 30k posts). So I trust that he's honest about the benefits and challenges, and that he isn't forcing things to prove the point that LinuxRulz.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:34 am

bthylafh wrote:...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


It's because of formatting issues that I prefer OOo over MS Office. I never seem to have a problem getting things to look the way I want them to in OOo, but MS Office keeps fighting me.

My girlfriend's laptop is giving her a lot of issues. I think I'll try and convince her to try Linux as a dual boot since she still hasn't let me do a format and install to get the system back to normal.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:56 am

titan wrote:It's because of formatting issues that I prefer OOo over MS Office. I never seem to have a problem getting things to look the way I want them to in OOo, but MS Office keeps fighting me.

Unfortunately OpenOffice isn't very practical in an office environment where most of the other people are using MS Office (due to imperfect import/export filters).
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:07 am

Yup. Wife's school is an Office '07 shop, so even assuming that old gradebook app works in Wine, switching her'd be more trouble than it's worth.

As poor as her school district is, IMO it'd make a great deal of /financial/ sense for them to switch to OOo, but I just don't think they'll switch on one teacher's husband's say-so. :wink:
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:08 am

just brew it! wrote:
titan wrote:It's because of formatting issues that I prefer OOo over MS Office. I never seem to have a problem getting things to look the way I want them to in OOo, but MS Office keeps fighting me.

Unfortunately OpenOffice isn't very practical in an office environment where most of the other people are using MS Office (due to imperfect import/export filters).


I tend to export things in .pdf format. Of course, when things leave my computer they are invariably finished products, which isn't as typical of an office setting as of college.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:11 am

As poor as her school district is, IMO it'd make a great deal of /financial/ sense for them to switch to OOo,


That is so true. One area it makes sense is in low demand, low resource users which fits school districts to a T. I mean, there may be a few admins or IT guys that use more. But most teachers? They don't need the full featured suite of Office and god knows what they spend on it.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:11 pm

I've pretty much switched my brother to Linux as well. Our parents bought us an HP desktop back in '07 and right around new years,
The Vista installation just went bonkers, and I lost the disk. Its been pretty sink or swim, and he's surprisingly good with it, even if he asks to use my computer every now and then.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:14 pm

grantmeaname wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Unfortunately OpenOffice isn't very practical in an office environment where most of the other people are using MS Office (due to imperfect import/export filters).

I tend to export things in .pdf format. Of course, when things leave my computer they are invariably finished products, which isn't as typical of an office setting as of college.

Yes, I generally use OpenOffice and PDF export for things that other people aren't going to edit. Unfortunately some of the documents I work on are things like system specifications, which other people need to be able to work with as well. The entire software group has OpenOffice installed, but some of the documents need to be worked on by people in other groups (or even at other locations), and getting everyone to install it just ain't gonna happen.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:02 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote: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.


TurboTax
QuickBooks
Most Autodesk apps
Adobe Creative Suite
SketchUp (enigmatically, since it's owned by Google whose OS is Linux based)
Picassa (again, owned by google)
IrfanView
Games

The only thing keeping me and probably many people from being 100% Ubuntu is the lack of certain commercial and proprietary applications. The thing keeping those applications from coming to Linux is the lack of users. The thing keeping users away is a lack of those apps. The thing keeping those apps away is the lack of users... broken record... broken record...
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:01 pm

I use Picasa. It's available.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:31 pm

Bad Company 2 doesn't work with Wine. This makes me incredibly sad. Otherwise, I've been spending all my time in Ubuntu.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:
grantmeaname wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Unfortunately OpenOffice isn't very practical in an office environment where most of the other people are using MS Office (due to imperfect import/export filters).

I tend to export things in .pdf format. Of course, when things leave my computer they are invariably finished products, which isn't as typical of an office setting as of college.

Yes, I generally use OpenOffice and PDF export for things that other people aren't going to edit. Unfortunately some of the documents I work on are things like system specifications, which other people need to be able to work with as well. The entire software group has OpenOffice installed, but some of the documents need to be worked on by people in other groups (or even at other locations), and getting everyone to install it just ain't gonna happen.

I ran into this as well when I tried it. The thing is though that 2007 basically created the same issues that Open Office creates. The converter packs are really just a stop gap for me until I can get the 2007 image pushed out. 2007 will and can mangle doc files and the converter in 2003 will mangle docx files. Had MS standardized around one open format it would have solved so many issues.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:55 pm

kc77 wrote:Had MS standardized around one open format it would have solved so many issues.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:00 am

kc77 wrote:... The thing is though that 2007 basically created the same issues that Open Office creates.

In more ways than one! Historically, one of the arguments against switching to OpenOffice was the fact that the user needed to learn a different user interface. That argument went out the window (heh... :wink:) with the Office 2007 UI revamp.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:20 am

I've recently upgraded my home systems to Office 2010 64-bit. Almost a year ago, the IT trolls said that we'd upgrade to Office 2010 (from 2003) at work before the end of last year, but it still hasn't happened yet.

64-bit spreadsheets can be BIG!
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:28 am

just brew it! wrote:
kc77 wrote:... The thing is though that 2007 basically created the same issues that Open Office creates.

In more ways than one! Historically, one of the arguments against switching to OpenOffice was the fact that the user needed to learn a different user interface. That argument went out the window (heh... :wink:) with the Office 2007 UI revamp.


Tell me about it. I've re/learned more key combos just to prevent clicking on that damn Ribbon. And probably the worst thing ever just because of support reasons ....the elimination of User /Pass Mgr in Access 2007. I understand why they did it. However do they not know how many useless overly complex mdb's get created per second? Access Db's are like Tribbles. For everyone you get rid of another one takes it place and they hide away in a different location from where you found the last one.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:00 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:I've recently upgraded my home systems to Office 2010 64-bit. Almost a year ago, the IT trolls said that we'd upgrade to Office 2010 (from 2003) at work before the end of last year, but it still hasn't happened yet.

64-bit spreadsheets can be BIG!

We really don't move that fast where I'm at. We could do it within IT but not much elsewhere. I just got people used to 2007 which was such a pain I just can't put it into words. Ubuntu OTOH I've been able to migrate a few people (for home use) here and there to it if I feel they aren't likely to game. If they have an Android phone ...pffft it turns Ubuntu into the easiest mobile computing device I've ever come across. No driver installation needed. No Net config needed (which wasn't the case back in the day), Just plug it in and Go. If I'm at work and need to view anything NSFW i'll unplug my net config and plug in my phone and jam out for a while. Love it.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:57 am

grantmeaname wrote:I use Picasa. It's available.

Native? Because Wine is a loser IMO. Programs need to run natively or else any Wine-like solution needs to make them seem totally native, i.e. transcode from the Windows file system to the native file system, and so on. That's my opinion :D
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:11 am

I never did anything with WINE. I got the picasa .deb, downloaded it, and was on my merry way. The top option bar (not the window border, but File, Edit, etc.) look like they are from Windows 95 but other than that it's smooth and polished and pleasant.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:25 am

Picasa bundles the Wine libraries, so it's not a native Linux app.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:31 pm

bthylafh wrote:Picasa bundles the Wine libraries, so it's not a native Linux app.

As long as it works smoothly, does that matter?
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:36 pm

Didn't claim it did matter; that was to clarify.

Anyway, the Wackypedia article for it claims that the Linux version's been discontinued anyway, because there's not enough people using it, so if you want a new version's features you'll have to run it in Wine.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:01 pm

kc77 wrote:
Yesterday, JustAnEngineer wrote:I've recently upgraded my home systems to Office 2010 64-bit (Home & Student edition). Almost a year ago, the IT trolls said that we'd upgrade to Office 2010 (from 2003) at work before the end of last year, but it still hasn't happened yet.
We really don't move that fast where I'm at.
An e-mail went out to all employees today that they would begin migrating from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 Enterprise and Office 2010 "in the near future." The good news is that we're now eligible for Microsoft's Home Use Program that lets the employees get Office 2010 Professional for $10 (download) or $22 (DVD). 8) The license is $312 at Newegg, while the regular version is $417. :o
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:43 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:An e-mail went out to all employees today that they would begin migrating from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 Enterprise and Office 2010 "in the near future." The good news is that we're now eligible for Microsoft's Home Use Program that lets the employees get Office 2010 Professional for $10 (download) or $22 (DVD). 8) The license is $312 at Newegg, while the regular version is $417. :o

Where I work, 3 of the 4 software engineers in the office are on Linux. With one exception, everyone else (non-software personnel) still runs XP, per corporate IT policy. The lone Windows 7 system is a workstation I set up for one of the Systems Engineers recently. I thought all of the Windows users had Office 2007, but discovered yesterday that one of the techs still has Office 2003 on his desktop.
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Re: Migrating family members to Linux

Postposted on Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:47 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
kc77 wrote:
Yesterday, JustAnEngineer wrote:I've recently upgraded my home systems to Office 2010 64-bit (Home & Student edition). Almost a year ago, the IT trolls said that we'd upgrade to Office 2010 (from 2003) at work before the end of last year, but it still hasn't happened yet.
We really don't move that fast where I'm at.
An e-mail went out to all employees today that they would begin migrating from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 Enterprise and Office 2010 "in the near future." The good news is that we're now eligible for Microsoft's Home Use Program that lets the employees get Office 2010 Professional for $10 (download) or $22 (DVD). 8) The license is $312 at Newegg, while the regular version is $417. :o



Our company just did that, I got Office 2010 Professional Plus for 11 bucks cnd and ordered the dvd also for an extra 12 bucks cnd lol. However having said that I find it annoying that any office 2010 app takes about 10 seconds to load, and the workstation is fairly decent, 4GiB of ram, core2 wolfdale 2.9 or 3.1 ghz and a 7200rpm platter drive. Office 2003 (word, excel) loads faster on the old athlon thunderbird 1100 MHZ and XP pro (no lie)
However I suppose I could sell it to someone for a few bucks since its worth 600 retail lol, I didnt even install it, and my DVD won't be in for another 3 weeks.
I have 2 or 3 copies of office 2007 Ultimate ed that I got for 60 bucks through student ultimate steal :) I still use 2003 the most, love that classic interface, ribbons piss me off for some reason.
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