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Old 05-03-2006, 02:54 PM   #1
antimatterenergy
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considering switching from Windows XP to linux have questions


Microsoft and its products has pissed me off repeatedly and I no longer want anything to do with it. I would like to get linux but have some concerns. Is it as easy to use as microsoft xp. Can it run these programs: Spy bot search and destroy, grisoft free antivirus, sun office (free alternative to microsoft office), zoom player (prefered media player), adobe photoshop (prefered image manipulating), firefox (alternetive to microsoft explorer), acdsee (prefered image viewing program), nero (prefered cd/dvd burning program), clonedvd, taxact (tax software), america online (or other companies that use there software i.e. netscape), people pc, netzero. Will it work with my accesories logitech infrared mouse, lexmark printer, lexmark scanner/printer combo, acer cd burner, is there emulators for linux that lets you play games made for windows or ms-dos. If it can do the above where do I get it and which version? Sorry about asking so many questions.
 
Old 05-03-2006, 03:10 PM   #2
drkstr
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Welcome to LQ, I hope you give Linux a test drive. Please feel free to ask any questions here if you would like any help.

Quote:
Is it as easy to use as microsoft xp.
The simple answer is no. It does howver give you greater control and security over your system. Once you get the hang of it, you will find you will be able to do anything in Linux that you did in XP.

Quote:
sun office (free alternative to microsoft office)
Try open office or KOffice (for KDE)



Quote:
Spy bot search and destroy, grisoft free antivirus
There are not a lot of linux equivilent to these programs since they are not really necisary. Linux is almost completly emune to viruses. I think there has been a total of 2 known major viruses for linux.

Quote:
zoom player (prefered media player), adobe photoshop (prefered image manipulating), firefox (alternetive to microsoft explorer), acdsee (prefered image viewing program), nero (prefered cd/dvd burning program), clonedvd, taxact (tax software), america online (or other companies that use there software i.e. netscape), people pc, netzero.
There are free linux equivilent to all of these programs. I'm not sure about AOL but there is a version of Netscape for LInux. If all else fails, you can always run the windows software in Wine which emulates the win32 runtime.

Quote:
Will it work with my accesories logitech infrared mouse, lexmark printer, lexmark scanner/printer combo, acer cd burner
Almost all hardware is now supported in the Linux 2.6.* kernel.

Quote:
is there emulators for linux that lets you play games made for windows or ms-dos.
as mentioned above, Wine is a win32 runtime emulater.

Quote:
If it can do the above where do I get it and which version?
I prefer Slackware since it a pure Linux distro, but I think Gentoo is better suited for people new to linux while offering the same power and flexibility. They also have superb documentation and howto's on everything you have asked about. Check out http://www.gentoo.org/ for more info.

regards,
...drkstr
 
Old 05-03-2006, 03:14 PM   #3
Amuro-Ray2020
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While I encourage you to try Linux, I do not recommend you give up Windows XP just yet. Linux is not as easy to use as Windows XP, and it requires more patience. However, you can do more with it.

Yes, there are some windows programs you can run in Linux. The drawback is, you must install Wine and set it up properly. My main concern is that you may not be able to use Netzero or America Online to get on the internet within Linux, I have no experience with trying either (Nor would I want to, dialup is complicated enough.) There are free alternatives on Linux to Microsoft office, such as OpenOffice (OpenOffice.org). Firefox feels like it's native environment was Linux to begin with, so yes, it has definite support for Linux. Your hardware should be recognized fine.

All in all, I recommend you dual boot, and give Linux a portion of your hard drive. You may still need Windows to do some of the things you feel necessary. Good luck.
 
Old 05-04-2006, 04:38 PM   #4
mcmillan
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Pretty much everything has already beeen said. Most of what you asked for has a linux equivalent, though it may not be the exact same program. The problem could be with AOL, I've come across a few threads here saying it's given people problems. Also I vaguely remember reading somewhere that lexmark printers aren't quite as linux friendly as some other brands, but you should take a look at linuxprinting.org to look at your particular printers compatibility. Also I should point out that even though most hardware can work, it likely won't be as simple as windows where it recognizes things just by plugging them in. My opininon is that the most significant hurdle to switching is realizing you have to do more to get your computer to do everything you want, but you can make it do just about anything and not just what microsoft wants you to do.

As for distro, there's tons of opinions about this. Just search through any of the threads here asking "which distro" For more information go to distrowatch.com. Also there's this survey which may be helpful in figuring out what you are looking for.
 
Old 05-04-2006, 04:56 PM   #5
bosewicht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antimatterenergy
Is it as easy to use as microsoft xp.
Is speaking Spanish as easy as speaking English? Isn't it all relative to what you know. I think Linux is easier than windows, but that is just me. It's no easier or harder, just different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antimatterenergy
Can it run these programs: Spy bot search and destroy, grisoft free antivirus, sun office (free alternative to microsoft office), zoom player (prefered media player), adobe photoshop (prefered image manipulating), firefox (alternetive to microsoft explorer), acdsee (prefered image viewing program), nero (prefered cd/dvd burning program), clonedvd, taxact (tax software), america online (or other companies that use there software i.e. netscape), people pc, netzero.
Anti-virus and anti-spyware apps aren't really needed. There are some anti-virus apps available, but it's not necessary to use them.

Media Player
Mplayer, VLC, XMMS, etc...there are tons of media players

Sun Office
Koffice, Openoffice, StarOffice

Photoshop
Gimp

Firefox
Firefox

acdsee
Gthumb is a nice image viewing app, but there are many others

Nero
I think k3b blows Nero away

Clone dvd
k9copy <- or something like that. Although there are other options with wine and crossover.

Tax Software I believe you are out of luck, unless it runs under wine or crossover

And I believe that aol does have some kind of linux offering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antimatterenergy
Will it work with my accesories logitech infrared mouse, lexmark printer, lexmark scanner/printer combo, acer cd burner,
Hardware support has really made a lot of improvments in the past few years, I wouldn't be suprised if most of your hardware was supported

Quote:
Originally Posted by antimatterenergy
emulators for linux that lets you play games made for windows or ms-dos.
Look into wine and crossover, there isn't a lot of support, i don't believe, but there is some. I'm not a gamer so I can't really say too much on that.

I would try dual booting for a while and go with a newbie friendly distro. Try searching around here if you are thinking what distro, it's been asked way too many times already. Also take a look at distrowatch.
 
Old 05-04-2006, 06:09 PM   #6
Freestone
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My two cents:

Even though I'm using Fedora Core 5, I did, a few weeks ago, install Mandriva 2006 from DVD and was blown away by how user friendly the
install was and everything worked, even my Broadcom 4318 chipped wlan card ( I did, however have to supply the windows drivers, but ndiswarper is included in M-driva's 2006 distro). If you are new to Linux, Mandriva is one alternative that I'd recommend for a total Linux Noob--
I was running in KDE and to be honest, it was like running windows...very easy.
I'm sure there are other distros as well that are well suited for a noob----as I recall in previous posts in this thread. Explore them and post more in here with other questions you may have.

As for other software, there are plenty of open source apps that will suit your needs. Abiword---a great word processor.
As previously mentioned, KOffice for KDE is nice. The Open Office suite is another alternative to check out.
No problems with viruses here!
Printer support is good. I have a Lexmark something or other that was very easy to configure.

Good luck with leaving the dark side!
 
Old 05-04-2006, 07:46 PM   #7
ctkroeker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkstr
I prefer Slackware since it a pure Linux distro, but I think Gentoo is better suited for people new to linux while offering the same power and flexibility. They also have superb documentation and howto's on everything you have asked about. Check out http://www.gentoo.org/ for more info.
I don't think slackware or Gentoo are the best for a n00b, not at all.
Ubuntu, Mepis and Fedora, among others, are aimed at n00bs and the like.
 
Old 05-04-2006, 10:20 PM   #8
Cogar
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Good comments. Let me add a few of my own, some of which will be similar to those others have offered and some that will be different. Let me add that you do not have to give up XP, since most distributions will install on a machine running windows and use utilities called GRUB or LILO to give you capability to boot into either OS. That way, if you get tired of one, you can restart the computer and use the other.

I know this may come as a surprise to you, but you do not need the antivirus programs and so forth with Linux. 99.% of viruses (is that the correct term?) are targeted at Windows and will not affect Linux. Besides, if you establish user accounts (and you should), even a virus targeted at Linux would have a tough time causing you problems, as it would not have root permission to install itself. (If you don't understand this now, you will later.)

There are native Linux programs that are similar to the Windows programs you mentioned. As others noted OpenOffice is a very good office suite. I also use it with this box when I am running Windows. (They have versions for Windows, Linux, Mac (PPC), and others.) Media players vary, but there are plenty for Linux--almost too many actually, since it make deciding which one you like a bit of a challenge. The same thing is true of image viewing programs. Gimp is a reasonable replacement for Photoshop and it is free. K3b is a replacement for Nero. It is not as feature rich, but FWIW it has worked fine for me. Firefox has a Linux version. Some Windows "office" applications (including Photoshop) will run with the help of CrossoverOffice--a program adapted from wine designed to help you run certain Windows applications in Linux.

The hardware can be hit-or-miss, but with desktop computers and peripherals, it is mostly "hit." Gaming in Linux is weak, but a program called Cedega (als adapted from Wine) is available that lets you run most of the popular Windows games on a Linux box. (I think a subscription is $15 for three months.)

Let me add that virtually all Linux distributions (the term we use for "versions") can do what you ask. If you want something simple to set up and run, I suggest considering Linspire, SUSE, and Ubuntu. If you want to "try before you buy," so to speak, Linspire has a "free" version, Freespire, and the others have open source versions available for free, legal download as well. You will see others propose different Linux distributions, although it is my personal experience and bias that many of the others have installation or setup challenges that make them difficult for a "Windows person" to install, set up, and run successfully with modest effort. Good luck in any case.
 
  


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