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Old 12-06-2008, 10:05 AM   #1
tothemax6
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I want to, but how can I possibly use Linux?


Hi everyone,
Well to start things off, I have never used anything other than a Microsoft OS as my OS (ever since the days of 3.1). However, lately, as I'm sure you are all aware (V-I-S-T-A, "scream!!") Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided that customers would prefer shit software over good software. So im not happy . How infuriating it is that my nice new computer, the most expensive available from the shop, should be crippled so severely by this Vista junk.
I tried reverting it to XP, but its a HP machine, and they won't provide the drivers. So it can have XP and run razor sharp, but can't do anything.
So that aside, I downloaded the latest copy of Ubuntu and gave it a run. Seems nice enough to me, except for one major thing, which is the main topic of this post: Support.
For example, I can't connect to the internet with Linux because the only driver the manufacturer (obscure, from ebay) provided me for my Wifi Stick comes in a Windows executable. Similarly, a search for a linux driver for my printer came up blank - it is a new, HP Color Laserjet CM1312 (so no printing for me).
Then it occurred to me the extent of the problem. Yes, while I understand that free open-source software is available (like OpenOffice), what about everything else? My computer needs to run MYOB. My computer needs to be able to run any software provided with a new camera that I buy (assuming it is a 'special' camera), or any other piece of hardware that uses its own software. I need to be able to run Guitar Pro. I need to be able to run the software that comes with my TV stick. Then what about if I want to buy a new game from the store which I really want? Every game at the store for PC is of course, Windows only. Yes there are free games, but if I want to play Spore that's not really relevant, is it?
So what I want to know is, how can any home PC user possibly use Linux? Enlighten me because I am confused with how everyone is making out that 'people can simply swap to Linux'.

Thankyou all in advance!
RM

P.S. Ironically, as I was typing in V-I-S-T-A "scream", it refused to allow me to use quotation marks .
 
Old 12-06-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
rjwilmsi
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The answer is that Linux supports more hardware than any other operating system. What you have to do is check for Linux support of a new piece of hardware before you buy it. There are plenty of wireless cards, TV cards, WebCams, printers etc. Which have full Linux support -- you just have to do a little bit of homework before you buy anything. One of the advantages of installing Ubuntu is that it has a wide user base so you can generally find full lists of what hardware is supported.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
XavierP
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Welcome to LQ. The answer is: it depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. For example, HP printers are very well supported in Linux - open a terminal and type "sudo hp-setup" (minus the quotes) and it should detect your printer. Today I bought a HP F4280 and it was set up and installed in around 2 minutes with all features and a nice HP toolbox. As to the rest of your software, there are 3 ways to do this that I can think of off the top of my head:
1. dual boot - leave Vista on one partition and Linux on another, boot into Windows to play Spore, etc
2. use Wine - whether plain Wine, Crossover Office/Games, PlayonLinux or Cedega - on this though some things will be supported and some won't
3. use a virtual machine within Linux - using Vmware or similar run Windows inside Linux - you will take a speed and performance hit though

Whichever you decide, do the research first and let us know when you get stuck (don't forget to be descriptive and to post error messages).
 
Old 12-06-2008, 10:43 AM   #4
bigrigdriver
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You should also check the vendors' websites. Even though they may not publicly support Linux, many have un-publisized Linux driver.

Example to prove the point: if you take the time to search the HP Support & Drivers page and enter your printer number (1312), you can find Linux drivers here.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #5
Duck2006
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http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
 
Old 12-06-2008, 10:54 AM   #6
thorkelljarl
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To get here from there

1. Download and try one or more linux live-cd distributions to see what works and what you like. Google for your laptop, machine or motherboard and linux to find the wisdom of others.

2. Thereafter post here what your system and its critical components are and what a live-cd couldn't make work. Be specific; be thorough.

3. Look into howtos for installation and linux terminology and practice.

4. Remember that success rewards effort and that linux forums are more help to those who come with the results of what they have already tried than empty handed.


Some popular live choices are Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mint, Puppy; there are many. See here. http://www.livecdlist.com/

Read this forums guide on burning a live-cd. If you need it you can download tha easy to use CDBurnerXP.

Good Luck.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 11:10 AM   #7
H_TeXMeX_H
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Your printer is listed here and is supported reasonably well:
http://openprinting.org/show_printer...rJet_CM1312nfi

One thing you should understand is that most things are actually supported by Linux either out-of-the-box or with a few driver that you have to install. Don't bother looking for .exe's anymore, they won't help you in terms of drivers. Also don't bother too much with Window$ programs, there are usually equivalent open-source versions that you can install, and if not then you can always try running it through wine.

As for Spore (a crappy EA DRM'd POS), you can actually run it almost perfectly through wine:
http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...sion&iId=13839

I think the others who responded covered the rest of the topics pretty well. Just know that it's hard to find something that does NOT work with Linux, rather than the other way around.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 11:26 AM   #8
pixellany
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Quote:
Enlighten me because I am confused with how everyone is making out that 'people can simply swap to Linux'.
Two gut-level reactions:

1. You have already developed a pretty strong mind-set, based on--what--maybe a few weeks of experience? "Enlightening you" may be a tall order for the mere mortals here.

2. Define "everyone". (I learned this challenge from one of my favorite bosses. When I would say: "Everyone is saying/doing XYZ." He would just pause for a moment and say "Name two.")
I have never heard anyone state that 'people can simply swap to Linux'.

When I switched to Windows in 1997, it took me many months to get comfortable with how to set up a system. Now, after almost 12 years, Linux is far easier to get going than even Win2K, which was regarded as the first really stable version. Starting with nothing, with equivalent functionality, I can have a Linux system up a running in a fraction of the time it would take with Win2K.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
mrclisdue
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...and, with the utmost and all due respect, consider that since you've been with Windows since the 3.1 days, it's probably reasonable to assume that you've spent more than 5 minutes, since then, configuring the OS: so, give Linux more than a few minutes of your time before throwing in the towel.

I've been using Linux for over 6 years, and many of the folks here have been doing so for many, many more. I am 100% Windows-free (granted, I don't do games.)

And, I still regularly need help with things.

And, because of the tremendous, all-volunteer support on this board, I'm very-well looked after.

There is also no greater computer-related feeling than having 100% control of every single aspect of a computer that you own.

IOW, be patient, and you'll discover that the light you're seeing at the end of the tunnel isn't a freight train.

Welcome, and good luck.

cheers,
 
Old 12-06-2008, 01:16 PM   #10
jiml8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Two gut-level reactions:

1. You have already developed a pretty strong mind-set, based on--what--maybe a few weeks of experience? "Enlightening you" may be a tall order for the mere mortals here.

2. Define "everyone". (I learned this challenge from one of my favorite bosses. When I would say: "Everyone is saying/doing XYZ." He would just pause for a moment and say "Name two.")
I have never heard anyone state that 'people can simply swap to Linux'.

When I switched to Windows in 1997, it took me many months to get comfortable with how to set up a system. Now, after almost 12 years, Linux is far easier to get going than even Win2K, which was regarded as the first really stable version. Starting with nothing, with equivalent functionality, I can have a Linux system up a running in a fraction of the time it would take with Win2K.
I, too, switched TO windows from sheer necessity starting in 1996, and the actual migration took me over a year to complete - AND I had to do some Windows programming in order to complete my business move from the Amiga.

My transition from Windows to Linux started in 2001 and is not complete and may never be complete; I run Windows in a virtual machine hosted in Linux, and I do it because there are certain things about Windows that I can't live without. Mainly, I sell a software package that is Windows only, so I have to support it. The next generation of that package will be multi-platform, but development on that is languishing at the moment and even so...most of my customers will be windows users.

So, you can move to Linux whenever you choose to do so. Maybe you can't move all the way to Linux, but you can get arbitrarily close and can keep Windows for those things where you just don't have a choice.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 03:49 PM   #11
jschiwal
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For HP inkjet, laser printers and all in one printers, go to http://hplip.sourceforge.net/ and see if your printer is supported. I have a Color LaserJet 3550. Your distro probably has an hplip package on your install disk that you can install through your package manager.

For your tv stick look into v4l (Video for Linux). There may be TV centric distros that you can try out using a live distro.
Here is one that uses a real-time kernel tuned for low latency. You can run it off a cdrom.
http://www.dynebolic.org/

I had to look up what MYOB was besides the wtf definition (Mind Your Own Business).
It is available for linux as well.
http://www.amazon.com/MYOB-US-MPRUMC...8596236&sr=1-7

I can't help much with games. I run an old Civilization port natively & Warcraft II using Wine. I don't even know how the new controllers I see work and have pretty much lost interest in gaming. One can save a lot of money and time by not gaming.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 04:11 PM   #12
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschiwal View Post
One can save a lot of money and time by not gaming.
That's a keeper!!!

I understand the attraction of gaming, but I am far past the point where I will invest any significant resources.

Now I spend my excess time on lofty pursuits such as finding ways to make SED work for all text-processing problems.......
 
Old 12-06-2008, 05:52 PM   #13
jozik
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"So what I want to know is, how can any home PC user possibly use Linux?"
Well, not 'any home user' wants to play games or semi-play guitar. And even if you want to, there are several games playable fwith Linux and even moer with Wine. I rather play real guitar and sometimes a game. My PC is mostly used for Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and of course mail and surfing the net. That's all very easy with OpenOffice, Evolution and Firefox. Indeed my USB TV-stick (Hauppage WinTV-HVR 900H) isn't working yet, but luckily I have two normal TV's at home ;-)
 
Old 12-06-2008, 06:39 PM   #14
lakedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tothemax6 View Post
For example, I can't connect to the internet with Linux because the only driver the manufacturer (obscure, from ebay) provided me for my Wifi Stick comes in a Windows executable.
Not all Wifi is supported by Linux natively but a program called Ndiswrapper allows the use of Windows drivers in Linux. Ndiswrapper might be the answer to your WiFi problems.

If you can't get your stick to work and you still want to attempt to use Linux you can just purchase a Linux compatible WiFi adapter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tothemax6 View Post
Similarly, a search for a linux driver for my printer came up blank - it is a new, HP Color Laserjet CM1312 (so no printing for me).
Evidently you didn't search very good...As BigRigDriver pointed out, that printer will work fine with Linux.

BTW... Many drivers are built into the Kernel so separate outboard drivers are not even required for many types of hardware...




Linux is admittedly not the best for 3d gaming. With WINE and lots of tinkering you can get some Windows games to work with Linux but they run much better in Windows.

Last edited by lakedude; 12-06-2008 at 11:00 PM.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 10:35 PM   #15
tothemax6
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OK great thanks all!
This is a much more thorough response than I was expecting, based on my experience with other forums.
This Wine sounds good, and I am glad that there are Linux drivers for my printer. I definately think that if I were to use this, it would be in a partition, and XP in another.
Quote:
I rather play real guitar
So would I, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Pro .
Quote:
You have already developed a pretty strong mind-set, based on--what--maybe a few weeks of experience?
Of course, and like all pig-headed persons, I want to be enlightened
Quote:
Define "everyone". (I learned this challenge from one of my favorite bosses. When I would say: "Everyone is saying/doing XYZ." He would just pause for a moment and say "Name two.")
I don't want to define "everyone"! Nah, my rebuttal is always 1. No one keeps a list of names (or name 2 people who keep such a list), 2. If I can give you the names of 100 people who believe in scientology, have I fulfilled your criteria for "everyone believes in scientology", 3. Yes, 'everyone' is not the perfect term to use, but its the quickest way to say "the mean of the memetic distribution regarding 'People can/should swap windows to linux' is much closer to Yes than No amongst linux people". I think "I disagree" is much nicer than "Define Everyone". Is a bird in the hand worth exactly 2.000 birds in the bush?
Quote:
As for Spore (a crappy EA DRM'd POS)
Yeah, but I think they've payed the price for DRMing it . I am impressed that this Wine is able to run this game.
Quote:
I had to look up what MYOB was besides the wtf definition (Mind Your Own Business).
It is available for linux as well.
Wow I didn't know that. I guess I just assumed. To be fair I don't do much gaming either.
Thanks again for all the help everyone, RM
 
  


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