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Old 11-11-2010, 10:44 PM   #16
frankbell
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I think all the responses you have received so far are right on target. No one can make you a believer. It's up to you to give Linux a far try while keeping an open mind.

Nevertheless, I decided to share how I got to be a committed Linux user.

In the early 2000s, I heard about this Linux here thing. I told myself that, if I ever got a free computer, I would give it a try. At the time, I was working for a company that manufactured high-end security software for a QNX, Windows 95, and Windows NT/2000 domain environment doing software training and tech support.

A couple of years later, one of my co-workers was closing up a side business he had of buying surplus computers for $5.00 each from the university where his wife worked and reloading them to be "grandparent" computers--basic Windows boxes that could be used for email and websurfing and simple word processing. He gave me two left-over IBM PC 300 (original Pentium 300 MHz boxes).

By a series of happenstances, I ended up loading Slackware 10.0 on them and learned my way around Slackware (which, by the way, rocks). Then I met a guy who told me how he was running a website from his den using Linux, the LAMP stack, and no-ip.com.) So I set up a website because I could. It worked. I had fun. (I gave the other box to my daughter in Georgia.)

I found lots of support on-line in the Slackware newsgroups and here at LQ.

Two years later, I worked up the nerve to port my personal laptop (Dell Inspiron something or other--6000 I think) over to Slackware. I've never looked back.

Now, the only reason I have a Windows computer is that sometimes I have assignments in which customers want the results in some MS Office format and I'm still a novice at WINE.

Linux does everything I need or want to do with a computer, without nagware, without constant registration fees, without worrying about viruses or intrusions. It's easy to configure and use and gives me flexibility--such as a choice of desktops (Fluxbox is mine)--that Windows does not. Plus it's faster by every benchmark.

(Yes, I run an AV and a firewall, because I consider that to be simply part of safe HEX, but I don't obsess about them as I used to and I don't feel as if I have to run lots of security stuff in the background all the time everyday and do regularly weekly scans for adware and spyware.)

Linux prints to my network printer, runs my file server, streams videos across my home network, allows easy updating (usually without reboots), and, as a bonus, gives me ssh and scp.

Also, if I break it, it's a darn sight easier to fix than Windows.

If the Windows registry gets hosed, you're done. End of story.

If a Linux text configuration file gets hosed, boot to a live CD, edit the text file, and, most of the time, you're back in business.

Linux is also easier to use once you understand it. But it is different from Windows, so there was a learning curve. I had spent almost 20 years becoming very good at DOS and then Windows 3.1, 95/98, 4.0, and 2000/XP (including administering Windows NT/2000 domain controllers, though not the domains themselves).

We were all newbies once.
 
Old 11-12-2010, 08:31 AM   #17
MTK358
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Also, if you will not find good alternatives to Windows software, try Wine, which acts as a layer between a Windows .exe file and Linux.

And finally if you really like Linux and use is as your main OS, but some things just don't work in Wine, you can install Windows in VirtualBox under Linux, and use both at the same time without rebooting!
 
Old 11-12-2010, 08:52 AM   #18
onebuck
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Hi,

I also agree that VirtualBox would be a viable solution.

VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux and Macintosh hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), and OpenBSD'. You can look at the 'User Manual(pdf)'.
If you want then 'VirtualBox Downloads Page'. Don't forget the 'VirtualBox User HOWTOs for some useful information.

 
Old 11-12-2010, 09:23 AM   #19
teebones
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depends on how long Virtual Box remains free or even exists.. *worried looking at Oracle*
 
Old 11-12-2010, 11:00 AM   #20
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebones View Post
depends on how long Virtual Box remains free or even exists.. *worried looking at Oracle*
I don't want to hijack this thread, but I wanted to ask if Java is controlled by Oracle and if they might make it proprietary?
 
Old 11-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #21
teebones
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Yes Java is controlled by Oracle (they own it, since they own Sun, which made Java)
Seems a yes to the latter too.
(looking at the current changes with Java, and lawsuits initiated by Oracle (claims of abusive use of Java license by third parties out of a sudden etc etc) surrounding it recently)

Last edited by teebones; 11-12-2010 at 11:17 AM.
 
Old 11-13-2010, 08:35 AM   #22
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebones View Post
depends on how long Virtual Box remains free or even exists.. *worried looking at Oracle*
There is an open source version of Virtualbox, so it should be no problem to fork it into a new project, if Oracle decides to make it non-free.
 
Old 11-13-2010, 12:12 PM   #23
jay73
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There are also open source versions of java. In fact, oracle is just borrowing stuff from the openJDK project. Oracle does have patents on a number of concepts, though, as they do on the default vm.
 
Old 11-15-2010, 02:35 AM   #24
lupusarcanus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stress_junkie View Post
Mainly because you are curious.


It was a struggle for me. I started using Linux in 1995. It was not nearly so well developed as it is now. I started to use Linux because I wanted to learn Unix (UNIX) and I could not afford to purchase a Sun Microsystems workstation.

I've stayed with Linux for those reasons and more. Here are some of those reasons.
1) Linux doesn't run Windows viruses so there are fewer viruses that will attack Linux. Also, viruses that would attack Linux will usually have limited ability to affect the system files.

2) Microsoft hides much of the system operation. That makes it difficult to diagnose and fix some problems. Many Windows techies reinstall Windows to fix any difficult problem. Even Microsoft often states that reinstalling Windows is the preferred way to address many problems. Forgot your password? Microsoft says reinstall Windows. That's pathetic.

That is not often the case in Linux, at least not after you've learned how the software works.

3) Linux doesn't have a registry. The Windows registry is the main reason that computers running Windows slow down over time. A Linux machine will run as fast on the day it is retired as it did the day it was built.


I have five computers. They are all dual boot with Linux and some flavor of Windows. Two of these computers are always running. One of the these two runs Windows 7 by default. It runs my Magic Jack telephone service. The other computers run Linux by default.

I use the Linux for all of my web surfing, email, business documents, safely storing Windows antivirus software to copy onto my USB flash drives for business service calls. I only use Windows for the Magic Jack and to learn about Windows.

I like feeling safe when I'm using the Internet. I think that's what I like best about Linux. I'm don't have to worry about Koobface or rogue antivirus viruses or other threats that target Windows computers. I like being able to read email without worrying about embedded malware.

Mind you, Linux is not completely safe from viruses or other software threats. It is mostly a question of probabilities combined with separation of system privileges. Most viruses and other threats target the Windows platform.

I'm not a Windows hater. I dislike Apple and Microsoft but I don't hate their products. If you like Windows then stay with it. If you are curious about Linux then use it occasionally until your curiosity is satisfied or until you prefer it to Windows.

Mostly have fun and enjoy the freedom to choose that is provided by open source software even if you don't use the open source products.
Magic Jack is planning to support Linux in the near future.
 
  


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