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So, I want to switch to Linux. I like it, everything it stands for, and the whole deal. Its free, software is free (to an extent) and the quality of the programming on a whole is usually better.
But I have a few questions. I'm tied to Windows because of school and some work I have to do.
How good is OpenOffice at native Word documents? Can I take an OpenOffice document (converted to word) and use it at school? Does it only do basic word stuff (not like tables and the rest)?
Can I use PowerPoint (Yes, I know its evil. I hate it, but have to use it) in Linux? Obviously not PowerPoint itself, but is there an app that supports its format?
How good is Wine? I've got some other apps that I want to run (and there wont be a equiv. in Linux, they are apps I made and am working on, but sadly are in VB). Does it support winsock stuff?
I've got a copy of VMWare lying around, so I could always just install Windows ontop of Linux using VMWare. Would this hurt my system's performance too much? I've got a decenter processor (AMD Athlon XP 2000) and 512mb RAM.
I guess I can use the GIMP for image.
Nother thing. I've got a ton of data and such on my NTFS drive (running win2k, best Windows OS yet). I've also heard that the NTFS driver for Linux is poor, and can hose your NTFS partition if you arent careful (while trying to write). Is this true? Will Linux alert me if I try to write to NTFS, or will it let me hose the partition? Is there a way I can set it to read only?
I've heard alot of people say to set up a FAT32 partition as a go-between. Personally I wouldnt bet any of my data on FAT32. I've had some bad times with it and corruption.
Can windows read/write to Linux partitions? What partitions should I use (ext2?)
Gaming, I can get a subscription to Transgaming to try out some games. Battlefield 1942 supposedly works on it, which is better than so far on Windows (Wont start anymore). Can always boot back into windows to game.
Thanks for the help! BTW, Im looking into Ark Linux.
Thanks. I'll look through those more closely later, they look very helpful.
Quick question. I noted that you can read/write to NTFS partitions on other computers using samba (which makes sense). Is there a way to run VMWare so that it uses a real hard drive partition as its own harddrive? I could then read and write through the virtual machine using samba networking.
I actually do run an older version of Powerpoint under Red Hat 9 Linux. Codeweavers make a product called CrossOver Office. It costs about $60 and allows Linux users to run some versions of MS Office under Linux. Their product is is a slightly enhanced version of WINE that also has a very user friendly front end for WINE. Here is a link:
For the last 2 years or more I have been using Linux as my main operating system. Even so I am not a purist and have several Widows programs that I run under Linux. I own MS Office 97, so with the help of Crossover Office I use Word 97, Excel 97, Powerpoint 97, Adobe Photoshop 7.0 and WinZip 8.1 under Linux. Codeweavers also make something called CrossOver Plugin, it allows me to use Windows plugins on my Linux Browser. The only Windows plugin that I use is Windows Media Player 6.4.
As you mentioned OpenOffice/StarOffice can read files in Word format. Abiword and Textmaker can too. They are also are available in Linux versions. For most ordinary documents and letters I have not noticed any differences. I do notice significant differences with multi-column documents with photos and clipart. So depending on what you will be doing that may or may not matter. That is one reason that I run Word 97 under Linux. I am a member a small local club. One person writes the newsletter with Word and then she sends it to me to be printed and assembled. When I print it with Word 97 under Linux the newsletters exactly match her original.
I also have VMWare on my computer. I use the Linux version where Linux is the main host OS and Windows is the guest OS. You probably have the opposite version when where Windows XP is the host and Linux is the guest. VMWare can use a real hard drive partiton. I have never tired doing that, the manual describes how to do that but mentions some limitations when doing that. I have never seen any reason to do that because it performs just fine with the virtual disks. Virtual disks are the recommended choice. VMWare does provide an easy way to share directories (or folders) between the host and guest.
I acutually do not use Windows much even though it runs well under VMWare. I am happy with Linux. I do not a gamer so I have never tried using Transgaming to run Windows games. I occasionally do play a few of my old favorite DOS games. I run them in DOSBox 6.1, It is a DOS emulator that I use instead of dosemu. I finally did figure out how to get my cordless USB joystick to work with the old games when run under DOSBox 6.1
For me Linux is a hobby where I can lift the hood and tinker with things (unlike Windows). I also enjoy trying out all the free software that is available for it. Linux may or may not yet be appropriate for everyone. I prefer it though.
I forgot to mention that when I share folders with VMWare the folders that I share are on my real hard disk. Sharing files is not a problem. The manual mentions something about using Samba as a file server on my Linux host. Unfortunately, when Linux is the host the Samba printer sharing feature is not supported. In fact with a Linux host, sharing of USB devices or parallel port devices is very difficult to configure. At the moment I can not print from Windows 2000 but at least I can from Linux.
I may end up installing Samba on my older computer which also has Linux on it. I could then use it to share my printer between both computers and my Windows 2000 VMWare guest. Some of what I said applies more to the Linux version of VMWare than to the Windows version.
There's also a good file sharing program called LimeWire www.limewire.com. It connects to Kazza, gnutella, morpheous, and all the other networks. You can find the latest version of cxoffice on there if you don't want to shell out the $60.
I did not answer a couple of Excaliber's other questions. Windows can not read Linux partions. I think there is an obscure product that will add the ability to read ext2 and ext3 partitions to some versions of Windows. Linux has no problem reading or writing to FAT16 or FAT32 partitions. I am not sure about NTFS and have not yet looked at Peacedog's links. Ext3 partions are generally better than ext2 partions because they have a journaling feature that that makes recovery from problems easier. ReiserFS and JFS also use journaling.
With VMWare the directories that I share on on a Linux ext3 partition. I do not use Samba to do that. I just use a feature that is built into VMWare. Windows then has no problem reading to writing to the shared folders. In the Windows 2000 guest I can use Windows Explorer to view what is on the shared folders.
My computer has an Athlon XP 2600+ and originally had 512 MB of RAM. It ran great with 512 MB although I now have 1 GB of RAM. Performance was is not a problem although I have never tried to do something demanding like run games on the Windows guest. One comment in the manual seems to suggest that it might not be possible to use a joystick with a guest OS. I have not tried sharing my joystick with the guest OS and do not know if it will work. Well here I am being long winded again!
i havetn checked out teh new 2.6 kernels to see if ntfs write suport is ok to use (in 2.4 its dnagerous, but read suport says it should work fine), as far as the FS's, dont use ext2 or ext3 altho they claim to be made to be simplistic they are a pain in the *add whatever word youd like here *, id recomend reiserfs as i havent had a single problem with it yet about curupt files (if your power shuts off it might delet the last thing you did to your ahrd drive tho, an example, if i add changes to a file then imediatly just shutdown the computer (pull the plug) the changes would be deleted but the original file and everyhitng else will still be on the ahrd drive.), in ext2 (probly was 2 altho i perform the required task to amke it ext3, muist nota worked) one time i logged in and nearly every file on my system was deleted because it was "curupt", JFS and XFS seem like they also might be good, altho the linux kernel has suport for almsot every file system around (even if its read only ), you will need the required tool to make/perform checks and such on the file system, linux will only read or write to the existing filesystem
also while it may look like there a lota programs for linux , in reality most are only half way done, thers lots of conversion utils so you can convert between formats easly enough, if you want document protability then try PDF format as its suported virtualy everywere
I'll look into the Codeweavers package. I dont do too much image stuff, so OpenOffice or the old Word97 should work fine
Sweet, I'll look into the sharing of harddrives in VMWare. My dad brough home a copy of both Linux and Windows host controllers about 3 months ago (he got them free from work). Now I can still access my NTFS drives from Linux, through the virtual machine.
You mentioned USB problems. I've got a USB thumb drive, will it work?
I've heard ReiserFS does well as well. I'll probably pick that or ext3.
Is there a eDonkey client for Linux? I use eMule, probably a similar program around. I'll go check the big list later.