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Old 06-22-2007, 12:50 AM   #1
BeachBilly
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Thinking about switching from Windows to Linux ...


Having a lot of problems lately with Windows ME, I looked around and found a lot of information about Linux ... most of it I don't understand. What I do understand is when someone says with Linux I won't need a mess of third party software ... Linux is said to be stable and secure. My question is, what about the programs I use with Windows? Such as Word ... photoshop and the like. I'm a writer and most agencies require that I submit manuscripts in Word. Does that work with Linux and if not, how can I submit a Word document?
Someone said there's a huge amount of free software with Linux ... but is any of my Windows based software usable on that system?
And last but not least, am I even asking the right questions?
Thanks
"Newbie" Bill
 
Old 06-22-2007, 01:03 AM   #2
Nylex
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You can use Word's .doc format in Linux with OpenOffice.org (which is an entire office suite) and probably the other word processors, such as Abiword, too.

Generally, Windows software won't run natively under Linux. So, you'll either have to find a Linux equivalent of the software you need or try to run it with a "compatibility layer" like Wine or CrossOver (which isn't free).
 
Old 06-22-2007, 02:40 AM   #3
IndyGunFreak
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Do some Googling on switching from Windows to Linux. Linux and Windows are 100% different, and just because you're proficient with MS Windows, doesn't mean you'll be proficient with Linux(quite the opposite actually). Your best bet is to stick with Linux native applications, as Wine/Crossover support is very hit/miss(mostly miss). Most of the popular Windows programs have Free alternatives with Linux...

MS Office---- Open Office, AbiWord, StarOffice- All but Star Office are free.
Adobe PS----- The Gimp, and a few others are free(note, Gimp has a steep learning curve)
Media Players---- MPlayer, Totem, Audacity, Xine, the list goes on, all free
Nero------- K3b or GnomeBaker, both free
DVD Ripper- dvd::rip or Acid Rip, both free
AIM, MSN, ICQ, etc--- Gaim/Pidgin, Kopete, and a few others.. All free
Internet explorer--- Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Konqueror, and a few others, all free
Outlook--- Evolution, Free
Outlook Express---- Thunderbird, Kmail, and a few others, All free
Torrent clients--- KTorrent, BitTorrent, Both Free

What are the hardware specifications of the PC you have? What all do you plan to do with this PC?

go over to http://distrowatch.com/ and take a look at the distros you might consider using, then research them. Almost anything in the Top 10 will be pretty good. Personally, I like Ubuntu 7.04. Its easy to use, fairly newbie friendly, and there's a lot of users, which means support can be easily found with Google, or by simply getting on the Ubuntu channels on IRC. I wouldn't bother with the "LTS" version, as 1, its over a year old, and 2, unless you're planning to pay for support, you'll not really get any benefit from it. If I didn't use Ubuntu, I'd use Debian, then Fedora.

and one last thing, this should be common sense but if you plan on Dual Booting, having Windows and Linux on the same PC, which is probably a good idea till you're not so green with Linux. BACKUP ALL YOUR DATA BEFORE INSTALLING.

IGF
 
Old 06-22-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
chrism01
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also, you might this a useful read: http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
 
Old 06-23-2007, 12:33 AM   #5
BeachBilly
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Okay... and thanks for your comments. I started writing oh, so many years ago on a KayPro, then went to a Mac and on to Windows. I believe trading up to Linux is not only possible for me, but doable ... anything to get away from the ME problems. However, as I mentioned originally, my agent wants manuscripts in .doc or .pdf files. Is it possible to write in the Open Office or AbiWord and either 1)email the document to her in a .doc file or 2)keep Windows on my PC and, having dual booted, create with Open Office and copy to Word thus having a .doc file? I hope this makes sense ...
Again, thanks for the help/advice. Chism01, the link you offered is priceless as a starting point.
bill
 
Old 06-23-2007, 12:46 AM   #6
ceilingFan
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I am pretty sure that Open Office lets you save in .doc - Word readable - format. It may not go through entirely if you put fancy animations or the like in the document. But leave that to the publishers ..
 
Old 06-23-2007, 01:02 AM   #7
phidor
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As a writer 'twould be important to investigate carefully how you edit pdf files in Linux. I'm told it is a lot easier with Windows. However, as a word of encouragement, my daughter wrestled with Windows ME for years before going Linux and now has great peace of mind with a trouble-free Linux system. A simply excellent newbie choice is PCLinuxOS.

Phidor.
 
Old 06-23-2007, 02:21 AM   #8
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachBilly
However, as I mentioned originally, my agent wants manuscripts in .doc or .pdf files.
Too easy.

OpenOffice.org is capable of saving in both of those formats.

After having become used to Word, the layout is slightly different and some controls aren't where you'd expect, but outside the 'adjustment' period, I believe that OO.o is actually better than Word.

How patient does someone have to be to put up with WindowsME for 7 years??!! I think you'll love Linux.

Last edited by rkelsen; 06-23-2007 at 02:24 AM.
 
Old 06-23-2007, 04:38 AM   #9
IndyGunFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen
Too easy.

OpenOffice.org is capable of saving in both of those formats.

After having become used to Word, the layout is slightly different and some controls aren't where you'd expect, but outside the 'adjustment' period, I believe that OO.o is actually better than Word.

How patient does someone have to be to put up with WindowsME for 7 years??!! I think you'll love Linux.
Just curious, I've saw posts, etc, where users suggest that people save in OO.o native files. I know its quite possible to save/edit a Word file under, but when its saved as a word file, is it formatted correctly? I've heard that sometimes page formatting may not be correct, etc..

I guess a really easy thing to do, put a file you created in word on a floppy, download a distro that is a live CD and has OO.o installed (I know Ubuntu does, not sure about the others), open OO.o on the LiveCD, and open your file off the floppy and see how it looks. I guess if it were a huge problem, you could purchase StarOffice. It supposedly is 100% compatible with MS Office.

http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/index.jsp

There are some options to run those programs that you currently have(assuming you have the CDs) on Linux, via a program called "Crossover"... It works extremely well with a lot of the programs you've mentioned(thus eliminating compatibility problems)

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxoffice/

http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/rank/

Hope all that helps...

IGF

Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 06-23-2007 at 04:51 AM.
 
  


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