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Old 02-02-2009, 09:28 AM   #1
moveright
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thinking of taking the plunge - seeking advice


ok, I (like everyone else) hate windows. I've toyed with switching over to Linux for years now but for one reason or another, I've decided against it. Maybe because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find enough software to use or maybe just because even though I hate windows and it requires a lot of upkeep (which is ridiculous), it DOES in fact work.

Anyhow, I am taking a serious look at Linux Freespire to be installed on my Compaq V6719NR notebook. It's got an Athlon 64x2 processor and from what I've read, it seems that my machine may perform much better with Linux as opposed to Windows XP.

That having been said, I seek advice from those that know. What can I expect from the switch? I'm not a power user or anything, I just use your basic programs, Google Chrome web browser, nero, MS office, that type of stuff. I suppose there are progs FAR better with linux but one of my concerns is my online backup service mozy.com. they don't have a linux app.

So, to make a long story short, what can I expect? What should I be worried about? if Freespire the right choice for me?

Thanks.

-mike
 
Old 02-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moveright View Post
ok, I (like everyone else) hate windows. I've toyed with switching over to Linux for years now but for one reason or another, I've decided against it. Maybe because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find enough software to use or maybe just because even though I hate windows and it requires a lot of upkeep (which is ridiculous), it DOES in fact work.

Anyhow, I am taking a serious look at Linux Freespire to be installed on my Compaq V6719NR notebook. It's got an Athlon 64x2 processor and from what I've read, it seems that my machine may perform much better with Linux as opposed to Windows XP.

That having been said, I seek advice from those that know. What can I expect from the switch? I'm not a power user or anything, I just use your basic programs, Google Chrome web browser, nero, MS office, that type of stuff. I suppose there are progs FAR better with linux but one of my concerns is my online backup service mozy.com. they don't have a linux app.

So, to make a long story short, what can I expect? What should I be worried about? if Freespire the right choice for me?

Thanks.

-mike
It may be. You might also want to look into Ubuntu, Mandrivia, or Fedora Core. As for the listed apps, You have firefox, opera, and even IE if you want to install with with wine. For office there is openoffice which will allow you to open MSOffice files and edit them, save them in the same format or change the format. As for burning programs there are too many to list, like cdroast, kb3 just too name too.

For your online backup try running it in wine. In short I can't think of anything to worry about. No use in worrying.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
repo
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I would suggest to download a live cd from the distribution of your choice, and try it out.
It boots from the cd, so you can test it without installing on your HD
It will run slower from cd, but it will give you an idea, also you can see if all the hardware is supported.
Or run linux in a virtual machine within windows.
Later you can install linux next to windows on the same computer.
And finally remove windows.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
Agrouf
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You should try a liveCD first.
Try ubuntu and mandriva first and freespire after.
You have to relearn some things. First thing you have to learn is how to install software with the package manager. DONT go seeking software over the web unless you know you should. There is a package manager which is the best way to install software on a linux distro.

Last edited by Agrouf; 02-02-2009 at 09:42 AM.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 11:12 AM   #5
r3sistance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moveright View Post
ok, I (like everyone else) hate windows.
First off I don't remember hating windows... and second you don't have to go on an effective windows rant around here for any reason. Many people here still use windows for things, this isn't just a place for linux only users, simply a place for people who use linux despite whatever else they may or may not use. I personally use Windows, CentOS and Mac OS X and have had to work with all sorts of linux distributions in my line of work.

Anyways, things these days with linux are alot better then they once were but overall, most software you can get on linux you can get on windows anyways and their are windows applications that some linux ones can't touch... also some things get into legal issues if you look over the past at things like .gif file format, some distributions don't ship with mp3 codecs either.

However, most things (not all) will run in linux from windows using WINE as said above. I would however advise the idea of looking into Dual Boot over a complete change. If you have over a 80GB HDD this won't have any problems, below 80GB space of having two operating systems will be more... noticable but should still be fine. This way should you still need windows you can just boot into windows.

Reason I advise this is just because of your back-up service, and also when people first get into using a linux based OS, it can be a little tricky getting use to everything straight off. Jumping in the deep end and running back to windows, no offense intended, here a gradual change is easier to take on board then an instant one.

I personally have a dual boot set-up on my gaming PC so I can do development work on my server from within a similar set-up. Also for me, I can off load virtual server images from my server to my PC and open them up with out the person noticing should the need arise that I think they are doing something illegal... has not occured yet but it's ready for it should it be needed. Also means I can run my main Virtual Machine from home to apply changes and test if they work or not without destorying or burning my server. Generally tho I use windows for most things... it's just easier. I use my Mac every now and then and serves as a back-up machine should this one die, generally use it for blender.

Last edited by r3sistance; 02-02-2009 at 11:21 AM.
 
Old 02-03-2009, 07:30 AM   #6
dickgregory
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Ditto on the dual boot. Just be very careful when it comes to partitioning your disk and configuring your boot loader. If you don't understand what you are doing you could destroy your current Windows setup. It's far better to stop where you are and ask for specific help. LQ is of course the recommended place to do that. Prevention is much better than salvage, and we don't want your next post to have the title "Urgent!!! I just destroyed Windows and I have to have it back NOW!!!".

When I first started to use Linux seriously, I set up with dual boot. I don't even remember how long it was before I realized that I was never booting into Windows. Linux just did everything I needed. So I dropped Windows entirely and have been Windows free for 5 years now. That is, until last Christmas when I got a DVD with with content that needed the included Windows or Mac software program. So I just installed VirtualBox and plugged in my old XP install CD. Now I can run both at the same time without dual boot. So far, VirtualBox works perfectly except I don't get sound in Windows, which is no big deal. If I wanted it, I could probably figure it out.
 
Old 02-03-2009, 08:22 AM   #7
rsciw
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as you're new to linux, please don't do following:

- go on a tirade to everyone and their neighbours that they must switch to linux because windows is oh so evil.

thx
 
Old 02-03-2009, 08:35 AM   #8
pixellany
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Freespire is one of my least favorite distros, but it could be fine for you. You simply have to try things and see what works. Live CDs are nice, but keep in mind that things are very slow when running from live CD, and that can give you the wrong impression.

I offer two postulates:

1. Starting with no knowledge of any OS, it is now easier to install and setup Linux than it is Windows.

2. There is now more SW for Linux than for Windows. (This one has a catch..... What is true is that all the common stuff can now be done on Linux.

The laptop can be an issue with any Linux. I have yet to see a distro that will work with all laptop functions out of the box (but some come very close.)

On-line backup: Why bother? Get 1 or 2 external USB drives and archive periodically to CD or DVD.
 
Old 02-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #9
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Freespire is one of my least favorite distros, but it could be fine for you. You simply have to try things and see what works. Live CDs are nice, but keep in mind that things are very slow when running from live CD, and that can give you the wrong impression.

I offer two postulates:

1. Starting with no knowledge of any OS, it is now easier to install and setup Linux than it is Windows.

2. There is now more SW for Linux than for Windows. (This one has a catch..... What is true is that all the common stuff can now be done on Linux.

The laptop can be an issue with any Linux. I have yet to see a distro that will work with all laptop functions out of the box (but some come very close.)

On-line backup: Why bother? Get 1 or 2 external USB drives and archive periodically to CD or DVD.
I will agree with you on that. On-line backup's are way too expensive, have a limited bandwidth so backups of large size take forever. I normally setup an rsync that will take snapshots onto a usb drive formated with jfs. As for the laptop I believe Arch worked 100% out of the box even with the iwl3945 driver. I was using a Toshiba laptop A105. Course with debian one simple apt-get ipw3945d firmware-3945 worked great. So laptop support has come a long way. I say this because it is usually only the NIC / wireless that has problems with any linux installation anymore.
 
Old 02-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #10
rsciw
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ubuntu 8.10 live-CD also worked out of the box 100% on my father's fujitsu-siemens amilo laptop (not sure which model exactly...)
 
Old 02-03-2009, 04:06 PM   #11
terminatorul
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Like you, I also tried many times to switch to Linux, playing with things from time to time for several years, and I found it very difficult to adapt to. I found myself always booting Windows.

I first had Slackware on my machine, dual-boot with Windows, than I installed Solaris, dual-boot with Windows. Many of the problems I had were because I chose a rather not-so-friendly distribution (they say Slackware is very good, but should you choose it, you should know what you are doing), and because I never had enough disk space for a full Linux/Solaris installation together with Windows.

Things are much better now that I have a complete installation of Slackware on my computer instead of Windows, but there are still problems like drivers for my motherboard/graphics board, web sites that work poorly or not at all unless you have IE (or Firefox on Windows), movies that I do not have codesc for, programs working only on Windows ...

But still the main problem when you have years of Windows experience behind, and want to switch to Linux, is that you need to configure everything, and you do not know how to, even though things appear to work for everyone else but you . I had to compile php (I can build web sites with it), postgresql for databases, aMule to download movies and software, Firefox just to get the Flash player plug-in installed, and many system libraries for them... things to not just work with a click of a button in Linux either. For everything you do you need to read a manual page. The good part is that after you learn how to do things your efforts will be rewarded. You will just know how things work behind some command or program, and Linux software will not run
obsolete as Windows software does...

For your Windows-only programs you may be lucky enough to run them in wine (Windows emulator for Linux). They say wine can play World of Warcraft on Linux. That's a 3D computer game, and it is quite something for wine to be able to run it. I could not do it because I do not have Linux 3D drivers for my hardware. To switch to Linux you should definitely check if you can find Linux drivers for your hardware. Start with your printer first. I can play Heroes of Might and Magic III with wine, but I could not run WiX (Windows Installer XML) compiler to build Windows setup programs (packages) with it.

So in short do not remove your copy of Windows unless you are ready to invest some amount of effort to switch. And when you install Linux, always go for a complete install (from the setup options) and choose a friendly distribution.

Timothy Madden
 
Old 02-04-2009, 07:18 AM   #12
dickgregory
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Another possible option would be to install VirtualBox on your Windows box and install Linux as a guest OS. If you have enough disk space, you could install several Linux guests to try them out and compare side-by-side. If you buy or build a new box, then you could reverse it and put VirtualBox on a Linux install and use Windows as a guest (or not at all if you no longer need it).

I currently run VirtualBox under OpenSuse 11.1 with Win XP SP2 as a guest, and it works well. So far I have only used the guest XP to run one app. It's nice to not have to reboot to change OS just for one app.
 
Old 02-04-2009, 07:57 AM   #13
farslayer
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Best Online Remote Backup Service w/Linux Client? Article is a little old, but It probably still has some good suggestions in it.

I also just use an external USB Drive for my backups.
 
Old 02-04-2009, 03:09 PM   #14
moveright
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thanks to all who offered suggestions! I ended up loading ubuntu. well, first I tried kubuntu but it felt weird, so I got ubuntu and wow, I have little experience with Mac but I have finally seen what it is like to be able to install an OS on PC and have everything work. hooray!

thanks again for all the support, Ubuntu for the win!
 
  


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