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Old 10-01-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
bugg_tb
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Making Linux look and act like Windows XP


Hi Guys,

I've been using linux for years but have recently been given the task of refurbing some computers for and aid project that will be sent to Pakistan.

To keep costs low I plan to export them with gentoo installed but the client wants them to look and act as closely as Windows XP as possible. The computers will all be relatively low spec, inbuit graphics, 600mhz to 1 Ghz cpu, 128 - 256mb memory, 20gb hdds etc.

I have my own ideas about software but I was wondering what software other people would install to make the client believe he was using XP

The usual stuff, desktop environment, automounting of discs, graphics editors, M$ office clone, internet, video player etc etc. whilst keeping the desktop pretty responsive and not bogged down.

Ideas please people.

Cheers
Tom

PS Someone has already suggested linux-xp but I want to stick with gentoo as it's fast and configurable.
 
Old 10-02-2006, 10:21 AM   #2
caps_phisto
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XPde as the Desktop http://www.xpde.com/
Outlook Theme for FireFox
OpenOfficewww.openoffice.org
MPlayer with a Skin similar to WMP.
or
XMMS with a WinAmp skin.

Last edited by caps_phisto; 10-02-2006 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 10-02-2006, 10:26 AM   #3
b0uncer
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Using KDE with a low-end machine is something you can't do if you want the whole thing to act reasonably quickly..i.e. not to lag everywhere. The hardware specs you told about are, though, just enough to roll a heavy desktop environment with builtin gfx card (my experience), so you actually can run KDE/Gnome if you like. For both of them, an XP-like theme is available, I can't really say which is "more look-a-like", but check out screenshots and if you can, try out.

Though you can't make it look and act just like XP, maybe just close to. Linux just does things differently.

I'd probably pick up KDE, OpenOffice2, Firefox (Konqueror is all right, but..something about it is just not what I'd take, and many Windows users already know Firefox)..I dunno. That's about it; a basic XP installation just doesn't offer you much more (not even office)
 
Old 10-02-2006, 11:35 AM   #4
jstephens84
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I would use Gnome as the Desktop. Media player would have to be GXine, or Mplayer. For a browser I would say Firefox. OpenOffice for you office package since it can edit Office 2000 and 2k3 documents. Gimp as a graphical editor or inkscape. Now as far as acting like XP I don't think that is possible. Linux was not designed to act like xp but to act more like unix.
 
Old 10-02-2006, 11:58 AM   #5
dive
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Acting like XP would surely end the moment a user wants to install some new software/hardware?
 
Old 10-02-2006, 12:47 PM   #6
bugg_tb
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Yeah I know acting like XP is not really viable,

Hardware installs don't really matter as the environment they're going into wouldn't allow for upgrades.

RE Software upgrades i'm working on updating them remotely, and installing new software isn't really an issue as I plan to ship with most things they need. Wordproccesor, Media Player, Grapics Editor etc.

What I mean when refering to XP like is, having a 'My Computer' and Control Panel interface and automounting of CD drives, and auto detection of VCD's(if possible so it'll run the video player) etc so the end user doesn't have to worry about it.

I want to steer clear of KDE if possible cause I know its rather heavy although I am testing gnome at the moment as an alternative.

I was wondering about ICEWM or something similar though as I know you can get xp themes and its quite a light resource WM, but I wasn't sure about Icons on desktop etc.
 
Old 10-02-2006, 05:50 PM   #7
Mimenta
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All the above sound great but I wouldn't be too concerned with the acting like Linux rather than Windoze. Many computer manufacturers distribute the PCs in developing countries with Linux OS's as standard now. Even here in Australia, I bought a NEC Versa, 3 years ago with linux as standard OS from a major Melbourne Laptop retailer.

Manufacturers can't hope to sell in less affluent countries and gain market share when they put XP as standard OS so they are forced to go into older Windows versions. Some PC supplier comes along with the latest Ubuntu as OS, with full support, forums and updates and steals the market. It's so bad in Asia that MS released a stripped down version of their 2K OS at a discounted price to compete and try and regain market share. (Didn't work - It's the 2nd most common clone now - no prizes for guessing the top one!)

We can grumble and tolerate the extra $100+ on the purchase price, for XP on our new computer but in less affluent countries, thats a month's wages and means they delay their purchase.
Also with MS's WGA spyware/bogus security update, they have lost a lot of technical consumer confidence. Couple that with yet another complete new OS to buy soon and I think you might find that a year down the track MS systems with their whopping price tag and demand for lots of resources will be Western status symbols.

You might be better to introduce your people gently to Linux as an OS rather than shackle them to a dinosaur.
 
Old 10-02-2006, 05:58 PM   #8
samnjugu
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i ran fc5 on a 1ghz & 256mb comp and it runs fine. For someone coming from windows it's very easy to get into it auto detects everything hardware, vcd's, dvd's, flash drives etc. It has a desktop,my home(my documents) my computer etc, i have introduced it to a few of my friends who are just regular users with no prior linux experience and they are comfortable using it without any major problems,
 
Old 10-02-2006, 06:46 PM   #9
bugg_tb
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Thanks for those comments guys.

This is the thing I'm trying to aim for. I dont expect people to be fooled into thinking they're using XP when its really linux etc, what I am trying to get to is a point where I can ship out a computer with linux on as it means we dont have to jack up the price to the end consumer and it wont take as bit a hit on speed. But still be something they are used to and comfortable using interfacewise.

Cheers
Tom
 
Old 10-03-2006, 05:55 AM   #10
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimenta
All the above sound great but I wouldn't be too concerned with the acting like Linux rather than Windoze. Many computer manufacturers distribute the PCs in developing countries with Linux OS's as standard now. Even here in Australia, I bought a NEC Versa, 3 years ago with linux as standard OS from a major Melbourne Laptop retailer.

Manufacturers can't hope to sell in less affluent countries and gain market share when they put XP as standard OS so they are forced to go into older Windows versions. Some PC supplier comes along with the latest Ubuntu as OS, with full support, forums and updates and steals the market. It's so bad in Asia that MS released a stripped down version of their 2K OS at a discounted price to compete and try and regain market share. (Didn't work - It's the 2nd most common clone now - no prizes for guessing the top one!)

We can grumble and tolerate the extra $100+ on the purchase price, for XP on our new computer but in less affluent countries, thats a month's wages and means they delay their purchase.
Also with MS's WGA spyware/bogus security update, they have lost a lot of technical consumer confidence. Couple that with yet another complete new OS to buy soon and I think you might find that a year down the track MS systems with their whopping price tag and demand for lots of resources will be Western status symbols.

You might be better to introduce your people gently to Linux as an OS rather than shackle them to a dinosaur.
I would say you are lucky. Most major computer manufacturers around here offer microsoft only. And when they do it is linspire. The only good thing about microsoft is that it crashes so my job security is still afloat.
 
Old 10-03-2006, 06:09 AM   #11
ethics
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstephens84
I would say you are lucky. Most major computer manufacturers around here offer microsoft only. And when they do it is linspire. The only good thing about microsoft is that it crashes so my job security is still afloat.
I've been tasked with specing a load of new stuff from Dell, we're on their manufacturer partner list thingie (discount ). They offer Red hat on several of their machines.

Unfortunately our 3D CAD software is only available in 32 bit XP binaries. And my boss doesn't want to tell his little girl that the latest hellokitty.exe screensaver won't run on his laptop.

I don't think manufacturers are as far behind as they used to be, they are happy to embrace it (as an alternative at the moment) but to alot of people the lower cost of the unit is more attractive, and so it's becoming a very viable option.

tieing in with the OP subject, industries and governments alike are embracing FOSS/Cheaper alternatives which will help garner acceptance.

As for making it work like Xp.. i feel dirty and frustrated when using xo after any Linux distro.. where's my CLI, where's my ls
 
Old 10-03-2006, 06:16 AM   #12
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethics
I've been tasked with specing a load of new stuff from Dell, we're on their manufacturer partner list thingie (discount ). They offer Red hat on several of their machines.

Unfortunately our 3D CAD software is only available in 32 bit XP binaries. And my boss doesn't want to tell his little girl that the latest hellokitty.exe screensaver won't run on his laptop.

I don't think manufacturers are as far behind as they used to be, they are happy to embrace it (as an alternative at the moment) but to alot of people the lower cost of the unit is more attractive, and so it's becoming a very viable option.

tieing in with the OP subject, industries and governments alike are embracing FOSS/Cheaper alternatives which will help garner acceptance.

As for making it work like Xp.. i feel dirty and frustrated when using xo after any Linux distro.. where's my CLI, where's my ls
that is funny that you mention it. Every time I use an XP machine it doesn't feel right. When I go to the command prompt I always find myself trying to do an ls -al or a pwd. then when I go back I find myself trying to use dir.(but I quickly loose that bad habit)
 
Old 10-03-2006, 07:52 AM   #13
alred
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if you are looking towards making your linux box like xp then its a no , probably a bad start i guess ...

sometimes i would like to think that tasks like these are more suitable for female linux experts and coupling with your venturing "attitude" , it may works ...

ok ...

i think your spec is mostly ok except for that ram , it should be at least 256 and no lesser ...

which distro to use is a non-issue , maybe just make sure that the usual stuffs(like what you mentioned) eg.internet and "office" capabilities , really work great before you roll out ... people generally are quite easily satisfied if they can have that when they start doing something with their pc ...

and also ... if its already well-planned , its also good to "commit first then say ..."

hmm ... sounds like the capability of linux and open-source for a wider market(free or otherwise) long dued ...



//let all sorts of flowers blossom at the same time ...

//whoaaaaah .... but mo only ...


.
 
Old 10-03-2006, 11:46 AM   #14
PMorph
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With 1 Ghz/128-256mb I'd attempt to keep the desktop as simple as possible, leaving most of the resources for applications to use.

Lets face it, even without hardware limitations its hard to put up something that behaves like Win XP. You easily end up with the worst scenario: replacing the XP complexity with something else that is complex, but in a different way.

Go simple..
 
Old 02-01-2007, 08:47 AM   #15
rewtedesco
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Make it crash randomly, at least once a week :-)
 
  


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