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Old 10-23-2003, 06:45 PM   #1
tristure
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Registered: Oct 2003
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My Linux issues


OK, being tired with Bill Gate's general behavior and Microsoft's general disrespectful attitude toward customers, I decided some weeks ago to give Linux a try on my home personal computer.

At home I use my computer to

-surf on the Internet
-get my E-Mail
-play video games
-watch DVD's
-encode my CD's to MP3 or MPC
-listen to the created MP3 or MPC's
-Edit my web pages


I have installed a Mandrake 9.1 on my PC. After three or four weeks of test here are my conclusions and / or problems still yet to solve (not mentioning my bad english since I'm french)...

First let's say that I really want to start a brand new living without Microsoft, so I'm quite enthusiastic with Linux... But I encounter many problems.

OK let's start :

-The general look of KDE under Mandrake 9.1 is (to me) wonderful, not too flashy, not too geeky.
-As for surfing I get no problem, Mozilla Firebird was my favorite browser, it still is right now. Wonderful.
-I have some hard time getting accustomed to Kmail. I start getting used to it, but if you know of some better programs, just let me know!!!
-Games are quite an issue. Tux Racer is quite fun for five minutes but if I wanna play Baldur's Gate or Diablo II I still have to run my old windows.....
-Watch DVDs : I found it hard to install Mplayer and Xine and run them properly. The result is still not as good as my old Power DVD, but I hope that some tweaking will do the job...
-As to encoding, I have found no real equivalent of Exact Audio Copy under Windows. Mind you, I'm quite a sound addictive freak and I'm very Severe on this point.
-My real BIG BIG problem is concerning the sound. MDK 9.1 comes with alsa drivers version 0.90rc8. Most of the time the sound I get is terrible (saturated). If I urn the au mix levels down (master 85%; PCM 90%), It is better (yet not perfect).
My Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 sounded wonderful under windows. I find it very sad that i get such bad sound under Linux....
I wanted to install a more recent version of alsa but couldn't get it to work, apparently due to the fact that I can't easily uninstall the existing RMP's!!!
I would like to have other user-opinions : do you manage to have decent sound quality when turning alsa sound levels at their max, or do you still have to get them at a lower level to get a good sound quality?(I mention that under windows, with every level at max, I still got a very good sound)
-Xmms is quite good but not that good. I was used to listening my MP3 with QCD player. Is ther some equivalent on Linux?
-I used Matizha sublime to edit my html pages. Do you know of any good Linux html editor ??




Thanks everyone for your help. I'm especially looking forward for help on my sound problem cause it's the only real reason why I would switch back to windows right now.... Do you know how I could update my alsa drivers or solve my sound saturation issue???

Any hint concerning any of the points mentioned above will be welcome. Please save me from Microsoft!!!

thanx a lot!!!
 
Old 10-23-2003, 08:00 PM   #2
hw-tph
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 3,032

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Hi tristure. It's always interesting to hear some input from new Linux users.

Quote:
-I have some hard time getting accustomed to Kmail. I start getting used to it, but if you know of some better programs, just let me know!!!
If you like Mozilla Firebird as a browser, perhaps you'd like Thunderbird for mail? I use it, along with pine (geek mode), and I like it a lot.

Quote:
I wanted to install a more recent version of alsa but couldn't get it to work, apparently due to the fact that I can't easily uninstall the existing RMP's!!!
Did you try upgrading Alsa from the command line? For some reason it usually works better than the graphical programs. Put the Alsa rpms in a dir, cd to it and as root (you can type su and enter the root password to become root, type exit when you're done) type rpm -Uvh *.rpm. U for upgrade, v for verbose and h to make pretty hashmarks as progress indicators.
You could also try installing from source to make sure you get the latest version but that can be a bit tricky if you're new to the game - you'll need the kernel source for the kernel you're running, among other things.
About saturation - yeah, that's pretty much what I have noticed as well. It doesn't seem to apply to all cards and drivers though. However, even with a lower volume (~94%) my signal-to-noise ratio seems lower in Linux than in Windows. That's with a pretty cheap chipset though (a Crystal CMI3837).

Quote:
-I used Matizha sublime to edit my html pages. Do you know of any good Linux html editor ??
Never heard of Matizha sublime but BlueFish comes with a good reputation.
 
Old 10-23-2003, 08:40 PM   #3
vivekiyer
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Location: AZ, USA
Distribution: Redhat 9.0
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Try Ogle for watching DVD's. Rocks!
 
Old 10-23-2003, 09:16 PM   #4
darthtux
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Registered: Dec 2001
Location: 35.7480° N, 95.3690° W
Distribution: Debian, Gentoo, Red Hat, Solaris
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Just a few opinions:

1. Mozilla is still better than Firebird. When Firebird 1 comes out it will be the best but at this time I don't like how it handles fonts.

2. For email Mozilla Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird are good. I do prefer Mozilla Mail over Thunderbird because Thunderbird hasn't matured yet.

BTW, Firebird and Thunderbird are being developed as standalone replacements for the more resource hog Mozilla.

3. For html editing I love Bluefish
http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/

4. rpm's - like hw-tph said to upgrade its
rpm -Uvh rpm_to_install
To uninstall it's
rpm -e package_to_remove
the package_to_remove doesn't have to include a version number.

5. mp3 players
I personally like xmms but you might want to try searching on
http://www.freshmeat.net

6. Changing cd's to mp3's
grip
It's in the options to rip a track or entire cd as mp3's

7. Games - I'm not a big gamer but you might look at
http://www.linuxgames.com
http://www.icewalkers.com

Hope this helps
 
Old 10-24-2003, 08:56 AM   #5
unholy
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Eire
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10
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I'd seriously consider SuSE if I were you. www.suse.com. Looking at your initial post, you seem to be a computer user more than a tweaker (like myself). I think you will want something more reliable than mandrake.

SuSE has great hardware detection and an excellent suite of software. It's not free of course. I don't know about Debian. I had RedHat 9 before SuSE. Im happier with SuSE.
 
Old 10-24-2003, 09:08 AM   #6
hw-tph
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Debian
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You can do an FTP installation of SuSE if your network card is supported right out of the box and you have a decent connection (an ADSL or cable connection at home will do just fine). You don't have to shell out all that cash for the CD's.

Håkan
 
Old 10-24-2003, 03:22 PM   #7
tristure
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Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 18

Original Poster
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thanks everyone for your suggestions.

As for Suse, I tried it some years ago, when I wanted to install Linux on my PC for the first time; It was version 6.3 if I remember well.
It was almost impossible for me to install, and when I finally succeeded I discovered that none of my hardware was configured yet.
I came back to Windows very very fast indeed... So recently some friends convinced me to try Linux again since it had improved a lot. Being a beginner (even if I had had to struggle with some Lilo and other weird stuff when installing suse :-)), I wanted to try a beginner distribution : Mandrake seems to fit perfectly that role...

You are right, I'm not a tweaker at all, and i just like things to work well (and to work the way I want them to!!). I still have some way to go to feel really happy with Linux, but it's getting closer everyday.
I think i'll try Suse out again. But do you think I'll have to reinstall the whole system again? I have chosen KDE as my interface, and I've spent some time to adapt it to my needs, I don't want to lose the work I've done so far!!

PS : just tried Bluefish : it seems really good. Think I'll like this one!!
 
Old 10-25-2003, 01:14 AM   #8
lupin_the_3rd
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Memphis, TN
Distribution: Slackware current
Posts: 485

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Quote:
Originally posted by darthtux
Just a few opinions:

1. Mozilla is still better than Firebird. When Firebird 1 comes out it will be the best but at this time I don't like how it handles fonts.


I t handles them fine if you use an xft build
 
  


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