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ksacheffel 12-04-2009 04:38 PM

Convert to Linux
 
I am attempting to switch from "Vista". I use "Word, Excel, Firefox, Publisher, Nero, etc." I record video, publish a couple of newsletters, track data, publish greeting cards, etc. I hesitate to convert until I know all these activities can be done under Linux. I'm looking at "Red Hat" as my operating program sincve they are located here in the RTP.

MTK358 12-04-2009 04:49 PM

Word, Excel -> OpenOffice.org (office suite), AbiWord, Gnumeric

Firefox -> Firefox, Konqueror

Nero -> Brasero, K3B, cdrecord (command line)

Not sure what Publisher is.

arochester 12-04-2009 04:54 PM

Publisher->Scribus

Didier Spaier 12-04-2009 04:56 PM

Welcome to LQ

I suggest you first try one or several live CD or live DVD to make up your mind.

You can stop by http://distrowatch.com/ to help you choosing one.

Firefox is available on Linux.

For Word, Excel, use OpenOffice, http://www.openoffice.org/ (available on Vista as well)

For drawing try Inkscape see http://www.inkscape.org/ or gimp http://www.gimp.org/

For publishing, Scribus @ http://www.scribus.net/

For video recording I don't know.

code933k 12-04-2009 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksacheffel (Post 3780176)
I am attempting to switch from "Vista".

Nice!! Welcome to the GNU/Linux world ;) You will always find a lot of people around the globe wanting to help you and share experience/expertise.

Quote:

I use "Word, Excel, Firefox, Publisher, Nero, etc."
  1. OpenOffice 3 is the greatest option and, in my humble opinion, a much better suite than MS Office. There's always google docs on-line too.
  2. Firefox is a Linux native application, which means it will work equally or much better here ;)
  3. Publisher, there are plenty and much better options for doing this depending on usage: PDF oriented stuff, scribus (I have used this app for professional purposes). HTML and WEB content: screem, bluefish, quanta, nvu, komposer, etc. It is up to you. PS:// If you are too used to WYSING editors, you'll probably want komposer a KDE (desktop native) application.
  4. Nero, If you chose Gnome as your default desktop then brasero is what you get (quite simple and neat burner) If you go KDE instead, then you are presented with K3B a full-fledged DVD/CD burner which many people loves much more than their old Windows proprietary stuff.
  5. Yes, sure! You can do a lot more profesionally (hundreds of different choices) without worrying about viruses, spyware, disk fragmentation, instabilities and another well known Windows annoyances.

All of GNU/Linux is freedom and choice, you get multiple user interfaces too. The main two are Gnome and KDE. If you like Vista looks then go KDE (which looks even more fancy and much more integrated) If you like more conventional looks but yet highly customizable to suit your taste then chose Gnome. Later you can see for yourself what you really want.

Quote:

I record video, publish a couple of newsletters, track data, publish greeting cards, etc. I hesitate to convert until I know all these activities can be done under Linux. I'm looking at "Red Hat" as my operating program sincve they are located here in the RTP.
I could recommend you switch slowly until you feel comfortable and you understand Linux power (it is like switching from XP to Vista, there was a slight learning curve)

I am not used to video recording under GNU/Linux but there are many apps to do this. For recording desktop activity, recordmydesktop (which has KDE and Gnome integrated interfaces) Cinelerra and others are better suited for amateur to professional video editors.

My personal recommendation for a very good learning distribution is openSUSE (Redhat, actually Fedora, based).

Good luck. Keep up with your plans, once you are in you will never look back !

johnsfine 12-04-2009 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksacheffel (Post 3780176)
I use "Word, Excel, Firefox, Publisher, Nero, etc."


Running Word or Excel in Linux may be harder than it is worth.

So you want to find out whether you can stand to use the similar Open Office programs.

My understanding is the Open Office program similar to Word is different enough to be very annoying to people who are used to Word. Open Office might even be easier for the casual user. Unbiased observers (if you could find any) might say Open Office is better. But if you're used to Word, you aren't likely to agree.

The Open Office program similar to Excel is amazingly similar in terms of feature support in imported Excel files. But the performance is dismal. The casual user of Excel might not notice the difference between instant and ten or twenty times slower than instant. But if you do large/complicated enough things in Excel that they aren't instant, they may be hopelessly slow in Open Office.

You can try Open Office in Windows, so if Open Office will end up driving your Windows/Linux decision, you probably should try it before even trying Linux.

Firefox on Linux has minor layout and font problems with just a very few sites as compared to Firefox on Windows. But mostly there is no difference.

The free Linux support for pulling video from a camera, editing it, compressing it, writing to DVD, etc. are all generally better than using moderately priced tools in Windows but quite different. You can having something much better than Nero, but it won't act like Nero. If you will react to different and think it is worse, you won't like it.

Quote:

I'm looking at "Red Hat" as my operating program sincve they are located here in the RTP.
That is a really bad basis for selecting a Linux distribution and probably a bad selection.

I think you would be much more likely to be happy with Mepis or KUBUNTU.

bret381 12-04-2009 05:11 PM

video recording = kdenlive

MTK358 12-04-2009 05:11 PM

AbiWord is also like MS Word and Gnumeric is like Excel.

Also, you might want to read this:
http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

ksacheffel 12-05-2009 10:06 AM

Thank you all! I am studying your replies carefully. I'll let you know of my decision. Thanks again!

catkin 12-05-2009 10:55 AM

You can reduce the steepness of the learning curve by starting to use some applications under Vista that are also available on Linux, such as OpenOffice.

IMHO OpenOffice is not as good overall as MS Office although it is better in some respects (but my MS Office experience stopped with Office 2003). In particular, OpenOffice is slower to open the first document than MS Office. I spend around half my time working with OpenOffice Writer (Word equivalent) and Calc (Excel equivalent) and they are at least "good enough" but I'm going to explore Go-OOo as an alternative to the OpenOffice suite and Gnumeric as an alternative to Calc some time.

You do not mention what you use for email, for backup, for password management ... ? Your list of programs is quite short; it is easy to overlook some; have you reviewed what is listed by Start->"All Programs"?

EDIT:
If you find, after auditing all the software that you use under Vista, that some do not have good Linux equivalents, all is not lost; you can run Vista in a virtual machine under Linux using something like VirtualBox and have easy access to them.

If you have a printer you can check if -- and how fully -- it is supported under Linux here.

lupusarcanus 12-05-2009 01:54 PM

Ubuntu is a good Linux distribution to start with. I am using it now. In my humble opinion, I think its a very good operating system.
I've heard quite a few good things about openSUSE, although I have never used it, it shouldn't be too hard.
If Red Hat is your chosen path, I recommend it is better to use CentOS, which is essentially a clone of Red Hat that better follows the Open Source Philosophy. In fact, a good example of Open Source is the community based Wikipedia.

Also may I add, that you should try a Live CD, which basically lets you use and tinker with the Linux Distro (version) of your choice, without touching your Windows partition.

The Ubuntu installation CD also lets you do something called dual-boot, which lets you install Linux next to Windows so you can choose between them when you start your computer. Basically letting you keep Windows for those programs you need, and letting you experiment with Linux programs until you get used to them.

To download and explore Ubuntu, go here: http://www.ubuntu.com/

To see a good list of possible Linux Distributions, and see key features and what they look like, go here: http://distrowatch.com/

Lastly, if you are unsure of which one you might need, take a friendly quiz to find out; http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

Take note that there are thousands of free, open-source, virus-free and spyware-free programs (hardly EXISTS in Linux) that will do what you need them to do. Try Google!

Lastly, please note that Windows programs don't run on Linux. And, that, iTunes won't run on Linux. Driver support is limited, but everyone "has your back."

Anyway or anyhow you decide to go about it, LQ (linuxquestions.org), and many other websites are here to help!

Welcome to LQ, and have good luck.

resetreset 12-06-2009 09:24 AM

For video recording, another option would be LiVES which used to ship with Dynebolic, but doesn't anymore so you'll have to download and install it yourself.

pixellany 12-06-2009 09:34 AM

AND---keep in mind that WINE / CrossOver is now quite good----allows you to run many Windows apps on Linux.

code933k 12-06-2009 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leopard (Post 3781046)
Ubuntu is a good Linux distribution to start with. I am using it now. In my humble opinion, I think its a very good operating system.
I've heard quite a few good things about openSUSE, although I have never used it, it shouldn't be too hard.

Ubuntu has gained a good base in the media as well as "voice to voice" transmission. For users in a position of I came from Windows and I don't know s**t that's good enough.

However, Linux based distributions are almost all the same once one has gained a core knowledge of them. Those are differenced basically in the way they present you with sane system defaults and. overall, their package administration method.

So, for the expert, differencing good ones from bad ones is somewhat easy: Good ones don't interfere in your way to knowledge. Ubuntu is too kludgy (cluttered) and once the user achieves some knowledge, he has learned Ubuntu, not Linux. It will be easily broken if you try to experiment (customize defaults your own way) . Conversely OpenSUSE has better technologies at its core, is better tuned for modern machines, its packaging method rocks and is totally community driven. One click install is one example of it. It is good for the expert and the person new to Linux. The only problem I have with it is Novell sponsorship. They are evil cousins of Microsoft ;)

Quote:

If Red Hat is your chosen path, I recommend it is better to use CentOS, which is essentially a clone of Red Hat that better follows the Open Source Philosophy. In fact, a good example of Open Source is the community based Wikipedia..
Most RPM (packaging) based distributions are Red Hat clones. CentOS is definitely not one of the better ones and I, personally, have had terrible experiences in enterprises where they have adopted such a distribution without too much knowledge. By the way, CentOS is enterprise oriented, I suppose they'll do worse for users.

catkin 12-06-2009 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by code933k (Post 3781841)
Ubuntu has gained a good base in the media as well as "voice to voice" transmission. For users in a position of I came from Windows and I don't know s**t that's good enough.

I choose ubuntu because it was the only one in use locally and I thought that was important, having learned UNIX and C in isolation before the Internet was available to private individuals. As it turned out, the Internet (and especially LQ :)) was way more helpful than local people. It took me about a year to realise that ubuntu was not the right distro for me. Actually it took a lot less than that but I'm persistent and thought the judgement had more to do with my incompetence than ubuntu -- and I was reluctant to distro hop, knowing it takes a few months to familiarise with a new distro, especially as a :newbie:
Quote:

Originally Posted by code933k (Post 3781841)
Conversely OpenSUSE has better technologies at its core, is better tuned for modern machines, its packaging method rocks and is totally community driven. One click install is one example of it. It is good for the expert and the person new to Linux. The only problem I have with it is Novell sponsorship. They are evil cousins of Microsoft ;)

And the language of their technical documentation is impenetrable -- a bit like NASA-speak.


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