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Old 08-16-2006, 11:10 AM   #1
orlisgal
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Compatible or portable Windows software and programs?


Not sure if I'm posting in the right forum, I just became a member and have tried to find the answer to my question to no avail, so here goes!

I'm SERIOUSLY considering Linux, after 6 of my systems got attacked through my in home network for the MILLIONTH time. As I run an in-home biz, I'm SICK of losing client files; spending WEEKS fixing all this Windows CRAP as a result of spyware, viruses and hijackers. For example, my IE7 wants to run the following add-on: "QuickTimeCheck Scriptable Object" from "Apple Computer, Inc." -- and like how the HEY do I know if I can trust THAT Active X control...! Yes...as you can probably tell, I'm in a VERY delicate state right now! :-(

1 -- Most of my clients and potential clients will be using Office for desktop publishing purposes: Word, Excel, etc. I have Office 2003 -- but it appears to me that I won't be able to use this on a Linux OS, is this true?

2 -- If not, then will the compatible Linux "system" be able to import and read Word or WordPerfect doc's? Will my clients be able to read the doc's I've created in their Word or WordPerfect programs?

3 -- I can probably use Firefox and Pegasus or Eudora for my email, so that's not a problem, but is will I be able to still network my computers? Can I still use my Cable modem/network hub and have networking capability?

4 -- Will I still be able to use my CD-RW and burn disks for my clients/for me, in order to move files around?

5 -- How about Adobe Acrobat? I work with a lot of gov't forms, and they're all about Adobe Acrobat, so this is kind of a must...will Linux run Adobe Acrobat? (Not the reader...I'm talking about the full version).

6 -- Finally, how about Notepad? I do all my own websites, so I still need Notepad don't I?

Thanks for your input and advice. Please forgive my ignorance and LONG question. Rather than chuck my computers out the window, scrap my biz and live on the street, a friend suggested Linux. I hope he's right, 'cause I don't have time to keep MESSING around w/this nonsense -- I need to get some work done!

Thanks -- Orlisgal
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:27 AM   #2
Hangdog42
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Welcome to LQ!

1) Microsoft Office can be run using a program called WINE, which allows many, but not all, programs written for Windows to run on a Linux computer. There are tons of threads here about using WINE, so you can get a good idea of how well/poorly it works.

2) Open Office reads most MS Office documents. If I were in your shoes, I'd download the Windows version of OpenOffice and see how it handles them. There are some issues with OpenOffice handling complex MS Office documents, but my experience is that about 90-95% of MS Office documents are handled properly. KOffice also works with MS Office files and might be worth a look.

3) Networking computers simply isn't a problem. System like SAMBA allow you to mix Linux and Windows computers easily and Linux has the NFS file system for sharing networked drives.

4) CD-RW will work. There is a nice program called K3B that rivals any CD burning software in the Windows world.

5) This may be a toughie. I think Acrobat will run under WINE, but you should investigate further. As far as I know there isn't a Linux version of Acrobat.

6)No problems. You have a bunch of text editors and web design software that will have you wondering why you ever used Notepad. Check out Bluefish as an example of a web editing tool.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:30 AM   #3
w3bd3vil
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woops ..........
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:38 AM   #4
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
1 -- Most of my clients and potential clients will be using Office for desktop publishing purposes: Word, Excel, etc. I have Office 2003 -- but it appears to me that I won't be able to use this on a Linux OS, is this true?
Unfortunately that is true. There is no Linux version of Office. It may be possible to run MS Office under WINE, but that's far from ideal, and should only be tries as a last resort if you can't find any native Linux programs that do wahta you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
2 -- If not, then will the compatible Linux "system" be able to import and read Word or WordPerfect doc's? Will my clients be able to read the doc's I've created in their Word or WordPerfect programs?
Most office suites support MS Office formats to some extent, but I'm not so sure about WordPerfect files. You may experience some minor compatability issues when transferring files between MS Office and other suites, but there shouldn't be any major problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
3 -- I can probably use Firefox and Pegasus or Eudora for my email, so that's not a problem, but is will I be able to still network my computers? Can I still use my Cable modem/network hub and have networking capability?
I don't think there are Linux versions of Peghasus or Eudora, but I may be wrong. You can definitely use Firefox. You should be able to use your Cable modem/network hub, but it might not be easy to set up. Sorry but I'm no expert in networking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
4 -- Will I still be able to use my CD-RW and burn disks for my clients/for me, in order to move files around?
There are a number of tools available for Linux to burn CDs, most distributions include at least one by default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
5 -- How about Adobe Acrobat? I work with a lot of gov't forms, and they're all about Adobe Acrobat, so this is kind of a must...will Linux run Adobe Acrobat? (Not the reader...I'm talking about the full version).
Only Adobe Reader is available for Linux, not the full Acrobat suite. If all you need to do is create PDF files, a number of Linux programs can export documents to PDF (OpenOffice.org and Scribus spring to mind, but I'm sure there are others).

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
6 -- Finally, how about Notepad? I do all my own websites, so I still need Notepad don't I?
There is not Linux version of Notepad, but there are various other text editors available that do much the same thing. Most distributions provide a choice of text editors in the basic installation.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
weibullguy
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1 -- You can still use MS Office if you use CrossOver Office (paid) or WINE (free) to run it. However, you could just use the freely available OpenOffice from Sun Microsystems. It will save/open documents in MS Office formats (.doc, .xls, etc). I use OpenOffice at home and MS Office at work and have never had a problem except with the Symbol font (Greek letters).

2 -- See #1 for Word, I don't know about WP. You could check out the OpenOffice website.

3 -- Shouldn't be a problem. I have three Linux machines and one Windows machine at home. All on the internet, all on the LAN, all sharing the same printer, etc.

4 -- Absolutely. See K3b.

5 -- I don't think Adobe provides a Linux version of Acrobat. There are other Linux programs (e.g., OpenOffice) that will create pdf documents though.

6 -- If you install WINE it comes with "Notepad", but there are many other programs for web development available for Linux.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:49 AM   #6
hand of fate
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Ah, I see there have been a few replies all made at the same time...

We seem to be mostly saying the same thing, but I should add that running Windows programs under WINE of CrossoverOffice is not generally the best solution. Programs compiled specifically for the system they are to run under almost always run much better than programs designed for something else being run under an emulator.

Programs like WINE should only be used as a last resort if there is no native program available that satisfies your needs. It should not be used as the first choice as an alternative to looking for a native program to do the job.

Last edited by hand of fate; 08-16-2006 at 11:51 AM.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 02:01 PM   #7
orlisgal
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Thank you!!!

Geez -- all your answers were great and very, very helpful! Can I package you'all up and bring you home with me?!

Seriously, thanks so much for your input -- really helps in my decision...which is to switch (duh, right?). I realize it won't be overnight, so guess I'll REFORMAT one of my HD's AG-AIN, put WinXP on it so I can at least get some client work done and will meanwhile start setting up Linux on the others, together w/finding compatible software!

You'll probably see this NooB 'round about here in the next couple of weeks, asking for more help!

Thanks again,
Orlisgal
 
Old 08-16-2006, 02:28 PM   #8
Hangdog42
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You're in for a challenge, but it is a very doable one. I've been running my consulting business for the last year on Linux and the only part of Windows I haven't been able to ditch is Quickbooks. As long as you're willing to put in the effort to learn, this place is an incredible resource.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
orlisgal
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linspire

Hi everyone...just an FYI: looks like linspire might be the one for me---looks like it can even do Adobe Acrobat (I don't just create doc's -- need the full version so I can fill out tax forms!)

Take a look here: linspire.com

You have to pay for it, but it seems to have most of the components I'm gonna' need!

Katrina
 
Old 08-16-2006, 05:59 PM   #10
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
Hi everyone...just an FYI: looks like linspire might be the one for me---looks like it can even do Adobe Acrobat (I don't just create doc's -- need the full version so I can fill out tax forms!)

Take a look here: linspire.com

You have to pay for it, but it seems to have most of the components I'm gonna' need!

Katrina
If you think that's right for you, then far be it for me to say different. But, if Adobe provided a Linux version of their Acrobat, free or paid, I'm sure someone in this forum would know about it. I've never used Linspire, so it may be super-awesome, but they're not offering anything I can't get free of charge from other distros. You could spend over $100 to find out Linux isn't what you're looking for or $0 to find out.

The reasons you cited in your original post are not unique to Windows. Your Linux machine can be compromised if your security is lax. You can lose files and not be able to recover them if you don't routinely backup your system. I'm speaking as a home user, not a biz owner or sys admin, I lock down, I backup, and I sleep with one eye open even with Linux.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 06:07 PM   #11
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Perhaps you are already aware of this, but OpenOffice.org works under Windows as well, so you can try it out before making the switch entirely over to Linux, too see if it will fit your needs.

I have found minor (spelled: no one else would notice) glitches in saving files in the MS formats from OpenOffice.org in the last 3 years of using OOo. When sending really complicated files to MS users, where PDFs are not appropriate, I usually run a free application called Microsoft Word Viewer under WINE to see how the conversion turned out. Word Viewer, PowerPoint Viewer, Excel Viewer can all be found on Microsoft.com.
 
Old 08-17-2006, 07:11 AM   #12
Hangdog42
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I don't mean to knock Linspire since I've never used it, but I did a little googling and it looks as if they use Win4Lin as their method to run Windows applications. Essentially, Win4Lin uses a licensed copy of Windows to create a Windows virtual machine running under Linux. Again, I've never used Linspire, but my experience with virtual machines like that is that pokey doesn't even begin to describe the performance.

One thing you might do before buying is trying a live CD that runs Wine. A live CD runs Linux from a CD, so you don't have to install anything and is a great way to test drive Linux. I know that Knoppix has Wine installed, so you might give it a go and see if it runs Acrobat. Ubuntu also offers live CDs, but I don't know if they have Wine installed.
 
Old 08-18-2006, 08:33 AM   #13
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlisgal
looks like it can even do Adobe Acrobat (I don't just create doc's -- need the full version so I can fill out tax forms!)
Do you really need Acrobat to fill in tax forms? I'd be very suprised if you really do.

If the forms are supplied as PDF files with embedded form fields (I don't even know which country you're in, but I'm guessing that's probably what they are) then you can do that with just the Adobe Reader (which has a Linux version, and is free).

I very much doubt any authority would send out tax forms in a form that you can't do anything with unless you buy a whole expensive proprietary suite!
 
  


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