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Old 10-02-2003, 04:29 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Seattle & N.Ireland
Distribution: Suse 9.current
Posts: 40

Rep: Reputation: 15
Thumbs up One man's bogmarsh is another man's raceway.

This is primarily for the benefit of any Windows users who read through these looking for a good reason to bother themselves with the switch to Linux. I did it about a year ago when it took me 2 weeks just to register my own XP installation while travelling with my system in Ireland - they wouldn't let me register because I was not currently in the country where the OS was originally bought. So while I waited for them to pull their heads out I loaded win98, then downloaded and burned Mandrake 9 to CD. I didn't know any UNIX/Linux code, but 3 minutes online taught me a couple very valuable things:
1) Linux users love their own, and are eager to go WAY out of their way to help each other, as long as the helpee is willing to respect their helper.
2) Linux helpers are EVERYWHERE. The biggest trouble in finding good help is picking which of the 30,000 active and applicable help sites/forums to use. (btw, LinuxQuestions is the right choice unless you're looking for very off-the-norm specific help, in which case you could use the Gentoo forums, or whichever distro is the issue)
Here you can search the web for everything linux-specific. Nice.
So I decided to have a go, and started the dreaded installation of Linux. I couldn't be bothered dual-booting because I was just gonna have to reformat to reinstall XP once the Irish authorities got back to me on whether they were gonna let me use my own purchase or not, so I let Mandrake take over the whole disk, and went to go make a pizza while my shiny new Linux distro intalled itself. I didn't even get the pizza base hot before I glanced at the screen and noticed that it wanted something - wait, this can't be right, it looks like I'm supposed to be picking passwords and timezones and stuff already. . . the install is DONE??!?!! 17 minutes from boot to OS!!?! What could possibly have been installed in that tiny amount of time? What do you mean EVERYTHING I NEED?!?
So within 25 minutes of last shutting down Windows, I was checking my mail through a very Outlook-like client (kmail) and had my msn buddies in a chat (gaim) and was updating my website code directly through my browser (konqueror) via it's 'save as' functionality, which can store files directly to password-access http and ftp servers. Unreal.
So is Linux perfect? Hell no. 2 days later my sound quit working and I had to learn what konsole was for before I could fix it. I then decided to try and get my dual-display working, and that took about 20 minutes, but only because I was mis-spelling nvidia for the first 10 minutes. Now my monitors wrap vertically one to the other while in virtual consoles, give me two seperate graphical environments (one su one user) when I want it, or give me one double-wide workspace when logged in as my graphical design user.
What's the current status? I still have to look up UNIX/Linux commands a couple times a week because I'm no technical genius. I still fiddle with getting my settings the way I like them. I still look for Photoshop shortcuts in Gimp. My roommate (on XP and 2000Server) still has to reload Outlook once a month and re-build his message history from scratch because of virus corruption. He still has to download new administration and protection software in addition to all his security updates and patches. He still has to click through 11 menus to get his monitors to adjust the way they reference each other. He can come over to my system and get done what he needs to. I can go over to his system and remind myself why I would MUCH rather play with settings and configuration rather than basic system stability and functionality. So what if I have to use my X-Box or his PS2 to play kick-ass games? Either of those platforms out-shines his Windows gaming system anyway!!!
The upshot? If you've got time to browse these forums, you've got time to switch to Linux. You could literally have installed an entire functional system in the time it took you to read this. In double that time you could have installed Mandrake 9.x (great for 1st timers), Red Hat, Suse, or most other general distrobutions. Is it for everybody? Nope. Computers in general aren't for everybody. The question is: Would you rather spend 2 hours a week maintaining stability and updating basic functionality, or making your third mouse button automatically dial your girlfriend's dorm room?
Old 10-29-2003, 12:56 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 18

Rep: Reputation: 0
Great post. .....and good sig (cat etc...)
I never knew you could update web code that way. very cool. That alone makes my want to dump my windoze systems now. The hardware is on order and should be at my house this friday. I hope to have Linux as my primary system sometime this weekend. I've been windozing way to long.


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