Author Topic: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux  (Read 7340 times)

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jayryan

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Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« on: December 16, 2007, 01:58:24 AM »
I can't get OEM or custom Windows machine to run stable past two years without having to wipe everything and doing a clean install or having to change out a bunch of dead hardware >:( Right now, I can't run two programs simultaneously. I've run every fix in the book short of reformatting so now I'm simply baby-sitting the machine and not shutting it off because my mobo's going bad >:(.

I'm the interim IT guy at work right now and spent two days last week fixing a couple Vista machines (not to mention all the other Windows-related issues). Both machines had "programs" installed from 3rd party vendors. Anyway, every time Windows ran an update, it killed Outlook. Why do people have to install everything they come across? ???

*sigh*

Chances are pretty high that I'll be getting my hands on an MBP this spring through work although there are no guarantees in the non-profit world. I wrote a grant to hopefully get some funding to produce (graphic/video) our own training and resource material (domestic and international) in house.

I think this is my last PC. Yeah, hardware's cheap, but I have to purchase it 4xs more than my Mac buddies. It has it's benefits as far as majority, but I can't count on any reliability or stability.

And on a side note, I've got two boxes I'm playing with the Xubuntu distro of Linux on...it's pretty cool. I wonder if it's stable- it's not installing very well, but then these are P3 machines...worth tinkering on in any case. I'm not sure you could use it as your solo machine in such a MS-heavy world though.

Anybody running a MS/Linux dual OS? I might rock that. I have some MS-based programs I MUST keep at this point, but if I could rock something else for the everyday use, that would be killer.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 02:04:38 AM by jayryan »
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 06:57:25 PM »
Dual booting is easy to set up these days. I usually do it on my work laptops, although this one i'm using now only has LinuxMint on it.

Best way to do it is to put Windows on FIRST, then linux. You can even use the installer to resize the windows partition before putting on linux. *buntu Gutsy (7.10) and by association Mint 4.0 can both read NTFS partitions so you can access your stuff from linux if it is on the windows side.

If you are going to be doing any DVD/movie/mp3/anything with the system I highly recommend Mint as it comes with all that stuff working "out of the box."
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 06:57:25 PM »

jayryan

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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 12:44:39 PM »
Thanks man! I'm gonna try that!

So far, I really like Xubuntu. It's a single install, but I love the way it's structured almost exactly like a Mac, takes an 8th of the space Windows does and is clean.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 02:16:08 PM »
I do like the small-footprint install of Xubuntu. I find the window manager (xfwm4) more intuitive than metacity which is the default with GNOME in Ubuntu. My only problem with Xubuntu is the panels which are not as refined as the ones in GNOME, and don't have as many goodies. Although you can get all the GNOME panel stuff in Xubuntu by installing some extensions.

In spite of taking up less harddrive space and RAM, I never felt like XFCE ran noticeably faster than GNOME. Now if you want raw speed at the expense of a less intuitive user experience and configuration: check out Fluxbox. That crap FLIES! Even on old hardware the time from login to full desktop is about 3 seconds. 
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 04:01:37 PM »
I like user friendly intuitiveness. I get lazy when it comes to configuring :P In any case, I'm going to start on this over the holidays.
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jayryan

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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 01:16:18 PM »
Well, I just trashed two non-function old computers and acquired yet another used laptop, this on in really good condition.

So, I'm going to install Linux on the other side. XP's already on a partitioned Fat32.
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MikeWire

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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 01:32:27 PM »
Well, I just trashed two non-function old computers and acquired yet another used laptop, this on in really good condition.

So, I'm going to install Linux on the other side. XP's already on a partitioned Fat32.

What distro are you going to run?
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 01:38:41 PM »
What distro are you going to run?

I might try Hot Annie's recommendation and rock Mint.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 04:04:27 PM »
Punk!  :P (it's HOE-tah-ni!)

In the past several months, I have experimented with the following distros on a test-mule Dell Latitude D810 laptop which sits on my desk at work (yet does no actual work!):
- Ubuntu
- CentOS/RHEL (just installed CentOS 5 on 3 new servers and am loving it)
- OpenSUSE with KDE 4
- gOS (very interesting, and fun to play with--but not what I'm looking for)
- Xubuntu
- LinuxMint (based on Ubuntu)
- Debian (on which Ubuntu is based)
- LinuxMint: fluxbox edition (flux is extremely lightweight and fast - good for older machines)
- LinuxMint: XFCE edition (lighter weight/smaller footprint than GNOME but not as snappy as flux)

Out of all those, LinuxMint is the one I put on my non-computer-savvy dad's PC. Once he was up and running with Firefox, Open Office and the basic differences between Windows and GNOME ("where's 'My Documents'?"), he was set. I haven't heard from him with a computer related problem for a couple of months now.

Mint plays DVD/Flash/mp3 out of the box which is more you'll get with Ubuntu. Plus it can handle just about any video codec out there without having to install any additional software. Next time I reinstall the OS on my home machine that's what I'm planning to use.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 05:07:43 PM »
I want to install this over my Ubuntu install - it looks great.  With Unbuntu, I can't seem to get the wireless to work correctly.  It is a PCMCIA card and has worked in all other laptops I have.  It seems to install in Ubuntu, but wont pick up any SSID's. :P

Hopefully I will have better luck getting my wireless to work with Mint.  Plus I like the theme way better than the crappy brown Ubuntu look.  Also, are there just additional apps/plugins or is there more "built" in to the OS - kind of like Win2K vs. XP (thats a stretch I know...)?
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2008, 09:52:06 PM »
Punk!  :P (it's HOE-tah-ni!)

Who?! Me? :D
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 03:35:15 AM »
Well, Mint was completely plug and play. I'm on it now. Everything fires right and within minutes, I was on email, chat word processing and internet. Pretty slick!

It does seem a bit slow...but maybe that's me. Being the geek I am I immediately started hitting buttons, exploring menus and such. Works for me.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 01:20:05 PM »
I want to install this over my Ubuntu install - it looks great.  With Unbuntu, I can't seem to get the wireless to work correctly.  It is a PCMCIA card and has worked in all other laptops I have.  It seems to install in Ubuntu, but wont pick up any SSID's. :P

Hopefully I will have better luck getting my wireless to work with Mint.  Plus I like the theme way better than the crappy brown Ubuntu look.  Also, are there just additional apps/plugins or is there more "built" in to the OS - kind of like Win2K vs. XP (thats a stretch I know...)?
It is mostly extra apps and some additional configurations "under the hood" to make things run a little smoother than Ubuntu.

Quote
Well, Mint was completely plug and play. I'm on it now. Everything fires right and within minutes, I was on email, chat word processing and internet. Pretty slick!

It does seem a bit slow...but maybe that's me. Being the geek I am I immediately started hitting buttons, exploring menus and such. Works for me.
Nice!
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 01:24:01 PM »
Mike, I have a cardbus wireless card and it worked right away...Mint couldn't have been more plug n' play. All the drivers were there, all the necessary apps were there too.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 06:29:27 PM »
Mike, I have a cardbus wireless card and it worked right away...Mint couldn't have been more plug n' play. All the drivers were there, all the necessary apps were there too.

Nice.  I tried DL'ing it last night, but all the mirrors are in Europe so it's slooooow.  And the torrent links were broken :(.  I'm surprised at that...but I'll give it another shot tonight so I can hopefully install it this weekend.

Linux rulez all...go JR!
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2008, 07:32:00 PM »
Nice.  I tried DL'ing it last night, but all the mirrors are in Europe so it's slooooow.  And the torrent links were broken :(.  I'm surprised at that...but I'll give it another shot tonight so I can hopefully install it this weekend.

Linux rulez all...go JR!

lol. Well this computer is probably going to ultimately go to my little sister. She doesn't have on at all and I have three with a Mac coming next month probably. So I don't need this one.

It took about an hour to download last night. But this was also the first good burn of an Linux disc I had too...I ended up putting everything super slow so I wouldn't have any data loss.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 04:37:30 PM »
Which release did you get - Daryna or Celena?
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2008, 05:20:44 PM »
I'm using--and would recommend--Daryna which is based on the most recent Ubuntu release, "gutsy."
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 11:09:10 PM »
I got the Daryna release. I have noticed a few quirks I'm not sure what to make of, but  with the exception of not feeling totally at home yet, it's solid.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2008, 04:03:56 PM »
I tried Daryna and it just would not load and was really slow, so I grabbed Celena and it installed much faster and runs smoother.  Dunno if I got a bad ISO or what, but I burned it to CD and DVD and got the same result.  It's an older Toshiba Celeron 600Mhz with 768Mb RAM and a newer 40Gb drive - maybe something with the chipset that it didn't like.

FWIW I had Feisty installed on it already, and when I attempted to load Gutsy it bombed as well.   ???  Time to get a newer play notebook.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 05:41:41 PM »
Huh...I wonder if the other would run better? Daryna seems kinda sluggish to me.

How is everyone's experience with OpenOffice? I'm considering running NeoOffice on the Mac and saving myself $400 in Microsuck software ::)
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2008, 05:59:53 PM »
Huh...I wonder if the other would run better? Daryna seems kinda sluggish to me.

How is everyone's experience with OpenOffice? I'm considering running NeoOffice on the Mac and saving myself $400 in Microsuck software ::)

Open office is great.  I actually use star office (the sun supported version of open office) at work every day.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2008, 06:06:11 PM »
Ya - go with OpenOffice.  If you send things to M$ users just make sure to save in .doc format.  It's great software and the best alternative to Office. 

What email client are you going to use?  IMHO Thunderbird isn't all that hot...
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 06:09:30 PM »
Ya - go with OpenOffice.  If you send things to M$ users just make sure to save in .doc format.  It's great software and the best alternative to Office. 

What email client are you going to use?  IMHO Thunderbird isn't all that hot...

whats wrong with thunderbird?  works great for me.  running it both on solaris and on windows machines.

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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 06:17:00 PM »
Just my opinion, but it's not that user friendly to setup email accounts and change preferences.  Plus no calendar (there's a plug in tho), no contacts (FWIU), and no tasks etc, all of which I use in Outlook.  Plus I'm pretty sure there was no Exchange features...for those enterprise/corporate people.  About a year ago I set it up for a while, then switched back to Outlook for those reasons.  I did really like the backup and profile features - really easy to back up your email/profile and preferences. 

Seems like there is a subversion of FF coming out every week...I wish they would work less on Firefox (now that it's developed and is really catching on) and more on Thunderbird to give M$ a run. 
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2008, 06:25:46 PM »
Just my opinion, but it's not that user friendly to setup email accounts and change preferences.  Plus no calendar (there's a plug in tho), no contacts (FWIU), and no tasks etc, all of which I use in Outlook.  Plus I'm pretty sure there was no Exchange features...for those enterprise/corporate people.  About a year ago I set it up for a while, then switched back to Outlook for those reasons.  I did really like the backup and profile features - really easy to back up your email/profile and preferences. 

Seems like there is a subversion of FF coming out every week...I wish they would work less on Firefox (now that it's developed and is really catching on) and more on Thunderbird to give M$ a run. 

Yes, the lightening calendar add in is very worthwhile, but could use some more configuration options.  there is an address book in thunderbird which does OK for contact management, but could use better sync options to keep up with PDA's. 

Not sure what you mean by exchange features.  we end up using another mail server and set up imap connections to it through thunderbird.   
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2008, 07:35:35 PM »
Yes, the lightening calendar add in is very worthwhile, but could use some more configuration options.  there is an address book in thunderbird which does OK for contact management, but could use better sync options to keep up with PDA's. 

Not sure what you mean by exchange features.  we end up using another mail server and set up imap connections to it through thunderbird.   

All agreed...

MS Exchange is the MTA server which is just like Sendmail or Postfix but is MS flavored.  Outlook works with Exchange like IMAP (or POP3 if you want) so there is server side mail storage.  To my knowledge Thunderbird doesn't work with Exchange, so it can't be used that way, but you could of course use POP3 or IMAP for email.  It would be nice if it could handle Exchange server, but last time I checked into it, it did not.

At work we use public folders, meeting rooms etc, which are Exchange only features (and very nice BTW, even tho it's M$).  But ya gotta pay to play with that setup!

Anyway, I'm still looking forward to using Mint as my standby email/web/remote computer for the livingroom/bathroom/garage....
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2008, 07:48:58 PM »
Hmm...well, I haven't made it that far yet. The only hangup I can foresee is that we broadcast our calendars over the network using Office (even though they never work half the time). Our email is web-based so that's not difficult.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2008, 08:34:23 PM »
there is an exchange connector for Evolution which I use for work e-mail. Go into synaptic and search for "exchange" - there is a package called "evolution-exchange" and you can't install it without everything you need. Once installed, open Evolution and configure a new e-mail account with your Outlook Web Address (OWA). If you have web access that is...

Evo is basically an Outlook clone, and comes pretty close. The only problems I have with it are accessing shared e-mail accounts and such.
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Re: Windows Rant and tinkering with Linux
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2008, 02:11:32 PM »
there is an exchange connector for Evolution which I use for work e-mail. Go into synaptic and search for "exchange" - there is a package called "evolution-exchange" and you can't install it without everything you need. Once installed, open Evolution and configure a new e-mail account with your Outlook Web Address (OWA). If you have web access that is...

Evo is basically an Outlook clone, and comes pretty close. The only problems I have with it are accessing shared e-mail accounts and such.

Very cool - I have not used Evolution, but I will now!
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