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Guest OFF or Old Fur F##t
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I'm no expert at this and there are many here much more qualified than me. I'm a true novice which is one reason I'm writing this.

 

As such however I thought it might be helpful to others who might want an option.

 

Early in my computer career which wasn't that long ago I discovered I had an acute allergy to one of my neighbors, Uncle Bill and the MS-OS aka Windows. I even had a computer built with two hard drives, one for Windows OS and one for a Linux OS. I chose Mandrake 8.2 at the time.

 

I have a very Linux savy Tech guy in Portland, a necessity for just about any novice, Windows or Llinux. Code writers read no further.

 

After just a month I discovered I was doing everything in Linux and hardly ever used my Windows 2000Pro. It wasn't intentional or anything like that. It was an annoyance issue. Since most of my time spent on the computer at the time was surfing the net it was no contest doing in in Linux or in Windows. I had GOOGLE on both.

 

The Windows was constantly down or locking up .. even with Anti-Virus software.

 

As I began to learn and use other functions and tasks the "compatibility" issue arose. I then recently upgraded to Mandriva 10.2 Rev. [the former Mandrake] and bregan to encoounter problems [maybe less so than some of my Windows friends] but things just weren't working perfectly smoothly and my Tech said it "had issues". Final confirmation that softwear is a sentient being.

 

I had done quite a bit of research in the interim and talked it over with my Tech. guy. There is the CodeWeavers option of floating a Windows "Lifeboat" I call it in Linux for Windows programs. One Linux OS does this for the whole of its operations. You see, linux is soooo much faster and takes up far less space than Windows.

 

Linux has options. Mandriva, SuSi, Red Hat and many other Linux OS's as complete packages. I recently posted about Web Radio and this became a driving force in how I set up my system. May stations require Windows Media Player. I was willing to pay for CodeWeavers just for this alone. There are many options which I'm reasonably satisfied with for now.

 

I finally chose ubuntu 5.10, Breezy Badger! as my Linux OS. It's simple, stable and reliable. It's backed by another billionare as a charity/non-profit operation for the third world. Since I'm a one man third world this was for me. Excellent backup and Bug Fix access. It's free.

 

Well not exactly free .. like that free lunch. I spent as much having my Tech. set it up as Windows would have cost but he gets to enjoy my money, not a billionare who has more money than God. I can talk to my Tech on the phone also.

 

Other stuff.

 

Writing is no problem at all with free Open Office [Windows compatible]. All files can be easily created or converted to .doc of several vintages. It's a non-insulting program to work with and totally compatible with the outside world. Even my Lawyer doesn't know.

 

Pictures and Images. Still working through this one but for most stuff GIMP works as well as Photo Shop and it's free [Windows compatible]. Yet to get a Digital Camera so I have that to cope with.

I have Scanner programs and that is my next course. I said I was a novice!! I learn/install it when I need it.

 

I use Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird for eMail. Both free and the very best.

 

There's always somethin' with computers but I'm free of so many other things that just won't go away for you Windows users. Let me count the ways.

 

Viruses and spies. They go screaming into the flaming pits of digital hell upon entry. There's nothing familiar for them to hook on to. I have no virus program or spyware yet no one gets any from me. Wading through cyber space with Linux is like having snake proof hip boots on. Very few popups and other crap like that.

 

Hope this is helpful and useful for someone. It's a truly endless issue and pursit with no end. If I've learned anything from having accepted my first computer forced on me by a close friend .. kind of a Trojian horse.

 

OFF

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Code writers read no further.

 

You thought that would stop us? Perhaps it was reverse psychology... anyway, I have a few opinions on this subject, and so will air them.

 

On Mr Gates

Yes, he's the richest man in the world. And as he's earned that money, I would classify him as the most successful (you might argue only in a financial sense, but you can't argue that he is very good at what he does). From interviews I've seen/read about him, I have warmed to him. Perhaps it's because he's still slightly geeky at heart, but he has always portrayed himself as very genuine. He seems to get a lot of criticism for doing what every company owner tries to do; making his business successful. Microsoft provides a lot of employment in a number of countries, and reports I've heard are that those employees are looked after. Bill also does a great deal for charity, both in terms of investing his time and money. Time to give him a break? I think so.

 

On Windows

I've never had any real problems with Windows. I've never had to reinstall, and I haven't seen the blue screen of death since Windows 98 (the main reason for this is that 2000 and XP are built around NT technology, which is far more stable). Performance-wise there have been a few issues, but this has always been with bad 3rd party software rather than Windows itself (yes Mr Norton, I'm looking at you). I've also never had a virus or any spyware problems. Part of this is down to the setup; using a router with hardware firewall stops pretty much anything getting in, and running (decent) anti-virus and spyware software helps. But it's largely down to surfing habits; if you hang around seedy environments with dirty inhabitants, then sooner or later you're going to catch something.

 

On Linux

I like Linux. In the right hands it can be incredibly powerful. Conversely, in the wrong hands it can all go horribly wrong (NB this comment is not directed at the novice, but those who *think* they know what they're doing. A little knowledge...). However, it's not yet at a stage where I would recommend it to someone who is not a fairly advanced computer user. Here's why:

 

1. As you probably gathered from OFF's post, there are many, many flavours of Linux out there. They're all essentially the same underneath, but have slightly different features and at the moment it just leads to confusion.

2. Software compatibility. If all you want to do is surf the web and write the odd letter, then you'll be fine. But if you want to use your computer for anything more meaningful, then you are seriously restricting yourself in terms of software. Windows is used by around 90% of users, and accordingly more 3rd party companies will aim for that market. There can also be driver issues: if you buy a nice new soundcard to listen to your music, I can guarantee it will be better supported under Windows.

3. Installation is not for the faint-hearted. It has got better over the years, but it doesn't hold your hand along the way. The same can be said of maintenance: if it goes wrong, will you be the one to fix it?

4. Chances are that unless you built your PC, it will have been sold with a copy of Windows. So, you already have it.

 

 

OFF is proof that Linux can work very well. If you're comfortable using your PC and fancy a little exploration, then I would say go for it. Just don't get rid of that Windows installation until you're sure it's what you want to do.

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I avoid all that is Micro$oft as much as humanly possible.

 

I have never owned, nor do I intend to ever own, a computer that runs on a Micro$oft OS.

 

In each and every instance I have encountered a person with computer troubles over the last 10 years, the problem was completely solved simply by stopping the use of Micro$oft products.

 

I enjoy using Unix systems. I have dabbled in GNU and Linux. I really used to love using DOS. (FreeDOS.) But the OS that I use most is Mac OS 10. The one that I prefered over all others was Mac OS 9 but that is now defunct.

 

Whether you chose to use M$, Apple, one of the Unices or some other OS, I whole heartedly recommend that you look into the Open Source/Freeware community. There are some really great pieces of software out there that need our support! AFAIC, Open Source is the wave of the future.

 

In my opinion, all Micro$oft users should spit out the Kool-Aidand click on over to Sourceforge.net

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Worker, I think your trusty Mac has broken. The 's' key seems to be occasionally producing a dollar sign...

 

Don't despair though, I've read about this, and apparently it can be easily fixed by clicking the right-hand mouse button.

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There's the problem!

 

I'm not at home. I am unable to use my own machine!

I am forced to use this crappy Dell-thang that pretends to run Windoze XP!

 

If I was at home that wouldn't have happened!

 

 

PS: The new Apple "Mighty Mouse" has the equivalent of FOUR buttons AND an X-Y scroll wheel. Even without it I can still use chorded keystrokes to achieve the same effect.

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Really cant say anything against MS.

 

Had two serious crashes with Windows 3.11 .... a centennial ago...that it was.

 

Asked so many people but no one could deliver me with any of that "well known bugs"

 

The problem I think is that some hardware like SIS chipsets or VIA audio devices for example will never be fully compatible with Windows

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