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Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-03-22, 11:54 AM
For more than a year now, Ive had two computers: a heavy-duty workhorse PC using Linux Mint (http://www.linuxmint.com/), and a tiny portable laptop using the infuriatingly restrictive Windows 7 Starter (which doesn't even let you change your desktop background or really anything else). Recently, my laptop switched to Ubuntu Netbook Edition (http://www.ubuntu.com/netbook),and I can't believe I was ever stupid enough to stick with Windows. Switch to Linux now! Trust me, it's free and open-scorce.


:smallbiggrin: :smallsmile: :smalltongue: :smallredface: :smallamused:

pendell
2011-03-22, 01:22 PM
Congratulations! If I didn't have a bajillion legacy games and my office didn't run on Microsoft, I'd follow in a heartbeat.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

valadil
2011-03-22, 01:46 PM
Grats! Have a beer.

Whenever I go back to an MS machine, it just feels like a toy. Or like I'm a toddler. I have to point at the shiny picture of what I want, and if the computer is feeling nice and I remembered to say "please," I just might get what I asked for. If not, I have no control over what happens.

How is Ubuntu Netbook treating you? I wasn't able to get Mrs. Valadil's netbook running at an acceptable resolution in Debian. I haven't tried to hard yet, because I'm 6'4" and have no intention to hunch over a screen barely bigger than my phone, but I'm curious if a Netbook distro would have better drivers out of the box.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-22, 02:38 PM
Congratulations! If I didn't have a bajillion legacy games and my office didn't run on Microsoft, I'd follow in a heartbeat.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

OpenOffice. :smallwink:

Seriously, though, Ubuntu's great, but I grew tired of it after a while, so I just switched back to Windows 7.

I had a rebellious phase. :smallcool:

Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-03-22, 02:40 PM
Congratulations! If I didn't have a bajillion legacy games and my office didn't run on Microsoft, I'd follow in a heartbeat.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

You can get free clones of most of your legacy games on Linux, and OpenOffice is as good as MS Office as well as being mostly compatible.



OpenOffice. :smallwink:

Seriously, though, Ubuntu's great, but I grew tired of it after a while, so I just switched back to Windows 7.

I had a rebellious phase. :smallcool:

Wait, what? You actually switched back to Windows after using Ubuntu? Try Linux Mint (http://linuxmint.com/), it's a bit closer to Windows and can run more stuff than Ubuntu.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-22, 02:54 PM
Wait, what? You actually switched back to Windows after using Ubuntu? Try Linux Mint (http://linuxmint.com/), it's a bit closer to Windows and can run more stuff than Ubuntu.

Nah, thanks. I got tired of do-it-yourself.

Besides, I have to run a lot of comercial software that doesn't run on Linux at all.

Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-03-22, 03:01 PM
Nah, thanks. I got tired of do-it-yourself.

Besides, I have to run a lot of comercial software that doesn't run on Linux at all.

Linux has become a lot easier to use in the last couple of years, and there is tons of clone software that is actually 80-110% as good as it's commercial counterparts.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-22, 03:07 PM
Linux has become a lot easier to use in the last couple of years, and there is tons of clone software that is actually 80-110% as good as it's commercial counterparts.

I only stopped using it a year ago. And I know that software, it's just not as good as the real thing. Anyway, congratulations on changing.

Incompleat
2011-03-22, 03:17 PM
Congratulations! I also use Ubuntu, but I mah switch to Debian again sometime soon.

As for software availability, I usually find myself quite at home with Linux - the only thing that are really missing are the games, but I am not much of a gamer anyway.

Oh, and I learned the other day that the Linux version of Alice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_%28software%29) is still fairly buggy - pity, that looks like a fun program.

valadil
2011-03-22, 03:40 PM
Congratulations! I also use Ubuntu, but I mah switch to Debian again sometime soon.

As for software availability, I usually find myself quite at home with Linux - the only thing that are really missing are the games, but I am not much of a gamer anyway.

Oh, and I learned the other day that the Linux version of Alice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_%28software%29) is still fairly buggy - pity, that looks like a fun program.

I'm very happy I switched back to Debian. Ubuntu got too uppity. I liked their user friendly attitude for a while, but they reached a good usability level for me and then went overboard. I found myself spending lots of time disabling Ubuntu features. Getting Debian up to working speed takes less effort than removing Ubuntu crap I don't want. And this is not just a knock on Ubuntu. Because of Ubuntu, Debian is in a much better place than it was when Ubuntu first came out.

I'm content with software on linux. I have a PS3 for games. I have Crossover for when I need MS Office, and no OpenOffice is not a perfect replacement, even if it's good enough most of the time. For everything else I prefer linux software to windows.

Ranger Mattos
2011-03-22, 03:43 PM
I would change to Linux, but my parents won't let me. :smallmad: They're afraid I'll wreck the computer or something.

valadil
2011-03-22, 03:45 PM
I would change to Linux, but my parents won't let me. :smallmad: They're afraid I'll wreck the computer or something.

Just wait till college when you have your own. College is a time of experimentation. Most go for drugs. I went with linux.

LCR
2011-03-22, 04:04 PM
Just wait till college when you have your own. College is a time of experimentation. Most go for drugs. I went with linux.

Did that get you laid?

factotum
2011-03-22, 05:34 PM
OpenOffice is as good as MS Office as well as being mostly compatible.


"Mostly" is the critical word there. We actually tried using OpenOffice for a few weeks at our office as a cost saving measure, and were forced to revert to Microsoft Office because of the sheer number of Word documents sent to us by outside suppliers that simply wouldn't open properly in it--tables being a particularly iffy area. Until they get it so OpenOffice (or LibreOffice if you don't like being under the thumb of Oracle) can open 99.9% of Microsoft Office documents without choking, it isn't a suitable replacement for it, sorry.

valadil
2011-03-22, 06:33 PM
Did that get you laid?

No, but LARPing did.

RS14
2011-03-22, 06:51 PM
You can get free clones of most of your legacy games on Linux,


This depends entirely on what legacy games you play. For the legacy games I play, I would assert that this is almost entirely untrue.

Fallout, Diablo, Combat Mission, Tropico... The only examples that come to mind are Civ and Sim City.


and OpenOffice is as good as MS Office as well as being mostly compatible.

OpenOffice Writer is as good and mostly compatible. The same cannot be said for the other components.

Besides, there is more that Microsoft provides than Just Office. .Net, Outlook, SMB, various Active X features of IE. Even if there are free equivalents, configuring them can be a pain.

--

Regardless, congratulations josha.

SDF
2011-03-22, 06:51 PM
My lappy dual boots DSLinux, but I only use it for coding. I also run openoffice on it, but it's spread sheet program is terrible compared to M$ Office so thats a pretty big drawback for me. Open source is fine and dandy, but Windows 7 is such a fantastic powerhouse that I would never switch over primarily to Linux.

Trazoi
2011-03-22, 06:56 PM
I use Mac OS X, Win XP, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Netbook Edition, and Debian. I'll soon get a new desktop with both Win 7 and some flavour of Linux.

Operating systems - why stick with just one? :smalltongue:

Pika...
2011-03-22, 07:06 PM
For more than a year now, Ive had two computers: a heavy-duty workhorse PC using Linux Mint (http://www.linuxmint.com/), and a tiny portable laptop using the infuriatingly restrictive Windows 7 Starter (which doesn't even let you change your desktop background or really anything else). Recently, my laptop switched to Ubuntu Netbook Edition (http://www.ubuntu.com/netbook),and I can't believe I was ever stupid enough to stick with Windows. Switch to Linux now! Trust me, it's free and open-scorce.


:smallbiggrin: :smallsmile: :smalltongue: :smallredface: :smallamused:

But you need years to learn it.

Chainsaw Hobbit
2011-03-22, 09:10 PM
But you need years to learn it.

Not any more. Now it's at last as easy to use as Linux. I installed Linux Mint with no previous knowledge of Linux, and could use it just fine in a couple of hours.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-22, 09:29 PM
Nerds... :smallwink:

valadil
2011-03-22, 10:17 PM
But you need years to learn it.

You need years to master it. If you got plopped down in front of an Ubuntu workstation you'd be all set for most tasks. In fact, Ubuntu even comes with most of the software you need to get up and running. Whenever I install Windows it amazes me how long I have to spend installing OO, iTunes, 7zip, AIM, etc. All that stuff just comes with Ubuntu.

pendell
2011-03-23, 07:10 AM
You can get free clones of most of your legacy games on Linux,

You intrigue me! Please tell me more!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Androgeus
2011-03-23, 07:26 AM
The infuriatingly restrictive Windows 7 Starter (which doesn't even let you change your desktop background or really anything else).

I don't know if I should call lies because while you can change the background via registry keys, it is still dumb you have to do it that way. (changing the background was one of the first things I worked out how to do when I got my netbook).

Phishfood
2011-03-23, 07:43 AM
You need years to master it. If you got plopped down in front of an Ubuntu workstation you'd be all set for most tasks. In fact, Ubuntu even comes with most of the software you need to get up and running. Whenever I install Windows it amazes me how long I have to spend installing OO, iTunes, 7zip, AIM, etc. All that stuff just comes with Ubuntu.

Course, if they DARE ship IE with windows they get sued.


I use Mac OS X, Win XP, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Netbook Edition, and Debian. I'll soon get a new desktop with both Win 7 and some flavour of Linux.

Operating systems - why stick with just one? :smalltongue:

This though. I have a mac and a W7 PC at home. Use XP at work, dabbling with Linux when I get a free moment which sadly isn't very often. I wouldn't say any OS was superior, mac is definately easiest to use and best for video/photo work, Windows is your workhorse and Linux is for geeks.

Renegade Paladin
2011-03-23, 07:56 AM
I use Linux now!
I'm sorry.

:smalltongue:

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-23, 07:58 AM
You need years to master it. If you got plopped down in front of an Ubuntu workstation you'd be all set for most tasks. In fact, Ubuntu even comes with most of the software you need to get up and running. Whenever I install Windows it amazes me how long I have to spend installing OO, iTunes, 7zip, AIM, etc. All that stuff just comes with Ubuntu.

Quoted for truth. A decent end-user distribution of Linux is arguably easier to install and set up than Windows if you have at least minimal knowledge of what you're doing (and if you don't, what are you doing trying to install an operating system by yourself anyway?), usually comes with almost all the basic software (various video and audio players, browsers and mail clients, universal messenger services, image and audio editing software etc.) already included, and a central package manager you can use for updating, searching, installing and uninstalling all software of any kind for your PC is something Windows users can only dream of.

On the other hand, it's more difficult to spontaneously download and use a program from the web if it isn't in your package manager, whereas in Windows you just download the exe and run it. But the main reason I can't switch completely is because gaming is much, much easier under Windows for compatibility reasons.

For the record, I have used various versions of PCLinuxOS (a Mandriva derivate) in the past and found that I liked that the best. I tried Suse (NO!) and Ubuntu (not bad, but somehow didn't really suit my taste), but PCLOS is my favorite so far.

BTW, Open Office: In Writer, Calc and Impress at least, I never had troubles opening MS Office files, ever, at work or privately. Compability problems mostly appear in the very fine points (spacing/formatting in particular can be slightly off, and I had issues copypasting from MSOffice into OO Impress before).

valadil
2011-03-23, 08:53 AM
Course, if they DARE ship IE with windows they get sued.


The difference is that IE is a Microsoft product. Ubuntu is unrelated to Firefox, except that they're both open source software. And I think Ubuntu comes with multiple browsers, though I'm not positive about that (haven't actually used it in 2-3 years).



BTW, Open Office: In Writer, Calc and Impress at least, I never had troubles opening MS Office files, ever, at work or privately. Compability problems mostly appear in the very fine points (spacing/formatting in particular can be slightly off, and I had issues copypasting from MSOffice into OO Impress before).

For me, Writer broke when we tried doing author revisions at work. My boss would annotate my writing and I wouldn't see his annotations unless I used MSWord. I would have preferred LaTeX in git, but it wasn't my choice to make. I couldn't get Impress to do eye candy transitions quite right. Calc is fine by me, but I haven't used it enough to know the differences between it and Excel. As I said before though, CrossOver does a damn fine job of emulating MSOffice, although the installer is a little fugly.

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-24, 12:06 AM
The difference is that IE is a Microsoft product. Ubuntu is unrelated to Firefox, except that they're both open source software. And I think Ubuntu comes with multiple browsers, though I'm not positive about that (haven't actually used it in 2-3 years).


There's also the issue of Microsoft Windows having an overwhelmingly dominant position on the OS market, so bundling IE with it means they're throwing it at most computer users in the world. Ubuntu, or any other Linux distribution have, shall we say, somewhat less market power, an a browser will gain almost no noticeable market shares by coming with it.

Oh, I forgot: Yeah, almost any Linux distribution comes with an alternative browser. They may or may not include Opera in addition to Firefox; anything using KDE will have Konqueror, which is both file browser and web browser.

Kuma Kode
2011-03-24, 12:23 AM
"Mostly" is the critical word there. We actually tried using OpenOffice for a few weeks at our office as a cost saving measure, and were forced to revert to Microsoft Office because of the sheer number of Word documents sent to us by outside suppliers that simply wouldn't open properly in it--tables being a particularly iffy area. Until they get it so OpenOffice (or LibreOffice if you don't like being under the thumb of Oracle) can open 99.9% of Microsoft Office documents without choking, it isn't a suitable replacement for it, sorry.

This urks me. Yes, OpenOffice does have spotty support for certain aspects of the word document, but the fact is... why are you distributing things in Word, anyway? Word is in no way an open format. The specifications of the document format are legally owned by Microsoft... by distributing in that format, you are essentially requiring the receiver to have Microsoft software.

With Linux and Macs becoming increasingly popular, as well as non-Microsoft programs within Windows, using a locked-down format is increasingly stupid. It's like my doctor requiring me to use a Verizon cell phone when making an appointment. Using a format that's actually designed to be read and distributed to a wide variety of programs makes more sense.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-24, 12:32 AM
This urks me. Yes, OpenOffice does have spotty support for certain aspects of the word document, but the fact is... why are you distributing things in Word, anyway? Word is in no way an open format. The specifications of the document format are legally owned by Microsoft... by distributing in that format, you are essentially requiring the receiver to have Microsoft software.

With Linux and Macs becoming increasingly popular, as well as non-Microsoft programs within Windows, using a locked-down format is increasingly stupid. It's like my doctor requiring me to use a Verizon cell phone when making an appointment. Using a format that's actually designed to be read and distributed to a wide variety of programs makes more sense.

:smallconfused:

I don't know many people who have trouble opening a .doc file, though. Or saving to one.

Flickerdart
2011-03-24, 12:34 AM
Any nix will choke and die when introduced to a tablet PC - I'm not going to code my own drivers, and nobody is going to do it for me. Plus Adobe CS doesn't exist on it, and alternatives (such as Gimp and Inkscape) are so pitiful by comparison that they're not even worth considering.
Linux is fine if all you need a computer for is interneting, or if you're a crazy awesome computer man guy dude, but for most people in between it's far from optimal.

RS14
2011-03-24, 12:57 AM
This urks me. Yes, OpenOffice does have spotty support for certain aspects of the word document, but the fact is... why are you distributing things in Word, anyway? Word is in no way an open format. The specifications of the document format are legally owned by Microsoft... by distributing in that format, you are essentially requiring the receiver to have Microsoft software.

With Linux and Macs becoming increasingly popular, as well as non-Microsoft programs within Windows, using a locked-down format is increasingly stupid. It's like my doctor requiring me to use a Verizon cell phone when making an appointment. Using a format that's actually designed to be read and distributed to a wide variety of programs makes more sense.

Because Word is absolutely dominant in most of the world. If you try to give people .odf rather than .doc, or accept only .odf and not .doc, you will quickly find yourself without customers.

Yes, you may have your customers best interests at heart when you try to give them their files in an open format, but 99% of them don't care and don't want to care. If they do become locked into .doc to their determent, nobody will take a fall, because who could have predicted that? It's like the adage that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM."

Kuma Kode
2011-03-24, 12:59 AM
:smallconfused:

I don't know many people who have trouble opening a .doc file, though. Or saving to one.

We ran into this problem at college. Linux and Mac users got shafted whenever a teacher sent out stuff in Word. Docx, the latest version, has yet to be reverse engineered by the OpenOffice crew so it was inoperable for everyone who didn't shell out a hundred or so bucks for the latest Office.

We eventually managed to get the professor to use .doc instead, but the fact of the matter is that .doc is not designed to be usable by anything but Microsoft's own programs. There are other formats that are designed to be usable by anyone who wants to use it and built with more concern for cross-platform usability.


Because Word is absolutely dominant in most of the world. If you try to give people .odf rather than .doc, or accept only .odf and not .doc, you will quickly find yourself without customers.
I know it's because of its vast market share, but that doesn't mean it's the most logical choice. PDF are usable on all platforms and are designed with distribution in mind.

ShortOne
2011-03-24, 01:00 AM
I used Ubuntu exclusively for a few years, and got pretty good at the command line. Today, for instance, I used ssh and vi to remotely edit a file that lives on a school computer. I was pretty proud of myself for that.

Recently, though, I bought a shiny, chrome-covered desktop running OS X because I wanted to game again and run Photoshop and stuff, but I still use Ubuntu on my laptop.

When I was using Ubuntu exclusively, I gamed on a borrowed Windoze desktop, and boy, was that change drastic. I tend to use Windoze as little as possible.


Nah, thanks. I got tired of do-it-yourself.

Besides, I have to run a lot of comercial software that doesn't run on Linux at all.

Then try OS X. It's got all the best bits of Ubuntu (the security, the customizability) with a more polished GUI for beginners and more native programs. The one problem I've had with it is that, though they're both based on UNIX, the terminal in OS X changes some of the commands from what Ubuntu uses, which is infuriating.


Oh, and I learned the other day that the Linux version of Alice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_%28software%29) is still fairly buggy - pity, that looks like a fun program.

I'm using Alice for a really dumb class I'm taking, and it's basically Scratch with more pictures. If you want to do fun programming, try Python.

RS14
2011-03-24, 01:05 AM
I know it's because of its vast market share, but that doesn't mean it's the most logical choice. PDF are usable on all platforms and are designed with distribution in mind.

And if the file needs to be modified?

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-24, 01:08 AM
Any nix will choke and die when introduced to a tablet PC - I'm not going to code my own drivers, and nobody is going to do it for me. Plus Adobe CS doesn't exist on it, and alternatives (such as Gimp and Inkscape) are so pitiful by comparison that they're not even worth considering.
Linux is fine if all you need a computer for is interneting, or if you're a crazy awesome computer man guy dude, but for most people in between it's far from optimal.

Adobe CS is an issue (not unsolvably so, running it with Wine isn't impossible afaik), but hardly one for "most people", since most people aren't graphics professionals (or private enthusiasts) who'd pay > 1.000 for Adobe CS when there are free alternatives that cover the basic functions that suffice for ordinary mortals. Still, yeah, if you do use Adobe CS, you won't be changing to Linux anytime soon, I understand that.

I really don't get the tablet comment, though, since a quick google search shows that tablets with Linux (http://www.junauza.com/2010/05/shogo-linux-tablet-potential-ipad.html) already exist (http://www.mobiflip.de/2010/08/linux-tablet-wetab-ab-september-auch-bei-media-markt-aktionsseite-bereits-online/), and there's even an extensive list (http://tuxmobil.org/tablet_unix.html) of tablets that can be run with Linux, and what distributions support the tablet in question.



And if the file needs to be modified?

Seconded. The fact of the matter is that .doc is the most widely used format out there with the kind of functions it offers, and using it is more practical than .odf. If you want maximum compatibility, you can use .rtf, but I don't really have to tell you how limited its functions are, and yeah, PDF is great for distributing files that are finished, or things like fill-out forms, but if you need to work on something, forget about it. .docs are standard, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Now, what I do have issues with is people sending around .docx files, because that one won't even work with older versions of MS office and has given people in companies that haven't updated yet grief to no end. I was very happy when my employer went updated to OpenOffice 3, because then I could finally open .docx files without having to use my own private laptop for work.

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-24, 01:17 AM
Edit: Sorry, double post. My bad.

Kuma Kode
2011-03-24, 01:33 AM
Seconded. The fact of the matter is that .doc is the most widely used format out there with the kind of functions it offers, and using it is more practical than .odf. If you want maximum compatibility, you can use .rtf, but I don't really have to tell you how limited its functions are, and yeah, PDF is great for distributing files that are finished, or things like fill-out forms, but if you need to work on something, forget about it. .docs are standard, and I don't see that changing any time soon. Microsoft could support .odf if they chose to, or release the specifications of the .doc format. Both would allow Office to be compatible with alternatives. It is standard simply because they choose to do neither. As I said, I understand why it's standard, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a poor standard.


Now, what I do have issues with is people sending around .docx files, because that one won't even work with older versions of MS office and has given people in companies that haven't updated yet grief to no end. I was very happy when my employer went updated to OpenOffice 3, because then I could finally open .docx files without having to use my own private laptop for work. This is essentially exactly what I'm complaining about. Using something just because it's popular can cause problems if that popular thing is a closed specification. If you know you're sending to someone else with the same programs, it's fine, use docx or whatever. But if you have no idea what your potential reader is using, like if you're publishing a campaign setting in the homebrew forum, using a closed format is a bad idea.

I think part of the problem is that, like my professor, people send things around in the format they use because it's most convenient for them, with no concern for who they're actually sending it to.

RS14
2011-03-24, 01:56 AM
Microsoft could support .odf if they chose to, or release the specifications of the .doc format. Both would allow Office to be compatible with alternatives. It is standard simply because they choose to do neither. As I said, I understand why it's standard, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a poor standard.


Absolutely. That said, there is a difference between insisting on odf with friends (you may annoy them) and insisting on odf with customers (you may lose them).

Corporate customers do have more leeway to make such demands--if the US Army decides it will only issue specifications in .odf, vendors will adapt or die. However, you generally need a respectable amount of money to get away with this.

The best solution for individuals is probably to provide documents in many different formats. I usually use some subset of .txt, .tex, .odf, .doc, and .pdf, depending on what I have. In cases where you don't particularly care about inconveniencing your audience, you can also use an open format.

factotum
2011-03-24, 02:38 AM
This urks me. Yes, OpenOffice does have spotty support for certain aspects of the word document, but the fact is... why are you distributing things in Word, anyway?

Maybe you could point out to me where I said anything about us distributing things in Word format? The problem was that external suppliers and clients were sending us stuff in Word format that simply wouldn't open properly in OpenOffice. If you can maybe persuade every single company in the world to start using RTF or similar interchange format then we'll go back to using OpenOffice...you get right on that, I'll wait here 'til you're done. :smallwink:

Kuma Kode
2011-03-24, 03:43 AM
Maybe you could point out to me where I said anything about us distributing things in Word format? The problem was that external suppliers and clients were sending us stuff in Word format that simply wouldn't open properly in OpenOffice. If you can maybe persuade every single company in the world to start using RTF or similar interchange format then we'll go back to using OpenOffice...you get right on that, I'll wait here 'til you're done. :smallwink:

Again, I know why it's standard, and I know that changing it would be a monolithic task that would require paradigm shifts in how people use their computers, but this doesn't stop me from being urked, nor does it undermine my right to be urked. Using a standard that is dependent on the whims of a single company is illogical. That's all I'm trying to say. I didn't intend to start a discussion about how changing the standard is an impossible task or that it's just the way it was, the mentioning of distributing things in Word format triggered a vent.

I didn't mean you in particular, I just meant "you" as society in general, I guess. Obviously, I don't expect to change a standard overnight, but I DO think it would be beneficial to remind companies nicely that offering or using a more platform-independent method is not only more convenient, but better for business. Most big-name companies are already on this, but some aren't.

Some companies have switched to doing things completely online, with web pages substituting for memos and online forms substituting for... well, forms. It makes it easier to catalog and can be done completely automated, unlike Word documents which, even though they are digital, need to be manipulated by hand (or by careful wordings and an intelligent bot).

Again, did not mean for that to turn into as big of a discussion as it did.

Zeb The Troll
2011-03-24, 05:42 AM
Now, what I do have issues with is people sending around .docx files, because that one won't even work with older versions of MS office and has given people in companies that haven't updated yet grief to no end. I was very happy when my employer went updated to OpenOffice 3, because then I could finally open .docx files without having to use my own private laptop for work.This is just shoddy follow up. MS released a compatibility pack (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470%2D3AE9%2D4AEE%2D8F4 3%2DC6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en) for .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx years ago. They've even service pack'ed it twice already.

valadil
2011-03-24, 08:24 AM
MS Word

I agree that Word is a poor standard, but it will remain a standard, and Open Office isn't quite up to the task, yatta yatta yatta.

Are there any other products besides Office that your workplace depends on? I really do think that CrossOver runs Office well enough that if Office were the only bit of Windows software you relied on, you could get by comfortably with CrossOver.

Erloas
2011-03-24, 09:39 AM
I've been using Open Office for a while now at home, and while its ok, I'm glad I'm still using MS Office at work still, where I actually need to use those sorts of programs with any real frequency. I just don't really like Calc, I think Excel is far superior in many ways.

As for standards, you work with what you have to word with, and converting is relatively easy. When the EPA or DEQ sends you docx files then you use docx files, its not something you can change or even hope to change.

As for why everyone doesn't switch, its been shown a lot in the industrial and commercial world that in many cases switching to OO, even though it is free, still ends up being significantly more expensive then using MS Office.
There are a huge number of programs that interact with Excel that simply can't be replaced without a huge investment in both time and money from at least several companies.


I never really got the appeal to Linux. Sure, it is free, but I probably haven't spent more then $200-300 on Windows in the last 10 years anyway because its not something that needs to be done that often. The big deal everyone makes about the newest distro of Linux X is that "its so much easier to use" and/or "its almost just like Windows now" or "you can almost do everything you can do on windows on this one" (with the caveat that you will be spending a fair amount of time getting it to that point). The other thing is that "Windows is too restrictive," but even being a computer savvy person, I can't think of much of anything that I want to do with my computer that is being restricted by Windows.
I decided years ago that I'm done with computers as a hobby, I would rather just use them for my other hobbies and be done with it. Every hour I spend trying to get something to work on my computer is an hour I don't spend using what I was trying to get working in the first place.

Pentachoron
2011-03-24, 09:49 AM
I like Linux, I've been using it for about 6 years now. I prefer Slackware over anything else though.

I also dual boot to Win7, which is the install I boot to most of the time. Slackware is for my tech geekery and my coding stuff, Win7 is for when I just want to play around on games and surf the internet.

valadil
2011-03-24, 10:28 AM
I never really got the appeal to Linux. Sure, it is free, but I probably haven't spent more then $200-300 on Windows in the last 10 years anyway because its not something that needs to be done that often. ...
I decided years ago that I'm done with computers as a hobby, I would rather just use them for my other hobbies and be done with it. Every hour I spend trying to get something to work on my computer is an hour I don't spend using what I was trying to get working in the first place.

Here are my reasons:

It's not just the OS that's free. A huge amount of software is too. One of the things that baffles me in Windows is when I'm expected to pay money to get a CD burner app or DVD player*. Or even an archive extractor. And even when those apps are free, I have to hunt them down on Google. Maybe that isn't such a big deal to someone who regularly uses windows and already knows what the good freeware is. For me, it's a painful process to get a new Windows installation to a usable state. (* Note that I haven't regularly used Windows since XP. Both those features may be included in 7. I don't really know for sure.)

Control. When I use windows I have to ask its permission to do things. And I'm limited to the choices it offers. It feels like I'm ordering off a menu. That's fine for people who aren't tech savvy, but I am savvy damnit and I want more control over it. My status bar for instance lists the current artist/song/rating. It does that because I put it there. I chose to put it there because I had some blank space and I didn't like alt-tabbing to see what was playing. I added the rating because I'm trying to rate all my songs and this shows me if a song is unrated. I didn't have to find an application to do those things for me. I told linux to do them, and it did.

Command line. I know this will get boos and hisses from Windows users. I actually like the CLI though. When I know what program I want to run, I just type it. I don't have to hunt through menus for an icon whose position has changed since I installed other software. When I want firefox, I type firefox, instead of searching a menu for that orange swirl on blue circle.

But the command line isn't just a faster application launcher. When you work on the command line, you get textual output. You can then pass that as input to another program. If I want to convert a wav to an ogg, I don't need to hunt google for an application that does this for me (and probably does only 2/3 of the song, unless you buy a copy). I run my wav decoder and pass the output to an ogg encoder. Done. The two programs never need to know about each other. A new format could come out and as long as I have the encoder program, I can use the same decoders I did before.

Since these boards are D&D based, here's another example. I have cached files from the DDI compendium. When I want to give the players random loot, I have a program that gives me the names of files that match certain patterns. I give that the level of the loot I'm giving out and the directory where my DDI items live. Then I pass that to a program that shuffles the order of those files. Then I pass that to a program that gives me the first N files in the list. Done. Here's what it looks like:
$ grep "Level: 15" * -l | shuf | head -n 5
Saddle_of_the_Shark.4e.txt
Weapon_of_Evil_Undone.4e.txt
Weapon_of_Great_Opportunity.4e.txt
Battle_Spirit_Weapon.4e.txt
Periapt_of_Cascading_Health.4e.txt

When you're completely submerged in text based programs you can pipe them together like this without even thinking about it. When I go back to windows, this is what I miss most. (Actually windows does support piping. But it doesn't have quite so many CLI applications. There just aren't enough tools in the toolbox for this to be useful in windows.)

But I agree about computing not being a hobby. I don't want to futz around with the system for its own sake. I just want it to work and not get in my way. I suppose I lucked out in that I did treat linux as a hobby for long enough that I learned my way around in it, and then bailed out with enough knowledge to keep using it at that high level. I realize it may not be worth the time investment to everyone.

Erloas
2011-03-24, 11:00 AM
It's not just the OS that's free. A huge amount of software is too. One of the things that baffles me in Windows is when I'm expected to pay money to get a CD burner app or DVD player*. Or even an archive extractor. And even when those apps are free, I have to hunt them down on Google. Maybe that isn't such a big deal to someone who regularly uses windows and already knows what the good freeware is. For me, it's a painful process to get a new Windows installation to a usable state. (* Note that I haven't regularly used Windows since XP. Both those features may be included in 7. I don't really know for sure.)
There are plenty of pieces of free software for Windows. The reason many of them aren't included is because they aren't made by MS, and if they were made by MS then the various other companies would get all governments to sew MS to remove them (as has already been seen, and why many of the other free utilities MS has have to be downloaded instead of included with the system).
I can't remember how long it has been since I couldn't play DVDs or burn CDs without downloading 3rd party programs. I know it used to be harder... but its been years since then.
Then there is also the whole "if MS includes it with Windows then they have to support it" which is expected from most users. So MS can't take responsibility for those programs because they have no control over them and they will be blamed if someone else's program doesn't work.
Linux gets away with it because its users don't expect that of them.

Even something as wide spread and popular as Flash and Adobe PDF reader can't be included.

In fact I find it kind of ironic that people that use Linux would complain about that sort of thing, when it is because the Open Source community sewed MS so much about putting useful things into their OS by default that they can't do it any more.


Control. When I use windows I have to ask its permission to do things. At least that aspect can easily be disabled, it takes all of 2 seconds to do.


Command line. I know this will get boos and hisses from Windows users. I actually like the CLI though. When I know what program I want to run, I just type it. I don't have to hunt through menus for an icon whose position has changed since I installed other software. When I want firefox, I type firefox, instead of searching a menu for that orange swirl on blue circle.
If you so choose you can still do a lot via the command prompt in Windows too. I don't use it much any more, but I still do on occasion. There are also a lot of applications that can be launched by simply typing the exe into the search/run bar in the start menu without having to navigate menus at all.

As for using command prompts for programs, its still there and used, but for the most part most programs don't use much for executable variables when launching any more. Mostly because no one used them so there was no point in spending the time to add the functionality. Of course those variables can also be done automatically via shortcuts and the icons for the programs that do use them still.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-24, 11:05 AM
Then try OS X. It's got all the best bits of Ubuntu (the security, the customizability) with a more polished GUI for beginners and more native programs. The one problem I've had with it is that, though they're both based on UNIX, the terminal in OS X changes some of the commands from what Ubuntu uses, which is infuriating.

I've been meaning to, but I don't have the money. =/

factotum
2011-03-24, 11:07 AM
Are there any other products besides Office that your workplace depends on? I really do think that CrossOver runs Office well enough that if Office were the only bit of Windows software you relied on, you could get by comfortably with CrossOver.

That would largely have defeated the point of using OpenOffice for us, which was to try and save on Microsoft licensing costs. Windows effectively comes for free with the computer (yes, I know you can sometimes get them with no OS and put Linux on them, but the actual cost saving is marginal), whereas Office goes for several hundred quid depending which options are on it.

valadil
2011-03-24, 11:12 AM
At least that aspect can easily be disabled, it takes all of 2 seconds to do.


I mis-explained. I'm not bothered by UAC. I think it should be there.

When I use Windows I feel like I'm a baby who has no ability to use language. All I can do is point at what I want and make an obnoxious noise. Maybe Windows figures out what I want and gives it to me. Maybe not. The best I can do is ask nicely and hope that what windows does is similar to what I want.

Eleanor_Rigby
2011-03-24, 12:12 PM
[skims through thread]

Whelp. Time for the "try everything once" technophobe to wade in with some clumsy and cheesy exended similes.

For me the whole opensource/ commercial operating systems and software debate is kind of like pitting cooking from scratch against restaurant food.

I love cooking from scratch and ultimately that's how I prefer to eat myself and someone would usually do a better job of impressing me if they invited me to their house and cooked dinner for me then if they footed the bill for a meal at a fancy restaurant. This is partly because I do a lot of handicrafts and "creative things" and thus really appreciate work and the fact that nothing is free and partly because I'm quite picky, health conscious and paranoid so I never entirely trust what goes into restaurant food, even really high quality restaurant food. Surely some comprimises have to be made with restaurant food because they're really accountable to the health inspectors in a way that friends cooking for friends just aren't. Creative sacrifices have to be made when endeavours are commercial because making money is always going to be an objective and creative ideals just aren't great business investments. Plus, when you're eating a meal your buddy made mostly out of leftovers and odds and ends they had left about, they're unlikely to be too cross if you ask them about the ingredients, in fact, chances are they'll be flattered because it implies you may have liked the food enough to want to try to replicate it at home. If you beckon the waiting staff over at a restaurant, be it independently owned or part of a chain, and ask for an exact list of ingredients and some information on cooking processes somebody is going to observe this and think you're either eccentric or haughty and you're also really unlikely to get a particularly informative answer without any spin.

That's a paragraph that's meant to makes homecooking from scratch without the use of ready processed things to help you along sound like the best option. But as always there's another angle to consider here. What if the friend who invites you round for tea is an abymal cook? They could give you food poisoning and you've only got yourself to blame. And also, high and mighty devotees of cooking from scratch, where do all your bright ideas come from? I suspect that somewhere along the line a restaurant or other facet of the food industry will have had a very strong influence on your independent cooking from scratch. Maybe it manifests as you walking past an outdoor menu that was meant to lure you into a restaurant and instead you read it, laughed and "thought I can do that myself for less money!" and you go home and make a similar meal for yourself, but you put your own twist on it and you use more cost effective ingredients and the food tastes better because every aspect is personal achievement flavour. That's a nice little anecdote and really quite admirable, but it's worth mentioning that the restaurant basically helped make your meal plan for you, isn't it? That's a pretty direct example, but most homecooking can be traced back to restaurant food on some level. You may have got all your WunderChef skills from relatives and always scoffed at restaurants because of this, after all - homecooked is better - but where did your relatives learn and get their ideas? where did the people who inspired them find their inspiration? I imagine there's an outing to a restaurant or an aspect of the commercial industry in there somewhere. Then there's the ingredients and tools used in homecooking. So you cook from scratch. That's very nice. But how many of the following did you do: grow any veg used? raise and slaughter any meat involved? sculpt the crockery? apply your smithy skills to forge yourself knives to cut things with? grind your own spices? design the apparatus that heats the food? mine the gases/ harness the energy source that powers the apparatus? Chances are you don't do very many of those things at all, and a number of things I've left out have occurred to you. Most of these jobs were probably fielded by some sort of commercial entity and you probably didn't have much say in how they went about that.

Personally I use a lot of open source software on a Windows operating system. I do this because it's the approach that suits my lifestyle best. I'm often slightly in awe of people who use opensource things and linux almost exclusively, but I'm very resistant to the people who say it's the best option for everyone all of the time because whatever they argue I'm never going to believe that. Open source stuff is very easy to customise quite often and it's a lovely thing to share with other computer users but it's not the best option in every situation. I believe fairly strongly that if I really wanted to I could get opensource software to do anything that commercial software can do but at the same time I'm pretty aware that this could take me a ridiculous amount of time (as other posters have commented on) and be an awful lot of work (as other posters have commented on) and in the end I usually have to weigh up whether I'm willing to sacrifice that much time and effort in order to have control and flexibility in any given task. Sometimes I think it would be worth it, sometimes I don't. I don't feel any shame in falling back on commercial operating systems and software in a number of situations. Opensource advocates the world over do it all the time, albeit often pretty indirectly.

All this said, I was kind of amused to register how indignant I was to read Flickerdart's comments on Photoshop vs. programmes like Gimp and Inkscape. But that's because I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about chickening out of applying to go to art school (I believe I could have got in to a good one, but decided that they were fundamentally a very expensive way to give yourself some free time for your creative work and a good set of connections) and still covet a career somewhere in the arts. My approach to this at the moment is offering my services for free to various uni societies and projects that I hear about through mailing lists and when I create artwork, GIMP almost always comes into the presentation somewhere along the line. I use a few plug-ins and extentions and am doing research into scripting my own with python. I kind of wish I had Photoshop but it's just too expensive for me unless I were to enter into a special deal that would contractually prevent me/ hinder me from making money from the work I make with it. I don't plan to buy Photoshop until I'm confident I can make a little money from my artwork for quite a long period of time. Either way, once I'm free-er of student debt and a little more affluent I intend to make a donation to whoever's in charge of the GIMP project at that time by way of thanks for the fun they've enabled me to have.

(I'm always amazed at how much I sit down and type on the occaisons that I decide to comment in threads here. It can't be healthy! :smalleek:)

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-24, 12:41 PM
I never really got the appeal to Linux. Sure, it is free, but I probably haven't spent more then $200-300 on Windows in the last 10 years anyway because its not something that needs to be done that often. The big deal everyone makes about the newest distro of Linux X is that "its so much easier to use" and/or "its almost just like Windows now" or "you can almost do everything you can do on windows on this one" (with the caveat that you will be spending a fair amount of time getting it to that point). The other thing is that "Windows is too restrictive," but even being a computer savvy person, I can't think of much of anything that I want to do with my computer that is being restricted by Windows.
I decided years ago that I'm done with computers as a hobby, I would rather just use them for my other hobbies and be done with it. Every hour I spend trying to get something to work on my computer is an hour I don't spend using what I was trying to get working in the first place.

I'm an on-again, off-again dual-system user. That is, I usually have both Linux and Windows running on my PC, and how much I use which one depends directly upon how much time I spend gaming (on Windows) vs. how much time I spend just browsing, Instant Messaging voice chatting, listening to music, watching videos etc. So I have Windows, I've payed for it, I see the use in it, but I still appreciate Linux giving me things Windows doesn't. Linux doesn't just have the same open source software as Windows, it has flat out better ones; Amarok, for instance, is flat out the best audio player I've ever used, and its Windows version is still in the experimental phase. I basically never have to worry about viruses on Linux. I have a package manager that allows me to automatically update every piece of software on my entire computer with literally two clicks, to centrally search for all software I want to install (by name, keywords etc) and install the twenty-odd new programs I may be wanting with one click. Plus, it has really really fun and gorgeous highly-customizeable 3D effects that I love playing around with just for the fun of it, and even when I don't, they still make the system look much more pleaseant and fun.

What I'm saying is, I don't look at it as a Windows alternative. I don't see it as something that is "almost as good as Windows, but free" or "very similar to Windows, but free". I see it as something that offers me a bunch of things that Windows simply does not have or can't do as well, while lacking other features that I still can only use under Windows. Which is why I have both running on my PC.

Kuma Kode
2011-03-24, 01:01 PM
And even when those apps are free, I have to hunt them down on Google. Indeed. One of my favorite things, and the thing that often makes friends say "Oh, cool!" is actually the package manager, not the compiz 3d graphics. Generally, even compiling from source is easy if you remember to install the build-essential package so you have the basics for compiling. Of course, if it doesn't go well, it's extremely frustrating.


Control. When I use windows I have to ask its permission to do things. And I'm limited to the choices it offers. It feels like I'm ordering off a menu. That's fine for people who aren't tech savvy, but I am savvy damnit and I want more control over it. This is the main draw for linux, and why it tends to be relegated to geeks. Linux lets you do anything you want, really. You can even choose what kind of graphical interface you use. This is because of the different design philosophies. Windows assumes you know nothing about computers, and makes assumptions and tries to be user friendly. Linux assumes you're competent around a computer and can at least do a google search for your problem.


Command line. The command line is pretty much the most obvious difference in design philosophies. Windows hides the CL because it is terrifying to new users, and does require a bit of knowledge to get anywhere. Linux makes sure the command line is available because it understands that for some things, the command line is just plain faster.

Zeb The Troll
2011-03-24, 02:32 PM
I can't help but feel that much of this stuff being called the better option in Linux could be done on Windows as well if one were to spend the same amount of time learning the nuts and bolts of Windows as they did learning Linux.

For example, Windows themes have been around forever. If you're savvy enough to code your Linux desktop to do what you want, why would you feel you aren't savvy enough to create a theme that does what you want?

CLI. It's there. It's always been there. And if you're serious enough about it, it's very robust.

Simple: As someone mentioned previously, from a clean desktop, press [WIN]+R to bring up the "Run" command. Type calc or calendar or word or excel or firefox or whatever program you want to run, add any switches you want, press enter, it happens. No surfing through menus for icons if that bothers you.

Complex: There are whole books (http://www.techrepublic.com/software/microsoft-windows-command-line-administrators-pocket-consultant-10-mobile/1346565) on what you can do with the command line in Windows. If that's not enough, PowerShell (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=6CCB7E0D-8F1D-4B97-A397-47BCC8BA3806&displaylang=en) is free to download from Microsoft.

For what its worth, Windows has had a built in file compression/extraction utility since WinXP RTM. You don't even need to launch an app. Just right click your compressed files and select "extract", or right click on a folder and click Send To -> Compressed (zipped) folder. Boom, done. If you've got Powershell installed, you can do it from a command line, too.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-24, 02:39 PM
I can't help but feel that much of this stuff being called the better option in Linux could be done on Windows as well if one were to spend the same amount of time learning the nuts and bolts of Windows as they did learning Linux.

I think both of them have some cans and can'ts.

It's good to try out more than one, though. Most of the pro-Windows people I know have never tried any other operating system and are still willing to defend it as the best thing ever. =/

valadil
2011-03-24, 03:01 PM
I can't help but feel that much of this stuff being called the better option in Linux could be done on Windows as well if one were to spend the same amount of time learning the nuts and bolts of Windows as they did learning Linux.

For example, Windows themes have been around forever. If you're savvy enough to code your Linux desktop to do what you want, why would you feel you aren't savvy enough to create a theme that does what you want?

I'm not savvy enough to code my desktop. I'm savvy enough to hack together the status bar I want.

There are two parts of the unix philosophy that make this possible. Programs should do one thing and do it well. Kitchen sinks are to be avoided. The other part is that you take in text and spit out text.

My window manager outputs text. It gives me a list of what workspaces are open and some color codes for displaying them. I dump that into another program that displays them all in a tiny borderless window at the top of the screen. I configured that program to read logs from my music player. That's all. It's a text display reading in some extra text from a log I pointed to.

The windows bar is not a piece of text. I can't arbitrarily insert a part of a log into it. I'm sure someone could build some sort of applet that reads like that, but it wouldn't be nearly as simple as what I just described.



CLI. It's there. It's always been there. And if you're serious enough about it, it's very robust.

Simple: As someone mentioned previously, from a clean desktop, press [WIN]+R to bring up the "Run" command. Type calc or calendar or word or excel or firefox or whatever program you want to run, add any switches you want, press enter, it happens. No surfing through menus for icons if that bothers you.


I'm not just talking about using text to launch apps though. How I run apps is controlled through the command line too. For instance, I have a flash video I grabbed from YouTube. I wanted to make it into an mp3. I used the ffmpeg command. I told it '-i myfile.flv' to tell it to use that flv as input. I didn't want to re-encode the audio, just copy it so I used '-acodec copy'. Since I just wanted audio I omitted the video codec switch. Finally I told it where to put the output by naming 'myfile.mp3'.

If I did that in a GUI, I'd have to open the flv file. Click an audio check box. Select the audio from a dropdown. Then choose where it ends up. All those options would be hidden in a forest of other options. Output resolution, bitrate, subtitle file, volume correction, etc. Even if those are organized well, I have to click through tons of tabs and menus to get what I want. Not so with CLI. I just specify exactly what options I want and I get them.

I realize that you mentioned you can pass command line arguments into the windows run prompt. However, in my experience windows apps don't accept quite so many arguments as CLI ones do. I use that feature when it's available, but if an application expects me to click its buttons and widgets, usually it won't taken arguments from the CLI at all.



Complex: There are whole books (http://www.techrepublic.com/software/microsoft-windows-command-line-administrators-pocket-consultant-10-mobile/1346565) on what you can do with the command line in Windows. If that's not enough, PowerShell (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=6CCB7E0D-8F1D-4B97-A397-47BCC8BA3806&displaylang=en) is free to download from Microsoft.


Windows does have cool shell. I can't deny that. What it doesn't have is a huge ecosystem of apps that integrate nicely into that shell. Piping output between applications is useless if none of your programs do textual input and output.



For what its worth, Windows has had a built in file compression/extraction utility since WinXP RTM. You don't even need to launch an app. Just right click your compressed files and select "extract", or right click on a folder and click Send To -> Compressed (zipped) folder. Boom, done. If you've got Powershell installed, you can do it from a command line, too.

Good to know. I realize my examples may be a little outdated, but I'm sure there are other functions that can't come with windows and require some effort to find and install. Once you've gotten used to a package manager, it's really difficult to go back to googling for downloadable exe files.

Zeb The Troll
2011-03-24, 06:05 PM
[...] but I'm sure there are other functions that can't come with windows and require some effort to find and install. Once you've gotten used to a package manager, it's really difficult to go back to googling for downloadable exe files.This is the crux of my point though. Yes, it may take some learning to get it done, but you didn't just automatically know how to do what you're describing either. It took research and a fairly steep learning curve to get the level of familiarity you have with Linux. And that's great, for you. But if you'd spent six or eight years never having heard of Linux or MacOS and put that much effort into learning how to do what you want in Windows instead, you might just have found yourself on the other side of the argument. Familiarity != Better. It just means better for you.

valadil
2011-03-24, 06:16 PM
This is the crux of my point though.

Oh, I absolutely agree that you should use the tool you know best. But if you plan on using computers for a while, it may be worthwhile to see what other tools exist.

Zeb The Troll
2011-03-24, 06:35 PM
Oh, I absolutely agree that you should use the tool you know best. But if you plan on using computers for a while, it may be worthwhile to see what other tools exist.Certainly. It's just that most of the "Linux is better" (or "Mac is better", for that matter) reasoning I see happens to be "it's better because I'm more comfortable with it" with an implied "because somewhere along the way it became cool to hate Microsoft so I learned this instead". This latter is not always the case, particularly for those in IT fields, but it is true far more often than it is not true.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way trying to say that Windows is better either (I'm reasonably comfortable with all three, and actually got started in IT at a job that was 60% Macs when MacOS 9 was new). I'm just saying that the differences might not be as great as they are typically portrayed. :smallcool:

Flickerdart
2011-03-24, 09:46 PM
Adobe CS is an issue (not unsolvably so, running it with Wine isn't impossible afaik), but hardly one for "most people", since most people aren't graphics professionals (or private enthusiasts) who'd pay > 1.000 for Adobe CS when there are free alternatives that cover the basic functions that suffice for ordinary mortals. Still, yeah, if you do use Adobe CS, you won't be changing to Linux anytime soon, I understand that.

I really don't get the tablet comment, though, since a quick google search shows that tablets with Linux (http://www.junauza.com/2010/05/shogo-linux-tablet-potential-ipad.html) already exist (http://www.mobiflip.de/2010/08/linux-tablet-wetab-ab-september-auch-bei-media-markt-aktionsseite-bereits-online/), and there's even an extensive list (http://tuxmobil.org/tablet_unix.html) of tablets that can be run with Linux, and what distributions support the tablet in question.

That's not a tablet PC, that's a toy. This (http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/lenovo-thinkpad-x200-tablet.aspx) is a tablet PC.

valadil
2011-03-24, 10:03 PM
Certainly. It's just that most of the "Linux is better" (or "Mac is better", for that matter) reasoning I see happens to be "it's better because I'm more comfortable with it" with an implied "because somewhere along the way it became cool to hate Microsoft so I learned this instead". This latter is not always the case, particularly for those in IT fields, but it is true far more often than it is not true.


I always try to phrase my linux posts as "linux is better for me and here is why," but the for me bit is usually lost, especially when we get two pages deep.

The other hidden benefit of linux though is that when you get really steeped in it you forget how to use windows. Back in college I wasted way too much of my free time fixing peoples' computers. When Vista came out my friends asked for help with it and I could honestly tell them I never touched the OS before and my guess is as good as theirs. Now I get one or two requests for free tech support per year. It's great.

Kuma Kode
2011-03-24, 10:24 PM
That's not a tablet PC, that's a toy. This (http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/lenovo-thinkpad-x200-tablet.aspx) is a tablet PC.

That is an extremely sexy machine.

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-24, 11:33 PM
I can't help but feel that much of this stuff being called the better option in Linux could be done on Windows as well if one were to spend the same amount of time learning the nuts and bolts of Windows as they did learning Linux.

As this goes, I have to disagree. The main advantages I see in Linux (Compiz (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paketverwaltung) and Package Managers come with the system from the start, require at most a a few quick clicks to activate in the case of Compiz (package mangers don't even need that much) and are extremely intuitive to use. Even if there is a Compiz equivalent for Windows, it won't be up and working with as little effort as on Linux, and none of the package managers I've seen for Windows could compare to what you have for Linux.

Which isn't to say Linux is all-out better. It's not. When you want to install something not included in your package manager's database, it's more difficult than under Windows. When you want to game, you're almost always better off under Windows. Both have their advantages in some fields and disadvantages in others. But there are plenty of things in Linux that really are better than under Windows, purely in terms of being much easier to set up. You don't need to spend a lot of time on it. You will literally be able to completely install and set up a system like PCLinuxOS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pclinuxos) in an hours' time, tops. You'll spend more time just setting up the basics (browsers, filesharing software, messengers, antivirus, Disc-burning, office software and whatever else you typically use on your PC) on Windows.

Lord of the Helms
2011-03-25, 12:09 AM
That's not a tablet PC, that's a toy. This (http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/lenovo-thinkpad-x200-tablet.aspx) is a tablet PC.

That is... less a tablet and more a netbook with a turnable display. Which would be cool in and off itself it it weren't for several times the price of either a normal netbook or a normal tablet, and clearly considerably more massive than an ordinary tablet.

Don't get me wrong, I would probably find tablets with a keyboard slightly more useful for me personally than pure touchscreen tablets. But when you're comparing a >2000$ item to something a third or fourth its price, it's clear you won't have an even match.

Flickerdart
2011-03-25, 08:24 AM
I'm not comparing anything. What I linked has been called a tablet since the previous century. This new iPad related surge of slates hardly invented the term, though it's certainly lowered expectations of what a tablet is supposed to be.

shawnhcorey
2011-03-25, 11:49 AM
The only examples that come to mind are Civ and Sim City.


You intrigue me! Please tell me more!

There's a number of free strategy games; take your pick:

FreeCiv (Civ)
Lincity (Sim City)
The Battle of Wesnoth
FreeCol
Widelands
Micropolis (Sim City)
Simutrans (Railroad Tycoon)
any many others I haven't downloaded yet. :smallsmile:


In Ubuntu, select Applications->Ubuntu Software Centre... and click on Games.

Kuma Kode
2011-03-25, 01:45 PM
Wine HQ also maintains a database (http://appdb.winehq.org/) of programs and how well they run under Wine. Some are flawless, others not; the only game I use regularly that doesn't run under it is Perfect World. Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, and even World of Warcraft (unless you have an Intel graphics card) run great. Intel graphics cards have a hole in their graphics support under Linux and so some games are pretty much no-goes. Nvidia has much better support of Linux.

There's also a humorous article about how to install Windows viruses under Wine (http://www.linux.com/archive/feed/42031).