Besides free, Why Linux OS? - Page 5

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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    I agree. It's much better to use your time doing useful, productive things than in reinventing the wheel (again). Probably a wobbly, squeaky wheel that may not be able to carry a lot of weight around when you need it to spin quickly.
    I sort of look at it as taking less time to just earn the money it would take to buy a new(er) PDA, one that has guaranteed compatibility with whatever-is-current for software demands.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    I agree. It's much better to use your time doing useful, productive things than in reinventing the wheel (again). Probably a wobbly, squeaky wheel that may not be able to carry a lot of weight around when you need it to spin quickly.
    I sort of look at it as taking less time to just earn the money it would take to buy a new(er) PDA, one that has guaranteed compatibility with whatever-is-current for software demands.
    I think it all comes down to this - what do you want your 'wheel' to do? For some people, simply having the ability to use an older machine, long since abandoned by MS due to forced OS upgrades, is enough to justify reinventing the wheel. I've got an AMD K6-2 550mhz machine that's been long since rendered obsolete by MS. It now does more than it ever did, all running Xubuntu. I installed it, added some plugins to firefox, added some codecs, and that's it. Set up time in 2 hours. Try to do a fully configured MS install with all updates in that amount of time. I wouldn't waste my time with it.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    Just adding my 2 cents here (before inflation, taxes, etc),

    I have been playing with computers since the mid 80's, when 64KB was a lot of RAM, and you where doing good to have two DS/DD 360KB 5 1/2" disk drives, and running M$-DOS version 2.xx. I am more comfortable with a keyboard than a mouse, not because I learned about computers from a command line, yet that it means I don't have to take my hands away from the keyboard to do what I need to. I prefer PC-DOS version 7 (from IBM) to M$-DOS ver. 6, and Linux to M$'s Windoze.

    You can get an old 386-66 from Goodwill Industries or the Salvation Army, install two network cards, download and install IPCop, and have a dedicated firewall for next to nothing. Try that with Windoze - good luck, you can strip down Windoze 98 and get some of the functionality of a dedicated firewall box, but it just doesn't work as well, nor securely.

    What do you want to use the computer for? If it is playing the latest games then stick with a dedicated game system. If it is just e-mails, typing a letter, doing an invoice or your checkbook then get an old 486 and install linux, or find an old copy of Windoze 98, and get the computer from a school that is upgrading to WinXP - now that they have the funds, and the first major repairs for Vista are not yet out (or if they are, just to much of a security risk to wait for Service Hack 1, um, I mean, Service Pack 1).

    If you want to get down to real work then you do have two choises. Windoze XP Pro or Linux 2.6.xx (Mac's underlying systems are based on Linux, so lets count it in the Linux camp).

    Unix has been around for decades (the 1960's if I remember correctly), and so it was being hacked, attacked, tested, and improved on before Windoze was even conceived. The Apple Lisa took a lot of ideas from Xerox, pulled everything together, and was a hit with desktop publishers, in the early 80's. Micro$oft took the Lisa, stole most everything from it, and managed to win in court by looking at the pieces and not the whole.

    T. Linux created Linux while in college, for a class project. He did just like Bill Gates did in creating M$-DOS, just did it better in my opinion. M$-DOS was based a lot on Unix and CP/M, with-out the multitasking or a will defined way of integrating 3rd party drivers. Mr. Linux made the source code open so other people could install it on their computers, modify it as needed, and share it with others, so everyone could benefit. Mr. Gates had one big advantage over Mr. Linux - a contract with a major manufacture.

    And so you don't think windows (or the GUI) is new to the *nix world consider Posix, Moffit, X11R6, XFree86, and Xorg. These have been around for ages. As one person has already mentioned, you can use headless computers (i.e., lacking keyboard, mouse, and monitor) and still have it working nicely. My firewall is a headless computer, and if I need to check anything on it, such as logs, it can create a custom web page for me to look at, on another computer, so I can keep the firewall hidden away in a closet (along with a switch, cable modem, UPS, and other stuff that I don't care to see). One place where I worked in the early 90's had a computer with SCO 386 running on it, with four terminals in the main location, and two remote terminals (running on a single 9600 baud modem), all working together, playing nicely, with no need for attention, except for the nightly back-ups, when someone would stick a new tape in the tape drive.

    I will continue to refer to what other people have said, as they have made valid points, and try to add to it. I do use some outdated exotic equipment, such as nVidia Quadra 980 GLX video card with two NEC MultiSync LCD 2080UX monitors, and I hook it up to a Sony TV from time to time for video editing. Most people using Linux only use one monitor because you can have up to 16 desktops that you can switch between with just a keystroke or two (sorry Windoze, without a special program [read $$$] you are just not able to do that), so that makes me a bit of an odd-ball, not unique. So, I have my own take on things.

    Pros of Windoze: Most software companies that publish for the end user (people at home) and SOHOs create the programs for M$ O/Ss. While I use MySQL on both Linux and Windoze most home users would ask "What?", not knowing that I am referring to a relational database, that helps power the majority of web-sites that they visit (even if it is in the background, for the web hosting company, or their ISP managing their account).

    Cons of Windoze: Security, stability, cost of ownership ($$$$$), upgradeability, true customization, activation, re-installing, and so on. I created a custom install disk for windoze, merging Service Hack 2 with my original install disk that includes Service Hack 1a, redid my windoze installation, and now I am being told that I don't have a valid copy of XP Pro (this will prevent me from using the auto update feature).

    Linux pros: Makes Baskin Robins look limited in the flavors offered (as someone else has mentioned DistroWatch is a good place to to start, yet not the only one), cost (the time to download and burn a disk, or to order a copy to be delivered via mail), programmers and end-users provide support, usually in short time periods, service contracts available at reasonable prices (from publishers, vendors, and others), a wide range of software, your choice of of user interfaces - or none at all (command line), support for hardware that even the manufacture no longer supports, can run on almost any type of computer you throw at it (even an 286 PC-XT/AT), not limited to dual booting (how many versions and flavors of an operating system do you want, fine, it will handle it), and lets not forget the prestige of belonging to an elite club (ok, maybe not, but it sounds good).

    Linux cons: With so many flavors (more than 31 I assure you) you may have trouble deciding which one, some hardware manufactures are slow to release, if at all, drivers for linux (yet someone in the linux community will have it all figured out before long), you may not have just one contact to turn to if something goes wrong (at least you won't have M$ telling you to reformat the hard disk drive and re-install everything), with everything available to customize (not just the wallpaper and what font you see, but EVERYTHING) you may spend so much time playing with all of the settings (and have fun doing so) that you may not get you task done as soon as you would like (should this open from the left, right, top, bottom, or the center - imagine if you had that many choices for the front door to your residents).

    My personal experiences are many, and varied, with computers and linux. Again, I started with M$-DOS 2.xx, and now I am using Ubuntu 7.04 and Windoze XP Pro patched to version 2.xx.xx... on my main desktop computer. When I started with Linux the install menus where all text based, now most of them are graphical in nature. At first there where only a dozen distributions around, now they exceed 50 I am sure, if not a lot more. Windoze has progressed from version 2.0 (a Midnight Commander knock-off, while version 1 was a still birth), to Vista (don't care for it on a laptop that doesn't have a proper mouse).

    Even in the old days, with the ASCII based menus, you could do a nice install, in less time than the then current Micro$oft product, and still have dual-boot capabilities. When I first became serious about Linux was with Mandrake version 9. It was graphical in nature, came on 7 CDs (I went for the power pak with commercial software that I could install as well), and I still have the CDs so I can format and partition a hard disk drive as I desire without Windoze complaining. I answered a few questions, picked the software I wanted installed, and a bit more than an hour later I had a system up and running, with all of the software I needed installed, and only had to reboot once - at the end of it.

    I do use Gentoo on one computer, and that is because it is older, and not powerful enough for anything other than Windoze 98 from the M$ camp. Gentoo is a power user/geek distro in that you start off installing everything from the command line, is interactive, and it helps to know your system (you have so much control that you customize it from beginning to end for what you want to do, not what the vendor thinks you should use it for). I use this computer as a server for testing on my own in-house LAN, so I don't need drivers for USB/serial/firewire ports, only for the keyboard, mouse and monitor ports. Since I am using an IDE ATA drive, and removed the CD drive after the initial start-up, I don't even have a driver for a CD reader/burner installed. It does take time, hours even, for you to do a custom install using Gentoo, yet to milk your computer for every ounce of performance it is well worth it.

    Knoppix is a Live CD, meaning you can boot your computer from a CD drive, and run linux, without having to install it on the computer. Even if your computer is older, and can't boot from a CD instructions are included on how to make a bootable floppy, and still be able to use Linux without installing it to your hard drive. Ubuntu is a Live CD as well, and there is many other versions (flavors) of linux out there that are considered Live CDs or rescue disks. Knoppix is one of the best known Live CDs as it has been around a long time, yet Ubuntu is better if you want to install to a hard disk drive (they even include a program to do this from the Live CD desktop).

    Before settling on IPCop as my firewall of choice I did test a couple others, including Mandrake Security MNF. I went with IPCop for a couple reasons,yet Mandrake's offering had me very interested as well. MNF would let me configure the various ports as I wanted, yet it was to graphical in nature, and so presented a grater security risk. That is the nice thing about Linux, try a couple different distributions, and find one that works well for you.

    The last time I played with Mandrake they changed there name to Mandriva, and was releasing version 10. I downloaded the DVD ISO image, and tried it. It is nice having all of the programs you most likely will use over the next couple years all on one disk, at your finger tips. The thing I did not like about Mandriva was that for automated updates you had to subscribe and maintain a profile on their servers. The nice thing was that if you where running a business, with different computers configured differently the patches could be downloaded to just one computer in the company and distributed to the ones that needed the update, saving you some bandwidth to the internet, and making it easy to update all of the computers at once.

    Ubuntu is nice in that I was able to burn it to a CD, try it as a Live CD, and then install it once I had tested it. For me the automatic updates are better than Mandriva as I only have one computer running it, so being a combination of server/client (host) is better than mainly server based, and being free is saving me at least $29 per year. The main disadvantage is that it wants to install everything, and then have you pick and chose what to remove. They make some very good choices based on what the majority of people want, so it isn't as bad as it may seem, and their package management system (i.e., program installer) is very good.

    I have some outdated, yet high-end, equipment as mentioned above. Different distros handle my equipment in different ways. My dual display is the hardest thing for any distro of Linux to deal with. While Knoppix clones (mirrors) the first display to the second Ubuntu would have just a big mess on the second screen, tell I downloaded and installed updated drives and ran a configuration program. Yes, I did have to search a couple FAQs, and it was worth it.

    I did have some problems initially in getting my Palm T|X to sync with Ubuntu Linux. As mentioned before Ubuntu uses Gnome as the default desktop/user interface, and so that means that gnome-pilot is the default underlying conduit. I tried JPilot yet didn't have any luck with it, while I have had success with PilotManager. I don't use all of the capabilities of the Palm, so I don't need anything fancy, and I am happy with what I have set up. With the majority of software in the linux world being free for downloading/installing I had no problems trying a couple different applications to find what works for me and my hardware, Palm T|X included. As a side note I have to hotsync my Palm bluetooth, not the USB cable, when using Windoze XP Pro because I lost my install disk for the Palm, and Windoze does not want to recognize the Palm any other way, tho on two other computers (friends, not mine) it isn't a problem.

    Lets see if I can put this in proper prospective. With Linux you can find just what you need, even if it is to have a computer boot off of a single floppy disk. One version is based on a floppy disk, suggest that you remove the hard disk drive, and acts as a firewall, that if corrupted only remains so till the next reboot, as nothing is written to a hard disk drive. Gentoo is a true power user's distro as you compile it as you install it, so it is customized to your computer, to do what you need it to do. Mandriva comes on a number of disks and lets you chose what software to install when you first set up the computer, so you don't have to go back and remove anything. Ubuntu installs a lot to begin with, and you remove what you don't want, and pick new software. All distros have a way of updating/patching the software, and can be customized to your needs, some are just better suited at it than others. All major distributors take the standard software available for Linux and add an extra file that lets their package management system know something special to help ease the installation, yet doesn't restrict you to just the programs and packages that they have reviewed and tinkered with, you are still able to install programs you may find on the net or elsewhere.

    What about Linux on the Palm? I think it is a good idea, and it won't be much of a choice in the future. As mentioned previously by others Linux is modular in nature, so it can cut down on the development time, and you just switch one or two drivers and you can work on another platform/processor. The thing that really excites me is that people will develop different UIs/desktops, customize things, and share it with the community with more easy than what can be done today. I use ZLauncher, have tried Resco Explores, and have FlyZip installed to expand ZLauncher's capabilities. To think that in the future that I would be able to find ZLauncher with the file management abilites of Resco's Explore, with on the fly compression/decompression abilities of FlyZip build in is something I can hardly wait for. Or take Resco's Viewer, and combine it with WirelessClock, and again, you have something that I desire, all in one package. This is going to be easier to do with open source and people willing to share, as opposed to me having to purchase a few hundred dollars worth of software for a PDA that I only paid a few hundred for to begin with.

    It all comes down to what do you want to do, and how much time and energy are you willing to spend to customize things. It used to be that you bought a mainframe based on the main program that you would run on it, now it is you purchase the computer and look for the programs that run on the O/S of your choice that fit your needs. And you are not stuck with just one O/S for your computer of choice, with Linux's LILO and Grub booters you can have multiple versions of multiple operating systems installed, and switch between them at start-up. Windoze doesn't play nice, and will try altering the Master Boot Record, eliminating the competition, while Linux will let you switch to what ever tool you need to use. Remember, a word processor is just a fancy type writer, and a spreadsheet is just that - whither it is paper or electronic in nature, and a web browser will take you to the internet regardless if you are using Windoze, Linux, or even a PDA or cell phone. Use just learn a new set of short-cut keys when you change programs, not the way to use them.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    Hello awev, welcome to BrightHand

    AWESOME first post
    Digital since 1980, handheld since 2001
    M105 (retired but still working), T|E (sold)
    T3 + ADAPT BT GPS + Viamichelin 3.2 + Palm WiFi card
    Treo 500v with WM6.1 and Treo 680 in the drawer
    Desire S - rooted -Virtuous Quattro beta 5 - Ice Cream Sandwich
    Acer Iconia A500 Tablet - rooted - Thor A500 ROM v14.2 - Honeycomb 3.2.1


    Having a rather busy schedule at work, so I am not around that much lately.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    Thanks holvoetn,
    I think it is a bit long-winded myself, yet I felt I had to provide some background info about me since I am the new kid on the block.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    lol, I often have to restrain myself from being long-winded. Then I have to ruthlessly edit some more wind out, lest I publish novels in each post.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    I have been using RedHat and now Ubuntu and Kubuntu for 10 years and love Linux.

    The main advantages of Linux over the other OS's are that it is truly multi-threaded and multitasks well. Only Mac and Windows come close and they are both closed, proprietary OS's that still can't outperform Linux.

    I look forward to the day when my smartphone runs Linux!
    Palm History: VII, VIIx, Tungsten W, Treo 650 (in use), Treo 680 (in use)

    Speech Recognition: Chief Architect w/Global IT Services firm

    Favorite Apps: Sport-PDA's F1 & Nextel Cup, Battery Graph, Butler, CityID, DateBk, FileZ, LauncherX, Money, Northglide's Utility Suite, PDANet, PTunes, PowerRUN, SmartPhoneTools, VoiceDial, Volume Care, Yaps

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...ndows_software

    http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html

    http://www.libervis.com/wiki/index.p...alent_Software

    I have been using Mandriva Linux for several years now. Considering upgrading to the free 2008 version soon but 2007 is running so well I don't know that I want to take the plunge.

    It was rough to go from being an advanced Windows user to a newbie Linux user. Very frustrating. HOWEVER 1 evening with a Linux user would eliminate a long learning curve. The best analogy I can think of is going from driving in America to driving in England. A bunch of little differences, and most of them improvements I think over Windows.

    It's all point and click if you want it to be with some great shortcuts via the command line. It is infinitely customizable. Keystrokes for arcane duties if you like or none at all. Multiple users and more free great software than you can shake a stick at.

    Never seen Linux? Google for "Linux Screenshots".

    Don't understand how good free software can be? Go somewhere like http://releases.theopencd.org/07.04/ or www.portableapps.com for Windows compatible versions of software commonly found in Linux.

    Got it installed and then recieved an error messsage? Copy and paste the error message (some of it, not all if the results are slim) into your favorite search engine and cruise the internet a bit. After a while you'll find the best forums and see that when an error pops up, alot of people have that error and alot of other people solve it. For example a DVD backup program I use inserts a colon in the command it uses to start a disc copy. Easy to work around.

    Good luck and welcome to the "parallel universe" that is Linux...
    (I'm never going back!)

    Chris in TN

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    Awesome post, Awev!

    I have a question on multi-tasking. I'm using Ubuntu 6.06 and I notice on the bottom right of the screen that there are different "workspaces." Is this what makes linux better at multitasking? As in I can run simultaneous programs on all the workspaces with no real hardware lag?

    I've never actually used it since I don't understand what makes it different from simply running all those different programs on one workspace.

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Besides free, Why Linux OS?

    The workspaces simply offer you another way to run high volumes of programs, without all the clutter in your taskbar. Just divide the programs you want to open, into various workspaces, and switch workspaces when you need a certain app. It doesn't allow or disallow more or less apps, nor does it make multitasking better. It's just a feature of this particular Linux distribution.

    The better multitasking is inherit from the Linux kernel. That's about all you really need to know. It just works better.

    I personally don't use more than one workspace. You can opt to remove the extra workspaces if you want, with no hit to the system.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

 

 

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