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Old 02-26-05, 02:44 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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questions about linux

I am thinking about converting over to Linux as opposed to XP. However i have some areas of concern. First of all is Microsoft Word. Will i be able to open word documents? Well, that also leads to another question, what can i use for a word processor. Im assumig Microsoft word will not work. Will i be able to save things in .doc? Thanks
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Old 02-26-05, 04:56 PM   #2
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You can use OpenOffice to open .doc documents. It will also save into .doc as well as its native file format and a bunch of others as well. The only problems I've encountered is when macros are present, or heavily formatted .doc's. A little tweaking generally takes care of the formating though.
It is an office suite with word processing, spreadsheet, drawing, and presentation capabilites. All handle M$ format pretty well. The next version is rumored to have a database program too.

Give it a try. I love it and have been using it for about 3 years now. There are versions for Linux as well as Micro$oft, so even if you don't switch to Linux (but you should, it's fantastic) you can still run OpenOffice and not have to pay the high pricetag for M$ Office.

www.openoffice.org
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Old 02-26-05, 05:17 PM   #3
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I would highly reccomend Linux over win xp. You will be amazed at the amount of software available and packaged with any of the distros. In fact if you really like MS Word you can still install and run it in Linux. For a beginner I have found Fedora to be veryy user friendly. I use Debian and Fedora. Gentoo i've herd is a good one too. Also there is an incredible on line community for linux users at all levels.
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Old 02-26-05, 05:33 PM   #4
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Yea ive noticed that most of the computer geeks out there use linux . THat has to be saying something, i made hte move to AMD over intel and im happy. So perhaps this is next, some of my friends have linux and have been pushing me to switch to it. I like how you dont have to pay for it too. In what ways is it better than XP? I need some more facts to push myself. Thanks for the info on the programs by the way. Im guessing you can use mozilla still right? I sware by mozilla now. IE is crap
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Old 02-26-05, 07:16 PM   #5
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I'm actually about to start getting into Linux as well, although piecemeal, rather than a total switch. I like some things about Windows, and don't like the idea of running my games through an emulator. But I'm also getting increasingly into web development and would like to have a file server, so I picked up a used box from a friend today for almost nothing to wipe clean and put Debian Linux on. I'll probably also put Apache, PHP, and MySQL on it and use it partially as a development/test box.

I already use a couple open source programs originally intended for Linux but with win32 builds easily available. GIMP and GAIM are great for images and for instant messaging, respectively.
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Old 02-26-05, 07:53 PM   #6
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Oh i have a few more questions, will AUTOCAD and photoshop work? I have some programs that must be able to run so that whats holding me back.
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Old 02-26-05, 09:25 PM   #7
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I don't think there is AUTOCAD, you can use GIMP (public domain) for most things that you'd use Photoshop for. There are GNU programs for most tasks. If you are more comfortable installing binaries (esentially what you do with windows), you might try a MAC OS X machine - then after you get some experience you can build most *nix tools with Fink or Darwinports. I find it the best of best worlds - a stable platform for routine office stuff, then access to *nix tools for research.
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Old 02-26-05, 09:36 PM   #8
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I might dual boot
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Old 02-26-05, 09:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I might dual boot
Dual booting is a good way to start. There is an even easier way to get some Linux experience, try installing Cygwin on your windows machine (http://www.cygwin.com/) it give you a Linux like environment on a windows machine. When you start it, you get a window something like the DOS window. It's maintained by the Red Hat people - it's not perfect, but it has got a lot of people to switch. You can certainly try some X11 tools using it.
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Old 02-26-05, 11:06 PM   #10
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I switched from W98 and XP to linux. I really like the idea, security, virus freedom, and feel of control of the system. A very knowledgeable friend set it up for me and it works fine.
Downside is that although I use a number of its programs (Fedora, OpenOffice,Thunderbird, Firefox, the Quicken alternative GnuCash, GIMP, etc.) I still feel totally helpless about how to do a lot of basic stuff. I've been shown some things, but can't wear out my welcome with every little detail, like how do I update software? Although this system only crashed once, unexpected things happen. For example, when I shut down, power off did not work. I had to hold off switch in 5 seconds for it to finally power off. Then, after a month or so and with my doing nothing different, it suddenly started power-offing OK.
Other unexpected things happen on shutdown. I get the same string of OKs on the screen side 2/3rds of the time. The other third sometimes just a couple of lines appears and it shuts down. Then yesterday instead of getting all those OKs, I got a few "FAILEDs" mixed in. My ignorance makes me feel helpless but then, the system always seems to work and I don't get those horrible arcane MS messages or system freezes. I have a pocket-sized book and the reputed best reference: "Red Hat Fedora Linux 2 Bible." It is comprensive but still lacks some simple stuff I should probably know already.
Oh! - One small problem is that a small minority of web sites, like travelocity, are not set up to display well on linux. Text may overlap or be unreadable. Sometimes you fill in blanks and then are unable to find the button you click to go to the next screen (it is simply missing). I just work around the kinks.
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Old 02-27-05, 09:14 AM   #11
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Smitty8
yes but you see the difference between Linux and Windows is; while neither are perfect because it is impossible to make a piece of software perfict Windows will fix the problem and then charge you to get the 'upgrade' while Linux hackers attack the problem world wide and put out the fix immediatlly.

Phantom
Dual booting is a great idea. I have a fedora/win98 dual boot. I play games in win 98. Actually on this machine I have win98/win2k and Fedora. The craziest thing I have seen about XP is the users and groups. I may be wrong on this but it seemed that when I was playing around with a copy of XP a year ago I could log in as a user and simply use windows explorer to view any other users files and even destroy them! in a linux system you have total control over every file on your system. If for example you are writing a book you can save it in a directory called 'my-book' and set permissions on it so that only you can view it write to it or delete it. As far as I can tell you cannot do that in xp.

As far as being new to linux and used to windows: Linux distros have come a real long way to being user friendly. Fedora for example is so easy to install and configure it's amazing. I would not reccomend Debian for a new user because that one is still sort of old school. For a home user I really cannot see any reason at all why some one would not use linux. If you want to write documents, check email, surf the net like a typical home user than it is great. I still have to keep a win98 box running for my recording software and a few other apps. I am not dissing Windows per say but I really think once people see how great linux is than Windows is in some serious troublke which of course is good for all us consumers.

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Check out NVU if you want a wisiwig html editor.
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Old 02-27-05, 12:45 PM   #12
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.doc files will open in koffice as well (comes with newer versions of kde)
I have always recommended Knoppix as a nice way to start with linux..
it will boot off of a cd or dvd and run from there with out changing anything on your hard drive.. its hardware detection works pretty well for most newish systems
if you decide you like Knoppix its easy to install to the hard drive and set to dual boot.. or not
edit a few lines in /etc/apt/sources.list and do a "apt-get dist-upgrade" and you'll have full debian system
anywho remember google.com/linux is your friend and good luck
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Old 02-27-05, 12:53 PM   #13
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Yeah, Knoppix is great. You can save your preferences onto a floppy so that next time you boot up you won't have to configure your settings all over again.

It's also a handy tool for system recovery for both Linux & Windoze boxes.


http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
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Old 02-27-05, 03:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The craziest thing I have seen about XP is the users and groups. I may be wrong on this but it seemed that when I was playing around with a copy of XP a year ago I could log in as a user and simply use windows explorer to view any other users files and even destroy them! in a linux system you have total control over every file on your system. If for example you are writing a book you can save it in a directory called 'my-book' and set permissions on it so that only you can view it write to it or delete it. As far as I can tell you cannot do that in xp
Windows automatically handles some of that. In a typical installation, you would log on with a user name at start up. Windows associates a folder on the hard drive with that user which contains "My Documents" and anything that user adds to their desktop. By default, only that user and the administrator have access to those files. Anything they save outside of the user's documents area is accessible by anyone, unless the user sets the permissions otherwise. The administrator can create groups of users that can be allowed to access particular files or folders, or manage users individually. The features aren't readily apparent, because Windows focuses so much on hiding the technical details from the average user, but they're there, and appear to be adequate for most purposes.
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Old 02-27-05, 07:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Windows automatically handles some of that. In a typical installation, you would log on with a user name at start up. Windows associates a folder on the hard drive with that user which contains "My Documents" and anything that user adds to their desktop. By default, only that user and the administrator have access to those files. Anything they save outside of the user's documents area is accessible by anyone, unless the user sets the permissions otherwise. The administrator can create groups of users that can be allowed to access particular files or folders, or manage users individually. The features aren't readily apparent, because Windows focuses so much on hiding the technical details from the average user, but they're there, and appear to be adequate for most purposes.
Oh so it looks like Windows finally cought up to linux then

So in XP can you set permissions on individual directories other than 'my documents' or 'desktop'? And than further can you set permissions on files?
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Old 02-27-05, 08:23 PM   #16
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Yes. The default is for anything within "documents and settings\$username" (which includes My Documents and the Desktop profile) to only be accessible by $username and the administrator. I've never actually messed with the permissions for those under normal circumstances. Any other file on the hard drive (I don't think they've found a need to bother making an exception for system files) can have its permissions set according to users or groups of users.

I don't know much about the history, but I know user-based file permissions in Windows goes back to at least Windows NT, so we're talking mid to late 90's. I have Windows 2000 and the concept is nearly identical to on XP and based almost entirely off of NT.

Just noticed your note about the NVU wysiwyg html editor. Thanks for the suggestion but no thanks. I much prefer to write my own code. Syntax highlighting would be nice, but normally I just use notepad or VIM.
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Old 02-27-05, 08:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Im guessing you can use mozilla still right? I sware by mozilla now. IE is crap
You bet ya. In fact, you can get either the Mozilla Suite or Firefox and Thunderbird in Windows, Linux, or Mac executables from mozilla.org. There's also Konquerer, which is the standard KDE web browser. IE is crap. Maybe IE 7 will be better when that comes out, but I've already been pushed away, so that will only be relevant if I'm still doing web developing.
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Old 02-27-05, 08:38 PM   #18
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I will never use IE. I got popup after popup with it, a friend of mine recommended mozilla and i dont think ive gotten a single popup since. I think im gonna talk to him, and start off with a dual boot. I want my windows for some programs which i must have and i doubt will run on linux.
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