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The Shop => Software Tools => Topic started by: DavidA on April 12, 2014, 04:56:14 PM

Title: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 12, 2014, 04:56:14 PM
I'm considering taking the plunge and moving to Linux.  My XP is playing up a bit and MS no longer supports it.

So,  I understand that some of you guys use Linux.  To install it on a machine is it really as simple as downloading the system onto a dvd or data stick and letting it install itself on the chosen machine ?

How do I get back onto the web ?

All advice appreciated.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Stilldrillin on April 12, 2014, 05:19:06 PM
Hi Dave.
I know nowt about how these things work...........

New laptop, few years ago. My son set me up on Linux Ubuntu, cos he thought it was wonderful. At the time.

I hated it, as it wouldn't talk to PBucket or Utube properly. Various other sites just didn't work properly either.

He swapped me back to XP. I've been happy, until now!

I'm awaiting, "something happening". Then, he says he will clean it out, and install different Windows.

David D
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 12, 2014, 05:35:09 PM
Six years ago my 12 year old MacG3 was no longer operational. Using a relatively old free PC, I installed Ubuntu, never looked back. It does everything I want it too, photobucket no problems, youtube never had any trouble. That PC died recently, I've built myself another PC, installed Xubuntu, everything fine and dandy, with the exception of making videos which is not as easy as on windows, but it is free, and open source.

Microshaft has been creating obsalescence for years, when I ran my first PC, I hooked up my eleven (at the time) year old umax scanner which it recognised straight away, there were no pilots for it on either Mac or PC.

I'm very happy with Xubuntu, regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 12, 2014, 05:39:05 PM
I got stung buying a supposedly genuine copy of Win7 that I needed for a machine I was setting up in the workshop - it turned out to be an unregisterable forgery.I'd bought it months earlier so could do nowt about it. Not being prepared to shell out twice I downloaded the free LINUX Mint17. Went like a dream, loaded easily and recognized all my peripherals that WIN7 said were no longer supported. Not really got fully into it yet as I've been distracted by other things, but as a LINUX skeptic I've been impressed.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 12, 2014, 05:59:02 PM
Thanks for the replies so far.  I also got stung with windows Vista. Loaded it, spent one and a half hours downloading the updates and installing them.  Then it wouldn't accept the key that came with it.  So it is that machine that may get the Linux.

My XP keeps suddenly dropping out of MadModder back to the desktop. Usually in the middle of a doubleboost video. (it also does this on another site) and at the moment I can't find my XP disc to re-install.

Keep the advice coming.

Dave
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: velocette on April 12, 2014, 09:43:20 PM
Hi
Linux is OK by me cheap and secure if set up properly with a system administrator (root) and on the (/home) partition setup with  (eric) as the normal user.
A bit of a steep learning curve at first but worth it.
A memory stick loaded with the linux system of your choice loaded or a live DVD will give you a look at it without having to commit to it.
Personally I ditched Win 95  when it was still in vogue got sick of many constant patches and "Anti Virus" updates.

Now with Suse Linux loaded with the ability to keep updated at my leisure.

Eric
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: hermetic on April 13, 2014, 12:36:39 PM
When my mother got sick of windows 98 not recognising hardware, I set her up on Linux Ubuntu, and she has used it ever since, and she likes it! She now knows linux better than I do, (not difficult) but then again, she is 82 years young!!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 13, 2014, 01:23:31 PM
One thing I would like to add, when using Linux, there is an enormous amount of support available, if you have a problem, a web search will almost definately find the solution. In my early days on Linux, I had a friend that helped me, but it didn't take long to use the web to find the solutions to my problems. I f you have any problems, send me a PM and I'll try to help!

Regards, Matthew.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Arbalist on April 13, 2014, 02:25:05 PM
This looks nice.

http://elementaryos.org/
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 13, 2014, 05:07:55 PM
Hi Guys,


I've used nothing but Linux since about 1993-4 !  My first Linux was from book with a bound in copy of "Yggdrasil" Linux.  Those were the heady days of compile everything yourself.  Rooting out drivers to get better screen resolution.  Sound if you were lucky. Everything had to be searched for, modified, compiled linked.


Today its so easy !  Choose a flavour.  Download the ISO image for a live CD or DVD.  Burn the disc.  Stick it in the drive and boot from it.  Sit back and wait while it searches your machines hardware, picks the right drivers and just works.  Installs nothing on your machine.  Unless you tell it to !


When you have finished log off, shutdown and remove the CD/DVD.  Hey presto the next time you boot your machine you are back in Windows.


If you do decide to install make sure you have a good backup of your system and data.  Linux will read and write most of if not all Windows data.


There are many Linux users here that I'm sure will be able to help a new Linux user.



Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: raynerd on April 13, 2014, 05:17:36 PM
I tried Ubuntu a few years ago and never really adapted properly to it. I`ve been using Raspian on the raspberry pi`s I`ve got and I enjoyed it so much that I switched my home computer to debian. I don`t think I`ll look back now... it just takes a lot of getting use to to use it properly. Some of the things that are perhaps a little more straight forward on windows are slightly more hidden with Linux but the functionality is there!! The IRC support channels are amazing.

Chris
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete49 on April 13, 2014, 11:46:27 PM
I too am a long time user of XP (except this laptop which is win 7). I like win 7 but don't want to use it on my old desktop which still runs xp without a hitch but now due to no support am looking to Linux as well. Best move Micro$oft ever did to get people off windoze.
The problem I have come up against is what version to use as there are so many out there and their devotees that I am hoping to get advice here to cut through the BS
Pete
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: ksor on April 14, 2014, 12:05:02 AM
I have an old ThinkPad that was a Little slow running XP so I updated it to Ubuntu 12.04 and I have been very happy with that ever since.

It's not my primairy computer but one we have in the kitchen for recepts for food, access to internet ect. ect.

I run TeamViewer on all my computers so I can remote control all from my primairy computer and I think our home Network is very nice and stable running.

I have 3-4 other ThinkPads/ThinkCenters and I'll update them too to Linux
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 14, 2014, 06:31:33 AM
Linux has come a long way in the last few years. If you haven't tried it since, say, about 2010; try it again....

I'd personally recommend Linux Mint - it's an Ubuntu derivative, but much nicer IMHO. I think it's also the most popular version just now, it's also one of the most "non-nerd friendly" versions, although as a semi-nerd, I am not totally qualified to claim that.

The nice thing about Mint (and others) is the LiveDVD option; download the ISO & burn it to a DVD. Chuck the new DVD into your computer & boot from it - you will now get to experience a (very slow!) demo of what Linux is like. You can run Firefox & other s/w, I believe you can even download & install apps (but only for that session, re-boot and it's all back to how it was before). If you like it, install it; it will offer to try to co-exist with Windows if you have it, or allow you to wipe the machine & restart.

Personally, I use Linux Mint pretty much exclusively at home now, it just runs better on my ancient laptop than even XP. Although I do have a Windows "Virtual Machine" on my desktop computer, so I can still do Windows stuff if needed.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Arbalist on April 14, 2014, 07:08:33 AM
Funny how things change. I used to fiddle about with operating systems on a very amateur level but I gave up with that many years ago. I just like to use the thing now, not keep fiddling about "under the bonnet". These days though I do most stuff on an iPad and only resort to the desktop for image editing in Lightroom.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: gmac on April 14, 2014, 12:22:18 PM
+1 on AdeV's comments. I loaded Linux Mint 13 KDE on an eMachine 350 netbook with only 1GB ram and it runs great. It's dual booted with the original Windows 7 but I no long use Windows. Lots of free software and currently use LibreOffice rather than buying MS Office. Preparing to load it on my main notebook computer. Take the time to review the various versions of Mint and previous releases. Also check the release notes for any machine incompatibilities.

http://www.linuxmint.com/index.php

Cheers Garry
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 14, 2014, 03:23:30 PM
Well,looks as if it is generally considered to be a good thing.

So I'll be getting a new data stick and downloading Ubuntu sometime in the next week.

Thanks for all the replies to my query.

Dave. :thumbup:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: raynerd on April 14, 2014, 06:36:20 PM
No one use Debian - open source for free software, totally community run?
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete49 on April 14, 2014, 10:47:27 PM
And now the problem... :scratch:... Ubuntu mint, Linux mint, Debian and the list goes on. This is the bit that confuses me. I think my head hurts
Pete
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 15, 2014, 02:48:24 AM
No one use Debian - open source for free software, totally community run?

I use Debian on several small machines at home, and am using it at work, it's fine. It is the distribution that Ubuntu and others are based on, after all. It does slightly less "hands holding" than other distributions, and does not have that big overarching theme like Ubuntu ("for the masses") or Mint ("beautiful"), but IMO it offers the highest level of choice for pre-compiled distribution (i.e., without getting into compiling everything yourself, like Gentoo).  So the learning curve might be just a little bit higher. It does have a very refined package management, compared with the RPM-based distros (Redhat, Suse...), which tend to get a bit chaotic in my experience.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 15, 2014, 03:07:45 AM
When I loaded my Mint16 system I was very impressed how easy it was to do, and I found my way around reasonably easily, however file sharing of a network is currently defeating me. If I set files to be shared by everyone it's ok, I can access them over my network from WIN7 machines. However setting it up so only one user can access is defeating me.

I think what winds me up with all the UNIX, LINUX variants is the arbitrary naming  of things, so the name seems to bear no relationship to the use of the utility or whatever.

Same happened to my Bank when it was converted to restaurant and was called 'The Bank' - now if they'd called it 'The Old Bank Restaurant' it would have made sense - but they didn't !
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Stilldrillin on April 15, 2014, 03:34:14 AM
As I said earlier. I know nowt. And, understand even less....... Still running, very happily, on a pirate copy of XP.

At No1 son's instruction. I installed Avast, yesterday.

I'll let you know if/ when anything happens........ 

David D
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 15, 2014, 04:57:55 AM
I have some questions:

I only tried Linux (I can't remember what version) once on an old 233MHz 256MB laptop and was much less than impressed. I dismissed it as being for nerds!

I have two desktops running XP - one stand-alone (no connections to the outside world and minimal software) PC for Mach3 on my CNC and one for general use connected to printers, scanners with an ethernet connection to my router.

I also have a laptop running Vista.

I am running programmes such as Autocad (2005), Vectric Cut2d, Family Tree Maker, ViaCad 2d/3d, Photoshop Elements, Anquet Maps etc.

Would I be able to run these programmes on e.g. Mint?

I sync the data files between the Vista laptop & XP desktop with SyncBack and backup both with Acronis True Image. (Acronis can also clone a hard drive so, in the event of a hd failure, I can swap the hd out and be back in business in minutes.) Would these programmes work or are there equivalents.

I might consider setting the Mach3 PC up to dual-boot into XP (for Mach3) and Mint? (for LinuxCNC for my CNC lathe when I finish it.)

Avast have said that they will continue to provide their support for XP for at least 3 years so, for now, I'm happy to carry on with XP.

I have another old laptop (933 MHz 1GB) which I might experiment with.

Cheers.

Phil.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 15, 2014, 10:01:26 AM
I am running programmes such as Autocad (2005), Vectric Cut2d, Family Tree Maker, ViaCad 2d/3d, Photoshop Elements, Anquet Maps etc.

Would I be able to run these programmes on e.g. Mint?

Only if there are Linux versions. Alternatively, if you have a transferrable (non-OEM) Windows licence, you can set up "virtual" Windows machine using either VMWare Player, or VirtualBox. Not particularly recommended on an underpowered machine though...

I sync the data files between the Vista laptop & XP desktop with SyncBack and backup both with Acronis True Image. (Acronis can also clone a hard drive so, in the event of a hd failure, I can swap the hd out and be back in business in minutes.) Would these programmes work or are there equivalents.

I might consider setting the Mach3 PC up to dual-boot into XP (for Mach3) and Mint? (for LinuxCNC for my CNC lathe when I finish it.)

Avast have said that they will continue to provide their support for XP for at least 3 years so, for now, I'm happy to carry on with XP.

I have another old laptop (933 MHz 1GB) which I might experiment with.


In your circumstances, you'd probably be best sticking to Windows for the time being.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 15, 2014, 10:41:07 AM
Thanks Ade,

I'll stick with what I know then! - At least I won't be wasting days messing about and being very disappointed.

I'll see if I can pick up a couple of Windows 7 licenses to futureproof myself.

 :beer:

Phil.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: raynerd on April 15, 2014, 11:49:35 AM
Philf - The Vectric stuff can be run using wine software on Linux as can family tree maker. There are some very very powerful Linux based photo editing softwares so photoshop wouldn't be needed. The issue is auto cad which I believe is not supported in Linux and I expect would grind a windows compatibility layer like wine to a halt.

Admittedly, it's a little like windows or mac - you are your choice and then stick with the software available. I do honestly believe that UNIX will continue to grow. If you have an old pc, wack Ubuntu, Debian, mint...on and have a play - it's free!!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: raynerd on April 15, 2014, 11:52:15 AM
Just one final point, I had an old laptop rusting away in the back of a cupboard. It would boot, if it did ran slow and in ancient and was only fit for the bin. I'd only not binned it because I wanted to remove the harddrive and destroy but had been too lazy. I've installed Linux on it (Debian and granted Ubuntu may have been a better choice) for my daughter, and she now has a fully working laptop on her desk!!  :smart:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 15, 2014, 12:21:54 PM
Philf - The Vectric stuff can be run using wine software on Linux as can family tree maker. There are some very very powerful Linux based photo editing softwares so photoshop wouldn't be needed. The issue is auto cad which I believe is not supported in Linux and I expect would grind a windows compatibility layer like wine to a halt.

Admittedly, it's a little like windows or mac - you are your choice and then stick with the software available. I do honestly believe that UNIX will continue to grow. If you have an old pc, wack Ubuntu, Debian, mint...on and have a play - it's free!!

Thanks Chris,

I might have a play on my old (2002) laptop.

Cheers.

Phil.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 15, 2014, 12:27:33 PM
Be very careful  Phil, I got stung unintentionally buying forged Win7 Pro a few months back
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 15, 2014, 12:40:49 PM
. The issue is auto cad which I believe is not supported in Linux and I expect would grind a windows compatibility layer like wine to a halt.

I thought that Auto Cad will run under Linux using wine. An old version of Auto Cad anyway!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 15, 2014, 03:04:39 PM
Philf - The Vectric stuff can be run using wine software on Linux as can family tree maker. There are some very very powerful Linux based photo editing softwares so photoshop wouldn't be needed. The issue is auto cad which I believe is not supported in Linux and I expect would grind a windows compatibility layer like wine to a halt.

Admittedly, it's a little like windows or mac - you are your choice and then stick with the software available. I do honestly believe that UNIX will continue to grow. If you have an old pc, wack Ubuntu, Debian, mint...on and have a play - it's free!!


I use "Qcad" and "Draftcad" in Linux both are free !



Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 15, 2014, 03:22:47 PM
I use "Qcad" and "Draftcad" in Linux both are free !

Hi Baron,

I have used Autocad for too many years and have many customisations to suit my way of working. I don't really want to start over again even if the packages run under linux are free.

Cheers.

Phil.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 15, 2014, 03:30:12 PM
Be very careful  Phil, I got stung unintentionally buying forged Win7 Pro a few months back
Thanks Andrew,

It might be cheaper for me to buy an old desktop with a Windows 7 sticker on it.

When I was in work we used Dell PCs and laptops and they all came with XP Pro installed. The IT department reloaded their own XP build using a corporate license so all the licenses on the PCs were never registered. I used the key off the sticker on my work PC to register XP Pro on my Mach3 PC.

I bet they've done the same with Windows 7.

Cheers.

Phil.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 16, 2014, 07:54:55 AM
Whilst I cannot condone software piracy (paid-for software is how I make my living....), there are allegedly ways around the Windows 7 licence...
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 16, 2014, 07:58:13 AM
I found that my copy of Vista worked ok using the key that came with it until I downloaded and installed the updates. Then it wouldn't accept the same key.
Also it produced a little note saying that it wasn't a genuine MS copy.

I suppose I could just format the drive and re-install,  not worrying about the updates.
But I'm going to give Linux a try.

Dave

By the way,  it was sold to me as a genuine MS item. 
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: gmac on April 16, 2014, 01:44:40 PM
Where the issue is CAD and Linux, Draftsight has two linux versions - one for Fedora and one for Ubuntu. It may be the solution for those used to AutoCad because Draftsight is said to be very similar to AutoCad LT;

http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight/download-draftsight/

Cheers Garry
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 16, 2014, 02:35:26 PM
I think the problem is that Phil has added customised bits to Autocad, as indeed I did when I used it regularly. It's so long ago now I forget the name of the obscure but C like language that is / was embedded.  :bang: I used to use version 2.4 under DOS !!!!!!!!!!

ah ha - quick googling reminds me that it's LISP  :ddb:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 16, 2014, 03:07:09 PM
Where the issue is CAD and Linux, Draftsight has two linux versions - one for Fedora and one for Ubuntu. It may be the solution for those used to AutoCad because Draftsight is said to be very similar to AutoCad LT;

http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight/download-draftsight/

Cheers Garry
Draft sight works well using a 32bit system, it needs recompileing to run on 64bits. This was beyond me!


Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DaveH on April 16, 2014, 08:27:49 PM
Apologies for the hi-jack, I know there is no support for Windows XP but is it still possible to purchase Windows XP.?
 :beer:
DaveH   
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete49 on April 17, 2014, 12:18:32 AM
On ebay there are several sellers with genuine products so I guess you could though why you would want to ?
Pete
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Stilldrillin on April 17, 2014, 02:31:06 AM
On ebay there are several sellers with genuine products so I guess you could though why you would want to ?
Pete

Pete.
I know my XP.
It works very well for me.
I'm too old to go changing/ learning something else new.

I hope my present system lasts me out........  :thumbup:

There must be many people think as I do...... Mebbe!

David D
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DaveH on April 17, 2014, 08:18:35 AM
Like David D XP works well for what I use it for, plus my cnc mill uses Mach3. 
I just prefer to carry on using XP - it is just my preference that's all.

I would like to buy a proper legal new XP and I was just wondering if it is still available to purchase. If it is not available to purchase then I will find away. :thumbup:
 :beer:
DaveH
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Stilldrillin on April 17, 2014, 09:36:54 AM
Dave.
Lots of XP's available on Ebay. The legal ones, just as legal as pirate ones, now........ I believe.

No1 son cleaned out my  laptop, and installed my third, (over the  years), XP setup, just before Christmas. Pirate, from Ebay.
Must have been cheap, as he didn't ask for payment.

Happy.  :thumbup:

David D
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 17, 2014, 10:15:59 AM
I fully understand you not wanting to change! Microsoft make you pay to have a system that keeps you tied into paying to have another system that is open to viruses and which you have little control over what you do with it. It upgrades and adds things with out you consent. All this you pay for!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DaveH on April 17, 2014, 12:04:23 PM
Thanks David  :thumbup:

Matt, I agree with what you say and believe me I'm no fan of Microsoft.

I would have thought by now computers should just work as bought.

I did try Linux many years ago - Ubuntu, didn't really get to grips with it.
 :beer:
DaveH
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 17, 2014, 02:09:17 PM
I don't think Microsoft really care about XP any more. From what I can tell, if you can get XP installed using a key - whether it be a real valid one, or one you "found" somewhere; it will activate just fine.

Of course, there's likely to come a time when the old activation website disappears, and after that date no XP installation will activate.


TBH, I am finding that Windows 7 is growing on me - although some of the thing it does I still find incredibly stupid and annoying - the irony is it's just had a bit of an epi fit so I'm writing this on my XP machine!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: superc on April 17, 2014, 02:14:04 PM
If you liked DOS, you will love Linux.  Check around there are flavors other than Ubutu.  Suse, Red Hat, etc.   Nothing like the joy of a black screen and a blinking cursor waiting for you to guess what string to type.  Not as bad as the MS blue screen of death, but amazingly close sometimes.

There are really several really annoying aspects to MS's decision to terminate XP support.   Maybe a silver lining somewhere down the road like there was for those who did  and still do hang out in the Win 98 world if MS releases the XP source code.

I really hated doing the switch to XP from 98.  Hung in there and ignored Windows ME.  But finally went XP just in time for SP2.  Years later I am still on XP.  Got my machine tweaked perfectly.  Spouses machine runs Vista.  Four years ago I bought 7.  Can't tell you how sad I am to learn this useless 7 CD won't install on an original XP machine.  I need new video cards and all that.  MS advise, buy a new machine (and maybe 8 too).  Pfui to that. 

If you are running XP and it isn't running right and it isn't about not enough RAM I truly like Reimage Repair.  Biggest issue I would see with doing that would be getting the no longer available from MS security updates into the machine after the Reimage Repair.  I'd talk voice to one of their support people first before doing that.  Pretty sure they probably worked out a solution by now.  My suspicion is you have services running that you don't need, or a registry issue, or some hidden malware somewhere.  AVG, SuperAntiSpyware, JV16, etc may help you find the problem.  In the meanwhile go into Start  - Accessories - System Tools - System Information - Tools - File Signature Verification Utility.   Insert the original XP installation disk into your CD reader.  Close the screen that comes up.  Now run the System File Verification Program.  Could be some of your system files picked up a lil corruption over the last decade.  SVF will catch and replace them with originals from your CD.  You can also do the same thing with a freeware program called Dial a Fix available from http://wiki.lunarsoft.net/wiki/Dial-a-fix but only for XP or 98.  Use the tools feature of dial a fix and purge the sfc files, then run the checker.  Should take about 20 minutes.  Then reboot.

I've got got SUSE hidden on this hard drive as an alternate boot in case of MS problems, but have to acknowledge I have my XP so nicely tuned that it's been at least 6 years since I needed it.

Biggest problem I had with Linux was many of my plug and play peripherals (including my modems(!?!)) wouldn't run with it.  Check that issue out before installing.  Nothing worse than having a working machine that can't go on-line.

I am going to hang XP at least until MS releases their Win 9.  I have played with 7 and 8.1 machines and I am not impressed. 

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 17, 2014, 03:14:58 PM
As far as I'm concerned, 7 is today what XP has been when 7 came out. That is, rock solid, reasonably quick, and just perfectly fine if you want to stay in the Windows world (2GB RAM might be useful though :) ).

I've skipped Vista and 8 - it seems like every second version of Windows seems to be just fine, and every second one in between totally crap.  :bang:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 17, 2014, 03:35:53 PM
My choice would have been to stay with Windows 2000 professional - I found it the most stable running several pcs in a network. But as time went by more and more new software wouldn't run under it and thus I was forced into Win7, but some of the Panasonic Toughbook laptops I run in the workshop won't run Win7. It gets my goat that this 'progress' is really built in obsolescence.

Bring back CP/M that what I say :)
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 18, 2014, 03:19:54 PM
Hi All,


You windows lot can keep it :lol: 

I'll stick with Linux !  No worms, virus, trojan's etc.   No hardware issues, even the live CD's talk to your router and let you surf the internet.  Printers, I'm still running my old, very old, 30+ years old HP Deskjet 500 and my Cannon scanner.  The list goes on and on.  Linux just works.
Even Microsoft run Linux internally.


What most people don't realise is that in some form or other they have been running Linux for quite some time !  Dare I mention set top boxes for digital TV, DVD recorders, Sat navs...  Not to mention Android tablet computers or Apple machines.  One based on Linux and the other based on a Unix.  Indecently the Internet is based on Unix.


People tend not to like change but if you get pushed to Win 8 its quite a different beast.


Having said that, Linux is not for everyone.  Six of one, half a dozen of the other.  :coffee:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mklotz on April 18, 2014, 04:15:42 PM
  Indecently the Internet is based on Unix.

Yes, it does get rather raunchy at times, doesn't it?
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: John Stevenson on April 18, 2014, 04:57:09 PM
I think the problem is that Phil has added customised bits to Autocad, as indeed I did when I used it regularly. It's so long ago now I forget the name of the obscure but C like language that is / was embedded.  :bang: I used to use version 2.4 under DOS !!!!!!!!!!

ah ha - quick googling reminds me that it's LISP  :ddb:

The modern release is called STUTTER
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 18, 2014, 05:10:16 PM
.... don't give up the day job John  :ddb:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: John Stevenson on April 18, 2014, 07:21:19 PM
No chance.

This bloody lot got dropped off this dinner time.

(http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/rotors25.jpg)

Wanted for Tuesday afternoon, all need the existing  keyway welding up, shortening, drilling, re tapping, turn down to 15mm [ non standard size ] and new keyway milled in or I don't get down the pub.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Arbalist on April 19, 2014, 04:31:02 AM
What most people don't realise is that in some form or other they have been running Linux for quite some time !  Dare I mention set top boxes for digital TV, DVD recorders, Sat navs...  Not to mention Android tablet computers or Apple machines.  One based on Linux and the other based on a Unix.  Indecently the Internet is based on Unix.

Yes, almost everything except Windows! Why is this?!  :doh:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 19, 2014, 06:28:29 AM
Yes, almost everything except Windows! Why is this?!  :doh:

Mostly because Unix is a damn site older than Windows! It's known to have existed in 1969; Microsoft didn't get into the server market (not seriously, at least) until the early 1990s with Windows NT...
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: lordedmond on April 19, 2014, 11:00:50 AM
And it's better , more robust, it may not have all the frills but it works and keeps on doing that

What about COBOL , FORTH and even CPM

Or for the big boys IPL and it's variants

For what it's worth I do not use win doze I have been a MAC user for many years and I do not regret the move form Dos 3.1 or Win 3

Stuart
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 19, 2014, 03:38:43 PM
Bring back CP/M that what I say ...

I still have CP/M on my Amstrad 8256.  And it still works.

For my 'playing about' stuff I use a 486 machine running DOS 6.2 and GWbasic to create my programs.
That leaves me Assembler for anything that needs to run very quickly.

I like DOS. Lots of programs from way back run on it.

Can you get on to the web from DOS ? (broadband,  that is) I understand you can use 56K if you want to tie up the family land line for hours.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 19, 2014, 03:52:05 PM
I fondly remember the time when I tried out all the programs on my 5 1/4" DOS boot disk. I managed to junk the floppy by running some command (renum, recover or something like that) which turned all files names into neatly numbered new ones. Needless to say, it was a long trip to get a new boot disk.

And yes, I had an elite 8086 machine with not only one 5 1/4" drive, but TWO of them!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 19, 2014, 03:57:14 PM
Two 5.25" on my TRS-80 Model 4 .  Two 8" drives on the TRS-80 Model 16 and two 8" drives on the NEC/APC.

And yes,  before anyone asks,  I do have a large collection of old computers.

My wife hates me,  wonder why.

Dave. :Doh:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 19, 2014, 04:01:56 PM
  Indecently the Internet is based on Unix.

Yes, it does get rather raunchy at times, doesn't it?


Hi Marv,
Rubbish spull chuckers  :)
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 19, 2014, 04:22:53 PM
What most people don't realise is that in some form or other they have been running Linux for quite some time !  Dare I mention set top boxes for digital TV, DVD recorders, Sat navs...  Not to mention Android tablet computers or Apple machines.  One based on Linux and the other based on a Unix.  Indecently the Internet is based on Unix.

Yes, almost everything except Windows! Why is this?!  :doh:


Hi Arbalist,

Quite simply...  Money !

Whilst Linux is an open source operating system, its also a free licence.  So it doesn't cost anything to use.
However there are costs !  The Linux ethos is that you can take the source code, modify it and use it in your product.  Basically you can do whatever you like with it.  The costs are in the time and expertise needed to make the changes required for your product.


Now you are encouraged to feed back any modifications or changes to the code you make into the community, but you are not obliged to.  Which makes most products that use Linux as a base, closed, in other words proprietary.  No different in principal to anything Microsoft does.  Indeed Microsoft have often claimed that Linux uses some of their code !  I have absolutely no doubts that Windows contains various amounts of Linux code.  Particularly since some of the programmers at Microsoft actively participate in writing code for use within Linux.  Actually there are several large companies actively participate in producing code and promoting its use.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 19, 2014, 05:01:57 PM
My first operating system was 8 bit CP/M - a hookey copy and if I remember rightly the source was on 8 inch floppy disc of a slightly different spec to mine. I had to unscrew the index transducer and fix it using Plasticine in a different radial position. My disk drives were Shuggart 801's.

Can't imagine today's kids going to the trouble. Amazing what I managed to achieve with that system. Wrote an emulator for HPGL that  drove steppers on an early Mill / Drill simply so I could profile 'D Type'  socket holes in electronic boxes I was making  at the time.

At least then you could touch and feel the hardware. Nowadays everything is 'abstraction layers' deliberately keeping you away from what is actually happening. :(

OKAY - I'm a grumpy old git , I know  :lol:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 19, 2014, 05:19:12 PM
Aye. I used to solder LEDs to the data/address input lines of the CPU on an old Atari 800 XL (yes, those things could be used for other things than gaming). It was quite hillarious.

And yes, my kids today use computers (PCs, Smartphones etc.) daily without having the tiniest idea of what it all means or how it works. I couldn't imagine how a kid would get into electronics today - it all must be so boring if you are used to the hightech gadgets, no? ;)

Though I guess the Raspberry PI, Arduino etc. solve that problem and they'll probably get into it just fine.  :ddb:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 19, 2014, 05:31:45 PM
Yes, the times they are a changing.

I was recently looking through an old copy of ETI (Electronics Today International.  Remember it/) and the lead item was about whether  USB would catch on or not.
Now the D type sockets are gone,  and the much loved (by experimenters} parallel (printer) port is on the way out.

USB reigns supreme !

Well,  not in my house.

Dave.

Hands up all those who know how to convert a single sided 5.25" floppy into a double sided one . :dremel:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: John Stevenson on April 19, 2014, 05:42:30 PM




Hands up all those who know how to convert a single sided 5.25" floppy into a double sided one . :dremel:

Turn it over ??  :scratch:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 19, 2014, 06:25:41 PM
*Hands over the little snipper thingy for the bloody 5 1/4" operation.*  :lol:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: lordedmond on April 20, 2014, 02:56:34 AM
Yep the floppy ones were all made the same double sided ,you paid double for the ones that they had sniped

My first foray was a Nascom with a home brew drive controller for the floppy running CPM later poly dos

I had forgotten assembler ,those were the days, but for a single task I think it when PDQ

64k of ram to fill up

Stuart
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Bluechip on April 20, 2014, 03:36:08 AM

 ETI (Electronics Today International.  Remember it/)


Yes, I do remember it. ...  :( 

And how long before some ' Gettalife-old-git'  mentions Dick and Smithy ..... 

Aw s-h-y-t-e!!!!!!!!!!! .... I've dunnit .......  :Doh:  :Doh:  :Doh:

Dave

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 20, 2014, 02:52:29 PM
For those who never had the pleasure of getting something for nothing.

Take the 5.25" disc and tap it gently on the table using the edge that doesn't have the read cutaway on it.
cut off the top edge as close to the edge as possible.

carefully remove the disc.

cut another read slot exactly the same distance from the opposite side to the original.

punch out a timing hole for the on the opposite side.

replace disc. tape up the edge.

Now you have a double sided disc.

Oh what fun we had.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: dsquire on April 20, 2014, 03:09:04 PM
David

If you keep tempting me this way I am going to have to go and get my 386-16 out that I purchased in 1989 and have been carying it around in its original box for 20 years. With as much as I paid for it back then I can't bear to part with it. If I remember it has DOS 4.0 or earlier on it.
 :doh: I wonder if I could load some flavour of Linux onto it to replace my unsuported Win XP?  :D :D

Cheers  :beer:

Don
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 20, 2014, 04:04:11 PM
You could go the whole geek hog and run Unix on it.

That would earn you some kudos.

Davw :thumbup:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: dsquire on April 20, 2014, 05:16:00 PM
You could go the whole geek hog and run Unix on it.

That would earn you some kudos.

Davw :thumbup:

David

You walked right into my next question.  :med:

I used to be quite comfortable in DOS. I know less than nothing about Linux/Unix.

I made the comment about Linux. You came back with the comment about Unix

Here are some of the names that I have seen in this thread about Unix.

Ubuntu
Xubuntu
Linux Mint17
Linux Mint13 KDE
Unix
Linux
Mint16
Debian
Mint
Gentoo
Redhat
Suse
"Yggdrasil" Linux
Katya
cinnamon

Can anyone please explain what the differences are and what else one should know so that they even know enough to ask dumb questions.  :D

Cheers  :beer:

Don
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 20, 2014, 05:43:09 PM
Think of it this way: "Unix" is the whole wide world. "Linux" is a continent (there are other Unixes which are not Linux). The continent has different states (e.g., "Debian-like", "Redhat-like", "self-compiled" ...). All the names you have listed are cities in those states. Some of them are in the same state and share a whole lot of stuff, just having different flavours, but there are different states on the continent.

There you go. :)

If you want to have it dead simple, get Ubuntu. If you want to have a very thorough understanding and almost complete power of your system, get Debian, which is the capitol of "Debian-like" :). If you want to invest a lot of time and do every last little thing yourself, including compiling every single program, get Gentoo. The rest of them are pretty special in one way or another.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 20, 2014, 06:53:16 PM
OK, here goes...

Ubuntu - A version of Linux that's generally regarded as being easy-to-use for computer novices (and nerds alike).
Xubuntu - Ubuntu with an X in front of it.
Linux Mint17 - Mint is another Linux distribution. It's very similar to Ubuntu, but designed to look cool & be even easier to use. Recommended for an absolute beginnier.
Linux Mint13 KDE - As above but an older version (13 instead of 17); and using the "K" Desktop Environment (KDE). See below.
Unix - The grand-daddy of them all. Unix appeared sometime during/after 1969, and grew bit by bit into what it is now.
Linux - A "Unix-like" OS, started by Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s, which has become "really really Unix like" over the years.
Mint16 - Like Mint 17, only one version earlier.
Debian - Like Ubuntu, like Mint, Debian is a "distribution". As it happens, both Ubuntu & Mint are based on Debian.
Mint - See above
Gentoo - Another type of distro ("distribution"). No idea about this one.
Redhat - A deeply horrible distribution, best avoided. Unless you're a 'Hatter of course.
Suse - Yet another distribution. I forget what this one prides itself on.
"Yggdrasil" Linux - Another distro I assume.
Katya - I think that was a version of Mint?
cinnamon - Another "desktop environment" See below.


Desktop Environment - this is how you interact with the computer. How it looks, feels, how it responds to the mouse/keyboard, the borders & icons that surround programs, these are all provided by the "desktop environment". There are 4 of major note:

 - Gnome - the most popular Linux desktop environment
 - KDE - Another Linux one, but generally less popular. Loved by its fans, of course.
 - Apple iOS - Yep, Apple Macs have a Desktop Environment too.... as does:
 - MS Windows - Windows is just a desktop environment at the end of the day, with an OS jammed on the back of it.


HTH!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 20, 2014, 07:05:48 PM
Redhat and Suse are backed by big companies. Which is important in a commercial (server) setting - you get certified Oracle compatibility, for example, and (costly) support. Certainly not relevant to the private user. Aside from that, SUSE prides itself on YAST2, which is a rather nice management thingy. Oh, and it used to be a German company, if that counts for anything, until being bought out by Novell.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 20, 2014, 07:55:07 PM
David
If you keep tempting me this way I am going to have to go and get my 386-16 out that I purchased in 1989 and have been carying it around in its original box for 20 years. With as much as I paid for it back then I can't bear to part with it. If I remember it has DOS 4.0 or earlier on it.
 :doh: I wonder if I could load some flavour of Linux onto it to replace my unsuported Win XP?  :D :D
Don

I don't know much about PCs of that era, maybe you could try one of these distributions, please, don't take my word for it, if anybody has a better idea, chime in, I'm not an expert.

http://mashtips.com/lightweight-os/

I just did what I always do and searched "lightweight ubuntu system for a 1989 computer".  I do my troubleshooting that way!

Regards, Matthew.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 21, 2014, 03:14:16 PM
Hi All,

Yggdrasil Linux was probably the first distribution based on the original code that Linus Torvill released.  It became so popular that it was published bound into a book written all about it.  The book covered most of how to modify the code supplied on the disk, a single (5.25") floppy, to suit your hardware, how to compile and link the code to produce an elf binary, then how to execute that code.  Whilst I doubt that I could do that today, it was a real eye opener in those early days.  One chapter sticks in my mind...
How to compile the compiler so you could compile the code you had.

Heady days.   :clap:

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 21, 2014, 04:08:29 PM
I have followed this subject with interest and, reading the most recent posts, have now come to the conclusion that Linux and all its derivatives are not for the faint hearted and are not just install and forget as some would have us believe. Not being able to run my existing software was the real killer for me.    :(

Computer nerds may have the time and patience to overcome all the shortcomings and difficulties but I, and I expect many others, don't need the hassle.

I have used XP for many years and even the much criticised Vista with very few problems and will continue to do so for as long as possible. (Or until I have to buy a new computer.) I'm not saying Microsoft are anywhere near perfect but to the average guy like me who's fairly confident with computers XP did everything I needed. I use Avast Antivirus and they say they will continue to provide AV upgrades for XP for some years. I stopped doing auto updates a long time ago. Regular housekeeping on an XP or Vista system (using e.g. CCleaner which selectively cleans out cookies, cleans the registry and can stop many processes starting unecessarily) can keep them running sweetly

There are iOS fans out there who decry Microsoft OSs. Those of you who use Facetime on iPads and iPhones  to keep in touch with family and friends may have found that it stopped working last week and the only fix seems to be to upgrade to iOS 7. (OK the upgrade was free but it's still annoying.) Apple won't own up to causing the problem.

Many, including me, have had problems with Internet Explorer, but out of all the browsers I have tried it works better on some sites than any other. I got rid of Firefox a long time ago because it kept stalling my computer if I had many tabs open at one time. (I can have 8 tabs on the go if I am working on my family history.) I now use Google Chrome as my browser of choice but every now and then have to open eBay in IE to delete watched items from My eBay which Chrome refuses to do point blank.

My introduction to computers at home was with an Acorn Atom followed by 2 BBC Model Bs and a BBC Plus with all of 64K. I still have the BBCs and miss the instant switch on and run. Programs stored in ROM were instant. I even had a WYSIWYG word processor for the BBC when at work we were using crap like Multimate on an 8086 IBM PC. I still have the three BBCs.

For many years I kept a very old IBM PC under my desk which didn't even have a 5 1/4" drive - it had a cassette interface! I had to bin it when we moved office.

If anyone wants a Compaq SLT 286 laptop that cost (thankfully not me!) $5,399 which weighs only 14 pounds they're welcome to come and collect it.

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/2223/Compaq-Portable-slt-286-1903/

 :beer:

Phil.








Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 21, 2014, 06:10:42 PM
Quote
If anyone wants a Compaq SLT 286 laptop that cost (thankfully not me!) $5,399 which weighs only 14 pounds they're welcome to come and collect it.

That reminds me, I _must_ come around to collect that vice & have a chin-wag....

I actually have a BBC "B" sat right here beside me, with the desirable (and ubiquitous) Microvetec CUB monitor & a dual floppy of unknown origin.  It's not quite an instant start - you have to wait for the monitor to warm up first, but I won't begrudge you the beeb's "boo-beep!" starting signal. My old QL took longer to get going, but then it did do a RAM check on all 128K, then waited for you to tell it if you had a monitor or TV attached... The Sharp MZ-80B & MZ-80K that occupy the space to the left of the Beeb take even longer to boot - you have to load the OS from tape! Or use the built-in Monitor app to manually key machine code of course... tedious, but not impossible.

AS for the long-gone and much lamented HP1000, that was one of those computers you could program MC from the front panel.... if you knew Octal. I did find a program that made it count up & down the indicator lights, which I actually keyed & got working. Shame it needed 2 filing-cabinet sized cabs to live in, excluding the external tape drive (about the size of a dishwasher). Heady stuff.

I still have a working MicroVAX 3100 here, another cracking machine, if only it didn't need re-licencing annually, a procedure I forget how to do every damn year.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: philf on April 22, 2014, 03:54:56 AM
That reminds me, I _must_ come around to collect that vice & have a chin-wag....
Hi Ade,

It's still here waiting patiently!
Quote
I still have a working MicroVAX 3100 here, another cracking machine, if only it didn't need re-licencing annually, a procedure I forget how to do every damn year.

We had many MicroVAXes at work controlling our diffusion furnaces. We only had one guy (strangely enough also called Ade!) who really understood them. He was once on holiday and a hard disk went down. I and another guy tried with some expert telephone and email help from the States to get it running again by configuring a new hard drive. We wasted the best part of a week and got absolutely nowhere. :scratch: They're definitely not for the faint hearted.

I keep looking at an upgrade to the BBC which gives it USB connectivity and thus access to vast amounts of solid state storage: http://www.retroclinic.com/acorn/datacentre/datacentre.htm

I do have the free version of BBC Basic for Windows which allows me to keep my hand in and to use some old programs I wrote in the 80s. The paid for version allows you to compile your basic progs into an executable. The paid for version is only 29.99.

You haven't said if you want the Compaq!

Cheers.

Phil.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 22, 2014, 10:11:24 AM
Hi Phil,

Don't let the old days put you off !
Linux today is nothing like it was, even five years ago.

Go and download yourself a live CD/DVD image and burn it to a disc.  Stick it into the drive and boot from it.  There are plenty of distributions to choose from.  Over 300 at last count.  My current preference is PCLinuxOS with the Trinity Desktop.

The whole idea of a live CD is so that you can have a look and see.  It won't make any changes to your machine unless you tell it to.
The software on the CD will examine your machine and configure itself to suit.  If you have an active internet connection you should be able to surf the web from the off. 




Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 22, 2014, 10:24:21 AM
Hi,

My first computer was a Microtan 65 built from a kit in the early eighties. It was based on the 6502 processor like the BBC models. It had a whopping 1K RAM and 1K ROM. I also bought the extension board Tanex which gave me another 7K of RAM. The two boards between them had about 2000 soldered joints. I remember taking an afternoon off work to finish the soldering, I was that excited about getting it working. I reluctantly threw it in the bin a few years ago after keeping it on top of a cupboard for thirty years.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 22, 2014, 10:36:48 AM
Hi,

My first computer was a Microtan 65 built from a kit in the early eighties. It was based on the 6502 processor like the BBC models. It had a whopping 1K RAM and 1K ROM. I also bought the extension board Tanex which gave me another 7K of RAM. The two boards between them had about 2000 soldered joints. I remember taking an afternoon off work to finish the soldering, I was that excited about getting it working. I reluctantly threw it in the bin a few years ago after keeping it on top of a cupboard for thirty years.

Gary

Hi Gary,

I know what you mean !  I'm going through that process at the moment.  I've still got my original IBM XT and really its just junk collecting dust...

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 22, 2014, 11:15:43 AM
..he ..he ... back in the late 1970's we got the entire white goods warehouse stock and stock control program of Eastern Electricity, and the necessary code to drive automatic order picking cranes onto a 1.37 mega BIT Sperry drum store attached to a Ferranti Argus 500. Ran for years very reliably. That was at Waltham Cross, but now demolished.

Programmers appreciated memory in those days and weren't profligate with it - the machine had 16K of store - magnetic core store. Had the advantage I could load a test program in the office, drive to site, run the test with no loading up, and be sure that the customers program was untouched :)

Programs were written in Coral66 - I bet not many people can do that these days.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: John Stevenson on April 22, 2014, 11:35:16 AM

Go and download yourself a live CD/DVD image and burn it to a disc.  Stick it into the drive and boot from it.  There are plenty of distributions to choose from.  Over 300 at last count. 

So that's immediately put most Windows users off who have been brought up on 3 operating systems.

Which one do you choose out of the 300 ? stick a pin in ?
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 22, 2014, 12:23:59 PM

Go and download yourself a live CD/DVD image and burn it to a disc.  Stick it into the drive and boot from it.  There are plenty of distributions to choose from.  Over 300 at last count. 

So that's immediately put most Windows users off who have been brought up on 3 operating systems.

Which one do you choose out of the 300 ? stick a pin in ?


Like him or loath him that is one good thing Bill Gates did - offer a platform that was pretty much universally standardised. However 'non ideal' the standard is it creates far easier inter working between people continents apart.

I remember when IBM offered 'standard interfaces' on the first IBM PC, the mini computer manufacturers thought they were mad  as propriety interfaces held customers captive. In practise it opened the market and at the time IBM prospered.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: John Stevenson on April 22, 2014, 01:10:15 PM
(http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/linux_emc.jpg)

 :lol:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 22, 2014, 02:49:53 PM

Go and download yourself a live CD/DVD image and burn it to a disc.  Stick it into the drive and boot from it.  There are plenty of distributions to choose from.  Over 300 at last count. 

So that's immediately put most Windows users off who have been brought up on 3 operating systems.

Which one do you choose out of the 300 ? stick a pin in ?

Someone who is interested in the system will, with a quick google search, immediately find the beginner friendly distributions that have been mentioned here. That's not 300, but 2 or 3 big ones - which one the beginner picks is totally unimportant and more of a flavour decision. If the person balks at that first step, regarding that first decision as chore instead of a joyful experience, then indeed Linux is most probably not for him. And that's not an attack against anyone - I know bright and experienced people who simply do not want such choices.

People who have zero interest in how the PC works, what it does "behind the curtain" and just want to browse the 'net, do some email, maybe Skype, some office work etc. have little incentive to look for Linux indeed.

If someone wants the features offered by Linux, differenciating it from Windows, then it's there, free to grab at anytime. One of those features is that every single piece of the OS can be influenced, and obviously this power puts some responsibility on the user. Needless to say, that's exactly what the Linux folks want.

I myself develop and run software on Linux servers at work, using a windows PC (no choice, I would prefer a Linux workstation as it would integrate more seamless with the Linux servers). At home, I have small Linux servers for my networking needs (and for fun), but the PC I write this on is Windows, again. Simply because I am totally happy with Windows 7 and play the occasional game - that's not the forte of Linux.

I may convert my main PC to Linux in many years if Windows 7 should become unusable (why would it?) and the current Windows flavour at that moment (Win 9? Win 10?) will not deviate massively from Windows 8, which I tried and found unacceptable.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 22, 2014, 03:58:49 PM
(http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/linux_emc.jpg)

 :lol:

That's cruelty to harmless Tux...   :palm:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 22, 2014, 04:01:04 PM

Go and download yourself a live CD/DVD image and burn it to a disc.  Stick it into the drive and boot from it.  There are plenty of distributions to choose from.  Over 300 at last count. 

So that's immediately put most Windows users off who have been brought up on 3 operating systems.

Which one do you choose out of the 300 ? stick a pin in ?

Someone who is interested in the system will, with a quick google search, immediately find the beginner friendly distributions that have been mentioned here. That's not 300, but 2 or 3 big ones - which one the beginner picks is totally unimportant and more of a flavour decision. If the person balks at that first step, regarding that first decision as chore instead of a joyful experience, then indeed Linux is most probably not for him. And that's not an attack against anyone - I know bright and experienced people who simply do not want such choices.

People who have zero interest in how the PC works, what it does "behind the curtain" and just want to browse the 'net, do some email, maybe Skype, some office work etc. have little incentive to look for Linux indeed.

If someone wants the features offered by Linux, differenciating it from Windows, then it's there, free to grab at anytime. One of those features is that every single piece of the OS can be influenced, and obviously this power puts some responsibility on the user. Needless to say, that's exactly what the Linux folks want.

I myself develop and run software on Linux servers at work, using a windows PC (no choice, I would prefer a Linux workstation as it would integrate more seamless with the Linux servers). At home, I have small Linux servers for my networking needs (and for fun), but the PC I write this on is Windows, again. Simply because I am totally happy with Windows 7 and play the occasional game - that's not the forte of Linux.

I may convert my main PC to Linux in many years if Windows 7 should become unusable (why would it?) and the current Windows flavour at that moment (Win 9? Win 10?) will not deviate massively from Windows 8, which I tried and found unacceptable.

I'm with you 110% on this one !

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete. on April 22, 2014, 04:34:11 PM
I've been meaning to have a go at Linux for a while and this might be a timely thread to spur me on. I have a Atom-powered micro Pc that I plan to put in the workshop to replace my aging desktop. It's a 1.8Ghz 64 bit cpu with 2GB of ram. Trouble is it has no hard drive or dvdrom. I've recently tried loading a portable copy of XP onto a 8GB flash drive with very little success. Seems that Linux might take to the USB stick a bit easier but like people above have said, it's difficult to know which build to go for. So far I have always only used Microsoft operating systems.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: dsquire on April 22, 2014, 06:12:49 PM

Hi

Sorry to be slow in answering but the Easter Bunny kept getting in the way.  :med:

CrazyModder

Thankyou for your explanation of the Unix system. Using the world as an example helps to show the bigger picture and make it easier to understand.  :thumbup:

Ade

Thanks for your help as well. Giving meaning to the individual terms and/or words answers a lot of questions. Now maybe I can ask some questions that are not quite as stupid.  :clap:

Matthew

Thanks for the link and the tip as well.  :thumbup:

DavidA

I think a special thanks should go out to David for starting this thread. By the number and variety of responses to it I think it has been very well received and I am hoping that it will continue to grow with more tips and questions/answers.   :med:

To all the others that responded a big thank you as well. You have certainly helped me to understand what some of the terminalogy stands for. It may take me a while but I will be putting some flavour of Unix on one of my machines in the future.  :D  :)

Cheers  :beer:

Don


Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 22, 2014, 06:29:12 PM
Same here, Pete. From the mid nineties when I was definitely a Microsoft fan and knew Win 3.1 and 95 inside out I've gradually come to dislike Windows even though I still use it. I had a look at Linux quite a while ago (probably ten years) and the interface was so different I decided it was not worth the hassle of learning it. Since the demise of support for XP I've been having another look and tried the Live CD version of Linux Mint Mate which a couple of people had recommended as one of the easiest to move to from Windows. I was surprised how much the interface had improved and will have a go at installing it properly when I've backed up the stuff on my desktop PC. Since buying an Android tablet I also realised that my use of computers has changed over the years to the point where I wasn't using much software at all other than a web browser. I still prefer keeping most files on local hard disks rather than on the net otherwise a Chromebook might be a good choice. I'll still probably have to buy a Win 8 laptop to replace the one I'm writing this on though.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: clivel on April 22, 2014, 06:30:17 PM
For those who don't want to take the leap to Linux, but are interested in saving some money or just interested in exploring open source software, then I suggest that instead of spending a small fortune on MS Office, one could try one of the free office suites - either LibreOffice (http://www.libreoffice.org/) or OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org/).

Both offer similar functionality to MS Office and can import and export MS Office compatible documents. It seems a shame that they are not more popular given just how expensive the equivalent MS offering is.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DaveH on April 22, 2014, 07:00:43 PM
LibreOffice - now that I do use  :D
 :beer:
DaveH
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: cwelkie on April 22, 2014, 07:42:30 PM
Okay - it's time.

Spurred on by this thread I installed the latest version of Ubuntu on my Dell XPS last Saturday.  It worked ... I'm writing this from within Firefox and Ubuntu!
I did a parallel installation (Win7) because I use Alibre and CamBam and frankly wanted the security of still having a working laptop.
I'm no modern IT genius.  Sure I was using and building PC's (in the dark ages) alongside many of you ... Altair 8080's, CPM, ZCPM, custom bios's and all that.  At some point I just turned into "a user".
The only hiccup I had was having to shrink my WIN partition to make space for Ubuntu before the installation would prompt me to install in parallel.

Why am I sharing this? ... just so as a real-world example for someone reading this thread that it really is as easy as advertised.  I have a feeling that I'm going to leave my laptop set-up this way for a long long time.
It takes about the same length of time to boot up but it sure shuts down and goes to sleep faster!  It's been a short time but everything I've tried or used seems to work very well.  I know it's a very suggestive opinion but the machine seems much less "stifled" and spends a lot less time accessing the hard drive.  (First guess is because the huge overhead of MacAfee is gone!)  One huge surprise bonus (to me) was being able to access all my old documents already on the hard drive!

In the end it's gone well and I can recommend trying it out ... you might enjoy the sense of accomplishment. 
Cheers
Charlie
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 22, 2014, 10:08:56 PM
My personal experience with Linux operating systems has been six years of running Ubuntu on old computers that have cost me nothing. Three or four year old machines outdated by the armaments race and built in obsolescence being given away. Recently, I splashed out and rebuilt two machines, cheaply. I have one machine that is office type stuff and Video and the other which is my Juke Box, music and radio. I am running Ubuntu Studio on both PCs, a distribution that is relatively light which has the relatively light Xde desktop that is not too RAM hungry.  In the current Ubuntu distributions there are two families of desktop, the light Xde and the more complex Kde desktop, which has more "eye candy" and uses more Ram! I think that there is an interesting "happy medium" in Ubuntu, it is sufficiently large to have a lot of people working on it which leads to a consistent product. There are a lot of small distributions that can have innovative ideas, which if the core programmers move on risk collapsing. As all of this is open source, the good ideas can circulate freely and are available for the common good. Most off the Linux world is free and doesn't cost anything to the non commercial user. Linux is free in that it can be used and modified by all, it is not free like a free beer, if you was to work on something specific you can pay for the development of your product.

At the moment I have one machine running really well, and the other I have a material hardware compatibility problem, not a Ubuntu problem, I have to update the Bios!

The only thing that is difficult for a beginner is that you have to be able to go into the Bios to set the startup to the CD/DVD player or the USB device that has the system to be installed. A Linux distribution burnt to a CD or DVD is the easiest way to start, once you have a system running, you can use the "Start up disk creator" in the system menu to make a thumb drive or USB disk to install future systems from. If you follow the instructions, it is relatively easy to install a distribution of Linux, extremely similar to a Mac installation. I have never installed Windows on anything, so I don't know how it compares.

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete49 on April 22, 2014, 11:17:38 PM
I've been following this for a while now and d/l the iso for mint. BUT now to decide and the problem I have is both the desktop and laptop have the win os in a protected section of the HD which is fine IF I decide I don't like Linux and want to revert to windo$e XP so I do I go about it. I also have an older laptop with '98 on it which I was toying with a light version as Matt linked to just in case It can be useable as a learning option.  :scratch:
MMMM I also found my old TRS 80 and tapes ....still works too) an old com 64 and oh look an Atari that needs a tv  :D
Time to throw out stuff?...Nah my heirs can deal with it  :lol:
Pete
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 23, 2014, 01:00:21 AM
Pete,

Start your Linux experimenting with a live CD or DVD, that way, you can decide whether you want to install Linux. A live CD will allow you to startup and use your computer under a Linux distribution without changing anything!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 23, 2014, 04:08:45 AM
Has anybody used Windows 8 yet and if so what do you think of it? I'm not keen on the changes but I can see why they've done them (to try and keep up with Google and Apple). I used to love technology and computers but as I've got older I just want things to stay the same. I'm quite capable of learning new stuff but find that I'm spending more and more time learning how things work than actually using them for something useful. It's like having to learn how a lathe works every few years instead of making things on it. Maybe that's what drew me to model engineering after all.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: David Jupp on April 23, 2014, 06:53:10 AM
Has anybody used Windows 8 yet and if so what do you think of it? ......

Gary

I run Win8.1 with latest updates - Win 8.1 was somewhat of an improvement over 8 (but beware Microsoft trying to force you to use 'Windows Logins' for setting up accounts -  may be OK for some, but a nightmare in a conventional windows network).

Latest updates in May 2014 finally acknowledged that not everyone has a touch screen, also brought back more of the ways to access things by RMB on the start button.

Search facility is good - it has to be though because they've moved so many features around that finding them was a nightmare (less so after latest updates).  It is excellent for locating seldom used programs.

I jumped straight from XP (had only minor experience of Vista & 7 though fixing problems for others).  I'm just about used to it now.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 23, 2014, 07:54:35 AM
Thanks for the reply David. I'd spotted the thing about having to set up an account to finish setup and I'm not keen. It's like they've replaced the windows profile with an online account, just like you have to use for Apple and Android tablets. It's beginning to feel like a constant battle to retain a degree of control over your information. I've already sold my soul to Google and I'd rather not do the same with Microsoft but I may be forced to.  :(

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: David Jupp on April 23, 2014, 08:53:25 AM
You don't HAVE to set up the account, but they really do try to hide that fact.

I upgraded win8 -> win8.1 on my laptop, ended up having to delete my users account and set up a new one to recover from the 'windows account' rubbish.

Being wise to that, I deliberately chose NOT to use Windows account when installing Win8.1N on my new desktop.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 24, 2014, 05:26:13 AM
Meanwhile,  back at the Linux farm.(should that be zoo ?)

Much is said about the various flavours of Linux being immune to virus attacks.  Is this true ?

Does it really mean that you can junk all those anti virus programs, anti malware programs etc that take a chunk of your cash every year ?

Dave.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 24, 2014, 05:49:04 AM
I never understood this 'immune to viruses' thing with Linux / Unix. Surely if everything is open source it is even more vulnerable.   :scratch:

Perhaps it's just a volume thing. Very small proportion of desk top / home systems run it so it's not targeted as much maybe?
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on April 24, 2014, 08:39:43 AM
I never understood this 'immune to viruses' thing with Linux / Unix. Surely if everything is open source it is even more vulnerable.   :scratch:

Perhaps it's just a volume thing. Very small proportion of desk top / home systems run it so it's not targeted as much maybe?

Small volumes are part of the reason people don't target Linux/Unix systems; but they are also inherently more secure than Windows - e.g. everything typically runs in the logged in user's account, which will not have system privileges. What's more, nothing can "sneak" onto the system via a click or keypress, as it needs to ask for system privileges first, and that involves the user typing their password in (assuming, of course, they have those rights).

PS: Of course, Linux isn't totally immune - look at the recent Heartbleed exploit, which took advantage of a hole in OpenSSL (the open-source Secure Sockets Layer) to attack Linux (and other *nix) systems.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 24, 2014, 08:48:31 AM
I'm not qualified to give the full explanation, but a quick web search revealed this.

http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/284124-myth-busting-is-linux-immune-to-viruses

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 24, 2014, 09:14:43 AM
Mathew,

Very good link.

The general opinion seems to be that any real threat will come via attachments.  So in that case of a site like this it will be usually via pictures.  A real dagger in the heart if ever there was one.

But otherwise it seems fairly safe.

I'm off to read up on rkhunter.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on April 24, 2014, 10:37:28 AM
Good link that raises MORE questions  :scratch:

What the heck is an RPM based system and what is BASH  :bang:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 24, 2014, 01:25:24 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPM_Package_Manager

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bash_%28Unix_shell%29


Hope these help a bit.

This is probably the biggest problem with any Linux system.  Learning what all the acronyms mean.

Dave
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 24, 2014, 04:02:48 PM
Hi Guys,

Over time there has been numerous attempts to attack and compromise Linux systems.  I only ever recall one virus in the twenty odd years of my running Linux.  Windows is such an open target and is so widely used that its obvious that its the one to attack.  Its so easy because Windows does all sorts of things, behind your back, so to speak.  Arguably to be helpful !

Someone mentioned pictures.  Well yes ! you can hide a virus in a picture or in music, or a pdf ect.  But in order for it to do any damage it has to be executed by the cpu.  If you can find a way to have the processor run the code then you have your access to that system.  Linux is no different in this respect.  However it is not only very very difficult to do on a Linux system but if it did it can only run as the user that activated it.  The holy grail on a Linux system is obtaining "Root" access.  Once this is done, you can do anything you like including wiping the whole system.

The current weak spot is actually the web browser !  Since the same web browsers run on both Windows and Linux these are now being targeted.

But virus are becoming old hat since for the attacker its is more profitable to steal credit card, bank account, passwords and other things,  information that you may use in running your daily life.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on April 25, 2014, 02:38:23 AM
I never understood this 'immune to viruses' thing with Linux / Unix. Surely if everything is open source it is even more vulnerable.   :scratch:

That's easy. Unix has been a multi-user system from the very start; the universities had those big networked servers back in the days, and the students were allowed access to them, but (rightfully :) ) distrusted at every corner. So security has been built it right from the start. Being students, hacking the system, i.e. gaining "root" access to the system, was (and is) a sport, so there was (and is) a constant battle between highly intelligent and knowledgeable attackers and defenders (i.e., the programmers and administrators of the system software, firewalls etc. embedded in Unix systems).

Windows traces back to un-networked DOS, which was single user and had no security features at all at the beginning - nobody except yourself could access the machine, so why bother. Of course, it's gone a far way from that, today, but many of the concepts in Windows still are such that they are just fundamentally more open to attack than Unix. So in Windows there's a constant patching of holes, while in Unix the system is basically more or less sound from the beginning - security holes occasionally appear due to bugs (or lazy users :) ), but it stands on a much more secure base.

Having public access to the source code makes a software inherently *more* secure, because of peer review. There are many people who pride themselves in finding security holes first, and publish them on special web sites for everyone to see. If it's a glaring hole, then the developer of the software is usually informed up front so they can close it before really bad stuff happens. So open-source software is under much more scrutiny.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 25, 2014, 01:17:15 PM
..nobody except yourself could access the machine, so why bother...

The problem was that people used to swap files via floppies. And also buy  programs on disc.  Many of these had viruses attached

It was considered great fun (by some people who are now, hopefully,  rotting in some version of Hell) to add little gifts like the much feared AntiCmos-A. Get that on your system and you could only pray for a miracle.

Dave. :bugeye:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 25, 2014, 01:24:07 PM
.. nobody except yourself could access the machine, so why bother...

The problem was that people used to swap files via floppies. And also buy  programs on disc.  Many of these had viruses attached

It was considered great fun (by some people who are now, hopefully,  rotting in some version of Hell) to add little gifts like the much feared AntiCmos-A. Get that on your system and you could only pray for a miracle.

Dave. :bugeye:

Dave,

what have you decided to do, are you going to run a Linux system?

Regards, Matthew.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 25, 2014, 01:46:08 PM
Mathew,

Yes.  However,  I decided to save my self a little head scratching and have ordered a flash drive with Ubuntu already on it.  I will use this to drive one of my spare machines until I get the hang of it. If I feel comfortable I can then install it on the HD and run that as a Ubuntu dedicated machine.
I need to check if my most used applications will transfer across. With that in mind I'll keep the XP machine set up as it is.

Should be fun.

Oh yes,  I arrived at work today to find that our computer system has been infected by some virus. It runs on Windows 8 Professional.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on April 25, 2014, 03:09:17 PM
Mathew,

Yes.  However,  I decided to save my self a little head scratching and have ordered a flash drive with Ubuntu already on it.  I will use this to drive one of my spare machines until I get the hang of it. If I feel comfortable I can then install it on the HD and run that as a Ubuntu dedicated machine.
I need to check if my most used applications will transfer across. With that in mind I'll keep the XP machine set up as it is.

Should be fun.

Oh yes,  I arrived at work today to find that our computer system has been infected by some virus. It runs on Windows 8 Professional.

Dave.

I'd be very interested to see how you get on, keep us up to date!

Regards, Matthew.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 25, 2014, 05:18:49 PM
Mathew,

Yes.  However,  I decided to save my self a little head scratching and have ordered a flash drive with Ubuntu already on it.  I will use this to drive one of my spare machines until I get the hang of it. If I feel comfortable I can then install it on the HD and run that as a Ubuntu dedicated machine.
I need to check if my most used applications will transfer across. With that in mind I'll keep the XP machine set up as it is.

Should be fun.

Oh yes,  I arrived at work today to find that our computer system has been infected by some virus. It runs on Windows 8 Professional.

Dave.

Hello Dave,
The short answer is "NO" your applications will not transfer across !  But your data will.  In other words you will be able to use Linux applications to access Windows data.

This is one of the reasons that virus and other nasties don't cause Linux problems.  They are Windows programs !

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 26, 2014, 05:18:37 AM
I'm going to give Linux Mint MATE a try. As long as David doesn't mind I'll post my experience here. I'm fairly cautious so it might be a slow process. I have a desktop machine which I store all my photos and music on, backed up to an external disk. It runs XP and I use this PC for online banking so I need to do something with it soonish. I use iTunes ( for my sins) to sync with an iPod which is not available for Linux so I'm going down the dual boot route. I've run the Live DVD session and had no problems with finding my way around. Next I need to make sure I've got everything backed up because the disk needs repartitioning to create somewhere to put the Linux system.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 26, 2014, 06:18:09 AM
Gary,

Please post anything you want related to to this subject on here. Although it was opened to get peoples views on Ubuntu it does make sense to use it as a general Linux experience thread. It will help us Linux neophytes to get a better idea of what the real world throws up.

Baron,

I suspected as much. I'll have to consider getting some replacements. Some programs, like my PICO scope,  come with different versions on the dvd (Linux, Windows XP etc) so I am ok there. I suspect that I can get my Skypipe in a Linux version.
But I'll always keep a machine or two with the other Windows only programs in reserve. Plus,  the DOS only machine will NEVER be scrapped. I fell out with Windows when I discovered that WINLink wouldn't run on XP. I liked that application.

Just have to wait for the Ubuntu to arrive now.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 26, 2014, 08:57:22 AM
Hi Dave,

WinLink that name rings a bell.  If only I could remember why !
I believe that "PICO scope" uses Linux as its operating system.  Certainly better than humping a heavy scope around.  Unfortunately that was one of the bits of kit that was stolen when the shack got burgled of few years back.

I personally don't care for "Ubuntu" !  I find it a little restrictive but then again "Open SuSE" is very good.  Whilst I don't use it at the moment, its major downside for me is the KDE4 desktop.  I prefer "Trinity" which is a replacement for KDE3 and is what KDE3 should have become.  So I now run a PCLinuxOS distribution which is ready built with "Trinity".

FWIW "Linux" really is just the kernel and is very much the same across different distributions.  As far as I am aware the major distributions only make tweaks to the kernel to suit their own flavour.  The big differences being the applications and desktop variants.  I tend to describe Linux by comparing it with icecream,  all icecream is the same its just the flavour that changes.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on April 26, 2014, 12:25:52 PM
Baron,

You have to be a bit careful with Pico.  I bought my first single channel data logger many years ago and ran it happily on DOS.
I then bought an eight channel version (living in the fast lane now) that was to run on W95.  But it was horribly unstable. After consulting Pico I discovered that this particular data-logger wouldn't run on all machines.  It was motherboard dependant. I was a bit annoyed as it never mentioned this in the sales literature. I had lost a lot of data due to this thing.  To be fair to them,  Pico did offer to refund the cost of the unit.

I've just taken delivery of a new Picoscope,  forget which one (it's still in the box)  but it is the entry level two channel version. Cost 99. This one has XP and Linux versions of the software with it.  So I'm hoping for better results .

Dave.

P.S.  WinLink was a program that allowed you to control two computers from which ever one of the pair you decided to use as the Master.  It came with a special cable to link the two 25 pin D type serial sockets together. All in all a very useful program.  I believe you can do the same thing from DOS if you know how.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 26, 2014, 03:03:26 PM
Hi Dave,
Quote
P.S.  WinLink was a program that allowed you to control two computers from which ever one of the pair you decided to use as the Master.  It came with a special cable to link the two 25 pin D type serial sockets together. All in all a very useful program.  I believe you can do the same thing from DOS if you know how.

Ah yes !  Thanks for the reminder.  A crossed over serial cable.  I still have a couple kicking around, two "D" plugs on each end so you could plug into 9 or 25 pin D's.  Kermit if I remember for data transfer.  There was another one that was very popular that ran under DOS, Windows 286 and 3.11 but I don't remember its name.  Not sure if it came from Linux originally.

I'm going to have to stop reminiscing or I'll spend all night trying to remember names of things. :hammer: :hammer: :hammer:

 
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: raynerd on April 26, 2014, 03:49:37 PM
For 30, a raspberry pi is a great introduction to Linux!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 26, 2014, 04:12:14 PM
Hi Guys,
This is the live CD/DVD all 1.7Gb of it, that I am using at the moment.
There is an updated version due anytime...

http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/trinitydesktop.org/trinity/trinity/rpm/pclinuxos/ISO/

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: clivel on April 29, 2014, 03:30:58 PM
Anyone who is still using Windows XP needs to make sure that they no longer use Internet Explorer. A critical security vulnerability that affects IE versions 6 to 11 has been discovered. It is serious enough for the US Government's cyber-security agency  (http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2014/04/28/Microsoft-Internet-Explorer-Use-After-Free-Vulnerability-Being) to issue a warning.

Although this vulnerability affects all versions of Windows, Microsoft will issue patches for Windows 7 & 8 in due course but not for XP. In the interim users of 7 or 8 should probably rely on Firefox or Chrome.

However XP users will be permanently left high and dry, so for now XP users will need to permanently drop IE in favour of either Firefox or Chrome, or better yet switch to Linux, preferably sooner rather than later, because as more and more security holes arise XP will become completely unsafe to use on any computer with an Internet connection.
Clive
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 29, 2014, 06:20:34 PM
Hello Clive,

I've been telling Windows users that IE is unsafe for a long time and that they should change to another web browser.  Indeed when the EU forced M$ to give users the ability to choose to download and use a different browser, I said that it was a good idea.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: clivel on April 29, 2014, 07:46:50 PM
Hi Baron,
It is not only IE's vulnerability that is an issue, but also a completely cavalier attitude to anything approaching standards; as a web developer IE was the bane of my life.
Things that would work as expected using Opera, Firefox, or Chrome would fail on IE, but not in a consistent manner, because the different versions of IE are not compatible with each other either. So pages often require a number of browser specific code sections - a few sections for the different versions of IE and then one section for almost everything else. And what complicates it even more is that you can only install one version of IE per computer so testing the various IE workarounds requires a number of computers or virtual machines. It is a complete nightmare.

On my last web project I estimated that my client could have saved at least 25% if not more of the development costs by not providing IE support but unfortunately MS having rammed IE down everyone's throats made ignoring IE an impossibility if my client wanted to stay in business.
IE should have been put out of its misery years ago.  I cheered when the EU forced MS to provide choice, I only wished that they had of forced them to unbundle it completely.
Clive
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 30, 2014, 11:14:30 AM
I said I would post my experience of installing Linux Mint as a dual-boot with Windows XP so here goes:

I read a few sites documenting how to do it. This was the most useful.

http://www.freeyourselffrommicrosoftandthensa.org/06-dual-boot/6-3-dual-boot-linux-mint-with-windows-xp-or-windows-7 (http://www.freeyourselffrommicrosoftandthensa.org/06-dual-boot/6-3-dual-boot-linux-mint-with-windows-xp-or-windows-7)

I have a desktop system with one 500 GB hard disk. It was partitioned into two primary partitions, one of 50GB which was the C drive and the rest (450GB) as the E drive. To install Linux I needed to create some unallocated space on the disk. First I made sure I had everything on E backed up to an external USB hard disk.

I also used Macrium Reflect http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx (http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx) to make an image of the C drive again onto the external disk and a also rescue CD that I could boot from if things went wrong (I said I was cautious).

Download Gparted Live from http://gparted.org/download.php (http://gparted.org/download.php)

The link to click is "Download gparted-live-0.18.0-2-i486.iso" Beware of all the Download buttons on the page which are adverts for other software.

Burn image to CD.

Then I used a Gparted Live CD to boot from and shrink the second partition from 450GB to 250GB. This left me 200GB of unallocated space that could be used for the Linux install. I booted back into Windows to check that the resize hadn't corrupted the disk.

Next I booted from the Linux Mint DVD and after it has loaded the desktop double-click the 'Install' icon. When I got to the screen asking how I wanted to install it I selected 'Something else' at the bottom of the list. This allowed me to choose the partitions that will be created. I created four logical partitions as follows:

                 name        size          partition         type
Boot          /boot        1GB        /dev/sda5        ext4
Root          /             30GB        /dev/sda6        ext4
Swap                         2GB        /dev/sda7        swap
Home        /home   167GB        /dev/sda8        ext4


I chose to place the bootloader on sda, which means that Linux's GRUB boot manager will replace the Windows one. From the reading I'd done this seems more reliable and easier than modifying the Windows boot manager to dual-boot.

When the installation has finished it asks you to reboot. Take out the Linux DVD and reboot.

Now I've just got to learn to use it.

Hope someone finds this useful. There are many pitfalls so don't expect me to sort them out for you.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 30, 2014, 11:29:58 AM
Hi Baron,

IE should have been put out of its misery years ago.  I cheered when the EU forced MS to provide choice, I only wished that they had of forced them to unbundle it completely.

Clive

Hi Clive,
I couldn't agree more !  The excuse or reason M$ gave for not unbundling was that it was the mechanism used to keep Windows up to date.  The browser choice was simply a sop to satisfy the EU.  As far as I am aware it only happened in the EU and not in countries outside.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on April 30, 2014, 11:42:16 AM
Hi Gary,
Its nice to hear that you got things up and running with Linux Mint.

The log of how and why you did it, is exactly how it should be.  Many people forget to take backups, particularly when making major changes to their machines.  One of the reasons for a dedicated "Home" partition is so that you can change to another flavour of Linux if you wish whilst keeping your data safe and usable.  Depending upon how much ram you have you may find that the "Swap" partition does not get used at all.

I have 1Gb ram and no swap usage at all.  My HDD is 160Gb and I'm using a 3GHz P4 CPU.  So not a race horse by today's standards.

 
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on April 30, 2014, 01:52:28 PM
Hi Baron,

I probably should have added that I have a Win 7 laptop as well, which is handy for looking up solutions to problems if anything goes wrong.

If the desktop system had been messed up by the install I could, as a last resort have re-installed everything from scratch as I built it from parts and installed XP from disks. The machine has 2GB RAM and a Core 2 Duo cpu (E7500 I think).

I've since managed to install a networked printer, which meant using the Terminal. This was a bit of a learning curve, like going back to DOS. I'm not sure if I did it correctly but it printed a test page.

Also installed the Chromium web browser as I use Chrome in Windows.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on May 01, 2014, 07:01:04 AM
My last home XP machine was an old Dell laptop, a 610 IIRC, with either 1/2 or 1GB of memory, 250GB HDD and a 2.something GHz CPU. Or maybe 1.something, I forget now.

As an XP machine, it was suffering. I use it primarily for surfing while watching the TV, or downloading stuff to watch on TV. It's connected wirelessly to a router about 6 feet away. Despite this, the wireless connection needed repairing anything from daily to monthly; the machine absolutely ground to a halt if one tried to do any kind of multitasking. e.g. copying a 5-6GB file out to a USB hard drive, would take 5 or so minutes if you sat and watched it, or up to several hours if you tried to surf at the same time. Just awful.

Last week I finally saw my arse with it for the last time & threw Mint MATE version 13 (Maya) onto it. What a transformation, I can multitask again, the USB transfer times are steady no matter what else I do. OK, it still won't play 1080p video full screen, but that's just because the machine isn't up to it... and since my favourite browser is Opera, I can carry on with a near-identical setup to what I had before.

So, for the older machine, especially one that's wheezing badly on XP, Mint is definitely the way forward.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 01, 2014, 07:53:32 AM
If anyone is having trouble with their wi-fi then a program called Inssider is quite useful. It displays the competing wi-fi signals that your computer can see. By moving to a different channel you can sometimes improve your wireless connection significantly. It is easy to install and use. I found that my next door neighbour was on the same channel as me and with a stronger signal as they had their router in the lounge whereas mine is under the stairs (I'll tell you why some other time). It seemed to be a particular problem for tablet computers, with frequent dropped connections. After changing to a different channel the connectivity is much better. I know some routers pick a channel automatically but theirs was always on 11. Anyway if you're interested the free version can still be downloaded from here.

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html (http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html)

Their official site http://www.inssider.com (http://www.inssider.com)only lists the paid for version now.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 01, 2014, 10:00:31 AM
Gary,

Once you had your machine running on Linux,  what did you have to do to make the connection to the internet ?

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: awemawson on May 01, 2014, 10:15:01 AM
When I loaded Mint 16 it configured the built in pc network card, found my router, set it self up and said 'ok now what'  having also found the various Windows machines I have on my local lan !!!! Quite painless.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 01, 2014, 10:40:33 AM
Gary,

Once you had your machine running on Linux,  what did you have to do to make the connection to the internet ?

Dave.

David,

The machine is hard-wired to the router via Ethernet cable. Even when I was trying Linux with the Live DVD, after it had loaded, the first thing I did was open Firefox, go to the BBC website and played the live news broadcast. Worked straight away, no problems. Obviously with a wireless connection it should be just a case of entering the security password for your router. Unfortunately I can't try it for you because the computer doesn't have a wireless adapter in it.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 01, 2014, 12:36:05 PM
Gary,

My internet also comes via a cable (Virgin Media) so hopefully the same will happen. 
The reason I asked is that, way back in the dial-up days, one had to jump through a few hoops before you could get on line.

I'm still waiting for my Ubuntu flash stick to arrive.

Sorry to read about your broken ankle. Yesterday I came need to breaking a couple of ribs when I got a foot tangled up and nose dived over some piles of rubbish. It just hurts.  Dare not cough.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on May 01, 2014, 01:05:34 PM
When I loaded Mint 16 it configured the built in pc network card, found my router, set it self up and said 'ok now what'  having also found the various Windows machines I have on my local lan !!!! Quite painless.

Nice to hear how easy it was to set up!
Gary,

My internet also comes via a cable (Virgin Media) so hopefully the same will happen. 
The reason I asked is that, way back in the dial-up days, one had to jump through a few hoops before you could get on line.

I'm still waiting for my Ubuntu flash stick to arrive.

Dave.

It sets it's own connection with the the "Live CD", the startup/instalation disk, Ubuntu will ask you during set up if you want to update whilst installing the system. No hoops! (when hard wired)

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 01, 2014, 02:10:30 PM
Gary,

......My internet also comes via a cable (Virgin Media) ......

Dave.

Just to clarify, I'm on ADSL via a phone line, the pc is connected to the router via Ethernet cable rather than using wi-fi.

PS: The ankle is a real PITA. I'd almost completed the Stuart S50 I'm building and it's unbelievably frustrating not to be able to get in the workshop or do any gardening for that matter.  :(

That's why I'm spending so much time on here.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: lordedmond on May 02, 2014, 02:41:36 AM
 I get a warm fuzzy feeling that people are seeing the light and dumping win doze for a simpler and more reliable OS

And not least cheaper and far more secure

I hope your ankle heals up OK


Stuart
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 11, 2014, 10:03:42 AM
Hi,

Just an update.

The data stick with  Ubuntu on it arrived.  And there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that things were looking good from the beginning.

The machine I am using is an HP Pavilion Slimline. And it is has  64 bit processor.

So, I plugged in the data stick to my front USB port.

Switched on and held down the ESC key to get into boot menu.

Then selected USB from the three options.

The initial Ubuntu purple screen appeared (more a shade of cerise) and we progressed to the installation options.

The choices are Try Ubuntu or Install Ubuntu.  I clicked on 'try'.

And the desktop appeared.

Great,  we're in.

But then the mouse stopped working.  Remember it had been working at the beginning.

Try a different mouse (radio mouse) and this time I got as far as the Firefox page. But couldn't enter text into the box.

Now,  I think I may know the problem.  The  version I have is for the 32 bit machines. I was going to use a different Esys (32 bit) machine.
I am using 14.04 LTS Desktop

I am going to try and download the 64 bit version onto a live dvd and see if that helps.

So near,  yet so far away.

Dave.

Created with Vista.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on May 11, 2014, 04:53:22 PM
Hi Dave,

Interesting about the USB mouse and keyboard though I wouldn't have thought that 32 vers 64 bit would make any difference.
Its more likely that the live distribution from the USB stick can't find the other USB ports.  It may pay you to try booting from a CD or try the USB stick in a different socket.  I favour trying the distribution on a CD.

HTH.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 12, 2014, 08:32:37 AM
Dave,

I tend to agree with Baron. I would have thought the 32-bit would work fine on a 64-bit machine even though not optimal. My Win7 laptop is 64-bit and has lots of 32-bit programs running on it.

I'm curious why you bought a USB stick if you can burn CD/DVDs. I would give Linux Mint (MATE or Cinnamon version) a try as well, just to see if the mouse/keyboard problems are still evident.

I was that encouraged by the Mint experience that I've bought a Raspberry Pi to play with as well.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 12, 2014, 07:26:48 PM
Gary,

I opted for the stick as I reasoned that it would be a more reliable way to get a working distribution than downloading and burning my own dvd. I should have gone with the dvd option.

I did (last night) download a copy of openSUSE 13.1 . I'll try to burn this to dvd and see if I an get it to work. I don't seem to have much success with cd or dvd burning.

Baron,

I do have an early version of UBUNTU on cd somewhere. Also Mandrake. If I come across it I will give it a try.
May need some help with getting on line through.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete49 on May 13, 2014, 01:51:05 AM
Another question (sorry). My old laptop has windo$e xp which I want to try mint on but it also has a protected section that has the win install on it. If I install mint will it wipe that as well? 
Pete
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on May 13, 2014, 07:24:24 AM
Another question (sorry). My old laptop has windo$e xp which I want to try mint on but it also has a protected section that has the win install on it. If I install mint will it wipe that as well? 
Pete

Pete -

That's up to you; Mint will ask you if you want to zap the entire hard-drive & use it; if you want to keep your hidden Windows install partition, you'd need to choose "Something else" when Mint asks how you want to install it, and make sure you don't include that partition in the part of the disk Mint can see.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on May 13, 2014, 05:20:12 PM
Another question (sorry). My old laptop has windo$e xp which I want to try mint on but it also has a protected section that has the win install on it. If I install mint will it wipe that as well? 
Pete

Hello Pete,

You may find that once you wipe the working XP installation the recovery partition will no longer function !  You need to create the recovery CD's first from the desktop utility, however if at some point the CD's have already been made then you cannot create a recovery CD set.  To get out of this trap, you will need to do a full wipe and restore from the recovery partition.  After you have done this, you can then use the utility from the desktop to create them.  Afterwards you then can let Linux wipe the whole drive and install itself.  Should you decide to go back to Windows you will now have the CD's to do so.  Also make sure that you have the Windows key.  Its on the licence sticker that should be attached to the bottom of your machine.

Sorry if this sounds complicated but M$ never made things easy.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 13, 2014, 06:44:14 PM
Hi Pete,

Are you hoping to create a dual boot system with win XP? I assume you know that if you use the recovery partition to get windows back it will just set the pc back to the state when you got it. You could use Macrium Reflect as I detailed above to create an image of the windows partition before doing anything else, but this is only realistic if you have an external disk to back it up to.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 17, 2014, 07:12:44 PM
Ok.

After the problems with the mouse not working with my Ubuntu I decided to take another approach.

I downloaded openSUSE 13.1, successfully burnt the image to dvd (a first for me) and, from the boot menu selected the dvd.

It went down hill from there.

The computer is reading the dvd properly. but I can't see a way of running from the dvd without installing SUSE on my hard drive.

he options I am given are...

Boot from hard disk.
Installation.
Rescue system.
Check installation system.
Firmware test.
Memory test.

Bearing in mind that I don't yet want to wipe out the Visa that is on this machine,  what do I do next ?
Partition the Hard Drive ?

Dave.

p.s.  The mouse seems to work fine with SUSE.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 18, 2014, 06:37:48 AM
Hi David,

I think the version you have downloaded is not a LiveDVD. I think it is just an installation disk. I definitely wouldn't get rid of your Vista system yet, until you've tried Linux.

I don't think openSUSE is that popular with home users, most seem to use Ubuntu or Mint now.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Top-5-Linux-Distros-for-beginners (http://hubpages.com/hub/Top-5-Linux-Distros-for-beginners)

Now you know you can burn an image to a DVD, I would suggest trying Linux MATE from here

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php (http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php)

The one you want is the fourth one down the list either 32-bit or 64-bit, I can't remember what your PC spec is.

Keep persevering.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 18, 2014, 07:05:50 AM
Or if you fancy Ubuntu it is here:-

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop (http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop)

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 18, 2014, 11:54:16 AM
I couldn't make it throught this whole thread -- read 5 pages and just skipped to the end here (so far).

I'm going to be the odd man out here again, and totally confuse the "which flavor should I use" question. But the simple truth is:

I use Puppy Linux. And have for years.

I can and do occasionally dual boot into XP or Win7 or whatever windizzy hyper slowness is on the boot sector of whatever computer I'm using to do occasional jobs with oddball windizzy software that won't work in WINE in Linux.

BUT, 99% of the time it's this amazing free OS that is about 100 megabytes in size TOTAL, WITH APPLICATIONS that run IN MEMORY at about ten times the speed of windizzy programs, CAN RUN off a CD, with NO installation necessary, and will EVEN RUN on a 486 machine, DOESN'T require antivirus software, and DOESN'T crash, and DOESN'T waste my time automatically updating itself, or try to force my computer to close, or tell me to wait to shut it off, or wait to start using it, or try to record what I'm doing, or try to sell me software, or install crippled "freeware", or try to hide it's inner workings.

I get enough of those problems when I occasionally boot back int Win 7.

And if you liked Win98 (I did) Puppy Linux will look real familiar, unless you want to trick it out. I don't, but you can.

If you want to run Puppy Linux, just download a copy onto a CD and run it from there. No need to install.

If you like it, just do a "frugal" install inside whatever OS your computer came with -- they can happily coexist. No need to do a "full" install -- I never have, and a frugal install has many advantages over re-partitioning your drive, etc.

Run WINE in  it and you can run many Win programs (I use a few) though probably not AutoCAD. I use the old free Google SketchUP in Wine when I want to draw anything. There are enough free add-ons to that to do anything I want. It's definitely not AutoCAD though, and certainly won't satisfy an expert AC user. But for me, it's a breeze, and I get tons done with it quickly.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention another Linux alternative, relatively unknown, but immensely useful, compact, efficient, and timeless, in terms of what it will run on.

I do all my work on that.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 18, 2014, 05:18:16 PM
Gary,

You're probably correct in that I may have inadvertently downloaded an installation version and not a live one. But at least I have a version of openSUSE to play with.

I'll get there eventually.

VT,
I've heard of Puppy linux.  And it got a good review.

As I accidentally almost wiped my Vista last night I think that I may fit up another of my old machines (a 486) and try Puppy linux on that.  I'll down load it and burn the dvd via the Vista machine. Then load up the 486.

If it works I can then move on more confidently to one of the other flavors if I feel the need.

Losing the XP wouldn't be a disaster as I have my own (licensed) disk. I can always re-install. But I would also have to replace the applications and that would be a real pain.

At times like this it is nice to have a loft full of old computers.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 18, 2014, 08:21:08 PM
Dave, great -- but just to be a little confusing -- there are versions of Puppy Lnux, and to run on a 486 you will need the right one.

It won't be very fast on such an ancient processor, but it should work -- which is more than you can say for any other OS these days. I believe the version you would need is called Puppy 2.17.

But really, to be fair, just try a later version on your present computer, by just booting off a CD. Your computer doesn't even have to be working -- it will ignore the faulty Vista installation and happily just run off the CD. It actually doesn't need the hard drive.

Many people put Puppy linux on a thumb drive and run it on laptops that have dead hard drives, and never fix the hard drive.

There are a lot of flavors of Puppy Linux.

For 64 bit machines and multiple processors try Racy Puppy.

For single processor 32 bit machines you can try that or if that doesn't work out, try Wary Puppy.

For ancient machines try 2.17.


Then there are versions which use the application programs from other Linuxes. For instance, Precise Puppy can use all of the Ubuntu applications from Ubuntu program repositories.

There are also versions for Debian, Slackware, etc.

Lots to choose from and try out if you want -- all on CD (or thumb drive) none of which require actually installing on your computer to run.





Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 19, 2014, 07:50:59 AM
VT,

Thanks.

The machine with the Vista is OK,  Except when I try to download updates it won't accept the key.  I can get by without the updates.

My laptop has the XP on it.  This is the system that is faulty. It drops out of applications and reverts to the desktop at unpredictable times for no apparent reason.  My antivirus programs can't find anything.  I have the original CD and mean to re-install, but it is somewhere in a box with most of my other nice things (Norton Ghost,  Partition magic etc. But it is one box of about twenty in the loft.
 Might as well be on the Moon.
I have another machine in this room with a Celeron D processor. Not sure what OP it has.  Think it's also XP.

So I am spoiled for choice.

I'll try for Puppy 2.17 this evening.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 19, 2014, 09:49:25 AM
David anything that will run XP probably doesn't need 2.17. It's mainly for ancient machines.

It can probably use a modern Puppy like Wary.

You mentioned a 486 for a processor which is pre- Pentium 1, so that's why I thought you'd need a specialized Puppy.

(I don't believe XP would have run on a 486 processor -- I think it needed a Pentium of some sort, etc., but might be wrong).

Anyway, one way of trying out different flavors of Puppy is to use a CD R/W disk -- you can then erase it if you don't like one variety and try another.

One other advantage of a R/W CD: since Puppy Linux only takes up about 100-150 megabytes of the CD, the rest of the CD ( about 400 megabytes) can be used for data or additional programs! You can actually run your entire OS, programs, and data on a CD -- and if you like,  pop it into completely different computer, and keep on working on that one in Puppy! Makes it totally portable. You can also do the same with a thumb drive.

Actually you can do the same thing with a conventional  CD, leaving it open, you can't erase and rewrite over something, you just erase and write on unused space. Puppy can do amazing stuff.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 20, 2014, 06:17:16 AM
Well.  It worked.

Typing this on my old Esys Celeron machine using Puppy Linux  2.17.  Running from a CD.

And it was indeed pretty painless.

Whether it will all work again on the next boot up is uncertain. But things look hopeful.

I'd like to thank you all for your help with this little project.

Dave.

 :nrocks: :thumbup:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 20, 2014, 06:26:48 AM
Great news, Dave. I thought if you persevered it would be successful in the end. As VT says now you know it works it would be worth trying a later version.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 20, 2014, 10:44:19 AM
Great David!

Play around with it, have fun -- there's tons of stuff to discover and try out. There's a good Puppy Linux forum at www.murga-linux.com/puppy/ .

Some suggestions if yo do decide to put it on hard drive:

1.) Don't bother with a "full" installation (as is required in most other Linux types) . Do what's called in Puppy a "frugal" install. It's pretty simple to do that, and it means you will have a lot more flexibility in the future, than if you tried to do a full installation. Trust me on that, because it's too hard to explain it all in detail here. (Roughly: the whole OS is saved as a file on your drive, and doesn't require re-partitioning the drive. Also anything you add -- programs, data, etc is saved as a "personal savefile" another big file).

You may have already done that -- since when you close down after your first session on CD I asks you if you want to create these two files -- and if you answered yes and went through the process, you already now have a "frugal" installation -- and don't need the CD any more.

The trickiest things for a newcomer to get used to is that a single click opens a program (instead of double clicking), and understanding the file structure -- where things are. No more C: and D: drives. You might see things like hda1 (for hard drive A partition 1) or sda3 (for serial drive A partition 3) and such.

And also find that there are two different ways to get to the same place: on my machine I can get to the same place by opening to either sda3 or /mnt/home . Also the concept of "mounting" a drive before you can see or access the contents, and unmounting the drive.

These things bugged me when I first started, coming from Win98, but after a couple weeks I got used to  them, and now I'm so used to it that it's Win7 that I find clumsy and slow and convoluted to do anything in. Just trust that you'll get it if you use it for a time.

Anyway, good luck, and if you run into any problems or have questions, let me know.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on May 20, 2014, 10:59:55 AM
Well.  It worked.

Whether it will all work again on the next boot up is uncertain. But things look hopeful.


Glad it worked! Why the pessimism?  Just reboot!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 20, 2014, 01:43:54 PM
Reboot went ok.

Now it's just a matter of brewing a lot of coffee and trying to kick my faded grey cells back into action.

I believe that the term 'mount' goes back to the days of reel-to-reel computers. When Unix reigned supreme.

So it's more or less back to the world of the Command Line.

But as I like DOS and use it regularly,   that shouldn't be too hard.

So,  who is next to take the plunge ?

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: CrazyModder on May 20, 2014, 02:37:58 PM
So,  who is next to take the plunge ?

I did take the plunge due to this thread - I shrunk some partition on a SSD in my main PC and installed Mint LMDE 64bit. Very happy. Everything worked just fine; I even was able to take 99% of my important Windows software with me. That is, either there were native Linux versions which actually were able to keep using the same data (for example, Opera M2 mail client, popfile spam filter etc.); or the software is WINE compatible.

Now if it weren't for the wife who still prefers Windows on this PC...  :palm: but I guess there's no hurry to get rid of Win7 anytime soon. ;)
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 20, 2014, 02:44:08 PM
Well Puppy makes it pretty easy to mount a drive (partition). Just click on the icon for the drive in the lower left corner of the desktop, and it's mounted.

And to unmount, right click on the same icon and you'll get a dropdown list including unmount for the drive. To close Puppy all of the unmounting is automatically handled, so yyou don't really have to do that

The only time I actually unmount a drive is if I use a thumb drive and want to remove it.  Then you should unmount it first, to make sure that any changes which might be cached, actually get written to the thumb drive before it is removed. It's exactly like windows used to do but with a different name. I think it was "eject".

Of course you can do all the "real" linux stuff from the command line if you like!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 20, 2014, 02:57:20 PM
DavidA one cool thing about Seamonkey browser included in Puppy (it's basically Firefox and Thunderbird combined -- Mozilla maintained --  the old Netscape all-in-one package, updated) is that it has WYSIWYG web authoring also included in the package.

If you want to edit a web page just click in the top left corner File>Edit Page, and you're instantly able to edit the page you're on! You can even edit this page. Of course you won't be able to upload it..... :lol:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on May 20, 2014, 04:17:46 PM
Reboot went ok.

I believe that the term 'mount' goes back to the days of reel-to-reel computers. When Unix reigned supreme.

Dave.

Hi Dave, Guys,

Unix still reigns supreme !  The whole Internet is based on Unix !  Remember that Unix pre-dates Windows by around 30 years.
Its the graphical desktop that made Windows what it is today.  I believe that concept was borrowed from Xerox Labs along with the Mouse and Icons.  The word "WIMP" springs to mind.

Anyway Dave its great that you are up and running Linux now.  Congratulations.   :ddb:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Pete49 on May 20, 2014, 11:27:11 PM
Well congrats DaveA . Now if only I didn't procrastinate I would be as well. Just another question if you don't mind .....can I still access the forums on Linux or is it win only access? Years ago I set up red hat on a puter and had fun but then succumbed to XP and forgot all about it. Still have the original disks and setup manual :wave:
Pete
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on May 21, 2014, 07:07:24 AM
Well congrats DaveA . Now if only I didn't procrastinate I would be as well. Just another question if you don't mind .....can I still access the forums on Linux or is it win only access? Years ago I set up red hat on a puter and had fun but then succumbed to XP and forgot all about it. Still have the original disks and setup manual :wave:
Pete

You can use the internet like any other operating system (like you can on a Mac). There are the same sort of programs and even the same programs available, fire fox, Google chrome etc for web access.

I have a relatively recent machine that I built cheaply, using a dual processor (2 x 2.6 G), 4Gig of Ram, a 1tera hard disk and a video card, I am at the moment using Ubuntu Studio that comes with a decent range of Graphics, sound and video programs not to mention the Libre Office suite. For those of you that are interested, it uses the Xfce desktop, which is more light weight than the other desktops, more suited in my opinion to the older generation, it's not trying to keep up with the transparent borders type widows!

I would like to point out that as Linux programs are frequently developed by their users, the more used something is, the better the programs, a good example is Video applications, the Linux one's are good, but not as user friendly as the Windows ones or so I've been told, I don't have a windows computer so I can't speak from personal experience!

I would like to encourage people to have a go at Linux on an old machine, it's much more in the madmodder spirit than Windows!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: AdeV on May 21, 2014, 07:59:18 AM

Its the graphical desktop that made Windows what it is today.  I believe that concept was borrowed from Xerox Labs along with the Mouse and Icons.  The word "WIMP" springs to mind.


WIMP: Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer.

The history of the Graphical User Interface is convoluted and full of intrigue. It's widely believed that Windows was a copy of the first "production" GUI, written by Apple and seen on the Lisa (which pre-dated the Mac and, to my eye at least, was a much more handsome machine). Apple, in turn, allegedly stole the idea from Xerox - who had a demo(?) system running at their Palo Alto labs.

Until the lawsuits in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I think it'd be fair to say that both MAC and Windows GUIs were essentially totally parallel and independent developments - yes, they stole look & feel from each other, but the actual codebases weren't the same.

Of course, Linux then came along and muddied the waters with Gnome, KDE and a bunch of other interpretations on the same old WIMP environment...
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 21, 2014, 08:15:09 AM
Pete.

You just (single) click on the 'browser' icon and you are in a place very similar to Firefox.  Bookmarks etc are all very similar.

I'm still marveling at the speed this system boots up.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 21, 2014, 08:44:26 AM
It was SmallTalk that was the first to introduce the whole package together -- it was Xerox. I think they might have used some of the concepts of Turtle Logo. I remember reading about it in Byte at the time. Then Apple came out with the Lisa that used Smalltalk I believe.

Interestingly one of the principal philosophies of SmallTalk besides the mouse, etc. was to absolutely get rid of "modes."

Modes occurred according to the originators, when a keyboard for instance re-mapped keys under certain circumstances. Edit mode, Graphics mode, that kind of thing. Keys suddenly did something different depending on the mode. This was proven to be problematic, and error producing, and required memorization, varied between programs, and slowed throughput and intuitive use of a program.

While computer OS designers were quick to adopt from SmallTalk the physical aids of modern, GUI's they often didn't understand the problem of modes, or forgot that part of the original design concept. So we had a rapid return to program, keyboard, and even mouse click modes, sometimes simply dressed up as menu items in dropdown lists, but modes nonethless. This is particularly apparent in CAD's -- probably some of the most conservative programming of any type.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 21, 2014, 09:10:25 AM
Pete.

You just (single) click on the 'browser' icon and you are in a place very similar to Firefox.  Bookmarks etc are all very similar.

I'm still marveling at the speed this system boots up.

Dave.

It's fast because all the bloat has been removed from programs and OS -- enough so that everything can be loaded into memory at once at boot-up. Memory is hundreds of times faster than a hard drive.  So instead of constantly reading program segments from your HD, it's already in memory. This is why if you're running off of the CD, once Puppy Linux loads up, you can remove the CD. It doesn't need it any more. Or you can use the CD drive for other things, like playing music or watching a movie.

There are MANY extremely innovative and interesting things about Puppy Linux that make it unique, even in the Linux world. I spent a couple years just exploring and appreciating the innovations it can provide and the flexibility you have with it. It's a brilliant creation by one Aussie, Barry Kauler. You don't need to study it to use it normally, but if you do get interested in it, it's pretty fascinating how it works, and what it can do.

I once wrote a version called MediaPup for older computers -- kinda outdated now, but It was keyed toward editing videos, DVD authoring, music, and graphics. The idea was you just popped it into any computer, ran off the CD and had a full media studio suite f programs. When done editing Take the CD back out and continue on in Windows, Linux, whatever.

These days I like running Cinelerra for video editing on Linux. I often boot into Precise Puppy to do that (my computer can boot into any number of Puppy Linux varieties as well as Win 7 -- with a frugal install, a version of puppy linux takes up only 100-150 megabytes of HD space, and they can all be booted to -- so you could have 25 varieties of the OS in under 3 gigs of HD space -- not that I'd want to!!) The ubuntu version of Cinelerra seems to run the best -- and the Precise Puppy can access and use Ubuntu repositories and programs.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 25, 2014, 12:35:54 PM
Something related to this subject.

A I mentioned,  I have a broadband cable straight into my computer.

Now, I need to run three computers of the incoming line, but  I don't like the idea of using a radio hub.  So I suppose the other rout is to set up my computers on a LAN. Taking out the single broadband LAN cable and swapping it around is not a good thing to do.

I have never had anything to do with LANs,  but I believe that you set up one computer as a server and this machine has to be running all the time you wish to use the others.
Is this correct,  and has anyone done it ?

Dave.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on May 25, 2014, 02:17:19 PM
I have several outputs on my DSL box, not enough so I have an additional hub.
TV and up to five computers all running of the same line. I rarely need more than three computers at the same time, but I never unplug anything!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 25, 2014, 04:17:36 PM
David, you need a router. -- Or you can use a computer as a router, as you are suggesting.

Basically you set up a local network to the router (a LAN), and the router connects to the Internet (the wide area network or WAN).

The router (or computer acting as a router) makes the connection between the LAN and WAN -- basically passes information from one to the other. The router looks like a single computer (address) to the Internet. The Local area network has a large number of addresses (well as many as you have devices on it). The computers in the LAN can communicate with each other directly over the LAN. The router can also have a firewall in it to protect the LAN from attacks over the WAN.

Many wireless cable modems actually consist 1.) a modem to receive and decode signals from the WAN 2.) a router that connects a LAN to the WAN, 3.) a firewall to protect the LAN, and 4.) a wireless transmitter receiver to communicate with wireless devices connected to the LAN.

And many actually have several slots for wired devices on the LAN, not just one -- so they can accommodate several computers that don't actually have wireless capability. So it's often possible to hook up several computers via network cables and ignore the wireless capability.

Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on May 25, 2014, 04:37:45 PM
Thanks VT,

I forgot that my network is all hard wired, I don't see the need for me to bombard myself with a frequency close to microwaves when I can have a better connection using wires. This is a personal preference, I expect criticism for it, I don't use Wifi and tend to forget it!

Regards, Matthew
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 25, 2014, 06:02:33 PM
Mattinker, can't see why anyone would crticize you over that!

I just mentioned the wifi modem as an example, and in case David already had that, since the cable companies tend to provide them as a matter of course here. They can be used as routers via cable if they hve enough network ports, and i believe it is also possible to turn off the wifi with a setting if you log in locally (via cable).

You could also unscrew the antenna. The box is shielded.

And, of course, cable routers are widely available, etc.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: mattinker on May 25, 2014, 10:01:49 PM
Just to be clear, my Wifi is switched off!
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 25, 2014, 10:23:28 PM
Yup, I knew that. I meant you as in "one." Writing mainly to help David.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 26, 2014, 06:27:49 AM
Thanks for that.

I wasn't aware that the routers had multiple hard-wire outlets. I'll have to look closer at my Virgin box.

I'll let you know how I sort it all out.

Dave.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on May 26, 2014, 07:47:22 AM
Something related to this subject.

A I mentioned,  I have a broadband cable straight into my computer.

Now, I need to run three computers of the incoming line, but  I don't like the idea of using a radio hub.  So I suppose the other rout is to set up my computers on a LAN. Taking out the single broadband LAN cable and swapping it around is not a good thing to do.

I have never had anything to do with LANs,  but I believe that you set up one computer as a server and this machine has to be running all the time you wish to use the others.
Is this correct,  and has anyone done it ?

Dave.

Hi Dave,

I would be surprised if there isn't a modem in-between the incoming line and the computer.  Very often the modem comes with a built in router.  Some are only a single port, but more usually, have at least four.  These routers will support many more computers than they have ports for.  For instance my ISP supplied router has four LAN output ports but is capable of supplying up to 128 computers.

If you have more than four computers then you need a multi-port switch.  You can buy these in various versions with from 5 to 256 or more outputs.  All you need to do is plug in a LAN cable between the router and your computer.  The computer will at start up request an address from the router via the switch and use that address.

Note: The router has a switch built in to it.  You cascade switches by plugging in cables between them.  External switches usually have a dedicated input port for the purpose of expansion.

One last point:  Not all routers, computers and switches have the ability to detect the cable type.  Some need what is called a "Straight through" cable and others need a "Cross  over" type.  The ones that can detect the cable type don't care because they swap the connections automatically internally.

I recall an incident at a fairly large company that cost them an awful lot of money because the technician didn't know the difference between the two cable types.

HTH.

 
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 26, 2014, 08:07:48 AM
Didn't realize that crossover cables were used with routers Baron. I thought they were only used when trying to direct connect two computers without a router. I have one, left over from the old days, but I actually had to make it at the time.  :dremel:
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: DavidA on May 26, 2014, 11:23:53 AM
I also thought that the crossover cable was a throwback to the days when one had to connect two PCs via the serial ports.

An additional problem I have is that the Virgin cable box (adsl ?) has to be connected at the point the cable comes into the house. If I try to connect it at the end of a long extension LAN cable then it won't work.
So,  the box is connected downstairs where the cable enters.  Then there is a long LAN cable to take the broadband upstairs to my computers.
If I want to change machines to use the laptop as opposed to the Esys computer then I have to change the cable from one to the other.  I also have to go downstairs and turn the modem off and then back on  or it won't see the new machine.

The point of this exercise is to be able to avoid this cable changing. Also to allow my wife to use one to play her online bingo whilst I use the other .

Dave.

If they were just serial D type I could use a data switch. But not with a LAN cable on broadband.
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: Baron on May 26, 2014, 05:29:37 PM
Hi David,

Are you on fibre ?  And does the cable box only have one port ?  Also can you access the cable box configuration dialogue ? 


Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: garym on May 26, 2014, 05:50:47 PM
Hi David,

If your modem only has one Ethernet socket on it, it's probably quite old and you might be able to persuade Virgin to send you a new wireless router modem. After all you're paying them enough. This should have probably four Ethernet ports on the back plus the ability to connect to it with wifi if you want. Worth a try.

A few years ago I had a rush of blood to the head and decided to wire part of the house up with Cat 5 cabling and a patch panel (below). Totally over the top but it has its uses. Each outlet can be configured as an internet connection or phone point.

Gary
Title: Re: To Ubuntu or not to Ubuntu; that is the question.
Post by: vtsteam on May 26, 2014, 10:02:35 PM
Yes similar thing happened to me -- I complained about dropouts with my older router with single connector, and the cable provider replaced it with a newer one with 4 LAN connections. They just mailed it to me, and told me to keep the old one.