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Curry Chat => Talk About Anything Other Than Curry => Topic started by: Secret Santa on August 16, 2019, 05:03 PM

Title: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Secret Santa on August 16, 2019, 05:03 PM
With the pending demise of Windows 7 in January - well, the stoppage of security updates which amounts to the same thing - I've been dabbling in Linux recently with the intention of moving over permanently and avoiding Winbloat 10 and its Orwellian spying tactics (yes I'm aware they've already ported the spyware to Win7 and 8.1 as well).

So, anyway, I've tried about fifteen different distributions as virtual machines and a couple on real hardware and am really liking what I see. Currently settling on MX Linux Xfce and Linux Mint Cinnamon. There's a couple of things I have to sort out before I can jump ship permanently but I expect to have that done by January 2020. I don't really need Adobe or MS Office so no probs there which is what usually keeps people tied to Windows.

I put MX linux on an underpowered notebook I have which absolutely crawls under Win10 and it's as snappy as hell now! I genuinely thought that the Linux is faster than Windows idea was just sales pitch for Linux, but no, it really is faster and by some margin, especially on older and/or underpowered hardware.

Has anyone else considered moving to Linux or are you there already perhaps? I'd be interested to hear opinions pro or con.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on August 16, 2019, 06:14 PM
Not for me, SS.  I share all of your misgivings regarding Windows 10 (etc) but will stay with Windows 7 until it (or I) die/s.  Linux is just Not For Me[TM].  I use most members of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite in a daily basis, use MS Office when I have to, and also rely on a large number of other Windows utilities to support my (unpaid) work.  Yes, I know that Unix/Linus devotees believe that it is simply The Only Choice[TM}, but it's just not for me.

** Phil (i7, 16Gb, 1TB SSD, etc).
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Bob-A-Job on August 16, 2019, 07:43 PM
I was going to go to Linux when it was announced Windows XP was to be canned but since I got canned first, money became tight and my time needed to be deployed to finding other work, which has so far ended up being sporadic and low paid.

There is another alternative to MS Office and 365 though which not only have I been using for years but now most of my friends and relatives do:

Apache OpenOffice (https://www.openoffice.org/)
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Secret Santa on August 16, 2019, 07:54 PM
The thing is Phil that apart from Adobe and MS Office there are replacements for virtually all other Windows programs ... or should that be apps?

Even with Office there are at least five good alternatives for Linux but, yes, they all have some incompatibility to different degrees but some are near perfect, depending on how much of the Office suite you actually use. Adobe is a non-starter because there definitely is no alternative where individual components are so seamlessly integrated. But there are good alternatives for each individual Adobe package.

I think it's easier for me because my needs are almost equally met by the Linux equivalent programs, or indeed the exact same Linux ports from Windows programs.

Hardware can be a problem though as Linux is not as well supported in terms of drivers for the bleeding edge hardware such as latest Nvidia graphics cards.

But for anyone not happy to continue with Windows, Linux really is now a much more matured platform. In fact Linux Mint and several other distributions look and act very similar to Windows 7, which is why I like it. I want the familiar feel of Windows without the bloat and spying. Linux is that.

By the way, how do you intend to mitigate the increased possibility of malware affecting your Windows 7 after January when they pull the plug on security updates?
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Secret Santa on August 16, 2019, 08:01 PM
There is another alternative to MS Office and 365 though which not only have I been using for years but now most of my friends and relatives do:

Apache OpenOffice (https://www.openoffice.org/)

Absolutely. That's my alternative of choice to MS Office. Mainly that's because I've been using MS Office 2003 for what seems like forever and when I first ran Openoffice Write I thought I'd accidentally opened MS Word they look that similar. But I can understand that power users that use a good proportion of Word's copious facilities might not agree. For me who uses about 10%, though, it's perfect.

For a more modern alternative WPS Office is good if you can suffer the fact it's Chinese in origin and phones home about who knows what, so not for me.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on August 16, 2019, 08:38 PM
Adobe is a non-starter because there definitely is no alternative where individual components are so seamlessly integrated. But there are good alternatives for each individual Adobe package.
The intellectual investment in (attempting) to master { Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, ... } was/is so great that I just cannot face doing the same for open-source alternatives.  And then there are the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, Cool Edit Pro, Total Recorder, Vector Magic, MultiAVCHD, TeXworks, and so many others that I use (and rely on) on a daily basis.

Quote
By the way, how do you intend to mitigate the increased possibility of malware affecting your Windows 7 after January when they pull the plug on security updates?

Just as now — Sophos + Malwarebytes Premium.  And when Microsoft do pull the plug on Windows 7 security updates, the flak that they will get from (e.g.) the American military will be so great that they will be forced to re-think the whole thing.  No professional is going to have Windows 10 on his desktop unless it is corporate policy with zero alternative, and there are very few large corporations that are quite that stupid ...

** Phil.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Secret Santa on August 16, 2019, 09:08 PM
The intellectual investment in (attempting) to master { Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, ... } was/is so great that I just cannot face doing the same for open-source alternatives.  And then there are the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, Cool Edit Pro, Total Recorder, Vector Magic, MultiAVCHD, TeXworks, and so many others that I use (and rely on) on a daily basis.

Yes I entirely understand your point of view. It's one that stymies many potential converts to Linux. By the way when you mentioned open-source software you forgot the crucial selling point, it's also free! (Thus FOSS). But all of those apps you mention have direct Linux equivalents.

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And when Microsoft do pull the plug on Windows 7 security updates, the flak that they will get from (e.g.) the American military will be so great that they will be forced to re-think the whole thing.

If only! There will be continued support for Windows 7 for the foreseeable, as there is for WinXP (NHS!), but not for the likes of us plebs only for those corporate and, as you say, military entities with pockets deep enough to afford the extortionate cost of being part of that select group.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on August 16, 2019, 09:51 PM
But all of those apps you mention have direct Linux equivalents.

I am certain that the LPD does not, and would be very suprised if any Linux equivalent to the others were in the same league, to be honest.  Linux and its tools are very good for what they are intended for, but the work that has gone into InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, etc (and for that matter, into Cool Edit Pro & Vector Magic) suggests to me that any FOSS clone is likely to fall well short of the mark ...

** Phil.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Bob-A-Job on August 16, 2019, 10:59 PM
I can't speak to the specific applications that you use Phil as I don't use them (all) but for the open community, the reasons we have created alternatives are many and varied, let me see if I can give you a few:
- We would love to break MS's monopoly.
- We would prefer to have common standards (MS only has standards MOSTLY in it's on products and not even then all the time IE being an example).
- We do it allow for more frequent updates and problem resolution.
- We do it to show that we understand what users want and not what developers are prepared to offer.
- We do it, because we can and to prove that we are capable of doing it.
- We do it for you.

I am sure there are many more contributors to open source projects out there that may have other reasons.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that there are options for everything, sometimes for the better, such as NOT staying on a big 6 standard energy tariff, just because it is who you have always used... (personal family issue I have).

If you are happy with what you have, then good, but if you are willing to try new stuff, then there is much more out there than is advertised and mostly safe.

BAJ
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: bhamcurry on August 17, 2019, 03:33 AM
I made the switch to Linux permanently about a decade ago. There is only 1 Windows program I don't have a replacement for, so I run a WinXP install under virtualisation so I can run that one game. As it doesn't need network access I run WXP without any connectivity.

Everything else is either an equivalent (LibreOffice is under aggressive active development and becomes a little more accomplished each iteration) or is run as an online/cloud version, or I just use something else (GIMP instead of Photoshop).

I wouldn't switch back to Windows, and Apple can go pound sand  :P
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on August 17, 2019, 07:16 AM
Thank you for your input, Bob.  I do not for one second dispute that (a) there is some first-class open-source software (TeX being the supreme example), or (b) that contributors to open-source projects are, in the main, well motivated.  But I do have problems with the political aspects.  Why, for example, would you "love to break Microsoft's monopoly" ?  Microsoft, along with IBM, are the people who made personal computers possible (before their entry, the best we had was the BBC Micro and the TRS-80).  Do they not deserve not only credit for this but also our loyalty ?  Some of the early stuff was an abomination (I hated Windows 3.1 like the plague, and was determined to stick with MS/DOS forever) but things got better over time, and with Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows NT 4 and Windows 7, Microsoft brought us ever better operating systems.  Of course, they also had their fallow years (Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10, ...), and even Windows 7 has some bad points (the time required to delete a large directory, the lack of an API to Windows Explorer, the failure to find files that one knows d@mn well exist) but in the main, Windows 7 "just works".  I don't need to re-compile the kernel just because I have added a new graphics card; I don't need to chain a million little noddy programs together through pipes in order to accomplish some hardly-esoteric task, and above all I don't need to remember that "man" means "help", "ls" means "dir", "grep" means "search" and so on.  And because the platform is well-documented, free programs such as XeTeX, Algol 68 Genie, MultiAVCHD, Seamonkey and so on are all possible.  But for exactly the same reason, superb professional suites such as Adobe CC are also available, albeit at a cost, whilst Adobe have lost all interest in making even some of their products available in the *ix world.  And it is, I very much suspect, not a co-incidence that the finest operating system ever to have been created (Digital's VMS) lost both its way and its market share once DEC felt forced to re-brand it as "OpenVMS" and retrofit a Posix API.

So let us agree to differ in friendship :  you see strengths in open-source software, I see strengths in proprietary.  Long may they both continue to exist and evolve.

** Phil.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: Edwin Catflap on August 17, 2019, 09:30 AM
I dual boot between Linux Mint Cinnamon which is my default and Windows 7 for the rather crap ITunes which I still use for my old iPod etc. As mentioned Libre Office is damn close to MS office and you can save files in the MS format in most cases. Linux is just slicker and virus safe etc. There are times when you need to use the Terminal and a bit of coding but there’s a wealth of guides on the web.
Title: Re: Linux. Gotta love it!
Post by: bhamcurry on August 17, 2019, 01:31 PM
Phil, "re-compiling the kernel" is a tired piece of anti-Linux fearmongering from Microsoft. For most people "re-compiling the kernel" comes down to clicking "install upgrades" and typing in their admin password. Most of the time nowadays I don't even have to reboot unless it's a substantial upgrade.