Linux

Dell Chooses Ubuntu: Linux community whines


Most days I'm proud to be a member of the Linux community. But recently I had a moment where I was just really irked that such a large amount of the community looked a gift horse in the mouth threatening to blow a very good move by Dell.

Remember a long time ago I brought up the Dell offering Linux on their desktop computers? Well, it's finally happening and Dell has chosen Ubuntu as the flavor of Linux to install. I think that's a very smart move for Dell. I think Ubuntu is one of the most user-friendly distribution and it has the community and the vision that backs up everything Linux has stood for over the years.

My problem is not with Dell. I commend them for their choices. My problem, right now, is with the Linux community (even the Ubuntu-centric Linux community.) Why? As soon as Dell announced the choice the Linux community started getting into the face of Dell demanding their favorite Desktop Environment be default. GNOME, KDE, even the Xfce battle cry was heard. 

Think about this: The Linux community has won a huge battle getting their operating system installed, from factory, by a large PC maker. And instead of applauding this, they whine that their favorite proggy won't be used by default.

The Kubuntu community stood up and said "Let their be KDE! Because GNOME isn't user-friendly!"

I would like to say "what difference does it make?" But it does make a difference. There is a enormous difference between GNOME, KDE, Enlightenment, AfterStep, etc. They all do things differently. They all look differently. But, by default, you can't exactly have it all. Or can you?

Is it worth taking up the extra disk space to have every DE known to man on that new Dell? If average Jane were to buy a Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed do you actually think she's going to even know that she can try a different desktop? Hmmmm....maybe that's a selling point for Dell. Install all of the major DEs (and Window Managers) and give the purchaser a nice little instruction manual on how to switch back and forth. Think about the possible marketing....

Don't like the way your computer looks or behaves? Change it with Dell and Ubuntu!

I would think (based on the average computer users I know) users would love to be able to try out something different on their computer. Dell can pre-configure KDE or GNOME to look/behave just like a version of Windows. But then throw in Enlightenment (my fav) or any other window manager and the user might find using their computer fun again! 

 

I know, I know...you're probably thinking that most people could care less about how their desktop looks and feels. But don't you think that's only because they had no idea they could change it?

Dell stands on a precipice of helping to push Linux to another level. Not just selling the OS on a desktop machine, but making people aware of the variety Linux offers. And if the Linux community, instead of whining to get proggy X included, would stand up and say "Let us help you make this really great!" I think Dell could do something really special for Linux. 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

97 comments
TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

As usage of "non Windows" increases, the bad guys will pay more attention to trying to infiltrate it.

ipeters61
ipeters61

As I have been saying, UBUNTU IS NOT LINUX!!!!!

earlyjazz
earlyjazz

I build my own computers so I can get what I want. However, Dell has made an outstanding move! In doing so, Dell has chosen one of the more user friendly distros, one that may be welcomed by Windoze converts. Face it,. the use of Linux sets the stage for even better software applications for all of us. For those who think of themselves as the Linux elite, I was once a DOS elite and was very upset with Windex. However time and progerss continue. So if you are a Linux Geek, please acknowledge that the OS that you've been working on or with is gaining acceptance, and rejoyce! Mama has not taken away your teddy bear, and if you think she has, start developing a new virus, spam and spyware resistant OS. I started using linux at the age of 70 and am hanging in there as it matures. I use the command line when it makes sense (a hold over from my DOS experience) and a GUI when it makes sense. So rejoyce! Richard

J P Charland
J P Charland

For what it's worth, I applaud DELL's decision to offer Linux on it's new machines. I am new to Linux but have setup my kids' PCs with "edulinux" My girlfriend is using Kubuntu and I play around with Ubuntu server, LTS and other flavors. I agree with the author when he suggests that DELL should offer ALL the DEs and let the end user choose his or her favorite setup. This would allow much better exposure to all the Linux community. Everybody would win !!

johnson12
johnson12

I am a kde user. I feel gnome is really stale, and sterile as I love to tweak everything.For the new user I am beginning to feel the lack of customization will be a be good. I know kde is more windowsish in the menus, but having all those options might put off a new user. This is one of the negative outcomes of everything being open. Imagine for a minute that xall development went into one DT environment, of cource that would have to be kde:), how much better would it be. I suppose the same could be said about distros, which I am glad there are plenty to choose from so I can use the one that fits me.

zclayton2
zclayton2

You said: "I know, I know?you're probably thinking that most people could care less about how their desktop looks and feels. But don't you think that's only because they had no idea they could change it?" This whole statement flies in the face of the idiocy about skinning the m$ product suite till you never know quite what someone else has running. Based on that, I would say a different look and feel is important to the developers if not the customers. And don't even start about the Vista mod to XP. Now there is a "look and feel" that broke the system.

TheNose
TheNose

Who's complaining? I'm not. Some of the "Linux community" that I'm aware of isn't complaining, but there's always going to be someone that isn't happy. Three of of my favorite Linux podcasts that I catch AREN'T complaining. Ease of use is the top priority, and one that DELL will provide the Tech Support is the one that matters. If it's a persons' first experience with Linux, I want it to be one that they'll enjoy, and press forward without looking back towards Redmond.

RJ59
RJ59

It doesn't matter what distro Dell chooses, as long as all the hardware in the machines is Linux friendly. Don't care for Ubuntu? Then buy one and install your fave yourself. What's important is that the Linux community put its money where its vociferous mouth is and make this a commercial success. Then, we may see other major vendors and manufacturers get serious and offer far more Linux solutions.

apotheon
apotheon

As usage of solutions other than sticking money in a coffee can in the kitchen increases, the bad guys will pay more attention to trying to steal money from Swiss banks. Somehow, that doesn't make me any more likely to want to store my money in a coffee can in the kitchen to hide it from burglars.

DanLM
DanLM

I think what is so great about open source will excel with this increased scrutiny. Innovation. I just think that Open Source is more prone to look for solutions outside the box with any security issues that will arise then what proprietary developers will/do/would. This is a two edged sword to be sure, but I think the consumer is the winner. And Linux is more secure from a design standpoint then what windows is. So there is a solid platform to work from, and not the requirement of a retooling (vista) to achieve a much more secure platform. I know, I flubbed that all up in what I was trying to say. But, I hope you got the gist of where I was trying to go. Dan

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

is the oldest I have no problem with that Why you ask? Simple Instead of a new desktop features should be added to an existing desktop In other words it should be improved on not changed AND Just for the windows freaks The new vista desktop is also guilty of this As is every new version windows

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Sorry, I'm not sure if I'm supporting your comment or conflicting with it. You may have to decide that for yourself but I think I'm supporting it. Windows is skinnable and mildly customizable with things like Windowblinds but Linux/BSD is meant to be truly customized. If I want pretty, I can throw Enlightenment window manager on my machine. If that's not enough, I can add/build themes for it. If that's not enough, I can change the whole damn thing to any of a hundred different window managers. Windows has what, Windowblinds and a few other IE replacements. IE being the defacto Window Manager in everything previous to Vista. I remember replacing IE window manager completely with a quick edit to the win.ini file though it was so long ago I can't remember what the third party manager was called now. Nah, if anyone is into building truly custom rigs; cha, aint running Windos mon. There is something too the "But don't you think that's only because they had no idea they could change it" bit though. Plenty of people don't realize they can change the look but plenty of people just don't care. My first five minutes infront of a Window machine I'm going to use regularily is spent tweaking the config settings but the majority of regular users I meet think changing the background to a family photo is magic.

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

"If it's a persons' first experience with Linux, I want it to be one that they'll enjoy, and press forward without looking back towards Redmond." That's precisely what I want to do, ditch the X-tra P-i$$y that my late spouse left me with, [b]but where/how do I start [u]actual[/u] use of Linux?[/b] Through researching sites such as here at TR and the rest of the web I've pretty much narrowed my flavor of choice down to Kubuntu. (It [b]IS[/b] just Ubuntu with KDE UI isn't it? ?:| ) But I do have concerns about drivers for my hardware which ranges from just about a year for my SoundBlaster Audigy se sound card to about two years for one of my Maxtor HDs and about SIX years for the other Maxtor HD, comming up four years for my MotherBoard and AMD Athlon XP processor (I bought them together. The one and only Pentium I ever owned blew up X-( :_| ), Lord only knows how old my Ethernet card is (late spouse installed it...when????), Graphics card (who knows what or when, again, late spouse installed it.), my newer Hitachi RW-ROM and then there is the "regular" ROM and Floppy drives left over from my ORIGINAL Compaq Presario DESKTOP!!!(circa Win 95!) And software? ...there are the Windows based apps I enjoy like a handful games and my OOOLD (Circa Win 95) Astrology prog that I "play" with. How do I use those with Linux?...or am I stuck with a dual boot system to be able to use them? If so, how do I set it up? ?:| My Y! Chat & e-mail and PT Chat...can I still use THEM with Linux??? I'm a [b]HEAVY[/b] Word user. OpenOffice can read my [b]MANY[/b] Word.docs that I've collected through the years??? Do I even need O-O with Linux??? What about media players. I do like WMP. It does all I want to do, which isn't much...just to play music in PT Chat rooms with on the rare occasion. (NO I do NOT save music or videos from CDs/DVDs on my puter. What's the point of THAT?) Then there's my 6000+ Win Font Collection. Is there a way for me to use those? (NO, they're NOT on my puter, but are [u]all[/u] on a CD I made so if I want to use them I install the one(s) I need and then delete some them if/and/or when I start approaching the 2000 limit imposed by Win.) And, my JPEG, etc. collection. Do I have to lose THAT????? And Webshots, too? ...And then there are my favorite sound effects...midi and wav files. Can they be used with Linux? :8} ...So many questions, so little space and time!!! ;) I've looked at SEVERAL sites and haven't a clue how to "burn the CD" from the download [b][u]CORRECTLY[/u][/b]. But I want to LEARN! ;) I've found a Linux group in my community, but at this time I have transportation problems and can't get to their meetings yet. I hope to be able to start attending some time within the next month or two. Prayfully at least ONE of my two vehicles will be usable by then. B-) Nothing would make me happier than to be able to stick both my middle fingers straight up at Redmond and turn my back on them [b][u]FOREVER[/u][/b] MORE!!!!! B-) EDITED to correct pytos... poyts... [b]TYPOS![/b] :8} ]:) and syntax [ / b ] & [ / u ] errors. grrrrr.....

Old Timer 8080
Old Timer 8080

I just used Bittorrent to download the latest Kubuntu LIVE iso image. I burned a CD, then fired up the DELL Latitude CPx PPX and let the CD boot. Several minutes later ( 128Mb J550GT system ), I had the KDE screen which had the install option. It asked several basic questions ( user name, password, system name, time zone, type of language, keyboard and do you wish to use the whole drive ) and off it went. This was MUCH simpler than my W2000pro partition configuration and install on the same machine. 7.04 found and installed all the drivers( including the Xircom modem/ethernet card ) and set itself up smoothly. So if you want a KDE version of Ubuntu, just download & burn the Kubuntu distro. It works for me.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

Using your analogy, if I have all my money in a swiss bank, I might not want everybody putting their money in the same bank, as it would make that bank a more attractive target for robbers.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

So I wrote this long post then realized what you want to do is hit this link: http://www.maximumpc.com/linux Now, the rest of the post is good stuff too but that was worth moving to the top. ------------ Kubuntu is Ubuntu with KDE. (I just scanned your post so if I miss something, it's my fault. Arent' you the smiley artist though.) For games; keep your Window partition. I'd recommend a dualboot to start with. Defrag your Windows partition then use the Kubuntu install to shrink it and make room for Linux or use your prefered Windows partition tool (partition magic works well enough). If you end up liking Linux enough, scrub your Windows partition (remember to move your save files and such) then reinstall it tuned purely for gaming. You'll still have that boot for any Windows only software or hardware you can't yet replace with alternatives. (My Windows game boot runs slick without the regular apps and dodads crap included in a full system install) My Audigy2 runs fine. The Linux Alsa sound software has no issues with it but I'd recomend confirming you have Alsamixer and Alsamixergui installed. Also, some soundcards are muted by Alsa by default (stupid, I know) so you may have to unmute the correct channel with the mixer or mixergui initially. I think that's been fixed since though. CPU is no issue at all. Athlon XP understand i386 code base. If you want to get a little geeky, you can recompile your kernel specificly for Athlon CPU; I'm a little geeky ;) that way too. Videocard; older is better, it'll likely work just fine. Floppy drive; not a second though. Burner; shouldn't be an issue. Network card; if it's wired, you should be good. With hardware, it's the new stuff that can be a pain unless the manufacturer is FOSS friendly. Each of my hardware choices start and end with the compatability list but I purposfully buy for cross platform. There may be issues if you go to a 64bit CPU initially. I think Flash is still broken with 64bit systems in general. Now, any existing drivers will be available for both 32bit and 64bit hardware though since a 32bit driver simply needs to be recompiled with the 64bit library. That'll be handled by the distro provider or kernel developers though. Your other hardware compatability depends on if it's supported yet. I regularily check the Mandriva Linux hardware compatability list but lots of hardware not listed is still supported and that's my current primary distrobution. Ubuntu must have a compatability list and there are a few generic Linux Hardware compatability lists if you check google. If your curious then Mandriva's list is; Mandriva.com -> support -> supported hardware. Now, software.. oh man.. with Windows your only seeing the 30% of the software world that happens to have 90% of the market share. Have a look at these: http://linuxappfinder.com/ click "Windows Alternatives" http://www.osalt.com/ I like the first but this is a second. GIMP = Photoshop (reads many PS plugins too) Thunderbird = Outlook Express Firefox = Internet Explorer OpenOffice = MS Office KOffice = MS Office KeepassX = Keepass Filezilla = FTP FTP = FTP NCftp = FTP gFTP = FTP K3B = burning software, forget Nero. Gaim = MSN, ICQ, IRC, Yahoo, AOL and about five or more other protocols. Skype = Skype Google Earth = Google Earth Limewire = Limewire Bittorrent = Bittorent, it started on Linux Bittyrant = Bittorent, with NOS and no manners Amarok = MediaMonkey, iTunes or your music manager Cornice = Acdsee (best image manager I've found yet for my needs) Now let me scroll back up and see what I missed. The point of saving music and video/dvd to your local machine (legally) is to view it there or access it from any other networked machine/sterio in your home. This depends on your location recognizing "Fair Use" without blocking it through the DMCA. I've my original cds stored in a box. The music off those original disks is on my network storage and accessible everywhere in the house through sterio or computer. I'll soon be burning copies of my CD/DVD for general use and too avoid loosing a second original disk to my baby girl. (eesh, the "extras" DVD from teh new Bond movie no less. And before I had watched it.) I may put the DVD on the network storage too after I upgrade from this budget NAS I have now; same reason as the music. Actually, for media MP3/DVD are probably your only issues since current "solutions" are still legally questionable. I think Ubuntu paid to have codecs (fancy word for media support) and I'm pretty sure PClinuxOS has them also. I figure, if you have the windows software, that's the license for the codec too but I'm no lawyer. Picassa is available for Linux but there's a ton of other image managers and editors along with RAW supporting software. Search google for Jhead actually; I use it for mass-renaming my jpeg based on date and time pictures where taken. Your word fonts could be a little sticky. There is support for True Type fonts but I thik that's under the "questionable" catagory with mp3/dvd playback. Again, I have a Windows license, that should include the license to use the fonts; check your EULA if it's a concern. Now, there are too choices for consideration that effect the whole thing. The easy thing is too consider a budget Network Accessed Storage. I baught a 80$ USB external harddrive box that also had a network plug. The network connection is great but the USB is flakey; I mentioned it was budget quality hardware right? Anyhow, my saved documents and such go on it through Windows sharing (Samba to everyone else) and I can access them regardless of what OS I'm playing with. The other option is to create a fat32 partition along with your Linux paritions. Both Linux and Windows read fat32 partitions just fine so your saved files are easily accessible there. Linux can also read NTFS partitions so you can open files from your winXP but writing to NTFS is a bit sticky (maybe your winXP is all on fat32 partitions so your golden). This is more advanced than a budget NAS. Remember though; keep your windows partition intact (shrunk but bootable that is). At least until you can do everything you want in Linux or too continue playing games. I flopped back and forth between primarily using the both for years before realizing I'd forgotten the last time I'd booted to Window for somethign other than games or Outlook/Palm/Cellphone syncing and backup. Don't take the Linux Elitists personaly if you run into any. Search google or ask here on TR if you have issues. (My spelling sucks and grammar is poor but this took long enough to write already so I'm posting without proofreading)

TechExec2
TechExec2

. [b][i]"...It IS just Ubuntu with KDE UI isn't it?..."[/i][/b] Yes. I installed a Kubuntu 7.04 system right after it was released. So far I'm very pleased with it (1). [b][i]"...But I do have concerns about drivers for my hardware which ranges from just about a year for my SoundBlaster Audigy se sound card to about two years for one of my Maxtor HDs and about SIX years for the other Maxtor HD, comming up four years for my MotherBoard and AMD Athlon XP processor (I bought them together. The one and only Pentium I ever owned blew up X-( :_| ), Lord only knows how old my Ethernet card is (late spouse installed it...when????), Graphics card (who knows what or when, again, late spouse installed it.), my newer Hitachi RW-ROM and then there is the "regular" ROM and Floppy drives left over from my ORIGINAL Compaq Presario DESKTOP!!!(circa Win 95!)..."[/i][/b] I don't see any red flags in your list of hardware. Kubuntu boots "live" directly from the CD without writing to your HDD and automatically detects all of your hardware. You don't have to install it to your hard drive to find out how well it will work on your hardware. Note: Your PC and BIOS must support booting from CD for this to work..."all" modern PCs do. [b][i]"...And software? ...there are the Windows based apps I enjoy like a handful games and my OOOLD (Circa Win 95) Astrology prog that I "play" with. How do I use those with Linux?..."[/i][/b] Linux is not Windows and does not natively run Windows programs. But, I've read that there are ways to run many Windows programs just fine on Linux. I personally have not tried it yet. There are others here who can provide you with lots of information about running Windows programs on Linux. [b][i]"...I'm a HEAVY Word user. OpenOffice can read my MANY Word.docs that I've collected through the years??? Do I even need O-O with Linux???..."[/i][/b] Your Kubuntu system includes OpenOffice in the default installation. It should handle all of your MS Word docs well. It does for me. [b][i]"...Then there's my 6000+ Win Font Collection. Is there a way for me to use those? (NO, they're NOT on my puter, but are all on a CD I made so if I want to use them I install the one(s) I need and then delete some them if/and/or when I start approaching the 2000 limit imposed by Win.)..."[/i][/b] Windows TrueType fonts are well supported in Linux. You should have no problems using TrueType fonts on your Linux system. [b][i]"...And, my JPEG, etc. collection. Do I have to lose THAT????? And Webshots, too?..."[/i][/b] All common non-proprietary image file formats are very well supported by native Linux programs. You should not have any problems. [b][i]"...And then there are my favorite sound effects...midi and wav files. Can they be used with Linux?..."[/i][/b] Sounds files are also well supported. [b][i]"...I've looked at SEVERAL sites and haven't a clue how to "burn the CD" from the download CORRECTLY..."[/i][/b] Download the ISO file (image of a CD in a file). Then, on Windows XP, right click on the ISO file, choose "Copy image to CD", and follow the wizard to burn a CD. If you have trouble getting the CD burn to work, just order a Kubuntu CD for free or low cost (2). [b][i]"...Nothing would make me happier than to be able to stick both my middle fingers straight up at Redmond and turn my back on them FOREVER MORE!!!!!..."[/i][/b] It is this kind of sentiment that made me reply to you! Kubuntu is the most polished and refined Linux I have seen to date. Desktop Linux has come a long way and is ready for all users now. Good luck! ------------------------------ (1) Hot tip for Windows users: Try Kubuntu 7.04 http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=212977&messageID=2228489 (2) Kubuntu CDs by mail https://shipit.kubuntu.org/

torgrot
torgrot

Hardware support is still hit or miss. Maybe yours works but the newer model doesn't or vice versa. It worked under 6 but not under 7? Unless manufacturers develop drivers for Linux, it will always be marginal. torgrot

apotheon
apotheon

Linux is hardly equivalent to a single "bank". have you counted the number of wholly independent Linux distributions run by unassociated projects with vastly different default configurations and core utility choices lately?

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

I'll have to look into seeing what I can do about adding them to my library of computer how-to book [b][u]CASE[/u][/b]. :)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think I typed "smelling" in at least two posts today because my head was on to the next point and my fingers where catching up still. "teh" instead of "the" is common for me too.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If you can get around the "Hackers are coming for you" theme of the book, this was a great read with lots of good tips for beginners on up to Admins: Hacker Linux Uncovered (oh sooo sinister.. bahehehe) ISBN: 1931769508 also Linux in a Nutshell from O'Reily publishing which should be an easy find. It's a great command reference once you have a better idea of what command your looking for. It's also good for those who happily read the Dos command reference front to back as an initial learning text.

DanLM
DanLM

Read my posts if you want a lesson in how not to write. I'm always being busted for my spelling and sentence structure. Oh well, doesn't matter how often I admit to it being one of my failings. There will always be someone that takes me to task for it. As you, I can not claim English as my second language as an excuse. I also read constantly. So you would think I would have picked up some pointers in all this reading. What can I say. People understand my points I'm trying to make. If they can understand what I am saying, then my communication skills are not a complete failure. Dan

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

I recieved enough info to keep me busy for ...well... just a [i]little[/i] while...hehehe :D I'm pleased as punch at both your responses! I actually got to [b]LEARN[/b] some things!!! B-) ;\ And YES I like my smilies :D I feel gives a conversation an extra dimension that "plain old text" lacks. As long as it's here in the msg boards and not business correspondences...that is. ;) Edited to insert a missing word. I'm guilty of "gonzo typing", too. LOL!

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

Spelling and Grammar Police at large!!!! :^0 Too-oo-oo PHUNNY!!! :^0 :^0 LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! :^0 Ya just had to spray Neon with Raspberry Juice, didn't ya? LOL! :^0 ____________________________________________ Edited to correct a syntax error. THAT'S what spilling Coke in your KB can cause. 8:} Yep, guilty 8:} ...But it's my [b]FAVORITE[/b] KB! ;\ AND this happened YEARS ago and it still works. :D I just have to push a little harder on the farthest two or three vertical and semi-vertical rows of keys on the left end of the KB to get them to make contact. Fast typing sometimes misses the extra [i]oompf[/i] needed to get that particular key (e.g.: the Shift key) to make contact. ;)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My spelling us usually fingers jumbling the key hits or a more phonetic aproach to the use of words unfortunately. For texting, I write it on my T5 and bluetooth it out through the phone. I use shorthand sometimes but mostly dropped it during the mIRC scripting days of basic channel post encryption. (ah, the old character to jumble conversion tables we thought where hot stuff as highschool kids.)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think I've admitted to it often. Both have improved (even over the course of my short time on TR) but they still suck. While I usually draft a response in a wordprocessor to catch most of my errors, some days I'm just typing gonzo style rather than drafting, proofing and posting. It's usually my fingers not moving as fast as my thoughts or the cat pacing infront of me when I've got limited time to post and get on to other things. What can I say, if I was great at something else, I'd be less skilled at what I do. Unfortunately poor grammar, spelling and self marketing have there effects though. The worst part is the English is my first language; I can't claim the "second language" defense. You did remind me of something. I saw an email about a month ago that was purposefully jumbled. All the letters are there for each word but placed in random order. Turns out, there is a percentage of the population that has no difficulty reading the paragraph email as long as each word has complete letters.

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

should spelling and grammar be any better here Do you own a cellphone and do you text on that phone Funny how text message users seem to get along all right

martinfam
martinfam

Yore rite. its a grate rplie butt yaw spellin sux. Yew mate the same mystics ass a lot of ether peepul. I neva clame too bee purfec butt his a few ecksampuls: To : Means (usually) to go somewhere or to be at a location or point Too: Means 'as well as' Like - "can I go too?" Two: Well, everyone gets that right Your: Belongs to you You're : You are (in this case Neon, a great responder to an interesting post) Yore: A long time ago (as in, Windows should be consigned to the days of yore) Yaw: Temporary change of direction from a straight line But now I'm being stupid (and perhaps pedantic). However, let's be positive. I did read recently that Microsoft has included contextual 'smart's in their spell checker to pick up the misuse of things such as to/too. But the day I need to use Word instead of Open Office, pass me the poison. Anyway, as usual I've gone off topic and started to rant. Ignore me Neon (well, don't ignore the spelling suggestions) and please continue the really thoughtful and credible responses you put in here.

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

Well, I've had a LOT going on in my life so I haven't had the time to be able to comb through the Kubuntu and PCLinuxOS that I got at that first LUG meeting like I've been wanting to. So it's going to take me even LONGER than I thought to get [b][u]A[/u][/b] Linux OS on my box. In the mean time, a friend of mine came up with an OOOOOLD Compaq Presario 1200 Laptop that I tried my livecds in. The thing won't run either of them. However, [i]we[/i] >(some guys at the LUG) managed to get PuppyLinux to boot from livecd. SO, my poor friend got their feelings hurt quite badly when I had to give the machine back to them. I have no other use for it if I can't get it to run anything but Puppy. Since then, I've found a couple of other sources for used computers and I'm wondering what a good one (inexpensive as possible) would be that has the hardware it takes to be able to fit either the Kubuntu or the PCLOS ...or BETTER YET... [b]BOTH[/b] of them on so I have something to take to the LUG meetings to get pointers on.

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

I found a Linux User Group near to where I live and FINALLY went to a meeting last evening. I came home with two Boot CDs: PCLinuxOS 2007 and Kubuntu 7.04 ...and two older monitors that I plan to use for backups or if I really [b][u]NEED[/u][/b] some quick cash I can sell them for a bit of money ;) While the battery was out of my motherboard allowing it to get rid of the password that mysteriously showed up there, I dug out one of my late husband's ooooold computers and set the BIOS on it to allow me to use those CDs, which I did. Now understand, this particular frankenputer is made up of Lord only knows what! The main thing I know about it is that it does contain a video card of some kind and a SoundBlaster Live Sound card as it's "extras". I only plugged in MY Samtron Monitor, Logitech mouse, the KB from my old Compaq desktop (Circa Win95) and my speakers (2.1). First, I BREEZED through the PCLinuxOS! It had NO...I repeat,NO problems with hardware recognition at all! I started checking a few things out by simply pointing and clicking the mouse and then I got on the net and went to my web based e-mail and went through a couple of my accounts there. I basically was up and RUNNING with the bit in my teeth in NO TIME!!!!! :D Then I switched to the Kubuntu. Same thing there only a little bit s-ll-ooo-wwww-eeeee-rrrrrr. And it was a little more involved navigating, but I figured it out in short order. :D There are things that both these distros do have that I both like and have some problems with ...because I just got them last night!!!! ;) But I'm still leaning towards the Kubuntu if I [b]have[/b] to choose only ONE of them ...right NOW! We'll see in a couple of weeks or so how I feel then! LOL! :^0 So there you have it! ...hehehe ]:)

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

I'll have to do some research on some of the things you mention as I don't know how to do them. If I can't find the info I'm after I may come back here and ask or I may PM one of you about a particular ...if you don't mind. ;) Otherwise, I do have two partitions because I have two hard drives. One is my C drive (40 GB) and the other is my D drive (30 GB). The latter is out of my ooooold Compaq Presario DESKTOP (Circa Win 95) and I do use it to back up files I want to keep. Every once in a while I clean it out and then burn the rest to CD. Once I start using dual-boot with Win and Linux I'll probably put Linux on the larger drive and Win on the smaller one. Or can I do that? ?:| Thank you both again! And also to others who may stumble upon this in the future, too. :D

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

I agree with neon samurai on having 2 partitions You may also want to use a partition to image backup tool Get Win XP setup with drivers extra software games anything you like Then backup the win XP partition to a file on the second partition This is what I have done on one pc On a pc?s hard drive you can have 4 primary partitions One of those primary partitions can be used as extended partition with logical drives (read sub partitions) On the first partition fat 32 I have Windows 98 dos boot files and Norton ghost this is a restore partition On the second partition I have Windows XP On the third partition I have Linux The forth partition is the extended partition with the Linux swap partition a common data partition to be used by both Windows and Linux In the boot sector I have installed the GAG boot Manger This great little utility boots the primary partition of choice and hides the others The extended partition and logical drives (read sub partitions) are unchanged This gives me a choice of the Restore partition or Windows XP or Linux with a common drive The restore partition holds ghost and Windows XP image file and some other hard drive tools Heres the web address for the gag boot tool http://gag.sourceforge.net/ Cheers

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'll post here though incase other's have better recommendations. For the BIOS password, I'm not sure how one would get assinged on it's own but it's there now. Search google for your mobo make and model with "bios password reset" or you could try the complete BIOS reset jumper on the mobo but then you have to configure the BIOS again. That's not a huge deal if your comfortable in the settings though. I remember hearing about friends using BIOS password reset utilities years ago but have never had reason to look into them. If your going to rebuild WinXP (it'll freshen the machine at minimum) I'd recommend two partitions at least. The first is your C: used for installing windows and programs, the second is your D: used for storing install files, personal documents and anything that you want to keep when formatting C: at any random time. My ratio is usually 1 part C, 2 parts D as I tend to have more stored files than program files. My specific setup puts all WinXP and program files on C: except games which are isntalled under d:/GameFiles/ since that keeps my saved games, mods and skins from being lost with C. As mentioned, I have my /MyDocuments, /MyArchives and similar storage folder trees but I pointed out the games because they are pretty much the only executables outside of C. If you've not got a similar drive setup already, that will make it easy to blow away C and reinstall it at your whim. If you've a BART disk, reinstalling winXP is even easier since it'll include your prefered settings and all the service packs and updates. June's MaximumPC has a good article on how to build a BART and there are a HOWTO available online so I won't go into detail.

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

another couple of months ...at [b]LEAST[/b]... before I'm going to be ready to start [i]ACTION[/i] on my migrational route to Kubuntu. I still have some researching to do (including all the reading material you gave me, Neon) so I don't mess up my puter and have to take even longer to get it straightened out....yet AGAIN :( . However, Neon, I have taken the liberty of adding you to my Contacts List as well as Bookmarking this Article so I can get back here. If nothing else, I'll send you (Neon) a PM through here to let you know when I start and how I'm doing. ]:) At this moment I'm having probs with my XP and am thinking it's going to take a re-install to get it working correctly again. I hope not, but........ And I don't want to start with Kubuntu with XP acting up. And I don't know what's going on with my MB. All of a sudden it wants a password for me to be able to get into the BIOS. I [b]NEVER[/b] put a password on it! So, I'm scratching my head about THAT one! ?:| That happened around the same time XP started acting up. XP acting up is how I found the prob with the getting into my BIOS. The instruction booklet that came with the MB tells how to get around that but it doesn't work. Go figure? ?:| If you have any ideas and are able/willing to help me out you have my permission to PM me through here with your feedback so I can get on the road to my migration to Kubuntu, et al. Thanks in advance if you can/choose to do that for me. :D

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You may run into stuff the other's here haven't seen before or can offer an easy fix for. A new OS is one of those things that can go easy or hard depending on what you make of it. The direct and constant access to more programs than one could ever need is a great benifit to Linux/BSD. I remember that every time I realize I don't have a particular program on the current machine; moments later I'm back to what I was doing after a quick command and download. (Drat, don't have Joe installed and I need to edit a file. "urpmi joe"; tada, I'm editing the file and getting on with life.)

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

I very much appreciate your time and effort in answering me, too. :D >Can't argue with that motivation but I'd also caution against this being your *only* reason for switching. "If I use Linux, Microsoft will go bankrupt" is pretty far down on the list on the list of reasons to switch and rather petty on it's own. The other reasons plus or minus that compelling though.

Betelgeuse58
Betelgeuse58

taking the time to put together such a comprehensive answer for me ...and others like me ;) !!! MUUUWAH!!! :D

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

" Linux is not Windows and does not natively run Windows programs. But, I've read that there are ways to run many Windows programs just fine on Linux. I personally have not tried it yet. There are others here who can provide you with lots of information about running Windows programs on Linux. " - WINE runs many windows programs - VMware Server is a favourite for building VM where I need or want another OS simply Windows only functions without a reboot - Cedega supports Windows games in Linux - Crossover is WINE with improved Windows software support and runs Office well I hear " Your Kubuntu system includes OpenOffice in the default installation. It should handle all of your MS Word docs well. It does for me. " My only issue has been my more complicated XLS files but I've not tried with the newest OOo so they may work just fine now. The MaxPC article offered previously includes a bit on "how to set OOo to be always office friendly". "...Nothing would make me happier than to be able to stick both my middle fingers straight up at Redmond and turn my back on them FOREVER MORE!!!!!..." Can't argue with that motivation but I'd also caution against this being your *only* reason for switching. "If I use Linux, Microsoft will go bankrupt" is pretty far down on the list on the list of reasons to switch and rather petty on it's own. The other reasons plus or minus that compelling though. Hope it goes well. Tech, not riding your coat tales but you did remind me of a few things I'd missed and a other's I meant to include. The original post was one of those questions that gives me keyboard-dia.. er.. you get the idea.

ITSa341
ITSa341

I run lots of new, mainstream hardware and have no driver issues. Most mainline hardware manufacturers are seeing the light, HP, nVidia, etc etc etc. And, unlike MS Windows, I rarely have to manually install a driver. They are usually either already there or available as a one click install from my package manager (Xandros Networks in my case). I simply go to drivers, choose what I need and click install. No where do you want it, what options or hassles, it just installs and works. Most hardware just plugs in and works with absolutely no feedback from me required including my new all in one printer, copier, scanner, fax, card reader and my offbrand bluetooth dongle. I even plugged in my old digital camera which cannot be used with XP and it worked instantly and automatically opened the photo manager with my pics right there and ready to save or print. Didn't work that easily on ME and no drivers are even available for XP. Didn't have to do anything but plug in and they worked. Wish MS could get it this easy for the user. BTW, the only MS based application I still have a use for is AOL, and I only use it for one chatroom where some friends from years back still hang out and provide help to other computer users ( special interest/ Mac or PC is the room ). All the rest of the old MS apps I used to use have been replaced with more secure, more stable and easier to use free open source applications which can also be installed with one click from the package manager in most new linux distros. I no longer even own a pc with MS Windows installed.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Ah yes.. I remember my old CGA monitor with Double Dragon and Spyracer in four colour glory. What an improvement it looked like over b/w or the older black/green video. Then sVGA.. I lost the progression after that to be honest. sVGA was a noticeable change but after that it seems everything is sVGA with more colours. I know that's not where the progression ended but now it's simply LCD or CRT and through analog or digital feed at what resolution. We don't get to say "give me a 15 inch sVGA and a video card that will push it please." The software issue kills me too; "We've purposefully designed winXP to run Windows platform software all the way back to dos so you don't have to replace it when you upgrade." It works for much of the Windows software out there but then how come I've two win95 programs that won't even start under win95 "compatibility mode"? Yeah, the old software crashing on new hardware or software platforms sucks rocks sometimes. In my case Janes Longbow 2 is not replaceable; no other technical combat chopper sims come close and Janes won't be making any more military sims after the scare politics on terror. (They are the official publisher of the CIA so it's understandable to a degree.) On one side, I wish MS would scrap the layers of old win32/win16 onion and start over like osX did with the emulator for os9 programs. On the other hand, I too have those programs I just can't run and wish I could. heck, I'm still collecting parts for a win95 box just to run some of it. Yet, vim runs just like it did 30 years ago. In the specific case of ATI/nVidia, there primary customers are game geeks and since the latest and greatest runs on Windows, the majority of discrete video consumers don't know the difference it seems. I can remember thinking that the world of software was vast and expansive when all I knew was Dos and Windows. The irony for me is how small a segment of the software world that really is. As for Ati/nVidia, I'm just glad people are starting to ask questions finally; authorities are investigating price fixing and enough users have asked for nonWindows drivers that both companies have binary blobs now at least. It's still limiting the customers freedom of choice but it's better then five years ago. Ah crap, yet another long and wordy reply from me. I can't seem to make these things shorter without loosing detail. Anyhow, I was just curious about your VGA comment previously. As for my grammar, I stopped taking offense to people pointing it out long before I hit highschool. Some people retain spelling and grammatical rules, I retain other forms of information. Such is the case. Hopefully if the other fellow is still reading through here, he's not taken offense to my reply on that tangent thread.

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

VGA is IBM ?s standard and first video graphics adaptor = VGA Super VGA was a improved version but still fully compatible So software for VGA worked with super VGA This included the drivers, which is no more than software I like competition it is good for the industry How ever I do not like the fact that software designed for older versions of hardware Will not work with new versions of hardware designed by the same manufacturer It should be backwards compatible Just imagine if Intel decided to drop the 8088/6, 286, 384, 486, and Pentium Instruction sets from their processors because they were inefficient Funny how the software for 8088 still works on today?s computers Gee would this mean the driver problem for Linux would be solved Yes just the new features would not work until the new software arrived What I find astounding is their customers accept this currant behaviour by NVIDIA and ATI My post are limited by time that I have This is not directed it you Neon Samurai I will be polite and not comment about your spelling and grammar or how easy or hard it was to understand your post because of them As so many of the English professors who read these posts do I wish they?d go back to text messaging on their cell phones By the way this is typed on MS word so blame MS if you don?t like it It?s the message that?s important English sucks

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I can usually figure out what your trying to say with those sparce and seporated posts but this one has me stumped. Where what started on what now? As for newer devices not liking older drivers, I can understand that if the newer hardware design does things in a different way from the older bit of hardware and it'd drivers. Now if part X234-c has working drivers then part X234-c completely breaks the drivers, I'd wonder why such a drastic versioning of hardware within the same component style number. As for the joke, I've seen great compatability and absalutely horrid compatability. That depends on the type of part and market competition though too. In the case of ATI and nVidia (seems to be my favourite example today) they say it's because of patent restrictions or competition. Patents; put the "secret" in a ROM or firmware chip then provide generic driver interfaces. Competition; it takes one far too long to reverse engineer what "secrets" they may find in driver source then include them into there own production line. Any company that things that is competing is playing a blind game of catchup. On the up side, this fear of competition may cause both to product better products in there never ending leapfrog. And last, if the driver source contains competitive information; why is the driver doing the heavy lifting rather than quickly translating between BUS and component (I'm looking at you Winmodem). There, made a guess at your meaning and hopefully responded with something that adds to the discussion.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I don't see it as a bad thing for manufacturers to be making the drivers. I think there are more benifits providing specs or driver source but manufacturer's drivers are not inherently less valid. Now, that's provided the manufacturer doesn't produce it's drivers as an afterthought. I'd be just fine and dandy with ATI or nVidia producing great, efficient and lean drivers. Currently, they don't do such a great job of the software engineering after the hardware side is done it seems. I would also like to see specs release with manufacturer and community developers both building drivers. Ideally, the manufacturers who have there own developers but work in tandem with FOSS developers would have the most to gain. They can build the inital base driver and always be able to say "if you do it this way, it'll work better based on how we made the hardware." At the same time, they get a higher evolution of bug fixes and refinements along with "look what we made your hardware do now, bet you didn't think of that."

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I do not see it as a bad thing for the drivers to be created by the manufacturers themselves either. It would be best for both to be available, but, having even basic drivers available so that the product can be used in linux would be a good start.

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

Funny how thats where it started I would all so like to know why newer devices eg video sound etc Don't work with older drivers Hardware compatibility is a joke

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Unless the distro maker is using a customized kernel and for some reason has a complete mental breakdown. Who in ther right mind adds support then removes it with the next version; short of a legal or "patent" reason. (still can't wrap my head around patented math formulas, aka software.) I've seen support break but usually when a third party project merges into something else. In the case of the ATI 9600 video cards, I hear the generation before and after work ok but the 9600 is a flake and that's purely the fault of the manufacturer. Basicaly though; manufactuers providing drivers is the wrong way to go. If manufactuer's released driver interface specs instead of binary blob drivers, support would appear, exist and improve over time. If it's a "patent issue" (I'm looking at you ATI and nVidia) then stuff your patent crap in a chip and give us a generic interface to the chip. None of this on again, off again highschool dating crap. An example I've read was a chunk of computer guided hardware used in milling. The maker released the driver specs or driver source as I don't remember specificaly. The milling machine worked and life went on happy. Another company baught the same milling machine but had a slightly different use for it so they modified the driver source and off they went; now base functions and new functions are capabilities of the hardware. The manufacturer doesn't always have resources to make quality software or know all the ways a customer is going to use the hardware.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

then they will surely supply drivers for their newest HW (printers, scanners, etc.) for Linux, and probably the last couple of years worth. Right now, other drivers are hit/miss issue, but, if this program works out for Dell, other manufacturers will start providing drivers as well.

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