+ 0 Votes You still need windoze EvilDaemon 6 years ago I would suggest just taking an older box that you're not using, and playing around with some different distros. Don't forget about the BSD's, Solaris, etc. Linux isn't the only open source OS available. You could also try burning some bootable CD's. This is a good way to check for hardware compatibility before you install. Also, if you have some memory/disk space to spare, you could even try installing vmware on your windows machine. This will allow you to install one or more open source distros on top of windows without affecting your existing installation. There may also be a few things (very few) that you won't be able to do with an open source OS. From my experience of having gone a few years without windows, it usually involved some stuff like MS file formats, such as Word, maybe some types of streaming video/audio, and some web media (like flash). Also, you might run into a situation where you need to use a specific software program that is only available for windows. From a security standpoint: an improperly configured or unmaintained unix box can be more hazardous than windows. Then there's the fact that your family is already used to windows, and might be resistant to the change. If nothing else, this could cause a little tension. Bottom line... check it out, play around with it, but you probably should keep a windows box around anyway. + 0 Votes As a life long ATI All-In-Wonder customer... Neon Samurai 6 years ago Go with Hauppage; they tend to work very well under Linux from what everyone tells me. If you find a different hardware maker, be sure it specifies "works with Linux". After over a year of mucking with my AIW 9600 (and every tip and howto document offered or indexed by google), I'm done with ATI. It's good hardware but the driver support is abismal. Even the latest *nix drivers released under AMD management are borked. Maybe they work great with the latest 700$ video card but the 9600 is a no go. I hope AMD/ATI either build quality and backward compatible drivers or (preferably) release driver specs so real drivers can be written for them. For me, it's nVidia/Hauppage in the next system build though I'll continue to watch ATI incase I can trust there products again in the future. Dear ATI, I hear your latest excuse is that your boards use technology patented by Intel. Since the patent system isn't going to be fixed any time soon, put those slimey secrets in firmware and give the Open Source world a generic driver interface to write for. ( What driver has to be completely uninstalled and taken back to generic VGA drivers just to install the *updated* version? ) + 0 Votes Some suggestions TechExec2 6 years ago . Desktop Linux has come a VERY long way since you last used it seven years ago. You can do all of the things you listed on a modern Linux distribution. There is no native iPod/iTunes/QuickTime support for Linux, but I've read there are ways to run it anyway. I suggest you download the Ubuntu Live CD (1) and try it. It boots directly from the CD and allows you to run it through its paces without actually installing it. It has the best hardware detection I have seen in Linux. Note: Personally, I prefer the K Desktop Environment because it is more like the Windows that I have been using (2). Same OS, just a different default desktop manager. You didn't mention any Windows applications. But, if you need to run them, you could easily do so by running Windows in a VM on your Linux workstation. I would plan for this. Your kids will likely want to run some educational software that only runs on Windows. Another option: Run the new X86-based Macintosh. It too can do all of the things you listed and has direct iPod, iTunes, and QuickTime support. The Mac is the premier platform for digital media creation and editing. You can also run Windows in a VM very well on the X86 Mac (very fast). Good luck! --------------------- (1) Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com (2) Kubuntu http://www.kubuntu.com + 0 Votes You can do all that with Linux _Psyk_ 6 years ago Everything you've listed can be done in Linux at varying levels of simplicity/complexity and detail. Ubuntu appears to be the fastest growing Linux and I'd recommend that, i'm currently using Fedora 7. Latest version of OpenOffice has some new features which may have been missing since you last used it. edit music with audacity, edit videos with cinelerra (similar edius/premiere), collate and edit pics with f-spot/picassa for linux, web design use bluefish/nvu. Disk images for backups - there are many options under linux, for example you may not need to take images - do an rsync of your /home directory to another drive on a regular or scheduled basis for backups. Music player with ipod support is easily done with amarok. dvd/cd burning is easily done with K3B. The only time I ever boot into Windows is to play some of the _latest_ games that haven't been supported under Wine. Other than that I do pretty much everything exclusively in Fedora/Linux. + 0 Votes Conversion Exploration In Process rocky 6 years ago I use Windows Exchange Server (IIS) as well as XP PRO for my work stations in my home/virtual office. I have only TWO real software applications that require Windows and all else can run on another OS. First off, I don't "hate" Microsoft and I love a lot of thier products; however, I "DO" look for alternative ideas in the event there is something new or and old idea whos time has come.. or something like that because the world is an evolving place. A friend introduced me to Ubuntu Linux www.ubuntu.com and I began experimenting to see what works and what doesn't work. Now, I have not loaded an OS for my self until this. I downloaded the Ubuntu Linux as an ISO and burned it onto a CD. It allows me to run it live or load it as a dual boot. I chose to install a second hard drive and load the OS on there so as not to risk corrupting my current Windows install (remember, I don't know what I'm doing in some areas so I want to play it safe). I have found that back in October the installs were easy but getting things to work were like major brain damage. I later loaded the Ubuntu onto my wife's laptop and to my surprise, many of the items that killed off so many of my brain cells were no longer an issue. I have loaded the OS for my grand kids becasue there is Edubuntu for kids and the install and multimedia went even more smoothly. Since I enjoy digital photography, I did some searching and found there is the beginnings of a creative suite called UbuntuStudio.org that is at the moment, crude, but there is the ability for RAW file support. Then there is the GIMP software for doing things similar to Adobe. My Firefox works well as well as Adobe reader V 8.0, etc. I'm not ready to move from Windows to Linux for my work environment, but my wife, who is a REALTOR uses it exclusively as an OS along with Open Office. Your kids, if they play video games, are going to want to remain on Windows as most games are written for a Windows OS. I only have experience with the Ubuntu "distribution" of Linux but I do like it for a variety of reasons that include a corporate sponsor, Canonical.com, a forum of knowledgable and somewhat polite folk, and a strong sense of organization, systematic new releases, a focus on becoming main stream for the consumer, etc. I like the concept of open source whether it is free or paid for in some way and I've been known to spend more money on software in one month than most people earn in a year so I don't need free software - but I "DO" like to keep business costs down too. If an OS can be distributed at little to no cost and the companies can earn income from support or other engineering services, then that is OK by me as long as it works for them. I believe that you can have some pretty good things happen when creativity from around the world goes into producing something. I would recommend that you experiment in a safe environment to see what works for you and your family. I would further recommend the www.ubuntu.com only because that is all I know and then do some Google searches to see where things are going with them. These are just my thoughts based upon my own personal experience and I make no claim to having any special answers or that Linux is better than Windows, etc. If Linux can meet my needs, then I would switch but until that time, I'm still with Windows - but I do have my eyes and ears open as things evolve. Best of luck to you. + 0 Votes the option nobody mentions apotheon 6 years ago Everyone always assumes Linux is "the answer" when it comes to open source software. There was a time when that was my answer, too. It sounds to me like you might actually want to give FreeBSD a try. In particular, try out PC-BSD for the "user friendly" face of FreeBSD. This, in particular, caught my eye in your post: "Anything I move to would have to have clear documentation." I have never seen any operating system (out of many that I've used) that had documentation anywhere near as clear and complete as that for FreeBSD, particularly in the form of the FreeBSD Handbook. Because PC-BSD is just a friendly face on top of FreeBSD, pretty much everything in the FreeBSD Handbook should apply about as well to PC-BSD, without the sort of compatibility issues you may run into trying to (for instance) use Red Hat oriented documentation with Ubuntu Linux. Best of luck. + 0 Votes Message has been deleted. User.Booted Updated - 6 years ago + 0 Votes Ubuntu is working great... NaughtyMonkey 6 years ago I am still trying to find apps that meet my needs and as close to what I used before, but everything is looking great. I am still dual booting with XP for the time being. I just have to get my email transfered over. From what i have read, I can install Thunderbird on my Windows install, transfer from Outlook, and then load the Thunderbird file into the Ubuntu Thunderbird. Is this correct? + 0 Votes Looking to build an Ubuntu DVR.... NaughtyMonkey 6 years ago any hardware and software suggestions for wireless networking, capture video from any source, and under $300. I have everything except for the capture card and video card. I hear a lot about Hauppage. I think they have a box that lets you connect wireless and use your TV as the monitor with keyboard and mouse hookups.