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  1. Member Frank-0-Video's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: Alabama - United States
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    Greetings .....

    I have a 3-year old desktop PC running Windows XP which, as nearly all of modern civilization surely knows by now, is about to lose support on April 8th.

    I am interested in changing over to Linux, though I understand that a dual-boot option with Linux and XP is possible.

    Questions that I have include ...

    (1) Will I be able to preserve all my currently installed XP-compatible applications, including Anti-Virus (Avast) and Malware (Malware Bytes) ??

    (2) How do you run older DOS programs on a Linux set-up?

    (3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dual-boot set-up?

    (4) What's the maximum amount of memory that Linux can use versus Win-XP?

    Thanx-A-Lot, Frank-0-Video
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  2. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Location: Misplaced Childhood
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    dual-boot option with Linux and XP is possible
    I recommend that, IF done in the "correct way" ("correct" according to my opinion, of course )

    (1) Will I be able to preserve all my currently installed XP-compatible applications, including Anti-Virus (Avast) and Malware (Malware Bytes) ??

    (2) How do you run older DOS programs on a Linux set-up?

    (3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dual-boot set-up?

    (4) What's the maximum amount of memory that Linux can use versus Win-XP?
    1 - It depends, afaik not every Windows application is compatible with WINE

    2 - DOSBox

    3 - If I were you --- XP booting directly from the HDD, and Linux booting from a CD-R,
    so that you wouldn't need to mess around with boot managers and boot menus

    4 - it's a matter of 32-bits vs 64-bits, not of Linux vs XP
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2012
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    (I AGREE WITH EL H's points, by the way.)

    I recommend focusing on finding true Linux replacements for every application you need. And that's the first chore - deciding which programs you need. And "need" should probably include "how much re-education will be required to accompiish the same end-result that I am used to? AND AM I WILLING TO LEARN THOSE?"

    That's a Big Factor. It's not the OS issues ("how does my mouse function?!! Where are Start buttons and Menus?") - it's the "How do I accomplish what I want to with PROGRAMS, not the operating system."

    "How willing am I to explore, research and re-learn processes using True Linux programs?"

    That's the big deal.

    I have far less concerns about XP's useful life because I simply don't believe the sky is falling. I don't believe that suddenly all the red hordes will be NOW targeting XP for brand-new viruses as if they can cripple the world. Some of that MAY happen in this first year, but I believe "Safe Surfing" is the better approach - as it always is.

    For folks who ultimately decide "I am unwilling to test out new programs - I must continue to use my old Windows programs", then XP (or something like Win7 Pro or Ultimate, which can better-run more 'old XP programs' thru its Compatibility Mode) remains a viable option.

    There needs to be some understanding that all computer users will learn something new, though. MUST learn something new.

    I suggest making a list of your Needed Programs, and start looking for true Linux alternatives. If XP is The Big Problem, then Dual Booting doesn't solve a thing - XP will STILL be AS VULNERABLE as it ever was. See if you can make the Pure Switch - your programs and your re-education are the big issues.

    MAYBE A BETTER OPTION THAN DUAL BOOTING?

    Go find another hard-drive. For $50, I can get a 500Gb hard drive and install that in my computer, and THEN I can switch Data & Power Cables to that one for loading up LINUX as a Test Case.

    EL H suggests using Linux-on-CD-or-USB instead of dual-booting. This is an excellent suggestion FOR LEARNING LINUX ITSELF. But you can't explore and test the programs that you need.

    Installing that other hard-drive and physically re-cabling (plugging-unplugging) your existing XP's hard drive to that new Linux hard drive gives you the chance to download, install AND SCREW UP only the Linux hard drive. And you WILL screw it up. You will install bad software at some point, and you can merrily wipe it all out and re-start from scratch. When you NEED to accomplish real tasks, your XP hard drive sits there, cold, unaffected by any of this.

    It's a relatively low-cost alternative to "Dual Boot" software managers, and there's never a doubt of screwing up The Only Hard Drive by any software choice you make.
    Last edited by OllieTSB; 31st Mar 2014 at 07:03.
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  4. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
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    Apologies for not being clear enough When I said "boot Linux from a CD-R or DVD-R", I didn't mean a Live-CD or a Live-DVD (i.e., "Linux is not installed on the HDD yet"). It's possible to use a Linux-floppy or a DOS-floppy image as a bootstrap for a distro previously installed on an internal HDD. It's not very-difficult to do this with Puppy Linux, for example, however the learning curve does require some time and some effort.
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  5. Member
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    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Originally Posted by Frank-0-Video View Post
    Greetings .....

    I have a 3-year old desktop PC running Windows XP which, as nearly all of modern civilization surely knows by now, is about to lose support on April 8th.
    As a mostly linux user I'm not going to try to talk you out of it. You should look at the ubuntu forums. There is no other distro that I'd recommend for a linux newbie. Their tech support is the best. And since unix/linux tends to need more configuration you're going to need support.

    But when it's configured it's amazingly stable.

    There are 4 desktop versions of ubuntu. Unity is considered the 'default' one but it's not such a good choice for older/less powerful hardware. It needs as much power as windows 7 does.

    I am interested in changing over to Linux, though I understand that a dual-boot option with Linux and XP is possible.
    Yes, and it's the best way to start especially if you only have one machine.

    Questions that I have include ...

    (1) Will I be able to preserve all my currently installed XP-compatible applications, including Anti-Virus (Avast) and Malware (Malware Bytes) ??
    If you set up dual boot linux/windows you can certainly preserve your old programs. You don't need antivirus programs running in the background in linux like you have to in windows. There aren't any linux viruses out there. I'm not saying you couldn't make a linux virus ... it's been done ... but it's too hard for viruses to spread in linux. It's inherently more secure. There's no point. But you can still be hacked. You need a strong password in linux too.

    There's an old IT joke. Windows is spyware with an OS bundled in.

    (2) How do you run older DOS programs on a Linux set-up?
    It's better to find linux equivalents. As mentioned you can run some of them in Wine. But it's not very reliable. There's a ton of documentation listing programs it doesn't work with. It's a big list.

    Virtualbox (which runs windows sandboxed) is a better option but it's fairly resource intensive. In fact using a VM is probably a better option for running windows than dual boot because it's more reliable, but that'd be something you'd probably want to address after some experience.

    (3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dual-boot set-up?
    I think I already talked about that. The biggest advantage of still having some windows is that the software selection is better, though I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of some of the open source linux only video editors.

    (4) What's the maximum amount of memory that Linux can use versus Win-XP?
    Linux doesn't have the memory limitations that 32 bit XP has at all.

    Linux/unix has more sophisticated memory management than windows. In windows if you have more ram than your programs and data use it just sits there. In linux it's used for file caching. That really speeds things up.

    The best thing to do would be to go into system information in windows and note what all your specs/hardware is. Then look at ubuntuforums and askubuntu and search for problems. Older hardware is less of a problem than bleeding edge but sometimes there's some hardware support issue. Usually it can be configured fairly easily.

    There are a bunch of winXP refugee linux newbies on ubuntuforums now who read all that stuff about linux "breathing life into old hardware" and didn't read enough. Now they've installed a modern linux desktop with all the eye candy ... which I always try to shut off myself ... on old machines. Now they can't understand why it crawls.

    So if you do this pick an appropriate version. With 2Gb ram or less I'd recommend xubuntu or lubuntu. Just download the iso's, do the md5sum checksums, burn it, and try the desktops before installing.
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  6. Member
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    Every comment in this thread so far is a viable option. I know this because I've tried all of them over the years before jumping into Linux

    The first thing I would say is if you have a spare thumb drive, download Lili Linux and puppy Linux and use Lili Linux to install Puppy on the thumb drive....stick the thumb in the usb port and boot into the BIOS and make it boot from the USB port first...restart and then you'll start with the wonderful world of Puppy Linux. It's a very bare bones ubuntu but it's a good place to start to show you that Linux really does work and it doesn't need a lot of super powerful hardware to get you what you want.

    I also like the getting a spare hard drive route and practicing with Linux. As mentioned...you will screw up. I have many times before finally getting things the way I want and it's been rock solid for a long time.

    Another option not mentioned is download and install Macrium Reflect free version and image your XP hard drive to another drive if you have one. In Reflect you can create a boot rescue CD (Linux powered BTW)...create one and then download whatever Linux distro you want and install it. If you deride its not for you...boot from the Reflect boot CD and plug in whatever drive you have stored the XP image on and reimage your drive back to XP

    The one comment thats been mentioned a few times is the software is what matters...i.e...find the software equivalent of the apps you sue in Windows and try them out. There are so many apps out there that you can use that equal Windows stuff its staggering. But you havent mentioned exactly what type of software you use or what your PC is used for so I won't mention any specifics.

    Linux is an easy install but it takes patience and finding the right Distro for you. The simplest solution that most go with is Linux Mint. It's Ubuntu made to rival Windows in just about every way. It's very stable and you'll like what you saee when you start to use it. If your machine is older I would suggest what Hoser Rob has mentioned....Lubuntu...I installed it on a 7 to 8 year old single core laptop recently and it runs fine...runs 85mb's in start up. Very solid. I use an SSD and my Linux boot up times are in the 8 to 10 second range

    Personally I try all distributions for fun. I use em all. I use Mint...PCLinuxOS (a very stable and solid variant) and Puppy. Go to Distrowatch.com and you'll see what your choices are. There are many...so be patient.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post

    Questions that I have include ...

    (1) Will I be able to preserve all my currently installed XP-compatible applications, including Anti-Virus (Avast) and Malware (Malware Bytes) ??
    If you set up dual boot linux/windows you can certainly preserve your old programs. You don't need antivirus programs running in the background in linux like you have to in windows. There aren't any linux viruses out there. I'm not saying you couldn't make a linux virus ... it's been done ... but it's too hard for viruses to spread in linux. It's inherently more secure. There's no point. But you can still be hacked. You need a strong password in linux too.

    There's an old IT joke. Windows is spyware with an OS bundled in.
    Linux is not as vulnerable to some kinds of malware as Windows. However, just as is the case with Windows, it is possible for users to install malware without realizing that they have. ...and Linux is vulnerable to rootkits, just like Windows.
    http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/284124-myth-busting-is-linux-immune-to-viruses

    There is an old saying among security professionals that Linux's main protection against malware is that the percentage of users is small. If Linux's popularity ever grew to the point where it was in the double digits, I think malware infection would increase, particularly since too many users wrongly believe Linux systems are immune from malware, and never scan for the kinds that could infect their system.
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  8. Member
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    I tried off and on for the last few years trying to find a good replacement for Windows but I never found anything that I was comfortable with and as Ollie stated, I just wasn't willing to learn a new OS and held onto XP as long as I could but lately, with the x265 testing, I discovered that I really needed to go 64-bit so I decided to use Windows 7 which I wasn't comfortable with when I first tried it a few years back. I have found that I make it look and run pretty much like XP although there are still times when I get pissed off and want to throw it out the window because I can't get it to do a task that was so simple in XP. The security features drive me crazy when I can't do anything because I don't have permission to run my own computer but there is a program that is helping me stomp out all the Windows 7 features that some programmers thought that I should have to use.

    I use Classic Shell which looks and acts like XP's classic menu or like W2000 or 98SE so there is no reason to switch back and forth between virtual XP inside of Windows 7 and Windows 7. I use a program called Take Ownership which gives me a right click menu to help me take control of my computer which I should be able to use anyway since I am the only user and the administrator.

    I have a case that allows me to connect a drive on the top for quick swapping of drives so as Ollie again stated, I put my Windows 7 drive in the case to boot from and would place the XP on the top so I could access it to transfer files and folders. I found that Windows would always boot to the Windows 7 drive so I just left it connected until I was comfortable to just use Windows 7 and eventually removedd the XP drive.

    Here is what my desktop and browsers look like...
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  9. Nobody has mentioned yet that Linux can natively read FAT and NTFS file systems so if you dual boot or use a different boot HD, you can still read all the old files. It's only the running of applications that might cause you problems. Linux uses a completely different structure to store and execute programs but all your existing data will still be there and readable.

    I use XP and Ubuntu Linux, the XP runs on a SSD and Ubuntu runs entirely on a 64Gb USB flash drive. Boot time for XP is ~40 seconds, for Linux its ~12 seconds and subjectively Linux runs far faster. The flash drive gives me the advantage that if I plug it into another machine I carry the whole OS and applications with it.

    As mentioned earlier, forget anti-virus programs, they are not needed. The way Linux uses files makes it impossible for a virus to jump from one program to another and by destroying workspaces when you exit a program it makes sure nothing nasty can stay behind and cause trouble later on.

    Its worth remembering that Linux is basically a clone of UNIX which was designed as a multi-tasking multi-user operating system with built in networking from the outset and was in use some 10 years before the release of MSDOS and 24 years before the first release of multi-tasking Windows (Win95). It has a rock solid foundation and great heritage. It is wrong to think of it as a newcomer trying to usurp Windows, in fact the truth is almost the opposite happened.

    Brian.
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  10. Member
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    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post

    Questions that I have include ...

    (1) Will I be able to preserve all my currently installed XP-compatible applications, including Anti-Virus (Avast) and Malware (Malware Bytes) ??
    If you set up dual boot linux/windows you can certainly preserve your old programs. You don't need antivirus programs running in the background in linux like you have to in windows. There aren't any linux viruses out there. I'm not saying you couldn't make a linux virus ... it's been done ... but it's too hard for viruses to spread in linux. It's inherently more secure. There's no point. But you can still be hacked. You need a strong password in linux too.

    There's an old IT joke. Windows is spyware with an OS bundled in.
    Linux is not as vulnerable to some kinds of malware as Windows. However, just as is the case with Windows, it is possible for users to install malware without realizing that they have. ...and Linux is vulnerable to rootkits, just like Windows.
    http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/284124-myth-busting-is-linux-immune-to-viruses

    There is an old saying among security professionals that Linux's main protection against malware is that the percentage of users is small. If Linux's popularity ever grew to the point where it was in the double digits, I think malware infection would increase, particularly since too many users wrongly believe Linux systems are immune from malware, and never scan for the kinds that could infect their system.
    I'm quite aware that you can have malware in linux, which is why I'd also recommend newbie users stick to the beta tested repos.

    And the real reason you don't get linux viruses is that the permission levels work properly. Unlike in windows. Windows permissions suck. To install viruses in linux, a user with administrative privileges has to enter a password. Some people may be stupid enough to do that when they click on a link. Not many.

    I never said you can't get hacked in linux. Just that there aren't viruses.
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  11. Banned
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    my 2 cents:

    if i was going to ditch XP for a *nix i wouldn't bother with a dual boot, i would just bite the bullet and take the plunge. as far as dos programs, i didn't even know that there was anyone still using such apps, i'm assuming WINE should be able to handle them just fine.

    i would also probably skip Linux and go with PC-BSD, in many ways it offers the closest experience to windows that you're likely to find and it's a true unix, not a half-assed unix clone.
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  12. Member
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    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post

    Questions that I have include ...

    (1) Will I be able to preserve all my currently installed XP-compatible applications, including Anti-Virus (Avast) and Malware (Malware Bytes) ??
    If you set up dual boot linux/windows you can certainly preserve your old programs. You don't need antivirus programs running in the background in linux like you have to in windows. There aren't any linux viruses out there. I'm not saying you couldn't make a linux virus ... it's been done ... but it's too hard for viruses to spread in linux. It's inherently more secure. There's no point. But you can still be hacked. You need a strong password in linux too.

    There's an old IT joke. Windows is spyware with an OS bundled in.
    Linux is not as vulnerable to some kinds of malware as Windows. However, just as is the case with Windows, it is possible for users to install malware without realizing that they have. ...and Linux is vulnerable to rootkits, just like Windows.
    http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/284124-myth-busting-is-linux-immune-to-viruses

    There is an old saying among security professionals that Linux's main protection against malware is that the percentage of users is small. If Linux's popularity ever grew to the point where it was in the double digits, I think malware infection would increase, particularly since too many users wrongly believe Linux systems are immune from malware, and never scan for the kinds that could infect their system.
    I'm quite aware that you can have malware in linux, which is why I'd also recommend newbie users stick to the beta tested repos.

    And the real reason you don't get linux viruses is that the permission levels work properly. Unlike in windows. Windows permissions suck. To install viruses in linux, a user with administrative privileges has to enter a password. Some people may be stupid enough to do that when they click on a link. Not many.

    I never said you can't get hacked in linux. Just that there aren't viruses.
    Spyware, trojan horses, and rootkits are far more common problems for Windows users than viruses or worms. ...and most Windows users who get malware get it because they engage in unwise behavior while surfing the net using an account with administrator privileges, particularly downloading programs from untrustworthy sources. Linux won't prevent stupid people from doing stupid things.
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  13. Member
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    Frank, the more I ponder this, the more I'd recommend "go get a new hard-drive, and use that as your Linux Learning Drive."

    When you're at a point in Linux (3 weeks? 4?) and you've started installing AND LEARNING the alternative programs to give you the end-result production you want, THEN you can plug in your old WinXP hard-drive and grab off any data files you want. Then reformat that old XP drive as your 'new' 2nd Hard Drive

    (Personally, I'd have backed up all my useful/needed Data Files to data-disks - CDs or DVDs - in the first place. Or some other external hard drive. Or both.)

    Up to that point, if and when you 'need' your XP, it's sitting there, uncabled, cold but ready to fire up and be used like it always was.

    There is a luxury of having a separate Linux hard drive to screw up and learn on. If you're near a computer fix-it shop, they might even give you a better deal on a used drive, too. And hey - if THAT fails, you'll have discovered that quickly, too, and a short return trip is so much easier and quicker than RMA-ing anything to anywhere.

    But first... figure out what programs you NEED and then start researching alternatives. I wouldn't pay one bit o' attention to "Linux vs Windows" - the OS should be a distant secondary issue compared to the programs that let you do what you want and need to do.
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  14. Member zzyzzx's Avatar
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    I use, and recommend Fedora. But having said that try the CD boot version of a variety of Linux types just to see which ones have the drivers that work the best for you.
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  15. Member
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    ZZY's brought up a great point, and EL H had brought it up first - doing a "Live Boot CD" attempt. This IS a great way to test your current hardware for driver-support alone.

    As much as I dismiss "driver problems", Win8.1 has brought that simplistic topic back to MY forefront of thoughts. And anyone testing Linux is well counseled for the same reason.

    That said... maybe ZZY might provide a further argument? For example...

    "What driver-support issues has ZZY experienced so that his recommended choice seemed 'best' at the time?"

    "What driver-support issues show up in any other flavor?"

    VIDEO PROBLEMS? How many resolution options do you have? Do you have the One Resolution you need?

    LAN DRIVER PROBLEMS? Do you suddenly have a flakey connection- dropping off-line, then reconnecting? This is a typical LAN Driver Issue. There might be tests for this, but "simple web surfing" does that, too. Sometimes just doing everything else and letting the LAN connection sit there is illustrative, too.

    AUDIO-SOUND-SPEAKERS - I think "number of optional speakers" might be one example, but that's perhaps not a Driver Issue as much as an Applet Control issue. Of course, the better driver will supply a Control Applet, too.

    PRINTER ISSUES? This might be the most problematic, and Newest Printers might be the most difficult, but then again, just like finding Old Windows Drivers is becoming more of a problem, the same exists for the Linux and Mac world - "Old drivers are being left off of servers..." so no one can locate those.

    These answers can help a Linux "researcher" to more quickly test certain parts of his system and more quickly give a Pass/Fail nod before moving to his next steps: locating applications to use.
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  16. Member burnman99's Avatar
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    As a linux user, I would definitely recommend dual booting before just switching to linux. One thing you probably would want to do is to download some cross platform programs in Windows. Many Windows Programs (like LibreOffice, GIMP, Audacity) have Linux versions that work pretty much the same way as their Windows counterparts. And if you have a question just ask! Also, certainly try the Live CD for the Distro that you first, to see if you get any hardware issues. New versions of Linux Mint and Ubuntu should come out in April and these will be LTS versions good for 5 years. Other Ubuntu variants are Pinguy for faster machines and Linux Lite for legacy machines. For DOS programs, Dosbox is good, the only issue i had was with some config files in my Dos program had read only permissions. Once i fixed them, they worked fine. You should not need antivirus software in Linux, but you can run clamav which is a free download. Finally, before you do anything BACKUP your current XP machine (Clonezilla is a great free utility for this). Also if you can make or have a Windows Rescue CD that would be helpful in case there is an issue with loading Grub. Anyway, keep us posted and good luck!
    There are many ways to measure success. You just have to find your own yardstick.
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  17. Member
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    Originally Posted by deadrats View Post
    ... i would just bite the bullet and take the plunge. as far as dos programs, i didn't even know that there was anyone still using such apps, i'm assuming WINE should be able to handle them just fine...
    Wrong. Period. That's one of the most common linux noob mistakes I see on the support forums. NEVER assume Wine will run any windows program. Just read the docs.

    I would only recommend replacing windows with ubuntu if you have more than one computer. This is why I still have one windows 7 partition, though it's pretty englected. There are windows programs you can't get an equivalent for in linux.

    For example, Gimp is a useable substitute for Photoshop unless you want to use it for actual real publishing, not hobby use. Digital printing shops use a proprietary file format that isn't open source. So it's not supported in linux. Same situation for Pantone support.

    Closed source formats are the bugbear of linux. This is where the occasional hardware support issue comes in. For example my netbook has an atom 2600 with a gma that intel outsourced, and the manufacturer won't release the source code. Hence it works but there's no 3D hardware acceleration.

    Fortunately it's a netbook and I don't use it much at home. There are people on the ubuntu forums who have this gma and they don't understand why 1080p video stutters on their machine. One guy wanted to run Blender on his ...

    Again fortunately, I knew enough to look up the hardware on that machine and I know what I was getting into.

    This sort of thing isn't usually an issue with XP machines. It's mosty a problem with new bleeding edge hardware. There are some older peripherals that had problems. But those should have been fixed by now or have workarounds.

    The suggestion to buy another hard drive is actually pretty good. It's the best way to do dual boot because it's the most reliable.

    I still stand by ubuntu for newbies. I tried fedora 19 for a while and it wasn't pretty. The repos suck, there's no package management toold like Synaptic, and the cli package manager was broken.

    And the support forum seemed to be a lot of pompous geeks who acted like it was my fault because I didn't read the bugzilla report. At least it was better than Mint support. That is terrible. As bad as ubuntu's is good. I consider mint unsuitable for noobs for that reason.

    The point about linux being able to read ntfs is good. In my dual boot setup I can open the windows partition in my file manager just like any other folder. It doesn't work the other way. Windows thinks the linux partition is unallocated space because it's too dumb to read the file format.

    A lot of linux noobs want the same feel as windows in the linux desktop. I wouldn't go too far with this because linux doesn't really work like windows. But KDE is closer to windows in feel than unity. I wouldn't recommend Kubuntu unless you have at least 2Gb ram though. For less than 2Gb I'd go for xubuntu or lubuntu.
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  18. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    A lot of linux noobs want the same feel as windows in the linux desktop. I wouldn't go too far with this because linux doesn't really work like windows.
    Well-spotted, sir.

    Originally Posted by forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=1644629#post1644629
    Linux and *BSD are alternatives to Unix, not to Windows. A viable open-sourced alternative to Windows would require a MAJOR rewrite of the kernel itself, but this idea still is regarded as "blasphemy" by the, let's say, FOSS "purists".
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  19. If you want to dual-boot, wonderful, but I would suggest that first you do a little reading on the number of folks doing this who had a Grub-related total drive failure. Last time this came up, there were three of them within a week, just on this board. I don't like dual-boot under any circumstances.

    Linux has twelfty-million different variations. If the one you pick runs OK on your PC, and you can do all the desired tasks, great. The first time most users have to manually install a "driver" with a few dozen command-line switches is usually the end of their "linux" experience.

    Linux is "safe" from viruses in the same way that a steam-powered car is "safe" from being stolen.

    I have an old laptop running Mint right now. Solved a problem with the Windows install concerning the sound card. Plays video just fine and gets on the internet. Installing the drivers for the wireless NIC was a load of joy that there is just NWIH that the average user would put up with. I don't use it very much, and time spent learning Linux is pretty much wasted, but it is at least functional.

    If you need to run software that the rest of the world uses, Linux just won't cut it. If you need very basic functionality and don't anticipate any new needs in the near future, it might work well for you.
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  20. The easiest thing you can do to get started, may be to install Linux on a virtual machine, (virtual box, vmware player), and you can play around with it from there. This also lets you test out more versions of Linux or others, without multi-booting. And you can also minimize the virtual machine, and be back to your XP desktop in a split second.

    Then if you get comfortable with something, you can then take the plunge, and install it on your hard drive.
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  21. Digital Device User Ron B's Avatar
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    Location: The Gorge
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    I have been running an XP Pro-Ubuntu dual boot system for some time now. There's a lot of Linux distros and Linux experts all have their favorite flavor, but for starting out, it would be hard to beat Ubuntu. Very easy to use, straightforward and well supported. Dual boot is a good way to start out because you can use Win XP if necessary, although in the not too distant future, I would use it offline only.

    The reason I still have XP installed is because I have some hardware and associated software that is not supported by Unbuntu, mainly slide and negative scanners. I use the computer to scan slides and negatives, save them to a second hard drive, then transfer to NAS and other computers via local network. When files are saved to the second hard drive, they are also available in Unbuntu and visa versa. For anything online, I boot to Ubuntu, XP is basically an operating system for a local device.
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  22. Member racer-x's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: 3rd Rock from the Sun
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    On one of my laptops, I dual-boot Win7 x64 and Linux Mint 16 x64. I use Linux about 90% of the time. I'm pretty impressed with the free s/w selection I can run on Linux. I started by creating a bootable USB with Linux Mint 16 to see how it would work. I advise all to do this as well...........

    I also run Linux Mint on an old NetBook that used to run XP. It has become infinintely more useful because of it.
    Last edited by racer-x; 5th Apr 2014 at 18:22.
    The memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of the man in his prime.......
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  23. Member Frank-0-Video's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: Alabama - United States
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    Greetings ....

    Appreciate all the feedback and advice.

    Linux in any form is something you have to learn to use and get comfortable with. This includes the installation process, the adding of all necessary drivers, the customizing of hardware/software protocols and also the task of figuring out what Win apps work w/o hassle on it. Because of certain constraints, I am not able to commit myself to such endeavors. I am opting instead to go with a Win-7 set-up on a newer hard drive and added memory. The Win-XP drive will retained but not used unless absolutely needed.

    Thanks again one and all. We can now consider this thread to be closed.

    Frank-0-Video
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