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Re: OT: Switching Sides

by b10m (Vicar)
on Nov 30, 2003 at 01:49 UTC ( #310958=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to OT: Switching Sides

While this is slightly off-topic here, I'd like to help you, stranger in the dark, to see the light of Linux ;)

First of all, some myths:
Linux is command line.
Wrong, although everything can be done from the command line interface, a lot of things now have GUIs, which makes it undoubtly easier to make the switch. After you've messed around with Linux though, you will come to understand the beauty of the CLI.
Linux doesn't have as many apps as Windows
Most likely true, but for most Windows apps, you have great alternatives. Many websites, like this one show the alternatives. For years I have been using Linux now and I cannot think of any application that Windows offers and Linux doesn't.
Linux is hard to learn.
So was Windows! Try to put your grandparents in front of a Windows system (if they have never used it) and see how *not* intuitive most things are, that the majority of Windows users take for granted. Linux is different, but far from hard to understand.
"Open Source? Who cares, I'm not a programmer!"
The beauty of Open Source software is not that *you* have to change everything, it's about that *anyone* can change anything (read: improve). Even although you might not be a kernel hacker, other people are, who will help *you* out by improving the software and kernel.
Ok, that said, I wish you well into this journey :) Although Linux might scare you at first a little (although I doubt that with all the GUI installers and what not of nowadays), don't give up. I would suggest you'd start of with a shell somewhere on some server (webhoster? friend?) and just look around and feel the strength of a shell. After that, install some Linux flavor on your own machine (might even think of a dual boot system, so you can easilly switch back to Windows when something is p*ssing you off ;) You will notice that you're switching back to Windows less and less. Besides that: read, read, read! There's a lot to learn, but the basics are quite easy to obtain. Just lurk around some newsgroups, use your friend a lot and don't be affraid to try stuff (while not being logged in as root ;)

You will find a lot of helpful people around the 'net that will help you with your questions. IRC, USENET, or even mail your local geek.

You won't be a BOFH within a week, maybe not even within 6 months, but you'll learn everyday :)

I wish you a bon voyage and welcome to the free world!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: OT: Switching Sides
by Coruscate (Sexton) on Nov 30, 2003 at 22:24 UTC

    That's funny. You cover software, but don't take a look at hardware. I'm a linux fan and all, but last time I checked, it can't support either my printer or my digital camera. Both which are relatively new purchases. No valid drivers in the linux world for me.

      Unfortunally, yes, not all hardware works well with Linux. It's always good to check out the documentation to see if the hardware is supported before you buy it. Is Linux to blame for this? Nope, the hardware manufacturers supply Microsoft with the specs of their appliances, (if they don't build their own drivers) but don't throw it out to Linux developers (not always true). Most hardware does work though. I have no problems with :
      • soundcard (Creative Audigy 2 Platinum eX)
      • graphicscard (Radeon 9600)
      • tvcard (Pinnacle PCTV Rave)
      • scanner (Canon CanoScan N650U)
      • webcam (Creative Webcam Pro)
      • digital cam (Aosta -something-)
      • DVD burner (Nec -something-)
      • printer (HP Deskjet 690C)
      and what not more may float in and around my machine.

      That said, Linux runs on far more architectures than, say, Microsoft Windows.

      What kind of printer and digital cam do you use, that's not supported by Linux?

      Added:Yes, this all sounds pretty zealous (sorry), but to summarize it all: Yes, Coruscate, hardware support is not as good as it might be with Microsoft Windows, yet a lot does work or will work in days to come. So the OP would do best to check his hardware first, before installing some Linux flavor


        I decided to try a last ditch effort at searching for info on my printer. Turns out it's possible to get most functionality out of it on linux. It looks like a painstaking journey though. I have an all-in-one copier/scanner/printer made by hewlett packard. I found a linux page indicating what needs to be done to get it to function. It's far too much hassle for me to bother. There's one thing I have to hand to Microsoft: ease of installs. Took me 2 minutes to get the printer to load up. This install on linux would take me literally hours trying to battle through the dependencies that would likely arise. I'm just not willing to spend those hours becoming frustrated over such a thing. That's just me. Let me know when I can just plug the printer in, boot linux and begin printing, no hassle included.

      And even if there are drivers which claim to support your hardware, the amount of time it takes to persuade them to drive your hardware, not leave your serial or USB ports horked, and continue working after your laptop wakes from slumber (if you can get it to go to sleep and wake up again in the first place!) - well, all those wasted hours are worth enough money for you to have just gone and bought a Mac. On which you can then use perl to your heart's content.

      I've wasted too much time on Linux, sound, video, power management, USB, PCMCIA and other arcana in the past. Linux is *not* ready for portable use, and only barely suitable for wizards' desktops.

        Yep, that's linux for you. I still say it is wonderful though. It is quite the dream machine for development and production though. It provides an unimagineable number of resources and tools for programmers. The only problem I ever really have with linux is hardware-based (or the time I removed a couple of important system dependencies oops). So all in all, linux is good for me. Just not with a printer :)

      As far as outline editors go - have you tried leo? It is cross platform (linux/win/mac) and fairly good.

Re: Re: OT: Switching Sides
by Arbogast (Monk) on Nov 30, 2003 at 14:27 UTC
    "For years I have been using Linux now and I cannot think of any application that Windows offers and Linux doesn't"

      I'm not aware of the application called "Hmm", nor do I miss it :)
        Fair enough, :)
      DeLorme Street Atlas - (come on, DeLorme)

      PhotoImpact (no, GIMP doesn't replace it, and don't tell me about Wine, either)

      a decent outline editor - (wish I could figure out the rumored perl scripting for Kate)

      ...OK, that's about it

        Since we went here. A native HalfLife CounterStrike client port.

        use perl;

Re: Re: OT: Switching Sides
by hardburn (Abbot) on Dec 01, 2003 at 18:24 UTC

    For years I have been using Linux now and I cannot think of any application that Windows offers and Linux doesn't.

    QuarkXpress, a layout design program so complex that it makes Adobe Acrobat look like HTML 2.0. Last I heard, even the Linux Journal keeps a Windows machine around to use this program.

    I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
    -- Schemer

    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

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