Author Topic: Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]  (Read 7801 times)

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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #100 on: January 20, 2019, 12:59:08 am »
When properly implemented, the frame-rate conversion must be done (on the fly), and with frame interpolation.  Without frame interpolation, the image will stutter here and there, because 60Hz is not a multiple of 23.976Hz.

I don't know who's job the frame rate conversion is, the GPU driver, the movie player/decoder, or maybe some other window composer.
The fractional frame rate rubbish is one that really needs to die. (And interlacing as well, but support for that is still needed for legacy content.) Mpv can speed up 29.97 or 59.94 FPS to an even 30 or 60 exactly synchronized to the display and the amount of change is so small that it's unnoticeable.
https://mpv.io/manual/stable/#miscellaneous
The option you probably want is to set video-sync to display-resample. Then there are a few other options to play with, I suggest using the config I posted earlier as a starting point.
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #101 on: January 20, 2019, 01:40:09 am »
I do not think it will gain significant market share
Why should it?  Linux desktop market share is completely irrelevant to me, and the majority of Linux devs agree.  Only the systemd folks care, and they produce crap anyway.

Most people would pay money to have something easier to use and which saves them time.
They do, and I've done that.  Why don't you?  Oh, you're willing to pay what you pay for the crappy one-size-fits-all thing, but not customized stuff.  No, sorry; I have no intent on becoming your personal servant.

The difficulty in the business model of making a paid distro for former Windows-users is user retention.  If you do it right (and I do understand there are distros that do that), you basically always lose your customers to the more Linux-native distros, sooner or later.  If you try to keep your existing paying users, it'll be a crappy distro, among many crappy distros trying to do the same.

What works, is designing a distro, or at least the workflow (including UI customizations and choosing the applications), for a specific set of tasks.  But unless you have lots of employees doing the same task, it is hard to reach exactly that niche, and even harder to get targeted individuals to pay for your new distro.

The fractional frame rate rubbish is one that really needs to die.
Aw crap, I completely forgot about that, even though I actually used to do that a lot. I can't tell the 29.97 to 30.00 speedup, but the 23.976 to 30 is similar to Youtube 125% playback speed, except frequencies shifted up a note or two.  The 23.976 to 25.00 speedup for my old PAL TV was a very minor shift up in frequency, and the 104.27% speed felt utterly natural.  I kinda liked that.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #102 on: January 20, 2019, 05:01:42 am »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%

Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.

Android only account for 41% because it is used on a bazillion cell phones and, indeed, it may show up as a high percentage of web clients.  I'm not aware of it being used on a desktop.

In terms of actual 'desktop' usage, the topic of this thread, Linux accounts for less than 2%
http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/worldwide/

I have 3 machines with various incantations of Linux and I sometimes use them at the command line for software development.  I don't use them for the more common email, web and office applications.  In general, I don't find Linux applications anywhere near as refined as Windows applications and it's the applications that matter, not the OS.

I also use the Bash shell under Win 10.  This gives me a nice place to do command line kinds of things like building software.

Linux has been around for 27 years or so.  If it was ever going to be more than a bit player in the desktop arena, it would have done so by now.  It does have a commanding lead in the server arena; people like free servers.  I haven't used Windows Server in over 15 years but, back then, it wasn't all that easy to set up.  It has probably improved...

I guess somehow it makes sense to walk away from the most popular desktop OS and migrate to the backwaters but I sure don't see it.  It always sounded like an ego trip to me.  "Look at me!  I use Linux!  I'm smarter than you!".  Ok, sure, I see that...
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #103 on: January 20, 2019, 05:13:00 am »

The difficulty in the business model of making a paid distro for former Windows-users is user retention.  If you do it right (and I do understand there are distros that do that), you basically always lose your customers to the more Linux-native distros, sooner or later.  If you try to keep your existing paying users, it'll be a crappy distro, among many crappy distros trying to do the same.

For many years, Redhat Enterprise Linux was the platform of choice for developers targeting Linux.  It is a for-pay distro but it provides a stable target for developers.  The problem with Linux distros is the number of branches.  It makes the developer's job a lot harder.  For the most part, they simply ignore Linux and target Windows and OS-X - that gives them coverage for 90% of desktops, who cares about the 2% share of Linux?

Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?

 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #104 on: January 20, 2019, 05:18:06 am »
Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?

That's not how things work and I think you know it.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #105 on: January 20, 2019, 06:05:45 am »
I find it interesting they consider Chrome OS as separate from Linux and "unknown" is a surprisingly high percentage. I wonder if the majority of "unknown" are browsers designed to defeat tracking.

The poor state of Windows nowadays is only going to accelerate the adoption of Linux on the desktop. The main barriers for ordinary users appear to be games, but even that has improved by a lot.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #106 on: January 20, 2019, 06:13:26 am »
I have 3 machines with various incantations of Linux
I had to look it up to confirm:
Quote
incantation, noun: incantation; plural noun: incantations

    a series of words said as a magic spell or charm.
    "an incantation to raise the dead"
    synonyms:   chant, invocation, conjuration, magic spell, magic formula, rune; More
    abracadabra, open sesame;
    hex, mojo;
    makutu
    "he muttered some weird incantations"
        the use of words as a magic spell.
        "there was no magic in such incantation"
        synonyms:   chanting, intonation, recitation
        "the ritual incantation of such words"
It describes Linux perfectly :)
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #107 on: January 20, 2019, 07:08:55 am »
I have 3 machines with various incantations of Linux
I had to look it up to confirm:
Quote
incantation, noun: incantation; plural noun: incantations

    a series of words said as a magic spell or charm.
    "an incantation to raise the dead"
    synonyms:   chant, invocation, conjuration, magic spell, magic formula, rune; More
    abracadabra, open sesame;
    hex, mojo;
    makutu
    "he muttered some weird incantations"
        the use of words as a magic spell.
        "there was no magic in such incantation"
        synonyms:   chanting, intonation, recitation
        "the ritual incantation of such words"
It describes Linux perfectly :)

Magic's just science that we (you) don't understand yet.
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #108 on: January 20, 2019, 07:36:22 am »
But, how did we get from 24.000 fps -> 23.976 fps, after all?  And played back at 60 fps.  Not to mention here the mains is 50Hz, not 60Hz.  ^-^

Because eye imperfection, and expensive celluloid, and cinema, and television, and interlacing, and mains power frequency, and color television, and radio bandwidth, and NTSC, and PAL/SECAM, and backward compatibility, and now video games, and virtual reality, and 3D movies, and stuff.



 :phew:

Offline nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #109 on: January 20, 2019, 08:13:50 am »
Nobody wants to pay for Linux or Linux applications.  It's "free" software, after all.  The flip side is also true:  Why would a professional developer want to work for free?
Sorry but this is utter nonsense. There is lots of commercial software available which runs on Linux. Think about Cadence Allegro, Xilinx FPGA tools, Altera FPGA tools, Sonnet Professional (EM solver), etc. Each of these cost several $k at least.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 08:17:53 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #110 on: January 20, 2019, 09:42:11 am »
The poor state of Windows nowadays is only going to accelerate the adoption of Linux on the desktop. The main barriers for ordinary users appear to be games, but even that has improved by a lot.

I have been running Win 10 since it came out and it is a vast improvement on Win 7 and that was darn near perfect.  Among other things, installing printers is vastly simplified:  Win 10 scans the network, finds the printers and offers to install them from drivers it already has.

Under one version of Linux, I have to remember a particular port for a browser to connect to localhost and with some amazing amount of effort, I might get a printer to install.  If a driver exists...

The big problem with Linux is that it is darn difficult to get it running.  Try using minicom as a normal user.  Just try to get access to the serial port.  How many Google searches before you find out you're not a member of the group allowed to use the serial port.  How many more searches until you find out that you need to be a superuser to add yourself to the serial port group?  And on it goes.  Same with USB ports, and how come I have to write udev rules?  How am I supposed to know that the reason my gadget doesn't connect is because there isn't a rule?  I don't have to do that with Windows.
Quote
Rule files and semantics. When deciding how to name a device and which additional actions to perform, udev reads a series of rules files. These files are kept in the /etc/udev/rules.d directory, and they all must have the .rules suffix. Default udev rules are stored in /etc/udev/rules.d/50-udev.rules.
Truly helpful - not...  I haven't done this but I imagine you need to be su to do it.

Remember when we had to deal with printcap?  Those were the days!

Nobody wants this crap!  That's the big reason that Linux is nowhere in terms of desktop penetration after 27 years.  It is terribly difficult for the casual user to set up.  And, having set it up, so what?  It's just an OS, not an application. 

And then you have the Unity desktop for Ubuntu where the arrogant developers moved the system buttons.  Originally they allowed the user, with even more Google searches, to move them back where they belong.  Now that is impossible!  The shear arrogance is astounding!

Mint with the Cinnamon desktop is pretty decent.  I have it on a couple of machines and use it from time to time.  I use it because it closely approximates what I know - Windows.

Just remember:  Linux has less than 2% desktop market penetration after 27 years even when they give it away free!  They can't even give it away!
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #111 on: January 20, 2019, 10:27:55 am »
Same with USB ports, and how come I have to write udev rules?  How am I supposed to know that the reason my gadget doesn't connect is because there isn't a rule?  I don't have to do that with Windows.
Oddly enough, on Windows, you have to use a tool like Zadig to allow libusb to work, so not so straightforward for "unusual" devices like certain test and measurement hardware. On Linux, if you have the permission, it just works...

I also wonder how many remember that it was Linux that made home use Windows as reliable as it has been for nearly 2 decades. That was when Linux was beginning to become ready for desktop use so Microsoft had to neutralize one of its big advantages  - namely not crashing very often.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #112 on: January 20, 2019, 10:34:11 am »
@rstofer: Fortunately my experiences are the complete opposite. Where installing a printer on Windows is a major pain getting it going on Debian Linux takes almost no effort at all. But then again I've been using Linux commercially for almost 25 years already so I know my way around. Back then I recognised Linux is different compared to DOS/Windows so I took a training to learn the basics.

Things have changed a lot since then. Given the enormous amount of engineering software for which a Linux version is available nowadays there must be something wrong with that 2% number. I'm pretty sure nearly 100% of companies which do some form or engineering use Linux. About a year ago I had a demo for some electronics CAD packages. Every company had an answer to whether it could run on Linux: either native or in a VM. None said the package couldn't be used under Linux.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #113 on: January 20, 2019, 10:55:12 am »
Web clients' OS share:
Code: [Select]
Android 41%
Windows 36%
Apple 19%
Linux 0.78%
Linux might be great for nerds and engineers but the public at large do not show much preference for it and I do not think it will gain significant market share as long as the attitude of the Linux community is one of smug superiority. Maybe trying to make Linux more user-friendly would help Linux become more widespread.

Linux market share worldwide is up around the 1.5 to 3.5% mark depending on where you look.

While still small compared to Windows, it still represents a significant number of users with take-up rates steadily climbing. Users who are looking to Linux as an alternative to Windows 10 is becoming fairly common. 5 years ago I wouldn't have ever entertained the idea myself, but now, I only run Linux at home (with Windows 7 in a VM for the few applications that don't run on Linux).

As more users get sick of Windows 10 and all its problems, they will look to alternatives. I know a handful of people who have made the switch and their partners/spouses have picked up Linux quite easily. It's not a difficult operating system to get your head around, it's just different.

As for "smug superiority", I think that's largely made up. I certainly don't see it from where I'm sitting. Most people couldn't give a shit.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 10:57:07 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #114 on: January 20, 2019, 11:12:13 am »
24 FPS is the movie frame-rate (23.976).  My monitors are all 60Hz.  Vsync also works at 60Hz, I guess.

This needs a framerate conversion from 24.976Hz to 60Hz.  What I noticed is, when only one monitor is active and video is full screen, then the BLIT changes to FLIP.  BLIT means a bitmap image is copied at a certain location in the video screen RAM (asynchronous, I guess), while FLIP means a full image is built in a buffer, and the buffer is flipped to display during a vertical sync, synchronous with the monitor's frame rate.

BLIP or FLIP, a framerate conversion is still required from 24 to 60fps.

When properly implemented, the frame-rate conversion must be done (on the fly), and with frame interpolation.  Without frame interpolation, the image will stutter here and there, because 60Hz is not a multiple of 23.976Hz.

I don't know who's job the frame rate conversion is, the GPU driver, the movie player/decoder, or maybe some other window composer.

Hmm... my preferred media player (VLC) doesn't even show the FPS counter so it must not use openGL for rendering. I did find that turning off 'Allow Flipping' in the NVIDIA X server configuration induced some tearing, which makes sense since no matter if vsync is enabled or not, unless you do page flipping (have two frame buffers, render to one while the other is visible, then exchange buffers) you are pretty much guaranteed to see tearing at some point.

Frame rate conversion is handled by the media player.
 

Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #115 on: January 20, 2019, 11:56:56 am »
I have been running Win 10 since it came out and it is a vast improvement on Win 7 and that was darn near perfect.

What is interesting to note about Windows users, observing them justify their choice, is that they always say that the current version of Windows is a vast improvement of the previous version, and that the current version is perfect. I've been reading this kind of comment in forums for the last 20 years or so.

Well, if the current is perfect and is a vast improvement over the previous, then the previous version sucks.

If Microsoft releases Windows 11, this version will be a vast improvement over the previous version, which is Windows 10, of course this means that Windows 10 sucks.

Which is exactly what everybody else is saying about Windows 10 now.

So this Windows perfection is just a myth.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #116 on: January 20, 2019, 12:10:52 pm »
Regarding Linux graphics driver issues: often the Arch Linux wiki is a good place to look for help.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Nvidia#Multiple_monitors

Quote
If you are using TwinView and vertical sync (the "Sync to VBlank" option in nvidia-settings), you will notice that only one screen is being properly synced, unless you have two identical monitors. Although nvidia-settings does offer an option to change which screen is being synced (the "Sync to this display device" option), this does not always work. 

Eep.  I have working vsync across multiple monitors, but I run the open-source radeon drivers.  I remember the fun that was the proprietary (FGLRX/Catalyst) drivers for Radeon, glad I don't have to use those anymore. 


OP: Do it only if you are willing and able to learn a new tool. If you just need a tool that works like Windows but isn't Windows, don't bother: the switch will just aggravate you.
I think the problem is that the latest version of Windows is not very good, so the only alternatives are to use an older version of Windows that will become unsupported at some point or use some other OS altogether.
I agree. Windows XP (in a VM) is still my go-to Windows. I can't even use Windows 10 because the font anti-aliasing (causing me an instant headache) can't be disabled.

Thankyou thankyou thankyou.  I'm not the only person in the world.  Windows 7 font rendering causes me repeatable headaches.  I have not spent much time on 10, but I agree my first choice is XP in a VM.  Faster, easier on the eyes, etc. 

A few years back freetype (font renderer on Linux) changed its hinting to be more Windows like, so fonts suddenly became a lot blurrier.  I found some environment var exports that reverted these changes in every app except Firefox and Thunderbird.  Yay, the two things I use the most ignore my preferences.

 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #117 on: January 20, 2019, 12:11:45 pm »
Things have changed a lot since then. Given the enormous amount of engineering software for which a Linux version is available nowadays there must be something wrong with that 2% number. I'm pretty sure nearly 100% of companies which do some form or engineering use Linux. About a year ago I had a demo for some electronics CAD packages. Every company had an answer to whether it could run on Linux: either native or in a VM. None said the package couldn't be used under Linux.

The problem with industry and Linux is the multitude of license Terms and Conditions.  Where I worked we wouldn't even consider Open Source  or any similar offerings.  We bought site licenses for everything and we only bought Microsoft.  There was a movement early on to transition to Apple but the only people who wanted to go that way worked for IT.  The end users were happy with Microsoft and the legal department didn't see a problem.

If you have to run software in a VM, is it really Linux software?  I wonder if Wine is the most used Linux application.

Linux tries to remain chaste, no proprietary software.  If you want a driver for your nVidia board you first have to learn how to add third party repositories to the search list.  More time with Google, I suppose.  It used to be that I had to recompile the driver every time there was a kernel upgrade and it seemed like that was happening monthly.  It was a huge PITA.  This was with RedHat Enterprise Linux, I don't know how it affected other distros.

It does seem like Linux finally got WiFi to work.  It was a gigantic PITA a few years back.  My most recent installations have been seemless.

 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #118 on: January 20, 2019, 02:10:42 pm »
Things have changed a lot since then. Given the enormous amount of engineering software for which a Linux version is available nowadays there must be something wrong with that 2% number. I'm pretty sure nearly 100% of companies which do some form or engineering use Linux. About a year ago I had a demo for some electronics CAD packages. Every company had an answer to whether it could run on Linux: either native or in a VM. None said the package couldn't be used under Linux.
The problem with industry and Linux is the multitude of license Terms and Conditions.  Where I worked we wouldn't even consider Open Source  or any similar offerings.
Again: you don't have to run open source software in Linux. I'm running quite a few closed source applications.
Quote
If you have to run software in a VM, is it really Linux software?  I wonder if Wine is the most used Linux application.
Wine doesn't work. A virtual machine is the way to go. The only software I run in a Windows VM are: MS Office, Hyperterminal, Flashmagic, Orcad Capture and a few random pieces I use once or twice per year (usually vendor specific software).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online rdl

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #119 on: January 20, 2019, 08:38:57 pm »
I'm amazed that anyone can say Windows 10 is good with a straight face. My experience has been the exact opposite. It is easily the worst Microsoft product I have ever tried to use.
 
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Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #120 on: January 20, 2019, 08:56:55 pm »
What is interesting to note about Windows users, observing them justify their choice, is that they always say that the current version of Windows is a vast improvement of the previous version, and that the current version is perfect. I've been reading this kind of comment in forums for the last 20 years or so.

Well, if the current is perfect and is a vast improvement over the previous, then the previous version sucks.
Does not follow. At all.
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Offline rdelpellegrino

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #121 on: January 20, 2019, 10:07:08 pm »
Most Linux distros are the same OS wrapped up differently and most are very easy and quick to install these days.

Try them all. It is purely a matter of personal preference - at least at home.

As a Windows user, perhaps some may initially be easier to get along with, but the wonderful thing is - you can change your mind any time you like! Quite easily.

I think its reasonable to suspect that you know how to protect your data through such transitions. It isn't all that hard, considering the tools most Linus distros have to offer.

So far I have luckily not been seriously bitten like you have by Window 10. But I will say that the single totally good thing about Windows 10 is Bash Shell.

Now that's irony for you...

« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 10:11:00 pm by rdelpellegrino »
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #122 on: January 20, 2019, 10:24:23 pm »
Wine doesn't work. A virtual machine is the way to go. The only software I run in a Windows VM are: MS Office, Hyperterminal, Flashmagic, Orcad Capture and a few random pieces I use once or twice per year (usually vendor specific software).

I use Wine for LTspice, works like a charm. Hyperterminal can be replaced with it's Linux counterpart Cutecom:

https://gitlab.com/cutecom/cutecom/



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Offline nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #123 on: January 20, 2019, 10:53:06 pm »
Wine doesn't work. A virtual machine is the way to go. The only software I run in a Windows VM are: MS Office, Hyperterminal, Flashmagic, Orcad Capture and a few random pieces I use once or twice per year (usually vendor specific software).
I use Wine for LTspice, works like a charm. Hyperterminal can be replaced with it's Linux counterpart Cutecom:

https://gitlab.com/cutecom/cutecom/
Most software I tried doesn't work in Wine. Wine basically needs to be fixed for every piece of software.

And no, there is no replacement for Hyperterminal. Hyperterminal has a unique combination of features: it can open/close the port with a click on a button, it has file transfer protocols and you can adjust the timing for lines and characters. I have not found a replacement which can do all these things.
edit: tried Cutecom. Doesn't look like a real terminal emulator and it doesn't adhere to the system settings for disabling font aliasing (so I can't use it).
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 11:44:19 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #124 on: January 20, 2019, 11:01:39 pm »
In my experience WINE will work only with very simple programs which have little or no hardware interaction. MS Paint, notepad work well. Irfanview sort of works. I will try LTSpice and I expect it to work.  But even something as simple as Outlook Express, which I still use with Win XP, will not work with WINE.  Forget about using WINE for anything but the very simplest programs. The again, why would you use WINE to use Notepad when Linux has its own equivalent?
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