Author Topic: Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux [advice needed for a Linux workstation at home]  (Read 10518 times)

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Offline fsr

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2019, 02:36:59 am »
I'm using Lubuntu 18.04 LTS right now. It's lightweight, using LXDE. Doesn't comes with all the stuff Ubuntu has installed by default.

Or just install Ubuntu which has more stuff installed by default, and that probably makes it easier to use in some circumstances. If you don't like the desktop environment, you can do "apt install lxde" to install LXDE, and then you can choose it at login, instead of the default (gnome 3).

Most Linux distros also have a GUI software store, you normally don't need to use the command line at all, if you don't want to.

The only problem is with hardware manufacturers and software makers that don't provide support for linux, but as an OS, it's much better done than Windows.

IMHO, Windows fuck'd up when they merged the home products (95, 98, Me) with the office branch (NT). I used NT 4, and if you had a blue screen, the most likely cause by far, was a hardware problem. It was very stable. Then, they added a lot of crap that didn't needed to be installed by default. What good does the media center do in an office pc? We don't even have the option to choose what to install anymore. Up to Win 98 at least, you could choose what components to install! You didn't needed to install the calculator, if you didn't wanted it!!
In Windows Vista and then in 8 and later, the OS went to shit. Look in Windows 10 the unbeliavable amount of crap that is running on the machine from boot! And then, GBs of updates, and a stupid amount of time to install them, without even getting to the login screen!
Also, why the hell do i need to have all that tiles (advertising) on the start menu, and have the OS spy me, if i buyed the goddam OS? That's crazy.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2019, 03:41:55 am »
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.

These are my observations over the last twenty years of helping people do the switch:

It is much easier to teach a computer-illiterate person how to use a Linux workstation than a Mac or Windows power user.  The latter hate having their hard-won knowledge being useless, and will be miserable using Linux; not only do they need to learn new stuff, they need to un-learn their hard-won old knowledge first.  Twice the effort, really.  The same applies to using expensive software packages: not being a paying customer does not work for people who need proper customer service to do their job.

Those who use computers as tools, and pick up new tools fast and easy, especially the tinkerer types, will love the full control of their own workflow, if they can afford spending the time to optimise their own workflow.  Those who use computers as tools for performing specific jobs that do not change, will be aggravated by the change, and the time needed to learn the new tool for basically no gain.

There is no right or wrong about the switch; there is no right or wrong in choosing which tools you use.  Just note that Linux is not a singular tool, but a collection of modular tools that are designed to work together.  It is not a single environment provided by a vendor like Windows or Macs are.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2019, 04:07:13 am »
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.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2019, 04:08:22 am »
It is much easier to teach a computer-illiterate person how to use a Linux workstation than a Mac or Windows power user.  The latter hate having their hard-won knowledge being useless, and will be miserable using Linux; not only do they need to learn new stuff, they need to un-learn their hard-won old knowledge first.

As someone in that Windows power-user camp, I actually disagree. I found that my knowledge of DOS command line and batch files translated very well into Linux. I didn't view it as previous knowledge going to waste or having to un-learn anything, I found my previous expertise complimented Linux well.

Having taught Linux to users as well, I find those who know DOS/Windows command line will pick up Linux very quickly and are much more comfortable with it than those who just use Windows to play games.
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2019, 04:16:37 am »
It was a big and unpleasant surprise to learn that after more than 20 years, Linux still struggles with multiple displays or video tearing.  I know nVidia is not the best choice for Linux, but still, playing a movie without video tearing should've happen without any tinkering by now, yet this was not the case for my setup.
The following fixed the screen tearing problem for me. Using Mint 18.3 Mate
---------------------------------------------
NVIDIA Xserver settings app
X Server Display Configuration
Advanced button
Save to X configuration file
Show preview

Under section "screen"
change

Option         "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0"

to

Option         "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceCompositionPipeline = On }"

Then save.
This will save to /etc/xorg/xorg.conf that previously didn't exist
---------------------------------------------
 

Online james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2019, 04:41:16 am »
It is much easier to teach a computer-illiterate person how to use a Linux workstation than a Mac or Windows power user.  The latter hate having their hard-won knowledge being useless, and will be miserable using Linux; not only do they need to learn new stuff, they need to un-learn their hard-won old knowledge first.  Twice the effort, really.  The same applies to using expensive software packages: not being a paying customer does not work for people who need proper customer service to do their job.


That was exactly my situation when Win8 and later Win10 came out. A good deal of my existing Windows knowledge was no longer useful, I found myself having to learn a whole new way of doing things so I started making the transition over to Linux and I haven't really found it to be *that* much harder. I still use Win7 on my daily driver because it's still my favorite OS of all but I'm about at the point where I could use Linux for almost everything.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2019, 04:49:45 am »
As someone in that Windows power-user camp, I actually disagree. I found that my knowledge of DOS command line and batch files translated very well into Linux.
In my experience, that group is different to the one I tried to describe.

For most who are used to the command line (be that DOS or Unix), they find their knowledge useful in Linux.  The batch language might be different, but the underlying logic is the same.  I believe they also tend to treat the machine as a modular tool.

The minority (in which I include the Mac OS 7.x.x to 9.x AppleScript power-users) has integrated the understanding of the GUI as the real part of the operating system, with the command line as a supplementary tool.  They seem to see the machine in terms of the UI, and have difficulty understanding the modular architecture where the GUI is a completely optional part of the system.

(A typical example is someone describing everything a script does in terms of what a human might do in the graphical user interface.  AppleScript was really geared for that.)

Having taught Linux to users as well, I find those who know DOS/Windows command line will pick up Linux very quickly and are much more comfortable with it than those who just use Windows to play games.
Absolutely agreed.

Another group that surprised me was those who had used both Windows and Mac machines for "real work" (I mean, to allow them to accomplish or save them effort in some task, as opposed to having fun).  They were already aware of the differences, and instead of learning which buttons to click by rote, had learned the underlying logic of the operations.  (As in, "umm, I think there must be a menu here somewhere that lets me change that...  oh yeah, that looks like it", rather than getting frustrated because an option is in a different place or under a different name or icon in different systems.)

For a similar reason, kids are rather fast at picking up Linux skills.  The main reason being they have no prior expectations, and are fully willing to experiment.  All you need is a parent that does not try to scare them with "breaking the computer", and someone who shows them useful stuff and explains the ideas if they ask.

I've always found laziness a good motivator.  When I teach or show a way to efficiently do a particular task, I show how my way saves time and effort.  I also explain the conditions when that works, and when it is likely to not work.  People rarely want to listen for longer, but if they want, over a coffee or so, I tell them (usually in story form) why it works, and why I chose that solution for now.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 04:53:42 am by Nominal Animal »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2019, 10:28:37 am »
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.
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Offline Kalvin

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2019, 11:01:31 am »
At home I have used Linux Mint (64-bit LTS-version with MATE desktop) as the main OS for quite many years now, and have used Virtualbox to host Windows 8.1 and Windows XP environments for those applications that are not supported by Linux. I have also another Virtualbox for a stable Linux embedded development environment with specific compiler settings etc.

At work I am using Windows 10 as the main OS due to company policy, but use Linux Mint inside Virtualbox as my main working environment. The Windows 10 is used only to host Virtualbox and provide connection to the network servers etc. I am also using Microsoft office tools in Windows 10 out of necessity if needed.

Both combinations work pretty well with 16 GB of RAM and 8 CPUs. The USB peripherals (like embedded flash-tools etc.) map automagically into Virtualbox very nicely after creating some rules for the Virtualbox.  The system with Windows 10 as the main OS has an annoying habit of rebooting from time to time after Windows update process, and thus requires some baby sitting. Other than that the Windows 10 doesn't bother me that much at all. For the best virtual OS performance one may want to allocate at least two CPU cores for each OS running inside Virtualbox. I am not using any applications requiring optimized video performance, so I do not have any suggestions or comments on the video performance.
 

Offline zucca

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2019, 11:05:50 am »
The only thing which still hook me at windows is Total Commander.

but one day:
https://krusader.org/

Still finishing to jump off the Google/Gmail boat... (I am so happy... finally I can control my mail for real....) in the future I am considering to leave Microsoft behind me as well.

There is so much outside the box.
Can't know what you don't love. St. Augustine
Can't love what you don't know. Zucca
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2019, 11:24:40 am »
Out of curiosity i took a look at linux mint just now.

I am wondering : why on earth three different user interfaces ?


The freedom to make such choices is the reason Linux exists. It's a lifestyle choice and not for everyone. I use Linux Mint and I just use Linux because I want to.

As to the post by the OP, I think frustration with Windows is a poor reason to use Linux. It may be just another OS but it isn't a homogeneous entity like Windows. Linux gives you freedom of choice and Windows gives you freedom from choice.


The good the bad and the ugly of Linux is this:
The Good, you get lots of choices.
The Bad,    you get lots of choices.
The Ugly,   you get threads like this one when requesting advice on Linux V. Windows choices on internet forums.

My advice to the OP is learn to deal with Windows and use Linux when you just want to.I have found Linux Mint XFCE to be well supported with help readily available and it has been reliable. It would be a good choice.
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2019, 11:35:47 am »
The only thing which still hook me at windows is Total Commander.

With "Midnight Commander" you don't even need X-Windows
http://linuxcommand.org/lc3_adv_mc.php
http://klimer.eu/2015/05/01/use-midnight-commander-like-a-pro/

Code: [Select]
apt-get install mc
~~~
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2019, 03:03:53 pm »
OP here   ;D
OMG, what have I done, what have I unleashed!
So many pros and cons, and so many use cases. 


First, thank you all for the help.
It will take a wile to reply to so many advises and questions, so please don't get mad at me if I can not reply to each, as I should.  :-[

Briefly:
- tearing is happening with or without proprietary nVidia, with or without Vsync.  In fact, Vsync is possible on only one monitor at once, and only in full screen.  So, if not full screen, or if I move the movie to another monitor, will tear the video.  So far I tried the nVidia blob (both stable and latest beta drivers) from nVidia website (with Ubuntu, manual install), and nVidia proprietary, but installed from the Fedora repository (with Fedora, install from GUI).
- about tearing again, the nVidia drivers (all 3 I've already tested) have two check boxes in the GUI for Composition Pipeline.  There are boxes for each monitor, yet Composite Pipeline can fix tearing on one monitor at a time, the one driving the Vsync.  Tear will still happen on another monitor.  Need to look further into this, maybe if I write the parameters in the config file, than it will work with all of the monitors at once.  Mainly I tested with VLC, but YouTube videos (Firefox) seems to be even worst, and ignore any settings.


- about tearing, the last thing to say, I noticed when there is only one monitor enabled, and the video is full screen, then the BLIT mode written in red by the driver changes to FLIP mode written in green.  This watermark with the video mode is slapped on the video by the driver, and it does not appear in a full screen YouTube video, yet the driver video mode stamp appeared in a very unexpected place like the Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE (under Linux, installed from repo's GUI, not Wine).  I read Visual Studio was running like a webpage, but I don't really know.  No idea why an IDE like Visual Studio running in a window will invoke a video mode from the nVidia driver (thus the driver watermark stamp), but a YouTube played in full screen with Firefox will not.  :-//


- about repository of each Fedora and Ubuntu, I understand there is not much difference between the packages in each repo, which is good news.  In practice, there seem to be some stability issues, didn't dig into that yet.  An example:  If I install Meld from each distro (Meld == a GUI interface for the GNU diff tool) in order to diff a huge pile of files (I am in the middle of saving and recovering parts of personal data from the former C:\ of the Win10) the Ubuntu Meld crashes, the Fedora Meld works.

- again, I am not new to Linux and loved it since I can remember.  Was using Linux over the years at work, but only in embedded or industrial environments where a SSH terminal was more than enough.  No one cares about sound, or video, or stanby/power features for a headless industrial device.  Yet, I didn't used Linux as a day to day (multimedia) desktop at home.  Periodically, let's say at each 3-5 years, I am giving Linux a try as a home desktop, in order to get rid of Windows.

- never completely switched to Linux until now.  Maybe because of occasional game playing, and also because of the daunting task of cleaning/saving personal data that piled up over the years, then migrate all kind of settings, setups and habits.

Let me give some examples:  There are 2 stereo speakers (with amplif) and a headset connected to the onboard 7.1 sound card.  They are all connected, all the time, and I was redirecting the sound from one to another from software (under Windows, the Creative sound drivers comes with their own gui that can redirect the sound).  There was no need to unplug the physical jack connectors.  With Linux, the default sound driver doesn't have such an option from GUI.  I need to dig for new drivers or customized settings, or find some workaround.  For now, I don't even know if the sound server is with PulseAudio or something else.

Same with video:  There are 3 monitors connected at nVidia, and a 4'th one connected at the onboard Intel GPU with a DVI cable that is going to the other room, for the movies only.  For movies on the 4'th monitor, there is another wireless keyboard and mouse, in the same room with the 4'th monitor.  Wireless keyb and mouse still works under Linux, yet the keyboard's mutimedia buttons for volume UP/DOWN doesn't work.  Need to tinker with that one, too.

Another one with the wireless sound:  There is a CSMR wireless audio and a wireless headset that I use to listen while doing something else around the house.  The wireless sound doesn't works either.  It doesn't detect the CSMR transmitter at all.  Need to tinker with that one too, or live without it.

Small commodities like that piles up, and take a lot of time to set them properly.


TL;DR again
1. I'm not going back to Windows 10, no matter what.  WinXP was great.  Win10 is horrible, and yes, it made my blood boil way too often.  The trend with Win10 is not for me, no reasons to look back.  I'm almost thankful to that malware I got last year.  It made me switch to Linux at home.
2. Since I'm not in a hurry, and don't need to commit to a certain distro, I decided to go for plan B:
Level1 hypervisor + ZFS filesystem + hardware passthrough  :box:
It will be a pity to have a processor that supports virtualization and not use it.  I'll go ahead and aim for a personal cloud, with distributed storage and multiple VM.  Will probably go for ProxMox, which is KVM based but comes nicely bundled with ZFS file system and WebGUI for administration.  ProxMox is the "ubuntu of level1 hypervisors".  I tried Xen once, and needed to tinker a lot to make it work, and there was no free GUI for Xen at the time.  I also read AmazonAWS plans are to switch from Xen to KVM, too.
3. Can hardly wait to tinker with hardware pass-through, GeForce760 might need a hardware unlock to allow hardware pass-through.  If got it right, the the chipset can do that, GTX760 is a Quadro locked down, just waiting for a hack.  The GTX760 unlock will also suppose to enable the 10bits/each color over HDMI (30 bits color depth is another Quadro feature locked down in the low end GTX760).  The main monitor can do 10bits/4K/60Hz.

I am very curious if the difference between 24 and 30 bits in color depth is visible to the eye, or it is just a marketing thing.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 04:46:12 pm by RoGeorge »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2019, 06:39:30 pm »
if (it_runs("Altium Designer 19" , and "solidworks" and "Photoshop" and "Premiere" and "Illustrator" and "Indesign" and "Rhino3D"))
    {nuke_windows();}
else {;}

there. there's a list of stuff i use daily (and have the licenses for). As long as Linux can't run any of that, it will not be my prime OS.
I do use Linux , but not on desktop (fileserver) and not installed by me. (factory install). I have no gripes ,as long as it works.
But on a desktop install.. There are just too many flavors , different installers, this runs here but not there ... urgh ...
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Offline Gribo

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2019, 06:49:10 pm »
I am on the same boat as Free_Electron, as long as Linux doesn't run Altium, 3DS Max and Photoshop (It runs GIMP, so bye bye Photoshop) I stick to Windows.


Also, did anyone try Elementry OS? https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/12/a-tour-of-elementary-os-perhaps-the-linux-worlds-best-hope-for-the-mainstream/
 

Online Bud

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2019, 06:58:44 pm »
Thanks but no, thanks

Quote
There's really no way to change the look and feel of elementary OS, and little way to customize the behavior of its default apps. It's a take it or leave it operating system—you either like it or you don't, and if you don't you're better off using something else than trying to tweak elementary OS to suit your whims
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Offline jimdeane

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2019, 07:01:38 pm »
If you want a single option, chosen for you by people who are much more knowledgeable (according to them) about what you want and need than you are, then you should choose Mac or MS Windows.

If you want options and can make a choice between flashy cutting-edge and established reliable options, and are willing to decide what's best for you, then choose a Linux distribution. The easy one is Ubuntu, in that you can just go with the default and be OK.

(Note: this is intended only to address choices in the OS configuration, not use cases.)
 

Online Bud

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2019, 07:08:52 pm »
That did not work for me either. I woke up one morning just to see to my horror the last ubuntu update TOTALLY has changed (read:screwed up ) the complete interface, because some ubuntu  morons thought they know better what i need. 
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2019, 07:15:17 pm »
That did not work for me either. I woke up one morning just to see to my horror the last ubuntu update TOTALLY has changed (read:screwed up ) the complete interface, because some ubuntu  morons thought they know better what i need.

I woke up one morning to find out the future of Windows is as a tablet OS.

How is this any different?
 

Offline jimdeane

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2019, 07:20:31 pm »
Did you update to 18.0x without reading about the changes to the 18.0x series?

I mean, the shift away from Unity and back to Gnome was pretty huge news.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2019, 07:29:58 pm »
If you don't like Linux then don't use it. Why do people have to comment about how they prefer windows whenever someone talks about another OS than windows?  :-//

(Unlike windows, it's not as if anyone is forcing you to use Linux.)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:31:29 pm by apis »
 

Online james_s

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2019, 07:52:37 pm »
I hadn't heard that Ubuntu was dropping Unity, that's good news, I've hated Unity right from the start to the point that it almost drove me away from Ubuntu altogether. It was only the widespread support and the fact that it's fairly easy to configure it to use Mate that kept me around. 
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2019, 09:31:10 pm »
I am on the same boat as Free_Electron, as long as Linux doesn't run Altium, 3DS Max and Photoshop (It runs GIMP, so bye bye Photoshop) I stick to Windows.

Who needs application software if you can play with five different distros and three different desktops on each of them?  :P
 

Online soldar

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2019, 09:54:27 pm »
Who needs application software if you can play with five different distros and three different desktops on each of them?  :P
Yeah, I think sometimes some people lose sight of what consumer products are supposed to do. Grandma does not care if it is Windows or Linux or Apple or Android; she just wants to press the button and video chat with the grandkid.

These days, for better or for worse, there is much more software for Windows than for Linux.  I wish that would change but that is the way it is. I wish they made multiplatform versions so you could move to Linux easily but, no, you have to learn everything all over again. For instance, Firefox and Google Earth work well on both platforms. If more programs did this people could shift more easily. I wish Irfanview worked on Linux.

I cannot find some pretty basic software for Linux. These days I do not use videoconference that much on the computer but I would still like to have a simple program which did just that. In Windows I have VSee but it does not work on Linux so I am stuck with Windows. You would think that a simple video conference program would be a pretty basic thing but I could not get any one to work well. They all had problems of one type or another. Forget about it.

Yes, it seems the Linux crowd are so entertained with their OS that they have no need for applications.

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Offline apis

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Re: Ditching Windows at home [Linux advice needed]
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2019, 10:34:27 pm »
Yeah, Linux is a joke because it doesn't even support Internet Explorer. Who need an internet browser when you can play with three different desktops!
 


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