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Linuxhelp _ General Discussion _ Love Hate Relationship With Linux

Posted by: majpooper Dec 3 2005, 11:11 AM

All started well with Linux in the beginning. I played with Fedora a bit then SuSE and ended up installing SuSE 9.3. The feeling of being free from Mircosoft and Windows was great. I would now have great stability and good security.

Firefox proved to be a very good browser (although I did not need Linux for that) and Thunderbird a worthy email client. Open Office was OK for me but there are those in my family who want to stay with MS Office and IE and I could not run Quicken on Linux. So I installed CrossOffice (CX) a wine application that would give me the Windows plugins needed to run some Windows apps.

That was the beginning of the slide downhill for Linux. Quicken actually works about 85 to 90% OK and I can live with it. IE is not really OK – It works but freezes up a lot and printing is very slow when it works at all. To open WORD takes an unbelievable 5 minutes but seems OK after that (I suppose I could just leave it open). I tried making mailing labels and the printing would not line up correctly but when it was done on a Windows system it worked fine – so there are some things that CX does not do really well.

The real kicker was CX did not like the way my CDROM was configured and asked to “fix” it. I let it and I am paying BIG TIME !

I can no longer mount my CDROM or CDRECORDER ! This is where I am starting to hate Linux. I have spent hours trying to understand the mount command and more hours trying to learn about ect/fstab
and how to configure CD devices (the Floppy is fine as is the hard disk) and then how to edit (I am learning vi so I guess that is a good thing).

But I can not mount my CD devices. Now I discover it is because the system has no idea that I have CD devices. In MY COMPUTER they are missing and in YaST they are not “detected.” I am beginning my THIRD week trying to get my CD devices back. What is really bad is they automounted just fine in the beginning – almost as good as – I hate to say it – Windows.

In the mean time –during the Linux honeymoon – I installed SuSE 9.3 on our second PC. Great ! an all Linux home network. Well not quite.

I have been trying off and on for the last month (God only knows how many hours) to network my printer so both PCs can use it. But CUPS just plain sucks and I can not get it to work. And I am starting to wonder if all this time and effort is worth it after all - at least with the hated Windows I can network my printer and my scanner. I can not get Linux to recognize my scanner but I think that is just a driver problem and have not had the 30 or 40 hours I guess it will take to get started to figured it out.

Yet I pop in my jumpdrive and it works wonderfully and it makes me not want to give up on Linux quite yet but I am really close.

Any sugesstions or help would be greatly appriciated

Posted by: Jim Dec 3 2005, 03:36 PM

Switch to Apple.

This is my take on things. Linux is a great tool for lots of things. Home desktop just really isn't one of them, not yet anyways. It can work, you can make it happen. I do, I run a gentoo box 99.9% of the time right here where I am sitting. But I also have Apple's and I use those all the time, and I use those more often for "mission critical" type stuff like writting essays and printing and all that good jazz.

I am labeled as a heritic in my local computer nerd groups because I don't think Linux is going to become main stream. Most of them point at how great Ubuntu is and talk about how its only gonna be a few years until linux explodes onto the masses. Ya, that will never happen.

Look at Apple, by far the best OS on the market today. Fast, easy, stable, secure, feature rich, bassically everything anybody could want, and whats it doing? Slowly chipping away at MS. Not exploding. Ubuntu is never going to even get to that level because there is no money in it.

This is the long story short. It take about as much effort to run a linux box as it does to keep a windows box up and virus/spyware free. So it just comes down to preferance. Either you can spend your time fighting your printer driver on Linux, or you can spend your time removing worms on windows. The only alternative is Mac.

A few last things. Ya, cups is a bitch, but it can be done. I have never had any problems with OO of Abi Word not being able to open .doc files and or save out .doc that others can read. The main reason to run cross over is for excel. Why on earth do you need to run IE? That I just don't understand. And if you are looking for a really good stable way to run Quicken you might want to look into VMWare, but that is a bit pricey.

Posted by: DS2K3 Dec 3 2005, 04:05 PM

Well, of course Windows apps dont work well on Linux. Wine has been in development for 12 years, and only entered "beta" development a few weeks ago. If people insist on using word, then give them Windows - You can always get OpenOffice to save in Word format. That's the same problem you would have with a Mac, but for some reason people moan more about Windows rpogrs not running on Linux than they do about Windows progs nut running on Mac OS.

People are always moaning about Cups - But using Webmin and the built-in cups admin interface, I have never had any problems. I haven't used Fedora in a while ('cause I hated it) but Mandriva IS eassier to use than Windows, it IS more stable, and it IS a good desktop OS. Installing and configuring Mandriva to use the network, print, play music and use my scanner takes an hour or so. I perosnanly dont get whyt people go on about ubunt so much - It has next to no configuration tools when you compare it to Mandriva. (Mandirva is, of course, the collective knowledge of Mandrake, Connective and now Lycoris).

I think there are three things to keep in mind when using Linux:
1 - Dont expect anything you know about Windows to be relevant
2 - Dont run it on cutting-edge (or super-cheap) hardware
3 - Use Linux for Linux programs. You dont buy a horse and then try to fit it in a kennel, so dont get Linux and try to run Office.

Posted by: Jim Dec 5 2005, 05:01 PM

I like you're three things to keep in mind D, those are good.

I haven't run Mandriva since it was Mandrake. I liked it then, I found I out grew it because I was digging into the back end and Mandrake didn't like that. Sometime here I am gonna install a current version of Mandriva and see what its like.

I think you're first point is the most relevant. Some people assume that because they are Windows gurus they are gonna be able to waltz through windows. Then they ask questions like "where are the .exe files?" and "how do I edit the registry" and you want to smack them accross the mouth.

I gather the emphisis on the IS a good desktop where targeted at me. Everything I have tried recently doesn't cut it as an easy to use, quick to set up, and easy for the average user to get up to speed on. But now that I think about it, Windows isn't really easy for the average user to get up to speed on either. So I guess it comes down ease of install, set up, and functionality.

Obviuosly any of the power distros are out. Gentoo, Debian, even like Slackware and SuSE to some extent. But lets leave SuSE in play for a min.

So the big players then are Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE and Mandriva.

Fedora trips right out of the gate because its an American distro so it has lots of copywrite and IP problems with things like mp3s and such. So its kind of a pain in the ass to get it working right.

Ubuntu as previously discussed .... well sucks.

SuSE I haven't used much but from what I understand it sets up pretty easy, gets rolling, but has some problems with device support and such.

Mandriva I am out of touch with, so I will take you're word on it and prounouce it the winner.

Long story short, all of the linux is a newbie to the home user market. Its growing and eventually it might get itself under control pretty well, but it isn't there yet. I don't recomend people to come over to linux unless they are looking to learn alot and have some troubles. Thats what I have to say.

Posted by: DS2K3 Dec 6 2005, 01:48 PM

I upgraded to Mandriva 2006.0 last night. What can I say? It's great! It upgraded with virtually no input from me, and everything worked straight away. I isntalled the nvidia driver again, that just required 3 lines typed at the console, and the isntalation let me set up printers and network. It even lets you setup NIS authentication during installation. The control panel still has all the great features which it used to have, and I spotted a couple more besides.

The KDE 3.4 splash sound is also pretty cool... Which I guess is important.

Haven't tried using my scanner or webcam yet - But all my other hardware is working with no help from me (with the exception of installing a better nVidia driver - Though the one it ships with is fine for everything but 3D acceleration).


Posted by: Jim Dec 6 2005, 02:17 PM

and dual head, which is always why I have to install NVIDIA drivers.

Posted by: DS2K3 Dec 6 2005, 03:59 PM

That's true - Twinview is a nightmare to set up...


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