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For reference, I was a complete Linux newbie when I started the process.
I am now running Madrake 8.2, I did a test install on an old P200 box, which worked OK, so I decided to 'go for broke' and install on my main PC.
As with the test installation, it installed easily and picked up all of my hardware OK. The installation took me through the partitioning procedure without confusing me too much, and I was left with a fully working dual boot system - Linux and Windows XP.
Linux picked up my Cable connection OK, and I was live on the internet almost immediately.
My home network works OK as well.
I should point out that I didn't really know what I was doing here, I just clicked a few obvious things and to my surprise it worked first time. I haven't tried file sharing yet, but the network is sharing the Internet OK
After playing around with the various options, I decided that XFCE was the windows manager for me. can't explain why exactly, it just 'felt' right. Littlemans post here [webmasterworld.com]helped enormously when weeding out the alternatives.
The real problem, and the reason I hesitated so long, was finding suitable replacements for 'the essentials' which I relied on in Windows. For me these were:
After a week dredging the net (starting with our own forum here, of course), I have Good and Bad news to report.
The Good News
The Bad News
Now these 'bad news' problems would normally be enough to send me running back to Windows, but in the short time I have been using Linux, it has seduced me.
I can't go back now, this thing works 'nicer' than windows. Nevermind the technical issues in its favour - it just feels more responsive and can be made to work the way I feel comfortable.
Obviously, I needed to run Linux and still have access to some Windows software, so next I checked out the Windows emulation options.
There was the option of installing and running WINE, but this does not support Dreamweaver yet - so I didn't pursue that option.
Of the other options available, Win4Lin seemed the best for my needs, as it runs a genuine copy of Windows within Linux.
So Win4Lin was bought and installed. Surprisingly, it installed easily enough (you need a valid Windows 98 CD and licence).
I am now running Topdog, ULead, Dreamweaver MX and all the others I need, but inside a Windows installation running in a Linux Window. So far nothing of concequence has refused to run.
Unbelievably, it is nicer than running Windows under its own steam. Once Linux is running, Windows boots in about 9 seconds. It closes down in 5 seconds. Recovering from a Windows crash is now quick enough to be a minor irritation rather than a 15 minute Coffee break.
It runs a little slower on some tasks, but not in a way that presents a problem and some applications seem to run faster - seems to be much less disk thrashing going on.
I am now a 'happy chappy' with best of both Worlds. Of course, I am looking forward to the day when I can drop Win4Lin and go 'clean', but until then, at least I can get some work done and buy my food:)
One of the things that always gets in the way of a big change like this is the amount of time involved. I know you've been working on this switchover for quite some time now...from a newbie standpoint just how long did it take you to mull this over, get your courage up, test the waters, get used to *nix, and finally make the actual change?
Obviously you think of this switchover as time well spent...do you find you are more productive than you were on Windows?
[url=http://www.academy-internet.net/images/normal.jpg]running almost full screen[/url]
[url=http://www.academy-internet.net/images/smaller.jpg]running in resized window[/url]
These are of Internet Explorer running in Windows 98 on XFCE desktop at 1024x768 (resized the graphics to 800x600 for ease of viewing)
Windows resizes itself automatically within the Win4Lin window, which is pretty cool.
Yes I tried Mozilla Composer and really liked it. There is a cool css editor add-on which I couldn't get working on linux yet (although fine on Windows). When I get a little more time, this may be the path I take.
CSS slicing is an alternative to slicing graphics for html tables. The graphic is sliced the same, but the positioning is done using a style sheet instead of the tables. ULead and Imageready can do this automatically.
Yup, started a few weeks ago with the trial install, but then left it because I couldn't find the web design tools I needed. The next time Windows started 'playing up' again was the catalyst. I was spending too much time cursing Windows and rebooting (yes even XP, which started so well eventually seemed to get 'clogged')
I probably took a weekend getting to the stage where I could use it a little - and then most of my evenings for the next week checking out the options.
I am not yet as productive using pure Linux as I was with Windows - but am getting there. With Win4Lin I can drop back to Windows as and when I need - so overall 'hybrid' productivity is high.
BTW I had a Laptop running Windows with all my important stuff mirrored on it 'just in case'.
This is something I've been looking into quite seriously myself, on and off for the last 12 months or so. I was worried too about losing the applications I'm familiar with, and rely on every day, in the Windows environment.
But with the details you've given here (especially regarding Win4Lin "saving your Windows bacon") I'm much more optimistic, and hopefully I'll migrate in the very near future too.
But for those who may think that all versions of Windows are always unreliable, I'd like to point out that my Windows 2000 Pro has not crashed once in the 2.5 years I've been running it. That's on a 3 PC LAN with 2 Win2K systems and one Win98 laptop, where my main PC is Win2k.
When one of my applications does have the rare lockup, Win2K can tame it and put it back in its cage without a restart.
I spend some of my time as a very experienced PC consultant and have not seen XP crashing on any of my client's PCs either. Since XP is built on top of Windows 2K, I expect it to be reliable also (and it seems to be - so far). I have read rumors that the WinXP autoupdates have caused some problems on laptops, but have no real evidence yet.
The most common mistake with Win2k and WinXP seems to be upgrading older versions of Windows after they are broken. You should always install a new version of Windows to a newly partitioned hard drive, rather than upgrade between versions. The new install can "inherit" problems from the old system (actually, can have trouble installing correctly with the damaged files).
Of course, knowing the tek stuff so you can buy the best hardware, turn off all the "features" you don't need in the BIOS and in the OS, having lot's of free hard drive space, large amounts of memory, extra cooling fans and doing some routine software maintenance, etc., etc. add a lot to reliability.
So, my point is that newer versions of Windows CAN be reliable.
I totally agree with you.
Windows XP is very stable compared to previous versions.
My XP was a clean install on a 800hz machine with 512M memory. Crashing wasn't really a problem. It just felt 'choked' and less responsive than Linux.
I still have a dual boot system, but haven't been back into Windows for a week now.
I just find the total 'user experience' of Linux better - others will certainly be better off with Windows - horses for courses etc.
I need help i have been running Linux before (redhat 5), but all of the commandos is lost somewhere in my head, and i don't think they will return.
I have a 800mhz, 128mb ram, 10gb, nothing much.
I want to install a Linux version which is the easiest to use, and the most similar to Windows 2000. Any suggestions?
Everything should be as easy as possible, because i don't have time to learn all the commandos and look up error problems etc.
Redhat 7.2, is quite good, also Mandrake's latest offering, and SUSE 8.0, which my father is trying out, though i have'nt been told much about it yet.
As 4eyes points out, and as i am sure that you are aware using redhat5, that obviously its not windows. but its plus points are hard to negate.
for me Office based functions are via StarOffice. Browser via Mozilla & Opera, which covers email. IBMs Homesite builder ain't bad but certainly ain't dreamwearver, if you done alot of work on the app.
Certainly from your hardware point of view, linux is no problems.
I need 2 or 3 Windows packages that cannot easily be replaced and Win4Lin solves this for me.
Otherwise Mandrake 8.2 does most of what I want without any problems, and is Windows-enough to make adapting fairly easy.
I wasted a lot of time finding the desktop/windows manager that worked for me - settling on Gnome and ICEwm - but XFCE was a close second.
As Windows is still involved, I guess I am not a pure convert, but if they ever release Dreamweaver for Linux I will be:)
The learing thing was a problem. Like most here, I need to work long hours just to keep on top of things.
I really didn't have time to learn a whole load of new stuff (plus, there is the Homer Simpson problem of "every time I learn a new thing, one of the old things drops out my head":))
My advice is to try it out an old box first (I had a 233mx lying around). I was able to to check out obstacles without losing my normal machine.
Once I was up and running on my main machine, the learning curve was not as bad as I had thought, and the time lost in learning was partly balanced by increased efficiency.
I am not an expert on Linux by any means, still learing every day. However, I could do all the basic stuff I needed within a couple of days.
Best place to learn stuff? - this forum:)