I haven't missed that point. I concede that there are more people
I don't see how it's all that important to be using what everyone
else is using.
Yes. Linux installs have gotten easier and easier.
If you can install XP, you'll find installing Linux is even easier
(without all the reboots).
If you can't install XP, you can run Linux without even doing a
proper install. There are "live CDs". Just put the CD in the drive and
reboot. You don't install anything it just runs Linux.
If you have a machine that can boot from USB there are versions that
run from a USB device.
How do you deal with Windows problems? Same technique works with
For many people, it's not an either or type choice. Many people
run both. They set up their machines for dual boot. If you've got
to get something done and you can't figure out how to do it, boot into
the other OS. Many people claim they switch back and forth and eventually
find they don't need Windows after a while. For some it goes the other
If your goal is to run what everyone else runs, Linux isn't a good
If you have any curiosity burn a live CD and see how far you get.
It won't hurt anything.
I think what surprises most people is the massive amount of
free software available. The "Add/Remove Programs" feature
really works. In Windows, all it's good for is removing
stuff. With Linux there are thousands of free applications to
install and have fun with.
Dan, are you saying that installing and working with Linux is do-able
for someone at the novice (not newbie) level?
I hate Windows and am not fond of IE. I had to go back to IE after
upgrading Firefox screwed my computer up. I had been using it for years.
But every damn thing I have to install for windows eats up so much
resources. And I really don't know what I Need to install and what I can
skip. I also tried Thunderbird but wasn't crazy about it either. I use
Can I somehow install Linux over windows--I don't know what a dual boot
is. I will do a bit of research.
You can install Linux over, beside or inside windows.
Over is very easy, boot from the CD. One of the first questions it
asks is do you want to install over.
Beside (dual boot) is a bit harder.
Mainly you have to decide how much space you
want to use for Linux (that's the harder part).
The installer will resize the Windows partition if necessary.
Next time you boot, it asks you want to boot Windows or Linux.
Inside can be done a couple of ways:
With WUBI Linux, you install Linux just like any other Windows application.
Next time you boot it asks if you want to boot Linux or Windows.
The difference is, Linux resides within the Windows file system.
There are a few Virtual Machines. I've used VMWare (which you can
now get for free) and Virtual Box. Both let you run Linux inside Windows
or Windows inside Linux. Both run at the same time. Also very simple
As I said previously, you don't even have to install it.
You can get a "live" CD or USB key. Then boot from the CD or
USB key. If you're afraid you'll mess something up, the live
CDs are really risk free.
This is a step by step of the installation of current Mandriva Linux. My
personal favorite distro. I used to dual boot but no longer find anything
that I would use Windows for.
My wife still uses Windows only because she plays games online that are
only ported to Windows.
You can select the end of your hard drive or add a slave hard drive to
install Linux on and keep windows either way. If you choose this choice
defrag windows twice before installing Linux. Allow at least 10 Gb for
Linux just to check out it's operation.
I also prefer the second drive option. Makes it extremely easy for the
newbie to identify which drive is which. Specially when the second drive
is a 40gb while the primary is a 160.
My preference is PCLinuxOS. But like Mandriva it too uses a very simple
to use Control Center for configuring the computer. I always get remarks
from people who never thought they could have so much flexibility in how
their systems looked.
"Back in the day" when anyone that could operate the keyboard was the new
administrator like Windows has worked for years for most folks.
Is that what you're talking about?
If you had working knowledge of both current systems, I might listen.
Now all I can say is, I could teach it to you but I can't learn it for you.
I've used both systems and have both running on different boxes in the house.
Have a laptop that is still dual boot.
Wife uses Windows and maintains it well.
We have used Knoppix Linux to remove a bug though. It runs from a CD.
I'm doing great! Thanks.
Anyone can install Firefox or Thunderbird. So far as configuring them
goes, depends on how far you take "configuration". A lot of settings are
available in the Account Settings and Options menus, true, but I doubt
most users would even venture so far as the about:config settings you
mention below. Probably less than 5% of users would be my guess.
That's part of what I'm talking about. F'rinstance, when you install
Thunderbird, one of the settings makes it want to automatically dial an
Internet connection if you're on dialup, something I *don't* want to
happen. It took quite some digging to discover the config item
(network.autodial-helper.enabled) to change this behavior.
And then there's the stuff that can only be had through editing
userpref.js and "chrome" files. A user with working knowledge of
have that knowledge, or even *want* it?
I remember when I tried to find documentation for about:config, it was
pretty hard to find. Perhaps that's been fixed since.
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
That's like the company that touts in boring detail the qualities of it's
1/4" drill bit [pardon the pun] and completely misses the fact that, in
spite of millions of 1/4" drill bits being sold each year, NO ONE WANTS A
1/4" DRILL BIT!
What they want is a 1/4" hole.
Hmm, trying to make sense of that analogy...
A slick interface is a goal. Not my goal but why else would anyone
install Vista? The "Aero" interface managed to push the hardware
requirements up to 2gig of memory. Somehow OSX and Linux did just
as well or better without raising memory requirements. In fact,
newer versions run faster on the same hardware.
Looks like you have a knack for it.
It should have been clear I was talking about paying for AV software.
First you rent an OS so full of holes that you then have to rent AV
software to prevent that OS from being eaten alive.
As far as this last analogy...
In one case you pay, in the other case it's free.
I don't think "dating a chorus girl" is the right term.
than there are hammer, screwdriver or skill saw folks. If you would
care to look around would see only people who use different tools when
they need them. I use Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.
What else are you confused about?
Please try to be gentle with folks such as Chris. They are extremely
frustrated already by their poor choice of an obtuse and arcane
operating system. They now have to fiercely defend that poor choice,
which stresses them out even further. They are, as a group, very thin
skinned, and if you persist, poor Chris's head may well explode. You
wouldn't want to be responsible for a tradgedy like that, would you?
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