OT - able to use Knode again

my linux box when down a while ago and haven't had the time to fix it, so I've been stuck using tunder bird for my news reader, today I found that I can run KDE on winXP using cygwin, now I can run all my favorite apps on my windows box I'm a simple man, and simple things make me happy, I'm happy
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I'm technically happy. Tom Richard Clements wrote:

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On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 21:13:09 -0700, Richard Clements

Is there any benefit to linux? I don't really understand whether it is applicable to the home user. If you have the time, a short brief/tutorial would be appreciated.
Thx
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Many distributions allow you to use a "Live CD" so you don't even neeed to install it. Ubuntu is one such distribution, there are many more. The reason I mention Ubuntu is that it's probably one of the friendliest versions of Linux out there yet.
http://www.ubuntu.org
Puckdropper
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Too true. I have Ubuntu (Edubuntu) running on a computer for the kids.
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On Wed, 01 Nov 2006 17:25:45 -0500, Joe Bemier

Probably not a bad idea. From what I'm reading about the next release (hesitate to call it incarnation, more along the lines of Dracula would be more appropriate) of Windows (Vista) is going to be even more onerous in terms of product activation, phone-home license checking and even tighter support of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). Already, the newest beta for Windows media player will not allow one to back up license files for downloaded music (or at least it didn't -- by design -- when I was forced to check it out a couple of months ago).
One of the other advantages that unix systems have is that, should you have a problem in which you have to restore the OS, but where your data is still intact, you don't have to re-install your applications, you only need to assure that the paths are correct and that you have any required license managers running. I had to reload XP a couple of months ago -- it was a real pain to have to re-install all of my applications, even though the application files were all intact on the hard drive. That Msoft registry thing is an absolutely diabolical (in the biblical sense of the word) scheme.
I'm currently running Windows XP, but will be very seriously looking at Linux when I have to upgrade my computer.

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On Wed, 01 Nov 2006 06:17:30 -0500, Joe Bemier wrote:

When you buy MSFT operating systems, that's what you get ... an operating system. And a EULA no sane person is ever likely to agree to if they actually read it. And a needless dependency on anti-virus software.
When you install (purchased or not) a Linux distribution, you get enough software to gag a maggot.
Operating system, office suites, communication software, graphics programs, page layout, CAD, checkbook managers, chat software, compilers, web page editors, web and ftp servers, backup software, commercial quality databases (usually two of them, not counting the one inside Open Office) ... you name it -- it's there, the list goes on for page after page. Seriously. Some distributions offer to install as many as 700 application programs. Whether you use all 700 or just a relative handful, the price is the same ... next to free.
You can use the GUI of your choice ... or a text-only interface. Your choice. You can import all of your Windows fonts. You can read a password protected NT formatted hd faster than if you knew the password. BTDT. Virtually all of the Windows format data files will open perfectly in their Linux counterpart application. You'll lose autorun macros ... but you should have lost those a LONG time ago as they are the source of much security grief in Windows.
Most (all?) Linux distributions come with a top end firewall that does what is called 'stateful packet inspection'. Very sexy stuff, very secure. Free.
You can use the Linux Terminal Project software to beathe new life into older hardware on your home network. Linux offers comprehensive logging facilities so you can monitor attempts to turn your computer into a zombie. Especially revealing is the fact that all the virus attacks you will log over the course of a year are likely to be directed at either a Windows machine or a Mac. All. The basic security structure for Linux, based on the concept of priveleges, makes it a lousy target for extrenal viruses.
If you are really nervous, you can install Linux with the NSA (seriously!) security functions enabled. You can encrypt all the files on your computer and decrypt them on the fly.
After calling me to her machine a half-dozen times to repair crashes, (and noting that my copy of Linux had never crashed in that time period) my beloved wife had me take Windows off her computer and install Linux. And that speaks reams about it. She won't even let me upgrade her copy of Linux ... she likes it just fine the way it is.
I've been using it for about 12 years, my wife has been using it for about four years. Twelve years ago it was a real pistol to get to do anything at all ... like print ... or use a modem. But Linux has come a LONG ways. Today it is even simpler to install than Windows and when you get done, you can use the computer instead of having to wait a couple days while you feed it installation disks for the programs you want to use with it. Typically, with a reasonably nimble machine, Linux takes about 45-90 minutes to install ... most of which time is spent swapping out cd's. When you get done, you are ONE reboot from being able to use a fully equipped computer. I note this because of the seemingly endless reboots it takes to get Windows marginally functional. Linux proves that those simply aren't necessary and are a total waste of your time.
A couple years ago my sons and I used a utility called 'rsync' to use each others computers for backup devices.
One lives in St. Petersburg, FL, the other just outside Minneapolis, MN ... I live in Detroit. After the first backup, further backups took mere moments.
An hour after bringing a new computer home, I could have reconstructed all of my data on it. Now, how cool is that?
I'm just skimming the surface here. Linux and Windows run on most of the same hardware (Linux runs on more) but that is where their 'under the hood' resemblance ends although Linux can even be made to look like Windows.
Give Mandriva or Fedora a test drive on some decent desktop hardware and you may never pay the 'Bill Tax' again.
Bill (<-- the OTHER Bill!)
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wrote:

First thing you have to understand about Linux is that it's like the Mac--it's a religion to a lot of people. Be very careful what Linux advocates tell you--their information on Windows is often a decade out of date. Sometimes they lie without knowing that they are lying.
Major benefit is that it's free and there are a lot of applications. Major disadvantage is that managing Linux development is like establishing peace in the Middle East so there are a half a dozen sometimes mutually incompatible ways of doing things. The advocates will tell you that everything works wonderfully--if you buy one of the commercial distributions and only use what's included in that distribution this is to some extent true but when you start installing software that is not part of that distrubution you're likely to run into incompatibilities in a variety of driver models.
The advocates will tell you that "more hardware" is "supported". Hang out on the Linux groups and see how loudly those same advocates whine about the poor support for ATI and nvidia video boards.
Many of the touted benefits of Linux are in fact also present in current releases of Windows and in some cases Windows does a better job of it.
The "free" software is mostly "you get what you pay for" software--it ranges from fairly decent to pretty poor--there are only a few real gems like knode and even those are quirky and sometimes poorly documented. Further, much of that free software also runs fine on Windows.
The virus safety issue is mostly hype--I've never (since Windows 1.0) gotten a virus on any of my Windows boxen--the "danger" is exaggerated by the antivirus vendors in order to sell software--the antivirus junk generally causes more problems than it solves. Usually if you do pick one up it's from a disk that your kid brought home from school, not from Internet activity, and if you configure your machine to not boot from diskette or CD and not autorun CDs and give your kid a user account instead of administrator even this problem pretty much goes away.
There's also the long-term support issue--many Linux projects have gotten off to a good start and gotten to where they were almost useful and then the developer graduated from college and got a job or got married and had a kid and no longer had time for that hobby and nobody else decided to take over and so the project went down the tubes.
There are some applications that just plain do not exist for Linux--for example there's no tax software--some of the Windows tax software may run on Linux under an emulator but considering how poorly some of it runs under Windows (the tax software vendors need to put less effort into "protecting their intellectual propery" and more into "making their crummy code actually run") I'd expect a real hassle getting it to go under an emulator.
If your need is to use the computer as a working tool and you aren't on a super-tight budget I'd go with Windows--if you're more interested in the machine than in the applications then you'll find Linux more rewarding.
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True. As a fairly imparital (if you claim absolute nuetrality, you're lieing) observer of all three "Operating System philosophies" I can see where every one has it's good and bad points.
I noticed that in Linux and Unix (OS X's base) I tend to have a terminal window open when in a GUI environment. In Windows, I rarely need to open the command prompt (terminal window) to do something.

Some distributions have package managers, which make it really easy to get new software, if they have it. They'll also download needed libraries for you. My biggest complaint, though, is the package manager shows hundreds of things installed and I can't access but a few easily because I don't know /where/ they are.

Hey there's support for my Newton's keyboard in kernel 2.6! (What, you mean you'd rather spend $35 more on a better ATI card than a Newton keyboard? Hmph!)
Part of the problem with hardware support is getting manufacturers to provide either the drivers or information to create the drivers on a non- Windows system. Some barely get Windows drivers working, so they're not even going to attempt Linux.

Every once in a while you find a real free gem. It's the same way with most commercial software too... Every so often you get a gem.

Viruses are a real problem, but safe computing and safe surfing can really minimize your exposure to them. Some things are easy to do, such as not opening email attachments you weren't expecting and turning on Windows XP's firewall. (Security experts just hush! I know, but finding, downloading and installing a firewall is HARD for most users.) I've been virus free for almost 3 years, longer if I had put the firewall up before connecting to the school's network.

Have you looked for tax software? I bet it's out there, just not Quicken.

For most user-level installs, I'd go with Windows too. It's easier to let someone else help them. ;-)
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