[plug] [plug-ctte] Linux enthusiasm - too good to be true?

Kev kdownes at bbnet.com.au
Mon Jun 16 23:36:18 WST 2008

Patrick Coleman wrote:
> J & M Kampert wrote:
>> About two months ago, I tried to run an LCD monitor on  my "Windows XP
>> home" computer. It was a disaster: XP could not set the screen
>> definition to match the LCD's needs. Possibly I could have fixed this
>> then with a graphics card; BUT the old computer {My ninth or tenth?} is
>> not a good candidate in my opinion for hardware experiments. So I
>> recalled from my days as a computer systems manager/accountant [HP NCR
>> mini computer systems in the bad old days of tape back-ups etc] that
>> there is such a thing as LINUX nee UNIX which could get me out of the
>> clutches of Microsoft without switching to [an even more expensive]
>> MacIntosh system.
>> I started to read up on LINUX, and developed the impression that either
>> it's very very good, or it's too good to be true.
>> I purchased two CD's from your Perth supply address: LINUX XP 2006SR2
>> and then SimplyMepis 6.5.02.
>> The first wouldn't even demo, the second demo'd under Windows XP but
>> didn't seem to accept any scanners.
>> SO, I decided to play it safe and bought a new PC with a faster CPU,
>> more RAM a twenty inch LCD and Windows VISTA, the system that allows me
>> to write this email. This also enabled me to download Open Office and
>> GIMP under Windows VISTA, saving me a small fortune for software
>> replacements. After two days of systems work, I got my old printers and
>> cameras to work under Vista, but the download of a Canon driver for my
>> old scanner failed, so I had to invest in a new one. Open Office and
>> GIMP allowed me to continue to work  on my existing data from MS Office
>> and Photoshop. 
>> Then I took the chance to try and install a version of Linux on the old
>> box, hoping it would allow me to learn Linux and so to eventually rid
>> myself of VISTA.
>> the results:
>> Simply Mepis 6.5.02 did instal, and wiped out all the old Windows XP,
>> all other software and data, BUT then demanded a registration number,
>> which I haven't got, and the old box is not [yet] connected to the net.
>> Furthermore Mepis did not seem to have loaded much of Open Office!
>> I then tried LINUX XP 2006SR2, which wiped off Mepis but then could
>> not/would not properly auto-reformat the disk and hence did not install
>> itself. Now the old computer system is just an empty shell with only a BIOS!
>> Perhaps I should re-install Windows XP Home on it and use it for storing
>> back-up data?
>> If you can show a way into Linux without requiring a Uni or TAFE
>> course,  then I look forward on installing LINUX without eating also a
>> box of panadol!
>> But for now, I tend to the belief that the Internet-hype about Linux is
>> just that; it's great if you are a tinkerer/hobbyist; but no good if you
>> expect your computer to work as a tool!
>> Regards,
>> John Kampert, retired accountant
> Hi John,
> I'd recommend you try Ubuntu - its hardware detection is very good and it's great as far
> as "just works" goes. I use it on my various desktops and my laptop because I don't have
> to stuff around with it (I spend my time breaking Linux servers at work instead). Ubuntu
> has become an extremely popular distribution recently because of this.
> If you would like a copy and don't want to download it (if you want to you can from
> http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu-releases/8.04/ubuntu-8.04-desktop-i386.iso) let me know
> and I can give you a copy at our next seminar.
> I've cc'd this to our mailing list, in case anyone there has any other suggestions. If
> you're interested in learning more I'd recommend you subscribe (if you haven't already) -
> you can do so at http://plug.org.au/resources/mailing-list.
> Everyone: you may want to cc John on any replies.
> Cheers,
> Patrick Coleman
> President, PLUG
> linux.org.au

G'day John,

At the risk of starting a religious war in PLUG, you sound just like a 
candidate for Xandros.  They /specifically/ aim their distro at Windoze 
refugees.  Whilst Ubuntu, and quite a few others, are very good, they're 
not for the /absolute/ beginner.  They're for tier 2 beginners.  That 
goes double for someone near my own age bracket - you did say retired!  
I now play regularly with new distros (been installing the latest 
Klikit, Mandriva and Kubuntu tonight) but if Xandros hadn't appeared 
(recommended by a PLUG committee member I might add) I would have given 
up on Linux altogether.  Xandros is /the definitive/ beginners' Linux.  
You can learn all you need there to be productive for evermore, or give 
you enough background to go forward and become a real geek.  Either way, 
it's the one standout best entry level distro, bar none!  If you want to 
give it a try I have a DVD of the latest free version - just drop me a 
line and I can send a copy to you (I'm in Albany).  If it means anything 
to you, it's a Debian based distro using the KDE desktop and all 
defaulted to make a Windoze user feel quite at home.  You have all the 
power and stability of Linux in a very familiar looking environment.


Kev Downes
kdownes at bbnet.com.au  ph 0404 7 0808 2
We used to use and recommend Xandros but they went to the dark side
So we'll soon be using and recommending Debian Etch
There are 10 types of people ...
   ... those who understand binary, and those who don't!
There is sufficient light for those who desire to see,
and there is sufficient darkness for those of a contrary disposition.
        - Blaise Pascal, Pensees 149

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