Linux or BSD and survival

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Offline JimBob

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Linux or BSD and survival
« on: 16/10/2007 01:46:36 »
I will NOT go to Windows Vista. I absolutely refuse to support their proprietary way of doing almost everything.

SO, what is better? Linux, BSD, or just gut up and spend the money on SPARC?

My computer uses:

Graphics - Photoshop, Illustrator, AND GIS systems and CAD systems programmed to do geologic tasks. (Grass is just not there yet.)

Business applications - Star office but is there a Power Point equivalent in any of these systems.

I am also only simi-literate and cannot grep grep. My mind is lazy and I like shortcuts as compared to learning so a GUI is preferred. The trouble is that the dummies' Linux will not let you adjust the size of the program icons on the desk top - at least in the KDE and Gnome version I tried a couple of years ago. Also - are the applications such as these for BSD?

I am not yet in a buying mood (just starting to research this) but do need professional grade geologic applications.

Any helpful tips?
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein


Offline engrByDayPianstByNight

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« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2007 05:24:32 »

    The last time I used Linux (RedHat) was four years ago. But I've seen some of my friends use Linux these days (RedHat, Mandrake, etc.). Different versions of Linux are getting better and better these days; the outlook is cooler, and more functionality. So, I'd choose Linux. SPARCs may be too sophisticated and expensive for personal use in my opinion.

    Although I cannot give you an authoritative recommendation of which Linux flavor you should choose (e.g., RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, SuSE, etc.), I recommend posting your question to some linux usergroup (there are tons of them on the Web if you do a google group search) to get some input of user experience from the others before you install it.

    If issuing Unix commands is not your cup of tea and you still prefer GUI, have you considered Apple computers? Many of my friends are converting to Mac laptops these days, and they have very nice things to say about them, and it doesn't violate your No-Windows code of ethics, either. [:)]



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« Reply #2 on: 16/10/2007 06:23:39 »
I have avoided answering this so far because while I do use Linux, I use it mostly as a server, so don't get much into GUIs.

Linux is now the fastest growing of the non-Windows platforms, so it generally has more support than things like BSD (can't compare to Mac).

Many windows applications can be run under WINE - although there will be performance hits, and many applications that simply will not work under WINE for one reason or another.

Start Office is the commercial equivalent of Open Office, and that does have PowerPoint support.

PhotoShop and Illustrator will no run under Linux (Adobe do not support Linux on anything).  The standard answer most Linux people will give (for photo editing) is to use GIMP - but personally, the little I have used GIMP, I have felt it was competent so long as you bear in mind it was written by people with a traditionally Unix notion of user friendly interface.  My own preferred Windows based photo editor is Picture Windows, and I believe there are people who have run that under WINE (there is pressure to have the product ported to Linux, but at present the only answer coming back is that it may happen in the future, but at present you can run it with WINE).

Never had anything to do with Illustrator, so I cannot really compare it to any Linux counterpart.

I would be very surprised if there is no CAD software for Linux, given the kind of people who use both, but again it is not something I have experience with.



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Linux or BSD and survival
« Reply #3 on: 16/10/2007 15:17:03 »
If you want a GUI, which works well and presents you with a similar interface, whatever application you are using, you are more or less obliged to use something that has had millions of man hours used in its development and which all the best software houses are prepared to support.
 I remember the hotch-potch of interfaces that software houses used to produce for PCs when Windows was in its infancy (like the disgusting Sony stuff) and I remember how nice it was to run all the well known applications on my Mac with a common  look and feel theme running through all of them. MS Windows has improved so much since that time, of course.
So that probably leaves you needing a version of MS Windows or  Macos, these days. If you don't move to a current version when they want you to, you find that fewer and fewer things work for you.
He who rides the tiger cannot dismount. Hold out your wallet . . .
It is years since I saw what you got on serious Workstations, in the way of consumer applications. It depends on what you actually want.
If you have a limited number of requirements and are prepared to put up with open source equivalents of well known packages then, fine. You have probably cut yourself off from quite a lot of useful tools and entertaining experiences but you have more choice of operating system. It's just a matter of choice.

I remember, a few years ago, hearing an old geezer explaining to his wife, at a computer fair, that you could do all the graphics you needed using the cursor keys. He, possibly, had never used Illustrator or Photoshop.

'Pretty' is a valid consideration if you intend to spend many hours in front of your computer.


Offline daveshorts

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« Reply #4 on: 18/10/2007 12:16:08 »
I use linux all the time both as the server behind this site and as a deesktop operating system. I run Ubuntu at home which is generally nice. As an operating system linux works very well.

The number of games that run on it is severely limited, but I consider this as a plus point as when I do start playing games I get bored more quickly and start doing something useful again more quickly, loose less sleep etc.

Open office does a pretty good job on opening most office documents if they are not so filled with graphics that they would be touchy in office itself. There is a version of GIMP which is designed to be more like photoshop called GIMPshop, both will run on windows so you can find out if it does what you want.

Ubuntu is certainly far easier to install than windows, unless you have weird hardware it just works.

I think your big problem is going to be the CAD and GIS programs, if the manufacturers make a linux version you will be fine, making them work in WINE will probably be a pain...


Offline Ben Aldhouse

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« Reply #6 on: 22/10/2007 13:45:34 »
I've just installed Ubuntu in a VMWare virtual machine under Windows XP. I'm hoping that perhaps I'll be able learn a bit about programming for Linux this way without ever having to leave Windows*. Hmm... Anyone else tried this?

*My reluctance to leave Windows isn't down to undieing love for it - just that I have other projects on the go which are, unfortunately, Windows specific.


Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #7 on: 22/10/2007 14:36:32 »
Ben - I run Windows from under Linux (Debian) on my server. My other PCs still run XP as I have not found any Linux programs for the kind of video & audio recording/editing I need to do.

I considered Ubuntu, but Debian comes with so much bundled software I couldn't resist it. Plus Debian is more stable. That's because American corporations are going for it big time now & they need as close to 100% uptime as possible. Home PC users aren't quite so fussy.

Ubuntu is more cutting-edge & by its very nature has more bugs. It is, however, very easy to install & use.

I'm going to change the set up on 1 of my other PCs from purely XP, though. I'm going to install a dual-booter such as GRUB so I can choose to run XP or Linux. The internal 160Gb HD will revert to XP only and Linux will reside on a smallish (80Gb) external HD. A 2nd external 300Gb HD will have the data I want to share between the 2 OSs as Linux can read XP files.
« Last Edit: 22/10/2007 14:39:47 by DoctorBeaver »
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Linux or BSD and survival
« Reply #8 on: 22/10/2007 19:56:52 »
Ubuntu is essentially based on Debian.

Ubuntu tries to be updated more frequently (and thus with slightly less stable code) that regular Debian, but is still far short of where the testing version of Debian is (and there is an 'unstable' Debian that is really only for OS developers - but many people will try and blend the testing version of Debian with the stable version when they find some hardware support in the testing version that is not yet in the stable version).