GNU/Linux a viable alternative to Windows?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Larry, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Larry

    Bob_Villa Guest

    You can go on and on with this guy...he's done it before. His brain is ROM and nothing with change!
    Bob_Villa, Mar 3, 2014
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  2. Larry

    Ben Myers Guest

    But he claims it is a Mensa ROM, so it is way better than most other brain ROMs. You're also saying that his ROM cannot be flashed or updated? I never did have get of those devices for burning new images onto old style EEPROMs. Used to have a friend burn the chips for me... Ben
    Ben Myers, Mar 3, 2014
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  3. Larry

    Ben Myers Guest

    Anyway, I get this perverse pleasure exposing the illogical fallacies emanating from a supposed superior mind... Ben
    Ben Myers, Mar 3, 2014
  4. Larry

    Ron Hardin Guest

    My plan is to go to Linux when XP becomes just too obsolete.

    The immediate advantage of XP was that you got all the drivers you needed with the machine,
    where Linux is going to take a year or so to code up drivers for new machines.

    I add Cygwin to XP to get a Linux-like interface, which I need as a programmer in order to
    operate, so it's sort of a Linux need anyway.

    I have Ubuntu on a couple of dual boot machines that I no longer use, and it's okay, at least
    for a UNIX person.

    I imagine there will be popular software for the most popular Linux distribution, if not the
    very latest thing you'd find written for windows.

    A slight disadvantage of non-obsolete systems is that graduate students are busy working on
    them and they always **** them up somehow so your old programs don't work.

    With an obsolete system, your stuff keeps working. It's under your control, not theirs.
    Ron Hardin, Mar 3, 2014
  5. Larry

    Larry Guest

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your post.

    So far my idea to dual boot between Windows XP and Linux seems to be working on the distributions I have tried out. I have some comfort with Linux mint, but Zorin seems to be a really easy one to start with.

    I am noticing some differences in the quality of the drivers in the different distributions. However, that may also be due to the differences in hardware.

    Larry, Mar 4, 2014
  6. Larry

    Ben Myers Guest

    FYI, the biggest issue among all the Linux distros is whether or not to produce a distro which includes non-open source hardware drivers. Of note, Broadcom produces its own Linux drivers and does not release the source code.So some "pure" distros exclude Broadcom drivers and your Dell/Broadcom wifi does not work without the installation of its drivers from somewhere. Other distros treat audio and video codecs the same way, and you end up withless than spectacular audio or video.

    And all these distros are operating on widely varying release schedules, soa distro that is a few months old may be missing a driver for a newer piece of hardware (usually audio, video or wifi). But, then, drivers are missing from Windows, too. I just set up a Lenovo Thinkpad T430 today with Windows 7 and I had to install a lot of drivers, including video, Ethernet and wifi to get it to operate properly.

    I still say that the biggest issue today is that there remain too many Linux desktop distros. I use the specialty Linux distros a lot, software like Clonzilla, Parted Magic and a couple for computer forensics and recovery. For the specialty ones, I can rationalize a different distro. And there are a couple that are intended for really old systems. Fine. But, gee, how many desktop distros do we need to confuse people??? ... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Mar 5, 2014
  7. Larry

    Larry Guest

    In your opinion what would be the the top five Linux distros for older desktops and laptops?
    Larry, Mar 5, 2014
  8. Larry

    Ben Myers Guest

    Top 5 is one way to look at it. But the other way is to ask hard questionsabout the various Linux desktops, which install on top of command line Linux to make it easy to use or not so.

    The following link provides a very useful comparison of the various desktopmanagers, showing how much memory each consumes, important in an older system with less memory. As a rule of thumb, the last Pentium 3 laptops supported no more than 1GB of PC133 SODIMM memory. Pentium 4 laptops with the 845 or 855 chipset handle 2GB max of DDR. Pentium 4 and Core2 laptops with 945 handle up to 4GB, 965 accepts 8GB, I think, all DDR2. For anyone considering use of an older laptop with Linux or otherwise, the older memory is cheap, so an upgrade to the maximum possible memory will pay back in betterproductivity and quicker response times.

    The other thing to consider is that the desktop managers that occupy the least memory often provide a fairly crude-looking desktop.

    Of the ones in the list in the article, the usable desktops I have seen are:
    OpenBox (maybe)

    Mint and Ubuntu both offer distributions or derivatives with these inerfaces, and both are widely popular. Fedora offers less flexibility here, beingmore targeted toward business/commercial use on more contemporary computers. Same with OpenSuse.

    For any older laptop, I would not consider a distro using any of Gnome 3, Unity or KDE. All three are pretty unwieldy, and take up way too much memory.

    I hope this helps, even if it not quite the response you thought you might get... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Mar 5, 2014
  9. Larry

    Larry Guest

    Update: This article "3 easy Linux alternatives for Windows XP refugees who don't want a new PC" from PC World,

    Just came out. Thought it might be of interest to the group.
    Larry, Mar 14, 2014
  10. Larry

    Ben Myers Guest

    The article is pretty good, except that it omits Linux Mint, derived from Ubuntu, with choices of desktop software, and responding to Ubuntu's use of either Gnome 3 or Unity, both of which are pretty ponderous... Ben
    Ben Myers, Mar 19, 2014
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