September 18, 2006

Moving on from Windows

Let me flog the horse a little bit longer, in the hopes that its corpse will magically reanimate: start the transition from Windows to Linux. Soon. Claus Futtrup has a pretty good article detailing why the move shouldn't be painful. Excerpt:

There are many reasons for converting from another operating system to Linux. Each person has an individual relation to this, but typical reasons are:

1) I have old hardware and I want new software than runs well on my machine. Maybe Microsoft has quit their support of the OS installed on the computer from the beginning. Linux reduces the need to upgrade or replace hardware when upgrading to newer versions because it is very efficient and designed to be scalable.

2) I want to spend my money wisely, not on updating software (and my morals are too high to use piracy). Linux and much of the related software is available at no cost.

3) I have a political agenda when choosing free OpenSource software. You may not be willing to accept the constraints of commercial software (financially, regarding file formats, bug fix support is in the hands of some developers and it can be difficult to get their attention, etc). The most advanced form is GNU Copyrighted software (socalled GPL), as defined by the Free Software Foundation, but other standard copyrights exist as well.
Ready to move ahead? I have a big recommendation. You can jump directly from a commercial MS-Windows world with Microsoft Office and other commercial applications at your disposal into a free OpenSource Linux world. Chances are that this will be a very hard battle - maybe also unnecessarily hard. Since OpenSource software for Linux is usually also available for Windows you can make a smooth start by first familiarizing yourself with the software under MS-Windows, then later make the jump to Linux and be pleased that you know the applications already - being productive from the get-go and therefore have a more relaxed approach to understanding the underlying Linux system (if you like to). Software to consider for your MS-Windows computer is:

* Web browsing : Firefox
Make sure you can use your internet banking and check that other important sites works for you.

* Email : Thunderbird
Try to convert your emails in eg. Outlook Express into Thunderbird and work with Thunderbird. Later you can move your Thunderbird emails from MS-Windows to your Thunderbird in Linux (because the mailbox file structure is unchanged and can be copied directly between the two operating systems).

* Graphics : GIMP
If you like to work with Photoshop or other graphics (or image processing) software, try to familiarize yourself with GIMP instead. There are other options, but GIMP is a good choice.

* Office : OpenOffice
This office package is not as rich on features as Microsoft Office, but try to use it under MS-Windows. If you don't like it you can save your documents in eg. MS-Word file format and forget about it. If OpenOffice works for you, keep the files in the OpenDocument Format (and maybe also convert other documents to this format) before moving the files to Linux.

Ehh, you know what to do. If you're not certain which distro to pick, go here and see what's available.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 08:57 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 552 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Am I crazy or did your main page jump back exactly one year over the weekend?

Posted by: Some scummy person at September 19, 2006 12:17 AM (GpVew)

2 Oops, it was just my cache! Sorry.

Posted by: Some scummy person at September 19, 2006 12:18 AM (GpVew)

3 Gotta love the old, old cache.

Posted by: physics geek at September 19, 2006 12:11 PM (KqeHJ)

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