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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 28 Mar 2019, 18:07:05

We have no WiFi here in Martinique. I bought a simm card to get data access. IPhone. I create a “Persknal Hotspot” is that my Wire can share the data with me. It’s no problem when she uses her iPhone. It if she forgets, connects with her Windows 10 laptop the damn thing jumps on the internet connection and downloads tons of junk in the background with no warning or notification. I’ve had my laptop do the same thing.

There are setting me you can change to limit this, and I’ve done that. But apparently not enough, not right, or there is still a bunch of crap going on I can’t control.

The bottom line is: if we are in a paid internet connection and allow Windows 10 access to it, it typically pulls down a few Gb worth of data in the background.

When we can we will go to a bar or cafe to get WiFi, that usually costs a few bucks in drinks. I’ll now be drinking more, oh well!
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 28 Mar 2019, 18:19:18

Newfie wrote:We have no WiFi here in Martinique.

Ah, GOT it! THANKS for the good explanation to a smart phone (literally) idiot.

Sorry, being an old man, I had forgotten you had mentioned having no WI-FI in the past.

And, that's another legit drawback to Windows 10, and one of the reasons I refer to "pesterware" with it. It's REALLY aggressive about the internet and grabbing data, even for a normal user. If I don't set up an internet connection RIGHT AWAY with a WIN 10 setup, it starts nagging me to do so right away. And even when I turn off ALL the settings I can find to eliminate internet activity, it is constantly hammering at the drive, clearly pulling down SOMETHING, and doing no telling what in the background.

No doubt, "enhancing my experience", and NOTHING to do with making Microsoft money, and to hell with what the user wants. :roll: :-x

NO WAY would I want to be exposed to that without the easy and quick ability to roll back to a safe point if something bad happens. Especially if it were on my main PC.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 28 Mar 2019, 18:35:15

Maybe that’s what willnstart the new Civil War Fog is on about. A rebellion against Bill Gatesdom.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby radon1 » Thu 28 Mar 2019, 21:01:01

Outcast_Searcher wrote:When you say "functionality", what do you mean? How much hassle and how much cost to move Windows business (Office, Acrobat, etc) functionality? How about internet gaming?


Literally functional, i.e. tons of functions available at point and click. Software center, updater, repository manager, boot repairer, USB maker, nvidia installer etc.

Libre Office is installed by default. Acrobat - Linux sucks with image/photo/sound design applications, but excels with web/soft development and server management.

Gaming is easier on windows, if you are heavily into gaming than it is better to stay with windows. If you have overriding reasons to switch from windows, however, then you will sort out gaming. 5-10 year old titles will most likely work out of the box via the translation layer "Wine", installed by default or available at the software center (macOS has the same layer btw). You just left-click on .exe or right click and select "Open with Wine". Newer titles need to be checked with Steam Proton or Lutris. These two are "click and play" gaming applications.

And once you get into a multi-system approach, why is some Linux variant truly better than just Chrome


If you are concerned with privacy, then this defeats the purpose. Why move from windows to Chrome, if it's going to collect your data anyway. I would actually gladly move to ChromeOS if it was open source. The fact that it is proprietary is a bigger concern. As at the end you will most likely run in all the same issues as those with windows.


And I know, I could go, do research, hope to find a good book or three, etc., but I was hoping to get a quick, realistic big picture of why I keep hearing that Linux (variant xyz) is such a great solution.
Don't buy books. Linux installation is a 15 minute job. There is tons of videos on youtube "6 reasons Linux is better than Windows", or "8 reasons..", or "5..", watch them anytime.

More specifically to our case in question - windows 10 is actually very good if freed from the bloat. If you are happy with windows 10 then just stay with it. The developers did a spectacular job. The bloatware is clearly a product of the corporate bureaucracy.

What scares me about windows is the safe boot. It is not unimaginable that at some point it may fail to initiate the GUI while booting, and you will finish up with a blue screen, totally functional hardware, and totally unusable and irreparable device, as you cannot interrupt boot and opt for bios without first downloading windows, which you are unable to do due to some unknown bug. That's why it is helpful to have at least a small idle linux installation along with windows one, in order to have an ability to double boot via the boot menu in case of emergency. On top of that, in a situation described in OP, you could hard reset your laptop and restart into linux, do all the urgent things that you need to do, and then revert to windows to finish up the updates.

What is attractive in linux is its transparency. You are seeing all the processes that are running, you can remove unnecessary bloat. Configure the way you like, download what you need, go for lighter setup or heavier one. Easily work from terminal. You are not totally safe but flexible. If the developers of the distribution that you use decide to go for drama, you can easily switch to another distribution. It's not like windows, where EOL is an overwhelming catastrophe.

Plus linux loading times. Seconds to turn the pc on, and split seconds to turn it off.

In summary, if you have a spare laptop with no data to lose on it, just land a linux distro there and see whether you like it. Given that you are up with the components and screws and stuff, you may easily turn into a distro-hopper addict in a couple weeks time.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 29 Mar 2019, 00:16:12

radon1 wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:When you say "functionality", what do you mean? How much hassle and how much cost to move Windows business (Office, Acrobat, etc) functionality? How about internet gaming?

Literally functional, i.e. tons of functions available at point and click. Software center, updater, repository manager, boot repairer, USB maker, nvidia installer etc.

Libre Office is installed by default. Acrobat - Linux sucks with image/photo/sound design applications, but excels with web/soft development and server management.

Gaming is easier on windows, if you are heavily into gaming than it is better to stay with windows. If you have overriding reasons to switch from windows, however, then you will sort out gaming. 5-10 year old titles will most likely work out of the box via the translation layer "Wine", installed by default or available at the software center (macOS has the same layer btw). You just left-click on .exe or right click and select "Open with Wine". Newer titles need to be checked with Steam Proton or Lutris. These two are "click and play" gaming applications.

...

What is attractive in linux is its transparency. You are seeing all the processes that are running, you can remove unnecessary bloat. Configure the way you like, download what you need, go for lighter setup or heavier one. Easily work from terminal. You are not totally safe but flexible. If the developers of the distribution that you use decide to go for drama, you can easily switch to another distribution. It's not like windows, where EOL is an overwhelming catastrophe.

Plus linux loading times. Seconds to turn the pc on, and split seconds to turn it off.

In summary, if you have a spare laptop with no data to lose on it, just land a linux distro there and see whether you like it. Given that you are up with the components and screws and stuff, you may easily turn into a distro-hopper addict in a couple weeks time.

THANK YOU for the detailed answer with lots of interesting info.

I like the idea of more control and more transparency. Gaming is secondary for me, as my games I care about can be run on old Windows versions with no web requirements, so I'm already covered thus far -- just thinking about the future re the gaming.

I can certainly easily spare a laptop or two to play with a Linux distro if it's truly easy and I can use Youtube to figure out how to do it, instead of plowing through complex books.

All I have to do is switch out a hard drive, which I keep around like mechanics keep screwdrivers.

What you're describing sounds much easier than I expected.

Worst I can do is lose a little time, and should learn something in the process. Best case, I have another viable alternative to consider. So not much down-side.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby radon1 » Fri 29 Mar 2019, 03:34:20

Download Xubuntu 18.04 LTS on their website xubuntu.org (or the latest version of MX Linux at mxlinux.org.) . Create a bootable USB with the downloaded image with Rufus as this video shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5ZTGIrjBsU, or indeed any video in a "how to make bootable linux usb with rufus" search on youtube. You may need to pick the "DD" option when selecting the writing mode rather than the recommended "ISO" option in case you use a decade old laptop, or in case of any issues at the booting stage. Then search "how to install Xubuntu" or "how to install Linux" and pick any video that you like, or just do it on your own without video tutorials. You may also need to first search "how to access bios in windows 10" to be able to access bios and set the USB as the default downloader.

If you want to dual-boot with windows, search for "how to dual boot windows and linux".

You can use GIMP for image editing in linux, which is believed to be inferior to photoshop, or you can run photoshop under Wine, or use another open-source app. Generally, image/video editing is believed to be worse under linux, but then there are people on youtube who show how to do it and who claim that the linux options are perfectly fine.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 29 Mar 2019, 06:59:07

Great informative discussion. When I downloaded Navigatrix it prompted me to make a USB, which I did. The whole OS resides on the USB and apparently can run from there.l without dual booting. Of course dual booting is better and faster but if you just want a sample then this is an option.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 29 Mar 2019, 13:19:34

Newfie wrote:Great informative discussion. When I downloaded Navigatrix it prompted me to make a USB, which I did. The whole OS resides on the USB and apparently can run from there.l without dual booting. Of course dual booting is better and faster but if you just want a sample then this is an option.

Thanks Newf. To get started, simpler is better. I'll take it just working to start, and I certainly will be using a 5 to 13 year old laptop, as all I OWN is older machines, given the CRAP re access, high cost, and just relative poor value most of the new ones offer, IMO, so I appreciate radon's specific tips as well.

It's amazing what you can learn on youtube. Like most of what I learned re fooling around with laptops, and which ones are better to maintain.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby radon1 » Fri 29 Mar 2019, 17:07:40

Newfie wrote:. Of course dual booting is better and faster but if you just want a sample then this is an option.


True. The only issue is that any changes that you make are not persistent. I.e. any customization, or files that you create on the USB are lost as soon as you shut down your USB-generated session. Files created on other devices can however be retained there.

One system that does produce persistent changes even if launched from USB is MX Linux. It is quite unique in this sense.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 15 Apr 2019, 17:18:40

OK. I've done a fair amount of searching, reading, viewing Youtube videos, playing, installing, re Linux, enough to sort of get my old man's head around the big picture a bit.

First, thanks again Radon for the tips on Linux.

And I was wrong and you were right, Radon, re Linux being a viable, reasonable choice to (at least mostly) replace Windows for most things for users who want to be able to reasonably safely browse the internet, use a MS Office-like set of apps including publish PDF's, etc.

(Unlike many here, when I'm clearly wrong, I just admit it. It doesn't hurt that much.) :)

My error is that simply, I was living in the past re my Linux experience, and things have changed a LOT over the past decade in terms of reliability, user friendliness, functionality re Windows like things, and making the transition a much easier thing for Windows users willing to make a little effort.

Lesson learned. I think I have so much experience with really BAD software over the past nearly 45 years, that I get too intolerant of bad early experiences.

As I get more confident re my limited experience, I'll share some concepts for those trying to decide about making the leap to something beyond Windows 7 for safe internet browsing for financials, etc. as time goes on, based on my perspective as a "Windows guy" and my "mad scientist" experiments playing with this stuff.

(Hey, it keeps me off the streets, and I'm a geek through and through). :wink:

....

A couple observations / big picture conclusions (just my opinions, which many will, no doubt, disagree with):

1). For most, I still think a multi-platform solution might be best or at least very practical, if you do much gaming in Windows. I think I'll end up in Windows 10 where needed, Linux Mint 18.3 (for now) for most of my internet time, and Windows XP for my 16 bit apps/games, strictly offline. One reason is I'm finding different BIG financial services outfits support very different types of Linux.

Two big examples: Vanguard doesn't support Linux at all per their website, which I confirmed with a "customer" phone call, where they verified with tech. support. It's Windows or Apple IOS for them. Not clear what that means if I use Linux and something BAD happens re bad guys breaking in -- but I don't care to find out with a big chunk of my net worth at risk. OTOH, T. Rowe Price supports a handful of popular Linux distros, and a bunch of mobile phone stuff (which terrifies me for serious financial stuff -- at least until that space matures quite a bit).

2). If you want a very popular (hopefully meaning likely to continue to get future support) Linux version that is ALSO quite friendly to people transitioning from Windows, Linux Mint looks like it fills the bill nicely. I was just amazed how much stuff was just THERE (at 18.3, "Sylvia", 64 bit Cinnamon) and worked well, like viewing DVD movies, an office suite as good as MS Office for at least "normal people" document usage, completely normal internet functionality, once Chrome and Chromium were installed (websites vary on what they support), etc. (The even more popular Ubantu (which Mint is a fork (i.e. derived from) is the most popular, but less stuff is installed with it that is windows-like, making the transition more difficult).
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 15 Apr 2019, 17:35:16

Thanks for breaking the ice on this.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby radon1 » Mon 15 Apr 2019, 17:57:18

Mint is nice especially Cinnamon, but Cinnamon is a bit heavier than xfce, and picking xfce or another desktop from Mint is impractical, at least as long as Mint relies on Ubuntu, as you would just add another layer of bloat over Ubuntu's. But if you don't need slim rocket fast configuration, Cinnamon is great and very user-friendly.
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Re: operating systems

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 15 Apr 2019, 18:20:15

radon1 wrote:Mint is nice especially Cinnamon, but Cinnamon is a bit heavier than xfce, and picking xfce or another desktop from Mint is impractical, at least as long as Mint relies on Ubuntu, as you would just add another layer of bloat over Ubuntu's. But if you don't need slim rocket fast configuration, Cinnamon is great and very user-friendly.

That's why I went with it initially, plus to just see how it really looked and felt. Given that it seems downright snappy on a 2008 era Dell Laptop (Latitude D830) with 4 GB ram and a medium speed cheap SSD, especially compared to Windows 10 on a machine with a lot more power, either I'm so used to Windows bloat -- or I don't need a slim or rocket-fast implementation, just for the day to day normal stuff I do.

Now, note, I'm not using WINE or running Windows apps (decided the learning curve wasn't worth messing with -- at least in the short to intermediate term). One thing nice about being retired is you can mostly do things that interest you, instead of what other people want you do to. :)
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