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Re: Trying different distros, and playing with XP

On Mon, 03 Apr 2006 00:04:08 +0100, Roy Schestowitz wrote:

> __/ [ Kier ] on Sunday 02 April 2006 23:26 \__
> Welcome back, Kier.


>> I've spent the last few days playing musical distros, having a bit of a
>> change around. SO now I've got SUSE 10 on my new laptop, and Debian Sarge
>> on my old one.
>> I'd never installed Debian before, and found it to be fairly easy, but I
>> then had a few problems getting X up and running, and had to do some
>> Googling and guessing to get it working. Pleased with it so far. I've
>> always wanted to try a pure Debian system. I'm going to try upgrading to
>> Etch once I've sorted out how it's done.
> HP are selling (Ubuntu) Linux laptops these days. They start with SA and will
> probably expand this once the experiment is shown to have been a success.

That's definitely good news. Can't justify another slap, though.

> With OEM's support, Linux on the laptop will become an 'out of the box'
> experience and will not lead you to any frustrations, which I believe you
> try to mask. Remember that you are trying to fit Linux onto a Windows laptop
> where everything was built for Windows, tested under Linux and drivers
> are/were probably provided for a single platform. Any O/S-centric comparsion
> would be unfair, to say the very least.

Well, certainly, I've put a good few distros on the old laptop which is
now running Debian, with variable results, but in most cases everything
(except wifi) worked with minimal difficulties. I did have some problems
with Mandrake and Fedora Core, which I believe were down to the version of
Xorg they were using at the time. It's an old Compaq Presario, which I got
from a friend, and is the one I like to try different distros on.

The Toshiba I wouldn't buy again, though it's not really a bad laptop
apart from the poor battery life. 

>> My SUSE 10 laptop, a Toshiba Satellite M40, is also working well. My
>> previous SUSE install on it was 9.3, which had a few minor but annoying
>> problems I hadn't been able to sort out. Wifi is still a bit dodgy, with
>> very poor speed, though it does work reliably within its limits. Must get
>> down to sorting out the driver. Wired lan now works properly, though,
>> which is great. The only downer is I can't get the battery monitor to
>> work. As teh battery life of this laptop is not good (less than two
>> hours, sadly), it's a bit of a nuisence not having some indication of how
>> much power is remaining. Otherwise I'm pleased with just how well I've got
>> Linux working on this laptop, which isn't the most Linux friendly machine
>> I could have bought :-)
>> My mother got herself a nice new laptop last week, which I've been setting
>> up over the weekend. Got XP on it of course, and this si the first time
>> I've seen the most up-to-date version.
> Why do you say "Got XP on it of course"? Would your mother be unable to use
> Ubuntu, for instance? I hear of many parents who happily use Linux, having
> never seen/used it before. The only peril I can foresee is support. The
> next-door neighbour will not be able to assist with basic 'stuff', but can
> /you/? Other than say RTFM?

It's a Windows laptop, it came with Windows, so of course it's 'of
course'. And I don't doubt she could use Ubuntu or any other distros I set
up. But it's her laptop, not mine, and Windows is what she's used to. At
some time in the future, yes, I'd like to wean her away from it, but I'm
not about to force it on her. After all, she paid for it.

>> I played with it for a while, and was reasonably impressed by some of the
>> software. The new Media Centre (Center, I suppose it is, really) is nice.
>> The machine's battery life is excellent (it's a Dell Inspiron 6000). Apart
>> from those two things, and possibly Google Earth, I wasn't really all that
>> jealous, though it would make a good Linux laptop.
> Google Earth will be probably ported to Linux. There already exists a NASA
> tool which is similar to Google Earth and is Open Source. People keep
> talking about Google Earth because all they know is Windows/Mac. Photoshop
> likewise. It doesn't make other applications inferior, but only less
> 'vocal'.

Never suggested Linux apps are inferior. Where did you get that idea? And
I'll be pleased to see Google Earth ported, it's a cool app, lots of fun.

>         http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/

I'll check it out, thanks.

>> I know a lot of posters here say how terrible XP is - well, I'm not one of
>> them. It has good points and bad ones. My brother and I made sure this
>> laptop is well-protected, I have installed firefox for browsing,
>> thunderbird for mail, and the wifi link is encrypted. Yet no matter how
>> polished it is - and it is, there's no point saying it ain't - I still
>> found myself turning back to Linux without much regret. Why? Not because I
>> hate XP - though I do find the pop-up warnings and such a pain - but
>> because I like and enjoy Linux more.
> I can't say that I agree with your assessment of Windows. With Open Source
> programs it may be fine, but under the surface of its so-called 'friendly'
> face lie proprietary formats, DRM or -- to be succinct -- lockins.

Yeah, I don't like those either.. But that's a slightly different issue,

> Then
> crops up the detriment which is security and problems such as DLL hell, lack
> of 'scriptability', Registry issues and a restrictive desktop environment.

None of which bothers many average users. Home users, I mean. My mother
isn't going to be scripting any time soon :-)

> The more years you spend with both platforms, the clearer it all becomes.

For some, yes. I suspect the general majority are going to go along much
as usual being reasonably happy with what they've got. Most of us in COLA
see things from a different perspective to the bog-standard average type,
I think we should remember that. I'm not saying we're all 'geeks' or
whatever - I'm certainly not - but we have just that little more knowledge. 

>> Yes, I'd like to have Google Earth and that shiny new Media Centre, but I
>> can live without them. They were like toys I played with at my
>> grandmother's home when I was a kid. I loved playing with them there, but
>> I still went happily home to my own much-loved playthings.
> What is this obsession with Media Center? MPlayer (and others) with all the
> needed codecs, as well as AmaroK, deliver the goods just fine.

Whoa there, chum. Less of that obsession nonsense :-) You've never seen
this Media Center have you? Nor had I till this laptop arrived. It's a
very nice app, probably the best Windows app I've used, far better than
Windows Media Player, etc.

Linux does all those things, yes, but not the way that app does. But so
what? That doesn't mean I'll suddenly want to give up Linux for it. What I
won't do either is pretend I'm not impressed by something when I am.



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