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PhoenixDown
FIOS is Awesome
Premium
join:2003-06-08
Fresh Meadows, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to systemq

Re: Ready to dump Windows, is Mac or Linux better for me?

Mac ....

1 -- I am busy enough while I loved to tinker around with the PC back in the day (and still do to a degree) I just need it to work consistently without trying to figure out why something wont compile or some driver wont play nice with some other component of the system.

2 -- Apple is leading the way toward an integrated environment.

I'll start off by saying I am a windows user and I am NOT an apple fan boy by any means but my iphone is rock solid. My ipad is rock solid. Apple TV does everything I want and more. Adding a MAC just seems like a natural extension of that. Plus I like the way things are started to pull together ... facetime between MAC and Apple Devices for instance. Shared calendar and notes. And other little things that make the experience better.
--
Add a signature here



Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto
reply to Archivis

said by Archivis:

I thought the same thing for quite a while. After running Red Hat, SuSE, Oracle Linux, and a handful of other flavors at work, I thought it was just too complex at work.

I installed Linux Mint at home and it's a completely different OS. Under the hood, everything is the same. But they've made such drastic improvements to the UI that it seemed cleaner and easier to use than Windows was. For the basic user, there is no actual need to fire up a terminal to do anything.

The only reason keeping me from running Linux on my PC at home is gaming. I was able to get WoW to work flawlessly via WINE. I could have probably gotten SC2 to work as well, but I just don't think I could have gotten many of the other games to work.

Valve and a handful of other companies are changing direction in a course that favors Linux. It wouldn't take long for a generation of games to be working on both platforms. If M$ screws people over any further, I could see Linux become a gaming platform.

I just finished installing Linux Mint on a desktop at work that I am going to surplus. I agree with your assessment. I will probably install it on old desktops that have been collecting dust at home. Install this and give them away and have less clutter .
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben


systemq

@dslextreme.com

Is it possible to install Ubuntu and then Linux Mint without messing up my current system? In other words just to preview it? I only have one hard drive and don't want to mess around with partitioning.

Also what is the difference between 32 bit and 64? Why does Ubuntu recommend 32 on their page? I have a 64 bit system right now with Windows.

Also does Linux install secured out of the box or does it require add-ons? Do I need any virus scanner for Linux? I'm running Microsoft Security Essentials now.

Thanks again for all the feedback.



joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

It starts by burning a disc with the Ubuntu image. At start up you have an option to run from the disc to try it. At installation, you have an option to install as a second boot partition.

My suggestion was based on your saying you were getting a new PC, before trashing any old PC, I'd load Linux and see if it's worth keeping.

If your processor is 64 bit, that should work fine, they suggest 32 bit just to be safe.


me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to PhoenixDown

said by PhoenixDown:

Mac ....

1 -- I am busy enough while I loved to tinker around with the PC back in the day (and still do to a degree) I just need it to work consistently without trying to figure out why something wont compile or some driver wont play nice with some other component of the system.

Then dont compile stuff on linux, seriously just use the software center(different distros call it different names) pretty much everything is there. Then you don't need to compile software unless you choose to of course. I've not had any driver problems, but I know people who have had issues with some wifi and amd cards.


systemq

@dslextreme.com
reply to joetaxpayer

I found a Windows installer for Ubuntu and used that. It installed easily and now there is dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu when I restart. I'm typing this on Ubuntu now.

I'll give it a chance but so far I'm not really liking it. It's slower than Windows 7, I click something and takes forever to trigger. The screen doesn't look as sharp as Windows. Text looks funky, scroll bar tiny.

Several times Firefox froze and flickered while typing this. I'
ll play around with it some more in the next few days since I have the option to boot into it. Maybe I need to chance some settings.



dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk
reply to systemq

I have installed different Linux distributions in past from Red Hat, Fedora, Opensuse and kubuntu .

Kubuntu was my favorite for desktop applications and Opensuse for server. Granted they both can do the same but for Some reason Opensuse was always easier to figure out installing bind, imap, postfix, apache and such.

Don't really use linux much anymore. My server got way past its prime and never replaced it.

Did test the mint mentioned in this thread installed the MATE version and was surprised. Even off the boot dvd without installing all hardware and sound worked. Kubuntu never could get sound working on boot dvd. I am sure if I actually did full install I would be able to get it going but that doesn't bold well for anyone not familiar with linux to see dead hardware.



joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to systemq

There are many things that can affect performance, at least you tried it.

I wanted it to run the browsers more than anything, and found it runs both Firefox and Chrome with no issue. No pausing, and in the year or so I've used it, not blue-screened even once. With this stuff, it's always YMMV, I suppose.


me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to systemq

Try linux mint. I put it on my dads old laptop and its noticeably faster than w7.



systemq

@dslextreme.com
reply to joetaxpayer

After shutting down my computer. Then restarting it, guess what. Everything looks sharp and everything opens fast! I guess Ubuntu was doing something in the background to optimize it. Maybe that's the mystery why Linux isn't as mainstream if people abandon it after the first boot.

I still don't like Firefox, text looks strange and tiny along with the scroll bar, but I suppose it's something I can get used to after staring at a Windows program for years. But the operating system is totally fine. Really can't complain about it. If the word/excel/photoshop alternatives mentioned in this thread suits my needs, I think this is a fine alternative to Windows without spending so much money on a Mac. Actually the top area kind of looks like a Mac from the display models I remember seeing at Best Buy.

Am I safe using Ubuntu as is? I have firewall enabled on my router and have Security Essentials in Windows. Is there a MSE alternative? Also anything I should be aware of security wise? I don't want this experience to be ruined by getting hacked and identity stolen.

Thanks again for all the help.



Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

No you'll be fine.



joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to systemq

The guy in my office who turned me on to Linux would be very proud.

The Ubuntu software download area will let you easily load SW. This is not your dad's Linux, you can be a user and not have to get your hands dirty or talk through command lines.

Glad it's working for you.



Maven
Premium
join:2002-03-12
Canada
reply to systemq

What are your specs? If you're using an AMD/ATI video card, just stick with Windows. You might not like Win8's full screen start screen, but it's much easier to just install a third party alternative like Classic Shell than installing Linux and trying to make it work.

My experience with Linux has been digging through articles and forums to make things work properly. It doesn't matter which distro you're running to be honest, in the end you're at the mercy of the drivers and the available software.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Linux works great for some people... But from my perspective, I don't see the point for the average home user. Someone called it the tinkerer's OS, and that description fits the bill, at least for the home user.



J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..
reply to Bob4

So was that the one with Retina? (overrated) but did yours have Retina?

I'm happy with my MacBook Air. paid $840 refurb, i5, 4GB RAM, lite keyboard. Cheaper than the $900 offering from Acer with same spec.

Especially after coming from a $1000 Windows machines that was a hunk of junk.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein



FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom
reply to systemq

I am a Linux Mint user because Ubuntu became a lot like Windows 8, more tablet-oriented. Also, they've been trying to monetize it in some ways I really didn't like (ex: You search for a file or application on your system and it would give you Amazon shopping results).

For a basic, non-headache desktop system (that includes laptops), I'd go with Mint. Cinnamon or Mate will be fine even though I'm running XFCE on both my "desktop" systems (an honest-to-goodness desktop and a laptop) because I was able to tweak it to my taste.

As an m$ office alternative, I'd try Libre Office or Open Office. You can install them on your Windows system and play with them. If I were doing some SERIOUS work with a spreadsheet package, I might feel a bit crippled compared to Excel (especially since it has a lot more useful extensions like ASAP and MicroCharts). You can also run GIMP on your Windows machine.

Instead of burning a live DVD, I'd run Unetbootin »unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ and create a bootable memory stick. Works a lot better than optical crap, so you can try out Ubuntu, Mint with Cinnamon, Mint with Mate and anything else you can think of and pick your favourite.

I was a Windows user until I bought a lappy with Vista pre-installed and many things just didn't work. Tried Ubuntu (before it became tablet-oriented) and never looked back.
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw



systemq

@dslextreme.com
reply to systemq

Unfortunately, it seems that Ubuntu / Linux will not work for me.

I opened up some XLS workbooks, and it does not work properly. Simple functions like indirect() do not work. Another workbook had a macro that gave errors and froze Calc with runtime errors. Writer opens my DOCX files, but does not appear identical in layout. They're not really compatible at all, especially Excel/Calc.

I also tried GIMP. While it's no Photoshop, it doesn't seem too difficult to apply Photoshop principles using that program. Also kinda odd that it's not one window. I'm sure someone can get adjusted to it, so GIMP is just okay.

And when I said that everything is fast a few posts back, I need to take that back. It is fast if you have one application open but it sucks with multitasking.

So I really can't switch to Linux unfortunately. I installed it on another computer with an i7 processor, 8 GB RAM. And it's still not up to par with Windows.

I need to seriously consider if it's worth my investment to get a Mac. Otherwise I guess I need to deal with Windows again and hopefully the Win/Office business model does not change much. Damn you Microsoft, I can never leave even though I try. LOL

Appreciate all the feedback given, they were very useful and informative, and hey, at least I tried Linux for the first time in my life.



runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Deerfield, IL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

If you haven't tried a Mac, you really need to do this before buying one and for longer than 10 minutes in an Apple store. Find a friend or coworker with one.

I'm a Windows user and haven't tried a Mac for about 10 years, but at that time I put serious time into learning that particular Mac OS which was new at that time. I found it annoying way beyond what I expected. With Windows, there are typically half a dozen ways to accomplish the same task in the OS, and the user gets to choose. With Mac, it was Jobs' way or the highway. Some very simple and routine tasks that could be accomplished with one quick right-click menu choice in Windows would take three or four unintuitive steps in the Mac. The Apple OS also made it deliberately difficult or impossible to poke around under the hood in ways that Windows users take for granted. Now all this may have changed in the last decade. But back then, I personally thought the "user friendly" image of the Mac was more legend than fact. They designed the thing for idiot-proof lockdown security and very limited command choices for ease of technical support in the Mac versus lots of user customizability for Windows.

Also if you already have Photoshop and Office, you need to take into consideration the cost of switching your software to the Mac. If you have one of those new $@##! Adobe subscriptions for Photoshop, you may be able to transfer it to a Mac--I don't know one way or the other--check it out. But if you have disc-based or download-based non-subscription Photoshop software, it is probably not transferable (again: check this out--I am not an expert on this), and if it is not transferable, you would have to $tart over and re-buy Photo$hop. IIRC, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom can be moved to a Mac without rebuying, but not recent versions of Adobe Photoshop. Office would have to be repurchased in the Office-for-Mac version. Remember that the interface and command sequence is somewhat different and will require some relearning moving Photoshop and Office to the Mac.

Also remember to check the websites for all your peripheral devices to see which ones have Mac drivers to avoid other hardware rebuy$. Keep in mind that if you want to make hardware changes under the hood of a Mac as with video cards a few years down the road, if you do that sort of thing, your choices may be much more limited, even proprietary (you may be restricted to Apple models for some devices), and therefore more expensive.


emdadshithi

join:2013-02-06
6206
reply to Krisnatharok

Yes, I thank Linux some pretty friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI).
But, I like Os System W7 & W8.



Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19
reply to systemq

I'm pretty sure you could run WINE to install Office or use something like Virtualbox to have a virtual Windows instance. I guess that defeats the purpose, but if you're looking to replace the whole OS experience, that's the way to get around the bulk of your issues.

I ran Mint for a while with a Win7 VM on VirtualBox. From there, I could install and run anything. The only reason why I dumped Linux was because of the 3D gaming requirements. Most of the games I wanted to play could run, but I'm in a lull right now trying to find a new game to capture my interest, so things like Mech Warrrior Online wasn't going to work at all.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to Archivis

said by Archivis:

If you're willing to pay through the nose for a minimal maintenance computer, go with the Mac. You'll buy your hardware and your software, but you won't have to screw with it.

Love how people say that yet forget things like this exist:

»www.engadget.com/2013/02/06/dell···-and-up/

Yes, better resolution than the 13" MBP but the MBP gets better battery life.

Or all these models:

»www.engadget.com/2012/10/23/dell···-review/
»www.engadget.com/2012/11/20/acer···-review/
»www.engadget.com/2013/01/02/leno···-review/

The Mac "tax" is not that bad at all. And like you said it will (for the most part) be reliable.


Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19

The mac tax is exactly what it is.

I can get a 21.5" iMac with a 2.5ghz i5 for $1,299, or I can put together the same system for $600~ or less. When it gets out of date, I can upgrade a single component in two years for a few bucks and be back in business.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

said by Archivis:

The mac tax is exactly what it is.

I can get a 21.5" iMac with a 2.5ghz i5 for $1,299, or I can put together the same system for $600~ or less. When it gets out of date, I can upgrade a single component in two years for a few bucks and be back in business.

Not with good quality components and with similar build quality:

»www.zdnet.com/how-to-build-an-al···0/#photo

Total $1,081. And you get to build it, warranty it, etc.


Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19

Site ate my post. Trying again.

If you were to follow ZD Net, you'd pay $1,081, which is still over $200 cheaper than what Apple is asking for. If you wanted more control over your components with warranty and high end components, we regularly build out components for people based on their needs and come in well below the $1000 mark. Most people walk away in the $600-800 range with quality components that perform much better than what you'll buy at Apple.

Also, sup Carlisle.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

1 recommendation

I get you believe in (or sell) the Build your own PC stuff. I was there, sold the systems, have the scars to prove it. I've since moved on as margins were too low, people expected the world and Windows was a PITA to deal with. In the end it was easier to buy from my distributor, let them warranty it and just fix it.

The average person will not DIY rather go out and buy whatever they see at the stores. The PC enthusiast will go to Mom & Pop stores or Newegg it. Most likely none of the real cheap parts cobbled together will outperform a Mac. Why? There are differences in parts and that's where the experience of the integrator comes in. History is littered with "special" stuff for the OEM and retail markets and even special stuff for different OEM's.

The point is for $200 more you get a fully tested system that will outperform others in its price range. Apple's systems generally benchmark near the top when outfitted with Windows. You will not have to worry about dealing with component failures, RMA's and such.

I'd rather pay the $200 and not have to deal with it. My time is worth more than $200 to build a system, install an OS, etc. Not to mention my preference for a laptop,

Different strokes for different folks.

quote:
Also, sup Carlisle.
'sup. You from Central PA too?

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to itguy05

But macs don't exactly use good quality components(broadcom for instance), not to mention the imac uses laptop parts.



Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19

1 recommendation

reply to itguy05

I do not sell systems. I've never sold systems. I've assembled hundreds and I've put all of mine together since I was 12 back in the early 90's.

We're in a position where we're giving advice to people who are already technically proficient enough to get here. The DIY PC assembly is easier than it ever was. There's no jumpers to screw around with. There's no voltage settings to screw with. Everything is color coated and everything plugs in one way and is blatantly obvious and labeled. You only screw around with that stuff if you want to and that's if you're beyond the hobbyist level.

In another forum on the same site, we regularly assist people with finding a series of components that will help them get the computer they want. We're talking about gamers here, who have steeper requirements. The big expense in these systems? The video card. Typically, you're going to need the PSU to back it up as well.

If we're giving advice on how to assemble solid computers for people that aren't gamers, like the OP, the price goes from $1299 down to about $500 for the same hardware. We're not talking about junk hardware either. We're talking about suggesting only quality hardware that is thoroughly tested and reviewed by independent sources (like Tom's Hardware) and purchased from reputable sites with good prices and good return/warranty policies (like NewEgg).

The $200 difference is for a pre-built system based off a ZD Net recommendation that appears to be video-only, so I can't even compare the hardware specs to see what's different.

The point I'm trying to reinforce is that the Mac Tax is very real and very expensive. You have to find high-end OEM builds to compare to low-end Apple builds with price. If someone's asking between Windows, Mac, and Linux, it means they already know what Linux is and they're competent enough to tackle a new build.

I understand the appeal of an Apple. I understand why people want their products, but I wanted to clear up the myth that the Mac Tax was minimal, as it is not.

I live in Mechanicsburg, so a few minutes away at most.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to me1212

said by me1212:

But macs don't exactly use good quality components(broadcom for instance), not to mention the imac uses laptop parts.

Really? I've got hundreds of servers I manage here with Broadcomm NIC's in them. These are IBM servers, not some whitebox company either.


Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19

LOL IBM Servers.

I'm an AIX 7 certified administrator. My uncle is the local CE for IBM and we've had lengthy conversations about IBM hardware quality. My job is to work on this stuff on a daily basis.

The hardware fails just like any other hardware. There are defective components that get replaced with defective components just like any other hardware.

I'd think that perhaps we could be working in the same place, but I doubt it since you hold IBM servers with high regard.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to itguy05

IBM isn't exactly cream of the crop.


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to Archivis

I get helping people build them. I got from the OP that he was looking for something he can buy in a store rather than DIY.

I did the DIY route before I got my first Mac. Even choosing "quality stuff" there was always some little nagging issue. If you ended up with DOA or a bum component 6 months later you were SOL until your RMA was processed. Not so with a packaged computer. Heck, when my Macbook's Hard Drive died in 2008 I was in and out of the Apple store with a whole new computer in 30 minutes.

quote:
The point I'm trying to reinforce is that the Mac Tax is very real and very expensive. You have to find high-end OEM builds to compare to low-end Apple builds with price.
I get that but Apple's low end stuff is generally on par with mid to high end PC stuff. Look at Ultrabooks - something Apple pioneered. And generally they are all priced around Apple's prices. Look at that Dell I linked - it's priced the same as a Macbook Pro but the MBP has better battery life.

Decent AIO's are also around the same price as an iMac.

IMHO, the tax argument only comes into play when you go low end PC to Apple's low end. And then you are giving up much to go low end (like build quality, speed, battery life, weight, etc).

I sampled the Low End Netbook market with an Acer from BJ's. Seemed good on paper, 250GB HD, dual core AMD CPU, 2GB, high resolution screen, etc. The thing is a dog in Windows and Linux. The display is subpar. But it was $299.

I think even the PC industry has realized the race to the bottom hurts more than it helps. I believe you are seeing prices creep up there as vendors realize they have to actually make money rather than build cheap junk.

It is an interesting discussion and in the end it's up to the user to decide what they want. Do they want something a tad more expensive that will be like the TV where it just works? Or do they want to tinker? Both options appeal to different people.

quote:
I live in Mechanicsburg, so a few minutes away at most.
Small world - we used to be in Camp Hill but ended up in Carlisle.