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#1 ZeroPhoenyx   User is offline

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OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:13 PM

Hey, D.I.C! ZeroPhoenyx here with a big question for all you computer-savvy geeks and gals.

As of recently, I've been using my computer more often (for various reasons; mainly because I'm out of school now), and it seems like the more I use the silly thing, the more frustrated I get. I'm not the most organized individual, but when it comes to my computer, I want to do things my way. That being said, my computer's setup seems to be against this philosophy, and I'm fed up. So I was wondering... is it time I started playing for a different team?

Now, before your minds hit the gutter, allow me to clarify: I'm talking about my OS. I've always been a little curious about Linux and its various advantages/disadvantages, although my deep-seated fear of irreversible damages and/or unreliability has kept me from actively pursuing my dreams. I'm also afraid of compatibility issues, or sub-par knockoffs of tried-and-true programs (most notably Microsoft Office). And system security issues are... daunting. In short, I'm faced with two equally important yet conflicting issues: I can't stand what I've got now, but I don't want to make my problem worse.

So, I've come to you, D.I.C, for your guidance in this crisis. Ultimately, it all boils down to this question:

What OS is best for ME?

Of course, you should probably know a few things about me and what my computing interests are before you suggest anything, so I've put together a quick checklist of sorts. It includes my computer's information, some of my personal preferences, and things I want to be able to do with my OS.


If/When you've got a suggestion, feel free to post it! I like to be thorough in my decision-making, so please add any advantages, disadvantages, or personal experiences you've had with a particular OS that might sway my decision. And please also keep in mind that this is about what I should do to help myself--not necessarily your personal cause.

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Replies To: OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

#2 Dormilich   User is offline

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Re: OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:23 PM

I donít see any reason why you should not try out linux. I only have used Ubuntu so far and I didnít have had any problems with it. You might need some time to find a suitable configuration for your HDs (i.e. how many partitions (I recommend at least 4 (/, /swap, /boot, /home)), which file system for what partition, etc.)
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#3 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:29 PM

Wow... I wasn't aware an OS was such a life altering decision.

Most linux flavors have a boot disc option where you can load the OS from a disc into ram... let you play around with it and nothing gets jacked up. Ubuntu being the first that comes to mind.

Alternatively you can various virtual machines on your PC and load them there. Safe and partitioned away.

A few one off posts - windows 7 and viruses? Change your security habits! You'll get nailed in the rear everytime if you don't (regardless of OS).

Honestly do the research yourself. Google "open source alternatives to X" where X is the program you know about. There internet's a flood with information about that.

Office -> Open Office or LibreOffice.. or VIM (lullz).
web browsers -> most operate in a linux enviro
photoediting -> gimp?

Maintain the files in the manner you choose - WTF does that mean? Put them in a folder and call it good. What other structure are you looking for?

system won't crash - well tough cookies with that one. Learn how to use the OS you have! Viruses - get a basic software firewall and antivirus program. Tons are free and are good to go. Once you go linux you are off the beaten path for what drivers are created and updated.. some companies are great about it.. others not so much. .. some are made by fanatics in the wild. That's a point you'll have to contend with.

make it appealing - how so? Most stable OS have a set pattern you must get to using. Say with windows 7 - widgets or Samurize works wonders. Linux is about the same.

Programming - depending on your languages but Eclipse probably's the best for you..

WTF is an "ugly visual"?

Excessive programming/debuggin - if you want to customize then you have to. There's no magic one bullet solution. IF you want a "do everything" machine then either make it or suck up you won't be able to deviate from the mold too far.

Pay - hahaha... okay. Again you get what you pay for. If you are keen enough to make linux work for you then fine. If you don't want to put effort in system maintenance you should find a different hobby to complain about.

For such a "life hard" choice you should be educating yourself - not relying on others for input.

So where does that leave you. Another version of MS is out. Same with iOS. I would play with the ubuntu knoptix disc and see how that goes. It's a sure fire way to see if the drivers work for your system.

Edit here are some of the major unbuntus that have live cds.
#3 - try it.



This post has been edited by modi123_1: 02 June 2011 - 05:31 PM

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#4 skybomb0   User is offline

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Re: OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:51 PM

I would also have to say that it isn't really a life altering decision. Back up your files that you currently have and try out Linux. Or even better, burn a Live CD and you can just boot from the CD into Linux. You won't have to install over Windows at all. You might also want to look into dual booting Linux and Windows for a little bit while you get used to things. That way, you aren't making a "life changing" decision until you are certain you know what you want.

You won't find open source programs that are exactly the same as their closed source counterparts, but they can often times come close. Case and point, Open Office. Open Office is almost the same as Microsoft Office and it allows you to open files saved in Office so you won't loose any of the files you have already made.

Out of the box, I would say that Ubuntu will leave you wanting a better visual style. But that is an easy fix with a custom visual style and a few programs to make it look better according to your tastes.

Your security issues are going to follow you to any OS you choose. Just get a good antivirus and firewall and you should be good to go.

I will say that there is probably more system maintainance to Linux than Windows.

If you want something that can operate right out of the box, I would recommend Linux Mint.
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#5 Curtis Rutland   User is offline

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Re: OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:04 AM

I do agree with the others. You're making an incredibly big deal about this. Go download Ubuntu or Linux Mint, burn it to a DVD, and give it a shot. Remember that Live CDs run slower than they would once installed. And also remember that you can easily repartition and dual boot.


maintain my files in the manner I so choose

What does that even mean? The file system isn't all that different in Linux or in any other client OS, really. It's similar, with just a few semantic differences (like in Linux, starting a file with a . means it's hidden).


maintain a high level of compatability

With what? Honestly, at this point it feels like you're playing buzzword bingo, or trying out your execu-speak. Be specific.


worry too much about getting a virus

You won't with linux, since there are rather few that affect it. Or with windows, if you actually know what you're doing. I ran for about two years with no virus protection, and I didn't have any viruses. I installed MS Security Essentials because it got good reviews, and it's been pretty good.


It's a pretty tough choice, I've got to say...

No, it's really not. Partition your drive properly when you install one, and it's very easy to install the other without nuking your data. I suggest asking an expert here for partition advice once you actually decide to install.


edit photos and whatnot

No photoshop for linux. You can use GIMP, which is actually quite good, but it's different than photoshop. If you learned with PS, you'll have to relearn for GIMP.


continue using my favorite web browser, Firefox

Firefox runs on practically every platform, including Android mobile phones.
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#6 lordofduct   User is offline

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Re: OS S.O.S. - What Should I Do with My Computer?

Posted 03 June 2011 - 10:32 AM

What I find weird is that in his 'spoiler' section that pretty much Win7, OSX, and most modern versions of Linux cover all of them well.

Well except for the 'pay' part. If you want free, answer is easy in the big 3, linux. Or you can go any other open-source *nix.
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