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Linux and other free software

 
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v88



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Location: here

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject: Linux and other free software Reply with quote

I'm thinking about using Linux based software on my old laptop. I hope it will get a few more years of life out of it (not as bloated) and will give me the chance to learn about Linux.

Wondering what programs people recommend. I'd also like to know the extent of software available.

One thing I need to do is be able to switch rather seamlessly from Linux to Windows. Basically I need to be able to use files in Word as well as Linux based word processors without having my formatting all screwed up.

Another issue I have is that my employer uses a web site which requires me to use Internet Explorer in order to use all the functions (Chrome cannot access some of the site that I need). How do I work around this without having to install the entire Windows XP OS on my system?

I would also like to learn about graphics (CAD) and any ideas on using Linux for a home audio (possibly video as well) system would be interesting. It would be really cool to have a cheap computer set up full time strictly for music and video. Also getting away from the extremely pricey Autocad would be nice.

Anyone have some good suggestions for running Linux for the first time?
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FAQs and MAN pages?

.
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thurst



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

open office can open any ms office files with no problem, so that's not a real reason to go for a dual install.

i forget what the name of my media program was on linux, but it was pretty decent. for a browser, i'd recommend firefox bcuz most sites are optimized for it firefox, IE or chrome, if that's not something you care about then go with konqueror.
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goppsys



Joined: 10 Apr 2011

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a newbie, I'd recommend Linux Mint. The XFCE version is probably best if you are coming from Windows. You could also try one of the low-spec orientated Ubuntu versions, like Lubtuntu or Xubuntu. But Linux Mint is fantastic for newcomers.

LibreOffice is the MS Office replacement I use. Depending on the kind of file you use you may have no compatibility issues with word files, or you may have lots. It really depends on the file. I've only had problems with formatting (especially when graphics are involved) in the past year, and a lot of this has been caused by co-workers using different versions of MS Word.

There are two routes I would recommend: dual boot - windows and linux side by side, or run what windows programs you really need inside a virtual machine with virtualbox. I'm going to get a new machine soon and I'm going to go the second route.

If you max out the RAM in your machine you should be fine with performance. Linux is relatively light on resources. For a more expensive but big performance boost, consider installing an SSD. They are still a little expensive, but at least you can use them in your next pc when you get one.
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alljokingaside



Joined: 17 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the IE problem, you also have the option of using Wine. It's a bit buggy in my experience, but can run Windows programs from Linux. This is a bit different than the previous poster's ref. to a virtual machine.
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