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Questions for the Linux users

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#26 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:43 PM

Will the OEM disks for XP install in Win4Lin? That's what most people have with their systems.

#27 Skywatchr

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:09 AM

Yes, but it is best to use the SP1 disc to install, and then apply SP2. It says SP3 causes some problems, but it's not needed anyways. Also some "BIOS-specific" versions (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc) of XP may fail to install but I used a standard OEM (Not retail) disc so I can't comment on which ones won't work. I have found it works quite well. Albeit a little slower than a "native" XP install. But I hardly use it anyways.

Jeff

#28 Astroforecast

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

I use Debian Linux to run my web and file server and Windows XP on my desktop and laptop.

My opinion is that linux is excellent for a server but Windows is still better on the desktop thanks to better applications and drivers.

#29 psonice

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:07 PM

I kind of agree with Jeff - I like linux as a server OS, but it'd be 3rd choice after OSX and Windows for a desktop.

#30 JoeF

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:54 PM

Wow, strange to see this thread ressurected. My original comments still stand except I moved onto Debian something or other and run it on slightly faster cast off hardware. Only big change is a 24in monitor cum TV cum xbox and dvd all in one display.
I guess thanks to Linux I lost a lot of interest in computers, I see them as a tool and am no longer interested in the specs and so long as the software lets me get on with the job I'm happy. On the other hand maybe I'm getting a bit long in the tooth and don't have the expectations of younger folk. I remember reading about the multimedia revolution some years back but never actually got round to plugging a speaker in so maybe I am missing out somewhat.

What I do know is that a computer becomes a diary, a record of all those things that once seemed so important, so good backups, portable drives and the ability to read all those old files becomes essential because while you might browse all your old stuff you'll never get round to converting it to the latest formats. And believe me when life takes an unexpected turn the ability to dump the hardware but keep the data is a real blessing.

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#31 ak7v

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:36 PM

I used Linux exclusively for about 13 years (desktop has Gentoo on it now). But I've found that lack of drivers is a big problem, so most of my work is in Windows these days.

#32 Skywatchr

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:49 AM

Drivers have come a long way. But a lot of manufacturers are just making Windoze only "plug and pray" devices so they don't even need to take the time to write software. So far I have had no driver issue with Ubuntu. But I don't go out and buy leading-edge hardware all the time.

#33 llanitedave

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:11 PM

Drivers have come a long way. But a lot of manufacturers are just making Windoze only "plug and pray" devices so they don't even need to take the time to write software. So far I have had no driver issue with Ubuntu. But I don't go out and buy leading-edge hardware all the time.

In many ways Linux is keeping up very well. I'm working at a field location with two colleagues, and each of us is using a personal laptop to record our work. The head guy has a new Apple Laptop running the latest OSX, my other coworker has a Dell running Vista, and I'm dual-booting with Windows 7 and Kubuntu 9.10.

We bought a HP wireless printer to use in the field, and it of course came with an installation disk. The guy running Vista used the disk successfully, and has full access to the printer functions. I didn't need to use the install disk for either Windows 7 OR Linux -- both systems recognized the printer and worked flawlessly right away. The one having the most trouble is the guy with the Mac -- he still can't get his OSX to connect wirelessly, and has to use an ethernet cable to print.


BTW, I prefer Windows 7 to both Vista and XP, but it's still a bit of a pain compared to my Kubuntu, which I prefer. The only thing the Linux side won't do is play certain DVD movies, which is strange because others work just fine.

And I do have to admit that power management and battery life are much better on Windows.

#34 Mike Phillips

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:42 AM

I run Ubuntu 9.10 with Win4Lin pro which allows you to install Windows (I have XP Pro) to run within Linux for those occasions I need it. And in "snapshot" mode, Windows will never get infected and the registry will never get bloated or corrupted. It beats Wine since you are actually running Windows.

Jeff


Does that allow you to see your 1394 adapter? I have a DMK21AF04 and use it for guiding, that'd be cool if Win4Lin let you run MaximDL and use the firewire cam for guiding?!

Mike

#35 revans

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 06:56 AM

Hi,

I'm not very Linux knowledgable, but a couple of years ago I wanted to run an astronomy spectral imaging package called ISIS available as a free download from the USGS (for a description see http://isis.astrogeo...o_isis_text.cgi ). This program isn't useful for use with a backyard telescope, but is useful for use together with Clementine and other lunar probe images etc that are available for free download.

Anyway, I bought a cheap laptop from LinuxCertified loaded with the SUSE 10.2 distro.

It was really an eye opening experience that can really provide relief to those who are just plain tired of Windows and Microsoft programs and all of their nonsense, instability, authentication paranoia, expense, limited installation number, and generally treating the little guy like a virus rather than a client.

I suspect that this isn't the newest or best Linux distro, but it is a great and easy place to start...

Rick Evans

#36 Lamb0

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 03:12 AM

:shrug: I run SimplyMEPIS7 on an old 2GHz 1GB Walmart special laptop; it's not the latest and greatest, but it "just works" for me. I'll likely upgrade to Mepis8 for newer software versions; especially KStars (and Firefox) as I rarely use Stellarium or Celestia. If I can afford it, and it does what I want it to do reliably - other opinions don't weigh very heavily on my mind. I switched my Mother over to SimplyMEPIS8. DSL and all the extra free software and additional features are a big leap from her years of MS Office 2000 with Win98 on dial-up; though her computer has recently been upgraded from a PII 400 w/384MB 8MB All-in-Wonder Pro to a Celery 1500 w/512MB and a PCI 64MB GeForce4000. Patience is a big upgrade from Solitaire! :winky:

#37 Skywatchr

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:00 AM

Yes, it sees my 1394 adapter. But I have not tried to use it for anything. One of these days when I get time I will be trying all sorts of things.

Jeff

I run Ubuntu 9.10 with Win4Lin pro which allows you to install Windows (I have XP Pro) to run within Linux for those occasions I need it. And in "snapshot" mode, Windows will never get infected and the registry will never get bloated or corrupted. It beats Wine since you are actually running Windows.

Jeff


Does that allow you to see your 1394 adapter? I have a DMK21AF04 and use it for guiding, that'd be cool if Win4Lin let you run MaximDL and use the firewire cam for guiding?!

Mike



#38 Skywatchr

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:32 AM

Yes, they are. The biggest hurdle is the licensing. Especially for 3D drivers. It seems the sloth is throwing monkey wrenches in the works as much as they can.

I just installed W7 Ultimate on a box and it is much better looking than XP. But as is the way of the sloth, a bunch of stuff is just rearranged to appear different. They moved the user folders and renamed them so a lot of apps won't work just for that reason only. Just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
XP can be modded to mimic W7 with the gadgets and all. I did it with one box and it runs and feels just like W7. :shocked: I am tired of the MS "game" of shuffle.

Jeff

Drivers have come a long way. But a lot of manufacturers are just making Windoze only "plug and pray" devices so they don't even need to take the time to write software. So far I have had no driver issue with Ubuntu. But I don't go out and buy leading-edge hardware all the time.

In many ways Linux is keeping up very well. I'm working at a field location with two colleagues, and each of us is using a personal laptop to record our work. The head guy has a new Apple Laptop running the latest OSX, my other coworker has a Dell running Vista, and I'm dual-booting with Windows 7 and Kubuntu 9.10.

We bought a HP wireless printer to use in the field, and it of course came with an installation disk. The guy running Vista used the disk successfully, and has full access to the printer functions. I didn't need to use the install disk for either Windows 7 OR Linux -- both systems recognized the printer and worked flawlessly right away. The one having the most trouble is the guy with the Mac -- he still can't get his OSX to connect wirelessly, and has to use an ethernet cable to print.


BTW, I prefer Windows 7 to both Vista and XP, but it's still a bit of a pain compared to my Kubuntu, which I prefer. The only thing the Linux side won't do is play certain DVD movies, which is strange because others work just fine.

And I do have to admit that power management and battery life are much better on Windows.



#39 psonice

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:43 AM

I just installed W7 Ultimate on a box and it is much better looking than XP. But as is the way of the sloth, a bunch of stuff is just rearranged to appear different. They moved the user folders and renamed them so a lot of apps won't work just for that reason only. Just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.


In all fairness, apps which break because a user or system folder has been renamed are badly written. The user has had the option of moving these folders around for many years, expecting them to be in any fixed place is pretty inexcusable (especially when there's a standard bunch of aliases for this exact reason). Apps which expect to have full admin rights to the whole machine come under this category too.

Then again, I also have major complaints with MS moving stuff around - but for the opposite reason. Why the hell are they still using drive letters for disks instead of something sane like normal names? Especially when the drive lettering system has been broken for years, and has never been fixed - when you plug a new disk in, there's a fair chance windows will assign it a letter that's already taken by another drive!

#40 daev

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:43 PM

...still using drive letters for disks instead of something sane like normal names?


Funny you should mention that. It took me ages to wean myself off of drive letters when I switched over to Linux. It seemed cumbersome by comparison to not have a default "C:" drive. AFAIK, in Ubuntu you have to set a drive name via the command line... I couldn't find any GUI options for such. All that aside though, I have to agree. Actual names make much more sense. I do wish it was as easy in Ubuntu to rename a drive as it was in XP, but that may defeat the purpose of the user being somewhat forced to know a little bit about the machine they are using.

dave

#41 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:46 PM

I've always thought that partition names were suitable such as sda1, sdb2, etc. Recently, I find they've gone a step beyond that which allowed me to install a distro on an SDHC card. At least Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS are now using a form of volume ID which is uniquely tied to the hardware and independent of the sdx notation scheme. This worked quite well when installing PCL on an Acer D150 netbook. During installation the external CD was sr0, the hard drive was sda, and the SD card was sdb. The installation and grub both went to sdb as selected. However, the grub boot loader did not reference sdb as the boot object. It used the hardware ID of the actual card. This saved my bacon because the Acer treats the SD card as sda when you select it as the boot device and not sdb as it was during installation. The end result is that a device can be named something during installation, a different name when the machine is booted, and still load and run correctly. Ubuntu uses the same scheme and I have it on another SD card. The one that didn't work was Mint 7. Maybe Mint 8 has changed but I'm sticking to PCL as KStars and Indi work correctly.

As far as drive names go, maybe you can use a symlink between the name you would like to use and the actual sdx name.

#42 psonice

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 06:17 PM

I think osx is the only one that gets drive naming really 'right'.

Windows has the pretty backwards drive letters (I'm constantly getting calls at work too asking why "the O drive" on the network has stopped working.. as if that actually means anything to me!) Another thing: no standard support for disk images! If you want to send a disk image to somebody, you first have to know what software they have, or find something you can both install first. Then you need different software to just open it instead of burning it.. ugh!

Linux has a combination of the hda/sda/etc. stuff under dev (great when you understand it, confusing as hell if you don't), the equally brilliant/terrible 'root' system (all drives appear under /, in the 'mnt' folder, not to be confused with the root account or the /root folder..) Disks do appear on the desktop with names in most cases from what I remember, but I also remember resorting to the mount command a bit too often :(

The mac has all the linux stuff underneath, with some changes (/mnt/ is more sensibly named /Volumes/ and hda, sda etc. seem to have become disk0, disk1..). On the whole though you just get a disk with a sensible name on the desktop.

#43 astrotrf

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:01 AM

As a UNIX user since rather perilously near the beginning, let me say something about drives. The whole idea about putting everything under "/" should be to get you to *stop thinking about drives* and just consider the whole thing as a unitary filesystem. When I set up a system (FreeBSD, for the most part), I do, of course, create mount points for the disks; this is necessary in order to mount the disks (obviously) and also to give disk backups someplace to start. It is also of interest to be able to see how much space is left on any particular disk on occasion.

Beyond that, the first thing I do is paper over the mount points with symlinks so that, unless you go looking, you have no idea which directory trees are on which disks. The correct attitude (IMnsHO :)) is to stop thinking about your filesystem as being composed of multiple disks at all, insofar as is possible. This way, you, as a sysadmin, can change the names of mount points, change which disk is mounted at which mount point, move directory trees from one disk to another, etc., all without affecting the path to a particular directory tree, because the symlink gets you there.

It used to drive me NUTS in VMSland when folks hard-coded disk references into their procedures, even though I provided non-disk-centric logical names for the users. Things always broke when I had to move things onto a different disk to redistribute the disk space, but it was still a complete surprise to the users when I explained to them that they should NOT use disk names, "like it says RIGHT HERE in the documentation you're supposed to be following!"

In short, if you're on a UNIX/Linux system, not performing some specific sysadmin task, and you're thinking about disks in the filesystem, you're doing it *wrong* ...

#44 Skywatchr

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 09:27 AM

No, the apps were not badly written. They used the MS convention for XP to place files in those user folders. C:\documents and settings\<username>\Application Data\ With the emphasis on Documents and Settings folder. MS changed the game to use C:\users\<username>\AppData\..., not the apps. MS is trying to mimic Linux, MAC, and Solaris and doing a poor job of it. Heck, within minutes W7 was compromised with a hijacking (redirect) trojan! While my XP boot drive is chumming right along virus-free. Yes, I use the same anti-virus on both so it's not that. There is just another open back door\browser exploit somewhere in W7 that is not in XP, nor in Ubuntu. So much for "enhanced security" :roflmao: YMMV though..

Jeff

I just installed W7 Ultimate on a box and it is much better looking than XP. But as is the way of the sloth, a bunch of stuff is just rearranged to appear different. They moved the user folders and renamed them so a lot of apps won't work just for that reason only. Just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.


In all fairness, apps which break because a user or system folder has been renamed are badly written. The user has had the option of moving these folders around for many years, expecting them to be in any fixed place is pretty inexcusable (especially when there's a standard bunch of aliases for this exact reason). Apps which expect to have full admin rights to the whole machine come under this category too.

Then again, I also have major complaints with MS moving stuff around - but for the opposite reason. Why the hell are they still using drive letters for disks instead of something sane like normal names? Especially when the drive lettering system has been broken for years, and has never been fixed - when you plug a new disk in, there's a fair chance windows will assign it a letter that's already taken by another drive!



#45 psonice

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:03 AM

Jeff: That's the 'default' folder, but it's not 'fixed' in that place. You're allowed to move the users, windows and programs folders to wherever you want (or when MS wants, which has now happened..), so programmers should never assume that's where they are.

There's actually a system for accessing these folders without using a fixed path, for scripting (about as far as I go in windows programming) you use %USERPROFILE% to access the user's home directory, or %windir% for the windows folder. If they'd used these (or the relevant APIs to get the folders) the apps wouldn't have any problem.

#46 Skywatchr

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:57 PM

Yes, the wildcard for the user and windir folders for the environment will point to them. But once they are installed, Win won't let you move them. They are designated "system" folders. And their hierarchy was changed too in W7 (subfolders renamed). The apps can be kludged to work pretty easily though by editing their .ini files and the registry.
If you call MS "help", they can't help you beyond the "default" layout. Oh well, such is life in the computer world. :foreheadslap:

#47 psonice

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:58 AM

Right click on 'My Documents', properties -> there's a 'Move...' button that lets you put it wherever you want. The Windows folder can be set when you install. Can't remember how you move Program Files, but that's possible too (we have it set to some obscure drive on some of the servers at work).

#48 Skywatchr

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:19 AM

MY Documents does not have anything to do with installing any programs. And I still see no way to move the programs folder. Windoze still says it cannot be moved. There might be a trick in the registry or something.

Jeff

#49 BlueMoon

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 08:34 AM

Heck, within minutes W7 was compromised with a hijacking (redirect) trojan!


LOL! I bought my wife a new Dell box with W7 and withing 5 minutes of booting it and connecting to the 'net, it got infected so bad I had to format the drive and re-install W7...

Ironically, I was in the process of connecting to the AVAST! site to download and install their anti-virus software! I used an intermediate site with a redirect to AVAST! and got "malwared"...

Cheers!

#50 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:54 PM

All new MS computers should be started up behind a router that is set to ignore all unsolicited incoming probes. Anti-virus needs to be installed from a direct vendor download placed on a USB stick before even connecting it to the router. I had this same problem when I started up a Toshiba laptop. That's one of the main reasons for installing the router.


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