Running Microsoft free...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by SuperDuck, May 18, 2007.

  1. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Various factors have made me decide to buy a new computer by the end of the year. Because I'm going back to school and will be using my laptop a lot, I'm looking at the uber-small laptops. (12-13" screen, 4 lbs.)

    I'm also thinking about running Microsoft-free. All new computers come with Windows. That's fine. But when I get it, I think that I'm going to hold on to the disc, format the drive, and install Linux. Open Office works with all of the Office formats (.doc, .xls), which I'll need to use quite a bit. I've got Firefox for browsing, and I don't use e-mail clients like Outlook or Thunderbird anyways. I can run MATLAB in Linux... what else do I need?

    How about it? Does anyone else go Microsoft free? I'm not anti-MS for any particular ideological reasons; I'm going to try this more to see how far I can get without anything Gates related.

    (Yes, yes, I know that all you Mac people aren't running Windows. That's just super!)
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Yeah, I know you aren't. However, this thread is like a mating call for all of those who are. I'm getting the heck out of here before they show up.

  3. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    I understand that there will be new laptops offered with Ubuntu linux (which is a great OS, BTW) pre-installed rather than Windows.
  4. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I have a Kubuntu dual boot with XP. Trying to get the hang of Linux and then I'm abandoning ship. Linux is free and is getting to be as good as Windows performance-wise. Might not have all the bells and whistles, but I can make do without that.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    What? You don't like the choo-choo train cursors??? :D

  6. I still have a Windows partition sitting around, just in case, on two of my computers. They get approximately zero use. One was for playing a few games (Thief 3, Halo) but self-destructed (still no clue why, but I couldn't fix it), and the other is a "just in case" thing. "Just in case" turns out not to be very often.
  7. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    correct drivers is always an issue on laptops for linux. just look around to make sure you get a laptop that is known to run your particular flavor of linux with few problems. unless, of course you are an old hat at linux (and if you are good with MatLab then you are several magnitudes more computer literate than I).

    i personally really like linux but didnt enjoy having to download 4 different pieces of software to get the native screen resolution on my laptop...and there were no audio drivers at all for my particular sound card.

    Dell is once again supporting linux, they might be a good place to start.
  8. Very true about the drivers.

    I still haven't managed to get my resolution right. I don't really feel like taking the time to do it, but linux is slowly growing on me. Hell, it took me like 30 minutes to make my browser scroll right instead of scrolling all jumpy. But once I get everything set up, linux will be great.

    Getting drivers for my sound card (Audigy Z2 notebook) should prove to be interesting. This thing needs all sorts of software.

    EDIT: This is ubuntu. Whats the difference between ubuntu and kubuntu anyway?
  9. Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop environment and Kubuntu uses the KDE environment. I think I'm leaning towards KDE these days, if I were to use either (which I don't). Xubuntu is much the same, but with XFCE.
  10. karrot-x

    karrot-x Inactive

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    I wish I could go MS free. I spent 3 hours patching and moving a UFS zone to a ZFS solaris 11/06. Then I spent 7 hours setting up a freaking Windows backup. Everything is extremely counter intuitive and a bitch.
  11. i don't know that there's any value in running MS-free, especially if it's not an ideological decision. i'd recommend getting a linux distro you think you'll like and setting up a dual boot system. it's not like you have to use MS, and you can make its partition as small as you want.

    i suggest this from personal experience.

    i tried using MEPIS a year or two ago. it worked well enough for web surfing and general use, but it wasn't very compelling -- there were too many issues to use it as my main system when my wife needs a lot of windows compatibility for her school work. when i ran into issues with it, it turns out the newer releases of MEPIS are not free. that kind of burned me after buying what amounted to a user's guide in a bookstore.

    with some new instability in my sound card in XP, i've kind of gotten back into the idea of linux again. it turns out the newest versions of ubuntu are way more robust and user-friendly than the older versions of MEPIS. for all i know, MEPIS is great, too, but it's still pay. so i'm going to put ubuntu on my old MEPIS partitions and give it another chance. with luck i'll revert back to using windows only for recording. if life is really good, i will be able to use linux for that, as well. we'll see. i'm certainly not banking on it.

  12. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Sounds to me you are begging for a MacBook :smug:
  13. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Heh, that'll be the day. ;)

    I guess to update this thread - I got a super cheap external hard drive (320 Gig for $30, NIB - thanks!), so now that I have had an opportunity to back up my scthuff I'm going to be partitioning and running a dual boot on my current machine. My friend gave me an Ubuntu disc, though I'll probably end up going to SUSE. I still will probably go with a Linux-loaded Dell when I buy my new computer!
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    If you're into gaming, Windows is a must-have.
    For everything else Linux offers a very decent alternative.
  15. *smb


    Nov 26, 2006
    I switched to Linux at the end of last year. Switched back when I got fed up with the hassle of setting it up to control my wireless card and the lack of nice friendly installers so you can just get on with stuff. I might go back to it but not soon. I'm currently running a very stripped down version of XP.
  16. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    True. :( I *am* pretty excited about Starcraft 3.
  17. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    I must say, I am now running a dual partition with Ubuntu and XP/ my ONLY real grip with Ubuntu is the dvd drive/codecs that you have to set up. I wish movies played correctly after install, but they don't, I have always had to download this or that driver, link this or that to this. turn off dma...etc....and that part for me is just a pain in the @ss. In all fairness, I am using the free downloaded version of Ubuntu Feisty maybe it's wrong for me to complain about getting so much for free if all I need to do is get better at understanding how Linux/Unix works with my attached devices:meh:

    Outside of that, it get a lot of stuff that you can use for free that you would have to pay for using Windows. I think their open office suite is pound for pound as good as MS Office. Wireshark for capturing packets etc for you wireless network. Math games for kids, and programs for adults..i.e Algebra called "Maxima Algebra System....I wish they had something for teaching beginning Physics..:meh: ALL IN ALL..I THINK IT WILL SOON CATCH UP WITH MS AND GIVE IT A RUN FOR ITS MONEY, once people get more comfy with it.
  18. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    I ran a linux box for a while. I found out that I wasn't willing to put up with the learning curve figuring out how to do everything I wanted to do. After many years of admin'ing Windows boxes I can perform most admin tasks without even thinking about it. On the linux box if I wanted to do something like configure a wireless connection for a particular user it was just painful to figure out how.

    Kind of like learning to sight read after playing by ear for 20 years ;)

    So, I'm running XP Pro for now...
  19. Yvon


    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    For the last 3 or 4 months we where MS free on the 3 computer we have.
    But I went back to XP on my main computer.
    I need it for sonar and reason!
    I tried to set up ubuntu studio but it didn't work like I wanted.
  20. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    The same thing happened to me.

    I tried to get my wireless card working for two weeks. No one would help me on Linux forums. I had to re-configure my sound card every time I booted too.

    Linux disciples want the whole world to switch, but they don't like giving up any of their knowledge to help people least this is what I experienced in college.

    My computer is still dual-boot, but I don't use the Linux side.

Share This Page