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Who's Using Linux, and What For?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by winston, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I did a search on Linux and I didn't really see a thread like this so I'm starting one.

    I just installed Red Hat Fedora Core 2 on a 4 year old Dell (600 MHz Celeron, 256MB Ram, 80 Gig HD) over the weekend. 1600 programs for $48--not bad! I got the 4 CD set included with Christopher Negus Fedora 2 Bible--a 1000 page book. I've wanted to learn about networking, servers, and the inner workings of power computing and this approach makes much more sense to me than Window$. The Dell used to run (just barely) Windows Me (aka the official "glitch like a b!tch" OS) and my HP P4 runs XP.

    I'm especially looking forward to using the ARTS analog synth and other audio apps. The basic sound recorder in the KDE dektop includes a level control with meter and a full-functioned compressor--very nice! I still have a lot of learning to do, and some bugs to work out, but just 5 days with this stuff has been more satisfying than my last 5 years using Windows. I am a tinkering techhead type, though, and Linux is definitely not for super-casual users.

    So what distributions are people using, on what kind of hardware? Any problems using a dual-boot system with Windows (I've heard about some problems with this with the 2.6 kernel)? Any hard-core audio users have stories to share--ARTS, Ardour, and Rosegarden all look intriguing. Any useful tips/links/etc. are greatly appreciated.
  2. I've used various Mandrake distributions just for casual use. Downloaded the ISO versions so I could run it from CD rather than re-partitioning my hard drive. Linux is alright, I just find the things I do day-to-day easier on Windows. If more programs came out for Linux, I'd switch without thinking twice, as Linux is probably the closest you can get to a crash-proof OS, though WinXP is extremely stable compared to previous versions (probably because it's based on the NT kernel).
  3. In response to your original post, did you re-partition your hard drive when you installed Linux, or did you install it on a partition that you weren't using? I'm curious as I've heard some horror stories re-partitioning before installing ANY OS. Whenever I've wanted to re-partition, I just normally re-format completely.
  4. I'm a very casual user, but this here PC is set up w/ mandrake linux as it's main operating system. I don't know crap about computers, and I suck at the internet. That's pretty much all I can tell you. :)
  5. bassjamn

    bassjamn Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    I admin debian linux systems here at work, It's very developer friendly and tries to keep all it's libraries close to linux standards.. Red Hat, while still a very nice OS seems to be starting it's own proprietary libraries and such which caused us to dump em.

    Mandrake was fun, i had that on my laptop for a while. Suse seems to be getting popular too with the big backing from Novell.

    Not sure about 2.6 kernal and dual boot probs. Check out Vmware, it's cool. i run Win XP in a 5 gig partition within linux. my debian box never crashes so when my XP box is dying and needs to be restarted i still got my linux box up :D
    I've still got a lot to learn too, the amount you can really customize your system is astounding.
  6. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Slackware/fbsd for desktop... general use... all i use windose for except for games.

    Fbsd/slackware as my server... email/mysql/webhosting/ftp/hosting for diffrent bands around bay area and few from other places... and hosting for friends... (need hosting btw? :D if it doesnt use all my resources you are welcome to aim me... i dont mind :D )

    Server it beats windose 10x imo...

    Desktop... if you dont play games or need 2nd pc not to play games *nix is fine...

    Fbsd = not linux but *nix based OS which is great
    Slackware = best linux out there
    Mandrake = noooooo :D
    Redhat is so so... i dont like it. but i use it...
    rest i dont like too much
    Fedora is not bad...

    One thing you will have to expect is to redo the system few times when you start... i'd strongly recommand to back up your stuff when messing with *nix for 1st time...

    Google is your friend but if you cant find anything... #redhat @ efnet can help you... if you go there say wzup to me :D

    www.freshmeat.net = good place to find soft for linux

  7. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I actually put in a new HD right before I installed FC2. The Dell had been running ME before and that was an absolute crash-prone nightmare (often freezing up every other use), so the new HD is Linux only. I'm definitely not gonna install any Linux on the HD of my "good" computer (the HP) until I figure stuff out on the Dell and hear about other peoples' experiences. And once I get the Dell configured to my liking I'll back it up. That said, I am going to try Knoppix (a self-contained bootable Linux CD-ROM) on the HP for kicks.
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    I've still got Debian on a few boxes. intel and sparc. I ran it hard with KDE on my 900Mhz Inspiron from Dell
    (with EVERYTHING working I might add... within a few months of the hardware release. I get a kick out of the frantic IM's I get of OMG I installed so and so and my mouse doesn't work ***.... fix it! Then later on come back with "ok, I fixed it...but I can only get 640x480 and I think my soundcard is busted :eyebrow: ).

    I work more with FreeBSD boxen these days.

    I loathe RPM based distros. apt-get & dselect kick it's butt.

    I use WinXP on my workstation for Photoshop and Cakewalk and because I need to use my computers... not tweek them. Linux just isn't polished enough yet... otherwise I run the same open software on what ever machine I sit at; winblows, Mac or *nix.

    here is my old "home office"
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
  10. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    i think

    i think

    i think i love you

    not many slackers around anymore:(

  11. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I've got slackware on my old computer but I don't use it much anymore. I use windows currently because of my soundcard and some programs I needed, but I realllllllllly prefer Linux, especially for programming. I do use Linux via a remote shell a lot though.
  12. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Mandrake 9.0 is my main desktop system at work (web development) although I also have a Windows Server 2003 machine for one or two tasks (mainly using the MS SQL2000 client and as a development server for .asp pages).

    At home, I mainly use WinXP on my laptop but, when I finally get round to archiving the "backup CD images" to CD I'll probably use the space to install some kind of Linux distro. I've also got an older home machine running Morphix (a Debian based live CD distro that I've installed to HD), which takes care of backups.

    I haven't really explored audio options yet beyond spinning MP3s and CDs with XMMS when I'm working...

  13. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Having used all Windows versions until the 2000 one 1 year ago I switched to RedHat Linux. Reasons?... many...

    - Max time between re-installs in Windows = 4 months; with Linux (still going on after a year with no problem)
    - Requires half the hardware to perform the same (I mixed down 16 audio tracks on the AUDACITY software for Linux with a Pentium 4 2GHZ ASUS notebook with just 256MB RAM -can you do that with Windows?-)
    - Independent programmers involved (no Mocosoft/Macro-mob proprietary sh*t involved)
    - Contrary to the expected, WAY superior product QA
    - Undoubtly superior security scheme

    Need I say more?

  14. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    don't get me wrong, I dig anything non-MS..... BUT

    - my current gaming machine was built Dec 2001... same install, still stable and it only gets rebooted about weekly
    - My DAW was an AMD 300Mhz with 128mb till a couple months ago and now it's an AMD 500Mhz with 192mb... both run WinXP and though I had to stick with CakeWalk Pro Audio 9 on the slower machine, all my newer stuff is in Sonar XL.

    I was cutting my Linux teeth back when Sensei still owned linuxnewbie.org (internet.com merged it with justlinux.com and killed LNO). I was part of cloverm's beta site for linuxjunior.org (actually helped pick the color theme) and I use to mod @ linuxlaboratory.org in networking
  15. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Have tried several of the rpm style Linux OSs. Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, etc. so far, i like Mandrake the best. Unfortunately, i still have a dependence on many of my Windows Apps.

    But at work i just "acquired" an Apple G5 and so far i am loving that; a great compromise between usability and being given the option to meddle around with some BSD.

    In fact, this is inspiring me to install Mandrake again...
  16. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    I use a bunch of linux machines (Red Hat Enterprise/Fedora/Debian/SuSE) at work and home.

    If you're looking for some audio goodness (especially as you've already installed Fedora Core 2), had a look at http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/ .

    It's basically a collection of decent audio packages, low latency kernels, sound drivers and the like. It's all designed to be built on top of a Redhat system, so you'd be fine getting it up and running from Fedora Core 2.

    I'd also recommend having a look at Ardour (http://ardour.org), which is basically an audio workstation tool, designed as a free and open source alternative to Pro Tools.

  17. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Wow! Thanks for all the responses. I've always wanted to get under the hood in Windows but never knew how. I've gotten frustrated by the way it tends to make decisions and assumptions (about preferences and behavior) without asking me first. I like the fact that it's possible to tweak in Linux--I'm still mostly hunting around in the GUI but I'm eager to start getting into the nitty-gritty of text commands.

    I've been wanting to do stuff like make a home network, have desktop publishing/presentation abilities, and create directories of digital photos to post on the web. Now it's all starting to feel like I can do it kserg--if I figure out how to do this (there seems to be a pretty straightforward way to make an HTML image library in KDE Konqueror) I may take you up on your hosting offer.
  18. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    For anyone on Redhat or Fedora who wants to check out audio apps, you need to go here:
    Well-set-up kernel and all the cool audio software with no fuss.

    As for me, after some time on Redhat and then Debian, I'm now a gentoo fan. I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner, and you have to adjust your habits (e.g. don't upgrade or install software right before you want to do some work cuz it takes freaking forever) but for the most part everything Just Works while still giving me the flexibility I like.

    +1 on Ardour. It rocks (even being still beta level, i.e. there are still plenty of crash-inducing bugs and lack of docs.)

    I also like Hydrogen (great drum machine), Seq24 (nice little midi pattern sequencer), and Amsynth (dead-easy retro-style synth). And recently contemplating the wonders of Pd (fully programmable everything-under-the-sun ugly-UI synth/effects/midi environment), though i haven't had the time to really grok it yet.
  19. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    What about running Linux on a laptop? My "little" home network in the bedroom is driving my girlfriend batty. I was thinking about looking for a used laptop so I can futz around elsewhere. I imagine the expansion and I/O possibilities of, say a 3 or 4 year old laptop might be fairly limited.

    Most of the things I've seen in my price range (under $400) seem to lack USB and many are without CD burners, both of which I'd need for doing audio. Dunno anything about laptop soundcards--maybe external thru USB would be best. I know laptops vary greatly by manufacturer (and I've done some looking at www.linux-on-laptops.com). Wondering if anyone might have suggestions for good/cheap/workable solutions, and if some Linux distributions might work better on older laptops..

    I don't care if this will take some doing--I'm finding this stuff fascinatingly addictive, but I can't afford to mess up my relationship over it.
  20. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    http://gentoox.shallax.com I don't know if this would interest you guys, but my friend shallax has ported gentoo onto the xbox. He's been on some US computer game tv show because of it!