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 Ubuntu Operating System

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PostSubject: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:36 am

Not that I can afford one but my laptop is messing up so much lately from various problems (battery, touchpad etc) I am fantacising about buying a new one.

I see it is cheaper to get one with Ubuntu, which seemingly is a free operating system. Has anybody used Ubuntu? What is different about it when compared to windows and can anyone think of pros and cons for it as against windows? It saves you about 50 euro.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:51 am

Is this the little Asus eee pc ? Or is it one of the Dell ones ?

I use ubuntu regularly and it's much much better than Windows once you get used to it. It comes with tons of free software that is generally excellent. It's windows-based too so you won't have a problem with the interface but it does take a little bit of tweaking and getting used to if you install it on a pc yourself.

If the machine comes with ubuntu already installed then you should have no problems with it I'd imagine. It's usually faster, needs less memory but on a pc can tend to use up more battery. It does take a little learning but by that I mean like moving from a Mac to a Windows system or something. I find it's easier than windows vista - it's more intuitive.

Another disadvantage I suppose is that you have to switch stuff on while with MS Windows I end up switching stuff off.

Software can be hard to get for it but it is out there on the net - you'll have to learn that.

All round I find it much more satisfying and it is more secure too. It's way faster as I say. If you have space on your laptop you could install a version of it on there. Why don't you just play with it in the shop first ?

It's simply preferable to Windows if you are any way open to technology.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:56 am

I was looking at the little Dell laptops - they look quite cool and would be handy for me in terms of the sorts of places I could bring it. My laptop is a bit chunky so it doesn't function as an on the move sort of note taker and organiser for me.

Would you be able to run MS Office on Ubuntu or is that unavailable? I don't use alot of software really, just Photoshop, Microsoft Messenger, Firefox, Thunderbird and the odd spot of Football Manager. Would all those work?

If not MS Office then maybe Open Office? I don't really understand that, is it just a rip off of Microsoft Office which is free? I wonder if I composed something in it and then e-mailed it to someone with MS Office would it be easy for them to open it. That would be a huge issue for me - cross compatibility. Particularly when sending things like CVs!!
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:04 am

Open Office is available for download to your pc - it's Open. So you can try it on your own machine.

MS office is already a rip-off so don't worry. Opensource software is maintained and fixed by voluntary developers online in a forum like this so potentially it can have a lot more developers working on it than Microsoft software. Isnt the latest version of MS office a bit of a pain anyway ?

Open Office is excellent johnfás - you can't really go wrong with it. My printer doesn't do it justice either but really I've had very few problems with Openoffice. Again it's the minor differences between it and MSoffice that take a small bit of getting used to but yeah it's a clone.

Ubuntu and openoffice seem to be able to open everything so don't worry too much about that.

Try it in the shop - bring in your usb key and CDs for playing if there's a CD player in it - sometimes the small ones have no CD.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:06 am

Yea it has no CD drive... I'm looking on the dell website to see if they have a usb one. To be honest it isn't a huge issue for me though, my current laptop doesn't have a CD drive either because I replaced it with a secondary battery.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:11 am

There's a good little program called VLC which plays DVDs anyway if you have a CD player but the CDs are going out too kind of. I have a portable DVD player to play my films. When are they coming out with films on usb I wonder ?

How long do you get out of two batteries ? The Dell yoke you're thinking of buying should have 4 or 5 hours battery time if not more, no ? They have solid state hard drives too those.

Go into a shop and play around with it, I'm telling you linux is better - half the internet is run on linux. No, 80% is, if not more.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:13 am

Which companies sell them with Linux on them?

When I first got my laptop between the two batteries I could fly to New York watching DVDs as well as catching up with work comfortably. Now my primary battery is well and truly dead, it lasts just a few minutes whereas I get a couple of hours out of the secondary one which is running in the CD port. It has more cells in it.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:37 am

johnfás wrote:
Not that I can afford one but my laptop is messing up so much lately from various problems (battery, touchpad etc) I am fantacising about buying a new one.

I see it is cheaper to get one with Ubuntu, which seemingly is a free operating system. Has anybody used Ubuntu? What is different about it when compared to windows and can anyone think of pros and cons for it as against windows? It saves you about 50 euro.
I use Kubuntu, which is a variant of Ubuntu. I have in the past used Ubuntu and Xubuntu as well. I wasn't aware you could buy computers with Linux already on them, who sells it?

Anyway, I would definitely recommend it. As well as saving you 50 quid it's also a much better operating system. It is quicker and consumes less power than Windows, especially Vista. The file structure is different to Windows, and inherently more safe. Also, most viruses don't work on Linux anyway. So your system is much safer than with Windows, even though you don't have to install any firewall or anti-virus software which can slow down your computer.

Obviously the look, feel and format of Ubuntu is very differnt to Windows, but that is something you easily get used to and you can also customize it to look and feel more like Windows.

The main issue I think would be compatibility. A lot of Windows programs don't work on Linux. However, most Windows programs have very good open source equivalents, which again are free, and many of which are updated and improved much more often than Windows programs. An example would be the OpenOffice suite for Linux, which is the open source equivalent of Microsoft Office. Another advantage to these open source equivalents is that most can be acquired through one handy program called "Add/Remove Programs" on Linux, which allows you to download and install hundreds of open source programs with the click of a button. It's very convenient and I swear by it. You can also download WINE which lets you run a lot of Windows programs on Linux. If there is any program which you use a lot or which is vital for your work, I would recommend checking to make sure that there is an open source equivalent or that it operates on WINE. Compatibility would mainly be an issue for gamers more than anyone else.

There was another point I meant to make but I forgot >.< I'll post it up here if I remember it. In short though, Definitely recommend Ubuntu or Kubuntu.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:44 am

johnfás wrote:
I was looking at the little Dell laptops - they look quite cool and would be handy for me in terms of the sorts of places I could bring it. My laptop is a bit chunky so it doesn't function as an on the move sort of note taker and organiser for me.

Would you be able to run MS Office on Ubuntu or is that unavailable? I don't use alot of software really, just Photoshop, Microsoft Messenger, Firefox, Thunderbird and the odd spot of Football Manager. Would all those work?

If not MS Office then maybe Open Office? I don't really understand that, is it just a rip off of Microsoft Office which is free? I wonder if I composed something in it and then e-mailed it to someone with MS Office would it be easy for them to open it. That would be a huge issue for me - cross compatibility. Particularly when sending things like CVs!!
Sorry, just noticed this post now.

Photoshop, as far as I know, is not compatible with Linux. There is an open source equivalent called GIMP. It's considered to be the second best image editing program out there to Photoshop, but somewhat of a distant second. I imagine GIMP would be sufficient for any amateur use you might have for it, and only if Photoshop was part of your job or something would I have any concern.

There are a number of programs which allow you to connect to MSN messenger, though the messenger itself is not compatible.

Firefox and Thunderbird both work fine, and through that "Add/Remove Programs" application I mentioned earlier you can download no end of nifty add-ons for them both.

For Football Manager you should check http://appdb.winehq.org/ to see if your game can run on WINE. I know have played a few of the Championship Manager games on Linux and they've all worked without a hitch, but you'd want to check to make sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:52 am

GIMP isn't for beginners anyway, whatever about amateurs. Do you use photoshop evercloserunion ? You definitely know it's not compatible with the GIMP ? But the file gets saved in a universal format ?

For beginners there is Kolorpaint for one. It's a lot more advanced than MSPaint although MSPaint got a bit more advanced recently - you can now undo more than three times. Laughing

There's tons of free software in a downloadable linux package called KDE - tons of educational programs and games, encyclopedias, dictionaries, you name it.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:56 am

I know GIMP it is fairly good. I have Photoshop though so I'd like to install it on whatever machine I have. That said it is on the home desktop so it is not that important.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:11 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
GIMP isn't for beginners anyway, whatever about amateurs. Do you use photoshop evercloserunion ? You definitely know it's not compatible with the GIMP ? But the file gets saved in a universal format ?

For beginners there is Kolorpaint for one. It's a lot more advanced than MSPaint although MSPaint got a bit more advanced recently - you can now undo more than three times. Laughing

There's tons of free software in a downloadable linux package called KDE - tons of educational programs and games, encyclopedias, dictionaries, you name it.
Eh, by amateurs I didn't mean beginners or anything, I just meant people who like to fuck around with pictures as a hobby as opposed to a profession. I don't know what you mean about Photoshop being compatible with GIMP, they're two different programs like. But GIMP can save in most if not all of the widely used image formats. If johnfas can use Photoshop and is familiar with GIMP he shouldn't have a problem figuring it out.

KDE is what I use. Kubuntu is like the Ubuntu operating system but with a KDE desktop environment, whereas regular Ubuntu uses GNOME. You are right in that Kubuntu comes with some good software, but most desktop interfaces come with software and what they don't have pre-installed it's just a matter of downloading via Add/Remove Programs. Remember, once you have your operating system installed an up and running there's no point downloading KDE - download individual programs instead.

Quote :
I know GIMP it is fairly good. I have Photoshop though so I'd like to
install it on whatever machine I have. That said it is on the home
desktop so it is not that important.
And remember, GIMP can be installed by simply going into Add/Remove Programs and clicking on it so if it's convenience you're worried about it's grand.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:22 am

I've seen some of the KDE desktop and it's very neat. The GNOME one has no bells and whistles like KDE though. Next time I might try Kubuntu then. There isn't so much software in the gnome environment on installation though.

Did you buy yours with the OS installed or do it yourself ?
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:29 am

Realistically you can make GNOME look almost identical to KDE and vice versa. But KDE does have more and better inbuilt software than GNOME, and is updated more as well (I think they might even have stopped major updates to GNOME, I don't know). As a result of this GNOME is a bit more lightweight than KDE, but if you want an operating system that is lightweight (ie, fast even on crap computers and doesn't consume much power) you should get Xubuntu which is built specifically for that purpose. If that is not an issue, then you should get KDE.

I installed my own OS over Vista, which was on the laptop when I bought it. Couldn't wait to be rid of the thing as I had used Linux a lot at home and the idea of going back to the painfully slow Windows killed.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:44 am

I think you're right about GNOME not being updated - I lost my kicker there recently and had to download a KDE one which crashes the OS sometimes now. I'm sure there's an easier solution but I haven't got around to it yet.

So Kubuntu is like another distro then ? It's the linux kernel with the desktop and windows environment completely KDE ? No 'Hardy Heron 8.04' for you then ? Whoever thinks up these names, God bless them.

I find Vista ok - I've been trying to just use it lately for the sake of it. Although I think I had issues with playing RTEs programmes on linux - even the radio didn't work too well so I switched back to Vista. I don't think the upgrade to 8.04 was a great idea. Do you use it to view the RTE site much ?

Ah I won't deny it, it all went horribly wrong with 8.04 ...
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:32 am

There is indeed a Hardy Heron for KDE. It's a different desktop alright, but all the Ubuntu-related distros have the same distribution cycles and therefore they all have their Dapper Drakes, Edgy Efts, Feisty Fawns, Hardy Herons etc.

I'm using Kubuntu 8.10, Intrepid Ibex, with KDE 4.1. I can see how partially installing KDE onto GNOME would be problematic, it was probably a bad idea. KDE 4.2 beta is also out now so if you want to install KDE but want a smooth running DE without many glitches make sure you get the full 4.1 instead.

I don't often view the RTE website. I'm trying to listen to the digital radio now, and it's telling me that I need Real Player. Was this your problem? RealPlayer is available for Linux, I'm downloading it now.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:48 am

Yeah, I downloaded RealPlayer and installed it, I then had to click on the installed application in order to set it up so it would actually work. But now the radio on RTE.ie is working fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:37 am

Could one download Ubuntu to test it out without having to format your harddrive or get rid of windows and what you have and that?
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:41 am

BuachaillBeo wrote:
Could one download Ubuntu to test it out without having to format your harddrive or get rid of windows and what you have and that?

Yes! You can run it from a CD which doesn't affect your harddrive.

You might have to set your BIOS to boot from a CD first - I'm not 100% sure about that though.


www.ubuntu.com - download an iso image which you can burn to CD then run it away. You can download and burn easily with Windows .
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:42 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
BuachaillBeo wrote:
Could one download Ubuntu to test it out without having to format your harddrive or get rid of windows and what you have and that?

Yes! You can run it from a CD which doesn't affect your harddrive.

You might have to set your BIOS to boot from a CD first - I'm not 100% sure about that though.


www.ubuntu.com - download an iso image which you can burn to CD then run it away. You can download and burn easily with Windows .

Cool! go raibh maith agat Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:07 pm

c'mere, i'm downloading that iso file thing there now right? but can i be sure that it'll work as a live cd and not end up as a case of me throwing in the cd when i'm done and starting some installation process when i reboot? Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:15 pm

BuachaillBeo wrote:
c'mere, i'm downloading that iso file thing there now right? but can i be sure that it'll work as a live cd and not end up as a case of me throwing in the cd when i'm done and starting some installation process when i reboot? Surprised
Make sure you downloaded the Live CD .iso rather than a full install .iso. Even if you downloaded the wrong one it'll be obvious when you boot into it. It will realise you already have Windows installed and won't overwrite anything without OKing it with you first. Just be careful to read any dialogs it throws up. If in doubt, back it out. Now might be a good time to back up your Windows box also. Before you start I mean. You never can be too careful ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:28 pm

BuachaillBeo wrote:
c'mere, i'm downloading that iso file thing there now right? but can i be sure that it'll work as a live cd and not end up as a case of me throwing in the cd when i'm done and starting some installation process when i reboot? Surprised

The shagger takes nearly two hours to come down - are you far into it ?

After that you'll burn it to a cd - this is usually straightforward.

The computer may not boot straight from the CD at all at first. If you remember the floppy disks when you had one in by accident on start-up it would try to open it but usually tell you to remove it. If there was a piece of an OS on there or some of Windows System then it would boot from that and not tell you to remove it. You used to be able to fix your pc like this. So the default boot sequence for the computer to try was:

floppy
hard disk
CD

If when you put in your Ubuntu CD in and it doesn't boot automatically from it on the first go then don't despair - the above sequence needs to be changed in your computer is all. We can do that when you've burned and tried it.


Good advice by coc there. If you've any special documents or folders
on your pc or such and such and a spare hard drive or just a usb to
back it up. You should be alright though if you take his advice about
backing out. It's very safe to install anyway I found - it gives you
ample opportunity to pull out if you are going to install it. It's
usually hassle-free to boot from the CD though.

If you have wireless too Ubuntu might not connect to the internet on first go. You might need that big thick yellow cable they gave you when you bought it. Or maybe it's orange ? And you'll have to plug it into your modem and pc port.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:36 pm

thanks for the advice. i'm after digging out my old computer - i'll burn it to a cd and flake it into the auld one.. that way it wont matter too much if things go pete thong... see i'm not sure i'm after downloading the live cd or the full install one or what... and at 98% i'm not backing out now, I'M JUST NOT! it's out of curiosity i want to see it anyway like so it's not a big thing if it doesn't work out... so i'll err on the side of caution with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Ubuntu Operating System   Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:41 pm

You can't go wrong then. Enjoy!
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