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Windows 7: Will Microsoft steal my Windows 7? Why I'm worried.

31 Aug 2015   #21
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sgage View Post

You might want to give Linux another look - there has been huge progress in the last few years...
Sgage:

I don't reject that out of hand. It's conceivable.

Three questions:

1: Is there a "master list" of available software and their sources, perhaps divided into categories such as audio, video, system utilities, backup and recovery, etc? I've got a few Windows applications that would be show-stoppers if I could not find a sane near-equivalent for Linux.

2: What are the 2 or 3 Linux variants that are currently considered most plausible for someone who has not looked at Linux in 20 years and fears a learning curve?

3: Do the variants have equal reliance on the command line or are some more GUI-ish? I'd hate to have to deal with the command line constantly.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2015   #22
sgage

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sgage View Post

You might want to give Linux another look - there has been huge progress in the last few years...
Sgage:

I don't reject that out of hand. It's conceivable.

Three questions:

1: Is there a "master list" of available software and their sources, perhaps divided into categories such as audio, video, system utilities, backup and recovery, etc? I've got a few Windows applications that would be show-stoppers if I could not find a sane near-equivalent for Linux.

2: What are the 2 or 3 Linux variants that are currently considered most plausible for someone who has not looked at Linux in 20 years and fears a learning curve?

3: Do the variants have equal reliance on the command line or are some more GUI-ish? I'd hate to have to deal with the command line constantly.
1) I'm sure there is, but I don't know where it might be. All the categories you mentioned are very well taken care of, but if you have certain needs, you might best be served by posting queries on a forum. For what it's worth, I run Quicken and Office under Wine in Linux seamlessly.

2) Ubuntu or Mint. I use Ubuntu Gnome - don't really care for Ubuntu's own 'Unity' interface. Mint is based on Ubuntu, and uses their own 'Cinnamon' interface, that many people really like. But for installation, package management, etc. the Ubuntu/Mint line seems the way to go.

3) All the modern distros are pretty much totally GUI. There is not really any need to dip into the CLI unless you want to delve deeper in some areas.

Linux is different from Windows in a lot of ways, but give it an honest try, and you might be surprised at the state of play these days...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #23
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Yes software manager is divided up into categories
Between Audacity and kb3 I'm pretty happy with those 2 a lone

Mint Mate 17.1 is good although Zorin is more like 7 I hear I have yet to try it yet but I was really going to get Zorin ultimate which isn't free but only about 15.us but comes with a lot of preinstalled themes I hear.

As far as where to get it whs/ Wolfgang has a tutorial that recommends where
Emergency Kit - save your files from a dead OS

Zorin here it is and yes the basic is free not to mention plenty of youtube video
Zorin OS - Home
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31 Aug 2015   #24
Adams Seven

Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

If your computer is reasonably quick, the easiest way to experiment might be to:
I found this method to be pretty much risk free. I didn't have to commit to a dual boot configuration; I could remove the virtual machine from VirtualBox, or simply uninstall VirtualBox from Windows 7, as I'd uninstall any other software program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #25
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Adams Seven View Post
If your computer is reasonably quick, the easiest way to experiment might be to:
I found this method to be pretty much risk free. I didn't have to commit to a dual boot configuration; I could remove the virtual machine from VirtualBox, or simply uninstall VirtualBox from Windows 7, as I'd uninstall any other software program.
What's the advantage or disadvantage to that versus putting Mint on a USB stick, say 32 GB?

Purely as an experiment. How fast it runs would be secondary at best. I just need to examine it, install some apps, see what I can or can't do with it, WITHOUT harming my existing Win 7 system.

Dual booting on hard drives isn't going to happen. Nor a second internal hard drive for Linux only. I don't even want to open my case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #26
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I'm pretty much where you are. Not amused with Win 10 as it is now. Fearing a Linux learning curve. Faced with Win 7 end of support. I'm even having occasional Apple thoughts pass through my mind, which hasn't happened since about 1996 either.
IMO, OS X is harder to use than the Linux Distros I've tested (and any version of Windows).

Linux Mint 17.2 MATE is easy to use.
All of my peripherals worked "out of the box" (sound & video).
I do get occasional momentary glitches during video playback (on one of my desktops).

I had to battle to install the ATI driver in my backup W7 desktop (a couple of weeks ago).
It turned out that CCC broke during its install and it wouldn't allow any versions to install correctly.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
1: Is there a "master list" of available software and their sources, perhaps divided into categories such as audio, video, system utilities, backup and recovery, etc? I've got a few Windows applications that would be show-stoppers if I could not find a sane near-equivalent for Linux.
A simple solution would be to install VMware Player and create a Windows VM.

You could:
  • Then run all of your existing Windows software without any issues
  • Even disable the VM's network to protect yourself from "rogue" updates
For example, I have an XP VM with #all# of my old games installed in it.
# I discovered that I had one game that would not run in any VM, or in any version of Windows except XP. #

Macrium Reflect doesn't run in Linux, but you can still use the Rescue CD/DVD/USB to create backup images.
You can also use the "dd" command from the Terminal to do backups.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
2: What are the 2 or 3 Linux variants that are currently considered most plausible for someone who has not looked at Linux in 20 years and fears a learning curve?
You could try one of the Ubuntu variants (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu).

I swapped to Linux Mint MATE when Ubuntu swapped to Unity.
A lot of people seem to like Linux Mint Cinnamon.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sgage View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
3: Do the variants have equal reliance on the command line or are some more GUI-ish? I'd hate to have to deal with the command line constantly.
3) All the modern distros are pretty much totally GUI. There is not really any need to dip into the CLI unless you want to delve deeper in some areas.

Linux is different from Windows in a lot of ways, but give it an honest try, and you might be surprised at the state of play these days...
I still need to use the Linux Mint Terminal far more often than I need to use the Windows Command Prompt.

Normally you can just "Cut & Paste" commands from the Internet (if you need to make changes).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
What's the advantage or disadvantage to that versus putting Mint on a USB stick, say 32 GB?

Purely as an experiment. How fast it runs would be secondary at best. I just need to examine it, install some apps, see what I can or can't do with it, WITHOUT harming my existing Win 7 system.

Dual booting on hard drives isn't going to happen. Nor a second internal hard drive for Linux only. I don't even want to open my case.
You can create a Live Linux CD/DVD/USB and run it without affecting your installed OS.

The Live USB has the advantage that you can make changes (i.e. install software) and it will remember them.
The Live optical discs have the advantage that they can't be tampered with.
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01 Sep 2015   #27
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Lehnerus:

Thanks for all of that.

I just watched an hour's worth of youtube reviews on Linux Mint 17.2 with Cinnamon environment. Looked OK to me, so I'll look at it in the next day or two.

I assume you think for my evaluation purposes, Live CD is better than on a flash drive.I see the instructions for that in the Mint User Guide.

I did see some use of the terminal in the reviews on youtube. The reviewer typed in sudo.........to download an app.

Sounds plausible to run a Windows VM within Mint if I had to. At this point, I don't know if I would have to do that with 1, 3, or 25 apps. I'm sure some of my preferred apps are available for Linux, but I haven't checked that out yet.

Is WINE more trouble than it's worth, considering VMs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #28
Adams Seven

Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

I'm still a very new hand at Linux, ignatzatsonic; you're likely to get better feedback from those who know the OS better.

That said, I can share my own experiences:

I tried installing Linux on a Pen drive for kicks a year or more ago -- Boot and run Linux from a USB flash memory stick | USB Pen Drive Linux -- and couldn't get it to work.

This time around, just before I opened this thread, I experimented by burning Linux Mint to a CD, booting from the CD and fooling around in the new OS with optical-only access. That was too slow, so I hauled out a rarely used laptop and let Linux Mint create a dual boot configuration. Dual boot worked, but Windows came up more slowly than before on the laptop, and I'd committed hardware unnecessarily to an experiment.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have started my experimentation with the method described in post #24:
The argument for this experimentation method is that VirtualBox and the Linux Mint installation that will live inside it are seen by Win 7 as merely another program. Don't like Linux? Just jump into the Control Panel and uninstall VirtualBox, as you would uninstall any other Win program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #29
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I assume you think for my evaluation purposes, Live CD is better than on a flash drive.I see the instructions for that in the Mint User Guide.
You should be able to use one of the tutorials on SevenForums to create a Live USB stick.

Here is one whs made:
Emergency Kit - save your files from a dead OS

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I did see some use of the terminal in the reviews on youtube. The reviewer typed in sudo.........to download an app.
You don't have to do that.

There are GUI tools for locating and installing additional software (Synaptic Package Manager).

You can also add additional software repositories to increase the amount of software options available.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Is WINE more trouble than it's worth, considering VMs?
I regularly see comments from people complaining about WINE.

It just seems easier (to me) to avoid any issues by using a Windows VM.
A Windows VM will boot slower than a "real" install, but my VMs run smoothly enough after boot up.
If you run your VM from an SSD it should be even better.

My Windows VMs seem to run better on LM17.2, than they do on W7.

You can install Linux Distros on any bootable storage device/media (not only HDDs/SSDs).
Live optical discs will run slowly compared to a Live USB (if you get a decent speed one) or a HDD/SSD install (obviously).

I have previously installed Ubuntu 10 on a USB stick.
Unfortunately the stick had such dismal performance that a Live CD worked better.
It had crap performance as storage too (appalling write speed).

I have a copy of Linux Mint 17.2 MATE installed on an external (USB 2.0) 1 TB HDD and IMO it performs nicely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #30
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I did get Mint 17.2/Cinnamon running from a DVD. The immediate problems were taskbar, icon, and text size enlargement so I could read the screen well enough to operate.

I've got that at least tentatively solved, but the DVD method is a bit slow, so I'll probably try Virtual Box and a Mint VM, as Adams suggested.

I think I'd have to choose fairly early on which path to take:

1: Install Mint, then attempt to use open-source apps as replacements for most or all Windows apps.
2: Install Mint, then use a Windows VM in at least certain cases.
3: dual boot Mint and Windows.

Choice 2 seems most likely for me. I have a critical Excel file that wasn't right when opened in Libre Calc, so Excel is a VM candidate. Photoshop is also as I hear GIMP isn't an easily learned replacement---even though I'm not a Photoshop power user. Maybe I'll gain more confidence in the replacements as time goes on.

Word isn't critical to me. I looked at the Libre equivalent and saw no problems with it.

I don't reject WINE outright, but it will go on the back burner for now.

Other than that, I figure I can get by barring something unforeseen. Those may be my famous last words as I'm the worst Linux hand on the planet right now.

Thanks to you all.
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