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Windows 7: Five operating system alternatives to Windows 8 and XP

14 Apr 2013   #41
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Iforgot View Post
It takes time to get used to a different way.
The last Linux I used was Caldera 2.something, years ago, but needed experience with MS$ again, for work.
Strange thing is, once you've played with it, it not so hard to get back into.

Why wipe a system for the new?????
Just upgrade "download on load" the new packages you need.

You need to get out of the M$ way of upgrades, In Linux you upgrade the packages as needed, most of the time, and I mean most,,,,,, you "do not" need to reboot the computer for this.
Just restart a process, or app.
I'm not adverse to change, after all I ended up actually liking Aero which is vastly different from the classic Explorer theme! What I was trying to get at is that, unlike Windows, upgrade regiments in Linux appear to be hit-or-miss with problems apparently not being uncommon (at least in Linux Mint) if you go the package upgrade route, and upgrading via fresh reinstalls appears to be more of a partial restore from a partial backup following a literal reinstal rather than an actual in-place upgrade. Both would be substantially more stressing for the average person compared to how easy it is to update Windows or upgrade Windows from one version to another where permitting.

I'm anxiously awaiting the release of Linux Mint 15 so I can try upgrading my Linux Mint 14 KDE VM to see how it goes. Given Mint's preferred upgrade method of fresh installs I'm not expecting to use it in a long-term way, but who knows?


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14 Apr 2013   #42
Iforgot

Win7 64
 
 

King Arthur
I do agree that Linux does need more consistency.
As in appearance/usability to previous versions.
To change so much in such a short time frame doesn't leave much consistency for long time users, especially converting M$ ones.
Mint's idea of wipe OS and start again for an upgrade is ludicrous.

There are LTS(Long Time Support) versions of different Distro's. 3 year
And there are versions (like Night Hawk referred to) that don't change much. ie Debian
Debian upgrades and patches are slower, but super stability, but not the leading, cutting edge.
So there's the price to pay.
You could look at LMDE 201303, is cinnamon or mate, and it's Debian version which means update patches rather than wipe/reloads.
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15 Apr 2013   #43
Cr00zng

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX El Capitan, Windows 10 (VMware)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Iforgot View Post
King Arthur
I do agree that Linux does need more consistency.
As in appearance/usability to previous versions.
To change so much in such a short time frame doesn't leave much consistency for long time users, especially converting M$ ones.
Mint's idea of wipe OS and start again for an upgrade is ludicrous.

There are LTS(Long Time Support) versions of different Distro's. 3 year
And there are versions (like Night Hawk referred to) that don't change much. ie Debian
Debian upgrades and patches are slower, but super stability, but not the leading, cutting edge.
So there's the price to pay.
You could look at LMDE 201303, is cinnamon or mate, and it's Debian version which means update patches rather than wipe/reloads.
How old is XP, around 12 years old? Must be XLTS, Extra Long Time Support...

Linux desktop needs applications more than anything else...
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15 Apr 2013   #44
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
How is that any different ...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Iforgot View Post
Mint's idea of wipe OS and start again for an upgrade is ludicrous.
How is that any different to the recommended method of installing Windows (i.e. clean install)?

Arguably it is easier to do a clean install in Linux, because shifting your user folder(s) to another location is much easier.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cr00zng View Post
Linux desktop needs applications more than anything else...
Linux has stacks of programs.

I think what you actually mean, is it needs Windows commercial packages (e.g. Adobe CS, MS Office, AutoCAD, etc.).

If you don't need those specific programs, you can create files using FOSS programs (e.g. AviDemux, GIMP, Libre or Open Office, etc.).
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15 Apr 2013   #45
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Iforgot View Post
Mint's idea of wipe OS and start again for an upgrade is ludicrous.
How is that any different to the recommended method of installing Windows (i.e. clean install)?

Arguably it is easier to do a clean install in Linux, because shifting your user folder(s) to another location is much easier.
While it's not recommended by us enthusiasts, Microsoft officially supports in-place upgrading from one version of Windows to its direct successor, like Windows Vista Business -> Windows 7 Professional. Depending on the user, they may prefer to do an in-place upgrade rather than do a clean install and we are certainly in no place to force them one way or the other.

This is an example where Linux Mint and Microsoft have the tables turned: Linux Mint only officially recognizes clean reinstalls as an upgrade method, and in-place upgrading by way of packages is often frought with errors from what I've read; Microsoft on the other hand endeavors to make in-place upgrades as hassle-free as possible and gives us a choice of in-place upgrading for those that just want to upgrade and clean installing for those of us that want a fresh start.

Of course, other distros like Arch and Debian are on rolling releases and distros like Ubuntu officially support in-place package upgrades rather than a fresh install, so this might only neccesarily apply to Linux Mint. However, while this may only apply to Linux Mint it's still worthy of debate as Linux Mint is quickly becoming (or has become?) one of the most popular Linux distros.
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15 Apr 2013   #46
lehnerus2000

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

Linux installers install the software packages during the OS installation (by default).
On my PC, Linux Mint MATE installed faster, than W7 (14min vs 20min) and that included all of the packages I wanted (with 2 exceptions).

Installing Windows is the quick and easy part.
After you have installed Windows, you then need to spend several hours installing:
  • Office
  • Adobe CS
  • Media players
  • AV program
  • A decent archive handler
  • An Internet browser
  • A PDF reader
  • An improved text editor
  • etc.
A quick scan of my Start Menu indicates, that almost every program I use, had to be installed after I had finished installing Windows.

If you do an upgrade install, you don't have to install the software, but apparently it takes a much longer time to install Windows (hours?).

A number of Windows problems reported on SevenForums, seem to be related to upgrade installs.
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15 Apr 2013   #47
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

While I understand what you're trying to say, I think it's unfair and irrelevant to compare what software is installed by default in Windows and Linux. I still needed to install such things like Chromium on my Linux Mint 14 KDE installs since it only came with Firefox, which makes the point moot depending on the user's needs. To make the point even more irrelevant, distros like Arch specifically come with nothing but the bare minimum to get things up and running, you have to install all the software you want individually from the ground up.

I'd also like to argue that what does take "several hours" to accomplish isn't installing programs you use, but rather installing all the updates Windows will have after installing. I got a fresh copy of Windows XP Mode running on this computer a couple months ago and it literally took forever for it to grab all the updates. After the updates were installed, whatever followed was a breeze by comparison.

Regarding upgrade install times, I sadly don't have any reasonable idea as to how long they would take. The last time I actually did an in-place upgrade was ~15 years ago back in the days of Win9x!

As for problematic in-place upgrades, we all know they'll be a potential problem if we do in-place upgrades. There's just too many variables and factors that can potentially screw up during the process. The point here though isn't that in-place upgrades can be problematic, it's that in-place upgrades are an officially supported choice in addition to fresh installing. Indeed, a fresh install is always better from the POV of a computer's health, but the choice is there should one want to take it. :)
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15 Apr 2013   #48
HerrKaLeun

W7 Pro 64
 
 

I think with all the Linux versions the article should have been called "987 alternatives to windows..." :-)

I admit I never had the time and need to deal with Linux. But when I hear what it takes to select one distribution and deal with the updates etc. I understand why windows rules the world. with MS I at least only have one version to chose from and don't have to learn or research specifics. And an IT department or a normal person doesn't have time to 'try out till they fid the right version of Linux" or over install over "hit and miss updates". if you value your time at all, it is cheaper to purchase one Windows version for $100 or $200 and use it for 5-6 years and call it a day. IT departments or OEM likely only pay $50 for volume licenses.

And I'm not even talking about most people's need to exchange documents, requiring software other people use, like Office, CAD etc. I also don't mention driver support (or lack thereof) requiring even more time or buying new hardware.

There probably is a reason why an OS that supposedly is free, more stable, more secure, faster than Windows still is not used by almost no one.

Sure I've never used Linux so I can't know what I'm talking about. I realize it had more merit years ago when MS had OS like Millennium Edition etc. but XP, and W7 really took the stable/fast argument away from Linux. Security of Linux is even worse and if there was a virus or leak you would have no guarantee it ever got fixed. MS at least attempts to make it secure and plug holes. It isn't that all the programmers at MS are just too stupid to make a secure OS, it is that no serious virus programmer would want to deal with all the different versions of Linux used by so few people. it is like the ugly kid at school that is best protected from STDs.

No offense to anyone who uses Linux and is wiling to deal with it. To each his own and I really would wish there was a viable alternative. but the way Linux is made it is destined to be a hobbyist OS for people who like it for what it is.
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16 Apr 2013   #49
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
Linux installers install the software packages during the OS installation (by default).
On my PC, Linux Mint MATE installed faster, than W7 (14min vs 20min) and that included all of the packages I wanted (with 2 exceptions).

Installing Windows is the quick and easy part.
After you have installed Windows, you then need to spend several hours installing:
  • Office
  • Adobe CS
  • Media players
  • AV program
  • A decent archive handler
  • An Internet browser
  • A PDF reader
  • An improved text editor
  • etc.
A quick scan of my Start Menu indicates, that almost every program I use, had to be installed after I had finished installing Windows.

If you do an upgrade install, you don't have to install the software, but apparently it takes a much longer time to install Windows (hours?).

A number of Windows problems reported on SevenForums, seem to be related to upgrade installs.
When you look at any 7 install loaded with a good number of softwares and go to perform anupgrade to repair type install using the upgrade option you go from the typical 20minutes by optical or flash drive install to roughly 80 minutes or so or 1hr. 20min. as the approximate average time. While the programs and personal folders are generally left intact there are some things that will need a reinstall besides one or two programs that might get stuffed during the upgrade process.

The first is the redetected hardwares where the device drivers have then been made inactive and need to be replaced. If you are repairing the existing Windows installation due to a registry problem following a bad install of something you likely will need to see that installed fresh again or dumped entirely. Often the fresh registry however will prevent the bad install of something like an update since the garbage in the previous registry was cleaned up.

But then there are times when the registry is too far gone and so is the rest of the existing Windows installation where you need to wipe everything to start over fresh to avoid the problems that some came here needing help with. It can be a win or lose situation performing the upgrade over method just to save all that time going for MS and other updates once you have a fresh copy of Windows and most of the programs back on following the dozen restarts with the MS updates!

Now as for Linux there are so many "flavors of the month" mainly aimed at the desktop not commercial interests however that one will look nice only to see that replaced with the next number in less then 6 months at times. The smaller popular distros rather then the long time server types tend to see a faster turnover.

The main difference between ubuntu and Debian for example while ubuntu is a Debian based distro to begin with is the changes compatibility wise separating it from Debian projects. What was done with Linux Mint was to come out with a "One Time Only" type distro namely Linux Mint Debian preloaded with scores of Linux apps and the options you simply click on once the LMD desktop is up and running. Some might call it the XP of the open source community since it saw only one updated build that did require a full clean install but only needs it that one time since the apps are what you then need to change if not update as you go along.
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16 Apr 2013   #50
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
Took me around 30 mins to install W7 Enterprise from scratch together most of the software Nighthawk lists in the previous post -- and in fact some of that time was used in hunting down serial numbers for Photoshop and Office (I know I should have stored the serial numbers with the install disks !!!). That also included all the updates too.

Almost ANY version of Linux would take me considerably longer than that -- often if I can't connect directly to a LAN it's touch and go whether the Wireless adapter will work -- so getting Internet is not always easy either.

Usually Windows just works OOB -- or at least the basic functions - and W7 finds most drivers easily enough provided you don't have really obscure hardware (and whatever the detractors of W8 say hardware detection on that platform is even better).

Linux isn't in any realistic consideration remotely useable as a DESKTOP business tool -- Servers are a different consideration of course.

Some individual organisations might have done it but it won't be true for most businesses. And I would suspect that even for the businesses who HAVE switched that if they are 100% honest with their costs they haven't really saved anything like the amount they thought they would have by switching to Linux. Ms gives quite reasonable volume discount licenses to businesses don't forget and provides considerable service too when required. Linux is often "Roll your Own" unless you pay a considerable amount of money for service contracts to people like Red Hat.

However even the long term outlook for Red Hat (RHT) isn't that rosy --it's quite a long way off its 52 week high - actually fairly near the 52 week low. MSFT is actually moving the OTHER way -- even on yesterdays DOWN day on the markets it showed a modest rise.

Here's the chart for RHT for yesterday.

Cheers
jimbo


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