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Which Linux?


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Ok, folks. I'm ready to start making my move away from Micro$haft before my current, now quite old PC dies.


The first job is to decide which version of Linux to use.


Here's what I do with the PC.


  • Run a WAMP server for development/testing
  • Use M$ Orifice (Excel and Word - rarely Access - very rarely Powerpoint)
  • FireFox
  • Thunderbird
  • Networked to another M$ PC that has a shared broadband internet connection
  • Printing - HP LaserJet 2100
  • Twin-head graphics card (don't remember the make and model, though). I'm only using one screen but that's in portrait mode as it suits my work better. A second will be added so I can watch videos and review web page layouts in conventional mode easily.
  • Bar-code scanning via SerialKeys (Welch Allyn Scanteam 3400 CCD scanner)
  • Listen to MP3s via Windows Media Player
  • Irfanview for resizing batches of scanned images
  • FTP
  • Image scanning is done on another PC which will remain on MS XP Home for now. It may move - Epson DX4800 multifunction thing.
  • An A3 image scanner is being hunted down - this will go on the linux PC and may either USB or SCSI.
  • I think that's about all


I have past unix experience but I need the new implementation to be stable and easy to maintain. It should also look good - I don't do 'tacky'. I don't like icons and windows that look as though they were designed by a 3-year-old.


I have a couple of spare PCs that can be set up as test-beds (and WILL be set up for parallel running while I familiarise myself with the OS and make sure it delivers as I want) but for the moment - as I'm too lazy to carry them upstairs from the middle of the lounge floor - I'll do my initial testing under MS Virtual PC - which seems to be running ok under XP Home despite being unsupported.


Any suggestions on the most appropriate Linux?

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I'd suggest trying a live version of Ubuntu and Kubuntu ( to see which you prefer, the Gnome of the KDE interface) and also trying PCLinuxOS.


You will probably have to use the windows driver for the bar-code scanner, but the rest should be fine. I'd suggest OpenOffice instead of M$ Orifice. These flavours of linux will network fine using samba.

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I would suggest taking a look at the "other side".


I was a big Microsoft user for many years. In fact I am a certified MCSE and previous to TotalChoice I was an IT Manager for a major plastics supplier that had a 1000+ Windows base.


I dropped my laptop in December 2007 and it suffered a fatal hard drive event. I bought a new laptop with Vista installed. I was excited to use the latest product from my longtime friends from Redmond. However, my experience with Vista left me feeling like Microsoft broke up with me after a long term relationship. I returned the laptop and started looking for a laptop woth XP installed. I then ran into a friend that was using a Macbook Pro laptop. My life has not been the same since.


I am now a full time Mac user. I have replaced every variant of Windows in my home and in my office. Mac OS X leopard is a fresh breath of air.


Mac just work!


Now before you blast me and tell me how costly Mac's can be. Let me point you to the Mac Mini. She can use all your existing PC stuff. Like your keyboard, mouse and even DVI monitor. $599.00 is all it takes to get into the Mac world.


Now the best part, is running Windows XP on my mac in a Virtual Machine.


Once you go Mac, you will never go back.


At least give them a look at. You might be surprised.


They are Intel Based, they are built on Free BSD, they are fast, safe and fun to use!



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I've just, briefly, looked at the UK prices for Mac Minis. The 1.83 GHz model with an 80Gb hard drive retails for £399. At current exchange rates that's a staggering $804. Your $599 Mac Mini would be awesome value for money if we could get it for just £297.


Sadly Mac prices are still far too high to consider, here in the UK, unless there are other compelling reasons. There are none - apart from an outsize scanner my needs are really quite basic.


Besides, with a couple of spare PCs sitting around (one fairly new and just needing a decent hard drive) a 'free' OS has to be the way to go.

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Progress (?) report


M$ Virtual PC doesn't appear to work properly - no time to mess around finding the exact cause (or the cure) but it doesn't capture the mouse.


After a brief foray into WUBU (an 'easy' implementation of Ubuntu that, sadly, means you've got to boot into one or the other) I gave VirtualBox (free virtual machine utility). I now have a working Ubuntu that I can run in a nice little window on my XP home PC.


I'm having trouble getting my screen resolution right. It was ok under WUBU so I'm assuming this problem has more to do with VirtualBox than the Ubuntu installation.


More later.

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Run mac os x on your pc hardware.




Thank goodness for the 'lol'


I didn't see it until I'd finished ROTFLMAO. At that point I realised you weren't being serious.


I'm now under pressure from SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED to move the spare PCs from the middle of the lounge floor so I may as well dig out my KVM switch and move straight to a properly configured Ubuntu PC.

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