[SATLUG] What All Systems has to say about Linux

Charles Hogan cd_satl at futuretechsolutions.com
Wed Jan 16 16:07:15 CST 2008

Chris Lemire wrote:
> Recently my friend has been getting frustrated by the problems with Windows and all the spamming and advertising going on with it such as his software for printing trying to sell him ink, etc. I suggested that he use Linux and get all of his software for free without very small risks of viruses and similar software. Also, I'm wondering when the next install fest is, so that someone could help him get started if needed. Here's what he told me about All Systems. Could anyone comment on this or verify whether it is true or false?
> "  I'm still a little wary about Linux. I was talking to a guy at All Systems
> go about this and he said Linux does nothing for you; you have to do it all
> yourself. 
Hmm, any re-install of Windows you pretty much have to do it all 
yourself as well.  With Windows, doing it all yourself also includes 
removing all the bundled trashware if you re-install from a manufacturer 
provided restore CD.
Once things are all installed, most linux package managers will pretty 
much do just about everything you could need them to do.  Your work is 
mostly in discovering which package you need for the task you want to 

> No windows oriented software will work for you and all the
> programs you are now using my have to be trashed.??
1.  Look for FOSS equivalents.
2.  Try running them with wine, or in a VM if FOSS cannot be found.
3.  If they aren't needed all that often, set-up the computer as a 
dual-boot, and run windows when you need to access them.

> Since mostly what I do is read and write email and search the web this may
> not be too bad, but then come
> having to handle picture files, playing the hundreds of tunes I download,
> hook up to my peripheral devices such a printers, scanners and fax.
Picture Files:  If your needs require PhotoShop's power, well, you're 
pretty much stuck unless you want to run it in a VM or dual-boot.  All 
other needs you should be able to find something in linux.

Tunes:  If they are DRM encumbered, you are probably pretty much stuck, 
though others may rightly disagree.  There are numerous media players in 
linux and the codecs can be easily found for what you want.  You can 
even download tunes from Amazon in linux, just not whole albums yet. 

Peripherals:  It was easier for me to set-up printing to my parents HP 
OfficeJet Pro over the network from the linux box I have down there than 
for me to get their Windows machines to print to it.  As for the 
scanning and faxing from that machine, I never had a need to try that, 
so I couldn't say.  Some scanners are better supported than others, and 
I've never tried to fax from linux, so I cannot say anything about that.

> It might be a major bitch to have to re-orient all that stuff,  I JUST DON'T
There is a learning/re-learning curve.  How steep that curve is all 
depends on the individual going through it.  It could be a like a stroll 
through a grassy plain, it could be like an Everest expedition.  I've 
noticed that knowledge and skill level are not necessarily related to 
that curve.  With this group, others like it, and forums and such, you 
are not alone out in the cold when going through that curve, regardless 
of how steep it is for you.

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