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Author Topic: I Don't Do Windows  (Read 29872 times)

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Thad

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I Don't Do Windows
« on: March 05, 2008, 10:39:31 PM »

The most disorienting thing about moving on up to 64 bits is that I now find myself in a Bizarro World where hardware installation is quick and painless on Linux and absolutely agonizing under Windows.

My latest attempt at trying to get a decent Windows boot going has gone fairly decently, but every time I log in I am greeted by a rather annoying message saying my printer driver failed to install.  Near as I can tell, HP's beta 64-bit driver installer crashes the spool service, which the driver requires to install correctly.  Incidentally, Catch-22 is one of my favorite books.

Oddly, the LAST time I set Windows up (just a few days ago), the HP driver installation went just fine, but nothing much ELSE worked.

Screw printing anyway, I guess; there's only one reason I installed Windows, and you can probably guess what it is.

Oh, but this may be my favorite part:



Well, at least it has the "it's a beta" excuse.  I remember, some years back, installing an IE update or somesuch and noticing that the throbber on the progress window was an animation of the Earth rotating WEST.

Course, on the other hand, that's less potentially harmful to the user than showing them a picture of the wrong kind of slot to plug a device into.
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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 04:15:05 AM »

With the help of a hardcore Linux nerd friend, I have Kubuntu up and running on a computer built half from parts of previous computers that are now out of date, and half spare parts from my father.


It's weird, to say the least. It looks completely overwhelming. The friend gave me the advice that I need to stop thinking like I've been trained to do on Windows, and just not be afraid to crack open the help file. Eventually it'll click.

Ironically, the Kubuntu box, for now, will be on a hard drive that has a tiny partition on it for Win95. The short version of why I'm doing THAT is I found an old CD backup I made with Norton Ghost, and the newer versions of it don't support what that old version did. So I have an old version of ghost, just need to find an old working copy of 95, install it, install ghost, restore the "Hard drive" (5gb partition), scavenge anything useful, then I'm going to wipe the whole thing and dedicate all 250gb to Linux (Thanks Donut)
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Saturn

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 07:53:35 AM »

My Cpu is capable of running the 64 bit edition.
It doesn't for a number of reasons
A: Kinda hard to actually FIND the goddamn thing legally due to Vista being the new cool kid on the block (sure, vista looks cool and all, but is honestly just a massively expensive windows XP reskin that eats RAM like it was candy)
B: MASSIVE DRIVER ISSUES
 
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Kayma

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 09:25:33 AM »

B: MASSIVE DRIVER ISSUES

That's my biggest barrier. Drivers are a pain in my ass when they're readily available, let alone trying to make a 64 bit OS function. Actually, same goes for Vista in general. I'll be staying with XP/Ubuntu for awhile I think.
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Bongo Bill

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 09:48:27 AM »

I have a 64-bit machine but I am running 32-bit lunix on it (some Ubuntu variant or other) for the time being, because the last time I tried to use the 64-bit version, certain binary-only applications (Flash, mainly) worked poorly or not at all, and I did not have the time to muck about with making them better. Someday, though!
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Thad

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 12:41:36 PM »

Lyrai: I came to Kubuntu after using Slackware and Gentoo for a few years, so approaching it from that angle is entirely different -- it's SO quick and painless; it works SO well right out of the box.  It's got a little ways to go before it becomes viable for the average user, but I think it's getting close.  And if Vista is any indication, it's got a lot better momentum than MS does at this point.

GNOME is a lot simpler and prettier than KDE, but doesn't have nearly the functionality.  And if you want to talk about a paradigm shift, it does things WAY differently than everybody else.  I'm not a fan.

(KDE4 is horrible at this point, but hopefully by the time Kubuntu ships with it its issues will be fixed.  It seems to me that KDE versioning is one step ahead of where it should be -- the beta was actually an alpha, and 4.0 is actually a beta.)

Bongo: Flash is definitely the single biggest pain in my ass about using 64-bit Kubuntu.  It frequently locks up my browser, and occasionally X itself.  I've found that Flashblock eliminates most of the trouble; it rarely locks up when I'm only viewing one instance of Flash at a time.

On another topic, the EC's smackdown of MS seems to be leading to some positive developments in the Windows world: more openness to API's, and a standards-compliant IE8.

Of course, the more cynical interpretation of these things is that MS is just going to switch gears to patent enforcement to keep its monopoly.
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S D S

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008, 06:19:38 PM »

After accidentally fucking up an attempt at dual-boot partitioning that wiped out both my C: drive AND my other hard drive, I kinda got shoved right onto the open source path, and I've been running Ubuntu gutsy.

I love it. 9 times out of ten, stuff just WORKS. Sound, monitor, word processing, converting to pdf, text, movie files, whatever. It took a week of noodling around to get flash to work on my computer, and the GIMP is an okay-but-no-where near substitute for Photoshop, but I love everything else. I swear, if desktop linux was this easy to use 5 years ago, I wouldn't have sworn off it it for so long.

I have an old motherboard, and relatively small space (boot drive is 20 gigs, same for my other HD), and for the most part, stuff is really fast. With th exception of "Passage", pretty much anything not specifically made for linux runs pretty well in a windows emulator.

I had no choice but to use Vista at my rmost-recent job, and the only good thing about it (for me) were the ability to treat thumb drives as extra gigs of RAM, and the fact that the windows explorer shell could theorhetically refresh itself instead of crashing and taking the whole system down with it-- which one day made the difference between "15 minutes of gummed-up performance" and "oh, great, I lost an hour's worth of work".
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msleeper

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 04:34:29 PM »

9 times out of ten, stuff just WORKS.

This is the same story for me and why Ubuntu is quickly becoming my OS of choice. At work and at home I run dual monitors, and I was originally using CentOS on my work PC which turned out to be a terrible decision for a lot of reasons. The reason that made me switch is because of an almost total lack of dual head support, and Ubuntu more or less had it right out of the box without any need to tinker with my X configuration which always ends in tears.

I have considered moving up to Vista from XP since I do a lot of 3D design stuff in my spare time, but I've heard really mixed feelings on just about ever aspect of it that I think it might need a little longer in the oven before I make the leap.
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patito

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2008, 02:37:07 AM »

Ubuntu is all kinds of amazing, but my latest installation wasn't as easy as usual, since apparently GRUB didn't like my harddrive configuration and I was left with no choice but to use a boot disk all the time. I will eventually fiddle with that when I have the time to spare to  break it and install it again (with happened the last time I messed up with grub configuration).

As for 64-bit windows, I decided to try out XP x64 on my new machine, and yeah, I guess it's 64 bit or something and that's cute, but once the novelty worn out I was just fine using 32 bits and now I'm left with some programs that won't even run for some reason (32 bit programs at that).
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Rico

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 07:41:31 AM »

that eats RAM like it was candy
Haven't had my quarterly Linux try-out yet this year, but popping in to say that this comment is really, really dumb.

It doesn't matter how much RAM is being used for caching and the like, or even completely superfluous OS graphics, as long as whatever's using it is good and quick about giving it back when you actually need it for something.  Your unfull RAM's just sitting there taking up electricity anyway, it may as well be holding parts of programs to speed up launch times or something.
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Thad

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2008, 10:45:31 AM »

It doesn't matter how much RAM is being used for caching and the like, or even completely superfluous OS graphics, as long as whatever's using it is good and quick about giving it back when you actually need it for something.

But is it?

I mean, I really don't know; I've only been within 10 feet of Vista a few times and haven't had the opportunity or desire to play with it.  But consensus among the various reviews I've read is that it's way more resource-hungry than it needs to be.

But you make a fair point -- OSX uses all kinds of fancy OpenGL GUI shit (some of it useful, like Expose, some of it stupid, like that "genie" minimize animation and those annoying damn bouncing launch icons) and doesn't seem to suffer a performance hit for it.
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Rico

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2008, 05:36:50 PM »

Just for basic reference, I've got about a gig taken up now with every single bell and whistle turned on and a dozen or so programs open, including a heavily-calendared Outlook '07 with two 1000+ piece inboxes open that's taking up about 150 MB and 100 MB worth of tabs in Opera, which doesn't sound all that unreasonable to me for total memory usage.

The only thing I've run that's needed the OS to free up memory is Hellgate: London, which has its own share of loading and unloading performance problems, so I really have no way of judging Vista's handling.  If I could take out a gig of RAM to check, I'd be tempted to, but running on one stick of dual-channel is... bad.
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Detonator

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2008, 08:57:25 PM »

As for 64-bit windows, I decided to try out XP x64 on my new machine, and yeah, I guess it's 64 bit or something and that's cute, but once the novelty worn out I was just fine using 32 bits and now I'm left with some programs that won't even run for some reason (32 bit programs at that).

So are there any advantages to using a 64 bit OS?
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Burrito Al Pastor

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2008, 09:03:40 PM »

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Bongo Bill

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patito

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2008, 09:56:54 PM »

I suppose the only real advantage I can gather from Bongo's last link is the memory thing. So if you need more than 2GB of RAM for some reason you can go for that. I have only 2GB so that's not a plus for me, and I'm using 64 bit XP, which means none of that stupid aero bullshit of vista. So basically, none that I've seen so far. I guess TF2 runs on 64 bits, but I have no idea how that improves the thing. And you cannot run 16bit programs if you need to do that for some crazy reason. I have no 32bit OS installed on this machine so I can't really do any side by side comparisons, but as it stands I guess drivers were a bit of a pain but they are working just fine now and I'd only get vista if I need DX10 sometime in the future, but then again there's always 32 bit vista.

Oh hey, I guess I got 64 bit 7zip which seems to unzip just as fast as the 32 bit one, maybe I should zip like 1 Gig of stuff with each one and see how they compare?
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Royal☭

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2008, 07:14:23 PM »

I have 64 bit Vista, and it runs peachy.  I had a problem with Lightroom at first, but that's more because Abode doesn't feel like supporting Vista yet than an actual problem with Vista.  I do have 4gigs of ram, which is nice.  Although, to be fair, I'm niche.  I use it both for high end gaming and for editing high resolution photos and art.

A lot of people told me I didn't really need the 4gigs, but when building previous computers I was told I wouldn't need 512mb or 1gig or 2gigs so they can stuff it.

Brentai

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2008, 08:33:42 PM »

I don't think I've ever used more than half of my 4 gigs, but I still feel better for having it.
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Thad

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2008, 09:19:40 PM »

Updated to the new beta version of Kubuntu, because I heard they'd made some strides toward making KDE4 usable.

They have, but it still isn't.

I hate it, for a lot of reasons, most of which boil down to basic UI failures that I can't easily fix.  (The active window's titlebar should not be gray; I should not have to change to a completely different, equally ugly theme to change this; I would like to be able to sort my programs by their names instead of their descriptions as I expect Firefox to be under "F", not "W".)  In a nutshell, I use KDE not only because I really like the interface, but because the things that I DON'T like are easy to fix; KDE4 has an unpleasantly police-state simplicity where the only things I can do to customize my panel are change its position and its size.  Not to put too fine a point on it, if I wanted a UI that I couldn't customize, I WOULD BE USING GNOME, NOT KDE, YOU DUMB BASTARDS.

Fortunately, Kubuntu's still shipping with KDE3 as its default.  That should do just fine until KDE4 gets up to speed.

There are a lot of things to like about the KDE4 design, like the less-cluttered Launch menu, but it's just not worth all the annoyances.

Oh, and the instability, too.  Firefox kept crashing.  Though that may be because it's a beta; I'll have to work with it for awhile in KDE3 before I'm sure.

EDIT: Most annoying thing about KDE3 at this point is that the update screwed up the volume keys on my keyboard.  It took me over an hour to realize that there's nothing wrong with the keyboard settings, so it must be something wrong with KMix.  (xev correctly returns XF86AudioRaiseVolume and XF86AudioLowerVolume, so X is receiving them correctly, and, weirder still, KMix sees the OTHER media keys, like XF86WWW and even XF86AudioMute, it just doesn't see the two buttons that it should be seeing as the fucking audio controller for some reason.)  I remember having a bit of trouble with this when I first set Kubuntu up, but I don't have any bookmarks suggesting how I fixed it.

Pity; other than that Kubuntu's been great about recognizing hardware out of the box.  (Oh, also I'm still trying to get the two extra buttons on my new mouse working.  But I'm not trying very hard, as I don't need the damn things anyway.  I have them set to each sword in The Witcher under Windows, and that's handy, but 3 are plenty for most of my day-to-day stuff.)
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Thad

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Re: I Don't Do Windows
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2008, 02:29:47 PM »

Computerworld: Gartner analysts warn of Windows "collapsing".

A little farfetched.  Yes, Vista adoption is FAR below any previous MS OS (let's ignore ME; everyone else did), but it's still got a bigger share than OSX.

Many of Gartner's suggestions -- cut out the bloat, give the users a significant enough set of improvements to actually justify the upgrade -- are good, albeit BLISTERINGLY OBVIOUS.  The suggestion that Windows be made more modular is good in theory, but in practice that's what gave MS the bright idea to release 78 different versions of Vista.

The overall message is more that the focus of the industry is shifting from monolithic OS's on high-end hardware to Web-based apps and portable devices.  But I'd say that's more of a problem for Dell and HP than it is for MS.  Then again, you can still buy a low-end Dell or HP machine running XP.

The landscape's changing, but it's changing slowly.  I don't think MS will be on top forever, but I think they'll be on top for a long time to come -- I'm as harsh a critic of Windows as you'll find, but let's be realistic here.

Also, can anyone tell me how the next version of Windows counts as Windows 7?  Because by my count, either numbering by the DOS series (95=4, 98=5, politely ignore ME again, XP=6) or NT series (2000=5, XP/2003=6), Vista is ALREADY the seventh version.
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