Migrate from Windows to Linux

This topic contains 43 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 2 years, 4 months ago.

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    You’re all mavericks out there. You live in other people’s countries and spend much of your time trying to get TV broadcasts that they don’t want you to get.

    What about Windows? Microsoft has recently stopped support for XP – yet another cynical move to make users upgrade to Win7 or 8 and, possibly in many cases, force the customer to buy a new computer.

    I’m a Linux user and fan. I’m not an IT professional or software engineer, just a full-on computer user for reasons of work and leisure.

    Do you use Linux? Want to encourage other people to migrate over and start using this fantastic, secure and free operating system? Want to help people own their computers again, instead of being owned by their computers?

    If you are, add a comment.

    Are you interested in Linux? Google it – you’ll be surprised.

    Just throwing out an idea. If no one’s interested, I’ll delete the thread.



    Steve ……

    I’m a iMac user….And will never ever go back to a crappy Microsoft Windows PC………..Is not windows / linux ..etc ..just a over complicated PC..?…compared to Apple iMac….and stuff….?
    But what do i know…..Nothing ….more than likely …..when it comes to computers….
    I only posted to move your post down to “recent replies”….. 🙂 …..



    Tim, I use Windows 7 and honestly don’t feel that I need anything different – it does what I have to do. I grew up with Windows cos that’s what the company used as a global standard – suppose it’s like living with an in-growing toe nail, if you’ve always had it you don’t feel the pain…!!!



    Thanks for the posts chaps, and for putting this on the reply list.

    Steve: As you probably worked out, the thread was not really aimed at you. If you’re a Mac user, you’re already part of the, about, 4% of people who have something other than Windows on their desktop. Nobody’s putting in doubt the quality of Macs. It just might not be in everyone’s budget to change to a Mac, however.

    Derek: I hear what you’re saying and I expect most people are in your position. This is not about Windows-user bashing (all 96% of you!) and everyone obviously has the right to use whatever system they want.

    But, let me pick up your point about “global standard”. Who decided that? Microsoft did a masterful job of marketing their IBM compatible system in the mid to late 80s – despite the fact that the MacIntosh was a far superior product. So now, what most people have is a pretty inefficient, patched-up operating system. But as you say, it’s what you’re used to.

    I started with a dual boot Windows-Linux (Ubuntu) system about 4 years ago, when I got sick of the Windows Genuine Advantage Software deleting stuff from my computer without asking me. Six months later, I wiped all Windows from all of my computers.

    Anyway – all I say is, Google it.. You might be surprised. 🙂



    I went Mac about 10 years ago and started playing about with our now redundant Windows PCs. I started with Ubuntu and eventually settled on Mint. I could do most of what I needed on Linux, and particularly important to me was a good Personal Finance program which I found in Gnucash.
    But when the continued development of this program ended about a year ago when I came upon MoneyWiz which syncs across Mac and Android, my old Windows PCs are headed for the skip.
    The other reason is that my wife, who does not have electrons coursing through her veins can manage Macs and iPads.


    Gary D

    In the past, I was a software developer (Commodore Pet/Basic, BBC micro/BBC Basic, Xenix/C, then moved on to Windows 3 development using Visual Basic and never looked back, ending up developing SQL server/web applications, SharePoint and CRM apps too.

    Now I am a (part time) Windows Phone developer, and I have to say that I really like Windows Phone 8.1. 8.1 comes out in June and you should really have a look at it and give it a go – you might be pleasantly surprised.

    I also really like Windows 8, although I can understand why it was such a shock for many existing users – being forced to use the tile interface (which I also really like) being the main reason.

    Windows 8.1 update 1 has gone some way to reduce the shock for existing Windows users, by allowing it to be able to operate more in desktop mode (i.e. like Windows 7).

    Who decided that Windows should be the industry standard? The market did. The main reason was that Apple were greedy and had huge restrictions on who could make Apple compatible machines and pricing, resulting in one or two Apple clones being made but still all very expensive. IBM o the other hand allowed anyone to manufacture IBM compatible PCs, and these were all much cheaper.

    As for Linux, I did give it a go in the early days. I did like it, but it was too clunky installing applications (usually needing a recompilation) for my chosen brands of Linux (Red Hat and SUSE), and developing my own apps for Linux is just too hard compared to using the (free) Visual Studio dev environment.

    So those are my thoughts. I realise that being a Microsoft fan is unfashionable (especially a Windows Phone 8 fan), but I honestly think that MS are getting their act together at last, and their products are integrating nicely now.

    So, I’m sticking with Microsoft, thanks 🙂



    All fair points. Well argued by a man who obviously knows what he’s talking about.
    Each to his own I suppose. 🙂



    Having said that. I suppose I’m really putting out the idea to people who aren’t in the IT business. Obviously, if you’re working in that line of work you have to be involved with Windows because that’s what everybody uses. You’d be mad not to be, in fact.

    I like the fact that all the various distributions of GNU/Linux are free, put together and supported by volunteers and designed, in many cases, to run well on older hardware. In general, I suppose that’s not really a problem in the West, but in global terms, I think it could be a big deal for digital inclusion where people are not quite so well off.

    The vast majority of servers run on Linux anyway, but for it to survive as a desktop OS, it needs to be used.

    And now for a bit of propaganda. This is not intended to be even handed or well-argued, so don’t pick me up on it. It’s a shamefaced, biased advertisement: (It’s also four years old…)


    Gary D

    That article has some fair points, but is pretty out of date. Also, I think MS have learnt from their own mistakes – e.g. they are planning to make most or all versions of Windows free in the near future. Certainly the Windows Phone 81 operating system is free for manufacturers now, to compete with Android.

    Also, the security claim for Linux has been severely knocked by the recent Heartbleed virus – innocently caused by a (volunteer) adding faulty code to the open source codebase. This blows a hole in the belief that open source software is safer because anyone can check the code.

    Additionally, I believe that Windows 8RT (the tablet version of Windows) is more secure than Linux/Android because all applications have to go through the very rigorous checks by MS before that app can appear in the Windows 8 app store, and for ordinary users applications can only be installed from the store.

    What I am particularly happy about (at long last) is that applications written for Windows 8.1RT will also work on Windows Phone 8.1 – and of course also need to go through the rigorous MS app store checks.

    Having said all that, I do have an old Dell netbook that I might install Android on to give me a dedicated IPTV backup for our ropey satellite TV reception these days, so I am open to using other operating systems…



    Tim, maybe the problem is that you NEED to be an IT guru to understand the advantages that “apparently” exist with Linux. Reading your propaganda, I stopped long before I got to the end – too many words I just didn’t understand. I guess most of the 96% of Windows users, like me, didn’t choose it but simply found it installed on their new PC. “Kernel, Distros, Shell, Repositories, Guis, Ubuntu”, they mean nothing to me..!! So as a man who knows absolutely nothing of what he is talking about, I am also sticking with Microsoft 🙂



    Derek: Fair point. They do have a habit of making it sound more complicated than it is. Trust me, anyone who can set up the satellite system you’ve got would be all over it in ten minutes.

    Anyway, here’s some more up-to-date stuff – just in case anyone’s interested. (I think I might stop after this – don’t want people to think I’m some sort of zealous evangelist 🙂 )



    Gary D


    I’m only referring to the open-source distros you can get for your PC (Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Suze etc..) not those packaged things that Google has come up with, including Android. I’m not really into portable devices.

    In the end, it all depends on what you do, want to do, need to do with your desktop/laptop. If you’re in love with a particular Windows application (like a friend of mine, whose life revolves around photoshop) – you’re probably not going to be impressed with the Linux alternatives.

    I just get the impression that what most people do with their desktop PCs most of the time, they could do faster and cheaper with a Linux distro, instead of feeling obliged to upgrade to Win 7 or 8 and, possibly, buy a new computer whose capacity they would only be using a fraction of.



    The argument may be balanced but I am now completely UNBALANCED 🙁 . So I’ll stick with what I have, at least for the time being – thanks anyway Tim for trying to tempt me. Off to do some torrenting – I enjoy canoeing….



    I’ve heard that everyone who lives on Maggiore is a bit unbalanced 🙂
    Don’t forget your life jacket!



    I went through a lengthy Linux phase with Ubuntu and Kubunto a few years back. However, I always seemed to be installing it on the one PC where there were problems with drivers or the kernel had to be modified and then re-compiled because the wifi wouldn’t work or whatever. I even mooted a change to Linux at work as it seemed a more cost effective option than Windows XP with all the licensing and so on. Actually if you take into account the user experience / training / support needed etc. it possibly that much cheaper in the end. I quite enjoyed the challenge for a while but in the end I couldn’t be arsed. Just too much hassle and a lack of decent documentation and help when in trouble. Having said that, knowledge of Linux comes in handy now when it comes to messing around with the Android system. My present PC came with Windows 8 and I can’t say I’m that bothered except for the odd driver compatability problem, and updates which leave you with a black screen …


    Gary D concludes that the MS products are integrating nicely. Indeed Gary – nicely into the MS bottom line. For example, having got a W8 netbook, I found out that the ability to play DVDs had been removed from Windows Media Player in W8. For this I needed (back in Sept) Windows 8 Pro (at an extra £190) THEN they had the nerve to charge an extra £6 on top, for Windows Media Centre. What a major swizz. My three other W7 compatible DVD player software packages didn’t work in W8 either. Strangely (or an admittance of guilt??) it was Microsoft’s own support website that pointed to a (French) freebee VLC that does the biz. This works fine, but is pretty rudimentary and miles from the library capabilities I previously enjoyed from WMP.

    Of course my existing Outlook etc. wouldn’t run under W8 and I needed to get a new version of MS Office. This is now sold on license, at €99 a year – what a rip off.

    (I did read that W8RT will not run any Windows “software” at all, only apps downloaded from the store, but perhaps you will correct me if I’m wrong on that, Gary.)

    Back in time, when forced to upgrade, I found that NOT ONE of my still, video or audio packages ran on W7 (some costing serious money). There had not been a cheep out of the so called compatibility checker. So dual-boot would seem to be the answer. However, to licence my existing XP for the new machine would cost half as much again as the cost of W7. Also no updates were forthcoming from the 3rd party vendors, so it is not only MS taking the P—.

    I am an old IT lag (starting 43 years ago – good god), but on mainframes, and have used (but never developed) Windows since the day it arrived. However, I don’t understand the words being bandied about either. Gary says he is sticking with MS, thanks. I say I am sticking with MS, Grrrr!. Like Nagusia, I can’t be arsed changing from the things I have been comfortable with, but kick myself regularly for being so stupid as to stump up. I would be much happier to be part of a grand walkout in protest at these continuous dubious business practices.

    PS I found W8 a bit of a dog, and thank goodness for the “desktop” W7 view. I am only just beginning to cope six months on. And it is with a very bitten lip that I am staying out of any iMac/PC debate.


    Gary D

    Hi Blast – I am a bit unsure which version of Windows 8 you have: Windows 8 RT, Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro?

    I can confirm that Windows 8 RT does only run Windows apps that have been installed from the Microsoft online app store. It’s the same with Windows Phone 8 apps too. This is what makes these platforms a lot more secure than Windows desktop and Linux/Android apps.

    I too was very annoyed with the lack of DVD player support in Windows 8. I read somewhere that it was down to MS deciding not to pay high licencing costs for the right to play DVDs. I also use VLC for DVD playback. In fact I’ve been using VLC since I had Win XP.

    I am surprised that you felt you needed to purchase a new version of Office just to get Outlook running. Windows 8 already has a mail app that connects to many types of mail server, plus there is a free version of Outlook that runs in the Windows 8 desktop which I use. There is always Open Office as an alternative for word processing, spreadsheets, etc, which I have on my laptop. Windows RT comes with Office included which I tend to use instead.

    I think that MS have recognised that there are many who feel like you Blast, and realise that they need to do something to reduce pricing in the shrinking PC market. Also, they have realised that the tiled start screen in Windows 8 was a step too far for a lot of people, and the latest update defaults to running in the desktop mode so you can almost completely forget about the tiled screen. Personally, I prefer the tiles as I use my tablet and phone a lot.

    Like you, I resent the pricing regime of MS, but they do seem to be moving in the right direction – i.e. cheaper in the future. What I do like is that they seem to have overcome their internal departmental silo mentality, and various applications and devices are now working together – e.g. I can see all my favourites stored on my phone, my tablet and my desktop on any one of those devices. Also the Bing apps now share a common settings profile for all devices.

    I realise that Apple have probably been doing this for years, but it is probably better to keep biting your lip rather than go there – this is a satellite TV web site after all 🙂

    (By the way, I too worked with mainframes, starting with programming in Fortran using punch cards at uni. That was long winded and lord help you if you dropped your stack of cards!)



    I realise that Apple have probably been doing this for years, but it is probably better to keep biting your lip rather than go there – this is a satellite TV web site after all :-)


    This is an “off topic” thread. You can talk about anything you like 🙂





    Gary D

    Yes, but from the experience of the never ending discussions I have with my neighbour about Apple vs MSFT, I fear that the ensuing discussions here will take up all the website’s bandwidth… 🙂


    Morning Gary

    My ASUS Vivobook, as it’s called in the UK, was delivered with W8 and I upgraded to 8.1 as soon as. It was a very narrow squeak tho’, as I fancied an RT, believing from the blurb that it was a step up from the much slagged-off W8. It was only by a bit of research and luck, that I found that it would not run “Windows programs”. Had a new machine arrived that would not run my favourite programs, I would have been a SEVERELY unhappy bunny. It really is a misnomer, and a bit of very dubious marketing, to call this new product “Windows” in the PC context.

    Re punched cards Gary, I watched through a window to see a scatterbrained colleague, throwing two trays, representing nearly 2000 statements of MY job control suite, down a stairwell.

    I’m still thinking about Outlook.

    Meanwhile, no Euromillions again.



    Perceptions are all:
    When your Windows OS goes wrong, you tend to think it’s your fault, because you paid for it.
    When your Linux OS goes wrong, you blame it on the software, because it’s free.
    Just a thought.

    PS: Why doesn’t my satellite equipment info appear at the bottom of my messages? It’s in my profile.



    Tim, it’s not enough to add your equipment as “any other information” under the country box. You must create a “signature” with the data you want to show. To quote Paul: “To create a forum signature, go to your “Edit Profile” page. (Top right menu under “Howdy, Username”.)”.


    Steve ……

    I’m sure this Computer thread was created …so I can’t join in.. 🙁 …I’ll go and annoy / windup ……the Guys at “Sats UK”….. then … 🙂 …..

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