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  #1  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:01 AM
scott62 scott62 is offline
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Linux/Ubuntu question

I'm looking at buying a pc for my wife, I've seen this

http://www.dinopc.com/shop/pc/NEW-Na...35-95p1116.htm

which I know she'd love but it comes Linux Ubuntu 10 installed and not Windows. I fancy getting it but my question is this : Can I install Microsoft Office, Google Chrome and all the Windows software that she uses all the time and is comfortable with or would I have to get some operating system specific software? It might be a silly question but I just don't know. Any advice would be helpful
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:14 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Windows software generally only works with windows operating systems. There are some exceptions, like Microsoft Office is available for Macs as well (but not linux), and browsers like Chrome and Firefox are made to work with Macs and Linux both.

There are a lot of things that you can get similar linux programs for. Some of these are good, some of them are crappy imitations of their windows counterparts. It's a bit hit and miss.

Linux is not windows. It has some advantages over windows and has some disadvantages as well, and it is not software compatible with windows. There is a thing called WINE that you can install for linux that is sort of a windows emulator (despite the fact that WINE stands for WINE is not an emulator) but it isn't perfect and doesn't work with a lot of windows software.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:20 AM
scott62 scott62 is offline
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So is Linux any good? Seems like it's a Windows alternative for techie types. I'm a bit sick of Windows messing up so I'll probably give it a try - I can change my mind then install Windows if I don't like it, right?
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:24 AM
Harmonix Harmonix is offline
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Yes, you can install windows if you want.

Linux has made leaps and bounds, but it is not an easy thing to use.

That machine is basically a netbook in desktop form and as such is quite slow. I would recommend you just goto dell and buy a low end i3 machine. it'll probably cost about the same.

Dell UK outlet has some stuff in the 200 pound range.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:01 AM
Donnerwetter Donnerwetter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott62 View Post
I'm looking at buying a pc for my wife, I've seen this

http://www.dinopc.com/shop/pc/NEW-Na...35-95p1116.htm

which I know she'd love but it comes Linux Ubuntu 10 installed and not Windows. I fancy getting it but my question is this : Can I install Microsoft Office, Google Chrome and all the Windows software that she uses all the time and is comfortable with or would I have to get some operating system specific software? It might be a silly question but I just don't know. Any advice would be helpful
The Chrome browser is also available for Linux (as well as Firefox and the email client Thunderbird). It is, in theory, possible to use certain Windows programmes under Linux, but it can be very tricky.

If it is mission critical for you to use, for instance, MS office and no other office suite, then Linux is not for you.

However, there is a high-quality equivalent in Linux for every conceivable task, such as Libre Office which includes a word processor, spread sheet and a presentation program. If you have used a word processor and a spread sheet like MS Word and MS Excel before, you should experience no trouble when switching to Linux.

I am definitely no geek, but I've been using Ubuntu Linux exclusively on my private PC since 2007. It's powerful, it's stable, and I have no idea what a computer virus would look like.

You should be aware, however, that you are switching to a new operating system. If you are barely comfortable with computers and only somehow manage to struggle along with Windows, then I wouldn't buy that computer.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:11 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott62 View Post
I'm looking at buying a pc for my wife, I've seen this

http://www.dinopc.com/shop/pc/NEW-Na...35-95p1116.htm

which I know she'd love but it comes Linux Ubuntu 10 installed and not Windows. I fancy getting it but my question is this : Can I install Microsoft Office, Google Chrome and all the Windows software that she uses all the time and is comfortable with or would I have to get some operating system specific software? It might be a silly question but I just don't know. Any advice would be helpful
The only newbie type person I'd put on Linux is someone who expects nothing more than email/web. If they use "lots of Windows software", I expect some of the titles will run natively, some will run under Wine (perhaps in a buggy fashion), and some won't work at all. And as far as a general user experience of Things That Just Work, that's not happening. Linux is not for people who are squeamish about having to tinker a little to get it to work.

But to directly answer your OP, Chrome and Firefox and Thunderbird are available natively. I run Outlook 97 very well under the Wine emulator (some assembly required). The Linux office software packages are clunky and likely to disappoint any hardcore MS Office hobbits (although IMO the same can be said of the next release of any Microsoft product, once you've gotten used to the current one).
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:35 AM
Coustralee Coustralee is offline
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I've been using ubuntu since it came out, the average person shouldn't have too many hassles with it - i think the techie side of things has been overplayed.

If you're married to your windows programs you might be lost, for what I do the linux stuff is a reasonable alternative, eg openoffice.

You can always use it for a few weeks and install your own windows if you dont get on with it.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:59 AM
Myglaren Myglaren is offline
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Have a mooch through the Ubuntu Site and get some idea of what you could expect.

You can download Ubuntu from there, burn a CD and then run it on your current computer without installing it, to get a feel for it.
It will be slower and somewhat limited in comparison to a fully installed OS but will allow you to see if you can live with it.

Having lived with Ubuntu since its second release I wouldn't be without it.
My wife is completely non-technical and uses it daily on her laptop.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:23 AM
Donnerwetter Donnerwetter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott62 View Post
So is Linux any good? Seems like it's a Windows alternative for techie types. I'm a bit sick of Windows messing up so I'll probably give it a try - I can change my mind then install Windows if I don't like it, right?
Just to answer your last question: You can, of course, always install Windows on that machine and wipe off Ubuntu from the hard drive alltogether. You would need to have a Windows license, though, as well as an install media.
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:10 AM
blindboyard blindboyard is offline
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"Linux Ubuntu 10" installed, according to the link. Presumably the LTS. The new LTS (Long Term Support version) has just been released, 12.04. Might have to upgrade. Not a major problem. LibreOffice comes pre-installed on Ubuntu, Chrome or Chromium are easy enough to install. Installing the OS is the hardest part and you wouldn't have to do that.

Doesn't seem all that cheap, to me. I got a netbook for 150 not long ago, half as much RAM as that, same size HDD. Being without Windows makes a big difference to price. Look at Novatech.co.uk, where they sell computers with or without OSs on, not having Windows knocks about 90 off the price, even more for Office. Certainly makes you appreciate Ubuntu and LibreOffice.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2012, 12:57 PM
scott62 scott62 is offline
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Some excellent advice, thanks everyone
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