Getting file from Windows to Linux? (Yes, I'm a computer moron)

I start out by freely acknowledging I’m just a User. I know just enough about Windows and Linux to run certain programs on them, and a handful of basic command line stuff to copy and move files and the like.
I’ve got a .pdf file I need to print out, but my printer died last week and it’s not in the budget to replace it right now.

At work I have a fully functional computer & printer, and a very nice supervisor who will not complain about my printing it there. (We are talking about a single page, btw.)

The trouble is, the work computer is Linux, my home computer runs WinXP home edition.

Both machines have floppy drives, both have CD drives. Are the, um, formats the same between the two? Can I simply write the file to a floppy (or cd) and pop it in the work computer, and the work computer will be able to read it in and use it?

(Even if you don’t know if they are compatible, can you at least assure me that shoving a wrongly formatted disk into the drive won’t result it anything bad? Meaning, nothing a reboot won’t cure?)

And, if the work computer is likely to be able to access the file, does Linux understand about .pdf files?

My understanding is that the work computer is running “Red hat” linux, with some front end – don’t know the name of it, but various pieces have “K” as a prefix. (Like KPAGER.)

I realize this is either vague or too stupid, but does anyone know the answer?

Linux can read the Windows file system just fine. What this means is that you can take a Windows formatted floppy disk with your file on it, and when you put it in your Linux computer it will have no trouble reading that file off of the disk.

PDF files are meant to be portable to different computer platforms. Once you have the file on your Linux machine, there should be some piece of software available for reading PDF files. Adobe acrobat reader probably has the name ‘acroread’. Another popular reader is ‘xpdf’. Even the ghostview program (called ‘gv’) can read PDF files. To look and see if you have one of these programs available, type the ‘which’ command followed by the name of the program:

> which xpdf

at the command prompt, and it will tell you if it found the program or not. No, you will certainly not hurt your computer by doing this.

Good luck!

Moving the file should be no problem. Linux systems usually recognize Windows-formatted floppies, CDs are generally written in a standard format, and as a last resort you could mail it to yourself as an attachment.

The only concern is that your work system have Acrobat Reader or some equivalent program installed so you can actually read the file (as opposed to just moving it around. PDF format is common enough that it’s probably there already.

The way I used to do it …

FTP the file to my web server from Windows, then get on my Linux system and FTP the file from my web server to Linux. :slight_smile:

If you have some space out there on a web server, sometimes it’s a good place to transfer / distribute files.

Thank you for the answers! I’ll try taking the file in on a floppy tomorrow, and hopefully things will go well.

If not, I’ll move on to trying to transfer through a web site.

One last question: are plain ascii text files interchangeable between Windows and Linux? I mentioned my problem to a friend today, and she suggested a program I could use to change the .pfd back to just a text file. Might be a useful back up in case I find the office computer doesn’t have any .pdf readers.

Mostly…you can have trouble with the carriage return characters sometimes (so your lines might be run together, or have funny characters inbetween them), but the content of the text should come through alright in a last resort. That would be a lot of work to go to though. I would be VERY surprised if your linux machine didn’t at least have xpdf or gv on it to read the pdf directly without all that fuss.

Good luck!

Kate (bundled with KDE) opens up Windows formatted text files just fine.

I transfer files between my XP and Linux machines often using my Yahoo briefcase. Free account, and you get (I think) 30 megabytes. Easier than carrying around disks.

Of course, both machines must have internet access.

The file transfered with no problems, I followed Crozzell’s instructions on how to find a .pdf reader, the file opened and one click and about 4 seconds later I had my page. :slight_smile:
Thanks muchly to all who made suggestions.