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I went into using Ubuntu 9.10 for my default system when I bought my current desktop. I still use 10.04 on it. I had run other version of Linux before going to Ubuntu, but Ubuntu was the only Live CD/DVD that allow the sound system to work properly on my HP AMD64 CPU laptop that I used for testing. I did not have this desktop then, but an old IBM server and a Dell laptop, along with the HP laptop.

I still use Windows from time to time. The HP Laptop is back running XP/pro [32-bit] and my Dell laptop dual boots Vista [32 bit] and 64 bit Ubuntu 12.04 with MATE as its desktop environment so it works closely like my [generic custom built quad] desktop's 10.04/GNOME 2.xx system.

There are some software I still have not found a good Linux version for and there are some USB hardware that I have not found a good Linux driver for. So I still need Windows once in a while. I have people that need help with their Windows systems, mostly laptops, so I need to be able to boot up a Windows system to help them out. One day I hope to replace the Vista OS with Win7 on my dual boot Dell laptop. My HP laptop does not have enough free hard drive space to do a dual booting system.

I have 2 USB drives for backing up my desktop, and also sharing media file with my Blu-ray player and other systems that require Windows-based drive formats. SO, I need a Windows system to defrag those USB drives. I have a 1 TB and a 2 TB USB external drive, so they can easily become fragmented when I update them with my files/folders that need to be backed up - I copy the file onto the external drives - from my desktop to the external ones. I have a 1 TB and a 2 TB internal drives on my Ubuntu desktop.

SO I still need Windows for some things.

YET, with using Ubuntu [GNOME or MATE] for several years now as my default OS, I still do not know all the ins and outs I use to know with the Windows systems. I still have not figured out all of the things I could do with my XP or Vista systems. I still am not completely comfortable with the Terminal and all of its uses. I know there are many, many, more things I could do with the Terminal that I never really learned. I still forget how to install LO on a Ubuntu system - sudo dpkg -i *.deb - sometimes. There are install options and other commands that people using Ubuntu, and other Linux distros, know how to do much better than I. I do not get into Ubuntu as much as I use to in the early days when I supported XP and Vista systems for others. I do not do even half of the things I use to do in the late '90's to mid 2000's with a computer. So I never really learned how to do some of the things I could do with my Linux systems.

Anyone who really wants to learn how to use Linux as a replacement for Windows, try dual booting a system if you do not have a spare one to try Linux with as its only OS.

I started using Linux for the simple reason that I needed a package to convert AVI and MPEG video files into a TV DVD movie disc. My Windows software crashed and I could not longer get it working even with a re-install. So I found that the Linux software DeVeDe worked well. Now it comes with a Windows version, but not when I started using it on an P4 CPU IBM server made in 2000 and burned it on a USB DVD burner.

That was when I started looking at all the free software that Linux offered to its users. With a fixed income and the need to get a lot of different software, and many costing a lot for my Windows computers, I decided to look into using Linux - Ubuntu 9.10 for a few months till 10.04 came out - when I had the money to buy a quad CPU desktop.

Now I get to learn a new Linux-based OS - Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich - since now I have a 7-inch tablet costing about $100. It is not the best 7 inch tablet on the market, but it was what I could afford on my fixed income.

So, the short is:
Linux is a good OS to use, but you may still need to have a Windows system from time to time.

Another reason for keeping a Windows system available - testing:
K3b burns a great data disc, but the default "Windows and Linux" disc format does not work well for making a web-based DVD. It messes with the file names sometimes. I found that out the hard way when I tested the DVD on my Windows system. Now I use "Rock Ridge" file system for my DVD. There are other "default" CD/DVD burners, but K3b was the only one that I could easily define the CD's / DVD's file system. So I found out that way, that I needed to keep a Windows system to check that my DVDs will work on Windows. I do not have a MacOSX system, so I cannot check that OS out.

On 07/22/2012 11:05 AM, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
Ok, so i have posted 'a few' anti-MS posts but not everyone is ready to suddenly jump into the alien 
world of the scary sounding GNu&Linux or unix-based OSes.  Windows is supplied on almost every 
machine bought anywhere in the world so why change at all?!

If you have realised why then how to go about it?

Many first-timers fail because they try to "burn their bridges" and completely suddenly switch 
without much planning, or perhaps with too much planning.

A frequently successfully route that many have followed (often as a 2nd attempt to get into it) is often found to 
be to  first familiarised yourself with the programs that run on both Windows and Gnu&Linux: programs such as 
Firefox (instead of IE), Thunderbird or Evolution instead of Outlook, Gimp instead of Photoshop, LibreOffice 
instead of MS Office.  That way once you arrive at "the big switch" you have familiar 'friends' on your 
desktop and in forums/mailing-lists.  Documentation can help pull you through too.

A good next step is to resurrect some ancient machine from a junk heap or cupboard and try as a "Live Cd" 
(booting straight from the Cd without installign anything) and then next is to install as a dual-boot.  Chances are 
that first time you try to do a dual-boot it goes wrong even though it's the default for almsot every distro and 
basically requires you do the equivalent of just clicking "Next".  If it's an old machine anyway then you 
don't lose much AND you get to learn how to do it properly before risking yoru main machine.

I was really quite keen  but oddly reluctant to escape from MS but it took me about 2 years between 
the time i got my neighbour to install a dual-boot of Mandriva alongside my Windows.  At first i 
booted mostly into Windows but about 1/month might boot into Mandriva by mistake.  by the end of 
the 2 years it had become more and more often and more deliberately especially after i found a 
decent game and then found i really could work from it too.

To be fair i had an impression that Gnu&Linux was like Unix and therefore big, scary and all based on 
the command-line.  I'm still a little intimidated by the command-line so i was glad to find that actually 
even back then Mandriva was almost entirely point&click.  Then Wolvix and Ubuntu seemed to take that 
further and now i am mostly in Ubuntu nearly all the time but even now i do use Windows from time-to-time.

Once i had made the switch i found myself getting irrationally angry about all the odd things that i 
had been forced to do unnecessarily over the years to maintain Windows.  A bit like a hostage released 
from captivity after long-term imprisonment.  All the slow-downs, antivirus, sudden forced reboots, 
forced updates, pop-ups grabbing focus and generally being slave to the machine.  All of which vanished 
with Gnu&Linux (weirdly the grabbing focus thing seems to have been added to Ubuntu since then).  i 
became obsessed with freeing people who didn't want to be freed.  I guess that is roughly where Andreas 
is now with Base but has been stuck there a while.  Really there is no need.

Nowadays i can mostly sit back and just laugh at the ridiculous things people put themselves 
through with Windows and then claim that Windows is easier as though they have tried anything else 
when they clearly haven't even picked up an iAnything.

It's not easy to avoid trying to help especially when a little help can often go a long way.

The mistake a lot of people make when they are new to Gnu&Linux is trying to force other people to 
use it.  This earns a bad reputation and really there is no need for it.  if people would rather dig 
with a spoon than a shovel then let them.  Just smile wisely and move on to help a person that does 
appreciate it.

Regards from
Tom :)

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