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Thread: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

  1. #1

    A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

    Let me explain my situation. I'm not a computer guru. I'm a regular guy and I use my computer for working. This includes word processing, spreadsheet, web surfing and email. Sometimes I need computer for making presentations. Now comes the ugly part: I use Windows.

    I installed Linux some time ago but couldn't really figure out how to get my work done with it and went back to Windows. Now I'm getting tired with the os and I don't accept the way Microsoft dominates the market. I don't want to use products made by a company that doesn't play fair game. The only alternative I can think about is Linux.

    My question is: Am I a hopeless case? Can I switch to Linux and still get my work done? If I go back to Linux, where do I start? Could you point me to some newbie documentation?

    I appreciate anything you answer.

  2. #2
    Guest

    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

    Well I would install a newbie distro like Lycoris Desktop LX, it only has ONE program to do ONE task and it's very Windows like in it's look and feel, so it's very easy to learn. And it has a great update system so you can be sure to always have an up to date system.

    As for your Office needs, I would go for the newly released OpenOffice or KOffice if your needs aren't that professional.

    http://www.lycoris.com/

    And remember these guys give you the OS for free, at least support them by buying at CD pack, it's only 29.99 + shipping.

    http://www.lycoris.com/store/

  3. #3

    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?


  4. #4

    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

    There are other Newbie friendly distros (Mandrake, RH etc) that provide your needed applications.

    There is a word processor (abiword or Koffice) there is a spreadsheet, presentation apps as well.

    I say give it a go. The problem you may have is that it is rough to get printers configured at times.

    Hope it helps.
    And welcome to LJR
    Ras

  5. #5
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

    Let me explain my situation. I'm not a computer guru. I'm a regular guy and I use my computer for working. This includes word processing, spreadsheet, web surfing and email. Sometimes I need computer for making presentations. Now comes the ugly part: I use Windows.

    I installed Linux some time ago but couldn't really figure out how to get my work done with it and went back to Windows. Now I'm getting tired with the os and I don't accept the way Microsoft dominates the market. I don't want to use products made by a company that doesn't play fair game. The only alternative I can think about is Linux.

    My question is: Am I a hopeless case? Can I switch to Linux and still get my work done? If I go back to Linux, where do I start? Could you point me to some newbie documentation?

    I appreciate anything you answer.
    I am an end user too, and not a guru. I would recommend that you get Mandrake and set up a dual boot. Keep using the Evil One's OS as needed while you learn Linux. Get yourself out of the office suite frame of mind and learn to use a good text editor and learn LaTeX for word processing and presentations. It is much like writing raw HTML. Or install and learn LyX, which is a friendly GUI frontend for LaTeX.

    Speadsheets are a bit more difficult, but Gnumeric is pretty good.

    Learn the CLI and get into the Unix mind set. Linux is not a Windows clone or replacement; it is a free Unix.

    Linux has a great web browser in Mozilla, and any e-mail client beat M$ Lookout in a heartbeat.

    Buy a copy of "Running Linux" from O'Reilly and read it cover to cover. Read man pages. Fiddle. Ask questions.

    Remember always that Linux is not Windows. Learn Linux by Linux's rules and see if you find it better.

    Be prepared to work and be frustrated. Aslo be prepared to one day realize what a bastard Bill is. ;D

  6. #6
    Guest

    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?


    Let me explain my situation. I'm not a computer guru. I'm a regular guy and I use my computer for working. This includes word processing, spreadsheet, web surfing and email. Sometimes I need computer for making presentations. Now comes the ugly part: I use Windows.

    I installed Linux some time ago but couldn't really figure out how to get my work done with it and went back to Windows. Now I'm getting tired with the os and I don't accept the way Microsoft dominates the market. I don't want to use products made by a company that doesn't play fair game. The only alternative I can think about is Linux.

    My question is: Am I a hopeless case? Can I switch to Linux and still get my work done? If I go back to Linux, where do I start? Could you point me to some newbie documentation?

    I appreciate anything you answer.
    My profs all use LaTeX to make their slides for lectures and if you're in Math or Science, it's very likely you'll have to learn TeX eventually to publish documents. It takes awhile to learn the commands, but the learning curve is comparable to learning HTML.

  7. #7
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?




    My profs all use LaTeX to make their slides for lectures and if you're in Math or Science, it's very likely you'll have to learn TeX eventually to publish documents. It takes awhile to learn the commands, but the learning curve is comparable to learning HTML.
    YES! You can make better looking documents and do it much easier in LaTeX than in Wurd. It just takes getting over the initial fear factor.

    I have to use Wurd at work, and I HATE it.

  8. #8
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    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

    word processing
    I use KWord for my school papers. And mind you, they are not a one page papers. Most are from 24 to 35 pages long ones. Some word documents that I've had to do while I was working weren't that long and complicated. And almost all of the time, the paper will have to involve cut and paste of graphics ( usually Network drawings ).

    spreadsheet
    Kspread is good enough for me for simple inventory stuff. *I maintain an inventory for a small Sushi Bar with it.

    web surfing
    My favorite in this place is Konqueror. Web page rendering and fonts are great. But sometime, I find myself using Mozilla as well. Both are REALLY nice browsers ( except when you visit sites that are dominated by evil OS specific codes ).

    email
    Sylpheed is my current choice of MUA ( mail user agent ). I used to use KMail and I would have to agree that it's a very nice one. If you don't care about how it stores your mails ( which I do since I sometime read mails via SSH remotely ), then both of them are perfect. I'm what you would normally identify as "power users" or "technical users" and that I can tell you it beats MS Outlook in a heart beat.

    Sometimes I need computer for making presentations.
    I do that with KPresenter. I develop (almost) weekly presentations for my school for group projects. We have project meeting weekly and I'm the project leader so I will have to keep up with how everyone is doing and do the latest work on presentation. Topics had been raging from local area networking designs, wide area networking, Data Communications and TCP/IP implementations. This quarter, it's Operating system designs. Those topics are fairly complex in nature so I'm so impress with KPresenter.

    Now comes the ugly part: I use Windows.
    It's okay though I do use Windows sometimes. The main problem with using BOTH at the same time is data exchange and sharing. If you do that a lot, you might want to look hard at what you are getting into. Although OpenOffice solve that problem ( by being able to open and write to "MSWord" format, as you probably know, I don't know how long it will last with the way MS's usual dirty tricks. I've only seen OpenOffice in beta and I think it's pretty good, it hadn't won my switch from KWord for various reasons.

    My question is: Am I a hopeless case?
    Nope. I think yours is pretty normal typical case. Your needs are not that high to jump over the fense. Some of my friends really need to look for the Application that they need in Windows and haven't found so they find themselves rebooting into Windows very often. Some being AutoCAD stuff.

    Can I switch to Linux and still get my work done?
    Absolutely. Like I said, if you don't normally share your work with somebody else in digital form.

    If I go back to Linux, where do I start?
    Get a well supported distribution like Red Hat for at least while you are learning it. I have not seen a distro that can take on to Red Hat for documentation wise. If you go on to a book store ( any ) and get all the Linux book. More than half of them are specifically written for Red Hat ( at least here in the US ). Even great distros like SuSE or Caldera can't beat Red Hat on that. That is one major reason that I maintain a system with Red Hat. My personal favorite is 8)Debian8) though.

    Could you point me to some newbie documentation?
    There are a few books for Red Hat that are available in digital form. Go to the Red Hat site and get there. They have some links for it. There are more than a few so no need for a paper book if you don't want. What I personally find is that paperbacks are so good that you can go into the sections you want right there from index or from appendex. Paperbacks are also handy and very mobile. I carry with me everywhere ( restrooms, lunch-room, great outdoor, coffee shops ).

    Hope this helps ...

    <edited> Freaking UBB tags </edited>

  9. #9
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    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?




    I am an end user too, and not a guru. I would recommend that you get Mandrake and set up a dual boot. Keep using the Evil One's OS as needed while you learn Linux. Get yourself out of the office suite frame of mind and learn to use a good text editor (NEdit) and learn LaTeX for word processing and presentations. It is much like writing raw HTML.

    Speadshweets are a bit more difficult, but Gnumeric is pretty good.

    Learn the CLI and get into the Unix mind set. Linux is not a Windows clone or replacement; it is a free Unix.

    Linux has a great web browser in Mozilla, and any e-mail client beat M$ Lookout in a heartbeat.

    Buy a copy of "Running Linux" from O'Reilly and read it cover to cover. Read man pages. Fiddle. Ask questions.

    Remember always that Linux is not Windows. Learn Linux by Linux's rules and see if you find it better.

    Be prepared to work and be frustrated. Aslo be prepared to one day realize what a bastard Bill is. ;D
    A well thought out answer annd i second every word of it!

  10. #10

    Re: A hopeless case here. Where do I start?

    Thank-you all for your answers. Maybe I'm not a hopeless case after all.

    This LaTeX sounds weird but if it really is as good as you say, I'm not afraid to learn. However, I still didn't quite understand what it is. According to the documents I found with Google, LaTeX isn't a word processor. If it's like writing raw HTML, how do you view the document then? Is there some program that could be compared to the web browser that is used for viewing HTML pages?

    Well, maybe my biggest concern right now is to get Linux installed first and then wonder about LaTeX...

    I have one more question. My local bookstore sells only SuSE. How easy SuSE is for newbies?

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