[ExI] [PRIV] Re: disgusted with Windows

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 28 18:05:42 UTC 2016

Many thanks to everyone who contributed opinions and often long
explanations of things I could try.

I have dithered and finally decided to think some more.  Linux seems
attractive but my frustration and impatience levels (already near max)
probably won't tolerate learning it.  And I won't ask anyone in this group
to hold my hand while I do - and I have no one else.

I am going to stay with Windows for the nonce, but if it jerks me around
one more time I am going with a used Mac Mini. I am not a gamer; I send
email and read essays etc. and shop.No need for anything more.

Thanks again
bill wallace

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 1:36 PM, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 07:34:58PM -0600, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> > OK, so I was a fool and downloaded Windows 10, which was described as
> more
> > of a bunch of fixes than a new operating system.  Result:  many blue
> > screens of death.
> BSODs, if they do not disappear after software upgrades and/or
> uninstall, might hint toward hardware problem. It would be easier to
> point to hardware as a culprit if this happened under more trusty
> software - which Windows never was, IMHO (but one needs to state here
> that no software is trusty enough, only some are more trusty). But
> there is a slight chance you have a problem with hw. See below (memtest).
> [...]
> > I am so disgusted that I may switch to a Mac.  But that would be a big
> > change.  I am 74 and have never been a patient person, so I am asking
> just
> > how much trouble it is to switch to Linux.
> Linux is the easiest one to try, no money involved, but you are going
> to pay a bit of your flesh for it. You should definitely give it a
> try, just to be sure you do not like it.
> I would try first with virtual machine under Windows. You do not have
> to use another computer and you do not have to mess with your current
> box at all. VM is just a program pretending to be a computer. So you
> install this program on your Windows box and run it. Define new
> machine, give it a memory (say, 512mb? or more if you have a lot of
> memory, not more than half of your real box' memory, and given that
> Linux is a bit different, 1-2gig should do for browsing with
> unmodified browser - i.e. it will run every Javascript garbage that
> loads with the page you intend to view, this can be mitigated if you
> install plugins in your browser, like in Firefox it could be a
> NoScript plugin). Then define a harddrive for the new machine, this
> will be just a file on your real disk. Then define a cdrom, and when
> it asks for location give it a *.iso file of your preferred Linux
> flavor that you have already downloaded. And boot it. And play with
> it. Don't like it - download another iso from another Linux distro,
> boot your VM with it, and so on.
> I think VirtualBox should be a goto for VM user on Windows. I have
> used it once under Linux and it was quite good. Albeit I have just
> recently heard Oracle fucks with it a bit and they own the software,
> so they can. But it should work somehow and you can give it a
> try. Under Linux, I use KVM which is good enough for me and does not
> belong to Oracle :-).
> Of course you can run almost any OS under VM that you could run on a
> PC - including DOS, if you like old/retro stuff. You can ran multiple
> VMs all at once, provided you have enough memory on your box. Memory
> is cheap to buy, and the more the better.
> > Any of you done that?  Of course if you have been using Linux for a long
> > time then you might not be the best person to ask - or you may be.
> Advice
> > please!
> I run Linux, switched to Linux in 1995 (or was it 1994?), so I may not
> be the right person to ask how to do things under Linux. Thing is, new
> user expects gui based instruction (open window, click this click
> that) and when I want my box to do something, I give a text command on
> terminal. I use windows because I can have more terminals that way
> (right now, about 20 opened, but I just keep them in case I need them,
> and use maybe three or ten every day). When I want to change settings,
> I open configuration file in editor and change it, then restart the
> process using that file to have new behaviour. So I could go on like
> this for months or years without reboot. New users click-clack in some
> windows, then reboot the machine so the new settings can be
> used. Nothing wrong with that, but I definitely do not speak the "new
> user" language. So my advices might be rather strange sometimes, I
> came from times when first advice was RTFM and then once the "fucking
> manual" had been read, you had some common vocabulary established, so
> one would not have to lead you keystroke by keystroke into editing
> file or something (yes, I once gave such one-letter-a-time advice over
> a phone, it worked but I would rather point him to the manual and then
> said something like "replace far with for and restart").
> As of what Linux to try, I reluctantly suggest Ubuntu, with Mint on a
> second place. Reluctantly because Ubuntu goes the "new" way too far
> for my taste. Changes are being made which I dislike. For a while I
> could still use it, by killing things I detest and starting things I
> accept, but I understand there may be a time when I cannot do such
> tricks anymore, because they will be decided to be incorrect or no
> longer needed and phased out. Thus I slowly but perhaps inevitably
> long towards FreeBSD, which you are also encouraged to try in your
> VM. Longterm-wise, FreeBSD should be easier to have on old boxen while
> I hear that Linux phases out support for older hardware (which is a
> bit huge statement, because manyheaded Linux hydra is never looking at
> one point at the same time, etc). Again, I could, with some amount of
> work, add support for my old hw back to such new Linux, but is it
> really worth it? I could also buy me a new box and that would have
> been faster, but if I wanted to stay on safe side, I would want to
> have old hw supported as well, when possible. Old in Linux speak is
> something made before 2000-2005. Most folks do not remember such old
> stuff. Anyway, one more reason to keep FreeBSD warm and ready, just in
> case.
> Myself, I use Debian now, starting from 1997. I would not recommend it
> for new user, but I like it a lot. It has some quirks, which, without
> boring you too much, boils down to certain discomfort when I want to
> run current versions of software, but on the other hand I can have
> very trustworthy OS (Debian stable). New versions are being used in
> Debian unstable, which is still better than Windows :-). It just is
> not guaranteed to always work, because everything there is on the move
> and no time to test if various pieces of software play nice with each
> other - I do not recall hearing of anybody who had troubles with
> unstable, but in theory they could. There must be many people who had
> troubles with unstable, or else what would be the point to have it -
> it is expected to be the bleeding edge, so if you play with razor, be
> ready for cuts. Then once every year or few years, developers decide
> unstable is good enough, everything plays along with everything else,
> they call it "freeze", test some more, then call it "new stable" and
> if you want to be very safe, you can now switch from your current
> stable (from now on called "old stable") to new stable. Sometimes this
> can be done without even rebooting, but most of the time one reboot is
> required (or two). In my case, such upgrade takes up to few days, most
> of it is done in day one, after that I need to reconfigure some of new
> software so it behaves my way, some problems may last up to a month
> until I discover how to solve them, but system is usable from day
> one. Things which may not work at once are stuff like music playing or
> youtube. Nothing essential for me. Then I use new stable, calling it
> just stable. No new software versions until next upgrade, unless there
> is a need for security fix. In which case a fix is inserted to the
> stable software (which after months or years may be few versions
> behind what other people on the net are using, so it requires skilled
> and devoted developers to, simply put, maintain their own version of
> something, but they have such developers and all is good for now) and
> a security fix can be installed. So software version 20 behaves like
> software version 20, even if the newest version is, say, 25, but it
> has security fixes ported from newer versions, so it should be as
> safe, or maybe safer to use as version 25 - because everybody wants to
> hack version 25 and not version 20 which I am using, while it is safe
> from bugs discovered so far. So using Debian stable has some benefits
> for me, especially that I am able to install new version of something
> if I really need it. Some work is required, I usually install by
> compiling from source code, then I may discover new soft does not want
> to play nice with the rest of the system which is stable... or even
> old stable in my case, so it is quite ancient. Well it is either
> solving problems or I do not learn anything useful, right.
> Ubuntu was, basically, at one time derived from Debian unstable, with
> addons to make it better for newcomers. For long while it was more
> like Debian with add-ons, but nowadays it is more and more like Ubuntu
> with some reminiscences from Debian. What's more, addons from Ubuntu
> are making their way into other Linux distros, including Debian. I now
> stay on old stable exactly because I am not very much interested in
> upgrading to stable. I guess I will eventually upgrade. But for a
> while I am reading FreeBSD manual, so maybe I will upgrade to
> something else. BTW, there are few more BSD flavors, including PC-BSD
> which I understand is kind of like Ubuntu of BSD world, before it
> became too much Ubuntuised. I have not tried it, however. Perhaps I
> will.
> So which one to choose? Very much depends on what you want to do with
> it. If you want skype, for example, I would rather not do it under
> Debian if I were you (I might be able to run skype on Debian but not
> necessarily explain to you how to do it, because of linguistic
> mismatch, unless you know what PATH is and other such). I do not use
> skype at all, so one problem less for me. I guess such a thing should
> run with no much problem on Ubuntu, but I do not want to bet on it
> nowadays, when Microsoft can fuck it at will, since they own it, if I
> am correct. If you are rather man of text than man of moving pictures,
> you should be happy with Debian or even some BSD. Just my opinion,
> perhaps not true.
> > Switch to Mac, switch to Linux, stay with Windows and the new Norton
> Maybe just start playing with this stuff. You will have thus gain some
> new knowledge and gain ability to judge by yourself.
> You could also play with Linux without VM, i.e. on your raw physical
> computer. If you do so, choose one of so called "Live DVD" - some of
> them come as "Live USB" which is much more comfortable to play
> with. _DO_NOT_INSTALL_ anything, because contrary to what other poster
> wrote, if you install, even from LiveDVD, it _WILL_ change your
> computer. :-). But as long as you do not choose to install, you are
> pretty much safe, I think. To be even safer, make a good backup of
> your Windows, either to pendrive or to one of those external
> harddrives in colorful boxes. And if you have to install some software
> to make such backup, put a copy of it on the backup drive, so you can
> install it and then restore backup. And of course disconnect the
> backup drive before you start misbehaving and put it into drawer.
> Now, some of those Live distros come with Memtest. It is a program
> which you can start instead of booting OS, which runs on your bare box
> and performs test of memory. Sometimes memory is ok, but some other
> fault may show up, in which case memtest may freeze. So you can run it
> from LiveDVD (there will be a menu from which you can choose what you
> want to do, when it shows up have your finger ready to press "down
> arrow" on your keyboard, then you will have lots of time to read the
> menu at your own pace), let it go for an hour or few, see if your box
> freezes after few loops of testing or not. If not, chances are your hw
> is healthy. Since we are at it, try to find some diagnostic software
> for Windows and run it. There are free versions, they measure
> temperatures of hw so you can see if all is ok or not. When you are at
> it, check for temps of disks and have a look at their SMART
> record. The program should be able to tell you all of this, on
> separate tabs. I cannot serve you names of such program because I am
> long time no see Windows and under Linux I use text commands for
> this...
> You can also have some old box or laptop, they are truly cheap because
> they cannot run Windows10. There are versions of Ubuntu and Mint which
> cater to owners of such old boxen. Thus you could have them side by
> side, Windows and its replacement, and play with both. You can have a
> new adventure, if you think adventure is like reading a book full of
> goobledybook (in which case I am sorry for you... and for me :-) ).
> Even on very old box, you can try to install either Linux or some BSD,
> maybe an older version of it, maybe not connected to the net (to keep
> it safe), and working in a console mode (i.e. without windows). Even
> on such a console, one can browse the web with text mode browser like
> Lynx or Elinks, read/write emails (like I do - and guess what, I do
> not have to worry about Javascript or font-based viruses, because I do
> not run JS and I use the font from my own computer, not one downloaded
> via html-based email...) and even write books (even make pdf of them
> and print them to printer or preview it by switching console to a
> graphics mode - well, kind of, it used to be called svga mode and
> there were a fistful of programs which could give you a 16-something
> colors with high resolution, then you quit and be back in text mode,
> albeit it might be a bit hard - but can be done, without windows, or
> could have been done few years ago and should be possible now - I have
> not enough time to go find).
> As of Mac, I cannot say much other than they are pricey and as far as
> I can say, OS X is a UNIX clone with nice looking polish on it. This
> is very good, because at least it should be a bit safer that Windows
> and chances are you will be able to install new OSX on your Mac five,
> maybe even ten years from now (if you buy it now, of course). Anyway,
> underneath this nice skin there are UNIX guts and one can have
> terminal with shell in it, text commands, what ever I like, only with
> small apple in the display corner. Not a bad option, if one is willing
> to spend money. Once again, be sure you will be able to do with it
> what you do with Windows now. Before you switch.
> Last but not least, RTFM - or nowadays it should be RTFGoogle. :-) And
> hopefully have some fun too.
> Ah, yes. And sorry for long email. I tried to give you some clues. But
> if you go Linux/BSD way, you have to be prepared to find and read
> stuff by yourself. Most people either have no clue or have no time,
> very few will be able to help you, especially after you get deeper
> in. I know, I have read helpless guys on some web fora, had to help me
> myself, but it can be plenty of fun. When you can do it. Or very
> frustrating when you cannot. But eventually, 90% of the problems can
> be solved by reading with comprehension. Or asking right questions on
> mailing lists. Then again, to ask right question one has to know right
> words.
> --
> Regards,
> Tomasz Rola
> --
> ** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
> ** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
> ** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
> **                                                                 **
> ** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **
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