I have been toying with getting rid of Windows. It is a very unstable
system, and after awhile, the computer becomes unstable and begins
randomly crashing. I get tired of having to trash the entire operating
system and reload it every 6-12 months. I last did it to this machine
about 16 months ago, and it is nearing time to do it again because it
crashes and requires a hard reboot about twice a day now.

Not only that, but Windows is a highly insecure operating system,
and I am not sure that I am willing to accept this any longer. I used
to be a gamer, but this is not really the case any longer, as the only
game I really play any more is Kerbal Space program. The hassle of
learning to use a new operating system is now becoming outweighed by the
risks of staying.

Apple’s OS has its own issues,
chiefly among them being cost, and so I am left to consider Linux. There
are two problems with Linux:

1 I know nothing about it.
2 Compatibility

I need to find ways to run or replace the following software:
1. The MS office suite to include: MSWord, Excel, Power Point, Outlook
2. I am one of the few people that still uses Quicken, and I need to find a replacement.
3. Finding a way to run TrueCrypt on it
4. Handling multimedia files like pictures, video, etc
5 Running iTunes

Categories: Uncategorized


cJ · August 12, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I made the switch to Ubuntu in about 2007.. I haven't looked back. Sure, there are some compatibility issues, but for the most part, you should be fine to go. In fact, in April I left my job at the fire department and took a job at Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu).

1) LibreOffice – to replace your 'office' type needs https://www.libreoffice.org/
If you really need a desktop email client (web client doesn't exist/do what you need), Thunderbird from Mozilla is the popular choice.

2) I don't have any experience with the Quicken type linux based options, but I know that they exist

3) TrueCrypt is available for linux.

4) Can do all of that. Without further specifics on what your requirements are, I can't offer you much more about it.

5) Sorry. Unless someone has created a work around, Apple will not provide a linux version. There are other options here, but I am assuming your requirement for iTunes comes from a requirement based on having an iDevice.

Wayne Conrad · August 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm

For those things which _must_ have Windows, You can run Windows, in a virtual machine, under your Linux.

It's not perfect: For example, I've had trouble getting the virtual-boxed windows to connect to USB devices–but it works for most things.

I don't play many games, so I don't know if a virtual-boxed Windows is any good for games.

The advantage is this: Your base OS is still more more reliable. You can blow away your virtual machine any time you need to and rebuild it without bothering the rest of your computer. Since only some applications run in the virtual machine, you have less exposure to malware, and there's less damage they can do.

SiGraybeard · August 13, 2013 at 12:36 am

My .02? You asked.

Ubuntu is very much like Windows 7 and cJ covered your specific questions well. MS Office is easy to replace. I own it for Windows (employee purchase plan where I work – it was like $15), but don't use it. I use Apache open office, like Libre. Patches show up from time to time that allow iTunes to work, but then Apple changes the software and Poof! – won't work. Moneydance isn't free, but is a reasonably good checkbook/personal accounting program to replace Quicken or MS Money. It imports Quicken files.

I switched over to Ubuntu as a dual boot system a few years ago, mainly because I have a few apps (for my CNC machine tool hobby) that simply won't work under Linux and won't run properly in a virtual machine; at least, the one I had made my good graphics card a generic "SVGA" and wouldn't take advantage of the chipset.

I abandoned Ubuntu when they upgraded in October '11. I upgraded my system and it never woke up again. I eventually got it to boot back into Windows and restored my system to be single-OS Windows only. Since I didn't do a detailed backup, I have to accept it as partially my fault it was such a nasty weekend, but it was a painful couple of days getting it running properly again.

I use Linux from time to time under the TAILS TOR distribution, everything on a single thumb drive.

Multimedia is easy. I don't recall the player I used, but DVDs are easy, MP3s are are easier than that. GIMP is a darned good Photoshop equivalent under Linux.

Ultimately, I stick under Windoze for the apps I use that won't play under Linux – it's a convenience thing.

Angus McThag · August 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Oh just get the Mac!

The implant plays soothing music!

Plus they let you keep the little piece of brain they cut out.

I keep mine in a clear jar so I can look at it.

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