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posted by mrbluze on Monday March 31 2014, @12:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the can't-resist-that-minty-freshness dept.

prospectacle writes:

How to best replace Windows XP has become interesting to a much wider group of people, due to the end of official support for the product. (a previous story mentioned an Indian state government that urged its departments to use India's home-grown linux distro "BOSS Linux").

Some people may be using XP because it came with their computer and they never gave it a second thought, but there are probably plenty of others who don't want to spend the money, don't like the look of Windows 8, have older hardware, or are just used to the XP interface.

To these people, ZDNet humbly offers Linux Mint as a suggestion to replace XP.

They provide fairly compelling arguments to their target audience like:
- You can make it look almost exactly like XP
- It's free
- You can boot the live CD to try before you "buy".
- Decent, free alternatives exist for email, office, book-keeping and web-browsing.
- Virtually no need for any anti-virus for home users.
- Installation is quite easy these days.
- Works on fairly modest hardwar

Ending free support for a 12 year old product seems like a sensible policy for a for-profit entity like microsoft. In the past they've been able to count on people upgrading from old microsoft products to new microsoft products, and so any measure that would encourage (or pressure) people to upgrade would increase their sales.

Seems like a winning formula.

Related Stories

Indian State Has Solution to End of Win XP Support 26 comments

prospectacle writes about another possible shift from Win XP to Linux:

"With Microsoft ceasing to support Windows XP, the Tamil Nadu state government has advised its departments to switch to Bharat Operating System Solutions, also known as BOSS Linux.

BOSS Linux is developed by India's "National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software", which is financed by their Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. BOSS supports national languages including Bengali, Telugu, and Tamil.

Why would you develop your own entire operating system when you can just buy the newest version from Microsoft?"

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Monday March 31 2014, @12:27PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday March 31 2014, @12:27PM (#23519)

    The end-of-life of Windows XP was publicly announced how many years ago? And last week at work, I got an email saying my the company was forming a committee to investigate how to handle this transition. *facepalm* If that had come out tomorrow (April 1) I would feel better about it.

    Though really, if you have got by this long with XP on a desktop machine, my advice is to just unplug it from the network because clearly you are not paying attention to the Internet anyway. :-)

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Nerdfest on Monday March 31 2014, @12:40PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Monday March 31 2014, @12:40PM (#23524)

      Amazing, isn't it. I think Scott Adams is an optimist.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Monday March 31 2014, @05:01PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 31 2014, @05:01PM (#23657) Homepage Journal

      There are a lot of XP home users who only have the one computer that works fine for what they're using it for. If a safety defect is discovered in your 2002 Ford, Ford will fix it free. Insecure software is dangerous software and MS should fix their security bugs and insecure design flaws in XP (which still came on new computers only five years ago) until there are so few on the internet that they won't matter. Ending security upgrades is irresponsible of Microsoft.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 2) by emg on Monday March 31 2014, @05:44PM

        by emg (3464) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:44PM (#23673)

        But how else are they going to get people to move to Window 8?

        We have one XP machine left at home that gets used a lot, and that's solely so my girlfriend can run iTunes, which doesn't run on Linux in Wine. There's no way I'm going to pay $100 to install Windows 7 on there just because Microsoft refuse to support it, and there's definitely no way I'm downgrading it to Window 8.

        I'll just have to seal it off from the rest of the LAN, though, since there's only one other Windows machine there and it's almost never on at the same time as the iTunes machine, it's unlikely to be a risk to anything but itself.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @08:00PM

          by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @08:00PM (#23732)

          Do you still need itunes?

          I went thru the same mental gymnastics with my kids computer, back in the very oldest days of iDevices you Really needed a machine running itunes to operate an ipod touch / ipad but they changed things such that you only need itunes to initially activate, and I believe now you don't need itunes at all, iDevices seem to now be completely self contained. The iPads the school issued to my kids have never been sync'd to any PC/mac since they were issued. They come home with the kids so no one is secretly syncing all of them at school overnight. Everything is done on the device itself, installing apps, whatever.

          So its possible you no longer need itunes at all.

          • (Score: 1) by emg on Monday March 31 2014, @08:12PM

            by emg (3464) on Monday March 31 2014, @08:12PM (#23734)

            Not sure. I don't think the iPod has wi-fi, so the only way to get music on it, at least proprietary stuff, is probably via iTunes.

            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @09:05PM

              by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @09:05PM (#23761)

              OK I see what you're getting at. A nano or shuffle or classic ipod would continue to require itunes...

              For some years I had an original PPC mac mini on my desk as a secondary machine, and perhaps something like that would run itunes. Or maybe you'd need a newer intel mac mini. It would be cheap, virus proof, and most importantly, something new and fun to fool around with.

        • (Score: 1) by cykros on Monday March 31 2014, @09:58PM

          by cykros (989) on Monday March 31 2014, @09:58PM (#23777)

          Won't iTunes run in a VM, assuming you actually still need it at all? With a sane VirtualBox setup, I imagine there's no huge reason that a Linux host system with xp in a VM wouldn't solve the problem.

          Sure, your VM then may still be vulnerable, but snapshots and reasonable seclusion from the rest of the network go a long way to make that a non-issue.

    • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Monday March 31 2014, @10:13PM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday March 31 2014, @10:13PM (#23783) Journal

      Not to mention as we saw the other day on the other site that Linux is NOT a credible replacement, for example sticky keys, which is VERY useful for those that have certain disabilities, has been broken for everal versions now and the last one where it worked will be out of support before XP will.

      The Linux fanboys, or FOSSies as I call them because like Moonies they treat the GPL as a religion, can bitch and moan all they want but the fact of the matter is Linux is NEVER stable, shit that worked in Foo can be broken in Foo+1 and not be fixed until Foo+5 if its fixed at all, and like it or not the drivers of a Windows system will last the life of the OS without fail. As an example a year and a half ago I retired the box I used as a nettop at the shop and that system ran from WinXP RTM to 2012 with ZERO driver failures. Furthermore the software that was installed at RTM was still running when I sold it, that is 12+ years of fully functional OS.

       

      Any Linux users that tells you they could go even half that length without the OS being shit upon by an upgrade is frankly full of shit as the ONLY Linux distros that seem to give a shit about such things are paid distros like RHEL which cost several times more than Windows does to own. Hell look at the upheaval the OS has gone through in that period of time, tossing the functional ALSA for the shittastic Pulse, Throwing the functional KDE 3 and gnome 2 for the alpha quality KDE 4 and gnome 3 which to this day don't have all the features the previous one did...I'm starting to sense a pattern here.

      Bottom line if the machine is less than 6 years old it'll run Windows 7 just fine and its a hell of a lot cheaper to just slap Win 7 on and call it a day than to deal with the beta quality "open up bash and type this pile of gibberish that just FYI hope you have the programming skills to tweak" bullshit that is Linux. I have customers with circa 2006 Pentium Ds and first gen Athlon-64s and Win 7? Purrs like a kitten on 'em. No tweaking, no muss, no fuss, in fact I have run into exactly TWO pieces of hardware and ONE piece of software that wouldn't run on Win 7 and I must have done hundreds of installs since Win 7 RTM. In the hardware case it cost less than $40 to replace the pair and in the software case it was Quicken being douchebags (what else is new?) so a simple XP Mode install for running the old version of QB solved that problem.

      For any FOSSies that don't believe me? Please look up "The Hairyfeet Challenge" which NO LINUX has EVER passed, even though it gives the advantage in multiple areas to Linux. Even with only requiring 5 years of support, no fancy or strange hardware or software? Linux still can't even muster 5 years for any of the mainstream distros, none. If someone has stuck with XP for THIS amount of time having to constantly fiddle with the OS or deal with "upgrade foo broke my wireless" is NOT gonna be for them.

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @10:30PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @10:30PM (#23794)

        Someone's off their meds again eh?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:34AM (#23827)

        The Hairyfeet Challenge

        Here's The Brad Rodriquez Challenge, [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [goodbyemicrosoft.net] dating back to 2008, aka Will your out-of-the-box OS complete this obstacle course?
        antiX (pronounced "Antiques") is shown on that page, again, from 2008; current antiX is 13.x.
        (In 2008, he was trying to find something to run on 450MHz machines.)

        ...and I'll say it ONCE AGAIN: If you buy hardware produced by a manufacturer who provides poor support, [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [archlinux.org] the problem is YOU; you obviously have too many dollars and not enough sense.

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:53AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:53AM (#23950) Journal

          Either have the balls to have an account or please quit wasting yours and my time, i don't mess with ACs. Oh and just FYI but if you have to buy "special hardware" to make it work? You are NOT a replacement for Windows, you are a MAC. Good day.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday March 31 2014, @12:39PM

    Given that these are people and firms that are exceptionally uninterested in upgrading and the pain in the ass suggestion Mint uses of "back everything up, wipe the drive, install the new version, restore your data" for upgrading, I'd say use anything but Mint. Anything with a rolling release would seem like a much better fit for this type of entity. Barring that, Debian stable for the exceptionally long time between releases.
    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 1) by owlman17 on Monday March 31 2014, @12:51PM

      by owlman17 (2140) on Monday March 31 2014, @12:51PM (#23529)
      Then this ought to be the best of both worlds. [linuxmint.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday March 31 2014, @12:55PM

        Based on Debian testing though, so not so much.
        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 31 2014, @02:53PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 31 2014, @02:53PM (#23595) Journal

          You wanted a rolling release, you were offered a rolling release. You can try this one instead http://www.sabayon.org/ [sabayon.org]

          It seems to me that "rolling release" is nearly synonymous with "cutting edge", or at least "almost cutting edge". Besides, Debian Testing has been at least as stable as any Microsoft release for years now.

          --
          We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @03:41PM

            by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:41PM (#23615)

            "Besides, Debian Testing has been at least as stable as any Microsoft release for years now."

            The following is slightly dramatized but is more or less true:

            The main problem with testing is someone files a RC bug on KDE because there's a typo in the Romanian language localization of the konsole manpage (LOL), so KDE disappears from testing because of the RC bug, so today you can't install it, or a roll back would yank out a bunch of unrelated packages that depend on some obscure feature of that exact version of KDE, or the last version of KDE without a typo in the manpage was vers 1.1. Or you could downgrade the bug from RC to mere wishlist, but...

            Then they fix the typo in the Romanian language manpage for konsole, and do a complete upload of all of KDE with a new revision number, so every "testing" KDE user in the world has to burn the bandwidth and time to download the entire 700 megs (or whatever it is) KDE system and reinstall the entire thing. All to fix a manpage typo.

            Repeat the day after tomorrow, because someone re-arranged the order of menu entries in emacs or Gnome now has a debian/control one line description that doesn't start with an article (a, an) which is a real lintian warning believe it or not because it is part of Policy.

            This is before getting started with upstream released a new version which just shuffles around copyrights. Or maybe it is a "real" upstream release with lots of bugs fixed in amarok, and although the user has it installed, he doesn't use it and doesn't care, but here comes a gig of packages to install...

            And yeah yeah a local package mirror helps, etc etc. Still burns time.

            An interesting innovation in software distribution would be someone with a centralized puppet-server-like-thing distributing an OS that way, rather than on a package single file basis. That would certainly be interesting. Or distribute all software packages as a git repo not a single file. Ah innovation, always strangled by tradition....

            • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday March 31 2014, @04:47PM

              by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 31 2014, @04:47PM (#23647)

              Or distribute all software packages as a git repo not a single file.

              Gentoo? I still run it and am always amazed that everything is built from source.

              --
              SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
              • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @05:55PM

                by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:55PM (#23680)

                I guess I'm asking for that but without the build. Not a GIT of package source, not a GIT of what the OS devs add, but the "individual files in a .deb, but broken out in a GIT" so a couple hundred meg deb doesn't need to be re-downloaded for a change in the manpages or whatever.

                • (Score: 1) by sbgen on Monday March 31 2014, @06:56PM

                  by sbgen (1302) on Monday March 31 2014, @06:56PM (#23707)

                  May be you should checkout NixOS (https://nixos.org/nixos/)??

                  --
                  Warning: Not a computer expert, but got to use it. Yes, my kind does exist.
                  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @08:14PM

                    by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @08:14PM (#23736)

                    Thats close-ish but its still a "download sources and compile".

                    I'm looking for something a little lower and simpler. Gimmie Debian as it is. At the last-ish step dpkg-buildpackage takes a perfectly normal-ish set of directories ready for installation and makes two TAR files out of them, and then runs one of about half dozen file compressors on them (lzma or whatever) then uses ancient old AR (not tar, ar) to mush those two together. Then dpkg on the install side basically undoes all that work.

                    I'm suggesting, dpkg-buildpackage takes that nice directory structure and ... git commit the works and git push up to "somewhere". Then the end users simply git pull their way to happiness. apt-get upgrade boils down to little more than "git pull" every repo, make sure the pulls all went OK, and then run the install scripts (as relevant).

                    There are some minor problems, like a cloned git repo would inherently hold every binary that was ever pushed. Well, you could work around that by creating a new blank repo at release time. Or more specifically when 9.0 gets released the new git repo for 9.0 contains absolutely nothing but the 9.0 release. So for the whole dev cycle of 9.0.something until 10.0 is released, you can transparently switch to and install any version that is part of 9.0.something.

                • (Score: 2) by lothmordor on Monday March 31 2014, @10:58PM

                  by lothmordor (1522) on Monday March 31 2014, @10:58PM (#23800)

                  Before I had broadband, I used Deltup [linux01.gwdg.de] on my gentoo box to patch packages to more recent versions. Saved an incredible amount of time and bandwidth. I haven't used it in years though, so not sure how well it works today.

              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by cykros on Monday March 31 2014, @10:06PM

                by cykros (989) on Monday March 31 2014, @10:06PM (#23780)

                Or do away with human-defined dependencies and do things the Slackware way. pkgtool has no problem letting you install packages if you don't have the necessary libraries...they just won't run until the libraries are in place. No unnecessary dependencies just because some dev thought you NEEDED them, no yanking large portions of your package base off the system just because you removed one package...

                Gentoo, Arch, and Slackware (and derivatives) are fairly quickly becoming some of the only distros out there that actually feel much like Linux anymore... For the world of idiotproofing, Debian still would be my first pick, but the problems arising from various quirks got to be more than I cared to deal with awhile ago, and I've seen no reason to go back.

            • (Score: 1) by danomac on Monday March 31 2014, @09:55PM

              by danomac (979) on Monday March 31 2014, @09:55PM (#23776)

              An interesting innovation in software distribution would be someone with a centralized puppet-server-like-thing distributing an OS that way, rather than on a package single file basis.

              That basically describes gentoo. In your example above, a new package labeled '-r1' would be added to the tree with a single patch to fix the small problem. In most cases this doesn't even require downloading the source tarball, just the patch to fix it. The patch would be applied, then configured, built and installed.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday March 31 2014, @03:34PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:34PM (#23611)

          Surely you don't want a rolling release on Debian *Stable*?! The distro that comes out every 1.5 years? I struggle to see how the term "rolling release" could ever apply in that situation.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday March 31 2014, @01:36PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:36PM (#23552)

      Oh please, have you ever been able to easily upgrade Windows without doing a full backup for safety?

      Even with the rolling-release distros, there've been big problems reported doing that sometimes. Businesses don't want software on the cutting edge, they want stuff that's stable and dependable. Mint works fine for that (stick to an LTS release of course).

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday March 31 2014, @02:05PM

        Oh please, have you ever been able to easily upgrade Windows without doing a full backup for safety?

        Yes. Every time except for 3.1 to 95. Possible exception for ME on the grounds that there was no way to install it and not wish you hadn't.

        Yeah, I'm aware of some of the major snafus in rolling release. I've even been bitten by them. Let me tell you though, it's damned nice not having to reinstall or go through a major upgrade every six months.

        If lack of upgrading is a money/time thing, rolling release is the way to go. Follow the rss news feed for your distro and wait a week before installing upgrades to critical packages and you will likely never have to deal with the big oops.

        If it's a stability thing, yes, LTS is much better than upgrading every six months and might even be as viable a choice as Stable. Then again, it's still guaranteed to go out of support much faster than XP did. With Debian or nearly every derivative distro except Mint, the preferred method is to upgrade the live system on the fly and reboot. Much less of a headache than having to go through Mint's nuke it from orbit method unless you don't store any data locally on any of the boxes and are going to just push a new image to them.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 31 2014, @02:58PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 31 2014, @02:58PM (#23598) Journal

          You OBVIOUSLY didn't upgrade XPSP2 to XPSP3 on an AMD CPU in it's first release. Upgrading Win98SE to WinME wasn't a cakewalk either. I have read other horror stories as well - and no professional sysadmin fearlessly leaps into the task of upgrading his company's computers. I think that nearly everyone who reads a slash site agrees that fools run where angels fear to tread when it comes to updates, on any platform.

          --
          We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:06AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:06AM (#23816)

            Win98SE to WinME wasn't a cakewalk either

            hairyfeet, who has posted to this thread, has repeatedly identified the giant problem there:
            MICROS~1 decided to mix device driver types. [google.com][1]
            If you (and your whitebox vendor) choose a single type and stick with that, you're OK; mix them and you were screwed.

            [1] If accessing /. pages these days, I recommend using the fuckbeta.slashdot.org subdomain to send a message to Dice Holdings.
            Even better, you can view Google's Cache of a /. page; be sure to append &strip=1 to the URL of the Cache and /. gets no pagehits.

            -- gewg_

          • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:08AM

            by etherscythe (937) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:08AM (#23818) Journal

            Thank you, Microsoft, for job security.

            I remember with a bug with Windows Vista around the SP1 release, where the NTFS journal would fill up and the system would blue screen. And not just the installed OS - any Vista that didn't get the hotfix would blue screen with this volume attached, including the installation disk.

            The only solution, until the hotfix came out, was to launch a Linux live CD and delete the journal metafile, or format the whole drive. I still laugh at the irony of it sometimes.

            --
            "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 31 2014, @04:53PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 31 2014, @04:53PM (#23652) Homepage Journal

          I always wiped the drive when reinstalling Windows because upgrading it leaves old crap behind. When upgrading from 98 to XP, I didn't bother and it ran dog-slow. Then I had to wipe it because it "disabled" my CD burning software, informed me of it on every boot, and wouldn't let me uninstall it. Windows ran fine after I wiped and reinstalled.

          --
          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:16PM

          by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:16PM (#24121) Journal

          > Then again, it's still guaranteed to go out of support much faster than XP did.

          Everything is guaranteed to go out of support faster than XP. XP staying in support for over a decade was not intended, Microsoft got stuck with it because (a) it took them so damn long to release a successor, (b) the successor was really poorly received and (c) by the time a decent successor finally arrived loads of people realised that there was no compelling reason to upgrade. Microsoft kept supporting it not out of choice, but because they were stuck with it.

          > Much less of a headache than having to go through Mint's nuke it from orbit method unless you don't store any data locally on any of the boxes and are going to just push a new image to them.

          I've never had a headache upgrading Mint. As long as you keep your home data on a separate partition to root, you just download the latest ISO, install the DVD over the root partition and you're golden.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by wonkey_monkey on Monday March 31 2014, @02:09PM

        by wonkey_monkey (279) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:09PM (#23573) Homepage

        Oh please, have you ever been able to easily upgrade Windows without doing a full backup for safety?

        Yes. [youtube.com]

        --
        systemd is Roko's Basilisk
      • (Score: 1) by pmontra on Monday March 31 2014, @02:52PM

        by pmontra (1175) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:52PM (#23594)

        You backup because backing up is wise even if you're not upgrading the OS. If you backup daily you don't have to make any special backup when you upgrade. Wiping the drive is retarded IMHO. That's why I never even evaluated Mint. By the way, some of those people on XP are still there because 1) they don't backup, just cross fingers, 2) they don't want to reinstall. Mint's is not an option for them. How about Ubuntu with LXDE or any other XP like WM?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by AndyTheAbsurd on Monday March 31 2014, @03:07PM

      by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:07PM (#23602) Journal

      These people are still on XP. Clearly they're NEVER going to update anyway, so why worry about how difficult the process is?

      --
      Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
      • (Score: 2) by mrbluze on Monday March 31 2014, @09:17PM

        by mrbluze (49) on Monday March 31 2014, @09:17PM (#23766) Journal

        Linux doesn't have to be a rolling release for corporate machines. Windows is distributed remotely through imaging the hardware, so there is no reason that Mint cannot be also. If user content and so forth is isolated from the process, upgrades COULD be done more or less seamlessly. The problem of Mint is it is not ideal for power users in this environment and clearly it is not a distribution intended for servers either.

        --
        Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:39AM (#23829)

        I'm waiting for April 9, 2014 (the day after the final XP Patch Tuesday), when all the black hats who have been saving up their XP exploits release those.
        Getting my popcorn ready now.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday March 31 2014, @03:30PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:30PM (#23607)

      A) I didn't get the vibe that the article was really targetted at company use.
      B) You should kind of be following that same procedure no matter what OS you're talking about.
      C) Mint *did* (does?) have a rolling-release version. In fact, it was also based on Debian [helpsite.org]. Unfortunately the XFCE-Debian-rolling combination seems rather flaky as to the schedule if/when they actually release it.

      For personal home use, I would agree with the proposition of recommending Linux Mint.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @11:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @11:57PM (#23815)

        the article was[n't] really [targeted]{1} at company use
        FTFS: Virtually no need for any anti-virus for home users

        This is the bone I came here to pick. "Virtually" is unnecessary in that sentence.

        If you're not running a (e.g. for-profit mail) server, you have no need of an anti-virus app on your Linux box.
        Any AV app that runs under Linux DOES NOT look for Linux-specific malware;
        that's NOT how Linux handles these things.{2}
        Those apps are looking for WINDOZE-SPECIFIC malware.
        If you're just Joe Average running a Linux desktop system, let those folks who choose to run Windoze use their own resources and scan their own boxes for that Windoze-specific nonsense.

        {1} Try a spellchecker, guy. They're free and very cool.

        {2} Once an exploit against a FOSS app is discovered, the dev(s) patch their vulnerable code QUICKLY and release the patches QUICKLY.
        To ward off malware under Linux, simply keep your box patched.
        (You don't have to wait until the 2nd Tuesday of next month
        and you don't need some 3rd party vendor supplying band-aids to paste all over your system.)

        ...and, of course, Linux is naturally "hardened" far more than M$'s junk anyway.
        When a file hits a *n?x box, it isn't automagically executable; only MICROS~1 has chosen to do things that way.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @03:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @03:54PM (#23622)

      This, this, this, and this! I really wanted to like Mint, but the "upgrade the hard way pal" policy just put me off. That, and the fact that it couldn't handle my simple dual monitor setup on very old hardware.

      After trying a bunch of distros it turned out that, in the end, Kubuntu still hit the spot for me. I didn't want to give Ubuntu any more eyeballs (adware,Unity), but Kubuntu is really excellent.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 31 2014, @05:16PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 31 2014, @05:16PM (#23663) Homepage Journal

        I seldom mod ACs but I'd mod that guy up if I hadn't already commented. I've been running kubuntu myself since 2007. Have installed it and before kubuntu, Mandrake and Mandriva on friends' XP computers when they repeatedly got "infected" (trojans) and they were all happy with it. Unlike Windows, Linux upgrades usually make the machine faster rather than slower when upgrading, so a new OS will, unlike Windows, run well on an old computer.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:56AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:56AM (#23832)

          Linux[...], unlike Windows, run well on an old computer

          You left out a word:
          ...will run well on an EXTREMELY old computer. [goodbyemicrosoft.net]
          Look at the minimum specs of e.g. Deli(cate) Linux.
          (That is a fork of Desktop Light Linux aka DeLi.)

          -- gewg

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by emg on Monday March 31 2014, @05:47PM

        by emg (3464) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:47PM (#23675)

        My last Mint upgrade took about an hour after downloading the install image and backing up to a USB drive in the background. My last Ubuntu upgrade ran overnight downloading and installing files, crashed part-way through, and required several hours to fix. I think I eventually did a clean reinstall on that machine anyway, because it never worked right after the upgrade.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MrGuy on Monday March 31 2014, @12:40PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Monday March 31 2014, @12:40PM (#23525)

    Yet another "everyone using XP should switch to My Favorite Flavor of Linux!" articles.

    Here why individuals who use XP will almost certainly have a hard time switching to Linux:
    * If you're on XP, your hard drive, with all your files on it, is formatted NTFS. You can't install Linux on NTFS sanely, and can't even mount it read/write safely under Linux. Switching to Linux means moving all your files (and possibly repartitioning your hard drive), then reformatting for the install. In theory, that's easy. In practice, it's easy to get wrong, and if you do you can lose all your files. (And most users don't back up well).
    * While I like Mint, there are a ton of ways that the ultra-configurability of linux makes it easy to make things works the way you don't want in non-obvious ways. Sure, you can make it look mostly like XP IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. If you're still using XP, you're likely not on the cutting edge, and you're likely to do something wrong that's hard to fix.
    * Asserting GnuCash is as good as Quicken, or LibreOffice is as good as MS Office is simple partisanship. They're nice apps, and there are a lot of reasons to like them (free as in freedom file formats, for example), but they're not close to as mature as their commercial alternatives. If you're using Office for business, you're going to be surprised when many of your docs have their formatting "messed up" the first time you open them in Libre.
    * Suggesting "You'll never need AV again!" is a dangerous assertion.

    Look, I like Linux. I even run Mint on my linux box. It's a really nice OS. But it takes some know-how to get up and running, even from scratch. Adding the challenges of migrating from a working and well-known Windows install and you've got a considerably bigger challenge.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday March 31 2014, @12:52PM

      You can read and write NTFS quite safely under Linux and have been able to for a long time. The older version of NTFS on XP in particular is extremely well supported, though filesystems created under Win7 at least are no problem either. I can't speak to 8 or 8.1; I'm avoiding learning as much as possible about them so family can't demand free tech support as easily.
      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 1) by ButchDeLoria on Monday March 31 2014, @01:20PM

        by ButchDeLoria (583) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:20PM (#23545)

        Windows 8 and 8.1 are both just Windows 7 with a couple tweaks and a second desktop environment stapled on.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @02:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @02:13PM (#23577)

        You can read and write NTFS quite safely under Linux and have been able to for a long time

        Only if you dont like your CPU.

        I switched out a few of my 'old' computers to ext4 from NTFS. CPU usage before was usually 80-90%. After nearly 5-10%. On newer computers NTFS usage is fairly negligible. But on the older computers that this is aiming for the fuse ntfs driver can be a significant overhead. Just because you can does not mean you should.

        XP was pretty good for its day. It is time to buy a new computer. This is how most people get the OS. My dad has used every single version of windows since 95. He never installed it. He would just buy a new computer. These days he just buys the cheapest computer he can get and adds a bit of memory (sometimes). The cost is usually 200-400 dollars.

        People do not want you to fix their issues usually (unless they are really in the weeds). They just want you to validate they made an 'ok' choice.

        • (Score: 1) by pjbgravely on Monday March 31 2014, @02:28PM

          by pjbgravely (1681) <{pjbgravely} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Monday March 31 2014, @02:28PM (#23582) Homepage
          why would anyone buy a computer in 98, 99,and 2 in 2000, that is assuming he didn't buy xp in 2001. Windows 98, 98 SE, ME and 2000. No wonder they posted as a coward.
          • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Monday March 31 2014, @04:28PM

            by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Monday March 31 2014, @04:28PM (#23634) Journal

            why would anyone buy a computer in 98, 99,and 2 in 2000, that is assuming he didn't buy xp in 2001. Windows 98, 98 SE, ME and 2000.

            Someone who has multiple computers running at once (e.g. my computer, spouse's computer, family/kids computer, htpc), but only replaces one at a time?

            It's a bit of a stretch, but not implausible.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by michealpwalls on Monday March 31 2014, @02:38PM

          by michealpwalls (3920) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:38PM (#23589) Homepage Journal

          This is all true, as ntfs-3g is implemented using FUSE, the Filesystem in USErland.

          However I think you and the original complainer are failing to see the forest from all the pesky trees.

          Running a distribution of Linux from an NTFS volume is a pretty silly idea. You can easily resize an NTFS volume and migrate the system to a more appropriate filesystem. Even if you're strapped for free space, it can still be done progressively..

          This entire discussion thread about Linux's support of NTFS is so 1990s it's really quite simply moot. Old copies of GParted LiveCD can solve this problem very quickly.. Most installers that ship with linux distributions are based on parted or something similar and can also easily solve this "problem".

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:54AM (#23885)

            ntfs-3g
            That's the big one. If you're reading *data* from or writing *data* to a drive that's already NTFS, you're golden. Been that way since 2007.

            GParted
            That's another other big one. The Gnome PARTition EDitor (think: FOSS Partition Magic) comes with pretty much every distro these days.

            Windoze users looking to switch should first defrag their partitions.
            Next, pop in the disc/thumbdrive with your bootable Linux ISO and resize your partitions so that you can make a partition for Linux.
            CAVEAT: I understand that the most recent versions of Windoze really hate it when you don't use MICROS~1's tools for this. You should investigate that further. (Full disclosure: I've never had an OS that required Product Activation.)
            When you have your partitions squared away, install Linux BESIDE your Windoze install (dual boot).
            When you're confident that all your needs are fulfilled with Linux, use GParted again to reclaim the space you had alloted to your Windoze partition.
            Now, that wasn't so difficult, was it?

            Finally, the one that all you guys have missed mentioning so far is that NTFS does not support *n?x permissions.
            If you want to put executables on an NTFS partition (a dumb idea, but, hey, it's YOUR box), you'll need to jump through some hoops. [google.com]

            Now, why someone would WANT to keep an filesystem that still requires DEFRAGGING is the thing that perplexes me. I'm going to guess it's just cluelessness.

            ...and the GGP who was griping about a Windoze user breaking his box:
            I'm having a hard time imagining that user NOT calling in a tech for anything even mildly complicated.

            -- gewg_

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @01:13PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:13PM (#23540)

      If the user has been on XP for a good part of a decade, they're already used to the whole "lose everything and reinstall" every time they get a virus or a hard drive crash or whatever. So this is irrelevant.

      In my circle no one uses MS office except business users who got stuck there. Google drive/docs has taken over the non-business world. There's some libre office / open office whatever, but the whole world has gone google because its free and ubiquitous and easy to share. School, cub scouts, volunteer work, no one uses uses MS office unless they have to because of some legacy stuff.

      As far as configuration, the windoze world has no standards and everythings random and unpredictable. So a microscopic change in something no one uses is not an issue in linux. For a good laugh send a XP user to windows 8, LOL. After that, linux will seem a relative paradise.

      Just make sure it runs Chrome, and runs it well. And has flash player. That's all you typically need.

      • (Score: 2) by akinliat on Monday March 31 2014, @05:47PM

        by akinliat (1898) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {tailnika}> on Monday March 31 2014, @05:47PM (#23676)

        If the user has been on XP for a good part of a decade, they're already used to the whole "lose everything and reinstall" every time they get a virus or a hard drive crash or whatever.

        Heh. My brother would regularly call me up every year or two to ask where to find NIC drivers for a machine I got him. He did reinstalls just because it was the only way to keep cruft from slowing the machine to unusability.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:16AM (#23892)

          [Windoze] cruft[...]slowing the machine to unusability

          This is a good place to mention that, unlike M$'s dreck, Linux get FASTER with use (memory management and filesystems).
          A filesystem that first looks for a space large enough to write the ENTIRE file is a filesystem that doesn't require defragging.

          -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @01:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @01:19PM (#23544)

      Posting as anonymous coward because I can't remember my logon :)

      Linux Mint does not take a lot of out-of-the-box config, especially if you don't insist on it looking exactly like XP. The task bar and "start" menu are in the same place. The other thing that bears mentioning is that I have used Office 2003 and Office 2007 extensively with Crossover Linux and both work very, very well. Not everything is perfect, but for a lot of use cases you'd never notice. So if Office is the only thing holding you back, I wouldn't let it stop you. My wife uses Xubuntu with Office 2007 and has no complaints - she is a researcher who writes a lot of peer-reviewed articles and uses some of the advanced features such as tracking changes and auto-referencing. Much of the Windows software I have that is as old as XP works well under Crossover. An LTS Ubuntu (or derivative) is a decent solution for a lot of people. This is a decent solution for a lot of small businesses OR personal users --- I'm not advocating enterprise-wide deployments.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Monday March 31 2014, @03:41PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:41PM (#23617)

        The task bar and "start" menu are in the same place.

        i.e., Linux Mint looks more like Windows than Windows 8 does.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday March 31 2014, @02:22PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:22PM (#23581)

      But it takes some know-how to get up and running, even from scratch.

      Although I have some know-how, I didn't need it for the pre-installed Linux box I picked up a couple months ago. Here was my entire process for getting it up and running:
      1. Plug in the power, network, and peripherals.
      2. Turn it on.
      3. Tell it about my time zone.
      4. Tell it my locale preferences like keyboard layout and decimal formats. Defaults were US English in both cases.
      5. Set up a username and password for my primary account.
      6. Reboot.

      Here's the process I recall going through to set up a new Windows box:
      1. Plug in the power, network, and peripherals.
      2. Turn it on.
      3. Tell it about my time zone.
      4. Tell it my locale preferences like keyboard layout and decimal formats. Defaults were US English in both cases.
      5. Set up a username and password for my primary account.
      6. Reboot.

      1. Plug in the power, network, and peripherals.
      2. Turn it on.3. Tell it about my time zone.
      4. Tell it my locale preferences like keyboard layout and decimal formats. Defaults were US English in both cases.
      5. Set up a username and password for my primary account.
      6. Reboot.

      Please explain to me why Linux requires more know-how. If you compare pre-installed Windows with installing Linux over an existing OS, that's apples versus oranges. The equivalent task to installing Linux over an existing OS would be installing Windows on what has previously been a Linux box, without losing data - doable, but also a pain in the keister.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday March 31 2014, @02:38PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:38PM (#23588) Journal

        Please explain to me why Linux requires more know-how.

        You have to know how to find a pre-installed Linux box. Sure, it's not hard, but it's not as easy as getting a pre-installed Windows box, for which the procedure basically is: "Buy any non-Apple computer you happen to find."

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday March 31 2014, @03:40PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:40PM (#23614)

          You have to know how to find a pre-installed Linux box.

          Or be able to use Google [google.com] and consider the option.

          The real problem is that desktop Linux simply doesn't have the marketing capabilities that Apple and Microsoft do.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 1) by emg on Monday March 31 2014, @05:50PM

          by emg (3464) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:50PM (#23677)

          But then you boot it, see the Metro screen, and say 'oh crap, I thought this thing ran Windows' and take it back to the store.

          Mint's UI is much closer to XP than Window 8 is. The only reason not to switch is when you have some Windows application you really, absolutely must run which doesn't run in Wine and has no Linux equivalent.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:54AM (#23919)

            ...and the final case is that that must-have Windoze-only app won't do its thing inside a virtual machine.
            The *necessity* for running Windoze on bare metal is such a small segment of the market as to be noise.
            Guys interfacing with really specialized industrial/scientific equipment is that tiny subset.

            Anyone who has had to do a reinstall of Windoze on bare metal and has also replaced a snapshot of a VM install knows which one makes infinitely more sense.

            -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday March 31 2014, @05:55PM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 31 2014, @05:55PM (#23681)
      That and none of their games are going to work.
      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 1) by cykros on Monday March 31 2014, @10:17PM

        by cykros (989) on Monday March 31 2014, @10:17PM (#23786)

        More like only 100-150 or so of their games are going to work. Unless we're talking about emulated games, in which case all of those will still work as well.

        Also, what gamers are still running windows XP?

        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday March 31 2014, @10:31PM

          by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 31 2014, @10:31PM (#23795)
          If they want to play the odds and fight with Wine at the same time, sure. Except we already know they won't. As for your other question, I'll answer it with a question: What do you think these guys are doing with their XP machines? Do you really think they're going to be in the mood to switch to something that will only work less as well as what they have now? XP was a mass-market success, beware of making generalizations about it.

          Take it from me as a long time Windows user: If you want to entice somebody to swith to Linux stop playing the "it's almost as good!" card and start telling them why it's better. Wanna impress a Windows guy? Show them Knoppix. Wanna piss of a Windows guy? Say it works just as well then leave him to fight with .conf files to get his machine to do what XP was already easily doing.
          --
          🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:39AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:39AM (#23903)

            fight with Wine

            Boy, I thought *I* was a curmudgeon until I came here and started reading **your** posts.
            What's the old line? Were you toilet trained at gunpoint?

            Now, if a Linux user has his box prepared by a pro--y'know, like the Windoze users do--everything is going to be equal to the Windoze UX.
            If it's obvious that you aren't up to the task, just tell the guy what you need then stand back and let him work.

            Oh, and the parent forgot to mention that -some- games will be quicker running under WINE than under Windoze.
            Every time I hear that one verified yet again, I just smile.

            -- gewg_

            • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:50AM

              by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:50AM (#23906)

              "Now, if a Linux user has his box prepared by a pro--y'know, like the Windoze users do--everything is going to be equal to the Windoze UX. If it's obvious that you aren't up to the task, just tell the guy what you need then stand back and let him work."

              Heh. And you are strong enough of the Linux faith to do this for a few converts?

              "Oh, and the parent forgot to mention that -some- games will be quicker running under WINE than under Windoze."

              So... after you dick around with getting them working, and assuming they work, SOME might run faster ... because that was obviously so important that they held onto their machine this long. Nice rebuttal.

              --
              🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @12:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @12:50PM (#23528)

    This solution is good if you don't need any specialized software. If you use your computer for web browsing, e-mail and creating office documents, Linux will work for you.

    If you use a CAD system, or even something as simple as Lego Mindstorms EV3 Home Edition, native Linux versions (_not_ alternatives) are not always available. You can try running it under WINE, but the results are not always great [winehq.org], or you are forced to use outdated versions [winehq.org]. So some of us are stuck with Windows.

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday March 31 2014, @01:16PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:16PM (#23542)

      ^^^^This^^^^

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @01:21PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:21PM (#23546)

      "even something as simple as Lego Mindstorms EV3 Home Edition"

      I'm totally confused. This URL seems to imply the first step for installing mindstorms is installing virtualbox and putting linux mint in the virtualbox and then doing stuff in the virtualbox to program your legos.

      http://www.legomindstormsev3.com/linux-programming /installing-virtualbox.ev3 [legomindstormsev3.com]

      So rather than installing virtualbox under windows to install linux mint, why not install virtualbox under linux mint to install a specific version of linux mint as your dev environment? Its easier, if anything, to install under linux than under windows. Or for that matter just install windows under virtualbox and use the windows software?

      I do feel the pain, I own a great eprom programmer thats windows only, so on a secondary box I have to reboot occasionally into windows XP to program stuff. Very annoying. Also some steam games are still legacy windows only, although all the new stuff seems to be linux.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday March 31 2014, @01:42PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:42PM (#23554)

        What on earth do you need an EPROM programmer for these days? If you're making anything new, all modern microcontrollers have built-in flash which can be programmed in-circuit. The only reason you'd need a separate EPROM programmer is if you're messing around with decades-old vintage hardware.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @02:56PM

          by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:56PM (#23597)

          "The only reason you'd need a separate EPROM programmer is if you're messing around with decades-old vintage hardware."

          AKA Fun! Or a minor correction, any hardware with a vintage design.

          Admittedly I have little tolerance for sitting around the UV light for a half hour or whatever so everything I get my hands on is converted to EEPROM. Have to be careful with that.

      • (Score: 1) by pjbgravely on Monday March 31 2014, @02:41PM

        by pjbgravely (1681) <{pjbgravely} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Monday March 31 2014, @02:41PM (#23592) Homepage
        The site is now Soylented but I think there is a Microsoft windows version, they just assume if you are running Linux you will be doing it in a VM. I assume that if you use Microsoft windows you are running it in a VM with networking off.
        • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday March 31 2014, @04:43PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday March 31 2014, @04:43PM (#23643)

          The site is now Soylented

          I think the proper term is "the site has been soiled", at least that's what I hope we start using.

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 31 2014, @06:08PM

            by VLM (445) on Monday March 31 2014, @06:08PM (#23688)

            Gotta get the L into it.

            The site's server has soyled itself, and ...

            • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday March 31 2014, @06:53PM

              by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday March 31 2014, @06:53PM (#23706)

              I like it. Let it be known from now on when a site breaks down because of link on soylent it has soyled itself.

              --
              "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 2) by DarkMorph on Monday March 31 2014, @01:39PM

      by DarkMorph (674) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:39PM (#23553)

      So some of us are stuck with Windows.

      I would prefer to have this broken down to how many are stuck with Windows as a native OS? What keeps one bound to Windows where running it in a VM on a Linux host OS would not suffice?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @01:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @01:56PM (#23563)

        Hi, same AC here.

        I think the logic is as follows: Computers that have XP have hardware that's rather outdated, otherwise you'd be running Windows 7 or 8. So running a VM and two operating systems on an machine that's got one gigabyte of RAM seems like suicide. If you upgrade hardware and can change operating systems, you might as well run native Windows (7 or 8) instead of Linux and a VM with XP in it. It's a lot less complicated.

        I'm not trying to justify the use of Windows for everyone, I'm just saying that for those who need Windows to run specific software, adding an extra layer or two (VM/Linux) is not needed.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @07:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @07:13PM (#23712)

        I resisted the move to Linux for a long time because my stocks/futures trading platform was Windows only. Several years back I decided I'd have enough and took the plunge to Linux. My trading platform went into a Win7 VirtualBox VM, and I haven't looked back.

        ...still have to use Windows at work though...

      • (Score: 1) by gitano on Monday March 31 2014, @10:13PM

        by gitano (3926) on Monday March 31 2014, @10:13PM (#23784) Homepage

        Me for example as heavy AutoCAD user need windows native. Windows 7 its a very solid OS for me. But i use debian also on another machine at home.

        One family member have a old thosiba laptop on only 1 Gb ram so upgrading XP to W7 not looked like a good idea, i put Linux Mint on it and its happy. For web-browsing, media playback and some random facebook game, Linux Mint its allready well setup from default for those tasks. I like Debian but want the less time possible spent on "family" computers, and i think Linux Mint its the best choice in this particular case on the Ram limitation, if the laptop had 2gb ram minimum, i prolly choosed upgrade to windows 7 :)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:21AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:21AM (#23923)

          heavy AutoCAD user

          Pretty much everything imports and exports DXF these days.
          Tried BRL-CAD? FreeCAD? LibreCAD? OpenSCAD? QCAD? [wikipedia.org]
          What kinds of shortcomings did you find?

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 1) by gitano on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:15PM

            by gitano (3926) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:15PM (#24061) Homepage

            My area of work on AutoCAD its design of buildings, mainly 2D plains, and the shortcoming its i not only use AutoCAD but also other propietary software added to it (like add-ons), to help on installation plans, plumbing, hvac, electricity, and prices/measurement of elements, etc. Even have some autolisp sowftare writed myself. I love Linux but theres no real alternative to all of this in a professional environement. I tried hard :)

            DXF its a thing of the past, the DWG format its more 'open' today, and a lot of open source software allredy reads it, its really not needed anymore to export to DXF. The problem on DWG its more about trademarks.

            AutoCAD had UNIX and Apple versions in the past. Last Apple version was version 12 in 1992 and last Unix one was version 13 on 1994, i installed (not whitout problems) one version 12 in a Debian Sarge, but more for the fun factor, in that time i was still using the DOS version for the real work :) The workstation used on DOS had a very expensive Matrox graphic card (16 colours) on no support on linux :(

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02 2014, @05:02AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02 2014, @05:02AM (#24623)

              AutoCAD[...]also other [proprietary]{1} software added
              Ah. The plot thickens.

              design of buildings, mainly 2D [plans]{1}
              Yes, I wondered about your niche.
              There was a guy who haunted the Mint forum that made a point of the fact that he did all his tasks as an architect using only FOSS. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [linuxmint.com]

              I now wish I had pulled up that old bookmark earlier because he mentioned 2 apps that the Wikipedia page doesn't mention: Archimedes and SagCAD.
              He also mentions Blender, which I don't correlate with dimensioned drawings.

              Now, he is in New Mexico, so perhaps renovating pueblos or building earthen abodes for washed-up actors [google.com] is significantly different than designing skyscrapers or what it is that you do.

              DXF its a thing of the past
              +1 Informative. It sure does get mentioned a lot, however.

              AutoCAD had UNIX and Apple versions
              Yes, it was initially a UNIX-only app.

              {1} Looking at your username, I wonder if English is a second language for you.
              The browser that I use allows multiple profiles and each can be configured differently.
              A profile set up to access English sites and outfitted with a spellchecker could help you make your points even more clearly.

              -- gewg_

    • (Score: 1) by tadas on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:18AM

      by tadas (3635) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:18AM (#23840)

      I'd love to go all Linux, but the thing that stops me is Microsoft Word's Outline mode. The Open/Libre Office people claim they have something equivalent; they don't. Every 6 months, I go looking for a good outline processor, and, going back 10 years or so, nobody except MS Word has one. I wish somebody could port the old CP/M outliner, KAMAS, to Linux. Did everything I need, and in 64K to boot....

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:42AM (#23854)

      I saw ahead to XP running out when Vista bombed and 7 became very invasive and acting quite homesick (calling Redmond, a lot). It was more like: "After XP, no more Wndows or anything from Microsoft. So now where to?"

      That was around 2009. At that point had tried various Linux distros for over a decade but found it quite flaky. By 2009 Ubuntu looked functional, but I soon ran into some issues. Someone suggested Mint and I got off to a realistic start with the then-current release, "Felicia". I ran dual-boot for a while, kept up with the releases and re-learned the ropes I needed. Having worked with Unix/Linux for years helped. I could finally run things at home the way I wanted to.

      By 2011 my old desktop was, old. I found a used laptop that had 7 on it - replaced that with Mint and switched more processes over.

      Even if things may look wierd the 1st time around, I prefer using Libre/Open Office over being held ransom to MS-ware. For graphics / photography there are some wonderful choices. It has taken 2 years but I am fully weaned off of PhotoShop!

      BUT - the gaping holes still exist. No proper CAD, though there is a whole specialized distro around that very thing, CAE-Linux. I would prefer having my favourite distro and adding the apps on top, but at least *A* solution now exists.

      Looking forward over the next 5-10 years, I see MS falling apart and people will move to Android or Apple. Nobody should miss them. Life will (i) go on, and (ii) improve. Those with the particular skills or knowledge might move to Linux - or are most likely already there.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Drew617 on Monday March 31 2014, @01:30PM

    by Drew617 (1876) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:30PM (#23549)

    The folks I've encountered still on WinXP fall into two categories:

    1. Somewhat savvy users who "know better" but need a legacy app which is broken in Win7/Win8
    2. Users (old people, usually) who are still not entirely comfortable with WinXP and are unwilling to move to Win7/Win8 when XP still nominally "works"

    Linux, regardless of distro, isn't the answer for these folks. The difference between WinXP and a distro that can be made to "look like XP" is greater than the difference between WinXP and Win7. Likewise I've found the paradigm often repeated on ./ in these threads - grandma who "just needs email and a web browser" - to be wrong. Even the still-intimidated-by-computer users I know have developed some skills and habits that will be broken in anything but Windows. I'm not sure you're doing the Linux community any favors by pushing it on a user who won't know how to deal with it.

    This is likely to be modded down, remember it's just my impression based on my own experience/observations.

    I do suspect there are a bunch of people who haven't upgraded because of cost, and Linux might be an appropriate answer for them, but I don't see those folks. /Linux user since '98 //Pragmatist since longer

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Adrian Harvey on Monday March 31 2014, @01:59PM

      by Adrian Harvey (222) on Monday March 31 2014, @01:59PM (#23566)

      Those categories are pretty close for individual users, but there are quite a few holdout corporations. Some fit 1 and 2 (especially if you count 2 ask including those unwilling to stump up the money for the upgrade project because what they have works), but I would also posit the following additional categories
      3. Organizations who have looked at the ammount of integration testing they think they need for all the apps they have got and deferred the upgrade. In some cases even just for web apps that 'might' have issues with a new browser version.
      4. Organizations who have thought "while we're doing all that work for a rollout, we should go to office 2013 as well... Oh and upgrade sharepoint to get full benefit, and Exchange. Oh. and we should roll out that new JRE version to ensure compatibility. And we have to upgrade SCCM do deploy the new version, and we'd better redo all our group policies as we won't get another chance, and man! Isn't this going to be big, we'd better write a full business case for all that work."
      3. Organizations where the project went off the rails and they decided to re-think

      In general, if they can't manage an Windows upgrade project, an OS transition is likely to be just as hard. But if licensing cost is one of the issues, then perhaps... But for most larger companies, dealing with application compatibility is a big issue.

      • (Score: 1) by Drew617 on Monday March 31 2014, @02:09PM

        by Drew617 (1876) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:09PM (#23574)

        Very good points.

        I happen to work in an industry where all our customers must comply with some combination of HIPAA, HITECH and PCI. Nearly every client environment I touch at work has migrated away from WinXP/2003 already.

        At this point when I hear XP I think "individual user," but I might be in a lucky position.

        • (Score: 1) by urza9814 on Monday March 31 2014, @04:53PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Monday March 31 2014, @04:53PM (#23653) Journal
          I'm at a Fortune 500 and all our systems are still XP. Migration to Windows 7 is at least in progress though.
    • (Score: 2) by naubol on Monday March 31 2014, @02:35PM

      by naubol (1918) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:35PM (#23585)

      I absolutely love mint and use it on all my desktop machines, preferring debian for any machines whose primary purpose is running as a server. That said, I agree completely with your concerns, but here are a few more...

      • Many pieces of hardware have prohibitively difficult driver issues, the most notorious being wifi dongles. Grandma can't just go to best buy and pickup a new wifi dongle to work with her Linux Mint.
      • Mount support for android phones is less than stellar.
      • The gui control panels are still less featured than windows and more likely to be buggy.
      • Even cinnamon, by far the most user friendly linux window manager imsho, seems to default to power user settings which confuse people.
      • There can be video card issues, especially when dealing with multiple monitors, that are just harder to solve. I've experienced so many of these I've learned far more than I wanted to about video cards to solve them.
      • Google drive doesn't work on Linux.
      • Quicken and other common, professional-quality personal finance software doesn't work on Linux and this really effing matters to a lot of people.
      • Linux doesn't blue screen, but all flavors of "user friendly" Linux window managers, excluding techy savvy window managers, tend to freeze or bug out such that the only way to recover is to try to a tty or ssh in and do something akin to "sudo service mdm restart" which is more complicated than control alt delete or straight reboot from blue screen.
      • A lot of people play a game or two that cannot easily be made to work on Linux. If it can be made to work, it often doesn't work very well and only under wine with a lot of hassle.
      • iTunes on linux is non-trivial to install/run. There is a very good chance that our use case wants this.

      All that said, I do think mint is ready to replace XP in corporations where they have people doing certain kinds of things, like QA work on websites or just basic processing of this or that. The problem here is one of training IT support and restructuring. My understanding is there are a number of use cases written up where some organizations did exactly this for a lot of their desktop machines and reported lower TCO.

      • (Score: 1) by blackest_k on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:23AM

        by blackest_k (2045) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:23AM (#23823)

        google grive for gdrive on linux there are a few other options 'google now' is also working admittedly on what seems to be a stable, unstable chrome build.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:43AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:43AM (#23929)

        When you go to buy hardware, take your bootable Mint ISO with you.
        Boot to it and see if the gear is supported.
        If not, say this in a loud clear voice:
        "I won't give good money for hardware with poor support."

        An even better distro for this task is Trisquel. [soylentnews.org]

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @03:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @03:40PM (#23613)

      The thing is, XP does work. So you've missed a third category:
      3. Users for whom XP works

      Why should they switch to windows 7 or above? If they don't have an SSD, and know enough to avoid the shadier parts of the web, then what are the positive reasons that compensate for spending 1-2 days on the install and 1-2 weeks bumping into the random UI changes microsoft puts into every release[1]?

      [1] eg the dedicated quick launch bar, the annoying hybrid quick launch/taskbar, the horizontally-sorted Control Panel, and the ghettoization of the Programs menu

      • (Score: 1) by Bartman12345 on Monday March 31 2014, @05:26PM

        by Bartman12345 (1317) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:26PM (#23667)

        Yes, I think there are some cases where the best option is just to keep on running XP.

        The only real reason to upgrade after support is dropped is lack of security updates. If a user is only using their PC for email, a bit of web browsing and the occasional game of Freecell then the disruption and expense of changing their OS is probably not worth it. A lot of older users fall into this category, and a surprising number of not-so-old users as well.

        Of course there is a possibility that this may leave these PCs vulnerable to attack if an exploit is found after support is dropped, but it's MUCH more likely that the machine will be put at risk by the user themselves installing PC Optimizer Pro because some random website told them to.

        • (Score: 1) by Drew617 on Monday March 31 2014, @06:48PM

          by Drew617 (1876) on Monday March 31 2014, @06:48PM (#23704)

          Agree that sticking with XP is the right choice in limited cases. Most of the time I'd call it wrong, whether or not the user agrees, because it's effectively unpatchable. In the industry where I work, that argument isn't necessary: $applicable_standard says it's wrong, and I'm not going to accept any liability by helping you make it work. The only correct answer is to get it out of your environment.

          Agree that upgrading to Win7/8 is the right choice much more of the time. I'm not a MS fan by any means - don't touch anything MS outside work and hold no M$ certs.

          Don't mean to repeat myself, but I really don't know of any home user who truly fits that "just needs web and email" case.

          The two least-informed users I can think of are my mother and girlfriend. Mom comes close to the test case but has a film negative scanner, and I can't imagine letting her loose with xsane and gimp and asking her to make it work.

          Girlfriend is the "file everything on the desktop" type, not really aware of the filesystem, and can't use iTunes to sync podcasts half the time. Even she has some remote access software from work (browser-based SSL VPN, forget which vendor) that won't work under Linux.

          I can work with Linux on the desktop thanks to Wine or Win7 in a VM in cases where I really, really need to use a Windows somethingorother. Probably like many of us here. But I wouldn't dream of suggesting either solution to a user who hadn't already arrived at it on their own.

          Once again, my impression only, but even the "web and email" computer users I know have a handful of third party things that need to work. I suspect some of the people who DID fit the case have moved on to tablets.

  • (Score: 2) by Covalent on Monday March 31 2014, @02:38PM

    by Covalent (43) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:38PM (#23587) Journal

    ...or Ubuntu or Debian or any other distro. The parent is right: They can be configured to look and work very much like XP anyway.

    The problem is and always has been software. I am the "unofficial tech guy" for my building. People call me before they call IT because 9 times out of 10 I can talk them through their problem over the phone. Almost none of the problems are OS related. They are all Word / Excel / PowerPoint problems.

    Yes, I know, OO and LibreOffice are alternatives, but I've used them extensively and...eh. The conversions are not very good (particularly for Excel), the user interface is just not there yet. Google Docs is actually closer to acceptable than LibreOffice Calc is, imho.

    So this tired argument runs into the same roadblock: To get rid of a pay OS, I have to accept free office software, and it's just not good enough to use yet.

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday March 31 2014, @03:53PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday March 31 2014, @03:53PM (#23621)

      They can be configured to look and work very much like XP anyway.

      OO and LibreOffice are alternatives [...] the user interface is just not there yet.

      Even Office itself doesn't look like what it did on XP. LibreOffice is a damn sight closer...

      Back in Ye Olden Computing Days Of Yore before we all ended up on Windows, everybody was resigned to platforms not being interoperable (at least I assume so...I wasn't there). Now, things are a lot closer (file formats being compatible between MS Office and Libre...hell, MS Office even "supports" ODF), but migrating away from Windows is still not acceptable unless there's 100.000% compatibility, which will obviously never happen.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by Hawkwind on Monday March 31 2014, @11:02PM

        by Hawkwind (3531) on Monday March 31 2014, @11:02PM (#23801)

        Yes! Libre is a lot closer to the look and feel of the old Office. Moving my folks to Libre was no problem at all, meanwhile at work I've ended up spending hours trying to figure out all the latest changes.

        You know what I really miss? Being able to look 'under the hood' at what Word Perfect was doing. It was a lot like HTML, being able to see exactly what code was throwing the final product off. Of course I don't miss the DOS look and feel, or the slowness of WP 6 on most machines when it was released, but it was so easy to fix run-away codes and/or to get an exact look.

        I could see paying for an office suite that actually wanted to make my life easier instead of trying to justify buying the latest and 'greatest'.

    • (Score: 1) by gawdonblue on Monday March 31 2014, @08:18PM

      by gawdonblue (412) on Monday March 31 2014, @08:18PM (#23737)

      As the "unofficial tech guy" in my neighbourhood, I must humbly disagree: The interfaces on LibreOffice and OpenOffice are very close to the MS Office interfaces that most XP users are used to and work mighty fine - even as Excel replacements. The word processor's "Format-->Page" is about the only thing I ever have to point out to most new LibreOffice users.
      I think you should keep off the ionics.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:58AM (#23931)

      LibreOffice[...]The conversions are not very good (particularly for Excel)

      It would be interesting to know the date of your last try at that.
      Things are constantly improving over there. [google.com]

      -- gewg_

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05 2014, @08:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05 2014, @08:57AM (#26590)

      "The German cities of Munich, Leipzig, and Jena, the Swiss Federal Court, and the Swiss Federal IT Steering Unit have issued" a call "to further improve interoperability between free and open source office suites"

      "The tender specification lists five additional features to be developed, including new spreadsheet functions, chart styles..."

      So, in the EU they're actually putting up some cash to get this right. [europa.eu]

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by michealpwalls on Monday March 31 2014, @02:54PM

    by michealpwalls (3920) on Monday March 31 2014, @02:54PM (#23596) Homepage Journal

    In what warped universe is Linux Mint a suitable fit for a Windows XP user in 2014?

    Are we all drunk today at Soylent? LOL... Lets think for a moment. It's 2014 and there is a user running Windows XP. Hrmm.. Insantly you know the most fundamental aspect about this user:

    • They do not appreciate FEATURE updates.

      

    This is the most fundamental thing everyone seems to have missed. ZDnet rarely gets things right, so that's no surprise. But I can't believe the #1 rated comment here at Soylent isn't pointing out the blatantly obvious thing here... Linux Mint pulls from the Debian Testing repositories.

    If anything, these users will appreciate a Stable/Enterprise distribution, like CentOS or Debian Stable. Anything else would be a complete waste of time or, as Linus would say, "Mental Masturbation"!

    Even LTS is not suitable for an XP user... Again, XP was released in 2001 people.. This is 2014. These are users who have resisted updates actively for ~13 years! Do you seriously think an LTS will please them?! They want a "tool". When they're not using this "tool", it should stay in the "tool box" for however long it needs to. When the user returns, this "tool" should look and function exactly the way they left it / remember it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    As a software developer it took me a long while to even grasp this concept, but.. One of the biggest things these XP users dislike about "new" systems is epitomized by Windows 7 starting up. Often, before you are "allowed to log-in and use your own computer" you have to sit and watch, waiting for it to update "your" computer. The quotes and emphasis I added here for readers, but they were said to me exactly like this by an elderly woman. Think about it, though.. I think she made a good argument.

    The more I try and explain this user perspective, the more I favor CentOS over even Debian Stable. Besides RedHat Enterprise and CentOS, I'm not sure what else really fits this use-case.

    • (Score: 1) by jomcty on Monday March 31 2014, @07:34PM

      by jomcty (3768) on Monday March 31 2014, @07:34PM (#23719)

      I replaced my father's Windows XP with Linux Mint LTS and for awhile all was great until one day, an update changed something that caused a GUI SSH login prompt to appear before being presented with the desktop.

      After that I said frack it, and got him an ASUS Chromebox. I had it shipped to him, along with a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter. He unplugged his old PC and set up the Chromebox in its place.

      Balance is restored in the universe and he is happy as a clam; he has access to his favorite web sites, email, word processing and can perform video Hangouts with us.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by number6 on Monday March 31 2014, @07:37PM

      by number6 (1831) on Monday March 31 2014, @07:37PM (#23721) Journal

      ^ Good insight there ++++

      Personally, I am a power user and still use XP ...I prefer the XP classic details view interface ...I prefer the look, feel and total control of NT5 Windows Explorer (EXPLORER.EXE) ...I prefer the configurability and minimalism of it all; how I can disable all visual cruft, unnecessary features, services and drivers and get really bare bones with it all.

      I have thoroughly played with ALL NT6 versions (Vista, Seven, Eight) and they are a 'PITA' to control and insult my intelligence when it comes to laying out my visual and behavioral preferences.

      As far as I am concerned, Microsoft are FULLY TO BLAME here and not the their loyal users who stuck with them and XP for so many years. If MS had half a brain they would have noted that the XP user interface is a "classic timeless" design and they would have packaged it as a user-choosable "theme" for future Windows versions---this includes the EXACT look and feel of NT5 EXPLORER.EXE !!! .......BUT NO this is not possible, because the "new" Microsoft are a bunch of disloyal arrogant selfish dogs who don't give a fuck about the culture and ecosystem they created over all those years .......It's all about quick money now; engineering a proper operating system takes too long, so let's just force feed the masses quick shit using marketing and lockdown techniques, and hire a bunch of ex-Apple-fag-employees having the title of "UX Designer"---PROFIT!

    • (Score: 1) by emg on Monday March 31 2014, @09:22PM

      by emg (3464) on Monday March 31 2014, @09:22PM (#23768)

      "Even LTS is not suitable for an XP user... Again, XP was released in 2001 people.. This is 2014. These are users who have resisted updates actively for ~13 years!"

      Not that crap again.

      XP was installed on my netbook when I bought it a few years ago. The XP machine we have used to belong to my girlfriend's mother, and she probably bought it in 2009. I believe Microsoft still sold XP to OEMs until 2010 or 2011.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @11:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @11:26PM (#23805)

      They do not appreciate FEATURE updates.

      Or maybe, just maybe, they do not need FEATURE updates. What does Win 7 or 8, Linux Mint, or some other distro, provide in the way of features that some of my users need? None. Sure, some of the features might be nice, but needed? And before spouting "better security than XP has!", we have security locked down tight. Different security software on our external email server, our network security appliance, our internal email server, our proxy server and our workstations. No caching, no file downloads, all attachments are quarantined by default, strict web filtering, etc. If there's something that can get past that gauntlet it will still have to fight me a la Tron.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @04:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @04:47PM (#23648)

    Which can be fulfilled with Linux Mint easily.

    My mom, wife, friends generally just use a browser and basic office processing at home. I installed linux mint on their machines several years ago, including my own and haven't had any serious issues. Also, team viewer works great on it for remotely accessing the machine and fixing anything wrong.

    Most folks today do everything with just a browser, which Linux Mint excels at (except obviously for sites using silverlight).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:09AM (#23932)

      except obviously for sites using silverlight

      ...or maybe not so obvious. [google.com]

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 1) by lentilla on Monday March 31 2014, @05:32PM

    by lentilla (1770) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:32PM (#23670)

    ZDNet humbly offers Linux Mint as a suggestion to replace XP

    And it is those very people that are still running XP that are exactly the kind of "customers" that one doesn't want.

    Sure, they won't really be "customers", in-so-far as they won't pay for you to do the conversion for them, neither will they appreciate the hours spent nor the caution with which you make sure they don't lose files. They will; however; be your customers, and customers of the worst kind:

    • They will freak out at the slightest difference in interface - despite the fact there would have been an interface change no matter what.
    • You will be dealing with old and possibly flaky hardware.
    • These are precisely the group that must not be allowed to remain on an unpatched operating system. They either don't care sufficiently or don't understand enough to be trusted not to do all those wacky things we have grown to love. Antique cars and antique operating systems certainly go hand-in-hand in that respect: great fun in the hands of experts and enthusiasts, not so much for anybody else.
    • Particularly applicable to Gentlemen of a Certain Age: stubbornness. Yes, I am aware that you don't see why you must upgrade but upgrade you must.
    • People generally have great difficultly understanding hierarchical file structures - the reasons for which escapes my comprehension. That the concept between a hierarchy of files maps closely to a physical-world filing cabinet makes it even more disturbing. Wherever you happen to put those old documents following the migration (like, for example, /home/bob/old-computer/2004/tax-return) they will be guaranteed to be unable to find them. If you escape direct accusations you can count yourself lucky, but you will be target of considerable ill-feeling.

    The simple truth is that staying on WinXP is not an option. The only appropriate response is "you need to buy a new computer". This is one of those times that it is kinder to be cruel.

    There is one circumstance under which we might entertain an "upgrade" to Linux Mint: in conjunction with new hardware. Offer to get your loved one a new computer. Buy one, install Linux Mint (or your favourite flavour), configure it, and deliver it along with the invoice for the purchase. This has three clear benefits:

    • They get a brand new computer. Which, let's face it, are actually better than old computers. They are faster, have more RAM and disk space, and (with luck) will last some time until the "next" upgrade.
    • You get to maintain a Linux system instead of Windows. Reports from the field seem to indicate this dramatically reduces the number and frequency of support calls.
    • Most importantly: with a "new" computer, people expect it to behave differently. From a psychological perspective, a new purchase puts them in a receptive frame of mind. They are invested in the change and more open to learning the couple of things required to have an happy and productive computing experience.
    • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Monday March 31 2014, @06:21PM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Monday March 31 2014, @06:21PM (#23695) Journal

      I absolutely agree with you on most of that, but...

      People generally have great difficultly understanding hierarchical file structures - the reasons for which escapes my comprehension. That the concept between a hierarchy of files maps closely to a physical-world filing cabinet makes it even more disturbing.

      I don't know about your file cabinets, but the ones I'm familiar with look like

      • Cabinet A
        • Drawer 1
          • Folder Bar
          • Folder Baz
          • Folder Foo
          • ...
        • Drawer 2
          • Folder Baz
          • Folder Bot
          • ...
      • Cabinet B
        • Drawer 1
          • ...
        • Drawer 2
          • ...

      You might go nuts and use an expanding file folder with tabs inside it for a fourth level, but that's about the max. The key, though, is not that there's only three, or at most four, levels. The key is that each level is unlike every other level.
      Whereas hierarchical filesystems look like: (I'm afraid slash is limiting my nesting, which is not cool...)

      • Cabinet A
        • Cabinet A
          • Cabinet 2
          • Cabinet Bar
          • Cabinet Baz
          • ...
        • Cabinet 2
          • Cabinet 2
          • Cabinet A
          • ...
      • Cabinet B
        • Cabinet B
          • Cabinet B
          • Cabinet B
          • Cabinet how-do-these-all-fit-inside-each-other

      Or IOW, "a maze of twisty little cabinets, all alike".

      Filing cabinets all but enforce structure -- a drawer is not the same as a cabinet nor as a folder, so to have any meaningful organization, it's almost necessary to give each level a semantic binding. (e.g. Cabinet:year, Drawer:section-of-alphabet, Folder:customer name, or maybe Cabinet: customer, Drawer:year, Folder: week, etc.) Many bindings are possible, and you can even simultaneously use different ones in different file cabinets or drawers, but in a given context, it's impossible to drop a year into a drawer full of customers (assuming the year/alphabet-segment/customer model), because you can't put a file cabinet into a drawer.

      This semantic binding to levels of hierarchy is possible in a filesystem, and is often beneficial, but using it that way requires a certain level of self-discipline not needed in the physical space. For people who've acquired the habit of using a filesystem haphazardly, without ever using that particular form of self-discipline, their existing habits interfere with grasping the concept, even if someone else has already created and populated the structure. And graphical file managers that let you drag a folder into that folder's sibling or grandparent folder (both of which break a structured hierarchy) in the same way as into that folder's parent's sibling (which can be correct and useful) do nothing to help. (I'm not saying it should be harder to move things up/down levels than across, merely that it might be helpful to have lateral and vertical moves represented as distinct operations that are both easy.)

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by seandiggity on Monday March 31 2014, @07:49PM

    by seandiggity (639) on Monday March 31 2014, @07:49PM (#23726) Homepage

    I know everyone has a pet distro or two, but let's *try* not to get petty over it. Or, more importantly, not completely dismiss the idea of installing GNU/Linux as a replacement for XP. It is easier than ever to do that, as anyone who has been helping others "make the switch" will tell you.

    Reasons it's easier now:

    1. Multitude of basic WIMP interfaces that run on aging hardware. My choices are Xfce, MATE, Lxde, or Openbox (loosely in order of most to least resource-intensive)

    2. Great NTFS support, and good support for other MS technologies (Samba comes to mind).

    3. Installers now make the partition / resize / install process very easy.

    4. Much easier than it used to be to copy sensible, "Windows-like", defaults between systems with different hardware and capabilities (apt-clone etc.)

    5. Many people now have their files elsewhere or have abandoned their old comp so long ago they don't care about the files on it (maybe they've been using a phone or tablet, or backup through some cloud service).

    6. Much better driver support

    7. Webkit/Blink and Gecko own the Web, not IE.

    8. People seem more open to the idea of a non-XP interface now that they're forced into it everywhere else.

    ...I could go on. I would say that most of the flavors of Mint aren't for me (I don't like the absence of rolling releases), but there are plenty of alternatives. I was pleasantly surprised, for example, the last time I tried out Xubuntu.

  • (Score: 0, Redundant) by gishzida on Monday March 31 2014, @09:01PM

    by gishzida (2870) on Monday March 31 2014, @09:01PM (#23759) Journal

    -sarcasm flag- ...Mint doesn't have Internet Explorer... How can it be like XP without Internet Explorer?

    -/sarcasm flag-

    • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:25AM

      by gishzida (2870) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:25AM (#23939) Journal

      Oy Gevalt! The moderator mash of redundancy!
      Is there irony or sarcasm here?
      I know.
      I know!
        -I- am redundant
      which is why I can spend
      as much time here annoying you...
      but you? Don't you know how to READ? ---

      I raised the sarcasm flag... Did you flunk Dr. Suess?
      But I've taken it down now, you Oh so nearly famous Moderator Goose,
      For it is obvious you'd not know a Zillion Ampere touch of Zeus,
      Nor the sweet taste of sarcasm and its use.

      No you apparently don't, won't, can't shan't...
      It is beyond you!

      YOU!
      You Sur-moderator!
      Hear you this: Your commentary is obviously pungent,
      Your bias and opinion are unfailingly redundant!
      I find a kind of glee in your alleged ascendency
      with the powers of micro-momentary famously feigned pendantry.

      "Ha! I say! Ha! THAT! IS That!"
      I hear you say in your bestest pendantry endantry.
      "Ha! I say! Ha! THAT! IS That!"
      So No is no... you apparently don't, won't, can't shan't...
      The truth of everything is beyond you!

      You Sur... Your editorial commentary opinion FAILS
      Are you by chance related to the editors of Jimmy Wales?
      This Soylant place has the blessing of Ada, the Goddess of Data
      But thee? Return! Get thee down into the Darkness of Beta!!!

      But before you go
      so it won't be said I did not try:
      let me educate you
      you ignoble Child of Uranus--

      It as I had predicted in a previous post.
      Turkey has turned unwanted traffic to toast... [go look you'll see} [soylentnews.org]
      And rather than say I told you so
      I chose to devalue a comment without value
      to make fun of its irrelevant cheesiness of the comment above mine
      (a comment about Little Caesar's Cheese which of itself might be taken as editorial commentary of the editor's!)

      but you Sur-Moderator
      Simple, noble, and the fighter for higher something something something
      you have missed your teachable moment
      Fox News has nothing on you
      your editorial truth is better
      (especially when yours is kept in fetter)

      You're gracious, Geisel-able and great
      at least in your own mind
      Ah so sad, sad Sur-kind
      You are not but a Pseudo-anapest
      who has failed to get
      the cream of the jest.

       

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:37AM (#23947)

      Some web devs might tell you that Internet Exploder works BETTER under Linux.
      Under Windoze, you can only have ONE version of that dreck installed at a time (the Windoze Registry sucks).
      Under Linux, you can have as many as you want installed and even running at the same time.

      How well do those behave? Some better than others. [codeweavers.com]

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 1) by maddening milkshakes on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:16AM

    by maddening milkshakes (3983) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:16AM (#23821)

    Windows RG has been around for years and it's exactly like XP.

  • (Score: 2) by Appalbarry on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:27AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:27AM (#23825) Journal

    Decent, free alternatives exist for email, office, book-keeping and web-browsing.

    I'm a long time Mint user, and do virtually everything with Open Source applications.

    The one exception to that is bookkeeping, which gets done with Quickbooks in a Vista VirtualBox instance.

    I looked long and hard for something that could replace that, and came up empty handed. There was no shortage of suggestions (GnuCash, GnuCash, and GnuCash) but in all honesty they weren't close to what a small business needs.

    And equally important, aren't what our accountants are accustomed to.

    My recollection is that there may be a couple of options for very large enterprises, but nothing suitable for small operations.

    Also, The GIMP is not Photoshop.....

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:57AM (#23951)

      bookkeeping[...]suggestions (GnuCash, GnuCash, and GnuCash)

      You may want to investigate Gnuaccounting. This article was written last summer. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [techrepublic.com]
      Jack is a Quickbooks guru and he was intrigued enough to give it a look.

      ...and I wonder just how interested your contacts in the bookkeeping sector are are in providing maximum value if they aren't up on what's available gratis (and libre).

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:11AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:11AM (#23933)

    That's it, I'm sold!