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Subject: Re: Do I Want Linux?
From: Jay Smith <jay@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 10:16:09 -0500
Organization: Jay Smith and Associates
(Long: if you don't have any interest in Linux, delete this.) Rick, We currently use Linux for our network server and Win95 to boot our PCs as workstations. We moved to Linux from another unix flavor early this fall, thus we were already in the unix camp, at least in terms of networking. Linux is as much a religion as it is an operating system. It is "free", but as with any major implementation, the real cost is in the support and training, etc. The majority of the software that runs on it is free. Literally THOUSANDS of people and many of the world's largest software companies are writing software for Linux and GIVING it away -- in the hope that you will buy other of their services or products. Bug fixes for Linux software are often made available within days, if not hours. I have witnessed action on newsgroups whereby one person reports a problem in a particular package, the developer of that package actually PERSONALLY responds (don't go into shock!), and a few hours later posts the url of the site from which the new version can be downloaded free. When you load a Linux package, the name and email address of the primary is usually there. You can contact that REAL PERSON, but of course they are not going to have time for newbie questions -- but they can usually point you to the necessary resources. Furthermore, there are usually newsgroups that cover every possible linux package. Linux for the DESKTOP *can* be sophisticated. There are web sites that show pictures of just how incredibly sophisticated they can be. For example, at this very moment, I am sitting at a Win95 PC. However, I am writing this email on Netscape 4.7 for Linux. The Netscape is running in a "Gnome" (one of the possibilities) desktop which is an "X" program which is run on Win95 by a "X windows manager" (XServer) (we use SCO Xvision 7.3). For my Gnome desktop I have chosen a Gnome windows manager called Enlightenment (which I like, but some people don't). The Gnome and Enlightenment, in combination, give me VIRTUAL DESKTOPS -- the taskbar at the bottom allows me to click in any number of virtual desktops; I normally run with four. Those four desktops currently contain and are running simultaneously: two different Netscape sessions, logged in as two different email users; and a total of 12 different terminal sessions running on two different servers (on Linux and one UnixWare) that are running a total of 7 different programs. IN ADDITION, I am concurrently running on Win95: WordPerfect8, FrameMaker556, and I go in and out of ATM, PageMaker, PhotoShop, and whatever else I need. To get to the Win95-based programs, I simply ALT TAB. Now, understand, that my Linux is running on a Network server -- and has several other users too. My Linux windows are being run on the PC by an Xwindows program (Xserver) -- when I am working in Linux "on the PC", the activity is really taking place on the server. The server is nothing fancy -- a DUAL-pentium Pro 300 with 396 MB of RAM (that much RAM because we run a major Oracle database installation and have data files larger than 396 MB). When most people, such as yourself, ask "should I consider Linux", they are asking about using Linux as their primary operating system for a single-user PC. The current problem (in my power-user, overly-demanding, and always completely correct opinion - ha!) is that there are not enough "normal" applications available on Linux YET. For example, I have heard that the Linux equivalent of the Word or WordPerfect environment is still not up to "PC users" expectations. Regardless of what one's personal opinion of Word or WordPerfect is (WordPerfect is incredibly better than Word), they are both extremely highly evolved programs. The Linux Star Office (which I think it was recently CONTRIBUTED by Sun???) is the heir apparent for this role in Linux, but still needs work. For PhotoShop users, there is the PhotoShop-like Gimp on Linux (love these names!) -- FREE. However, I personally would NOT YET bet a company's workflow on Linux AS THE PRIMARY DESKTOP. At the same time, I WOULD (AND HAVE) BET THE COMPANY'S NETWORK STABILITY on Linux -- and am very pleased. Linux makes NT look like DOS 2.0, IMHO. HOWEVER, Linux has an incredibly steep learning curve. Don't kid yourself. Just the same, if I was going to experiment with Linux on the Desktop (remember, you can always build a multi-boot environment and have BOTH Linux and Win9x on the same PC), I would ABSOLUTELY use Red Hat 6.x. Pay the $60-some dollars for their CD, documentation and included installation support. Don't try to download a free version of the core Linux, because you WILL want and need the support. REMEMBER, ALL THIS SOFTWARE and O/S IS TYPICALLY **FREE**. Another important aspect, especially for people like you, Rick, is that as part of the Linux license, the source code for Linux software must be available and EVERYBODY has the right to modify and redistribute -- if you have a better idea, YOU can make it happen. I have not seen the FrameMaker Linux distribution, however, if all is done properly, one should be able to have the FrameMaker source code and MODIFY/FIX/IMPROVE it as desired. Now, wouldn't that be interesting.... Jay Rick Quatro wrote: > > This may not be the forum for this, but I'll throw it out there anyway. What > are the advantages of Linux? My background is FrameMaker for Mac, now > Windows 95/NT. > > Rick Quatro > Carmen Publishing > 716 659-8267 > firstname.lastname@example.org > FrameScript Information at http://www.mindspring.com/~frameexpert > > ** To unsubscribe, send a message to email@example.com ** > ** with "unsubscribe framers" (no quotes) in the body. ** -- Jay Smith e-mail: Jay@JaySmith.com Jay Smith & Associates P.O. Box 650 Snow Camp, NC 27349 USA Phone: Int+US+336-376-9991 Toll-Free Phone in US & Canada: 1-800-447-8267 Fax: Int+US+336-376-6750 ** To unsubscribe, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org ** ** with "unsubscribe framers" (no quotes) in the body. **