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Tech: Windows 8 - prerelease versions

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JohnInKansas 05 Mar 12 - 12:36 PM
Desert Dancer 05 Mar 12 - 12:57 PM
Acme 05 Mar 12 - 01:07 PM
Acme 05 Mar 12 - 01:12 PM
John MacKenzie 05 Mar 12 - 02:37 PM
GUEST 05 Mar 12 - 02:43 PM
GUEST 05 Mar 12 - 02:58 PM
Tootler 05 Mar 12 - 04:18 PM
Bert 05 Mar 12 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Mar 12 - 07:45 PM
EBarnacle 06 Mar 12 - 12:39 AM
Acme 06 Mar 12 - 01:00 AM
EBarnacle 06 Mar 12 - 10:55 AM
GUEST 06 Mar 12 - 11:35 AM
JohnInKansas 06 Mar 12 - 12:07 PM
Acme 06 Mar 12 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 12:21 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Mar 12 - 01:45 PM
Tootler 06 Mar 12 - 02:31 PM
dick.hamlet 06 Mar 12 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 03:53 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Mar 12 - 04:22 PM
GUEST 06 Mar 12 - 05:13 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Mar 12 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 09:03 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Mar 12 - 12:21 AM
michaelr 07 Mar 12 - 01:01 AM
Bert 07 Mar 12 - 03:44 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 12 - 05:33 AM
gnomad 07 Mar 12 - 06:27 AM
Tootler 07 Mar 12 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 12 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Mar 12 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Mar 12 - 11:42 AM
gnomad 07 Mar 12 - 12:14 PM
Tootler 07 Mar 12 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 12 - 02:20 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Mar 12 - 07:11 PM
michaelr 07 Mar 12 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,stan 07 Mar 12 - 07:51 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Mar 12 - 09:31 PM
Bert 08 Mar 12 - 12:38 AM
JohnInKansas 08 Mar 12 - 01:43 AM
EBarnacle 08 Mar 12 - 11:25 AM
Tootler 08 Mar 12 - 12:13 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Mar 12 - 01:17 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Mar 12 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,999 08 Mar 12 - 02:04 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Mar 12 - 04:24 PM
Bert 08 Mar 12 - 04:36 PM
EBarnacle 08 Mar 12 - 08:48 PM
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Subject: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 12:36 PM

I haven't seen much solid information, but with the "public release" of a beta version of Windows 8 others may have comments, so this can be a place for them. (If no one has anything useful to add, a clone may move this to BS where I considered posting it.)

Preliminary reports on the preliminary released versions of preliminary Windows 8 indicate that it is likely to be almost impossible to use with a mouse and keyboard. According to Microsoft you just "wave your hands at it" and "everything happens."

Having seen some illustrations of the "new start menu" (which incidentally has no functional "start button"} I'll get directly to the point and quote from a recent commentary (with which I agree fully):

"Calling [the Win 8 startup menu] "ugly" isn't fair. It's not ugly. It's what happens when Ugly and Stupid get drunk and make a baby inside Fukushima's minimum safety perimeter."

I've seen it. It is just as he describes it.

Microsoft has obviously decided to be "idiot friendly" and has progressed more and more toward systems that only an idiot could use (for whatever idiots do). It is my considered opinion that they are of the opinion that only idiots should use their products, and while I haven't found an adequate replacement for my current setup (still marginally useful since it's somewhat obsolescent) I promise to do my best to oblige them.

I'll try to pass on anything helpful that I happen to find.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 12:57 PM

My teenage son tried to give it a try the other day, but I don't think he succeeded in installing it (we've got a minimal [= slow DSL] internet connection at home and he was having download problems). If/when he succeeds, I'll let you know what he has to say.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Acme
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 01:07 PM

Microsoft manages to come up with a dud about every other release, doesn't it? And a gem about 1 in 3. WinME was horrid, as was Vista. WinNT, Win2000, XP, and I'd say Win7Ultimate have been very good. I seemed to have a lot of problems with it during the Win95 and Win 98 era. I haven't adopted all of the versions, sometimes sticking with an older solid one (XP) until a newer solid one (Win7) comes along. Based upon that pattern, I'll probably skip Win8 and see what the next attempt brings.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Acme
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 01:12 PM

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/history


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 02:37 PM

Well there was 311, there was XP, and now there's Win7. All the rest were crap. IMHO


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 02:43 PM

Ihave absolutely no intention of using Windows 8, having only just begun to get my head around Windows 7.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 02:58 PM

Ditto.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 04:18 PM

The best windows OS Microsoft produced was windows NT. We had NT4 at work for some time and it was rock solid stable and reliable. WinXP was OK but eventually all the computers we had at home with it became cluttered with all sorts of junk and no amount of decluttering would sort it. I suppose I could have reinstalled but with all the business of multi digit access codes it was just too much hassle.

When the rubbish called Vista came along, I migrated to Linux. Best move I made. Reliable, stable, secure easy to update and upgrade and highly customisable and no M$ telling you what you should want or making life difficult if you don't want to do it their way.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Bert
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 06:46 PM

XP was probably the best that they ever managed to achieve. They have certainly not done better since then.

I'm with Tootler. Linux is the way to go. Especially as it is free.

The only reason I am using 7 is that it came with the computer and Linux doesn't run MicroStation.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 07:45 PM

I hate the social tyranny of mobile phones
and have absolutely no interest in Win 8's attempts to appeal to the facile whims
of the 21st Century cretin culture generation...

So I'll also stick with XP and Win 7 set to retro 'Windows Classic Theme'on my PCs.

But what I am genuinely keen to make the effort to try out
as soon as I refurb an old and creaky Celeron PC with extra Ram
is "AV Linux"

http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html

I've never before had the confidence to install & learn to use linux
but every indication is that AV linux is the ideal starter package
for musicians with non expert computing skills.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:39 AM

When I have spoken with Microsoft people, they told me that Win 8 is specifically designed for "less able" machines with lesser hard drives and less RAM. That means tablets and smart phones. I suspect it also means windows XP machines. I will probably try it on one of our older machines to see how it goes. If it works, I will report back.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Acme
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 01:00 AM

What do you want to bet that if you put it on one of your older machines that it doesn't play nicely with all of your older peripherals? Win7 has refused to notice several things I had on my previous computer. There are supposed to be emulator programs for XP equipment, but I haven't tried it out.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:55 AM

So far, everything I have plugged in on my Win7 machines has worked, including printers and CD/DVD burners. The one peripheral I worry about at present is my Bravo CD printer that Dick gave me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 11:35 AM

This reminds me of a Herman cartoon in which the caption read, 'Exactly what is new, improved lettuce?'


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:07 PM

Win7 has refused to notice several things I had on my previous computer. There are supposed to be emulator programs for XP equipment

So far as I've been able to tell, the "emulator programs" consist of ability to run in a "virtual OS" mode that is only available in the Win 7 Ultimate (the highest priced) version of Win 7. It's not clear without having "Ultimate" but it appears that in order to run the "virtual OS" application you need a separate partition on your hard drive for the alternate OS, and if you're going to have a separate partition you might as well just "dual boot" and pick the OS you want, although the "virtual OS" method may(??? - can't tell and Mickey won't tell you) be able to move between two similar OS types to run programs from both sort of at the same time. Microsoft doesn't make it clear, but it appears that in order to dual boot or to use the virtual OS mode in Ultimate you must have the prior OS installed and install the newer (Win7) version after the previous one is in place and operable, as an upgrade. You cannot reinstall the earlier OS version after Win7 is installed in order to get the dual version functions - although information about this is typically vague.

You also must "move up" to "Ultimate" in order to enable any of the "system tools" Micorsoft claims are available for finding and fixing any of the "little annoyances" that eventually accumulate in any OS. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't clearly tell you what useful differences exist between the various versions, so it's up to you to "infer" from vague "Ad-Speak" blather that "you should send more mmoney if you really want something that works."

The biggest failure (and it's nearly complete) by Microsoft is in abdicating all support to their "social network" bulletin boards where you can find nothing but opinions from people you can't identify who offer their imagined hallucinations about problems they've obviously created through their own stupidity, based on the assumption that everyone else is as ignorant as they are. Since Microsoft takes no responsibility for any "help" offered, even when someone who posts there claims to be "from Microsoft" you can't tell if they're a programmer or a mail-room clerk. (Or whether a programmer knows any more than a clerk.)

Microsoft (apparently intentionally) deleted virtually all information related to older OS versions from their "Knowledge Base" some time ago, apparently as part of the attempt to get people to quit using Win98. Some bits of information seems to have crept back in, and there have been occasional "new articles" there; but that previously helpful resource is obviusly no longer maintained.

"Help" files that come with newer Microsoft programs could be reduced to a single link: "Click here to post your question on our social network" since that's usually the only result given when you search in Help. You can post a question, but it won't be answered credibly.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Acme
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:12 PM

I use Win7 Ultimate, and I have room for another partition. And I've done the dual boot thing before (pain in the ass and something to be avoided unless you can't avoid it. . . ).

I'll look into it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 12:21 PM

Microsoft has finally lost the plot. They are such a big company that they no longer understand their own products and they now can't fix any of the problems because they do not know how.

Win 7 (home version) works for what I want the computer for. As for answers from big companies? Forget it. They won't give you any.

I answered a request regarding the up-coming 'new look' for g-mail and why I haven't switched. I said, "Because it looks like shit!" Didn't even get a reply from them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 01:45 PM

I'm afraid that the problems aren't limited to Microsoft.

Another recent example comes from Adobe.

I have, and still use, PhotoShop Elements, version 2. It will not load in Win7 without Administrator permission each and every time I open it. I bought Elements version 9, which runs okay, but the menus have been rearranged and "iconized" so that they're unintelligible, and are in a fixed color system that on my computer makes the icons virtually INVISIBLE. Everything is "automated" so that any functions that were once useful have been eliminated, or so completely hidden that they're inaccessible. Most useful functions were just deleted. I also have version 10, which is not much different than version 9.

Adobe "Help" files are very thorough. You can enter " How do I **** " for almost any function and it immediately finds " You can *** " but without anything further to tell you HOW TO ***!!. In rare occasions when it says " click on the #### " there's no clue as to where the #### is buried among those unintelligible invisible unidentifiable icons, but it must be somewhere deeply hidden. (Or maybe it's in another program you're supposed to have?)

"Computer" hardware is now pretty much sold just like washing machines. It's literally impossible to find specifications complete enough to distinguish between any two possible machines. They're all pretty much the same, and most retail sellers only offer the bottom scrapings from the barrel, available for the cheapest price (or at the maximum mark up).

Microsoft probably needs to quit trying to claim they're in the "computer business" and admit that they're just another "telephone company" now, since their only interest seems to be in "not so smart phones."

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Tootler
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 02:31 PM

The only reason I am using 7 is that it came with the computer and Linux doesn't run MicroStation.

Have you considered setting your computer up to dual boot? Most Linux versions will let you do that and you can then use Linux for everyday tasks and have your Windows partition for specialist software where you have to use Windows.

I had my computer set to dual boot when I first started with Linux with XP on the Windows partition but the few Windows programs I used will run under Wine so I abandoned dual boot when I got my present computer as I had problems with the initial set up.

I checked the Wine AppDB for MicroStation and it said it would not run. I'm not surprised as heavy duty commercial software like that often doesn't - it usually needs too many specialist resources. The last entry was 2004, mind but I doubt the situation has changed significantly since then.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: dick.hamlet
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 03:29 PM

I've used dual-boot Linux/Windows systems (and triple-boot when
I got Mac hardware!) for many years. The ideal configuration is
now a big improvement on that: You run Linux as your system, and
install a "virtual OS" program (I use a free one called "virtualbox",
but there are several). You put Windows (or other things that shall
not be named) in as virtual OSs, and use them without rebooting.
It's actually faster and easier to start the virtual machine than
it is to boot the native system, and files can be arbitrarily shared.
I have both XP and Win7 in mine.

It still may be a hassle getting Linux up the first time (and there
are boxes on which you can't, yet), but it's worth it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 03:53 PM

Where does one find the Linux system?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 04:22 PM

If you put "Ubuntu" into a search, you should easily find a version that you can download/burn directly to a bootable DVD (it may fit on a CD?) and you can try it out by booting from the disk. Of course you'd probaly want to put it on a hard drive (in a separate partition) if you decide to do much exploring of what it can do for you.

I believe I've heard of several others that are "portable" like Ubuntu, but was the one fairly generally suggested by users for an "introductory" look not too long ago.

Those actually using Linux probably can come up with links to what's best installed for more general use.

I used a bootable Ubuntu recently (downloaded within the past 2 months) when one of the kids showed up with an old clunker that a previous user had "cleaned out," that had NO operating system on it. The unknown previous owner's cleanout was a bit of a puzzle since some other stuff was left on the drive (i.e. he didn't just reformat) but the Ubuntu boot let me look at enough properties. Since it had only 1 MB RAM and a 30 MB hard drive (with similarly obsolete other hardware) it was easy to recommend it for the scrap heap.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 05:13 PM

Many thanks, John. I'm getting really tired of Mr Gates' products and the frequent questions from them. Intrusive stuff like "What is your phone number? because by having that we can protect your personal information better." Sheesh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 08:58 PM

The only time I've had Microsoft ask me for a phone number was when I managed to call them for a support question, and the request seemed reasonable if it was assumed they'd try to call back if there was a "disconnection." Since they no longer offer any telephone support (without a credit card for the rather extortionate charges up front) that was probably at least a decade ago - maybe two decades.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 09:03 PM

That was the question asked of me this AM when I opened my g-mail. No kidding.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 12:21 AM

So far as I've seen, even Microsoft isn't stupid enough to ask for personal information in an email, although lots of "phishing" emails try to look like they're from some place "official" to get you to give them information. My guess, from what you've said here, is that you're getting criminal correspondence, rather than anything from a legitimate source.

I have received such scamware in the past, from "the IRS," a couple of banks, FedEx, and a couple of credit cards that I don't even have. The 50% of them that I contacted confirmed 100% that they were fakes and thanked me for reporting them. I don't get many recently since my AV blocks the known ones and "flags" any others that might be even remotely suspicious.

I assume you didn't give them an answer(?).

On the off chance that you did, the usual advice is change every password you've ever used. RIGHT NOW OR SOONER.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 01:01 AM

I found the link posted by punkfolkrocker to be very interesting to a recording musician.

What I wonder is, Should one buy a new, clean machine to install Linux on (Can I get a Dell?), or can I put it on my box?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Bert
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 03:44 AM

Tootler, you say ...Have you considered setting your computer up to dual boot?...

I tried that once with a separate hard drive for Linux. It installed fine but wiped out my C drive in the process. And I had bought the Linux version with the instruction manual. When I called the author of the book, he calmly said "Oh, it might do that".

I have been loath to try it since.

But I do have an old machine here that I will install Linux on as soon as I can make the space for it on my desk.

Thanks for the suggestion though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 05:33 AM

As far as I can see all MS versions are a doddle compared with Android - what a load of rubbish that is!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: gnomad
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 06:27 AM

Some Linux flavours are very light on resources. I am, for instance, typing this on an old laptop (my very first PC) which started life with 128MB of RAM, since upgraded to 384MB, currently running Bodhi Linux on its 20 gig hard drive.

It functions fine as a net browser and e-mailer by my bedside. Video is a bit jerky and not full-screen for newscasts and u-tubes, but the sound is smooth enough. The machine described by JiK above could run a number of different versions of Linux.

I have tried a few of the dozens (probably hundreds) of Linuxes available (you can even compile your own version if you get crazy about it) and found them a very mixed bag, particularly as regards ease of installation. Some established products from large teams of developers are very slick, others much less so. As a non-techie type of person I am not the target-user for a number of the systems, and I have found myself completely baffled by some that claim a low operator-skill requirement.

You need to be prepared to break things a few times and start again, but Linux is definitely worth a go. A separate partition is essential, a separate drive or machine better. I have found distrowatch a good place to start from.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 07:05 AM

Tootler, you say ...Have you considered setting your computer up to dual boot?...

I tried that once with a separate hard drive for Linux. It installed fine but wiped out my C drive in the process.


Modern Linuxes are pretty good in that respect. When I started, I used Ubuntu and during the installation you got the option of partitioning the hard drive and leaving Windows in place, which I did and everything went fine. It still pays to back up your C drive in its entirety, though in case anything goes wrong. Nothing is perfect.

Ubuntu also have a system called "Wubi" which sets your Ubuntu up as a program within the C drive. I tried it that way to start with and it went fine.

I now use Linux Mint as Ubuntu messed around with the desktop and I didn't like what they had done. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and is, if anything, better for a newcomer as the main menu is where someone coming from Windows would expect it to be. I installed a "lite" version of Linux Mint on my old computer for a friend of my wife and it worked fine. There are many versions of Linux and as the previous post says, distrowatch is a good place to start. Most Linuxes come as downloads which you put on a bootable CD or USB stick to test and install.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 08:44 AM

Thanks, John. No, it wasn't after I opened my account. It was on the sign-in page. I never give info in e-mails. Appreciate your advice though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 11:41 AM

AV Linux

"AV Linux is first and foremost a well-rounded OS suited for most common daily computer tasks and runs on most PC's and Intel Macs. On top of this versatile base is a full complement of the best Linux Audio and Video creation software encompassing both open-source excellence and commercial demos..

.. By combining the general efficiency of Linux and enhancing it further with a light Desktop Environment like LXDE it is an AV Linux mandate to keep older PC's in daily use."


http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html


I'm definitely interested if anyone here has already installed this FREE 'all-in-one' Linux PC recording studio software suite;
and your experiences, opinions, of it's practical use...???

Most reviews I've read so far are positive and convincing it's worth trying.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 11:42 AM

eg:

www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/jamies-mostly-linux-stuff-10006480/specialized-linux-distributions-av-linux-50-10022790/


www.linuxjournal.com/content/home-av-linux


and one less favourable review for balance:

http://linux.softpedia.com/progViewOpinions/AV-Linux-48850,.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: gnomad
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 12:14 PM

The website linked to by pfr indicates that the system can be run on a USB key, ie without installation on your hard drive. Why not just try it and see how you like it? Live DVD is another possibility, but IMO gives only a rather poor idea due to repeated pauses for reading the disc.

Running from a key is a slower and less satisfactory process (than a full HD install) in my experience, but it does give a good idea whether a particular distribution plays nicely with your hardware, and will give you a chance to try out any more specialist software included. If you like what you find then actual installation becomes so much more worth the bother.

This has all strayed rather from the initial purpose of the thread. At some point I have a couple of Win7 upgrades to carry out (not looking forward to that) but I suspect they will be the last for me. I am finding I can do more without Microsoft, and I don't really like the direction they are taking their systems.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 12:27 PM

blickified

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/jamies-mostly-linux-stuff-10006480/specialized-linux-distributions-av-linux-50-10022790/

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/home-av-linux

http://linux.softpedia.com/progViewOpinions/AV-Linux-48850,.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 02:20 PM

Perhaps the following passage explains why I tend not to prat about with Linux:

"The information on this web site begins with the modular kernel USB host side stack originally coded by Linus , as an alternative to previous experiments with a monolithic stack. That nucleus shipped in the Linux 2.2.7 kernel, and has subsequently been enhanced by the Linux-USB developer community. Most of that initial work was seen in the Linux 2.4 kernel series, and some of it was backported starting with the 2.2.18 kernel. (Neither USB-Storage nor High Speed USB are supported in the 2.2 line of kernels."

I'm afraid that my monolithic stack could clash with my modular kernels! And if I'm not careful I might even backport a kernel!

Aaaaaagggghhhh!!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 07:11 PM

From what I've seen of it, from rather superficial looks, Linux now is at about the same place as Windows 3 or 3.5. You have a system that can do everything, and you can choose to use a graphical (like Windows) interface or to do nearly everything in Command Line (like DOS).

In that era, most Windows users remained somewhat knowledgeable about DOS, and used it fairly frequently when it did things that were "difficult" in the Windows view.

Linux setups that I've seen still require(?) at least some use of the command line (mostly similar to DOS, but with slightly different names for the functions) at least during setup, and to get all the applications in place. This can be a bit scary to those who have only used recent Windows, and it does require a minimal amount of that somewhat foreign thing called "thinking;" but it seldom leaves permanent scars and will seem quite natural once you've learned a bit of the language. The equally unknown (to Windows users) function, colloquially called RTFM, can also be helpful, and may even be necessary (although excessive use can, rarely, lead to bizarre personality problems1).



1 (The therapy has been helpful, but a complete cure is difficult.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 07:28 PM

Shimrod - perhaps that passage does explain something, but I don't understand any of it!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,stan
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 07:51 PM

Not come across RTFM for ages. Happy memories.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 09:31 PM

No problem, GUEST,stan. The term does pop up here occasionally, enough to be recognized by a few.

I've thought of refering to the BRS method for technical repairs, but doubted anyone would get it. They'd all just ABEND.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Bert
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 12:38 AM

...do nearly everything in Command Line (like DOS)...

The Linux command line has access to two or more fully implemented programming languages, which means that from the command line you can do anything that you want. It has always been way more powerful that any version of DOS.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 01:43 AM

When it was created, DOS was pretty much a copy of the essentials of Linux/Unix with some of the function names "prettified" so they'd be less scary for less technical users. The earliest IMB-DOS retained some "non-inutitive" calls that were mostly removed in early MS-DOS versions, but most (definitely NOT ALL) programs written in one would run in the other.

Then, as now, other programming languages can be called into either Linux or DOS.

At last count, some time ago, the Linux "vocabulary" included more like 60 separate "fully implemented" programming languages - not just two. Dozens of other "special purpose" languages are in the bag as well. I don't try to keep track and I'm sure 60 is a very conservative estimate for the reasonably complete ones now.

Remaining "DOS," now called just "Command Line" by Microsoft, can command more than a dozen very powerful distinct languages, with nearly as many variants as are available for Linux. Since "DOS" (like Windows) is used in a more limited context than Linux/Unix there's little need or use for as many variants there.

There's no need to argue that one is better than the other (or to get "all defensive" when people who should know better try to do it).

They're just a little different.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 11:25 AM

I'm still looking for citations or other use of RTFM from prior to the Korean War.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 12:13 PM

RTFM is also known as (less concisely, but more politely) as "When all else fails, read the instructions"


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 01:17 PM

RTFM was used in the US military, and was apparently familiar to many of the troops by the time I had any contacts there, but my direct experience with the military doesn't go back quite to the Korean era. It was a well established usage very soon after that, however, and must have been well known before then. In the military usage it had nothing to do with computers, and "Army Manuals" were a fact of life at least back to early WWII days (and some of them are still pretty good).

On the computer side, I don't immediately find a historical lineage for any of the "RTF" series of "replies to ..." but do note that the New Hacker's Dictionary 2d edition (1993) refers to RTFB as the only one not used as at least mildly derisive/derogatory to the one to whom a reply is directed.

Since hardly anyone before the Korean era would be likely to know how to Read the F*g Binary (even if such a thing had existed) the whole set as used by computer geeks probably isn't older than that. (RTFB was mostly used as an expression of exasperation over the complete non-existence of any documentation or other information about something that doesn't work, as in "Oh SH*T, we're gonna hafta RTFB.")

An intermediate term, RTFS (Read the F**g Source) would be preferred if the source code was available, and could be used as a "reply to" or as a simple "resigned declaration," so of course RTFB was appropriate only if even that didn't exist.

In UK usage, it's reported that a first response to a "newbie" question might be just RTBM (Read the Bloody Manual), followed by RTFM (considered "stronger language") if the newby came back for more.

The "more polite" RTM also was used, although infrequently in my experience.

RTFAQ also appeared pretty far back, but presumedly only after the FAQ form/method for evading support questions was fairly common. Since at least those who got paid for something did - until recently - provide at least some support for their products, that particular one is likely to be one of the "youngest."

There have been prior threads here discussing origins of some other terms (SNAFU/FUBAR, et. al), some of which do have known usages going back quite far; but I don't recall the RTF* series being included.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 01:22 PM

A report received today on a survey by PC Advisor Reports:


Windows 8 Survey: Half Who Have Tried the OS Wouldn't Recommend It

Fewer than half of the 2900 readers who answered our survey said they were satisfied with the new interface.

By Edward N. Albro | PC World | 08 March 12

People who have installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview praise its speed and the changes to Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer, but most readers who answered a PCWorld survey aren't satisfied with the new Metro interface--and half indicate that they would be unlikely to recommend the new operating system to a friend.

****

No comment.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 02:04 PM

John, there are times I promise myself I will never buy any machine unless the company promises not to improve it.

Consumers seem to get sucked in by advertising that promises the world--in fact, when I decided to go with g-mail the 'promise' at the time was "you will have unlimited storage". Guess what?

I appreciate that real-life practical things can be done with one of the/or combinations of the six simple machines. I am not a troglodyte, but there are times . . .

Computers often remind me that many problems can be resolved with a hammer.

I have never had a real understanding of how electricity works. It just does. And I am grateful for it, having lived a few years of my life without it. Then I am reminded that I lived over half my life without a computer and the shenanigans that go with them. They seem to be conditioning people, and I revolt at that notion. The BS years back was that they would cut back on our use of paper. That is a lie. What they have done is to allow employers to expect then demand more work from employees. We do more and more with less and less until we do everything with nothing. However, I don't know the solution to getting off the Ferris wheel.

It's a good thing I'm fast approaching my demise, because I'll be able to 'live a simpler life'. It's something I will welcome.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 04:24 PM

I'm not sure I agree with:

We do more and more with less and less until we do everything with nothing.

The impetus I see, especially with the new stuff is that everyone wants to have more and more, but are happy to do practically nothing (useful) with it.

If employers actually had more and more (useful) work for employees to do, PowerPoint would not exist, since it's only functions are to:

a) give the boss something to easily assign the crew to do that will keep them uselessly employed so they don't bother him/her.

b) give the boss a chance to take a nap while they make a "presentation" of their "work," while (s)he gets to pretend to be interested in what they've done - when if fact they haven't really done anything at all - any more than the boss really gives a rat's a** what they've done.

Maybe I'm too hard on it though, 'cause if they work real hard at it those slides can be "real purty" so they can feel like they did something "arty" even if it doesn't help the business, and art don't really have to be useful. ... so ...(?)

Like Ellen says at the end of the show:

       Aw Well....

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: Bert
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 04:36 PM

When it was created DOS didn't have any control structures. I have not looked at it for years so I don't know what it does now.


...many problems can be resolved with a hammer...

Unfortunately not enough are.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 08:48 PM

John, the reason I am asking for earlier citations on RTF* is exactly what you describe. As you say, manuals,etc. came into common use during WW II, along with the need to train lots of people. So did initialisms. Put the two together and you have it. However, I have been unable to find any documentation that RTF* did occur prior to Korea.


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