And … it’s no use telling me to go for “Line-Ux” or “Geek-OS” or any such stuff (always free! Why?)

David Davis

If it was any good (or at least, useable by non-techies who have wives and families to socialise with (or else!) and do NOT have all the time in the world to drink coffee night after night after night as single tech-geeks pleased to do nothing but “solve” “problems”), then they’d be able to sell it, surely?

14 responses to “And … it’s no use telling me to go for “Line-Ux” or “Geek-OS” or any such stuff (always free! Why?)

  1. Have to be honest I found the change over from Windows Xp to Linux(Red Hat) to be easy.
    Insert disk and load it up.
    Install aps
    Job Done.

  2. Yep, it’s like getting people to move from statist politics to libertarian politics — the fear of the unknown is the big difficulty (“but how could we cope without nanny?”), not the reality.

    I dual boot XP and FreeBSD. I wouldn’t recommend BSD to a newbie, but any of the main Linux distros will install and run out of the box, and will include some useful office apps — which is important to those of us who want to actually do useful work, and not spend all day fiddling with our kernel (or whatever).

  3. they’d be able to sell it, surely

    They are able — see the Red Hat link I posted previously.
    Mr. Vessey is absolutely correct concerning the “out-of-the-box” features of modern distributions, and that it is indeed fear that keeps people away. That and laziness. I have had the following conversation many times:

    User: Windows sucks! It did $bad_thing to me.
    Me: Why not try Linux instead?
    User: Does the desktop look exactly the same as Windows, or will I have to learn something new?
    Me: It’s similar to Windows, but certainly not identical.
    User: I’ll stick with Windows, then.

    which is important to those of us who want to actually do useful work

    Computers that actually work are very important to me also. There’s not enough time to be fiddling with computers when I should be using them to do research.

  4. OK, we’ll give it a go. DD

  5. Please feel free to e-mail if you need any assistance.

  6. ” .. they’d be able to sell it, surely .. ”

    echoing knirirr, it can be sold and is quite successfully too, you just don’t have to buy it to use it legally. What’s more, there is no objection to you selling it either – with the following priviso:

    1. add value to the package.
    2. credit the original authors.
    3. there may be a few more which I can’t be bothered to think of now…

    I don’t sell it, but have been using linux exclusively at home for about five years now.

    Oh, and by the way, the internet pretty much runs on Unix, of which Linux is a varient.

  7. That Linus Torvalds must be the bain of Gate’s life. I think a lot of it, at least from my perspective, is that I’m reassured by expense. I mean, if you buy something expensive you know there is reason enough to expect it to work. Download something for free and you can’t complain if your PC blows up. I think I’ll give it a shot now though, and that Lavasoft is good, I had that on my last PC (Before I downloaded something for free and it blew up…)

  8. Download something for free and you can’t complain if your PC blows up

    True, but Microsoft do say the following in their EULA:

    Except for the Limited Warranty and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Microsoft and its suppliers provide the Software and support services (if any) AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, and hereby disclaim all other warranties and conditions, whether express, implied or statutory, including, but not limited to, any (if any) implied warranties, duties or conditions of merchantability, of fitness for a particular purpose, of reliability or availability, of accuracy or completeness of responses, of results, of workmanlike effort, of lack of viruses, and of lack of negligence, all with regard to the Software, and the provision of or failure to provide support or other services, information, software, and related content through the Software or otherwise arising out of the use of the Software.

    Not much better than no warranty at all, then!

  9. I would welcome some help in installing UBUNTU vers 8.1 to dual-boot on a 180 Gig Hard Drive with Windoze XP already installed. And I would be happy to PAY someone to talk me through it! The INSTALL proggie on the UBUNTU CD doesn’t seem to give me this option. I got it wrong once and wiped my Hard Drive… >:-}



  10. TH: “I would welcome some help in installing UBUNTU vers 8.1 to dual-boot on a 180 Gig Hard Drive with Windoze XP already installed.”

    Re: your existing hard drive.
    1. How much free space is left on your 180G drive.
    2. Does Windows XP control the whole hard disk, or is there space not used by XP – where you could install UBUNTU?

    A lot depends on how critical your existing data is – has it been recently backed up. And how do you want to partition the drive between the two O/S.

    I am always wary of doing anything to the partition table of one of my own systems, but even more so, with somebody else’s.

    I would be inclined to put an additional disk into the machine, good cheap 40GB drive seem to be going for £20 – £30 , then install the new O/S onto that. But that is because 1. I am a bit of a belt and braces type fellow.

    And you could always check out the UBUNTU web site and user forums at

    Folk there ought to be able to give you some hints and tips how best to prepare the PC for the install.

  11. APL:

    About 150 Gigs left free on the HD.

    All of this is presently available to XP.

    The first time I installed UBUNTU, I had prepared a Linux partition for it with Partition Magic, which I can no longer find. This worked well. The ‘second hard drive’ is probably the best route: what if I partitioned the existing HD?

    Many thanks,


  12. Tony – I suggest that you back up all of your personal data and then try this, leaving about 100 GB for Ubuntu.
    You will probably be safe, but re-partitioning a disk always has a possibility of error, as does opening up your machine and adding a disk (they can be damaged by static discharge).

  13. Partitionmagic 8.1 or higher has always worked for me (touchwood.)

    BUT I would ALWAYS do something drastic on a new physical drive only though, or another machine (better) if you have one. you can always port stuff across later.

    The trouble I have just been through i have happily sorted on the living (one) machine, thank God.

  14. Thanks to knirerr!

    I now have a dual-boot Linux & XP system!

    And now the TV picture has dsappeared… >:-{

    Can I connect a SKY+ box to an LCD display??