Co-existing with Windows and Linux - Portable

This is a discussion on Co-existing with Windows and Linux - Portable ; I have an exciting situation for crossing the chasm from Windows to Linux. Context: i) I am a business user with some technical background. ii) I use Windows XP with the following applications on my (non-Linux) laptop: MS Word, Excel, ...

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Thread: Co-existing with Windows and Linux

  1. Co-existing with Windows and Linux

    I have an exciting situation for crossing the chasm from Windows to
    Linux.

    Context:
    i) I am a business user with some technical background.
    ii) I use Windows XP with the following applications on my (non-Linux)
    laptop: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Internet Explorer. My
    non-Linux laptop, running Windows XP, is my primary machine.
    iii) I use my Windows latpop to connect to an Exchange server via VPN.
    iii) Due to sheer "bad luck", I am encounter "blue screens" all the
    time. The lost time is impacting my credibility and survival (since I
    use my laptop to earn a living as a consultant). I don't have the
    patience for doing an RCA (root cause analysis) of why the blue screen
    is happening because of the sheer complexity of the business model
    around non-Linux operating systems and hardware.
    iv) I have a real need to co-exist with both Windows (Plan A) and Linux
    (Plan B). (Plan A: Laptop running Windows) (Plan B: Laptop running
    Linux) (Details of why I need to co-exist are out of scope of this
    email thread)

    Here are my requirements:

    a) A pre-owned (certified, recycled, used) laptop running Linux.
    b) The Linux laptop will be used to perform all the things that I do in
    steps (ii) and (iii) described above.
    c) I am searching for a one-stop shop which will listen to my needs and
    assemble all the right lego blocks as a service offering. I can then do
    a "one click buy" to co-exist with Windows and Linux.

    I am serious about crossing the chasm to Linux.

    Thanks for any advice / pointers.

    Umar


  2. Re: Co-existing with Windows and Linux

    If you have data that is important to you in Microsoft formats, you
    know how to work with Microsoft products but require a more stable
    platform than Windows then an Apple portable would seem a far more
    rational choice. It runs all your current office software unlike Linux,
    it has none of the stability/virus issues of Windows and, because it is
    now a unix operating system, it also runs effectively all the Linux
    software. You can happily run the KDE/Gnome and OpenOffice software
    alongside the Microsoft software without having to reboot.

    Linux has many attractions and I use it on most of my computers. I even
    have an old Linux laptop which I use primarily for connecting to kit
    (this is one of the things Linux is good at) but it is not much use for
    working with Microsoft format files. Windows or a Mac are the only
    "real world" choices if you have to work with people generating and
    consuming Windows format files. Of course, if you do not interact with
    such people then it is possible to put together a reasonable Microsoft
    Office equivalent but this is playing more to the weaknesses rather
    than strengths of the Linux platform.


  3. Re: Co-existing with Windows and Linux

    Umar Reyi wrote:
    > I have an exciting situation for crossing the chasm from Windows to
    > Linux.
    >
    > Context:
    > i) I am a business user with some technical background.
    > ii) I use Windows XP with the following applications on my (non-Linux)
    > laptop: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Internet Explorer. My
    > non-Linux laptop, running Windows XP, is my primary machine.
    > iii) I use my Windows latpop to connect to an Exchange server via VPN.
    > iii) Due to sheer "bad luck", I am encounter "blue screens" all the
    > time. The lost time is impacting my credibility and survival (since I
    > use my laptop to earn a living as a consultant). I don't have the
    > patience for doing an RCA (root cause analysis) of why the blue screen
    > is happening because of the sheer complexity of the business model
    > around non-Linux operating systems and hardware.
    > iv) I have a real need to co-exist with both Windows (Plan A) and Linux
    > (Plan B). (Plan A: Laptop running Windows) (Plan B: Laptop running
    > Linux) (Details of why I need to co-exist are out of scope of this
    > email thread)
    >
    > Here are my requirements:
    >
    > a) A pre-owned (certified, recycled, used) laptop running Linux.
    > b) The Linux laptop will be used to perform all the things that I do in
    > steps (ii) and (iii) described above.
    > c) I am searching for a one-stop shop which will listen to my needs and
    > assemble all the right lego blocks as a service offering. I can then do
    > a "one click buy" to co-exist with Windows and Linux.
    >
    > I am serious about crossing the chasm to Linux.
    >
    > Thanks for any advice / pointers.
    >
    > Umar
    >


    If you have the tools, try a boot RAM check. Sounds like you've got a
    bad stick in there, and this is usually the cause of BSODs on laptops.

  4. Re: Co-existing with Windows and Linux

    Umar Reyi wrote:

    > I have an exciting situation for crossing the chasm from Windows to
    > Linux.
    >
    > Context:
    > i) I am a business user with some technical background.
    > ii) I use Windows XP with the following applications on my (non-Linux)
    > laptop: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Internet Explorer. My
    > non-Linux laptop, running Windows XP, is my primary machine.


    Install OpenOffice on both Linux & Windows. You've find you'll be able to
    do most, if not all your MS Office work with it. You can download OO from
    openoffice.org. Version 2.0 was released last week. You might also want
    to move the "My Documents" folder to a FAT32 partition, to make it easier
    to move files between systems. You can also run MS Office under Linux,
    using a utility called "wine" or a commercial app, based on wine, called
    CrossOver Office.

    > iii) I use my Windows latpop to connect to an Exchange server via VPN.


    Some VPNs have Linux support. I use OpenVPN, which is available for Linux
    and Windows. There's a Linux e-mail program called Evolution, included
    with many distros, which works well with Exchange Server.


    > iii) Due to sheer "bad luck", I am encounter "blue screens" all the
    > time. The lost time is impacting my credibility and survival (since I
    > use my laptop to earn a living as a consultant). I don't have the
    > patience for doing an RCA (root cause analysis) of why the blue screen
    > is happening because of the sheer complexity of the business model
    > around non-Linux operating systems and hardware.


    I consider having to use Windows "bad luck". ;-)

    > iv) I have a real need to co-exist with both Windows (Plan A) and Linux
    > (Plan B). (Plan A: Laptop running Windows) (Plan B: Laptop running
    > Linux) (Details of why I need to co-exist are out of scope of this
    > email thread)
    >
    > Here are my requirements:
    >
    > a) A pre-owned (certified, recycled, used) laptop running Linux.
    > b) The Linux laptop will be used to perform all the things that I do in
    > steps (ii) and (iii) described above.
    > c) I am searching for a one-stop shop which will listen to my needs and
    > assemble all the right lego blocks as a service offering. I can then do
    > a "one click buy" to co-exist with Windows and Linux.


    ThinkPads tend to be good for Linux. I have an R31 which works well with
    Linux and I'll be getting a T42 at work next week. I'll have to see how it
    is with Linux .A friend has a T22 (IIRC), which he runs Linux on and a
    couple of other friends have a recent Dell and Toshiba, both with Linux on
    them. Also HP has some models that are (were?) available with Linux. If
    you don't mind non name brand computers, you can find some from small
    makers that support Linux quite well. There is one company I'm aware of,
    that sells notebooks loaded with Linux or no operating system, for less
    than the same model with Windows XP Home.
    Go to www.angelcomputer.com for details.




  5. Re: Co-existing with Windows and Linux

    >
    > Three things;
    >
    > First, Windows XP and Linux can co-exist on the same laptop and hard drive
    > that you have now. Any current distribution (Slackware, Red Hat/Fedora,
    > SUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu and many others) should work just fine with your
    > current laptop. All are freely downloadable and most can be installed (and
    > safely re-partition your existing hard drive without harm to Windows XP) in
    > as little as 2 hours or so.
    >
    > Second, If your concerned about dual-booting your laptop consider purchasing
    > a second hard drive to swap out. One for Windows XP, one for Linux and much
    > cheaper than a 'new to you' used/recycled laptop.


    I agree that dual booting is the better answer, you'll want at least an
    80G drive and preferably a 100G drive for a dual boot system. If your
    current drive is at least 80G then what you need to do is to resize the
    NTFS partition to give you room for Linux. The Mandriva installer can
    resize an NTFS partition. I don't recommend Mandriva as a distro, I
    prefer Fedora Core 4, but it's worthwhile downloading a copy so that you
    can use it's installer to repartition your disk. Once you've created room
    for Linux you can install any distribution that you want. If you own a
    copy of PartitionMagic8 that's and even better tool for resizing an NTFS
    partition, PM8 is not worth buying since Mandriva is free but if you
    already have it use it. The procedure for doing the resize is as follows,

    1) Backup everything that you need. Resizing is usually pretty safe but
    you should assume that there is a good chance that you'll roach your file
    system.

    2) Run the Windows disk optimizer to defrag and pack the NTFS partition.

    3) Resize the NTFS partition giving half to Windows and half to Linux.

    4) Using the installer for whatever distro that you choose, partition the
    free space, give / about 8G, swap 2X your RAM size, and the rest to /home.

    If your current disk is smaller then 80G then buy a 100G drive and replace
    your current drive. Then do the following,

    1) Install XP first using the restore disk that came with your system.
    When you do the install you'll have the option of partitioning the drive.
    Create an NTFS partition on half of the drive and leave the other half
    unformatted. There is a good chance that a clean XP install will fix your
    Windows stability problems, consider that a bonus.

    2) After XP is installed you can install Linux. All of the major Linux
    distributions will recognize that XP is already on the system and their
    installers will add a Windows boot option to the bootloader, generally
    grub on most distributions, lilo is still used by Mandriva (they give you
    the option of using grub if you want).

    3) Follow the same partitioning rules that I gave before, 8G for /, 2X RAM
    for swap and the rest on /home. You might want to create an extra 8G
    partition to hold / for a future upgrade. I always do upgrades to a
    different partition then the one I'm using so that I can easily switch
    back to a know working OS if I'm unhappy with the new version.


  6. Re: Co-existing with Windows and Linux

    General Schvantzkoph wrote:
    > I agree that dual booting is the better answer, ...

    [[good advice snipped with snippo the wonder snipper]]

    I'd be inclined to make a small FAT partition, perhaps 5Gb, that can be
    mounted both under Linux and Windoze. Writing to NTFS is vastly
    improved, but I'd be cautious and use a FAT partition.


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