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  #1  
Old 02-12-17, 23:25
The Shadow The Shadow is offline
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Default realistic alternative?

Hi,

anyone recommend a Realistic everyday use alternative OS that is compatable with most windows type Programmes? (inc Office particularly Outlook)

I dont have forever to learn a new system so something close in use to W7 would be ideal; just getting fed up with MS really.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-12-17, 09:56
george29 george29 is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

Hello,

Would really say No.

Linux is not for the non technical, Chromebook does not run all windows programs and the Windows 'clones' are just that.

For your security suggest you opt for the free AT W10 upgrade before its withdrawn at the end of the month.
Though the opening screen and tiles look so much different, once tailored to your needs it can look and operate very similar to w7 and w8; we like it.

What makes you fed up with Windows ?
If you have the applications of your choice, then you should not see much of windows ?

Perhaps some new hardware like a SSD or new larger monitor might spice things up..?
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  #3  
Old 04-12-17, 17:14
Bally1001 Bally1001 is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

Can't say I entrely agree with you George 29.......Like The Shadow, I was getting frustrated with MS and its constant (and unnecessary) updates, not to mention all their, not so obvious, data harvesting.
So, I installed a new SSD in my old W7 laptop and installed Linux Mint.....It's true to say you can't use Windows format software.....However, generally speaking there are decent alternatives, Libre office suite for example is more than adequate, GIMP photo software is well worth using, Firefox for Linux is just as good as for Windows.
I'm certainly no IT expert, but Linux Mint really is so easy to install and use and there are loads of YouTube videos offering great tips. In addition to a forum for newbies and experts alike.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-17, 21:13
george29 george29 is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bally1001 View Post
Can't say I entrely agree with you George 29.......Like The Shadow, I was getting frustrated with MS and its constant (and unnecessary) updates, not to mention all their, not so obvious, data harvesting.
So, I installed a new SSD in my old W7 laptop and installed Linux Mint.....It's true to say you can't use Windows format software.....However, generally speaking there are decent alternatives, Libre office suite for example is more than adequate, GIMP photo software is well worth using, Firefox for Linux is just as good as for Windows.
I'm certainly no IT expert, but Linux Mint really is so easy to install and use and there are loads of YouTube videos offering great tips. In addition to a forum for newbies and experts alike.
Hello Bally,

We agree with everything you have said !

A SSD is probably the best even upgrade for a PC you could make.

We have also set up Linux Mint Cinnamon, as you say a really efficient system with a host of good free programs included that allow you get get up and running , literally within the hour.

The problems with Linux is if you want to add anything non standard, then you have to get versed in the Sudo commands which can be confusing for some, including us.

It also depends on the programs you want to use, the more specialised the program, the less chance it will work under Linux.

The other big question mark for Linux is should you run AV software ?
Sounds a simple question, and you will get answers in depth, but not the same, some say yes, some say no ...?

At the very least you realistically need to keep a Windows system available.

As for who follows you around, they will still be doing it under linux, but like windows its up to you to use browsers, search engines etc that offer you privacy. If you stick to Chrome,Google,Gmail,Ebay and social sites etc it makes little difference what the OS is.

Updates, Linux does it more discreetly, but you can control what MS gives you to some degree , we would rather have the slight inconvenience waiting of MS to update with its security patchs than not at all.

As I mentioned earlier, if you take system images of W7, then do try the free AT W10 upgrade before its withdrawn, you can always restore back to W7, but you will still be activated for W10 should you want to return.


Its all down to how involved you want to be with the OS... though having done all the above we are content to just use MS and concentrate on our regular application programs etc .
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  #5  
Old 04-12-17, 23:37
Joe-King Joe-King is online now
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

I'd like to offer a different viewpoint.

When I found myself in a position to have my present computer purpose-built, I didn't want Windows anywhere near it, so I installed Ubuntu.

Installation was simple enough, but getting used to an unfamiliar OS was a bit of a struggle at first, and had I gone for a dual-boot system there were times when I'd have reverted to the system I knew, but that's exactly why I chose Ubuntu only.

I've run one virus scan this year, and that was only after a dodgy "repair man" maliciously screwed things up. I can only assume he did that because I hadn't given him full access to my files.

Unlike Windows, nothing can be installed or uninstalled in Ubuntu (and this applies to all Linux "distros") without your password, so a virus would effectively have to "ask permission" to infect your system.

I don't fully understand about "ports", but in Windows they're open by default, whereas in Linux they're closed, keeping hackers out and reducing or eliminating the need for a firewall.

Libre Office comes with the OS, as does GIMP, which some say is superior to Photoshop. I can't comment on that because I've never used Photoshop or GIMP.

Libre Office can handle just about any MS Office file, except .pub and .epub, but I understand these to be Kindle formats anyway.

Best of all, Linux users never have to spend a penny on software. The operating system itself is free, and the Software Centre has tens of thousands of free programmes stored in secure "repositories" and available for immediate download. Choose what you want, click on Install, type your password and that's it. No need even to reboot in most cases.

No more Googling for software, eliminating the associated risk of dodgy downloads.

Enthusiasts try to frighten people with terminal commands, but I hardly ever go near the terminal, which (for those old enough to remember it) is like a much more powerful version of DOS.

I wouldn't touch Bill Gates' spyware with a barge pole nowadays.

If you're tempted, but not quite sure, why not try a dual-boot system? You download the (free) setup file, create your own installation DVD, and can choose dual-boot as one of the installation options, or even run it - very slowly - directly from the disc you've created without writing anything to your HD.

I believe you can also install/run it from a memory stick.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-17, 23:48
Joe-King Joe-King is online now
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

An afterthought. You choose the .iso file appropriate to your needs. In my case it's the one for a desktop machine.

After downloading it, put a blank DVD-R or DVD+R in the drive and close any messages that come up.

Right click on the .iso file and choose "Write to Disc".

That's it. Wait for it to finish, reboot with the disc in the drive and you'll have the option to Install or to "Try" it. If you choose "Try", it will run from the DVD, so you can decide whether you like it. It runs a lot faster once it's installed. Here's the URL for Ubuntu.

https://www.ubuntu.com/download

You'll be prompted to make a donation, but that's optional. Just click on "Not now" (or words to that effect) and you'll be taken to the download link.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-17, 09:43
george29 george29 is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

Hello,

Just a footnote to Joes footnote, for anyone looking to try Linux.

While Joe has a powerful top end i7 PC, one of the key points of Linux is it needs very little in the way of hardware resources.

It will more than happily run on an old W7 laptop.

( that said we have W10 running ok on what was originally an old Vista Laptop)
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  #8  
Old 15-12-17, 16:16
tarjalan tarjalan is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

A realistic alternative, yes, linux mint.

Download the iso and write it to a usb stick.

Boot from the usb stick - may have to press a key as you turn laptop on to change boot order.

Nothing will be written to your win system.

If you like it, select the install icon and it will walk you through the procedure which takes a fraction of the time of a windows install - no faffing about with driver downloads, installation of Firefox, Libre office (works as well, in my opinion, as the MS alternatives), pdf reader and many more is automatic.

I have used mint to breath life into many old laptops.

Unless you use some obscure programs then there are usually programs available.
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  #9  
Old 16-01-18, 21:07
The Shadow The Shadow is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

Gents,
I thank each of you for your thoughts and comments; doubtlessly I will give one or more of these options a try once I have the time to devote to it.


George 29, the issue is not really the machine lacking “spice”, (suffice to say it is high end enough to have water cooling, a decent SSD and a total of 5TB of extra storage over a further two drives (plus that again on external HDD) Blue ray drive, 16GB (room to double) of memory and a reasonably quick Graphics card and is connected to a 27” screen and full surround sound setup. It starts in seconds and is more than capable of performing whatever task I need).


The issue is the fact that Windows is a MS product with their lack of attention to security and stability, the endless patches for security flaws and relentless drive to harvest every bit of information about me that they can so as to sell it to third parties. Please understand that I Paid for Windows when I purchased the machine; if it were free like the “give away” upgrades I could decide if it were a fair price to pay for a “free” OS.
I do actually run two W10 laptops plus another W7 Desktop so I am not unfamiliar with their other products; indeed I have been using Windows since the days of 3.1 and have used every version since then. I also use a pair of ipad’s, as I won’t use any Android product based on the fact Google is more intrusive than even MS.


For me, the issue is that I resent the attempted intrusions, the often unneeded updates (why would I Care about how the currency symbol for Azerbaijan is displayed for example or the latest update for some obscure code writing language I have never heard of?); also the updates that crash the machine because no care was taken in their writing, and the data harvesting is then the last straw.


My business is nothing to do with computers and I lack any kind of formal training about them whatsoever, however I have made myself sufficiently competent to take the occasional dive into the registry and settings so that alongside router tweaks, a VPN, fire walls, antivirus and anti malware, anti ransom ware and plain common sense backing up routines and simple good practice, I am confident that all my machines are more secure than 90% of the public’s and my data recoverable. More than that, they leak very little data for “harvesting”.....but should I Really have to do this?
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  #10  
Old 18-01-18, 09:42
george29 george29 is offline
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Default Re: realistic alternative?

Hello,

Think we tend to agree in general with your concerns about MS Windows, but as you have found there is no practical alternative.

If your operating system was not updated regularly, bet folk would be complaining just as much as they do now about too many updates, though to be honest we never find them a problem, actually welcome them being assured we are kept up to date by MS who at least have the resources to do this.

As for privacy from MS, again agree, though there are many published ways of reducing feedback to them.

However they are probably small fry compared to all the others collecting your data, surely no one is better at it than Google ?

Then of course there is the individual who just likes to splash every detail of their lives all over the web, even joining a forum where you put your real name and real birthday ....

Quote:
...but should I Really have to do this?
Thats just the needs of this modern techno world, a constant battle against the fraudsters and crooks, Better safe than sorry .
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