Re: I Want to identify best Linux approach, and any pitfalls.

On Mon, 30 Jan 2006 18:09:40 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

> I have use Linux a fair bit, but not for some years and never as a
> desktop..simply couldn't get the applications for it..
> Now it seems that enough of the applications I need are available for me
> to almost switch off Windoze forever - or at least relegate it to an old
> machine in the spare room.
> what I would desperately crave from the assembled experience is a guide
> to what machine, OS version, and indeed extra software - free or
> commercial - I would need to get the required functionality.
> The machine will be run as a wired networked machine with one MAC OS9
> and one PC Win 98SE on a local network, behind a NAT router broadbanded
> to the Internet. I am happy with nearly all of the networking issues -
> atalk and samba etc. I include that for reference only.
> Printers will be an ageing Laserjet 6P (already networked: Talks LPR)and
> a HP designjet 650C large fornmat inkjet...parallel only that
> mice if teh MAC cold talk to it though..ghostscript?
> I believe drivers are available for both.
> I will need some form of CD-ROM or DVD burning for backups and data
> exchange.
> I'd like to play DVD's as well, but I understand there are issues.
> Ideally I'd like to use an integrated cheap motherboard with Intel
> graphics chips. Built in sound and networking etc.
> What I need is a desktop that is as near Win98 as I can get, without
> exccessive configuration..I don't want to waste time learning X windows
> subtleties if I can avoid it - and a reliable web browser - Firefox
> NEARLY works, but some sites I used daily require IE6 rendering engine
> and Java implementation..what else is there? Mozilla with IE6 rendering?
> Yes, I know the sites are broken but....
> Mail and Usenet is fine with Thunderbird.
> Word and Excel? Well open office of course...but will that print labels
> and envelopes? I.e. will I have full access to both trays and so on with
> whatever drivers the machine can be equipped with? And will the open
> office understand how to use them?

I prefer AbiWord and Gnumeric - they are smaller quicker stand alone apps.

> I have very little requirement in terms of interoperability with MS
> products, other than being able to spit out files that WORD can
> understand, and read my old WORD files.
> Other things I want to do involve graphics, and here things get trickier.
> I want to scan in stuff on my HP Scanjet LOOKS like there is
> support for this at least.

Should be no problem.

> I have a Nikon Coolpix camera with USB interface...I'd really like to be
> able to pull images off that and delete them on it without going mad...

Much better to use a USB card reader and save the camera batteries - but
I've plugged a Coolpix 2100 in and it works.

> I want to edit bitmap pictures - basically Photoshop functionality..I
> guess GIMP will do?

GIMP does all I need - basic photo editing. I've also loaded the panorama
tools and stitched together some decent panoramas.

> I want to do CAD and drawing work - this has so far been a bit of a
> problem..I would really like to use my CorelDraw, but it simply won't do
> the biz even on WINE allegedly..Xara suite may be an option if they ever
> port it..and I have been investigating CAD stuff like qcad, but its not
> that good. Any discussion on CAD and 'artistic' drawing programs that
> run native would be of extreme use. I will pay for the roght software
> here as this is something I use a fair bit. - has what seems to be a good commercial package for Linux.

> Apart from that of course a decent C, C++ and maybe Java development is
> needed..but thats a little down the road. To start with I want my normal
> desktop day to day tools running.
> What I am hoping that you can help me with is deciding which hardware
> NOT to get (more than identifying the correct best spec units) and
> identifying anything that WON'T work.. I am leaning towards SUSE Linux,
> but have no particular religion - used Debian and Redhat in the past ..
> Plus any extra software that would be needed to get functionality up to
> roughly what I have here, without crashing...;-) :-) Mind you, since
> installing Thunderbird it all seems more stable anyway..
> Please feel free to open up debates on any and all issues.
> If you want to reply to one topic only - may I suggest you trim the post
> above to just the relevant areas...hopefully this thread will be of use
> to others than myself.