Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by Paul Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
You can be reluctant to switch to (or not want the bother of
learning) Linux, without being an "MS stooge".
Post by Paul
You can easily install VirtualBox from Sun/Oracle for
free, and load up a Linux setup in a VirtualBox window.
*You* can easily do that. I guess I probably could, if I put my mind to
it, but not *easily*.
Post by Paul
Linux is under constant test here. Not every day, but
sampled when stuff is released. I have around 32 VMs,
stretching from perhaps Ubuntu 7.04. My stack of DVDs is
around a foot and a half thick. I get to see the successes
and the failures ("Pulseaudio" with ALSA compatibility
(Wow.) I used to have such enthusiasm for fiddling (though not to _that_
extent!)! My interests have changed over the last decade or decade and a
half; my main leisure activity these days, I think, is genealogy. I've
changed in other ways too - my TV watching is very different, for
example, and not just because of technology changes: I watch far less
news these days, despite it being more available.
Post by Paul
The Update policy on Linux, has varied with time. At
one time, it was purely under user control. Nothing would
happen, without the user. Now, the practices have become
more varied, and more user research is required to
remain in control. It's not Windows Update, but...
I suspect there is some inevitability in moves in that direction as
something matures (over decades).
Post by Paul
So by all means, give it a whirl. Taste the pudding.
Unlikely, I fear. (Eating - that's another thing I vary less now,
although I was never a great seeker after novelty in that area.)
The problem with any experiment is when to decide that it's done.
If you want a hobby, or some software that only runs on linux,
virtualbox can...maybe do what you want. If you need direct
hardware support, VBox may not support it. On the other hand,
the limited hardware emulation in VBox may insulate you from
problems you'll have when you directly install linux on the hardware.
Ditto for live DVDs.
Great for taking a quick luck at the user interface, but you can't go
much past what's installed on the DVD already. You can expect that
to work well. Problem is when you start to dig below the surface.
There are skeletons down there.
The real fun is when you want to get all the hardware working.
The gurus will tell you that it's trivial to dual boot.
First issue is that dual-boot is such a PITA that you'll rapidly
grow tired of it.
And, the install screen probably gives you the option to
overwrite the whole disk or partition it yourself, with NO guidance
on which, how many, what size to make 'em.
That kind of non-support is one of the big reasons that newbies
have difficulty. You may do an update and receive the option
to update GRUB. What the heck is grub? Ok, sure update it.
Well, your windows may no longer boot. It's not hard to prevent if
you're a guru. For the rest of us it's not hard the second time.
The first time, you'll pull out all your hair.
If you really want to defect from windows, go buy an old cheap
computer to run linux independently. Tweak it until you're ready
to leave windows behind and just do it.
You'll see endless pissing matches over which distro with which
desktop manager. You can learn ANY desktop manager or user interface.
Play with live DVDs and pick the one you dislike least.
Windows 10 has set the bar very low.
Don't sweat it; it'll be different soon anyway.
The problem with desktop linux is getting it do do the FUNCTIONS
you currently use in a manner familiar to you. Expect to relearn
everything and just do it. There are some things you won't be
able to do. If you use those in windows, prepare to give 'em up.
Your peeps will not change to linux just so they can do it your way.
Seriously...Play with linux on a DIFFERENT computer.
Stand in your front yard and yell, "I need an obsolete computer!"
By next morning you won't be able to get out your front door
for all the computers piled up. If you're on my block, you won't
even have to wait 'till morning.
Do not experiment with linux on the same machine you use for
your daily activities. I've tried it numerous times and usually
ended up shooting myself in the foot. The price of old computers
is nearly zero.
It's a no-brainer.
If you're unable to reconfigure a junk computer,
you have no business trying desktop linux. It requires
much the same mindset.