Is Linux actualy usable?


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Mouldy Punk
Not to split hairs here, but your points were all good up to this one.

The problem isn't that Linux is "not usable". It is that the app is not supported in that platform. Linux would be an inappropriate choice for an OS to run that app, but the Linux part would still be just as usable or not regardless of AutoCAD. It would be far more accurate to say AutoCAD would be "not usable on Linux" then to broadly declare "Linux is not usable".

If all you're using the machine for is AutoCAD-ing then not being able to AutoCAD renders the entire machine unusable, OS and hardware included.

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markjensen
If all you're using the machine for is AutoCAD-ing then not being able to AutoCAD renders the entire machine unusable, OS and hardware included.

By that logic, OSX is "unuable" as an OS.

Certainly, it is not the appropriate platform choice, and is "not usable" for that task. But I think that most people would agree that OSX is quite "usable".

As a counterpoint, I could claim that Windows is "not usable" because it doesn't run Cinelerra. Or Apple's Shake. Of course this doesn't mean Windows is "not usable", it just means that it is not the appropriate platform.

I guess what I am saying is that your line of reasoning ends up with all OSes being "not usable", by basis of specific apps, and that when you end up on that logical platform, then you really aren't discussing the OSes at all, are you?

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Mouldy Punk
By that logic, OSX is "unuable" as an OS.

Certainly, it is not the appropriate platform choice, and is "not usable" for that task. But I think that most people would agree that OSX is quite "usable".

As a counterpoint, I could claim that Windows is "not usable" because it doesn't run Cinelerra. Or Apple's Shake. Of course this doesn't mean Windows is "not usable", it just means that it is not the appropriate platform.

I guess what I am saying is that your line of reasoning ends up with all OSes being "not usable", by basis of specific apps, and that when you end up on that logical platform, then you really aren't discussing the OSes at all, are you?

I'm discussing whether a computer has the use that is desired depending on the OS. You are 100% correct in saying that if all you want to do with your machine is use Apple Shake, then a Windows machine would be useless for that task (unusable). A linux machine cannot not be used if the functionality needed is to use autocad. If a machine cannot be used, it is unusable.

I'm not saying linux is always unusable though, I'm saying that just like every other OS out there, it is entirely unusable for certain situations. It just depends entirely on what you want to use your computer for, which is why I said in my wall-of-text post earlier; "The question "Is Linux actually usable?" is too vague".

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ichi
Like someone else mentioned and got falsely accused of trolling. Linux does also lack professional (read, industry standard) applications. Photoshop, AutoCAD, 3DSMax, CuBase, MS Office (docx support isn't in OO.org until version 3 if memory serves correctly [iDK if that's out yet]).

True, to some extent: you have software like Maya, Softimage|XSI (I'd say these two are far more "industry standards" than 3DSMax) and Shake (which, on the other hand, doesn't run on Windows).

While there is GIMP instead of photoshop, for a graphics professional who has been trained on photoshop, has been using it for years and knows it like the back of his hand, why should he learn a totally different (and totally unintuitive imo) user interface to do something that 'just works' on windows/mac. The blame of this can't be entirely on linux developers mind you, it's 3rd party developers that don't see the need to make linux versions which if you think about it, is fair enough. If your company can afford the ?800 license or whatever it is for photoshop, you can probably afford windows and won't skimp out by going for a free linux OS.

Didn't Disney switch to Linux running Photoshop on Wine years ago?

If, however, you're an engineer who has been trained to use AutoCAD then no. It is not usable. I don't know what AutoCAD alternatives there are for linux, but I'm 99% sure they won't be as 'good' as software that is used by thousands of professionals around the world.

I'm not really into CAD products so I can't comment on the quality of the alternatives, but I was under the impression that professionals used AutoCAD not because it's quality but because of format lock-in.

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Fish

Somewhere between Gutsy and Hardy the GUI tool for screens and resolutions got left out. I'm sure it was in the early alphas/betas of Hardy, but who knows...

Anyway, it's still in Hardy, there just isn't an entry in the menus.

sudo displayconfig-gtk

... will launch the tool, from there you can select drivers, monitors, resolutions etc...

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dmd3x

I heard Adobe Photoshop CS2 will run on Wine now, and since I have CS2, I think I'm going to give it a shot.

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TonyNZ
I heard Adobe Photoshop CS2 will run on Wine now, and since I have CS2, I think I'm going to give it a shot.

screenshot1dg8.png

Wouldn't say its usable for advanced users

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dmd3x

what are you trying to show with that screenshot?

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dmd3x
Wouldn't say its usable for advanced users

What do you mean by this I mean lol

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roadgeek9

Going back to the original question...

Yes, Linux is usable. There are several free alternatives to many programs used on Windows. For example, OpenOffice = Office 2003, Photoshop (almost)= GIMP. If there is anything you can't use in Linux, it might run in Wine.

In terms of driver support, as long as your Linux distribution's latest version was released after you got your computer built, you should be fine. In some cases there are exceptions. For example, when I first got my laptop in August 2005, I tried to install SuSE 10.0 (released October 2005), but it didn't even recognize the USB.

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afusion

I tried using GIMP but it's just not the same..

The menu system is just weird with all the layers, brushes, and text tools(horrendous part of GIMP imo)

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k311

linux is usable, but not for the average person.

Tonight, it took me a lonnnng time to find a suitable manager for my ipod. Yeah rhythmbox and amarok and all those guys are included in the distro and easy to find. but i wanted to edit the coverart associated with metadata on the mp3s on my ipod. it took me an hour or so to find floola (which, i highly recommend from what im seeing so far). But the average person won't look that far.

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9

disclaimer: my interests are 99% desktop. my only interest in networks is getting the LAN working, and getting on the net (securely).

I tried using GIMP but it's just not the same..

The menu system is just weird with all the layers, brushes, and text tools(horrendous part of GIMP imo)

there's a re-gui for gimp (http://www.gimpshop.com/ - "gimpshop") that's said to imitate photoschop's look.

I've spent little time with either. What I tried to do with (the) gimp (on winxp), likely can't be done with any bitmap editor.

What i did with photoshop, should have been a lot easier. The ui is as much of a horror as gimp's. But you have to pay more for photoslop. :-)

Too often you need to SIMULTANEOUSLY press ctrl, shift, alt, F15, Scroll Lock, ton l?c, and whatever else combination keys (AND stick a red marker into your left ear, and close your right nostril while clicking the 5th button of your mouse onto the center of the blob of bubblegum stuck under the desk since 1963) to get things done in both. and a digitizing pad is useful, i guess.

I guess psp died after corel (?) bought it?

If I were more interested in 2d gfx, (only based on what I've read) I'd try paint.net

for almost everything I do, irfanview is good.

Photoshop's only advantage is that there are books at the library about it. grab a few, then find out the hard way which book(s) is better.

Linux itself(itselves)...

multiple desktops aren't very useful. (just a slight advantage). xfce isn't very customizable (via the gui. perhaps editing pixels in text files is the way to finesse the layouts?)

as for apps on Linux, I've tried some LiveCDs, and Firefox works ok. ran konqueror (sp?) for a short while. seemed ok, but i didn't use it enough. midnight commander is ok.

the text editors i tried aren't as good as 2 or 3 i use in win. I haven't tried reading pdf's, or word processing or spreadsheets (ugh, likely a large re-learning curve for spreadsheets) I didn't try much to apt-get, rpm, deb whatever,because I haven't really installed any distro. but the console commands didn't work. plus you have to type them exactly, the lines can be lengthy, there's no obvious way to paste lines, and my typing's cr#p. so it's very tiresome/unproductive jiggering around in the cli. If i ever get apps in linux, I'll be using scripts.

I haven't tried running Proxomitron (or any win app) thru wine yet. but if wine can run with low "resources", proxo will be one of the 1st I get working. else, I'll try importing filters into privoxy &|or proxomodo.

the web's a filthy wasteland without filters :-)

with win, I'm used to cutting out a lot of bloat I don't use (registry tweaks, etc). So from IME with linux, i think i need to begin with the more bloated distros, and gradually cut out the stuff I don't want. the lite distros/desktops/whatevers likely start out too slimmed in the wrong ways (for my usage).

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ViperAFK
screenshot1dg8.png

Wouldn't say its usable for advanced users

What metacity theme is that?

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cork1958
I know quite a bit about computers but is Linux actually usable, I mean lack of driver support is the most important thing holding it back. This is where I need your help, is there a site of where I can find a list of all the drivers that are bundled into Linux distros like Ubuntu, etc. Or where can I get them?

Please help?

Simply put, yes, it's VERY usable!!

Use it everyday on 1 or another of my 6 desktops. Have Windows on all but one of them also. VERY SELDOM do I use that thing!!

The ONLY thing I can't do with Linux is use either of my Visioneer scanners and that's half the reason I even keep Windows installed. Only can't use the scanners because of Visioneers ignorance in developing drivers!! Won't buy another Visioneer, that's for sure.

Want a very good, light Linux distro? Click my sig and enjoy!!

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9

found my notes from last year (I had more determination then). distro was dynebolic 2.4.? "nested" and "docked" (nice. once "installed", startup is a very quick initial boot from CD, then loads most OS from the HD)

only disappointment was that firefox profile lost, i guess because the profile directory is not in the userdocs/whatever directory? so it doesn't get saved to the "nest"?

xfce

nedit. spellchecker gave errors. cannot paste from pdf. I think this is the editor in which you're stuck choosing an editor font from among terrible fixed fonts.

missing too many features for a text editor.

searchmonkey is very good. much like agent ransack, but ui is not as compact (due to xfce?)

ted (almost useless, quirky IIRC) But better than edlin :-) Can paste from pdf (now I don't recall how i read pdfs. must have been thru firefox plugin)

rox-filer (overall, somewhere between win3 and win95.)

firefox (couldn't figure out how to update to latest 2.0.0.n) almost the same as ff in win, except drag n drop crippled. (and no proxo)

scribus slow loading. I made no other notes, I think cuz also, scribus isn't really a texteditor.

adia very good (tho i think in my notes, i typed something very quickly about a significant undo limitation) use font omegaserif88593 Had color syntax list, but lacks css & html. no macros? can drag urls from firefox addressbar. no spellcheck (?)

can't drag urls into abiword or ted

i tried 4? other distros, but only slax made it very far. (kde. but i couldn't shrink it. it stayed fisher-price scale)

what looks even better for testing distros than CDs, is booting from floppy or cd or whatever, then loading the full "liveCD" from image on usb hard drive. should be fewer data errors on the drive vs a cd.

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garethevans1986

Yes its very usable......why dont you get an Ubuntu LiveCD (bootable CD/DVD) and have a play.

Im dual booting Ubuntu with XP now......havnt looked back.

GE

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1759

I think it depends on the distro is some respects - I've been a long time Debian-based (Ubuntu, and now Kubuntu) user, and it's been pretty straightforward with the x86 versions, as far as setting up ndiswrapper, the package managers, etc).

However, for the heck of it, I tried out OpenSuse 11 x64 the other day, with KDE 4, on the same laptop, and it was terrible. Slow, even after I installed the ATI drivers, ndiswrapper was supposedly installed, but won't show in the terminal...it just didn't work for crap, and I've used x64 versions of Ubuntu, and was surprised how slow it was. Ended up trashing the install, and going back to Kubuntu x86.

Other than that, Linux is quite usable, but it still requires you to use the terminal for somethings, KDE less so than Gnome IMO, but it's no where near something like OSX, which seems to have a GUI tool for everything. I have Gimp on my Mac too, but I've never been able to warm up to it like PS, that, and there are a ton of PS books out there, and while it can do a lot, it's hard to break yourself of the quirks learned in PS.

I can do most of the same things in Linux, OSX, or Windows, but sometimes it's easier to work in one vs. another.

I've also put Ubuntu on an old 433 MHz K6-2 laptop, with only 256 MB of RAM, and it runs reasonably well actually.

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9

found my older notes.

xandros-302-oce-installation.iso LiveCD, and didn't finish loading.

SimplyMEPIS-3.3.1-1.iso (or MEPISLite-3.3.2.test01.iso) [not sure which. no handwritten notes for this one]

Livecd started completely. i think i got on the web with konqueror. i've forgotten anything else. :-)

DSL-n-01RC4.iso [DSL-n = "damn small linux-not"] fluxbox?

loaded OK. It shows a handy small clickable box for mounting drives, but i couldn't actually access floppy or hd. i created a few files (besides sm (seamonkey) user files), but of course they are gone after shutdown. mostly i hoped to save some notes to floppy. If that were possible, i could write-up my experiences more accurately ...

i didn't try finding my usb hd.

on lower left side of screen, was a dark rectangle similar looking to an oversize Win Start button. It didn't do much when i clicked it. IIRC, i may have seen some kind of status bar text with an anglo first name. " Eric.. blah blah.." when i clicked the button.

Two useful desktop icons for accessories/services/tools and for apps. Most things inside those, i wasn't interested in, but these seemed good:

seamonkey (of course, dohh)

leafpad

freespire_1.0.13.iso Zillions of lines of text while loading from livecd. i left after quite a while. (I don't drink coffee, so instead... I washed the car, walked the cheetah, founded a corporation, invented immortality, bankrupted the corporation, served time for embezzlement, ... busy busy busy) Came back to a black display. dead to everything (including threats of torture) except the 3finger reboot.

slax-popcorn-5.1.8.iso at end of livecd load, offers some tips (nice), including how to shutdown.

kde. gui is weird. some unusual nice adjustments (the old crt i had then was dimming, and i was able to brighten it. couldn't do that in winxp cuz the gfx card was too old.) other gui things were way off and seemed not adjustable thru gui. [i'm not pasting the details here.]

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