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Full Circle Linux

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Years have passed since my first adventure into Linux operating systems.

I started out with Ubuntu. As my knowledge of Linux grew, I delved into other "Ubuntu-based" operating systems. That led me to Debian...which required a trifle bit more user-experience in order to make things work. In turn, I then went on to use even more "user-experienced" Linux operating systems...from Slackware, BSD's, Arch, and I also tried a brief stint with Gentoo (which makes Arch look like a wannabe). As my knowledge grew, I built and made available Ubuntu and Debian-based systems for others to use. It's been a grand adventure!

All of that to say this...

I'm back to Ubuntu, and that's where I'll stay...though I'm using an official Ubuntu-derivative called Xubuntu. Throughout all of this, I've found that I just want something that works and works well. What I call "parent-distros" is the way to go (in my opinion). By "parent-distros", I'm referring to the major distros (aka...operating systems); such as, Ubuntu (and official derivatives), Debian, Arch, etc...

With those, you never have to reinstall your operating system...you just have to upgrade when new long-term versions are released. If you use a "derivative", you'll have to reinstall the system after a few years.

I love Debian, and it's probably my favorite Linux OS. Though it uses older software, it's as stable of a system as you'll find...still, it takes a little effort on the user's part to get things working.

Arch gives you the latest software on your system, but you have to stay on top of things and know how to fix it if something "breaks"...though I'll admit, I never had a problem using Arch (except one small problem with screenshooter software), there's always that knowledge that there might be problems.

Slackware...super stable, but it takes a lot of time just to get things the way you want it. Plus, I don't want to spend hours installing Google Chrome if I want to use it.

I can't say much about BSD systems...I only tried a couple of those for very short periods of time.

And Gentoo...whew! Forget hours installing Google Chrome! Let's talk days just to install the basic operating system...at least in my case it did! Then imagine trying to set the system up! While Gentoo offers you an operating system that is perfectly suited to your hardware, it's just not worth the effort and time to me. After all, speaking from an average user's perspective, once a Linux operating system is installed...they are all basically the same.

Still, I understand the draw to systems like Gentoo, BSD, and Arch...

So...after years of learning...I'm back to Ubuntu. It just works, it's stable, and offers up-to-date software without a lot of effort on the user's part. Call me a Linux-sissy if you want, but I'm getting a little older, and I'll just keep using my system with no problems while you spend half a day (or more) trying to fix an update problem. :3531a34faafcd3d5ab8749a94f57319e: LOLOL!

Take all of that as you will...others may (and will) disagree.

And if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about in any of this, no problem! LOLOLOL!

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Even though I still use the windows platform, I recently bought a new laptop and started using the  "Opera" browser, after having read up on Google's owners and their nefarious ties. I like Opera because it has included in it VPN, (which can be turned on or off).
 I decided to do this after getting put in "facebook jail" for 24 hours after posting a Bible verse (Isaiah 5:20, ironically), and again getting what they SAID would be a 72 hour ban (but in actuality was only another 24 hour ban) for reasons UNKNOWN! They claimed there was "suspicious activity" on my account, but refused to tell me just what the alleged "suspicious activity" was! They are targeting and censoring many conservatives and Christians, so I am not alone in this plight.

The same day of the first temporary ban, my computer started acting wonky (for lack of better terms)... slow, as if it had a virus. I ran the anti-virus program (it showed nothing), I also went inside the control panel to research every single ".exe" that was running... nothing amiss.  (I also looked in hidden files). So I am still puzzled as to what happened. But started wondering if it had anything to do with facebook and/or google chrome. (I still don't know).

Anyways,  I shared my concerns with a "sister" in Christ, and told her why I was using VPN often. She then informed me that she "had to say good-bye" because if I was on "their radar screen" then she too could be by "associating" with me!?!?! Wow, I have been "unfriended" for many reasons, but never by a fellow believer because I had "gotten in trouble" for sharing a Bible verse. Sad days :( 

What are the benefits of using a different operating system?

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Here are a few basic benefits of using an alternative operating system as opposed to Windows and Apple/Mac...

1. Linux and BSD are free to use, and they offer free software. We know Windows is all about money, and Apple is too. Apple is actually a free BSD system that they took and modified/customized, and then charge for. 

2. Chances are miniscule of getting a virus with Linux and BSD systems. They aren't 100% immune, it's mainly that Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, and hackers want the biggest "bang for their buck". I've used Linux for years now, and I've never had one instance of a virus or malware. Though there are antivirus programs for Linux, I don't use one...I just have my firewall active and am careful with my web browsing.

3. Your computer will be basically as fast 10 years from now as the first day you started using it. 

4. I already mentioned it, but they offer free software from their own repositories...another huge bonus as far as security against malware and viruses.

While Linux has made huge strides over the years, there are still some things that it can't do when compared to Windows or Mac; however, for an average computer user, it's a great choice. Linux continues to improve, and the distance between what it can do as compared to Windows and Mac continues to get smaller and smaller.

The biggest drawback is the learning curve...but once you get it, you love it. We still have a couple of Windows computers, but I don't even like using them anymore.

I also lied...though I've returned to Xubuntu, I forgot that I do still have Debian on my old 32bit laptop. Like Windows, many Linux operating systems are dropping 32bit versions...Ubuntu and Arch included...but Debian is continuing it. At least they've made no announcement of plans to drop it.

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5 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Here are a few basic benefits of using an alternative operating system as opposed to Windows and Apple/Mac...

3. Your computer will be basically as fast 10 years from now as the first day you started using it. My computer wasn't informed. Insists it's elderly and needs a cane.  :'(

While Linux has made huge strides over the years, there are still some things that it can't do when compared to Windows or Mac; however, for an average computer user, it's a great choice. Linux continues to improve, and the distance between what it can do as compared to Windows and Mac continues to get smaller and smaller. I wish the distance would get smaller faster, but for me, an "average" user, it's not been the greatest choice since some things I could easily do on Windows has been difficult or impossible on Linux.

The biggest drawback is the learning curve...but once you get it, you love it. Naw, I like Linux, but definitely don't love it. But maybe that's because even though I've been using it almost two years now, I still don't "get it". :think_smiley_50:Anyway, I'm glad it works great for you and others I know who love it, but to a computer illiterate person such as I , it's just not as wonderful as I was led to believe.

 

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There's always the exception to the rule. :)

I should have prefaced my comments with "in many cases" (?).

Not all hardware is created equal.

I will also add that I didn't feel completely comfortable with Linux until I had used it a couple of years, but that's when I really delved into it...

It's not easy for new users (who have only known Windows) and takes time to learn.

I was forced into it after our computer (the old laptop I mentioned earlier) became completely unusable. Linux brought it back to life, and it forced me to learn Linux since it was our only computer at the time.

If one is happy with Windows or Mac, then stick with it. :)

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Ms. Rebecca,

If your computer is slow with Linux, it could be due to several factors...

Such as...

How many processors does it have?

How much RAM does it have? 

It could be that you have a distro that requires more resources than your computer can adequately supply. 

The desktop environment that you're using may need more resources...

Your hardware may be the issue...

etc...

...or, perhaps your hardware may be one of those finicky ones that just doesn't work well with Linux.

I tried plain Ubuntu first on the old laptop. It was slow as mollasses. It took me several times of trying different operating systems before I found what worked best. After I found "it", that laptop is faster (and still is faster) than when it had Windows on it...and it's now 11 years old. 

:)

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I don't know how old my computer is, I forgot what year I bought it, so it's probably in between 6-8 years old. Some of the issues aren't due to Linux, as they were present before it was switched from Windows 7 to Linux. Two common issues are:  sometimes it won't turn on, and I have to unplug and try again; and occasional random slowness/freeze whether on internet or not.  A major issue is I can't find a simple movie maker program that works well with Linux and simple to use. I finally found one that's usable, but I don't like it due to how complicated it is and I have to relearn things every time I need to use it. The one that came with Windows 7 was so simple and easy to use, I miss it. The Office programs also don't have exactly what I need for some of my writings/lessons that I have plans for. I have ideas for work arounds when I come to those bridges, but it takes up so much time that I don't have. It would be wonderful if Linux was as user friendly as Windows, then it would be the perfect operating system!  Alas, we can't have everything! ;)

Processors - 4

RAM - total: 5533    used: 2426     free: 3106

 

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With 4 processors and over 5 GBs of RAM, you "should" be able to use any Linux OS and any Linux desktop environment. It does sound like it's possibly a hardware issue, but I can't say for sure.

For a movie maker, I use Open Shot...but I don't use it often. You're right though, when I was searching for a movie maker in Linux, I couldn't find one that was as simple and easy to use as Windows Movie Maker. I tried a few, and Open Shot was what I chose. To me, it was the easiest to use. Many prefer Kdenlive, but when I tried it, it gave me a nervous jerkdown just looking at all it has on its interface... LOL! 

Have you tried WPS Office? It works well with Microsoft's office files. It also looks and performs VERY similar to Windows office products, and it can be installed easily on Ubuntu and Debian based systems with the Gdebi Package Installer. It's what I use.

Another one that I recently discovered is OnlyOffice. Not quite as feature-rich as WPS, but works well with Microsoft files. It also has a somewhat similar look to Windows office products. It can also be installed with the Gdebi Package Installer.

I'm currently using it on one computer, and I like it almost as much as WPS. 

Though I'm a Linux fan, I don't care to use any of the office programs they have. In fact, I remove them from the system and put WPS on instead.

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On 2017-5-7 at 1:22 PM, No Nicolaitans said:

Though I'm a Linux fan, I don't care to use any of the office programs they have. In fact, I remove them from the system and put WPS on instead.

This implies my thinking on Linux too. I'm also a fan and prefer it for lots of things, for example GIS and database software and generally still being able to do stuff via the terminal. However, I find that standard bits of kit--photo editing software, office software, scanning software etc.--are bug-ridden despite being released and updated for years. And even though I stick to the popular distros, e.g. Ubuntu, I find I have to work hard to keep software running, since an app that's been fine for years may suddenly be incompatible with a new release of the distro, requiring me to spend time googling a workaround (it's always a known bug) or waiting six months for a fix. With 16.04 I found I couldn't VPN in to my work Desktop at anymore. The reason? A new bug in OpenConnect. I read that OpenConnect still worked if used via the terminal, so after half-an-hour of trial-and-error I got to my work desktop again and I set up an alias to make it easier in future. But there's always at least one thing like that...

 

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4 hours ago, Alimantado said:

scanning software

Are you referring to scanning documents and photos? I'm not much of a scanner, but on the rare occasion that I do scan something, I use Simple Scan, and it worked for me...again though...I don't use it often at all. In all of the years that I've used Linux, I may have scanned 5 or 6 things. LOL! 

Speaking of scanning...one of the shortcomings of Linux is their printer support. One may or may not be able to get their printer to work; however, I use HP printers, and I've never had a problem with them. Linux and HP printers get along nicely.

4 hours ago, Alimantado said:

With 16.04 I found I couldn't VPN in to my work Desktop at anymore. The reason? A new bug in OpenConnect. I read that OpenConnect still worked if used via the terminal, so after half-an-hour of trial-and-error I got to my work desktop again and I set up an alias to make it easier in future. But there's always at least one thing like that...

Yes, shortly after 16.04 came out, I installed an OS based on it, and I couldn't get the VPN to work right either. I guess I'm not as patient as you. :laugh:  I just installed Bitmask, problem solved, and it worked great for my needs...not sure if it would work for a situation as you've described though. I haven't tried Bitmask since then, but it was a great (and easy to install and use) VPN for Linux when I did use it. 

https://bitmask.net/en/install/linux

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1 hour ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Speaking of scanning...one of the shortcomings of Linux is their printer support. One may or may not be able to get their printer to work; however, I use HP printers, and I've never had a problem with them. Linux and HP printers get along nicely.

I use a  HP printer on my Linux computer and the also works fine; never had a problem with the printer.

I do like Linux a lot; but when I have a problem I may, or may not, be able to find the solution. Linux is not as user friendly as Microsoft 7 (I still use Microsoft 7 on a second computer). There are some very fine points with Linux.

The foreign language software on Linux has a lot to be desired. The foreign language software on Microsoft is excellent. I do need add one item though; on both computers the OS is Chinese. Even though the OS on the Linux is Chinese I still have problems I cannot solve (whether the problem is me or the computer I am not sure yet). I do not know any Chinese person who will use Linux. Even the Chinese computer technicians and computer salesmen avoid Linux.

 

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7 minutes ago, Alan said:

Even though the OS on the Linux is Chinese I still have problems I cannot solve (whether the problem is me or the computer I am not sure yet). I do not know any Chinese person who will use Linux. Even the Chinese computer technicians and computer salesmen avoid Linux.

HA HA HA!!!! I don't know if you meant for that to be funny, but it made me laugh pretty good.

One of the most popular Linux operating systems now is Deepin. It's from China, and it's arguably the most beautiful Linux operating system around. It's based on Debian. They built this OS basically from the ground up...so there are many things that are specific to the operating system. I used it for quite a while, and my only problem was slow updates and lack of the ability to customize the look beyond what comes stock in Deepin. You can customize it somewhat, but it's not easy.

https://www.deepin.org/en/

Another Chinese Linux operating system that is relatively new...but is gaining quite a following is Ubuntu Kylin. I don't know much about it, but it was apparently built by the Chinese for the Chinese...though like Deepin, others can use it too. I've never tried it. From what I understand, like Deepin, they also did a lot of customization and created a beautiful operating system.

http://www.ubuntukylin.com/index.php?lang=en

You might want to try either of those (?) since they were made by the Chinese.

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12 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Are you referring to scanning documents and photos? I'm not much of a scanner, but on the rare occasion that I do scan something, I use Simple Scan, and it worked for me...again though...I don't use it often at all. In all of the years that I've used Linux, I may have scanned 5 or 6 things. LOL! 

Speaking of scanning...one of the shortcomings of Linux is their printer support. One may or may not be able to get their printer to work; however, I use HP printers, and I've never had a problem with them. Linux and HP printers get along nicely.

Yes, shortly after 16.04 came out, I installed an OS based on it, and I couldn't get the VPN to work right either. I guess I'm not as patient as you. :laugh:  I just installed Bitmask, problem solved, and it worked great for my needs...not sure if it would work for a situation as you've described though. I haven't tried Bitmask since then, but it was a great (and easy to install and use) VPN for Linux when I did use it. 

https://bitmask.net/en/install/linux

Hi NN, thanks for getting back to me. Yeah, scanning docs and photos. I don't scan much either, but my landlord does as part of his home-run business and a couple of years ago I agreed to help him with his ailing Pentium 4/XP combo. I told him a Linux distro might make his PC usable again and we could easily find equivalents to his Windows apps, since his workflow was pretty basic and he was already using Libre Office. But he really needed simplicity, since he wasn't confident using a PC and wouldn't be able to deal with endless workarounds and terminal commands etc., and it was this that foiled my plans in the end. For example, he needed scanning software more advanced than SimpleScan but simpler to use than XSANE. There was a really nice inbetween program available (can't remember name) but a bug meant it would crash when scanning in greyscale at medium or high resolution. Scanning in colour and then converting to greyscale was a potential workaround but the only simple photo editing program that could do that--gThumb--would sometimes not display changes made and other times display changes and not save them, i.e. it was also very buggy. These sorts of simple programs never seem to reach maturity on Linux distros. In the end I bought second-hand PC with Windows 7, upgraded it to 10 and gave it to him for his birthday.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Alan said:

Thanks! I will check them out and do more searching when I have more time. Right now, time is the problem.

Bro. Alan, I found this on the Ubuntu website...

Ubuntu Kylin for China

Ubuntu Kylin is an official flavour of Ubuntu. It is a free PC operating system created for China and complies with the Chinese government procurement regulations. It includes all the features you’ve come to expect from Ubuntu, alongside essential Chinese software and apps. The interface has been designed specifically to put Chinese users first — and with support for touch screens and HiDPI monitors, it runs beautifully on all kinds of hardware.

Not sure what "the Chinese government procurement regulations" are...but everything sounds like it's really geared toward Chinese users...and I didn't realize that Kylin was an official Ubuntu "flavor". That in itself is saying something. Out of the myriad of Ubuntu-based operating systems...only a select few are recognized by Ubuntu as official.

https://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/ubuntu-kylin

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No Nicolaitans,

The operating systems that come from China, Mainland China is communist, including the Linux/Ubuntu OS's, will be monitored by the Communist government. The Communist government puts government listening devices, or some sort of spying apparatus, in all of the computer systems from China. 

Taiwan is different. So, I am selective in just about everything over here.

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39 minutes ago, Alan said:

No Nicolaitans,

The operating systems that come from China, Mainland China is communist, including the Linux/Ubuntu OS's, will be monitored by the Communist government. The Communist government puts government listening devices, or some sort of spying apparatus, in all of the computer systems from China. 

Taiwan is different. So, I am selective in just about everything over here.

I figured it might be something like that. In that case, Deepin might be a better choice than Kylin. I've watched videos of people who were wary of Deepin and its development in China. From what I saw, there was nothing to be wary of. It's open source software...though they do include a few applications that aren't open source; however, the operating system itself is open source. Since you're in Taiwan, you would probably experience faster updates than I did when I was using it. Plus...like I said...Deepin is absolutely beautiful and impressive. Plus...and most importantly...it has some really neat sounding Chinese musical effects! :laugh:

I would still be using it if I could have made just a few customizations and the update speed was better.

I just did a search on Distrowatch for Linux operating systems developed in Taiwan. To my surprise, Lubuntu came up...though it was shown as France/Taiwan. That's one of my go-to favorite operating systems.

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No Nicolaitans,

You are correct. I have Linux Mint 17.3 version;  "Rosa" Cinammon 64-bit.

Besides tutorials on the internet, I also am looking at the Linux forums that came with the OS. Some of the tutorials on the internet skip important steps and, for one example, I had to view three tutorials on Gimp 2.8 before the last tutorial told me how to put script onto images properly.

Live and learn.

Brethren,

I am in the process of learning how to operate the various systems on Linux MInt.

If anybody wants to jump in and discuss the various Linux Mint operating software please do so. I need all the help I can get.

Alan

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2 hours ago, Alan said:

No Nicolaitans,

You are correct. I have Linux Mint 17.3 version;  "Rosa" Cinammon 64-bit.

Besides tutorials on the internet, I also am looking at the Linux forums that came with the OS. Some of the tutorials on the internet skip important steps and, for one example, I had to view three tutorials on Gimp 2.8 before the last tutorial told me how to put script onto images properly.

Live and learn.

Brethren,

I am in the process of learning how to operate the various systems on Linux MInt.

If anybody wants to jump in and discuss the various Linux Mint operating software please do so. I need all the help I can get.

Alan

Okay...great! I got side-tracked this evening, so it may be tomorrow evening before I can see about the installation of Mint onto a USB...sorry.

Gimp is a great tool, but there's so much to it that it's hard to understand how to do things with it. Took me forever to figure out that you have to press and hold certain keys on the keyboard just to do some basic things. I'm slowly learning it. I've used it to create my own wallpapers, and I've also shared some wallpapers that I've uploaded for others to use. I also used it to make Window themes for Linux. Here's a link to my profile...everything there was made with Gimp. Some of it is decent; some of it is...there. LOL!

https://www.xfce-look.org/member/441212/

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On ‎2017‎年‎5‎月‎17‎日 at 0:28 AM, No Nicolaitans said:

If I understand correctly, you want to be able to make PDF files with Linux, but you also want them to be accessible to people on Windows who use Adobe Reader? Yes. That is correct.

First, I use Evince as my PDF viewer on Linux. It has never failed to open a PDF file for me. There are many other PDF viewers for Linux. I will see what is on my Linux Mint software; if Evince is not already loaded up I will upload it. I am still in the learning stage on what I can do and what I cannot do on Linux.

Second, whenever I need to create a PDF file, I use WPS Office Writer to create the document. Then when I'm finished creating the document, I use the "Export to pdf..." option to save it as a PDF file. Afterward, it opens perfectly with my Evince pdf viewer on Linux, and it opens perfectly with Adobe Reader on Windows. I have not uploaded WPS Office Writer yet onto my Linux Mint as I have been using LibreOffice.

I don't use LibreOffice, but from my understanding, it also can "Export to pdf". I have been using LibreOffice and I will try that method.

If you're on a Windows computer, you can try the attached test pdf that I just made (as I described above using WPS Office) to see how it opens with Adobe Reader. I tried the attached document and it opened up in my windows computer. Looks fine.

If you want to continue this conversation or have questions, we can start a new thread (or use private messages) if you wish...so as not to further disrupt your Revelation thread. I moved this quote onto the Full LInux thread to continue these discussions.

Document1.pdf

In a couple of days I will be at the chuch office and try learning how to create a PDF file. 

Thank you for the advice and information.

Alan 

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On 5/16/2017 at 10:21 AM, Alan said:

Thanks.

If you make a tutorial I will look at it. I have heard of the process.

Okay brother...here's the video. It's just straight instructional, so don't expect any music or voice overs. LOL!

I tried to be as thorough as possible, but I also tried to save some time...so if you have any questions, let me know.

I do have to admit to one major boo-boo. I used the latest version of Linux Mint Cinnamon for this instead of the version that you're using...didn't catch it until after-the-fact. Hopefully, the Installer (and installation) is the same. I'm a bit worried, because Mint used to use a different installer than what is used here. It appears that they are now using the default Ubuntu Installer instead of their own Mint Installer.

 

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No Nicolaitans,

The attached document is from my Linux Mint 17.3, Evince PDF viewer. The Evince was already installed on Mint 17.3. The document is a copy of a e-mail I mailed to our associate pastor, Brother Job (his English name). I put a watermark on the test document with the church name in English and in Chinese to test the watermark and the coloring.

TEST PDF document Letter to Bro. Job.pdf

Let's see what happens.

Alan

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10 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Beautiful! Did you write that?

Thank you, yes I did write it. I had written it here on OB a few years back and had included photos of a butterfly I had from a caterpillar, but the links for the photos are broken now.

Also, thank you for your tips and advice for using Linux, they've been very helpful, and I appreciate it! :)

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