Linux

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#41
I think package management is great. I couldn't stand to go back to RPMs or something. My point was about the components of the system. The desktop manager doesn't always work seamlessly with the file manager, for instance. Since Windows is itself a unified collection of components, everything works together: the menus, the managers, etc. One thing I love about Windows 7 is the ability to easily drag or right-click and move/pin something to my start menu or my folder expansion, etc. It makes the ability to manage and navigate the system the way I want to become a seamless transition, and when we migrated to 7 toward the start of this year, I quickly picked up how to use this OS, even though in a lot of ways it was significantly different. The changes were a welcome. This is not to say a unified system is necessarily better. The fact that a Linux system is a patchwork of components is a plus in a lot of ways. If I don't like a certain menu manager or file manager, etc., I can just change to another. The problem is that often by design they are not made to integrate with all the other components. An integrated system is very nice, especially for people that don't want to be a techie whenever they use their computer. I like the option of changing out system components, but personally it becomes an annoyance when I also expect my system to seamlessly work together and it doesn't. I had hoped the last Ubuntu I used would have been more integrated, but the little things did matter. I wasn't willing to deal with it at the time, and I was testing out the Windows Installer (sucks!). If I change over again, I'll just make sure to do a full install.
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#42
I had hoped the last Ubuntu I used would have been more integrated, but the little things did matter. I wasn't willing to deal with it at the time, and I was testing out the Windows Installer (sucks!). If I change over again, I'll just make sure to do a full install.
When you say the Windows Installer do you mean Wubi? Because I kind of loved Wubi and wish it was available for more distros.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#43
Yeah, I liked the idea. It was certainly easier, but it was different than managing my disk partitions with a dual boot because the windows installer literally installs it to a file on the C drive. Then there were some serious bugs with it that took them way too many weeks to resolve, and I didn't feel like going through the hassle to recover my install. I just removed the file altogether. I think it was back when they came out with GRUB 2, and it had a conflict with Wubi. I spent a load of time trying to fix it myself, then I reviewed the forums discussing the problem, and found out it was something that happened before, and that they suspected it was due to the new GRUB being used, and then there was some shoddy workaround that was then patched in the next Wubi I believe. I just stopped caring and went back to Windows!
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#44
I really liked that it installed it as a file because 1) What could be more unix-like than that? and 2) it was easy to get installed and (if necessary) remove without hassle.

I do remember hearing something about when they switched to grub2 (which I hate by the way...) it caused some problems. But I still have a special place in my heart for it because that's how I first installed Ubuntu...
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#45
I think Wubi is great if your system is predominately Windows, because then you set windows to be your entire partition, and with Wubi you set the file to be a "sub-partition" within your Windows, by occupying a file. I just don't like the idea of it being a file in Windows. I much prefer to have two separate partitions, and frankly, setting up partitions is not that hard! Wubi does make it a very easy transition, though. I highly recommend it for those that just want to get their feet wet with Linux and are avid Windows users, but I'll never use it again unless I just want a quick and easy Linux install on a Windows box. Like I said, I think the idea is great, and I would recommend it to people that want to take that first step away from Windows. It may be all it takes to build new Linux users!
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#46
Exactly. That's why I liked it so much. It was a relatively pain free way to try out linux while (basically) pretending to have it be a native dual boot. Lots of people get scared if you tell them they'll need to partition their hard drive but you don't need to do that with Wubi! Now if you know you're going to use Linux and you plan on having a dual boot... then it just makes sense to put it on a different partition.
 
#47
So it seems the consensus is definitely Linux.....I like Linux, but I know I'll still need Windows for specific programs. Is my best option the dual boot then? Is there a way to make partitioning so I can adjust the size if I am using Linux or Windows more?

Thanks for all the discussion.
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#48
So it seems the consensus is definitely Linux.....I like Linux, but I know I'll still need Windows for specific programs. Is my best option the dual boot then? Is there a way to make partitioning so I can adjust the size if I am using Linux or Windows more?

Thanks for all the discussion.
Well it really depends on your workflow and how you want to use both of the systems. For instance, my Windows, whether I'm running Linux or not, includes at least two partitions: one for my operating system and one for separate storage. I do this because when I have to reformat Windows, I can keep that separate partition as a backup where all my files are at. It also has the benefit that if I'm using Linux, I can also get it to mount that partition on start up. This way if I want to transfer something between the systems, I can use the separate partition as a "bin" to work between. Now, the question arises, how do you partition your drives? Linux defaults to having a separate swap partition. I also do this with Windows. So if I have both systems I'll have two separate few GB partitions as swaps (the "page file" goes there which is an area where your computer puts information when it has to wait on your RAM to process stuff. It is the "virtual memory" that is slower than RAM, since it's on the HDD). Since storage space is so abundant these days, unless you're using a small system, you really shouldn't have a problem with partitioning. Right now my Windows drive is on a 77 GB partition and my storage (D) drive is on a 35 GB partition, with a 4 GB swap. The HDD is 120 GB. I also have another 80 or something GB drive I haven't even been using where I could put Linux. So the partition size you set depends on what gets more use. I have a lot of programs built onto my Windows system over the years, so I'm at about 50 GB used up and nearly half of my storage is taken up with random junk (probably old ISO files).

Another reason I partition like this is because (1) It is easier to defrag and clean up a smaller partition. Have you ever tried to debug or disk scan a TB?! (2) You can get improved performance if you separate your OS system from your application system. It is possible to do this by stashing your programs on a separate physical disk and your operating system on another physical disk. The OS is always being used, but if you have your programs being read and written to on a separate drive, then you're not using the same disk heads to do the reading and writing. I would love to get myself a solid state drive to put my OS on (no moving parts!) and then put my applications on a good fast SATA drive (or another SSD, but they're not cheap or that large for cheap, yet). Frankly, I think it would be easier to set up such a system on Linux than it would be on Windows, but it really comes down to how comfortable one is messing with their Registry; that is the heart of a Windows system (you can reassign your program files and default install location, among many other things).
 
#49
Thanks bryangoodrich and everyone else. Understanding the partition was quite helpful, I hadn't read up on partitioning much. I'm just going with dual boot for now since I know at some point I'll need some windows applications.

Dason since your in a stats program do you use a lot of windows? Also how well does libre or open office sub for excel? Or do you really even use any excel in grad school. Sorry for the basic questions!

Lastly, anyone like the new 11.04 dist of Ubuntu?
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#50
I don't touch windows if I don't have to. Luckily for me that means I don't have to go around windows very often. But like I said before there was a program I needed to use on Friday that was Windows only so I was happy to at least have access to a windows machine.

Open office subs just fine for excel in most cases (in my opinion) but I don't necessarily think it subs the best for microsoft word in all situations. It really depends on what is in the documents though. I don't really deal too often with word documents so I'm thankful for that as well. If I do I typically just load up one of the terminal servers and print the document off and then don't deal with it anymore.

I typically convert excel workbooks into csv files as soon as I get them because it just makes my life easier doing that.

I tried 11.04 out (it was actually part of the rant that I lost a few posts ago) but meh. I'm sticking with 10.04 for the time being. I'm not a huge fan of the unity interface. When it's time to upgrade I'll probably just use xfce. Unity gets in my way and I wasn't completely satisfied with gnome-shell (and since Ubuntu decided to go ahead with Gnome3/gnomeshell it looks like my preferred gnome2 interface will be gone).
 
#51
Thanks Dason. So in you graduate work are you not really usisng excel except to create data sets? It's pretty much all the statistics software packages at that point?

Thanks for all your contributions to the site!
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#52
So what's this 11.04 interface?? I think the last one I used was around 9-10. I thought the interface was generally good. I don't recall if I ever got xfce up, but it was a bit old school if I recall, like Windows 95. It's just clunky lol

When it comes to excel, I always turn them into csv or tab delimited (my preference, since even one comma in a field will screw it all up!!). I find it unfortunate that a lot of data users rely on Excel for all their data organization and often analysis needs. Don't get me wrong, I think Excel offers a lot, but when it comes to the "hard core" data management and analysis we ought to be dealing with, Excel is just horrible. Stick it into a database already! Or, shockingly, keep it in an ASCII file like csv or txt. Now that I'm comfortable dealing with nothing but R at work, I often just clean up my datasets and keep them as R binary (save) files. Very quick storage, lightweight, and easy to get back into R. I'm contemplating using SQLite databases, too, but since I can literally just save an entire R environment into a binary file, there's really no point to even needing a relational database unless there's some relationships that need to be maintained that you might not want to recreate in R (say, using factors and labels, which essentially is a look-up table).
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#57
Ubuntu 11.10 came out yesterday. I've been playing around with it and it's actually pretty nice. I despised the Unity interface when Ubuntu 11.04 came out but they've actually made it usable this time around and is pretty nice.

With that being said I haven't been using Unity - they made it really nice and easy to get Gnome Shell running. I really like Gnome Shell and I find window management to be pretty nice. I'll always miss Gnome2 - so simple but perfectly usable but I think Gnome3 has been cleaned up enough and is pretty nice. Has anybody else given either Unity or Gnome Shell a try (doesn't necessarily have to be in Ubuntu - I know Fedora has had Gnome Shell for a while).
 

bryangoodrich

Probably A Mammal
#58
what?! Now I have to reformat my flash drive for this new release lol I am going to migrate my system to Ubuntu soon, but I'm still questioning if I should just get a new computer altogether. I also might need my ArcGIS that is only usable on Windows. I also want to work on some Matlab code, and I know I have an install for Windows. I don't know if I have one for Linux. I did a test run with Ubuntu 11.04, and I thought the interface was very intuitive and ran very smoothly on my work PC, much better than the last few times I tried it out (version 9, at least). That's the nice thing about having an OS on your flash drive. It is easy to try it before you "buy" it!
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#59
That's one of the reasons I like the idea of a live cd. You can pop it into a computer and see if you have any driver issues or hardware incompatibilities and generally get a sense of if you like the OS or not.
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#60
Ubuntu 11.10 came out yesterday. I've been playing around with it and it's actually pretty nice. I despised the Unity interface when Ubuntu 11.04 came out but they've actually made it usable this time around and is pretty nice.

With that being said I haven't been using Unity - they made it really nice and easy to get Gnome Shell running. I really like Gnome Shell and I find window management to be pretty nice. I'll always miss Gnome2 - so simple but perfectly usable but I think Gnome3 has been cleaned up enough and is pretty nice. Has anybody else given either Unity or Gnome Shell a try (doesn't necessarily have to be in Ubuntu - I know Fedora has had Gnome Shell for a while).
Initially I didn't like unity. One reason was unity was overriding some of my shortcuts. But now I am comfortable with unity. Especially for a netbook( 11 inch) unity works well ( far better than ubuntu remix). Also searching also improved. Hope more nice features in 11.10.

Finally I have installed Arch Linux. It was fun. I struggled a bit to connect Wifi, then I missed dbus adding in rcconf... lot of issues. fortunately the archWiki was very helpful. I have installed GNOME3 in Arch and liked it. Also tried different window manager like openBox, Blackbox, Enlightment, KDE... etc.