Alternatives to Windows

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by SilverSaloon, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    7,759
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Car:
    1994 W124 E300D Estate, 1985 R107 280SL
    hi

    I'm looking at formatting my HD and reinstalling everything on my old-ish PC. Its a duel-core with 8 gig memory. Massive hard drive.

    Its just for browsing the internet really. I previously had windows XP.

    I'm thinking of alternative operating systems to windows, the free ones, like Linux etc since its only for browsing, some letter writing etc etc.

    Can anyone advise a modern free OS to use? I heard MINT is pretty good? any other alternatives? I dont want anything complicated to set up or use, but I always find Windows ends up getting slower and slower as I use it so looking for an alternative to Windows 8.

    thanks

    derek
     
  2. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    10,938
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Location:
    Gods own county
    Car:
    Mercedes CLK 230 Kompressor Sport
    I have Chrome on one machine and Unbuntu on another, both perform well although Chrome probably has the edge.
     
  3. jamesfuller

    jamesfuller Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,168
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Car:
    The one that starts!
    Just curious, what is it that gives chrome the edge? Faster or more user friendly? How have you found file transfer from windows etc?

    Yes I know, maybe I am leaving it a bit late for this type of research:crazy:
     
  4. PeterE320Cdi

    PeterE320Cdi Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Devon
    Car:
    S210 E300 DT, XC60 Past Cars: S210 E320 CDi (rusted into the ground), CLK 240
    I found ubuntu much easier to install than chrome but my pc is quite old.

    Ubuntu has worked well except it does not play lovefilm films but plays videos on utube and bbc iplayer.
     
  5. kingdave

    kingdave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Location:
    Lingfield, Surrey
    Car:
    1984 R107 280SL, 2004 S211 E320, 2010 W169 A160 CDi a'gard
    I've installed ubuntu on multiple machines, I like it. We use it on the machine which drives our main family TV for example.
     
  6. IanMSpencer

    IanMSpencer Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Car:
    C220Cdi Estate
    The main problem on alternatives to Windows is whether you can do what you need to do.

    I've tried running on Linux alternatives (Ubuntu) but found them slightly unsatisfying for day to day office stuff. OpenOffice was nearly good enough but slow to start up and buggy on layouts, so plain letter typing is fine, but start adding pictures in and they fly around the page even worse than in Word.

    Where you really come unstuck is that gadgets are often very poor at supporting something other than Windows. So if you have a Garmin for a bike, or some other fitness hardware, they might produce some Mac version of the software but it is rarely maintained with the enthusiasm of a Windows version. Linux versions are rare as hen's teeth.

    It's a bit like gadgets designed for iPhones. A couple of years ago you were committed to an iPhone if you wanted some smartphone gadget, but now it is different and Android has become dominant enough that there is usually an app or a gadget on both iPhone and Android.

    If you are doing a bit of accounting on Linux or Mac, then your Sage choice is either online versions or running under emulation.

    I've experimented with a tablet and they just are not mature enough. QuickOffice is barely any better than Notepad and Google's online document editing is simply not as easy to use, even with a proper keyboard (as I am using at the moment). You also start realising that even something like email doesn't support simple formatting like bolding, so what is fine for a basic phone app starts to seem limiting on a tablet. I tried to make a simple slide show on my tablet using the presentation software in Quick Office, and as an ex-IT professional simply could not work out how to do it. Also, you have real problems trying to use USB attachments, even a simple memory stick, basically there is no support for these in Android though there are some techie work arounds (On the Go).

    So before you switch, make a list of everything you do on the PC, check that it is feasible to do this on another platform. If you are relying on online platforms, convince yourself that the facilities are as good and work well with your Internet connection.

    I've concluded people who are happy with Macs are those who really don't use computers much or have a very specific task which happens to be well supported by the software targetting Mac (e.g. design, CAD, music). You have to be a techie to be comfortable on Linux and any software that is not in the techie world is not going to be well supported, even office software because the users are not the same people who will fix it. So although Windows is not necessarily a nice place to be stuck and it is slowly dying, I am struggling to find anything that really is a safe replacement.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. jamesfuller

    jamesfuller Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,168
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Car:
    The one that starts!
    That's good to hear as its most likely ubuntu I shall switch too. Think I'm going to dual boot from a flash for a start.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  8. kingdave

    kingdave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Location:
    Lingfield, Surrey
    Car:
    1984 R107 280SL, 2004 S211 E320, 2010 W169 A160 CDi a'gard
    Good point - the machine in my office is dual boot with win7 specifically for this reason so I can connect gadgets using windows clients.

    Plus mercedes EPC seems virtual impossible to get going on any other platform for example...
     
  9. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    10,938
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Location:
    Gods own county
    Car:
    Mercedes CLK 230 Kompressor Sport
    Chrome just seems to be faster and better integration with Google search and products. I don't have that many Windows files on it most are office files which I use through one drive (used to be Skydrive) which has online office, the rest are apps from Google store. I also have a Samsung Chrome book which I really rate :thumb:
     
  10. ItalianTuneUp

    ItalianTuneUp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,357
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Car:
    S320CDI
    For these reasons, Windows 7 will probably be the 'right' upgrade from XP for most people, and other OSes like Mac OS / Linux will suit more technical people (Linux) or people who want to run a specific app (Mac OS).
     
  11. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,234
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Location:
    West London
    Car:
    SL500 & The Fart Car
    Im just waiting for the new Samsung chromebook 2 13" to be released in the UK to replace my coffee table laptop.

    Finally a decent priced chromebook with a 1920x1080 screen...
     
  12. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    10,938
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Location:
    Gods own county
    Car:
    Mercedes CLK 230 Kompressor Sport
    Yep that will be a nice peice of kit, think I may make the switch too. :thumb:
     
  13. V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    5,610
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Location:
    Southampton
    Car:
    S320CDI LWB
    A Chromebook is fine as a second computer or portable computer but it lacks lots of functionality. My sister certainly regrets buying hers as it is her only computer.

    I have Linux mint on an old laptop. It runs quickly and does anything I ask of it. My wife can understand it and use it for basic tasks and I get by fine with it and I'm no computer whizz!
     
  14. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    14,278
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Mittel England
    Car:
    ( )
    I have the cheapie Samsung Chromebook and it's great - Chromebook 2 looks promising.

    Really surprised me just how good they are :thumb:

    I have a Pixel coming - looking forward to that.
     
  15. LTD

    LTD MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    5,284
    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Car:
    Yep, one of THOSE !!!
    I'd just re-install XP and hide it behind a firewall. Use Eset NOD32 for AV.

    Reboot weekly via a scheduled task and stop visiting crap sites.
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.