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Author Topic: Consider Linux  (Read 21170 times)
K5TED
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Posts: 699




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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2014, 06:03:16 PM »

Many of you complain that Linux does not support the programs you currently use.  Let's look at this claim in three parts.

Firstly, Linux has a different set of programs that may look and work a bit differently, but support most of the activities that you do with your Windows software.  Logging, rig control, I/Q panadapter, SDR, and so forth are all well supported with mature programs that have existed (for some packages) for up to two decades.  Configuration is a bit different but device interfaces are generally more reliable with Linux.

Secondly, Linux supports a software package called Wine.  Wine allows you to run your Windows programs in Linux with a very minimal one-time setup procedure that looks and works identically to the Windows installer itself.  It is compatible with the vast majority of Windows software at this point.

Thirdly, Linux supports several virtualization packages like VirtualBox or VMWare.  These programs essentially create a PC inside your PC, which takes advantage of the hardware virtualization support of most relatively current Intel processors to run any OS you'd like at full speed, in a window.  These virtualization packages also support checkpointing your OS's virtualized drives, so that you can take a snapshot of the entire virtual computer and roll back any changes whenever you wish.  If you get a virus, or your virtual hard drive is erased somehow, you can roll back any changes with a single click.

Of course, you can always stay on the endless Windows upgrade treadmill, where your software will likely quit working anyway, but the beauty of Linux is that security patches are available for most system components indefinitely, and if they are not, you have the source code so you can always do it yourself or hire somebody to patch it.

There's a Linux distribution that you can burn to a CD and run directly off your CD-ROM drive without installing to your hard drive called Andy's Ham Radio Linux, that is custom tailored to ham radio and includes tons of useful nice amateur radio related software installed by default.  Before you just write off Linux because it doesn't support a particular software package that you happen to enjoy, give it a fair shake.  It's a more stable and long-term supported OS than Microsoft makes.

My Windows software hasn't "quit working" yet. Examples are MMSSTV, the DXLabs suite, HRD, and other really old stuff that continue to live on from XP thru Win8.1

Why would I want to run Wine when I can run Win?

I wrote off Linux for my shack desktop years ago when it became apparent it is a work in progress,though stable, but consistently painful to implement, always requiring some level of rationalization and complacency.

Linux is great for web servers and some appliances in my shack. It's not a primary OS for the gamut of applications I use most often.

More power to the experimenters and fiddlers who might eventually make Linux the go to ham shack OS.

"At this point, though, driver support is better than Windows for most devices"

Which devices? All my sound cards, digi interfaces and CAT capable rigs run fine on Windows.

I keep Puppy with FLDigi in my toolbox just in case....
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2014, 06:22:09 PM »

Hopefully, the Linux market share will grow.

Hope is not a strategy.
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WA9PIE
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Posts: 65


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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2014, 08:39:35 PM »

For those who have suggested that VirtualBox or VMWare is a solution to the compatibility problems with software running on Linux... I'm puzzled...

What's the point of running Linux as the base operating system... only to install a fully licensed copy of Windows in a virtual machine so you can run the software that would have run just fine on the Windows (physical) machine in the first place?

I mean... are the Linux fans those who are tired of paying Microsoft for OS upgrades and want to get away from owning and running a Windows OS?

Puzzled.

I'm thinking I may run Windows 7 as a physical machine... with a Linux VM... running a Mac OS X VirutalBox inside it... with a Windows 8 VM inside that... and so on.  Gosh that's a lot of complexity.
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W4KYR
Member

Posts: 474




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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 03:02:09 AM »

There are a number of ham radio and Linux resources

 KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux
Ubuntu Linux remastered for Amateur Radio users
http://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/


Ham radio programs for linux platform
(Featuring 107 resources)
http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Linux/


Amateur Radio Guide
A guide for users of Fedora amateur radio software
http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/19/html/Amateur_Radio_Guide/index.html


Linux In The Ham Shack Podcast!
http://lhspodcast.info/about/
http://lhspodcast.info/category/podcast-mp3/feed/


KF8GR Linux Ham Software Links
http://www.qsl.net/kf8gr/


Hamux - Ham Radio Packages for CentOS Linux
http://distro.ibiblio.org/hamux/


Distrowatch Top 100 Linux Distributions and lists newest releases
http://distrowatch.com/


Type  "ham radio linux" in the search box at Youtube

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Still using Windows XP Pro.
NA4IT
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Posts: 870


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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2014, 04:17:52 AM »

If you are bound and determined to run Win XP, then consider Puppy Linux in a Windows folder for Internet use. Operates as a dual boot system, but instead of requiring a hard drive, it runs in a folder on your existing drive. It does not run inside Windows, because Windoze isn't booted.

See http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm#winEXE
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2014, 04:34:41 AM »

  Another non computer geek question: In lieu of using a burnable disc it was previously mentioned that a memory stick may possibly be used, if so, once Linux is down loaded into the computer then transferred to the memory stick does this take place of the disc  "burning" so you can directly suck back off the memory stick to replace the XP OS? If so,  is there any special type memory stick to be used? Thanks
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KC9YTJ
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Posts: 62




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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2014, 05:21:04 AM »

I have to say that I don't entirely understand the unwillingness of Windows users to simply switch to Windows 7.  Most programs written for XP will run under Windows 7, either in compatibility mode or in Windows XP Mode (which is simply a virtual XP machine running behind the scenes, but accessible from Windows 7).  Admittedly Windows XP Mode probably will no longer be supported either after the April cutoff.  And equally admittedly, it's possible that {insert name of favorite ham program here} won't run properly even under those workarounds.

That said, it sounds to me like the real problem is an unwillingness on the part of developers to fully support Windows 7 and later (if what I'm reading is correct).  I understand that small developers with legacy code may not have the scratch to upgrade to a modern version of the Microsoft development tools -- I still use Visual Studio 6 myself because I support some in-house apps that aren't worth the time and trouble to update to .NET, but then, the company I work for doesn't sell those apps to anybody, either Smiley  

But given that Microsoft has extended the cutoff for XP well past any reasonable expectation, the question today should not be "why aren't people upgrading to Windows 7" but rather, why haven't legacy developers not found a way to upgrade their products to modern standards so that people can upgrade to Windows 7?

The "blame Microsoft" game can only be run so long before fingers have to point to 3rd party developers who aren't keeping up with the times.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2014, 05:39:34 AM »

Re: KC9YTJ  reply #21

 " Unwillingness of Windows users to switch to Windows 7 ": MY top two excuses, 1) Already have a Windows 7 laptop. 2) Own two old IBM T-60s(XP) given to me for use in workshop and ham shack and don't use any ham related programs, guess you could call me a cheap cut of Ham along with the fact I'm a native Mainer whose creed is to use up, fix and repair, make do and use it again.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 05:46:59 AM by W1JKA » Logged
W0BTU
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Posts: 1573


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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2014, 06:20:32 AM »

The "blame Microsoft" game can only be run so long before fingers have to point to 3rd party developers w ho aren't keeping up with the times.

There's some truth to that. That's exactly why I won't be upgrading my XP office PC. It has a four-250GB-drive RAID 1/0 array, and there are no drivers available for my HighPoint HPT374 RocketRaid RAID controller card for Windows 7.

(Or Linux, for that matter. HighPoint is on my never-buy-again list.)

All computers here except that one either run Windows 7 or some flavor of Linux.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5875




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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2014, 07:00:13 AM »

I have to say that I don't entirely understand the unwillingness of Windows users to simply switch to Windows 7....

If you've gotten into Win 7 to any extent, you would find that the drivers for peripherals from older Windows flavors have been superseded by drivers packed along with Win7--generic drivers that do NOT provide the functionality that the OEM drivers do.  

Quote
...That said, it sounds to me like the real problem is an unwillingness on the part of developers to fully support Windows 7 and later (if what I'm reading is correct).  I understand that small developers with legacy code may not have the scratch to upgrade to a modern version of the Microsoft development tools...

That's but a small part of it.  The Win7 coding is more proprietary than ever, especially for the newer parts and applications.  If you don't have the 'scratch' you can't get that--and are effectively barred from doing such things.  And as far as Win8--well, just don't get me started on that one!

Quote

...But given that Microsoft has extended the cutoff for XP well past any reasonable expectation, the question today should not be "why aren't people upgrading to Windows 7" but rather, why haven't legacy developers not found a way to upgrade their products to modern standards so that people can upgrade to Windows 7?

The "blame Microsoft" game can only be run so long before fingers have to point to 3rd party developers who aren't keeping up with the times.

More and more the 'third party' developers are getting cut by Microsoft--to the bone and beyond, and therefore out of the game.  How are you supposed to make your software work when Microsoft simply will not let you because of their insistence in keeping critical parts of the coding for that OS to themselves?

Heulett Packard printer drivers and software accessories won't even work with Win7--you absolutely have to use the Microsoft generic drivers--and you lose most of the printers built in functionality when you do.  Is it any wonder why people don't like Win7--or simply prefer WinXP???
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 07:02:48 AM by K1CJS » Logged
W4PC
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Posts: 272


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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2014, 07:05:15 AM »

Starting with Unix in 1985 and continuing with Linux...  it's always been trying to keep up with Microsoft.

Command line vs command line... 

(Rod Serling voice) Submitted for Your Approval ( From 1985)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7P16mYDIJw

 
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 459




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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2014, 04:12:29 PM »

For those who have suggested that VirtualBox or VMWare is a solution to the compatibility problems with software running on Linux... I'm puzzled...

What's the point of running Linux as the base operating system... only to install a fully licensed copy of Windows in a virtual machine so you can run the software that would have run just fine on the Windows (physical) machine in the first place?

Partly because you can click a button and take a snapshot of the VM once you have it set up to your liking, in case anything goes wrong.  Partly because your main OS (if it is Linux) won't hit the point at which you are denied patches.  Even if your distribution stops supporting an old version, there is usually a painless way to upgrade.  If not, you can always swap in the newest kernel, libraries, and software yourself.

No need to invent fanciful excuses and scenarios.
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KE7TMA
Member

Posts: 459




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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2014, 04:17:06 PM »

Many of you complain that Linux does not support the programs you currently use.  Let's look at this claim in three parts.

Firstly, Linux has a different set of programs that may look and work a bit differently, but support most of the activities that you do with your Windows software.  Logging, rig control, I/Q panadapter, SDR, and so forth are all well supported with mature programs that have existed (for some packages) for up to two decades.  Configuration is a bit different but device interfaces are generally more reliable with Linux.

Secondly, Linux supports a software package called Wine.  Wine allows you to run your Windows programs in Linux with a very minimal one-time setup procedure that looks and works identically to the Windows installer itself.  It is compatible with the vast majority of Windows software at this point.

Thirdly, Linux supports several virtualization packages like VirtualBox or VMWare.  These programs essentially create a PC inside your PC, which takes advantage of the hardware virtualization support of most relatively current Intel processors to run any OS you'd like at full speed, in a window.  These virtualization packages also support checkpointing your OS's virtualized drives, so that you can take a snapshot of the entire virtual computer and roll back any changes whenever you wish.  If you get a virus, or your virtual hard drive is erased somehow, you can roll back any changes with a single click.

Of course, you can always stay on the endless Windows upgrade treadmill, where your software will likely quit working anyway, but the beauty of Linux is that security patches are available for most system components indefinitely, and if they are not, you have the source code so you can always do it yourself or hire somebody to patch it.

There's a Linux distribution that you can burn to a CD and run directly off your CD-ROM drive without installing to your hard drive called Andy's Ham Radio Linux, that is custom tailored to ham radio and includes tons of useful nice amateur radio related software installed by default.  Before you just write off Linux because it doesn't support a particular software package that you happen to enjoy, give it a fair shake.  It's a more stable and long-term supported OS than Microsoft makes.

My Windows software hasn't "quit working" yet. Examples are MMSSTV, the DXLabs suite, HRD, and other really old stuff that continue to live on from XP thru Win8.1

Why would I want to run Wine when I can run Win?

I wrote off Linux for my shack desktop years ago when it became apparent it is a work in progress,though stable, but consistently painful to implement, always requiring some level of rationalization and complacency.

Linux is great for web servers and some appliances in my shack. It's not a primary OS for the gamut of applications I use most often.

More power to the experimenters and fiddlers who might eventually make Linux the go to ham shack OS.

"At this point, though, driver support is better than Windows for most devices"

Which devices? All my sound cards, digi interfaces and CAT capable rigs run fine on Windows.

I keep Puppy with FLDigi in my toolbox just in case....

While your software may be supported well under Windows 8, there have been many issues with older software not working with Windows 8 properly.  Also, while you may be lucky in your choice of hardware and drivers may be available for Windows 8, many pieces of perfectly functional hardware are no longer supported by the manufacturer and drivers are not available.

It's good that your setup works for you, but others may not be able to upgrade to Windows 8 without buying new hardware or software simply to get them back to where they are today with Windows XP.
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VK6IS
Member

Posts: 57




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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2014, 11:33:59 PM »

Quote
More and more the 'third party' developers are getting cut by Microsoft--to the bone and beyond, and therefore out of the game.

there is a absolutely amazing amount of software that runs under win_xp.
- lot's of that will run under win_7
- & there is also lot's that will *not* run under win_7
so, how do you replace it ??

run a legacy copy of xp in a Vbox? or what.

btw: those offers from M$ for $50 / 90 days support are for mainland USA only.
- there not a lot of xp users  in that area, as most are in the RoTW.
in fact, most users of xp, are not in a western country, either.

so, again, if you are moving away from XP,
- RE: Consider Linux.
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KD7RDZI2
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Posts: 61




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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2014, 04:43:13 PM »

I am using Linux in this right moment. There are lots of good reasons for using Linux: it doesn't hang, you have much more control over the processes you are using, it's elegant, logical, fast, consumes much less RAM and CPU and so on and so forth. The last and not the least its updates are much faster, it updates all the software installed and not just the OS, and the reboot is only required when the Kernel is updated.
I am using the Ubuntu distro by Andy. This distro has just a windows manager and not a true desktop. Then I installed KDE, the best desktop environment I ever used.

Now, many but not all Windows programs runs flawlessly using WINE. Some of them are very good software eg. SDRSharp, N1MM, LOG4OM, HRD. However there is excellent software written for Linux: gqrx, Xlog, CQRLOG and Fldigi. More you have tons of free software you can easily install from repositories.

Bye bye Windows Grin
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