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  • linux

    good morning....
    I have seen comments about Linux on
    the forum and would like to learn more
    about what it takes to get set up.
    I am not very good with computers,
    I use mine for cad-cam and the internet
    I have win98SE. I have problems all the time
    and have had very little luck getting
    them sorted out. In the past 4yrs I have replaced my system three times to start over,and within a few weeks the problems start all over....
    The people who sold and set up the system
    say it is my internet provider that is the problem and of course the internet people say its in my system.
    Friends who are more computer literate
    than I, tell me it is windows 98 that is the problem and I will just have to get used to it.
    The computer has made it possible to do things I never could do without it but I am
    getting old before my time with all the aggravation.
    If my car ran as good as my computer I would
    have to get a horse or a bicycle to go any
    Is Linux the answer to my prayers?

  • #2
    Well, I run win98 on 3 computers, and have very little if any trouble. It isn't as if it won't work.

    When I hear that a person has had your kind of trouble, I start to think of hardware issues. Flaky memory, etc. Some off-brand computers or accessory combinations cannot be made to reliably work with windows at all, but these are very few.

    The computer folks at work wanted to destroy 5 years of records and on going work including all my backups due to a "really nasty virus on my machine".

    I nearly had to threaten them with weapons, but they did discover a flaky memory module...............all has been well since.

    Some folks persist in doing things that are bad, like hitting the switch instead of shutting down normally. That will mess up windows, and maybe other OS as well. I will assume you don't do that sort of thing.

    With internet troubles, other things like settings, bad phone lines and virus/trojan program problems are the major issues. Or, if your computer came with a network card or adapter, it is not on a network and card is not turned off.

    Linux is probably a good thing. I would like to see it become dominant. As it happens, nearly none of the programs I want will run on linux, since they were written for Windows, using microsoft tools.

    That is the problem with all "odd" or "proprietory" operating systems, only a tiny amount of software is compatible.

    I think you got horrible advice on your original troubles. Advice to get linux was probably better.


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply Oso.
      This is what's so and others
      have no major problems with win98 but I have
      weird stuff happening too often.
      I have to depend on others to fix it and so
      far not much luck getting the right person.
      I do have a system that I got in 1988....
      a 386 that runs dos. It sits there year after year and runs perfectly any time I turn it on. The internet may be my downfall
      ..I am out in the sticks with old phone lines and just use a dialup modem.
      I do have the latest Norton antivirus software and it runs in the background all the time so I don't think my system is contaminated??
      I do shut down by the book, except when the thing locks up and won't even respond to
      Ctrl Alt Del
      A month ago I defraged the disk (took 9hrs)
      but didn't improve things at all.
      Oh well I can't wear a watch either..
      it will just stop running after about six weeks ...took one back to the jewlers shop
      six times.. it would run perfectly there
      but would stop when I wore it .this happened
      with 4 or 5 watches so it was not the watch it was me.
      thanks again.... gramps


      • #4
        I have 98, NT, and LINUX (Slackware) on the home network.
        98 took more time to keep alive at first, but then I found out how to download the service packs and other bug fixes from Microsoft. The 98 machine became much more stable after all the bug fixes and updates were added. However, 98 seems to wear our the "C" drive so I have to replace it every 18-24 months. So much useless junk collects on the disk every time we install/remove programs that I sometimes reformat the "C" drive and re-install 98 on it again just to clean it up.
        Also I found out that 98 really runs better on a decent CPU. Years ago I had it running on a 486, (bad), later upgraded to a Pentium 400 (good). Most recently the kid wanted to play the "Army game", so we changed the ASUS motherboard again to some kind of AMD gigahertz processor, runs even better now.
        LINUX is good for file & print services, very stable and powerful, but it is not automated everything like microsoft stuff. With LINUX I have to build every part of the operating system manually, by hand.
        I like this approach because I know what/where every file is and what it does. No extra junk, no defrag, no reboots. Just takes more time for the initial learning. Then it is kind of like an anvil, hard to break, works every time.


        • #5
          I have used LINUX, Mandrake 8.2 and I like it but it still had a ways to go. Not sure about the 9.0 version but mine was not able to run any type of CAD program. I can not run Photoshop on it either,nor any serious web design software.
          But having said all that, if all you need to do is surf the net and do some letter writing once in a while, Mandrake comes with some pretty good "free"programs that will do just that. Open Office 1.0 has programs that are very good, almost the same as Microsoft Office. Mine was very fast on the internet. Linux has potential... a year or two and MicroSoft should look out. B.G.

          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router


          • #6
            Choose what you woant and work with what you choose. I run a PC because AOL internet software seems to work better with it.

            If I had my druthers I'd run a Mac like I do for everything else. My Mac locks up maybe twice a year and I run everything on it including my CAD.

            My internet only PC locks up twice a day and no-one can tell me why much less than fix it. If the PC and PC based software is so good why can't anyone fix mine?

            I dunno. Computers are magic boxes to me.


            • #7

              About 7 years ago we had a computer on my desk, in my office which was carpeted. I couldn't figure out the problem, as it would work at home (hardwood floor) but not in the office. It seems that the carpet had a "charge" which inturn would lock up the computer. You also said you could not wear a watch. Try another computer and see if it locks up (if you can) or if you have carpeting, move the computer. Good luck with the investigation.


              • #8
                Thanks for all the replies.
                Forest...I'm glad to hear that even a man
                who is as smart as you, can have the same
                trouble as I do with the PC.
                I guess it's to keep us humble lol


                • #9
                  Gramps -

                  For what they're worth, here are my thoughts. I have run Windows NT for about five years on my machine at home. I don't think it ever crashed.

                  I used to use unix on a Sun work station at work, and by about 1996 it had become relatively user friendly. It's very tempting to move to Linux, if for no other reason than to spite Microsoft. But there is the issue about software compatibility.

                  A good friend who knows more about computers than anyone should, solves the Windows/Linux problem by having both on his machine at once. He tells me that VM Ware is the software that will let you do this.



                  • #10
                    Tinker: you have made a very atute observation. Ggramps I'd look into how you equipment is grounded and be sure to touch some grounded metal before operating.

                    I've heard of persons who can't wear watches etc because of "body electricity". I have great difficulty believing it happens but i learned long ago that the man who has a history of troubles may wrongly apply the theory, but to listien to what he says. I haveno cure, but the tinker theory has merit. you might try to correlate weather conditions with your problems. static electricity is a bigger problem in dry weather, more so when its dry and cold outside. carpets, woolen clothing, rubber sole may exacerbate the problem even more.

                    Good call tinker man

                    BTW: I have had problems with high sped modem since day one. intermittent problems. Tonight I went down and finaly got a competant techy. he suggested pulling and pushing on the cable from the modem to the wall, at the places where it connects . We could make the problem folllow the actions. I am now sure the problem is modem or cable. Bell south is also and is sending a replacement. the modem i recieved was "reconditoned". I bet the first guy had the same problem and they did not discover it. Spoke to the mans supervisor, complimented the man. Funny thing is last month I fussedwith the supervosr and was pretty snoty with him. Recognizedthe voice he remembered the incident . Damn I feel good tonight .


                    • #11
                      Yes linux the anwers to your prayers. You now must ask yourself what you are praying for in the first place.

                      First and worst problem with computers is operator error - that is the nut behind the keyboard. Unfortunately, this causes most of the problems with computers.

                      Some rules to follow: DO NOT download and install programs willy nilly. These cause far more problems than Hardware. The first thing you have to do is get a solid working platform. This means that all drivers for the motherboard and video or other accessories must be installed properly.

                      Make sure you have all of your discs handy, including driver discs for things such as special mice, joysticks, soundcards, VGA, etc..

                      Go into your hardware profile in "my Computer" and check each icon - if there is any "!" or multiple entries this must be corrected first. You can only do this by going into safe mode and deleteing all the offending duplicated items (if it shows two with an ! and one regular keyboards then delete ALL 3 of the keyboards) any duplicates one the motherboard, including the IDE channels means ALL motherboard entries should be deleted. when this is done restart. The computer wil redetect the hardare and should install properly now.

                      IF YOU SYSTEM HANGS - NEVER JUST PRESS CONTROL/ALT/DEL OR RESET - ALWAYS SHUT IT OFF FOR ABOUT ONE MINUTE. Then reboot. Trust me, I am not BSing you. Other wise you can scramble your Motherboards CMOS into a default emergency boot condition (which could have your computer running at the wrong speed and what not)

                      RTFI - "Read the enclosed instructions" before intalling new hardware or software.

                      Windows is stupid and does, on occasion try to change things like your folder settings on its own. Live with it. Clear out the garbage can, the c:\windows\temp\*.* files, run scan disk and defrag from c:\ "properties".

                      A program like Norton Systemworks will help protect your email and clean-up you computer. It can also correct some really serious problems that occur from installing programs.

                      If you need easy, buy a Macintosh - top quality parts, super OS (you can even format a floppy, copy, play a game, fart, edit a picture, and surf the net all at the same time - with the pc, you just get to format a floppy...), but over priced IMHO. I love customizing the Mac OS to my liking (renaming menus, custom sounds, etc.)

                      If you want to go Linux - get your act in order first. You pretty well have to, it is not as forgiving as windows, but far more powerful. You need to have you hardware working right and know what you are doing, but the rewards are a rock solid system that rarely crashes and goes like snot. Now if they would only put more games on it...