sábado, 19 de junio de 2010

No One Takes Linux Seriously Until...

Find the computer that works in the picture above.

Yes, nobody takes Linux seriously until you are face to face with the Blue Screen of Death, your system refuses to start, or maybe it does, but then it goes into a never ending loop of booting. I have never experienced anything like this in Linux. All those critical moments become particularly nerve-racking when you depend on your computer for turning in a vital assignment, when you are waiting for an important document file, or the day in which you must retrieve information that happens to be stored only inside your HD.

You want to give Linux a chance but you are afraid of "not understanding it"? Well, remember that you can RUN the Linux OS from a CD or DVD without installing anything to your computer! All you have to do is put it on the CD/DVD tray and run it. It's as simple as that. Of course, you must remember that the performance is going to be a bit slower, but this way you can learn about Linux without committing to a full migration until you are ready for it.

If you practice with a Live CD of your favorite distro, next time your Windows computer crashes, you will be ready to operate it temporarily using Linux. A colleague of mine (who happens to break his computer from time to time with the aid of the most destructive viruses I've ever seen) started his computer, checked his email, and browsed the Web this way for almost a month before we could restore his Windows XP. I personally don't recommend surviving on a Live CD for so long, but it was his choice and Linux was up to the job.

If you practice, you will use your knowledge about Linux for your personal advantage in a crisis.

OK, I started the system with a Live CD...
Now, how do I get my file?

First, if you want to rescue a fle, you must have a USB stick to save the file to it. You must be familiar with Windows Explorer (not the browser, the file manager). Well, in Linux, there are several file managers, like Dolphin. Open Dolphin from the system tools menu and, to the left, you will see the different partitions on your HD. Explore them to find the Windows partition and then locate the folder where your file is. Once you see it, right click on it and copy it to a USB drive. If it is a document file and you want to work with it, Open Office will open it and you can change it. Just be careful and make sure you save it to your USB drive.

WARNING: This process works particularly well in Mepis. You get a desktop environment similar to Windows (KDE), which facilitates things for Windows users. You can also do it from Ubuntu Live CD, but you must take into account that this distro uses a desktop environment that is more like Mac (Gnome). Don't panic, the bar is up, not down, but you'll get used to it. Mandriva might not let you open the Windows partition from a Live CD, but you can do this if you have a dual boot (Windows/Mandriva). Some other distros may not come with an office suit (like Vinux), so check first.

10 comentarios:

  1. The title of is post is so true and the tutorial may help somebody in distress. Also, I agree with the great value of Live CDs. Linux does not cheat with fake demos or "starter" versions. You may use Linux from a CD almost as readily as from a hard drive. Actually, I read an article by someone connected to security forces abroad. He advises to carry on online financial transactions from a Linux Live CD for full security.

  2. Ubuntu Live CD does not have Open Office? Up until today, Ubuntu and Kubuntu Live CD's come with Open Office, only Xubuntu comes with Abiword and Gnumeric instead.

  3. nejode,

    Thanks for the observation. You are totally right; I took care of that already. I apologize; I was using Vinux (Ubuntu based) and that distro brings a dictionary but no office suite.

  4. Incredible, but true: some users really get freaked out just because the bar is up and not down! Dismissing Ubuntu and other Gnome-bound distros on account of that is more like a pretext than a reason! As if Gnome panel couldn't be placed down!

  5. It's even easier to use a USB key, IMHO, if you have an old one lying around unused because you upgraded to a larger one for daily use, etc.

    With a USB key you can try as many distros as you like at zero cost, so long as the PC Bios supports booting from USB. Some of the distros can even be made persistent, so you can save changes for the next session. You can "burn" the USB key from Windows, with many apps.. see LiLi for example.

  6. Allot of people would benefit from the Live CD if they knew it existed, many computer users have never heard of Linux -and the ones that have seem to think its 1995(ish) still and text based :-P

    If a major distro (say Ubuntu) put out some proper adverts then people would know about the benefits of Linux.

    on a side note: I use a little 20GB 2.5inch USB SATA drive with xbuntu installed as a Portable OS, and it never fails :)

  7. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

  8. Mechatotoro, you are right!!! When you face the blue screen and your computer does not start, you really think about changing your OS. :-)
    You do not want to depend on an OS that let you down when you need it the most!!! :-(

  9. People should not be scared of changing Windows for any other program. This change can benefit themselves in a variety of ways. First of all, because they can get the program by free, that means that they do not have to pay for every installation they make. Another reason is that this change can provide them more variety of programs that might help them in their different shores. Finally because the programs are not so difficult to understand, they just have to get accostumed to a different perspective.