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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2015, 17:38 
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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 16:03
Posts: 1831
I'll start off this topic, but I hope you'll chime in, too. Since now that Windows 10 is released we have clear proof it's not benign, but instead is a keylogger system phoning home, how do you position your computer use and especially, any business sytems in the future? For your liability risk is suddenly exponentially greater, to use Windows. I won't use Apple, though I understand many like it. So this post has no Apple/Mac stuff in it.

:idea: Happily, the solution is pretty simple in concept: Windows offline, Linux online. :idea:

Or, Windows 7 online if I only adopt security updates, and Linux online. For Windows 8 also has a keylogger (less robust than 10's). Since Linux has no home to phone, it ends up being preferable. And I don't mean internally-installed Linux, but solely EXTERNAL.
  • For this way your internal hard drive remains free and protected better, plus you don't have to learn the intricacies of Linux on an internal drive.
  • External gives you all the advantages but none of the disadvantages, of Linux installation.
  • For an external Linux, is plug-and-play, whether using the link above, which will 'remember' all the changes you make if you want that;
  • or, buy some Linux installer stick, i.e., at Amazon which won't 'remember' what you did during a session.
  • In either event, the procedure is easy and simple, if your BIOS is configured to let you boot from external CD/usb: Machine off, plug in external Linux drive/stick, turn on, surf and get email, store it on your Windows internal drive or elsewhere.
  • Then shut down, unplug, boot in Windows, and you do whatever you want with that new data you surfed, synching your browser and email.
  • So your 'footprint' of Windows time online, is nearly zero.
  • Oh, and your Windows updates are off too, meaning you manually select which ones you want, when you have the time and inclination.
[center]. :umbrella: .[/center]
But isn't Linux hard to learn? Doesn't have to be. The Linux fanboys love its design and intricacies, just like antique car fanboys, but you don't have to know the innards of a car, to drive it. So too, Linux. I still don't know the Linux commandline, apart from a few basics. Which basics, I almost never use.

What I do know, is that Linux sports Firefox and Chrome for my browser, and both have synching features so it really doesn't matter if I use Linux online, as the data will synch to the browser. So I have it still in Windows, too. Same for email: Thunderbird operates in Windows or Linux, same features and interface, and it reads Outlook Express dbx files. (I haven't tested Outlook.pst, as I don't use it anymore.) Bottom line, then: the only 'Linux' I need to learn, is to click on its desktop or lower left corner to find the Firefox and Thunderbird icons. Which, I can move or setup on the desktop where I will better remember, after first finding those icons.

Now, because Linux fanboys love its intricacies, they overcomplicate the 'Learn Linux' explanations, and especially they overcomplicate its installation. For they won't think of the most useful way to install Linux: EXTERNALLY. They instead talk of internal-drive installation, which is needlessly complex.. and ultimately not useful. For you never know when some WINDOWS update might bork your machine.

So really the smartest way to use Linux, is to install it on an external drive or stick. Thus you have the most secure and useful means of computing, possible. Would that Windows operated the same way (and it does in limited fashion, if you get those new-fangled compute sticks). But for now, Linux WILL fully function as a permanent installation.. on an external drive.

So: if you're a small business, you hire someone or learn yourself to find your fav flavor of Linux (see next post's 'KDE' links for candidates) and download it, install it to an external hard drive or stick, then customize it, clone it, plug it into any of your Windows machines.

If you need a network, then that's Linux' best feature. At the same time, because you can do this plug n' play with external drives, why do you need a network? So the need for a network diminishes. I have 19 Windows machines, none are networked. When I need something, I go to a machine which has it, copy, then transfer or use at a different machine. On the surface, that seems like a time waster, but the time I'd have to spend learning how to network and then taking care of it, is mindboggling. Besides, with all that copying I end up having more backups.

Example: I clone my machines. Then if I need something on a different machine, I just grab the clone,without having to even USE the other machine. Two seconds, get added exercise (it's amazing how much weight you gain from sitting at a machine all day). So if you're in business for yourself or only have a few employees, this is a better solution.

By the time you'd need a network, you could afford to hire some Linux guy ad hoc. And, could afford to learn some of the intricacies, yourself.


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 Post subject: WinLin 'married' usage
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2015, 18:20 
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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 16:03
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So here's how I deploy Windows and Linux together: not as adversaries, but as a married couple. Surely your programs are different, but look beneath the name and more into the vintage, to see the possible parallels to what you might use and want. Notice how I use Linux for specific functions and Windows for others. Because, they both work synergistically, a fact which isn't getting enough attention.

[center]. :winvmac: .[/center]
For decades, Windows has long been famous for glitchy incompetence in its
  • registry cleaning (and YES your computer slows down if you have too many non-existent programs/drivers/files in the registry at boot);
  • useless firewalls and virus protection (Defender is useless, and the malware reports are high so you know the firewall isn't doing much),
  • backups, restores,
  • searching,
  • DVD writing,
  • copying en masse,
  • moving, and of course even
  • starting or shutting down.
  • Its updates are likewise famous for trashing machines, and
  • getting updates on your other programs, requires you to hunt the internet, and pray you remember where all your product keys are, what version you have, etc.
By contrast, Linux is good in these areas; also, the Linux community centralizes all its bizillion programs, gifs, icons, pointers, fonts.. in 'repositories' which pre-check what you have versus what you say you want to install, and warn you in advance if there will be problems. So to the extent you can, you want to use Linux on Windows, to do these functions.

During the past 12 months, Linux has become easier to install and use, than Windows. I know because during June-July, I installed four Windows and three Linux. Post-installation customization is about the same, but Windows 8-10 problems abound on the same machine where I did the Linux external-drive installs; I had no Linux problems excepting sound (which was somewhat easy to solve), and PCLinuxOS won't let me sign in offline. (The sound problem wasn't a driver, but a setting in KDE.)

Linux is negatively famous for
  • its snotty filesystem;
  • driver problems (though lately Windows has more driver problems than Linux);
  • arcane vocabulary (but Windows now requires you to become an IT person to even get your privacy HOPEFULLY protected);
  • lack of centralized help (though Windows people aren't getting help inside Windows, from the Help desk nor from anywhere but the independent user forums, now, just like Linux);
  • user permissions boondoggles (and snide self-righteous defenders, though the Windows fanboys now talk the same);
  • the bass-ackwards ways required to copy or move something WITHIN Linux; yet those same functions on Windows files are fabulous.
    Sometimes I get so frustrated with Linux asking me for passwords every five minutes -- even when I'm logged in as root! -- I just shut it down. Too anal. That really has to be fixed, it's the same problem as felled Vista. Windows by contrast, doesn't have those problems. Granted, the filesystem in Windows takes some getting used to, but most of the folder/directory titles, make sense. Of course, had I learned Linux first, I might say the opposite.
[center].. :yoda: ..[/center]
As a consequence, the following 'marriage' of 'Win-Lin' function, works well. Again, to get the most out of what follows for your own brainstorming, just think of the generic patterns and functions, not so much the specific software mentioned.
  • Windows is my workhorse. Principally, XP. Contrary to popular myth, XP installs just fine on later machines, if you did your homework and picked machines which don't need proprietary drivers, like Dell.
  • Windows 7 machines are kept, but might swap their drives for more XP installs (use retail fresh XP or undeployed OEM/Systembuilder). If not swap, they are used offline for work.
  • Only one XP and only one Win7 are ever online, with the other Win7's online to get updates (rare, as even most security updates don't affect my configurations).
  • Sensitive data is kept separate from programs, preferably on separate external drives. That not only helps when the Windows OS borks (and it's a good practice for Linux too), it's handy for carrying from one machine to another. And best for avoiding snooping, since you can unplug it while surfing (or unmount, when in Linux). Bonus: it's faster and easier to do backups and cloning, since you have less on your internal drive to backup/clone, and you can more quickly backup/clone your externals on other machines, keeping your main one(s) free for work.
  • Windows machines have nearly all the same programs and interface, so I don't have to think about navigation with any greater attention than brushing my teeth. I heavily customize the interface, and it's CLASSIC not Aero, so to be the same on all my Win98 machines, too. (Some Aero still works with Classic, took me a long time to mix the features for Win7, but the result is splendid, now. Can't customize Win8 and 10 much, and 10 is only customizable for desktop font if you use Plus! from Windows 98/95, which you can buy at Amazon; even then, you have to create the theme in an XP or Win98 machine first, to use it at all in Win8 or 10.)
  • Linux externals' interfaces all resemble each other too, and resemble the Windows interfaces. Yes, they are that configurable without using the commandline, if you get the right distros: I mostly use Mint 17.1 KDE, and also Mint 17.1 Mate (cuz I learned Mint 13 Mate first), then also Fedora 22 KDE (which is more business oriented), and finally the motherload (has every kind of Linux software you can imagine and many you cannot) -- PCLinuxOS in KDE.
  • Retail (aka 'transferable' from machine to machine) MS Office 2003 and 2002 are my workhorse programs, and they are on ALL the machines, including the Linux external drives (esp. 2003, which has more features which are better than post-2003; 2002 has a better Outlook). License terms are that you can install one set to two machines (desktop and lappie), but never use more than one instance at a time. Same for Retail MS Works, which I also use for photo viewing/editing (2005+ has full Word 2002). BTW, all these programs work in Win7 and later, but you must first install the OS, and cannot update the OS without uninstalling these programs (reinstall afterwards). MS provides a fileformatconverters.exe file you can freely download, so you can read post-2003 MS Office files. I don't know if that program will work in Linux, but I use it only in Windows.
  • WordPerfect, long a novelist's/attorney's favorite for DOS and Windows, has its own version native to Linux, for WP8. I've not been successfully able to install it yet. No version of WordPerfect after version 9 works well, in Windows XP and later. So I keep WordPerfect running on my Win98 machines. It does a good job in that old version, of reading and converting Word files, and of course it can (like MS Office 2003) read wk1 files, too. But so far only Word works well for directly addressed spreadsheet merge, and I don't know if I can get that to work in Linux.
  • Multimate Advantage II (a once-popular word processing program Fortune 500 companies used) is a mainstay in my DOS machines, and it works in Windows through a DOS window (even for Win8-10). It handles personalized merges with an old Sidekick program, and so far I've never found anything better. Problem is, Windows can't allocate memory for TSRs. So I have to use my DOS computers to run the merges.
  • Email client is Outlook Express and its counterpart for best synching, Thunderbird. Online email is downloaded to these, so I don't have to futz with the invariably annoying, online email interfaces. Later and other email clients are so pitiful and dysfunctional, I keep on sticking with OE. ONE same interface is the best time-saver you can create. Across all devices. (MSFT tried to do that in Win8-10; they do it very badly.) :idea:
  • Certain Windows accessories I often use, can sometimes also be run in 32-bit Linux, if all their program commands reside in but one Windows directory: calculator (won't work in 32-bit Mint 17), notepad, paint, soundrecorder, wordpad (all in Windows\System32). Sadly, the Win7 version of wordpad has that cursed ribbon, as of course does the awful Windows Explorer. In Win8 et seq., it's even worse. Classic Shell helps, only a little.
  • Lotus 123 for DOS version 2.x runs in XP but also in Win7; DOSbox makes it run in Linux (but also in Win8-10, which I don't use for sensitive data).
  • Adobe 9 (later versions are worse) in Windows 7, and Adobe 6 (for backwards-compatibility) in WinXP. Version 9 can convert any text, even Google scanned old books, into OCR so you can search on text. Linux has its own version of Adobe that works well enough. You need Adobe converters for Word too, which Adobe cannot do well, but Smart PDF Creator can. All the other pdf converters I've tried, don't work on US Government fill-in pdfs. :!:
  • Static screen capture: Screenhunter 6.0 Free (works in XP-Win10). Their paid version allows you to capture less than fullscreen. Windows 10 has a similar function, but no options I want. The Snipping Tool in Win7 is ungainly, and apparently worse in Win8 et seq.
  • Onscreen videos are done in Windows, now using Screen Recorder Gold (doesn't work in Win10 64-bit); or (if I can get it to work, it's now glitchy) Wisdom-soft AutoScreen Recorder Pro (which is not Win10 compatible, it glitches in XP forward and they don't answer my emails), which works in XP/Win7 only without 2013-4 Windows Updates. Linux version is much snappier, Kazam (best screen recorder I've ever used, available in most repo's so you don't have to download).
  • For videomaking or conversion there are many programs; the very easiest to use is Windows MovieMaker. For Linux, the counterpart is usually kdenlive, but I don't like it much. While the newer (Vista-7) MovieMaker sadly jettisoned some good features in the venerable XP version,the newer one will render in 720p. It glitches in Win7 during Preview, in 32-bit, maybe due to Screensaver being 'on'. Else I use older versions of AVS4YOU which you can't buy now. As usual, the latest software of any kind these days, is often stripped of great former features and adds new ones which make you need 1John1:9.
  • For video playing or DVD playing, VLC works equally in Windows or Linux, and is better than any other similar software. It has rendering/converting features that work better, too.
  • Bibleworks 4/5/8/9, Accordance, 'Big Kittel' aka TDNT (from Logos or Accordance, latter has no special keyboard required), and theWord are all Windows programs; but Bibleworks can probably be installed in Linux, too. Maybe they all can. I got Crossover full for a year, but haven't tried using it on all the Windows programs it might install well. :grin:

  • Linux thus has Firefox and Thunderbird, and I don't use its office products (all of which are weak/annoying). So online, I just use Firefox and Thunderbird, as I would for Windows. :razz:
  • Linux is used for Windows housekeeping, else ZtreeWin in Windows, which is the Windows equivalent of the greatest DOS file manager ever, Xtree Gold.

      Windows 7 is impossible to search, with 8-10, even worse. Ztreewin works in them all, and installs separately to a stick, so you can carry it with you. Three Tools everyone needs for a healthy PC: a Linux distro on a stick (not liveUSB but permanent), ZtreeWin on that same stick (which only works in Windows), and Clonezilla (requires a separate stick).

      Historically, this has always been the problem: Windows can't do large-scale copying of files, moving, searching etc. but Linux can. ZtreeWin is best for searching, even for text. But it cannot read Linux.
  • For DVD copying/writing, I use Linux, since Windows 7's DVD copying/writing only works in other Windows 7 machines (MSFT lies when it says that Windows 7 DVD writing will be readable in XP). But oddly enough, Linux is a pistol to use for DVD writing for its own files, unless you use it to DVD write/copy WINDOWs files.
  • Windows backup and restore, or better still -- cloning, a live BOOTABLE replica of your internal drive (which Windows cannot ever do): Macrium (I use paid version 5, but 6 Free is useful too) or Clonezilla (use Windows Method B in that link, to make the stick; all other methods are too buggy). Macrium can't run in Linux, so Clonezilla for Linux. The latter has to be run in standalone boot, and unlike Macrium, Clonezilla only does sector copying, so your target drive (which unlike Macrium can be a stick).. has to be bigger than your source.
      Again, remember:
    • Cloning is a live bootable replica of your internal drive;
    • so you can immediately use everything on the drive, sans restore,
    • on any other machine.
    • Bootable, means you can boot a computer from that drive, so be sure to label your boot drives.
    • I didn't do that, and mistakenly used a Win7 clone to boot an XP, so suddenly that XP is dual boot!
    [center]That truth, is why I learned to want Linux.
    It's saved my Windows machines many times.
    :linuxlove:[/center]
    NEVER trust Windows' own security or backup/restore programs. They have been buggy for 20+ years; why MSFT is so perennially incompetent here, I don't know, but a whole industry grew from their incompetence i.e., Norton, then Symantec, MacAfee, Acronis, EaseUS and a ton of other companies. As many are sadly learning with horribly glitchy Windows 10 installer, you can't turn back the clock and 'restore' what you had pre-Win10. If you get the restore to work in Windows once or twice, you were lucky.
  • Logitech Communicate Deluxe or STX webcam for the desktops and lappies which have no built-in webcams. The Deluxe offers 'avatars' which work really well; video samples are here and here (turn off sound if you don't like the content, just to see how well the mouth moves).

    Really cheap, and its sound works perfectly in Linux Kazam, but not Windows. The sound you hear in my 2015 videos is from that camera (for Windows, don't sit too close or speak too loud when using it, and the camera posterizes your face in any setting).
  • For intra-Windows maintenance, I use Macrium for backup or cloning, TuneUp for manual registry cleaning (which you should NEVER automate), TuneUp for tweaking Windows features. TuneUp works in Windows 10 and prior. Also Norton Systemworks for Win98/XP, especially GoBack: that's a just-today constant PC backup program, so if Windows borks you can at startup, immediately and truly ROLL BACK TIME to when it was working. I won't use Win98/XP apart from Norton Utilities/Systemworks; that's how I created and repaired my first Win98SE PC, and it's saved every pre-Vista machine I have, from the scourges of bad Windows Updates or other installs. TuneUp is the post-XP equivalent of Norton, and I won't compute without it, either.

    Key to these programs is that you never use the defaults, never allow automated anything. Use them to report and then YOU agree individually to each change they want to make, especially in the registry. Again, I rescued my machines many times with these programs, and Windows was absolutely USELESS to help.

    Computer life isn't worth living without GoBack, which also records all activity on your PC. It's the main reason XP remains my workhorse. Easy to get back to work when something goes wrong. THIS is the kind of 'keylogging' you want. It lasts only for THAT day, and it is only internal, never is sent anywhere (unless you back up the bio bin). You can truly turn it off at any time, too.
[center]. :matrix: .[/center]
  • So at any one time, I've got five Linux externals at the ready, for when I need to plug them into a Windows machine. I use one main DOS machine but have others in case that one dies; three main Win98 machines, with extras in case they die. All of these have 'duplicate' (live) full copies using Retrospect 6.5, on Zip, Imation, or old WD hulky or Seagate wheel external hard drives which Win98 can read. Then one main XP machine, with six others used for various special things, also functioning as alternates in case the main one borks. Then one main Win7 machine and seven others as alternates in case the main one borks. Besides these, I have one Dell Optiplex 760 Vista Business which I keep just because. One extra hard drive has Win8.1/10 on it, and that was only for testing. Two XP, the Vista, and all Win7 machines all have 4 GB or more or RAM; two are 64-bit Win7, which frankly is overkill; rest are 32-bit, so DOS can be run natively in a window. Have extras of Vista OS, Win7, 8 and 10 on external disks for possible later installation, plus install/reinstall disks for the other machines mentioned. Call me anal, yeah. :chemfail:
[center]Machine brands (and they all work in Linux):[/center]
  • For DOS, you name it I've got it, from 286 up, including two GRiD 386 lappies that still work (but need minor optional repair).
  • For Win98, consumer-grade (hence weaker) desktop and laptop Dells and Micron.
  • For XP, consumer-grade desktop and laptop Dells, HP 6400, Acer netbooks A0A 150.
  • For Win7, business-grade desktop and laptop Dells.
  • Win8/10 is on a separate drive for one of the laptop Dells.
  • Important: I buy models in pairs when I can, so if one dies, the parts in the other can be used.
  • Some models all share the same types of peripherals: for example, Dell Latitude laptops model D630, 6410, 6510, 6530, and Optiplex 780, all use the same model of internal hard drives.
  • Win Video and sound cards vary, sound is from Creative Sound Blaster to Xonar, but mostly Intel; for video, the nVidia is from 2012 and 2010, FHD else 1600x900 or 1366x768 in the laptops, else mostly Intel or generic.
[center]Windows (and DOS) Peripherals (and they all work in Linux):[/center]
  • HP Laserjet 4, 4Plus, 5, else Brother MFC printers/faxes/scanners (which I do NOT recommend buying, but they are trouble free, last a long time).
  • Fujitsu S1500 scanner (size of a breadbox, fantastic machine).
  • Dell flat panel monitors of various kinds (even for the DOS machines), largest being 22", all refurbished bought from dellauction.com (wonderful).
  • External Floppy drives: Backpack 5.25" or 3.5" (or click here) and Imation, if you can get 'em: they work in 386 machines and higher; so are great for DOS compatibility; but I didn't test past Windows 7. Else, best is actually an internal floppy module to the Dell Latitude D630, which also allows you to attach to a mini-usb cable and plug into any Windows machine: plug and play. It works in Windows 10, despite MSFT claiming it doesn't.


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