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'WinLin' ideas (using Linux to husband Windows)


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#1 brainout

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:01 AM

Now that I've finally done my due diligence on Windows 10, I know what I'll be advising my clients to do:

 

1.  Avoid Windows 10, as it violates HIPAA (basically a health-privacy protection law here in the States, as most of my clients are physicians);

2.  Learn to surf in Linux, to the extent they don't already use Apple (most are Apple fanatics, but their desktops are XP or Win7).

3.  Learn to eventually use Linux in other ways.

 

It's these 'other ways' which need brainstorming.  I've already started a preliminary explanation here -- taking the viewpoint of the typical Windows user reluctant about Linux -- but I need to broaden it to the whole idea of a synergistic generic use of Linux and WindowsFor that, if you're willing.. I need your input on how YOU use Linux to 'husband' Windows functions.

 

Now, I need to keep it simple. These people are physicians, accountants, attorneys, brokers.  Not IT people. They've no inclination or time to learn wubi, virtual box, dual-boot, etc. Simplest for them, is if I can show them how to install Linux on a stick (and frankly, I just might make my own and gift them to these folks) -- so it's merely plug in and turn on, and click in the lower left corner for the menu.  That's as much learning Linux, as these folks will tolerate.  So then via Linux they still have total access to their underlying Windows machine, so..

 

Pretending you were that person, how could/would you use the Linux on the Windows stuff you got? What categories of activities, and what software would compare to the typical Windows stuff?  Surely you use Linux on Windows machines for a lot of things.. would you mind explaining, what?

 

They all have MS Office 2003 or at most 2007, so that much I can explain, how to install with Wine. But what about the other stuff?   

 

Now, this is a really big favor I'm asking, so if you have no time or inclination to answer, I understand.  Any input is appreciated.  Thank you!


Edited by brainout, 07 September 2015 - 05:04 AM.

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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:23 AM

I would give a big list now but I got home from work and am about to go to slle.

When I get up I can give suggestions on how to transition folks to their new linux OS


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#3 mremski

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 02:37 PM

What do you want them to do?  Surf the web, email, write documents?  Firefox/Chrome work as browsers, Thunderbird is a decent email interface (easy transition from outlook), Libre-Office gives pretty good "Office" features.

Specialized medical applications will be hard to find.


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#4 rp88

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 03:29 PM

Post #3"Specialized medical applications will be hard to find."


If you're lucky they might run in wine, or if you have any old installation discs for windows xp lyign around you might be able to get them to run in a windows xp virtual machine (an offline one) contained within a linux system. Being able to get windows programs to run(or linux equivalents running, but using the windows versions they are used to is preferable), by some means, within a linux system is the main thing a user needs to work out how to do so that they can begin switching over.

Edited by rp88, 07 September 2015 - 03:30 PM.

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#5 brainout

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:04 PM

MadmanRB, I am grateful for whatever time you care to spend in your list!  Am really going out on a limb, to come down so hard against MSFT, but fortunately the HIPAA will be doing so in a year or less, once it finishes examining the problem and trying to get MSFT to address it.

 

mremski and rp88, THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT!

 

To answer: the clients' computer functions are basic.  They don't use specialized medical applications on computers. They dictate to others what they want and others provide these very high physicians with the x-ray, lab, chem or other results.  So yeah, we're looking at surfing, email, maybe Skype or other video conferencing, perhaps even onscreen video (the latter is easy to solve, KAZAM but I don't know of a good webcam app).

 

The accountants, financial folk and attorneys already have vertical applications tied to Windows, just like I do:  we pay thousands of dollars a year in subscription fees, to use these apps.  These are mostly web-based programs now, so just need a browser, and Firefox or Chrome will do fine.  Else, they still have to use Windows, and mostly 7 or XP will continue to be the use for a long time.  So I guess for them, still the basics.

 

More complex and there's no solution I know of, are all the manufacturers.  They have what are called CNC controllers, which are machines that make parts (from apple parers to zithers, food service stuff, auto parts, aircraft parts, you name it).  Those CNC machines are a million dollars or so each or even more, and run on XP.  But offline, so I don't see how Linux would be helpful there or even needed.

 

Now, it might still be relevant, if you know of any vertical applications, even if the big stuff from RedHat, to list them here.  I found a ton of Linux medical and scientific 'apps' in PCLinuxOS, but haven't tried them.  For then the other use for Linux for them, would be to plug-and-play connect to the big hospital medical stuff.  I don't know anything about what that might be, but they will.


Edited by brainout, 07 September 2015 - 05:09 PM.

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#6 brainout

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:27 PM

I think one of the big categories of 'other things' would be computer maintenance programs.  For these guys all use someone else in their organization or family, who is usually regarded as a geek but really isn't.

 

So stuff like backup programs/packages, cloning (I've heard of Knoppix but can never download it, so use Clonezilla), Gparted (but the version I see in the repos seems stripped down), what other maintenance?

 

And can you install a new version of Linux atop an old one?  I'm thinking no, only clean install, same philosophy as for Windows..

 

Linux is so very different here (no registry to clean, for example), that I'm not sure even what 'maintenance' it needs, other than accepting the Updates as they come in.   Sorry to be so dense.  :blush:


Edited by brainout, 07 September 2015 - 05:28 PM.

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#7 jonuk76

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 07:16 PM

 

And can you install a new version of Linux atop an old one?  I'm thinking no, only clean install, same philosophy as for Windows..

 

Linux is so very different here (no registry to clean, for example), that I'm not sure even what 'maintenance' it needs, other than accepting the Updates as they come in.   Sorry to be so dense.  :blush:

 

No you can't really install a new version over the top of an old one.  AFAIK Windows in place upgrade concept is not used much in Linux distributions.  Personally I like to have a separate Home partition (could be a different disk) which allows you to safely reformat and clean install onto the system partitions without losing the user data.  Otherwise you have to back it up and restore it following the re-install.

 

Most maintenance packages you are likely to need are built in.  One I have used in the past is Ubuntu Tweak which works on a few Ubuntu based distributions, and can automatically clean up old kernels, downloaded package files etc.  On an LTS system that's been used for a while, they can mount up to a few gigabytes of wasted space.  It doesn't do anything you can't do already with APT or Synaptic, but it is rather more newbie friendly.


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#8 MadmanRB

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 08:34 PM

Sorry for this late response here, I had a very hectic day and thankfully others covered what i was going to suggest.

Again sorry, i have days like today once in a blue moon and come at me at random


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#9 NickAu

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 08:37 PM

 

One I have used in the past is Ubuntu Tweak which works on a few Ubuntu based distributions,

I also use Ubuntu Tweak.



#10 pcpunk

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 10:25 PM

Did ya read this, I would think M.S. has something in place for this type of Institution.

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/microsoft-posts-windows-10-medical-devices

 

I would just let them use 7 till 2020 LOL, unless they pay you big money to change them around.  They are doctors, they can afford it! lol.

 

Not sure I understand this, well, just because I don't know a lot about all this you see.

"And can you install a new version of Linux atop an old one?  I'm thinking no, only clean install, same philosophy as for Windows.."

I'm sure that with Mint you can Upgrade?  I hear cat1092 talking about it all the time.  Or and you can use separate partitions, or Keep your Home partition in tact if going to a newer version of the same OS, and just install over it as I have done.
 
You can also just get together with them and boot up some LiveDVD's.  Just throwing stuff out there, but this would be my first step.  Just get their toes wet and have a little seminar for them.  Libre Office is very good but these people don't want to learn all this new stuff would be my guess.
 
Personally, I have had issues with viewing X-rays etc.  I think Windows is working hard not to loose folks like this, so you are bound to have some real hurdles to overcome.

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#11 brainout

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 11:06 PM

Well, pcpunk, I'm not talking about embedded Windows (i.e., Windows runs most ATMs, too, but it's XP and has no internet connection).  That's not a phoning-home kind of Windows.  It's a wholly dedicated machine which is controlled under a network or standalone with no phoning capability at all.  So that kind of embedded Windows, is not an issue.

 

Rather, it's desktop Windows 10, non-Enterprise.  It's the phoning capability we want to avoid, for HIPAA compliance will be then violated. We can't avoid the phoning-home, so then Windows 10 is to be avoided.

 

And they don't pay me for computer advice, they pay me for actuarial stuff.  But after 20 years they come to me for advice, and this is the first time I'll have to make a blanket condemnation, so they don't get sued by their patients, etc.

 

Yeah, as to Mint, I've read cat and wiz' explanations about updating, but wonderful jonuk, Madman and Nick all made it clear that inplace upgrade isn't a good idea, at least for newbies.  Maybe cat and wiz can do it, they are geniuses, as is hollowface.  Since I only use Linux externally, actually I prefer not to do an inplace update.  I'll just do a fresh install on a new external drive, and then copy the non-program files back and forth between them.

 

External is my new 'normal'.  It's really best all the way around:  for travel, for protection from snooping whether Windows or internet, for shorter copy/backup times.  Linux by design is genius in that it's modular.  So the ultimate modularity is that it be installed externally, which providentially allows it to better husband Windows, than Windows.  

 

If I were younger, I'd drop everything and start customizing my Mint and selling it.  SELLING it. You can sell your labor in packaging the package.  The software is still free and open source.  That's what Prizix is doing in Amazon, but they're not doing it the way I would.  I would customize the sticks and sell them individually.  So the customer is paying for the customization, and for an additional optional fee could get paid phone support, like godaddy does (they have sterling phone support).  That way Mint would get a cut of it all, and would stay in business.  Or, Fedora.  Or, PCLinuxOS (which is here in Texas, I should be loyal to them, as well).

 

Now, I tried to make my own SUSE appliance, but couldn't do it well;  too many bugs in the applicance creator.  Given what wiz is doing, maybe I'll emulate his stuff; but right now I just need a plug-and-play alternative for my clients who are busy saving lives.  They want me for saving their money from Uncle Sam's taxation, and to a lesser extent to save them from getting the wrong OS. :)

 

Historically, software and computers are in a phase like religion during the Reformation, TV when it first went to cable, the breakup of AT&T or the Roman Empire (during Arcadius), the fall of imperialism post WWI.  Pretty motley group of paradigms.   :cowboy: 


Edited by brainout, 07 September 2015 - 11:20 PM.

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#12 mremski

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 01:53 AM

Skype:  I'm not sure if "real Skype" has a Linux version.  For quick/easy video conferencing Google Hangouts works reasonably well on Linux under Firefox or Chrome.

 

Updating Linux:  Keep in mind that what we are referring to as "Linux" is actually a "Linux based distribution".  Two parts:  the kernel (this is really Linux) and then all the applications.  Why update?  New features that the user "can't live without" and security.  I would posit for your intended target security is a bigger reason than new features.  Sticking with a distribution (Ubuntu, RedHat, Debian, etc) the upgrading along a release chain is probably less painful than updating a version of Windows.  Most of the major players seem to be doing a good job of it.


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#13 NickAu

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 02:00 AM

 

Skype:  I'm not sure if "real Skype" has a Linux version.

Skype is in Ubuntu software centre.



#14 Al1000

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 06:24 AM

I've heard of Knoppix but can never download it


There is a plethora of download links here.

I can't imagine why you have been unable to download the ISO.

Please start a new thread if you wish to download Knoppix but are unable to do so, and we will be delighted to help.

#15 brainout

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 07:27 PM

Al1000, here's the response I keep getting when I click to download, for English (USA).  Else, there are only German sites (and my German is too limited to use for software reading).  The rest of the ftp's and https excepting the US, are empty.

 

"The connection was reset

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

    The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
    If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
    If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web."

 

So starting a new thread doesn't seem fair to you and others, but I appreciate your help.  I'll just have to keep trying.


Edited by brainout, 08 September 2015 - 07:55 PM.

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