Old Fart

ka7tur

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I am 76 years old, and have been a windows addict since Billy Gates stole CPM and rewrote it to become MS DOS (1970ish). Since Billy Gates has become "big Brother," (read "1984" by George Orwell), I am looking for an alternative. I have heard a lot about Linux, but know nothing about it. Is there some way I can download a pdf file that explains it in some detail, so that I and my, very not computer saavy wife, can make a reasonable transfer without totally upsetting our lifestyle? Thank you very much
 


KGIII

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You can take a look at this recent article to get an idea of what a distro is: https://linux-tips.us/what-exactly-is-a-linux-distro/

I'm biased, but that'd be a good starting point. There are a few more articles that I'd also suggest, but we might as well start at the beginning.

Now, it really depends on what you do. You can do anything in Linux that you could do in Windows, it just depends on how much effort you're willing to put in. If you're like most people, you use the internet and maybe some email and some light office type applications, you can switch to Linux and be fairly adept in a matter of a day or two.

Linux can look a lot like Windows - meaning that things are where you'd expect them to be. There's a 'start' (menu) button, an application tray, a quick launch if you want it, a system tray with your time and other information, a desktop, icons, and all that.

When you start poking around, you'll start to see the differences underneath the system. So long as you don't go screwing with 'em, your Linux system should stay running smoothly and error free. We love Linux because we can tweak it, but it's that tweaking that often leads to breakage.

I'm assuming you just want to switch and aren't planning on making a ton of changes.

People older than you have made the switch. In fact, many of us are about your age - or at least pretty darned old. I was hatched in 1957 and I'm one of the younger members of the 'old folks club'.
 

Brickwizard

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Welcome to the forums, a new member older than me WOO-HOO , As the young'en [ @KGIII ] said if you just want a stable usable home system then you will pick up most of what you need to know in a few days, one of the things that confuse the newbie, is the choice of desktop, with windows and mac you have Hobson's choice [no choice] with Linux there are a couple of handfuls to choose from, when it comes to what to choose some of your choice may be limited by what equipment you have, We have lots of useful tutorials and handy how to articles available for you to read, one I recommend [but then I am bias] is https://linux-tips.us/how-do-i-install-linux-a-general-guide,
just take on board as an international site of volunteers spread across all time zones, sometimes you may not get a quick answer.
 
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charlie.corder

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I am 76 years old, and have been a windows addict since Billy Gates stole CPM and rewrote it to become MS DOS (1970ish). Since Billy Gates has become "big Brother," (read "1984" by George Orwell), I am looking for an alternative. I have heard a lot about Linux, but know nothing about it. Is there some way I can download a pdf file that explains it in some detail, so that I and my, very not computer saavy wife, can make a reasonable transfer without totally upsetting our lifestyle? Thank you very much
Greetings @ka7tur , and welcome to a very helpful forum.
Nice to see another OF {old fart} coming onboard. I turned 87 in November, 2021.
Get ready for some interesting times ahead. Your 'old' brain cells are going to get a workout, and you will learn to love it.
Like you, I was 'reared' on Microsoft beginning about 1993. I was brain-washed into thinking that only Apple was proprietary.
Then, about 5 - 6 years ago, I stumbled across Linux, can't remember exactly how.
Like you, I have a wife who does not do computers very well. Today, however, she can do email, check her favorite websites, and play a few games.
Almost all my computer training is self-taught. I guess that is why I am attracted to Linux.
Here is a helpful article with some nice suggestions:
I have found, after trying several different distributions, that Linux Mint was the easiest one for me to learn.
You sound like someone who wants to learn and even experiment a little bit. If that is the case, then you are in the right place - Linux.
Once again,
Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux!
Old Geezer
TC {Tango Charlie}

PS Linux is just as modern an operating system as anything out there today. Here's a picture of my present desktop
1646489759070.png
 
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forester

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@ka7tur -- I am that many years behind you, have been using nothing bu Linux distros for 12 years now, and want to encourage distro-hopping after first learning one distro well enough to be curious about others.

Like many, I learned on ubuntu. The command line is essential. One PDF that helped me is RuteUsers Tutorial and Exposition -- I hope it helps. Another useful little book is McGrath's Linux in Easy Steps.

Welcome to GNU/Linux, OldFart!
 
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ka7tur

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You are all very helpful, and it seems that I will need to just jump in and find what works for me. My son-in-law recommended "mint" for me to start with, so I will give it a try. Thanks for all the Great advice
 

Brickwizard

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Mint will be fine, but make sure whatever kit you are using meet the minimum requirements of pentium twin core or better and 4mb ram
 

PsychoHermit

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I guess 66 isn't such an old fart after all. Welcome to the wonderful world of linux, and the forums. Good to see some old Farts using linux. Ubuntu rocks!

--glenn
 
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SpongebobFan1994

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I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks :p With you being 58 years older than me, you're old enough to be my grandfather.

I've been using Mint for the last several years and it does the job. Be aware that it has different desktop environments you'll want to check out. There's Cinnamon (what I've started on), XFCE, and MATE. When you're checking each one out, it'd be a good idea to take notes, save them to a USB, and then choose which one you like best from there. Maybe you could get into a gig where you're reviewing Linux distros and software.
 

wizardfromoz

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CrazedNerd

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Old farts smell better than new farts, because of dissipation of gases and whatnot.

Linux isn't really designed for stress avoidance, that's what Apple Microsoft attempt to do and fail miserably at. Know how to back up your files and personal information? Know how to burn an ISO to a flash drive or optical disk? I'd recommend installing Oracle Virtualbox on Windows, then installing linux on there, if you are just about not being stressed. I personally am not going to recommend linux to someone who just wants an easy computer, because i haven't been able to get sound to work very easily with any linux OS. Bluetooth adapters tend to work really well with all linux installations, and that is what I use to get sound. Nothing else has worked so far. I would recommend this book if you want to get familiar with linux:


You might want to buy the newest version but that one should be fine if you like to use the internet.

However, command line certainly isn't necessary, and the thing that's annoying about it is having to remember things.
 

Brickwizard

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ML_113

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Old farts smell better than new farts...

I beg to disagree. Babies smell good, the older they grow , the worse they smell.
Law of the Yin/Yang.
NB: I am an OF myself.
 

forester

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@CrazedNerd -- thanks for the link using the same domain as Rute Users Tutorial! The CLI is as necessary as learning to drive a car with a stick shift is to one's overall experience at being a good all-around driver of motor vehicles. It's something learned that oftentimes comes in handy if one wants to get from A to B. This may be especially true in an emergency situation where the only vehicle available to get to B with is something unfamiliar that may have a bad clutch and needs to be double-clutched to shift from second to third. I, personally, would want to know how to do what is necessary to use the vehicle in question.
 

CrazedNerd

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@CrazedNerd -- thanks for the link using the same domain as Rute Users Tutorial! The CLI is as necessary as learning to drive a car with a stick shift is to one's overall experience at being a good all-around driver of motor vehicles. It's something learned that oftentimes comes in handy if one wants to get from A to B. This may be especially true in an emergency situation where the only vehicle available to get to B with is something unfamiliar that may have a bad clutch and needs to be double-clutched to shift from second to third. I, personally, would want to know how to do what is necessary to use the vehicle in question.
No problem, i personally love bash, it's a lot better than cmd. Here's one i'm currently reading, but don't stuck on one particular thing unless you want to...i thought it was awesome at first but it has succeeded in confusing me so far due to lack of explanation:


i'm also glad you have a sense of humor, i think any USB speaker device should work if you want to use your computer for sound based on my research. Youth is wasted on the young, i should know since i'm 32...i don't call any of them over here to fix my conflabbit toaster oven and i probably never will.
 
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