Making Windows-Linux Integration Work

Loraine Lawson

True story: We tried Linux on our laptop for a few weeks before we reloaded Windows. Linux was fine -- but, frankly, the little things added up.


First, there was the file sharing problem between the Windows PC and the laptop. We solved that problem, but ultimately, all the little annoyances got to be too much. The Linux-breaking problem in my house? We couldn't get the Flash games on PBSKids.org to work. Oh, I'm sure there's a fix, but basically my child only gets to play with these games when I'm really busy working. We dumped Linux quicker than Wal-Mart.


But, hey, it's definitely something everyone -- well, everyone who's tech savvy, anyway -- should try try. I've even found this great article on Windows-Linux integration, written by Stephen B. Morris -- a CTO. He walks you through the Linux install and getting the two systems to talk to each other, with a little help from VMWare tools. Now if only someone would only write up how to make Linux easy for a preschooler with a busy work-at-home mom, I might convert ... again.


Rob Enderle promises a more consumer-friendly version of Linux is coming in a few short years -- but by then, my preschooler will be in elementary school and probably be hacking my PC anyway.

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May 27, 2008 5:22 PM Bruce Bruce  says:
1. Open application for loading new software (synaptic in Ubuntu)2. Search (big button) for "flash"3. Click on "Adobe flash player plugin installer" and wait while it installs4. Go to PBS kids and play flash games (or better still club penguin for a Tux-themed game or two)It's OK - when your kids are in elementary school they will be able to do this for you. Reply
May 27, 2008 6:52 PM Mirza Mirza  says:
Linux will always be different than Windows. People who are moving from once OS to another should expect a difficulty of having to addapt to new things. That is just a fact of life. Reply
May 28, 2008 10:59 AM Penguin Tom Penguin Tom  says:
Linux isn't Windows. Windows is sold by a for profit company for the purpose of generating a profit. You pay for the license to use it.Linux, while some distros are sold by for profit companies for the purpose of generating a profit, is open source and available for free from a multitude of sources. Instead of money for a license, you pay with time and effort to get it working.If you're looking for all sorts of proprietary media, get Ubuntu and install the Ububtu restricted extras & the codecs. All you need now are the Flash games, DIVX movies, MP3 songs and viola! You're entertained :-) Reply
May 29, 2008 5:59 PM Loraine Lawson Loraine Lawson  says:
Yeah, Bruce. Very helpful. We did that. Three times we did that. Reply
May 29, 2008 6:09 PM Dave Thompson Dave Thompson  says:
Nice, really nice. Bruce, Mirza, Tom, I believe you missed the point here. Mrs. Lawson either didn't use a modern distribution of GNU/Linux designed for desktop use, or this article was written because she needed to fill a column of text, or she wanted to try her hand at spin. She didn't do a good job in any of these 3 scenarios.Two sentences really stood out to me to illuminate just how contrary her description of her experience is:1) We dumped Linux quicker than Wal-Mart.She obviously knows tech, or theoretically would not be writing a column for this webzine. And she's been around long enough to know that Walmart sold pc's running GNU/Linux, and that they recently decided to discontinue to sell them. Fact here: Walmart started selling pc's running a semi custom distro of GNU/Linux called gOS in early November of '07. They sold out of the initial run of 10,000 units in two weeks. May 10, 08 they decide to not restock the machines on the floor but continue to sell them online. Walmart took 6mo. to make a decision, not fast.The best column I have read on the reason is here:http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS9088528047.html-=-=-=2) Rob Enderle promises a more consumer-friendly version of Linux is coming in a few short yearsI read this article it's a piece of junk that has more poorly made assumptions then anything else. Other then the fact that this other article comes from the same site she is posting in, it does nothing to redeem Mrs.Lawson's article and only further serves to make one wonder if she really should be writing about this at all.Bottom line, she knows tech but doesn't know the most simple steps that would have gotten her install of GNU/Linux to perform the way she says she wanted? Sorry, it doesn't add up for me.The only reason I responded to this article is because she mentioned that she has a daughter and this machine was for her. One of the focuses of my organization involves gifting computers to homes that need them but cannot afford them. Single parent families and such. GNU/Linux is ideal for this due to it's lack of cost and robust application availability. We even teach a weekly class in downtown Olympia, in Wa. State in using GNU/Linux on the desktop and I have yet to meet one person that does not find using modern GNU/Linux easy, fun, and at least as trouble free as any windows version. Reply

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