The Superman Drive: Escaping Windows and Embracing Linux

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DeepBlueMorocco

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The following text is an excerpt from today's entry in my Wordpress music journal.

As you're undoubtedly aware, media servers occasionally require a bit of maintenance and today was that day.

For days the Windows 10 free upgrade offer had been calling to me from the bottom of my screen. After nearly a week's hesitation I gave in and accepted the offer. Of course, this was a Microsoft upgrade, so it wasn't going to be a smooth ride. Three failed attempts and a non-responsive Windows Update later I found myself once again growing tired of Windows issues.

Curiously, my fiance was experiencing similar difficulties with her own machine - her latest Windows Update had run for an eternity with no response. Manual installation attempts were fruitless so we gave up and ran the full version installer.


The full version offered an opt-out for updates, but problems persisted when the installer failed to complete due to my multi-boot configuration.

Worse still an attempted removal of the secondary partition resulted in a corrupted MBR. I'd really had enough. Now the system was locked in an infinite booting loop with a dodgy partition. This called for drastic measures.

I raced to the nearest office supply store and snatched up a $9 novelty 8GB flash drive shaped like Superman. At the checkout, I asked if the store had a resident Linux guru and was directed to a scruffy fellow with a yeard (clearly qualifying him for the task). I asked if he knew whether a bootable USB Linux distro would be robust enough to repair a damaged MBR. He wisely responded, "well... it IS shaped like Superman."

And so I went to work. A quick bit of research produced a boot-repair-disk 64bit Linux distro and pendrivelinux.com's UUI software. I had previously left Linux behind in favor of a few Windows-based music management applications a few years ago, but this incident was a wake-up call that I needed to get back to Ubuntu.


After a successful system repair and a bit of research I successfully identified Linux alternatives for two dozen of my most-used applications and worked out the necessary Terminal commands for each of their respective installations.


The Guayadeque Audio Manager - a potential replacement for MediaMonkey Gold​

And with that harrowing experience behind our intrepid hero, Innerspace Labs and our media server are now operating 100% in a Linux environment. It was long overdue, but it feels great to have made it to the other side.



Thank you, Superman.​
 

othersna

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When I finally get fed up with Windows I too may jump to Linux when I get the time to learn it.

Nice shot of Superman with Beethoven behind him. (At least that's who I think it is.)
 

LivingDead

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Barring the need for gaming and specialized applications (Legacy Applications, Graphics/Video Editing, Specialized Software, Dongle DRM, etc), the move to linux is actually a pretty painless and easy task. I'd suggest sticking with debian and XFCE to start, since they both are extremely conservative in their updates. If you are really adventurous or you like having the latest, you could go with arch which has abit of a learning curve but gives you far more control and no real training wheels but will give you a deeper understanding of linux beneath the hood. Id suggest avoiding gentoo and slackware unless you are a sadistic masochist or you need to squeeze maximum performance out of your computer that is actually just parts stuck into a potato. The Various *BSDs are also a pretty good option if that is to your liking.

Software wise most everything has a pretty equally great replacement for windows counterpart, GIMP works pretty well to replace photoshop for minor editing plus touchups, VLC works same in *nix as it does on windows, firefox works the same, and there are plenty of recommendation threads and infographics to help you choose an alternative for linux. The only program I haven't personally found a replacement for that works as well on linux is foobar2k.
 

trefla

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Funny enough my journey happened the other way around: started with Ubuntu and later moved to Windows 8.1 due to professional reasons.
 

dieNal

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Well BOOOOOOO LINUX mainly no Gaming Support, so yeah, I'm sticking with Windows till Gaming is supported with LINUX Plus LINUX has so many more bugs involved than a Windows Machine would have in a year, just pointing out something out, and if you're tired of LINUX and WINDOWS Get a MAC
 

karoo

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Was going to say something, but then I though: What can I say that has not already been said in this Linux vs Windows debate?

To each his own and use whatever works best for you.

Love the Superman flash!
 

cherwonk

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Windows and FireFox update after update after fix.
But at this time my wife also uses this computer and I'll say this... she uses it barely. She can surf a bit and read mails and she used to message me daily, but thats about it. I do how ever have a nice little CentOS7 server set up on my network. Something I plan on using to bring my writing skills back up to snuff before I attempt to put a site out there.
Each OS has its place, Windows is for the masses while Linux is for the Masters.
 

run930

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I still use windows on my main PC, but was always interested in the command line interface of linux, so recently bought myself a raspberry pi.
I recommend to anyone, I use it as an automated seedbox (it runs non-stop), a streamer and for Kodi. Plus, I've gained so much experience in the linux command line while setting up these things, and I have many plans for it in the future (VPN for example). I might even buy a second one! (it's only 35$)
 

DeepBlueMorocco

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Nice shot of Superman with Beethoven behind him. (At least that's who I think it is.)
If that is Beethoven, then it'd be silly to have headphones on him given his deafness.
Earlier this year I decided it was time to upgrade the $9.99 wire banana hanger from Walmart that I was using as a headphone stand for my Sennheiser HD380 Pro monitors. I toyed with the idea of an Easter Island head statue, but in the end the Beethoven concept was wonderfully befitting of my character and my style.

Transitional classical-to-romantic elegance with a touch of bittersweet post-modern irony (given the man's inability to hear). I couldn't be happier with the result.



...there are plenty of recommendation threads and infographics to help you choose an alternative for linux. The only program I haven't personally found a replacement for that works as well on linux is foobar2k.
Livingdead, my previous self would have bombarded fellow Linux users in my social circle with an assortment of questions about various Linux software alternatives, but by 2015 I've developed enough of a proficiency with Google to find answers to all of my queries independently and in a matter of minutes instead of hounding others for their knowledge.

I realize that the web is a brilliant resource for information - and chances are that no matter how "unique" my hardware/software setup may be, there's probably a bloke out there who has already asked my question, and a hundred answers from the community just waiting to be read.

I found suitable Linux alternatives to 23/24 of my primary applications without leaving the comfort of my desk, and for the odd one out (Carbonite) I will continue to explore alternatives for my continued multi-TB archival storage.



As for music management software, I'd previously used MediaMokey Gold to manage my 105,000+ track library, and so far the best alternative I've found is gmusicbrowser. It is insanely customizable and can mimic the layouts of numerous other applications, but best of all the CPU usage with my entire library loaded is next to nil. Outstanding!
 
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DeepBlueMorocco

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UPDATE: Stumbled upon a magnificent library of .layouts from vsido.org with an accompanying step-by-step installation guide. After about 30 minutes of perusing the 40-odd GUI layouts for gmusicbrowser bundled in the collection I came upon one which wowed me. A few minor tweaks later and I found myself with a large library manager and player with an incredibly powerful interface which permits me to fully-indulge my metadata fetishism.

Have a look - this is better than anything I had Windows-side!

 

halofan102

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I'm currently a apple fanboy, but ready to make a full switch to linux after having tried out linux mint on an old late 2006 macbook 2,1 as a seedbox.

Why pay so much for a mac when you can do all the same things with linux (if you don't mind tinkering to get things working properly, mind you)?

I can't wait to try out the debian derivative operating system that Valve created called "SteamOS" for gaming.

I love that Valve is encouraging gamers to go to linux!
 
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DeepBlueMorocco

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Update Triple Play: I am on cloud 9. Couldn't be more delighted.

With my Ubuntu install complete, all app packages running smoothly and configured to my liking, I looked up how to backup my configuration - all apps and settings included.

Of course - there's an app for that.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install aptik


The back up of my entire OS config (sans the .ISO) took just over 30 seconds and the resulting archive is a whopping 29MB.

I should have done this YEARS ago.
 

oklahomaboy

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For me it's a complete and utter lack of knowledge of Linux combined with the perceived notion that I'd have to type everything.
While I don't mind typing that much, a mix of clicking around with the mouse and having to learn this new OS from scratch kind of withholds me. I'm not particularly clever, especially not when it comes to figuring stuff like this out.
I've been fortunate to have gotten help with it when in need, and parts of that were seen and parts unseen, the parts I saw were mystifying at worst lol, the unseen parts I can only imagine. Linux is awesome for stuff such as RuTorrent though, so I guess I'm using it indirectly, but running a machine with only Linux sounds far too difficult to me :)
 

trefla

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You could never know before you will try it Oklahoma mate. I have given my Pc with Ubuntu OS to my nephew and at the age of 4 he was watching films, YouTube listening music and play games on it. My brother is an IT specialist and he couldn't even figure out how to turn it off the first day.
Give it a try, you either love it or hate it.
 

oklahomaboy

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Thanks for the vote of confidence. But I suspect you're overestimating my capabilities.
When it's up and running, maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to get around. But just setting up my seedbox in windows, I googled for hours, got literally a headache from it :S I just gave up, none of it made any sense to me.
At this moment, I love it for it's stability and I love rutorrent, but hate it for being beyond my level :S
 

AbeSimpson

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I'm really ignorant of Linux. Is there a version of Linux that is similar to Windows. I mean can you basically click your way around without having to use the command line. I really don't like using the command line. I can type well, but I just find using icons and graphic based OS to be my thing
 
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