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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Replacement for Windows

    Received email advertising R4W (Replacement for Windows from On-Disk. Does anyone have experience with this product which claims to completely replace Windows? Is this for real? If so what are the downsides?
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  2. #2
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about this particular product. But I know lots about others who have made such claims or such efforts, not only about Windows, but also about other Microsoft products. The most prominent one was Novell. At one time, Novell was the absolute king of networking. They decided to take Microsoft on in the DOS and Applications arena. As a result of their efforts, they lost their dominance in networking to Microsoft, and they lost their shirt (and pants and shoes and everything else) in the process. Today there is no more Novell Corporation.

    Other examples: Borland, Netscape, Desqview, GeoDesk. All had great products, most better than Microsoft. But Bill Gates has always been the master in wiping out other companies on his way to the top.

    A recent entrant into the suicide parade: REBOL. They recently claimed that they would "put Bill Gates out of business!". The reason I know about REBOL is because a friend of mine got taken in by their sales pitch.

    If anyone should be able to unseat Windows, it should be Linux. But even though Linux is FREE, they haven't made hardly a dent.

    I therefore predict that R4W will soon go down in flames.

    The one threat to Windows' domination is all of the non-Windows mobile devices. But with the advent of Windows 8 and its successors, that might not happen.

  3. #3
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    According to Distrowatch.com, R4W is Linux.

    "R4W (Replacement for Windows) is a Debian-based distribution designed to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Windows 98 - XP era computers. It is intended to be used by computer refurbishing/recycling centres and businesses. The goal is to keep perfectly good computers from becoming e-waste, as well as helping small businesses prosper by saving money."

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffraff View Post
    According to Distrowatch.com, R4W is Linux.

    "R4W (Replacement for Windows) is a Debian-based distribution designed to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Windows 98 - XP era computers. It is intended to be used by computer refurbishing/recycling centres and businesses. The goal is to keep perfectly good computers from becoming e-waste, as well as helping small businesses prosper by saving money."
    I therefore predict that R4W will have a small niche of the market, and will prosper in that niche.

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  6. #6
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    Ogg want know why re-invent wheel?

    My question is why go with an unknown -- presumably not free -- solution, when a proven one exists.

    I switched to Linux some years ago. Tried several types. Finally settled on Ubuntu, since it was well established, very user friendly, ran on older hardware with no driver issues and required minimal user support. It was mostly the driver issues that pushed me away from Windows: "Oh, pfff, that old thing! We no longer support "that sort" of hardware." Since then, I've used it to rejuvenate many obsolete systems (which normally run better than new, and with "today's" user experience), do recoveries, etc. Runs fine on systems with limited RAM and small HDD. The only downside I found was that my Atmos ai dive computer wouldn't talk directly to it. To deal with that, I run XP (or Win2K, or both at once) in virtualBox.

    I don't always run Windows, but when I do, I run it inside VirtualBox (free from Oracle, if you can imagine such a thing), within Ubuntu. Totally trouble free. And Ubuntu continues to run fine while Windows plays in its little sandbox. While you do have to install the guest OS, VirtualBox (and others like it) sidestep driver issues by lying to the Guest OS (Windows, in your case) and pretending to be whatever type of NIC, Video Chip, etc. that the OS needs to see.

    Oh, and BTW, the usual way to check out Linux before committing, is to download the ISO image and burn a "Live Install" CD (Yes, it fits on a CD, even with the included office suite). You decide whether to test drive the OS without installing, install alongside, in a dual boot configuration, or install as the sole OS.

    The dual boot works effortlessly. None of the epic battles of yore, getting the system to dual boot.

    Any you can't beat the cost -- in your money, your time, or wear and tear on your blood pressure.

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    New Lounger
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    I have installed the older version is several 2003-2005 laptops, and it preformed well. the 2013 release is MASSIVELY improved and will run many Windows programs in compatibility mode without configuring WINE.

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    Setting up a dual boot is simple and thus will allow you to take a run any Linux OS you wish. There are so many varieties as spoken earlier,with Ubuntu being one. So many to choose from depending on what you choose to do with it or what you need to do with it. Like they said download an ISO cd from about anywhere and give it a spin.Most who don't like it have always used Windows and nothing else,it just takes a little time and you too can and will be glad that Bill Gates and Microsoft will no longer rape you or drag you trough the coals for anything.You night find a use for that hard earned cash not given to the monopoly (lol) called Microsoft.I still use Redhat personally,works fine.

  9. #9
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    For those who want to dual boot Windows and Linux, but are concerned about the learning curve or making changes to the existing Windows installation, use the Wubi installer. It runs from within Windows and installs Linux to a file in the Windows file system. It adds an entry for Linux to the Windows boot menu along with a few other files and folder. Otherwise, the Windows installation is unchanged. Linux can then be removed (as a 'program') from within Windows, if desired.

  10. #10
    Star Lounger catilley1092's Avatar
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    Yes, Wubi can be used to get the feel of Linux, however it's not a full fledged experience. This was my first attempt at Ubuntu, inside of XP. Used it for two weeks, my inexperience & lack of knowledge of Linux caused my XP Pro install to be toasted. I installed in Ubuntu an app called "Computer Janitor", once I ran it, I was no longer able to reboot into Windows, although Ubuntu was installed inside of XP as a program.

    At the time, I was not as experienced as today, & was slack on backup. I had always counted on System Restore to bail me out of trouble. No such luck here, as I couldn't get into the OS, period. Not even the MS rep could assist me in the matter, although she spent 50 to 60 minutes (at no charge) to do so. She did hook me up with Dell & helped me to obtain a recovery CD at no charge.

    So if you're going to run Wubi, first backup your entire drive that your OS(s) resides on. As a rule of thumb, everyone should be doing this anyway, monthly. More often for data & if a SSD is being used. Then, make sure that the partition where your Wubi install is going to be is thoroughly defragged (this excludes SSD's). The Wubi install will perform like total crap if this step is skipped, & the real problem comes later when Windows is booted into & the OS cannot be defragged any lower than 25 to 50+%. So both OS's will run like crap until Wubi is uninstalled.

    Personally, although I feel that Wubi can be better than running in a VM, if the user has plenty of RAM (4+GB & a 64 bit computer), the VM is the safer & better option. VirtualBox & VMWare Player is totally free. Keeping in mind that this is just "getting a feel" for whatever version of Linux is being ran.

    One suggestion that I'd like to make, & even Ubuntu 12.04 doesn't offer this, for those with older computers, Linux Mint 13 (Mate version) is the latest full fledged OS that can run on non-NX equipped computers (Linux calls it PAE, a must for Ubuntu 12.04 or greater). Thing is, Mint 13 is based upon Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (5 year support) & is far more secure than XP. If one can run the Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera browsers, you're well on your way to learning the Linux world. BTW, Linux Mint is now the 3rd most used OS worldwide, behind Apple (all) & Windows (all). It is pulling away from Ubuntu very fast, amazing when one considers it wasn't even born until 2006.

    Mint 13 is easily dual booted with any of your Windows OS's & requires very little space to run. A realistic amount of space is 20GB, 12GB for the OS (/), 8GB for Home (/home) & 2GB for Linux Swap (same as pagefile for Windows). This is assuming a non-power user (not creating VM's, etc). Linux is very easy on storage, & many of the things that Windows needs, like defrag, isn't needed. The more you run Linux, the faster it gets (really!). Many says no AV or security is needed, however I go against those statements/claims & run security on my Linux OS's. The options are free & takes only a couple of minutes to run. Also, run adblockers in your browsers. NoScript for Firefox is just as important for Linux as it is for Windows.

    And keep in mind, just because 99.999% of Linux users brags about no security is needed, doesn't mean that one should download everything on the planet, nor visit every seedy corner of the Internet. Your ISP is still watching you.

    In closing, there is no true replacement for Windows. Nor is there for Mac or whatever version of Linux one runs. The OS is going to be different, & there's going to be a learning curve. It may take a day to get the hang of the browsers, & getting started on the feel of the new OS. However, it will likely take weeks or months, depending on what all Windows is being used for, apps & all, to get in the groove of Linux. If you're one that only uses the computer to web browse, send & receive emails, make purchases (not a power user), you'll feel at home with Linux Mint 13 Mate in days. Not to mention a faster computer due to the low overhead.

    Did I mention that you DON'T need driver CD/DVD's for Linux? Most hardware installs itself during installation, which is why one should install from the Live CD/DVD. Your Ethernet connection will connect & you'll need to enter your passphrase for your wi-fi card. The most likely issues are some GPU's (mainly AMD) & some Broadcom wireless connections. Nothing that can't be overcome.

    Cat
    My System Specs:

    http://speccy.piriform.com/results/N...gWw3zT1A30RkV3 MSI Notebook (OEM Win 7 Pro x64)

    http://speccy.piriform.com/results/8...3hQlSkXzuDfbKb Dell XPS 8700 w/Windows 8

  11. #11
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    Computer Janitor is a Linux application designed to clean Linux systems. It goes without saying, that it should be used with extreme caution on multi-boot Linux installations, since Linux can see and modify the other OS partitions, regardless of how Linux is booted or installed.

    Wubi does nothing more than to create a loop back block device from an empty file. Linux treats that device as a hard drive for its installation, while Windows sees it as an application, although it is NOT an executable file.

    That means that Linux booted from this device will operate EXACTLY as Linux booted from a hard drive partition, with perhaps some minor performance variations. If you want a full fledged Linux experience, you should compile your own version and work from the command line. LOL

  12. #12
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    " ........ since Linux can see and modify the other OS partitions...".

    Quote Originally Posted by hemeloser View Post
    .... since Linux can see and modify the other OS partitions, regardless of how Linux is booted or installed...
    So, here's my 2 questions to all,
    if the above is indeed true:

    My PC currently runs:
    win XP pro SP3 32 _fully updated_.

    IF I install UBUNTU (or Linux MINT)
    as a 2nd alternative OS - in DUAL-BOOT mode:

    Q1:
    When I'm running Linux,
    can any malware/trojan/etc. threat
    "reach out" into my win XP partition, data and files?
    (so that when I LATER boot into XP,
    it can come back and bite me?...).

    Q2:
    How do I effectively and totally "isolate"
    the XP and the Linux OS partitions,
    so that the above threat,
    does NOT happen?
    Last edited by SF99; 2013-03-21 at 16:46.

  13. #13
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    I'm sorry that my post wasn't clearer. The biggest danger is from the user himself, because he CAN have access to and the permissions necessary to effect these destructive changes. In the above example, Computer Janitor requires root priveleges to run. The user defeated the built in safe guard without knowing better.

    Most malware is written to run on Windows platforms. It presents the greatest likelihood of sucess, simply due to the percentage of users. What you suggest is not theoretically impossible, but would involve another step. Most Linux users do not dual boot Windows, and so do not constitute a reasonable target. I wouldn't worry about that.

    When you're running Windows though, its a different story. You need all of your safeguards in place.

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