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  1. #1
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    Tentatively switching to Linux; program replacements needed

    When I try out Linux, starting this afternoon, I will need replacements that do what my current favorite programs do, or I need to know that using them under Wine is safe.

    My favorite programs are: NoteTab Light, for the ease of editing text files where the line lengths are screwed up, and because it's one click to strip HTML coding.

    A backup program to save my personal files to a hard drive and off-site.

    Convert 4.10 (https://joshmadison.com/convert-for-windows/) because there are so many different converters stuffed into one tiny program!

    WordPerfect 12 because that's how all my personal documents that need formatting are saved, and LibreOffice doesn't convert them properly: they look terrrible. Also, search and replace for formatting codes is easier in WP. And also, I suppose, I've been with WP since DOS days (I don't know which version of WP that is) so I'm used to it.

    Nitro Reader (free version) because you can extract text, most images, and most of all, pin notes to pdf files. If, for example, you download an article and want to save the URL with it, it's 1 click to open a note, and when you close that file, Nitro asks whether you want to save the changes.

    Eudora 7.1 because I've been with Eudora since version 3, I have a lot of mailboxes and.filters already set up, and it's easy to collect all my mail and filter it at once.

    A very, very old program named FooBar (version 1.0.5)--and which I can't find online anymore--that has built-in Reminders, Calendar (just for looking at), sticky notes, password keeper, 12- or 24-hour clock, to-do list, and several other things I don't use.

    And lastly, the only way to access the proprietary software for the off-site backup I use is thru an IE link; it won't work in Firefox. The company switched from contractual and walk-in work to only contractual, so I can't even get an answer to email or phone call requests for help with this. So for this one, I'm asking if using IE under Wine even works.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Please remember there is a learning curve for a new OS whether Win7-10, Mac or Linux. It will frustrate you at first. But you should get the hand within a couple of days no matter what you try.

    As for Wine, and emulators that will run quite a few Windows apps under Linux I have no idea what ones will or won't. At least tow of the apps you ask about state they run under Wine. While I use WordPerfect x5 under Win7, LibreOffice under Linux. You definitely do not want to play with Wine until you are comfortable with Linux's GUI.

    https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManag...rnTo=&iId=3522

    You don't say what you are switching from, but Win7 is still supported through Jan. 14, 2020. You also didn't indicate which distribution of Linux you were going to try. Keep in mind you can boot up and run in memory almost any Linux installation (called a LiveCD) and play with it without installing it from an ISO installed on an optical disk or USB flash drive.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/133515/4-wa...ware-on-linux/

    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/running...her-platforms/
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-08-27 at 20:06.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the speedy reply. I have 3 computers: a custom-built desktop and an HP beatsaudio laptop, both running Win7 Home Premium, and an ancient netbook that originally had XP and and is now running Linux Mint xfce (or something like that), a distro specifically for old, slow computers.

    I don't plan on switching until I have to, or if I am completely happy with Linux, I'll switch a lot sooner. But I will not upgrade to Windows 10 because I refuse to share with Microsoft what they insist I have to share. I almost certainly will use a different distro for the desktop and laptop, because they are a lot newer with much bigger hard drives and lots more RAM. By starting now, I have 4+ years to get used to Linux and find software I like. I would prefer not to use Wine, but to find Linux software to replace the software I now use: a clean break from Windows.

    I'm sure I can make the switch and be happy; after all, I started on a Radio Shack Color Computer II, switched to DOS, then Windows 1 (!), then 3, and then followed along except for Millenium and 8/8.1. None of those changes took more than a month for the initial learning curve, and though I'm admittedly older and crotchety now, I can make my brain and fingers be happy with Linux!

    My only concern with Wine is that I've read it leaves you open to "nasties" aimed at Windows. I don't see how that can affect the Linux OS, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by areader View Post
    And lastly, the only way to access the proprietary software for the off-site backup I use is thru an IE link; it won't work in Firefox.
    I'd be changing my backup method to one that I can always access.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
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    When the computer shop owner installed the software the first time, he told me to copy the shortcut and not lose it because the interface couldn't be accessed any other way. I suppose there are other ways, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to figure them out. Just copying the URL and pasting it into a Firefox address box doesn't work.

    (shrug) When I switch to Linux, it won't matter. By then I expect external hard drives to be small enough to wear like a thumb drive around my neck. So even if my house is broken into again or a natural disaster flattens it, I'll have all the data I care about with me.

  6. #6
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    As long as you have Win 7, your most efficient investment would be to upgrade WP. It’s still the same file extension, the added features make it far better than your version, and many of the new features will give you want within the suite without using external programs.

    Download a trial. Get on their mailing list. Prices fluctuate, so unless it’s straight out of the expense account shop around or wait for an online special. If you know anyone who keeps track of these things, try to get some idea of when the next version is coming. I think your version is too old to qualify for the upgrade price, but at the other end of the scale I bought X7 Home and Student for fifty bucks at Staples.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for replying. I won't upgrade from WP 12. There are 2 things I would really like from a newer version: the ability to save as PDF and import from PDF (that may be there by now) and when you select something that ends in a space, the space is included. They stopped doing that with WP 10, I think, and I really doubt they've put it back. Other than those 2 things, WP 12 does everything I want from it, plus a whole lot of stuff I have no use for, and I have no need for the rest of the suite.

    At this point I use WP primarily to access my older documents. If LibreOffice could import the WP documents without screwing up the formatting (and there are too many to consider manually reformatting them), I would have already switched. In fact, if WP 7 will run under Wine, I may very well revert to that to get back the ability to include the final space!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by areader View Post
    In fact, if WP 7 will run under Wine, I may very well revert to that to get back the ability to include the final space!
    I liked WP7 back in the day, even a few later versions, have used WP for Windows since my first computer in '92. WP is now up to version X7, will soon put it on Win10. I have WP X3, X4 and X5 on various Notebooks. LibreOffice 5 works with the simpler .wpd documents but not too hard to 'fix' others if not too complicated. I keep LibreOffice on hand as it still works with Works .wps and .wks files since Works hasn't been published for a few years.

  9. #9
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    I'd like to see someone either start a thread, or write an article that we can all read, to explain the gifts Windows users have had from the open source community, and rhyme off a significant number of programs that we either already use or could learn on the PC before (if ever) dipping into Linux itself. If you can run it in Windows you can learn it in Windows and may be pleasantly surprised to find it waiting for us in Linux, or readily available there.

    Firefox is the obvious starter - that came from Linux (and there is an interesting argument made by Firefox for its having made Google a nuisance to choose as a search engine these days), VLC, the ever-reliable media player is open source, Calibre, the ebook manager that is in a class by itself, and so on. Gimp is the photo editor of choice for many. So far as I know both of the main office suites for Linux will readily install in Windows, and I don't even know if it's connected to LibreOffice or not, but I have LibreCAD on my desktop in case I suddenly want a CAD program. AutoCAD it ain't, but the office suites are modest by commercial standards as well - the difference in price is where many of us see the attraction. Text editors and such things are a dime a dozen in all systems, and there is a suitable selection available in Linux when you get there, if you decide to go there.

    I have Mint 17.2, and I have just got started with it, but it's pretty agreeable.

  10. #10
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    areader -- I'm late in this thread, but like you, I'm and old DOS/WP5.1 user, and have worked my way through several iterations of WP (Currently using x7 H&S on Win 8.1Pro/10Pro) I also on occasion use Linux Mint 17.2 Debian edition in Virtualbox on Win 8.1, which kind of give me the best of BOTH worlds, IMO. As for reading old WP docs in Linux, have you tried the latest LibreOffice 5? When switching from one program to another, NO program can give you 100% results with importing formatting (might be a few lawsuits if they could! <G>)

    Also, FWIW, there is also some WordPerfect programs around for Linux, though intended for older versions of Linux. I have Corel's WordPerfect8 for Linux, and also the WP 2000 Standard Suite for Linux. I was too much of a noob to get them installed initially, so haven't tried on newer versions of Linux, but that *might* be an option for you. I think Corel gave up trying to support Linux since there were too many "flavors" of Linux and installation was the old CLI instead of the newer GUI installations of today.

    As for Linux, I also use a flavor called LXLE that is Ubuntu-based, but specifically designed for old hardware and former XP users. (http://www.lxle.net) LXLE is also a LiveDVD so you can take a look at it before installing and it uses the LTS versions for longer support. I have an HP Mini netbook that it works the berries on. While not all the programs you listed have immediate replacements that come to mind, Linux Mint and LXLE both have *most* of the programs needed for daily use pre-installed (i.e. LibreOffice suite, SeaMonkey for web/email, Audacity for music, GIMP for photo editing, etc.) It also has a Personal Information Manager (PIM) for calendar, todo lists etc., or you could use Mozilla Thunderbird for email with the Sunbird add-on for calendar. Hopefully this might give you some alternatives to consider.

    Cheers,
    Phil

  11. #11
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    You might try Codeweaver's Crossover Office for Windows programs you want to run in Linux. About five years ago, I got disgusted with Windows because Windows XP's Genuine Advantage prevented my wife's accessing her online library MS coursework (and she was taking a Computer Weed-Out course at the time - Ultra Panicsville !). I used Linux (Ubuntu 8.4) and internet explorer 5 to work around that - so I switched to Linux (Ubuntu and currently Linux Mint 17 (Qiana) almost completely while still dual-booting Windows whatever. It turned out that Windows horrid advantage prevented only accessing her coursework while she was running Windows XP Pro, whereas Windows XP home, and Windows 2000 allowed her to access the University's servers. Anyway, I currently run MS Office 97 routinely under Linux while using Crossover Office (www.codeweavers.com), and it works well. (Yeah, I know - Office 2007 and Office 2010 also work well, and I've got them, but docx is doc dumb!), and it's the best $50 (and the only Linux program) that I've paid for. Crossover Office is basically Wine for Dummies, and it avoids Wine's setup problems, which folks coming from Windows might have. For a Linux email program, I use Opera's linux email, and also Claws Mail. Opera's Windows email client works splendidly under Wine, and I commend it to you, if you like Outlook or similar. Claws email is good but utilitarian. Document viewer (included in most Linux distributions) will display most pdf files easily.

    HTH

    UOBSman

  12. #12
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    Thanks for your program suggestions. I had a very early WP Linux version but when I couldn't get it to work I gave it up--and I gave up on Linux when I couldn't get online.

    I thought I had the LXLE version of Linux installed, but after OKing several automatic updates, now it says Linux Mint 17.2, and I don't know how to check further, the way I would for Windows. Reboot Computers mentioned the LXLE version for the older hardware in my netbook and I told them to use whichever they thought best. I will say that I don't know whether it's the version of Linux, the newly installed extra RAM, the new hard drive or all 3, but Linux is a whole lot faster than Windows 7 was, although still woefully slow doing some things. I'm not concerned about the speed, because when I switch, the laptop and Desktop have much better hardware, so I can use a newer version.

    Somewhere I got the idea that Mozilla was dropping Thunderbird, so I never tried it as a substitute for Eudora (I also was very leery of drive-by emails that install unwanted stuff). I'll have to do so since Linux is safer than Windows. I have used the To Do lists and Reminders in FooBar instead of finding a PIM I like, so it's also time to find a PIM--and a password keeper.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for your suggestions. Since my first introduction to word processing was WP, as opposed to a simple text editor, and early versions of Word didn't give you way to see the formatting, I never thought about installing Office--until I needed a replacement for my database program, and to sync reminders and contacts with my PDA. So I have Office 2000 and 2002--but I haven't installed either of them in more than 10 years! I also hated the size of Word documents back in the days of small hard drives and 3.5" diskettes to save things on. WP's files were and are smaller.

    As for email programs, I didn't mind Outlook, although I hated the way it saved everything in one steadily-gettong-larger .pst file, and, of course, it was/is the target for every hacking program around. I used it at work by necessity but won't use it again now that I'm retired. I will look at the email programs you suggest, in addition to the one pre-installed. Since I'll have to install WordPerfect to access my old documents I will try Wine because it's free, but if I can't figure it out, then it's nice to know there's another option.

    For the pdf vewier, yes, any plain old vewier will work, but Nitro Reader lets you leave notes wherever you want in the file and extract both text and images from most pdf files. Many pdf documents are in columns and/or have fancy fonts and colorful--but distracting--headers/footers. Now that I'm older, I find it much easier to read a plain sans-serif font and forget about all the fancy-dancy stuff, so a plain vewier doesn't always work. Looks like Nitro might be another must-install!

  14. #14
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    Linux programs I use for the purposes listed by the OP here:

    (I don't do everything the OP does, so this is only a partial answer.)

    Backup in Linux is easiest for me by working from an external bootable USB Flash Drive or bootable CD which riuns CloneZilla Live Trusty (there may be an update for a newer Ubuntu build). This is almost a Command-Line environment, but once learned, it works for system backup and system restoration chores. Files and folders are best handled with simple copy-paste or dd-copy methods. Since Linux files tend to be compact compared with Windows files, and Linux does not produce the file fragmentation issues of Windows, these methods work quite well and do not experience performance issues over multiple copies and changes to backup drives. ( info )

    Conversion of images is easily done with XNView ( info ). This is the Linux equivalent of IrfanView. Transcoding formats of media files is easily done with Transmageddon ( info ). Each of these programs has just about every conversion imaginable. Both programs are free for personal use.

    Nitro Reader's capabilities are nearly all included in MasterPDf (non-free version -- this does not mean you have to pay for it; it just means this is not the version in the distro repositories). ( info ).

    While Eudora does not have a Linux version, Thunderbird does. ( info ).

    It is worth noting that Linux generally uses the old Unix .MBX or .MBOX format for storing email messages. Very few Windows programs use this format natively, but both Thunderbird and the older versions of Eudora can export mailboxes as .MBX or .MBOX mailbox formats. In Thunderbird, it is a matter of simply adding the extension to the Thunderbird mailboxes (the ones with no extensions showing in Windows). I have had over 80 percent success with this method of transfer to a Linux email client. Not 100 percent with all messages.

    Thunderbird is no longer having feature upgrades from Mozilla. But there are security updates, I assure you. And open source developers have exprressed interest in either forking Thunderbird, or resuming feature development on their own, apart from Mozilla. I don't know how far these ideas have gotten lately, as I use Claws Mail under Ubuntu Linux (Unity Desktop) and simply exported my Thunderbird mailboxes for use in Claws Mail. This was mostly successful, but not 100 percent.

    WordPerfect Office and the other very Windows-specific programs mentioned are not likely to have good Linux equivalents. WINE does not play well with many of these programs, even though some Windows programs work just fine under WINE. Whuile WINE does open up some vulnerabilities for Linux, it does not open all the floodgates. You would not need to run a special firewall or active antivirus if running WINE under most Linux distros. I do however recommend learning about AppArmor and using it with Linux as one would use EMET for Windows.

    Crossover Office for Linux was originally designed to make Microsoft Office formats usable under Linux, not so much for WordPerfect formats.

    Save To and Import From PDF is supported under Linux by LibreOffice now. But it is true that WordPerfect formats do not translate well to and from LibreOffice.

    As for a distro for a desktop vs. a laptop, most recent laptops can run Ubuntu as well as many desktop PCs can run it. Drivers may be an issue, but this is about an equal problem for desktops as it is for laptops in my experience. The key is to check your hardware for any unusual drivers, such as my laptop's NVidia-Intel hybrid graphics. Those can be real show-stoppers for Linux.

    In answer to dogberry, while browsers (Firefox and chrome/Chromium) do operate much the same way in Linux as in Windows, it is futile to learn LibreOffice in Windows and then expect it to operate the same ways under Linux. The interface is different in the two OS types. And features aren't exactly duplicated from one OS to another in LibreOffice. The same applies to many other programs which have both Windows and Linux versions, including Thunderbird. If one wants to use Linux, it is necessary to devote the effort to learn in a Linux environment.

    All this having been said, I hope we will soon hear back that we have a new (or renewed) happy Linux user. I can't be the only one around here.
    -- Bob Primak --

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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    I'd be changing my backup method to one that I can always access.

    cheers, Paul
    I agree, just use another backup program of the many that are available in the repositories. I use Simple Backup for an easy interface and backup file that are tar files which do not require any special program to open.

    For PDFs you can copy text and pictures out of a PDF using Document Viewer, the default viewer in Linux Mint Mate edition. The note feature is unique so that will be hard to find.

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