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Thread: MAC or PC?

  1. #21
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    You all are wonderful!

    How great to have a tech support team at my fingertips. I'm not going to be buying tomorrow, as much as my Win95 machine kees threaqtening to make that my deadline, but I hope to clear away a couple things and get on this pronto. Not even being able to run Turbotax this year cost me more energy than I wanted to spare. And it usually freezes on the frst two boots.

    CapnGimp, Linux is one of those mysteries to me, so please forgive my rudimentary questions. Does it have its own set of programs to run on it, or can it run Windows versions of programs? Would i be able to read/convert my last 10-20 years of Word or WP files, excel spreadsheets? And how hard would it be to set up those wonderful networking things you describe. My life isn't nearly so complicated as the networks you describe.

    My ideal would be to have wireless keyboards and screens in dfferent rooms talking to the same central computer, not even have peripheral machines. Nobody has given me any hope that that's possible on any system.

    I just do basics right now--Word, Excel, quicken, oulook, exlorer--and want to have the power/memory to run all that w/out crashing, but I' like to start in the right place for being able to add more multimedia stuff, and voice recog.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by singin_intherain
    Does it have its own set of programs to run on it, or can it run Windows versions of programs?
    I think Open Office will meet some of your needs when it comes to using Linux. I don't believe you will be able to use voice rec with this operating system. By the way, Open Office looks and works pretty much the same as Microsoft office but it is free. I'll let the Captain reply to the rest of your questions.
    Last edited by PN; 11-15-2005 at 11:02 PM.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member LaoziSailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singin_intherain
    ..., and voice recog.
    XVoice provides voice control of X applications using IBM's ViaVoice for Linux (free download at their web site). Both user-defined commands and dictation are supported. It can be used to write letters, write code, control netscape, etc.

    Cap'n, I'm just a laozisailor , you take it from here.
    Han Tacoma

    ~ Artificial Intelligence is better than none! ~

  4. #24
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Yes it has it's own programs, which come free when you get the cds/dvd. There are a plethora of programs out there. To help you understaND... THIS IS ALL WRITTEN BY USERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, FOR FREE, to be distributed freely. NO money involved.
    As Paul said, Open Office is the equivalent of MS's word processing programs. Yes all the old ones should be able to be read/converted. As a matter of fact, you can download it for free and use it on MS machines as well.
    In most distributions(different versions) there are equivalent programs with the install media. As I said before, any program you run on a MS machine has an/many equivalent(s) in linux.
    The modern versions are pretty much plug n play like windows is, that is if you have it hooked up when you do the install, linux finds, identifies, and sets up any hardware. So networking is simple and VNC is built in to most distrobutions that I have used.
    There are some limitations... if you are buying bleeding edge hardware, you might want to check to see if your version of linux supports it or if you have to download drivers for it. Which is really no problem.
    As far as multiple monitors/user interface setups with only one computer, it's really best to get a few cheaper computers and network them. Then you have the same amount of money with much more capabilities.
    You can get new computers for 3-400 dollars now and remember your operating system and all software is FREE>unlike with microsoft systems.
    There is a lot to be said for having a laptop for true portability. I used to load up a desktop and monitor onto a dolly and roll it outside everytime I wanted to use my telescope for astrophotography, really a pain in cold weather. I called it my HillBilly Laptop.
    Linux operating systems can read any Microsoft os that is using any file system OTHER than ntfs. You are using win95 so you are fine. Anything you wanted to use could be moved over or even just put the hard drive in the other computer as an extra and read directly off of it. Easier to write the files to a cd though.
    I would recommend getting a newer computer, as to efficiently use newer software/operating systems you need the upgrade.
    When you go up to modern multimedia, you NEED the power a newer system affords. For example, I put a dvd burner in an older P-II system and it wouldn't even PLAY a dvd,lol. I knew better, was in a hurry, generally have a few here working on them at any given time.
    With the win-95 system, you are pretty limited what you can do. If I remember correctly, most video cards in that agegroup, didn't have even dual monitor capability, it required external hardware to power multiple monitors.
    At my bro in laws dental office we have two monitors per computer for some of the operatories so the patient can view pertinent info in their seat while the other is for the tech working on them. I used a dual monitor card at one time, until a software/hardware upgrade caused conflicts, then I just switched to a single monitor video card and a splitter off of it, but you can only see the SAME info on those two monitors. Also, there are length restrictions on the cable w/o adding an amplifier between monitor and computer. I think about 12 feet is where it is now.
    To make it simple, it is easier with a computer per monitor, if there is much distance between screens, such as you are envisioning.Someone is bound to come and say it IS POSSIBLE but I am assuming you want to be COST EFFICIENT.
    Any way, I think I answered your question....I hope,lol. If not, try me again. I have my laptop hooked up in my bed for extreme comfort, wireless keyboards and mice are all I use. My tv at the foot of my bed is my monitor. NO visibilty problems there,lol. I roll around the room and can operate and see it from anywhere unless I'm in front of it.
    I get all my parts from www.neobox.ws in Houston, been using them since I lived there years ago, before the present owners bought the previous out. They sell systems and parts. Most systems they sell now are 64 bit AMD, waste of time loading WINDeRZ on them, they don't have a 64 bit operating system YET,lol. You are not using all the hoSSpower that way. Another great benefit in the linux world.

  5. #25
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by singin_intherain

    I just do basics right now--Word, Excel, quicken, oulook, exlorer--and want to have the power/memory to run all that w/out crashing, but I' like to start in the right place for being able to add more multimedia stuff, and voice recog.

    As an afterthought, you could probably pick up a used computer that is at least an AMD 1700 or above(I prefer AMD) or a Pentium 4 on up and have plenty of power to use voice applications made today. I would stay at or above 1 GHZ processors generally speaking. 512 meg of ram minimum. This would hold you for the near future. We still have AMD 850 Mhz and a couple of P3 800 Mhz computers running in the office. I just recommend if you are spending g00d m0ney, go ahead and get newer hardware. Now if you are getting the lower end things listed above, don't spend more than 100 bucks on them, a bit more and you could have newer equipment.
    Another thing to keep in mind with older stuff.... hard drives, as the size and speed increased, so did the amount of heat generated, thus decreasing lifetime(warranty). Where you used to get a 3 year, now you get one or pay extra. Keep this in mind if buying used. Components such as these are readily replaced by yourself however.
    You get the idea. Anyway, let us know if ya got any more questions. <big grin> Somewhere, I tried to warn folks that I was longwinded, and I detest typing,lol.

    btw La0zI, I'm gonna look into Xvoice, didn't know about it. I'm trying to come up with a reliable way to get "closed captioning" on the screen behind speakers at church with a puter, so folks with hearing problems can read what is said real time. Don't know if anyone is doing it, but I gotta get on it someday. Hopefully on the cheap, you guys got any ideas?
    Last edited by CapnGimp; 11-16-2005 at 01:04 AM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member lurch's Avatar
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    Do macs require their own peripherals or would the scanner/printer from my pc be compatible with a mac?

  7. #27
    If your scanner and printer are fairly recent, they should be compatable if they have USB 2.0 capability.

    (KLD)

  8. #28
    Depends on the manufacturer, but most are cross-platform compatible. KLD, USB 2.0 isn't a big deal unless the peripheral is 2.0 only. Any 1.1 device will work on a 2.0 port.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by lurch
    Do macs require their own peripherals or would the scanner/printer from my pc be compatible with a mac?
    Lurch, I have not yet met a peripheral USB device that did not work for the Mac. This includes every kind of printers, digital cameras, hard drives, and digital RAM devices. In my experience, the powerbook can interface with more devices than any other laptop computer that I have seen. It has USB 2.0 and Firewire, S-video and digital video, microphone in and a built-in microphone, earphon out, an automatic 1 GHz ethernet that adapts to 100 MHz and even different wiring. About the only thing that it cannot do is external SCSI which Apple dropped from its powerbooks about 5 years ago.

    Wise.

  10. #30
    I recently switched to a MAC and love it. I don't even want to look at a PC anymore

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