Converting a Windows 7 user to Xubuntu 13.10 & Miscellaneous Observations about Xubuntu 13.10

Richard Elkins richard.elkins at
Sun Dec 15 05:46:16 UTC 2013

Thanks, Peter.

You converted Visio 10 files to SVG and import them to Inkscape?  I hope
so!  I'll keep that in mind.  I really miss Visio; too bad they did not
go open source instead of being bought by Microsoft.

I have never seen `wine` successfully handle Photoshop in the past.  You
did?  Also, Photoshop all by itself is a HUGE resource hog and sever
slowpoke so adding the wine emulation layer is going to make it even worse.

My big Outlook issue was not Outlook Express.  It was the full Office
Outlook fat client with zillions of calendar entries, about 5 years of
mail, and about 500 notes.  Outlook Basic was able to save everything
into sequential files so I could import them into Yahoo Notepad and
Calendar.  The mails had to be scraped into flat text (ugh) and stored
as Yahoo Notepad entries.  As I said, I don't recommend this.  There are
probably workable solutions to transforming Outlook files to Evolution.

Stealing software is, unfortunately, too easy ---> various Bittorrent
sites to download ISOs and product key generators.  I've tried to argue
the morality of the issue but people just rationalize theft when they
feel they cannot afford $300 for Microsoft Office or $600 for Photoshop.


On 12/14/2013 04:55 PM, Peter Flynn wrote:
> On 12/14/2013 05:59 PM, Richard Elkins wrote:
>> I have converted neighbors and family members to home-PC-Linux since 
>> 2003, lately exclusively to Xubuntu. They were all non-computer-tech 
>> people with various levels of experience and education. My simple 
>> approach (like an interview):
> This is an excellent summary, thanks.
>> Would you like to
>>   * avoid being forced to periodically purchase new hardware by the
>>     basic software vendor?
>>   * avoid being forced to periodically purchase new versions of
>>     essentially the same basic software and office software?
>>   * stop being tempted into stealing software from Microsoft and other
>>     Windows vendors?
> I doubt that would apply here; most of my neighbours and family wouldn't
> know how to steal software, and perhaps not even know that it is
> possible. But in many circumstances it would be important.
>>   * reduce time dealing with spyware and viruses because your "basic
>>     software" (OS) is being targeted by miscreants?  Linux like Android
>>     could still be attacked but this is a probability question.  One
>>     still needs protection on a Linux system.
>> Nothing is "free".  There are ONE-TIME (fixed) "costs" in terms of
>> personal time investment associated with adopting Xubuntu for a new
>> non-computer-tech user:
>>   * During the migration, stored data must be backed up from Windows and
>>     restored to the new Linux system.
> Not usually a problem, but watch out for foolish Windows applications
> that store their user files by default in the program installation
> directory (probably not under Win 7/8 but certainly a problem with XP).
>>   * Learn a new desktop and set of programs.  Essentially, learn how to
>>     go find things one uses and operate, in general, in a different
>>     manner.  Change is always a pain.  Intelligence and curiosity
>>     helps.  People locked into habits will probably not succeed.
> Terminology is also sometimes a problem.
>> Potential large hurdles:
>>   * Gamers and XBox owners.  I said "potential".  If this is a teenager,
>>     you can try to sell them about the rebellious open source
>>     community!  (-:
> N/A for me :-)
>>   * Migration of Microsoft Office to LibreOffice - Fortunately, the
>>     Microsoft Word-documents, Powerpoint-presentations, and
>>     Excel-spreadsheets are normally converted without too many issues;
>>     some will probably require some manual cleaning up.  
> If it's possible to configure Libre Office to Save As...Office 2010 by
> default, I haven't found it. Training is needed if the user wants to
> exchange Office documents with others.
>>     The big
>>     obstacle here is the Visio drawing tool.  There isn't a way that I
>>     could find to convert their drawings to be imported by `dia` or
>>     other Linux drawing tools.  Mine too.
> Save As...SVG from Visio. Import into Inkscape.
>>   * Outlook mail/calendar/etc. - I converted myself a long time ago by
>>     doing a lot of Windows and Linux programming which effectively moved
>>     me from Outlook to Yahoo almost-equivalents.  I don't recommend this
>>     approach.  This is probably an individual by individual solution,
>>     assuming there is one for a given individual (no other stumbling
>>     blocks).
> If they were Outlook Express users, move them to Thunderbird. Otherwise
> they're almost certainly using web-based email, where the problem
> doesn't apply unless they want to use Chrome/FF/Safari to access OWA, in
> which case they get the dumb interface instead of the smart one.
>>   * Photoshop to The Gimp?  Photoshop is very complex to operate and so
>>     is the Gimp.  I could not find a way to migrate one artist (my
>>     daughter) from Windows to Linux because of this single issue (she is
>>     already a Firefox and LibreOffice user).  I don't think she is
>>     unusual in her disdain for large-scale change of habits.
> If this is a deal-breaker, for the sake of $50, get Crossover WINE and
> install Photoshop in it. Both Photoshop and GIMP are pains in the butt,
> and GIMP used to be one of the most non-obvious interfaces I have used,
> although it has improved marginally in the last 2-3 years.
> ///Peter

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