My Son Has Gone To Linux and He Loves It

Linux Users All in a RowRecently, I announced that I’m going to Linux. And I bellyache about Vista to my family. What happens? My father goes to Linux on one of his machines… then converts three more. (He likes his computers.) Now, my 17-year old has taken an old box I pulled from the discard pile at a client site and has reworked it with a Linux operating system.

They are telling me that Linux has gotten alot easier. They tell me there is very little required to get the OS working other than “dropping in” Ubuntu.

Now, suddenly, my son and father have both joined forces and started giving me crap (in stereo) for not having switched over already.

I’m running a business. I can’t just up and switch without a bit of research, some product testing and getting all my systems and software in place and under my belt…FIRST. I can’t just “go Linux” tomorrow and decide not to worry about all the functionality I need that won’t immediately work.

Why? I’m glad you asked…

OneNote Replacement Woes

My project is going well, although I did have to break down and buy OneNote recently. Until today, I was unable to find anything that’s even close in the open source world that runs on Windows to replace my “must have” OneNote application. I found a couple I plan to try once I go over to Linux. But, this morning, I even found instructions on how to install Tomboy on a Win32 machine (Windows XP to be specific).

Desktop Publishing Replacement Difficulties

I’m still a bit worried about finding an appropriate Microsoft Publisher replacement. I’m looking at Scribus right now. I’ve installed it and poked at it for a few minutes, but have found it less that what I had hoped it would be, so far. I need to carve out the time to sit down and read all the documentation and learn the software, I just haven’t had that time lately. So, I re-installed my Publisher 2003 package last week when I got in a bind and needed to turn around a client project. I hate that I failed to go opensource on that. I’ll try again soon.

Balancing My Books in Open Source

I still have the Microsoft Small Business Accounting package (no, not the free one, because I had the professional version before, and apparently the data won’t transfer “down” to a standard version.) I don’t want to switch over to the windows versions of an accounting program that I’ve found. They all appear to be substandard. Besides I just fixed all my categories to match the Schedule C and I don’t want to do and redo this again. The next time I rework that system, I hope will be the last time. I want a system that will grow with me and not require me to start from scratch again.

I do know that GNU Cash is supposed to be a great program for small business accounting — but it’s a Linux package. So that will have to wait until the switch. Here’s an informative site on using GnuCash to run a small business. I did find instructions for installing GNUCash in Windows here, but judging from the bug reports, I may load this to test, but I’ll not trust my live data to it.

My Current Plans to Move to Linux

I may “borrow” my son’s machine to get GNUCash set up and running with my business information before I make the OS switch. This way, I’d know it’s ready to roll with a backup of the financial information before I lose the current system. That would help reduce the stress of the OS change.

It’s taking a great deal of time to find all (or at least most) of the software I’m going to need to run my business on a Linux machine — but I think it’s going to be worth the effort. And, if things keep moving along at this pace between my software research, my adoption of the new software and being surrounded by those who have already done the OS change-over… I may just go there sooner than anticipated.

Only time will tell.

The next step? Alexzandria will get her first private, unshared computer. And it will be running Linux. I’m going to have Byron set it up for her and get it ready to run. She helped me set up a client machine (Windows) this week and is now old enough to move to the next step and start learning about the nuts and bolts on a machine of her own.

Of course, I’ve not told her that yet. It’s going to be a surprise. πŸ™‚

(Note: Penguins image taken from stock.xchng courtesy of photographer jbakoele)

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