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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 07:25 PM EST

As many of you already have heard, Microsoft is orphaning some of its software soon, ostensibly because of the Sun Java lawsuit. The Devil made them do it. "No more free software support" reads one headline.

Free software is fine, actually, and there is no cutoff date ever for free software support. The community is always there.

Microsoft, however, is terminating support for such products as Windows 98, SQL Server 7, Windows NT 4.0, and Outlook 2000. They "are being phased out and will no longer be available to customers through MSDN Subscriber Downloads or other channels at Microsoft". You have until Tuesday to download whatever you need from this list. Extended support will be "retired" for more products in January, including Access 97, Office 97, Word 97, Excel 97, Standard Outlook 98, and PowerPoint 97. Here is a list of products "near the end of mainstream support."

Free support for Windows 98 ended last July, but this is the end of paid support also, as of January 16, 2004. Microsoft will continue to offer a variety of "self-help resources" on its web site until "at least January 16, 2006, two years after phone support for Windows 98 ends on January 16, 2004. These resources include the Microsoft Knowledge Base and Newsgroups." A lot of businesses are still using Windows 98. Now what are they supposed to do? Upgrade or else? eWeek has a special report on this story here. Note the figures Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols collected for his article in eWeek:

"According to AssetMetrix Research Labs, more than 80 percent of companies are still using Windows 98 and/or Windows 95. Dan Kusnetzky, IDC vice president for system software research, tells me that there are still 21 million Windows 95 users out there and about 58 million Windows 98 users. That's about 20 percent of all desktop systems. That's a lot of machines. If you're one of those poor folks, you've just about reached the end of your Microsoft support rope."

For those businesses who never switched to GNU/Linux systems because they thought they need Microsoft support, someone to call, you just might want to consider your "or else" options. If you are wondering what you are going to do next, worrying that you can't switch to Linux because there are applications on Windows with no equivalent in Linux, here is a list. It comes from a page for Linux newbies on Linux.ie's web site, listing GNU/Linux alternatives to Windows applications, and you will see that making the switch isn't as hard as you may have thought. With their permission, I am reproducing its content here in full.

Let's add any other applications that we know about that might be useful for those wishing to switch to Linux now. I would like to add Galeon to the list of browsers. And we should have a list of email applications like Evolution, too.

It looks like there will be more folks thinking about Linux now. We might as well give them a helping hand. Faced with an upgrade or else strategy, a lot of people are going to choose 'or else'.

******************************************

Alternatives to Windows Software
~by Ken Guest
With additions suggested by various members of the ILUG.

As one of the ILUG members who helped out at our stand at e-Xpo 2001, I have fielded quite a number of questions (both 'live' and via email) from people that would use Linux exclusively 'if only...'.
I pretty much intend for this page to grow over time - if you have a question, or want to suggest better alternatives then by all means please email me.

Censorware / Webpage Filtering.
I haven't cause for using censorware myself, but the question was raised by a father of two that he would like to use something equivalent to NetNanny to ensure that the coarser side of the Intenet wouldn't be discovered by his children. DansGuardian seems to pretty much fit the bill here and is free for non commercial use. As far as technical details are concerned, DansGuardian works by filtering out webpages based on content rather than on what the URL of the page is. It can also filter out files based on not just the file extension but also on the files mime-type.

Compatibility with Microsoft Office.
Quite a number of people expressed an interest in being able to read Microsoft files without having to boot into Windows. AbiWord, StarOffice and OpenOffice are all rather good software suites that can both read and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Gnumeric and abiWord are good alternatives for Excel and Microsoft Word respectively.

Accounting Software.
There are many levels and kinds of accounts packages that people use. Some of these have equivalents for Linux and some have direct counterparts. At the personal level, there are GNUCash and AppGen's MoneyDance. At the enterprise level there's AccPac. The middle-ground, ie for small businesses, appears as though it may be inhabitated by Sage and Tas Software - we spent some time during the e-Xpo driving home the fact to representatives of these companies that there is a genuine business need for them to produce software that will run under Linux. Quasar Accounting is another package that you may wish to consider. It's 'fully functional' and runs on both Linux and Windows. It is also good for stock-management (inventory and shelf) and has multistore functionality as well. NOLA does accounting, inventory, point of sale, contact management, billing, puchasing, and reporting all in one integrated web-based package. SQL-Ledger is a multi-user double entry web-based system. A full list of features is available. You may want to read Finances, Linux, and Stuff... by Christopher Browne for other links and information on other Linux based accounting software.

Graphics and Multimedia
Some people asked about graphics packages for Linux. The foremost graphics app for Linux is called The Gimp. xfig is another recommended drawing program for Linux, as is PhotoGenics (which is commercially available for Linux, AmigaOS and Windows.
Corel Draw is also available for Linux.

Digital Cameras
I was asked if it's possible to use digital cameras under Linux - GPhoto will let you transfer photos to and from your camera.

Web Browsers
There is a serious number of webbrowsers available for using under Linux. Some of the more popular ones are Mozilla, Konqueror and Opera.

Firewalls & Internet Security
PortSentry and Snort Also, you should read up on ipchains and iptables.

Diagram Software - Visio
Dia and Kivio are two good alternatives.

Webpage Editors
IBM's Webshere HomePage Builder is a WYSIWYG webpage editor. Quanta Plus is a quick-turnaround webpage editor, you do need to know you're HTML though as Quanta Plus is not WYSIWYG.
Amaya is a highly recommended editor from the w3 organisation.

Desktop Publishing
As far as DTP is concerned, I found Scribus, which is an Open Source project. I'd be inclined to give Open Office (as linked to above) a go as well.

CD Burning
It has been possible to burn CDs under Linux for quite sometime, but it really has gotten very easy to do with the likes of the graphical X-CD_Roast.

DVD Players
Ogle is probably the best DVD player for Linux.> MPlayer is another alternative.

ERP + Contact Relationship Management software
Compiere

3D Art Modellers
Asked for ideas on which Linux based software should be used as an equivalent to Bryce, these were suggested by members of the ILUG:

LinuxArtist.org may list other alternatives and other appropriate links, especially on their 3D Listings page. There are also sections on Freshmeat.net that should be of interest:

Audio tools
MuSE is a very good sequencer. For score editors, try RoseGarden and NoteEdit. Fluid Synth is a good synthesiser.

 

  


Alternatives to Windows Applications | 138 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: fava on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 10:47 PM EST
Unfortunately the one app that my office cannot do without
has no decent linux alternative. Nor does it run well under
wine. If it did I would definitely be migrating some or
all of our desktop machines away from windows and towards
Linux.

The app is autocad.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Solidworks?
Authored by: JMonroy on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:00 PM EST
Similarly, I use Solid Works for 3D drawing/modeling. Linux has no alternative, that I know of. I'd even pay (decent money) for a SolidWorks-like package, it doesn't necessarily need to be free.

Commercial software running under Linux is possible contrary to what SCO would have the world believe.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Pro/Engineer? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:14 PM EST
  • Solidworks? - Authored by: Tsu Dho Nimh on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:37 AM EST
  • Solidworks? - Authored by: jmc on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 06:47 AM EST
  • Solidworks? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 08:13 AM EST
    • Solidworks? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 04:00 PM EST
In other news, more SCO Letters (NY Times)
Authored by: mac586 on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:12 PM EST
Sorry for introducing a switch to another topic, but I thought this story is important enough to share ASAP

The New York TImes is reporting that another round of letters were mailed on Friday by SCO.

The letters, dated Friday, are the second round that SCO has sent to corporate users of Linux. SCO sent letters to 1,500 companies in May, warning them that it contended that Linux had violated its intellectual property rights. SCO owns the rights to the Unix operating system. The company asserts that Linux, a variant of Unix that is distributed free, violates SCO's license and copyright.

The new letters, signed by Ryan E. Tibbitts, SCO's general counsel, name more than 65 programming files that "have been copied verbatim from our copyrighted Unix code base and contributed to Linux."

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: SCO sending new letters
Authored by: greg_T_hill on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:16 PM EST
I dont's know if any one has seen or posted this yet, just came
up on the Yahoo! board by heimdal31.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/22/technology/22sco.html

"The new letters, signed by Ryan E. Tibbitts, SCO's general
counsel, name more than 65 programming files that "have been
copied verbatim from our copyrighted Unix code base and
contributed to Linux."


The letters focus on application binary interfaces, the
programming hooks by which a software application gains
access to the underlying operating system. "We believe these
violations are serious, and we will take appropriate actions to
protect our rights," the letters state."

Could they have picked out the Unix and Posix compliant code
to claim ownership of?

They are naming file names in letters before giving discovery to
IBM. Judge is gonna love that. This apparently the promised
announcement to precede the earnings conference call.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/22/technology/22sco.html

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:17 PM EST
gphoto should be gphoto.org not gphoto.net

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Weeble on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:21 PM EST
As a person who already primarily uses an "orphaned" Microsoft OS
(Windows 95), this latest move by M$ is causing me to look seriously at finally
making the jump to Linux that I've been thinking about for the last 2-3 years.

One of the "or else" factors that I think could backfire on M$ and
benefit Linux is that (IMHO) a large percentage of the PCs presently running
Win95/98/Me are not capable of running Windows XP acceptably. I'm typing this
on a PC powered by an AMDK6/300, which I understand is about the bare minimum
for XP. It's kinda like when Windows 3.0 came out supporting real mode so you
could run it on an XT--maybe you could, but why would you WANT to? So the only
way someone like me can get a "supported" version of Windows (which
is already halfway through its lifespan, anyway) is to shell out $500+ for a new
box, which is something I cannot afford at this time. (Either that or be
successful in my search for a cheap Slot A mamaboard--someone gave me an AMD
Athlon K7/850 the other day, but Slot A mamaboards are as scarce as hen's teeth
and the few I've found cost $150 or more--outta my range.)

It would definitely be a timely thing for the Linux community to get out the
word that there is an affordable alternative to replacing one's computer and
run an even BETTER operating system in the process.

---
"Every time I think I've heard it all from SCO, they come
up with a new howler." Steven Vaughan-Nichols, eWeek

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:26 PM EST
I was asked if it's possible to use digital cameras under Linux - GPhoto will let you transfer photos to and from your camera.
Any digital camera that uses USB mass storage is easily accessable from Linux, with the correct kernel modules loaded.
It has been possible to burn CDs under Linux for quite sometime, but it really has gotten very easy to do with the likes of the graphical X-CD_Roast.
And there is also the pleasure of typing
cdrecord -v dev=x,x,x speed=x xxx.iso
see man cdrecord and man mkisofs

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thanks for the timely article.
Authored by: jmccorm on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:41 PM EST
I'm still running Windows 98 at home. And despite my anti-SCO position, I am
only somewhat pro-Linux. The only Linux in my home is in an appliance: TiVo.

I am at the crossroads now where I realize that this would be a good time to
make a jump. Or, I could buy one of those cheap new computers with Windows XP
installed. Like everyone else, I have that single must-have application that
isn't on Linux: A Nortel Contivity VPN client. Oh. Wow. I just checked.
They've got one to try out for 30 days to see if it works. I may be more free
than I believed.

The only other thing would be little minor applications here and there. Like the
software for my digital picture frame which communicates to it via USB. Then
there is some of the Japanese learning software that I have (which I'm guessing
I'll run under a Windows emulator). Various pieces of shareware that I've
registered over the years.

Maybe this won't be impossible. Just difficult? I wish I could get the Fab 5 to
come over and give me a Linux Eye for the Windows Guy makeover.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CD/DVD Writing
Authored by: Trepalium on Sunday, December 21 2003 @ 11:43 PM EST
My personal favorite program for CD writing has got to be <a
href="http://www.k3b.org/">K3b</a>. It really is as easy
to use as any Windows CD writing software, and has a nice setup wizard that will
configure just about everything for you. The only commonly created format that
it doesn't handle yet is DVD Video. Foreign disc image support is a bit
limited (only bin/cue or iso), though.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • CD/DVD Writing - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 08:39 AM EST
Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:02 AM EST
You may wish to add Bluefish to your list of web editors.

http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:06 AM EST
Huge list for Win/Linux comparable apps:
http:// linuxshop.ru/linu xbegin/win-lin-soft-en/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Silly Linux Question
Authored by: jmccorm on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:06 AM EST
I would have immediately gone for Red Hat for the OS on a Linux PC, just out of
name recognition and knowing that I'd be in the same boat with a good number of
people (which means to me "good support"). But I've read that Red
Hat isn't doing a commercially supported Linux bundle any more and is going to
some nebulous community project as its new "user" operating system.
Great. Whatever works for them.

But where does that leave me? I want something that is safe and very common in a
Linux install. Is there another distro which is almost or more popular? Is this
Fedora thing something I want to tackle as a Linux newb?

I really think Red Had has done a bit to shoot Linux in the foot. But that
aside, what direction should I go when it comes to getting the goods?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: jwrl on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:14 AM EST
For those that must have a Win9X app there is Win4Lin which allows you to
install Win9x (which you allready have) on a Linux system.

Also for a bit more there is VMware

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Tsu Dho Nimh on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:41 AM EST
I'm one of the ones running Win95 ... I'm not worried about losing support
because I never got any from MSFT.

My pother hard drive has SuSE/Mandrake/etc ... flavor du jour.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is the biggest list of equivalents I've seen
Authored by: Queenslander on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:47 AM EST
The table of equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux.
Last update: 16.07.2003.
http://linuxshop.ru/linuxbegin/win-lin-soft-en/table.shtml

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: J.F. on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 01:02 AM EST

Mozilla is not just a browser, but also a great email application, and a WYSIWYG web page editor as well! It even does Javascript debugging for people embedding javascript into their pages.

Another great video and DVD player is xine.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows -- Mac OS X
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 01:29 AM EST
Geez,

I know there's all kinds of Linux on desktop advocates here, but the
software is not ready for office or home for people who don't want to
configure stuff. There is another answer - Mac OS X. Sheesh

- has hundreds of major commercial apps, including photoshop, office,
maya, lightwave, and quickbooks
- built in iPhoto automatically downloads pictures to drive - without you
installing driver
- built in firewall
- built in web browser Safari based on konqueror
- the platform for DTP
- built in CD burning for both data and mp3s
- built in DVD player
- built in contact manager that syncs with Palm OS
- built in audio plug in framework for all audio editing programs to use.
Plug in midi keyboard without installing any drivers. Use in Logic the
next time you run program.
AND NO CONFIGURATION.

-- and it's got BSD underneath.

I mean, it's one thing to be an evangelist for a platform for the things it's

good at. It's another to advocate its use for average end users. Most
people just want to use a tool to get the job done. They don't want to
spend time making the tool work.

And if you're cheap, go get a used one on eBay.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Making Movies With the Penguin
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 01:34 AM EST
non linear editor
http://www.heroinewarrior.com
KINO
Realtime effects:
mjpeg.sourceforge.net
effectv.sourceforge.net
veejay.sourceforge.net
Renderfarming with Drqueue and http://openmosix.sourceforge.net
Blender Rules

[ Reply to This | # ]

MMissing Alternatives
Authored by: wllacer on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 04:34 AM EST
My showstopper is MsAccess used as a RAD and Reporting tool (and also as a
platform for "ad hoc"/small DB Centric applications). I'm still
looking for an FLOSS/Linux alternative. Any suggestion out there?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Migrating to Linux Document
Authored by: jaydee on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 04:41 AM EST
The EU commissioned a document on the subject of migrating to GNU / Linux / OSS.
I can't figure out how to upload a PDF here (the doc is redistributable as long
as it is attributed).

The link below will guide you to it.

http://www.netproject.com/docs/migoss/

The English version of the document is here

http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/export/files/en/1618.pdf

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 04:57 AM EST
Anyone know of a good alternative to Microsofts "Hallmark
Connections" Greeting Card workshop.
My wifes family is HUGE, and the ONLY reason we even keep a copy of Windows is
to run this program. It's a greeting card creation program BTW.
I keep telling her, we could do the same in OO, but she likes the wizards,
templates and graphics the thing gives her.
Incidently it doesn't run under Wine.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Terminal Server / REMOTE ACCESS vs MS and CITRIX!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 06:16 AM EST
For Terminal Server and Remote access (terminal sessions)

GO to:

http://www.k12LTSP.org (Best Newbie place for Linux and LTSP)
http://www.ltsp.org (Linux Terminal Server Project)
http://www.tightvnc.com TightVNC is a free remote control package
http://www.nomachine.com (for X over 9600 baud)
http://www.tarantella.com (well established and mature option)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Need to remove Corel from the list
Authored by: mhoyes on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 06:30 AM EST
Back a while ago, Corel sold their Linux division to Xandros, and looking at
their site, they consider Coreldraw for Linux a legacy product and you can't
even purchase it anymore unless you can find a used copy on eBay or something.
It's funny, but in 2001, when they sold the devision, they were still talking
about support the Linux versions of Wordperfect and CorelDraw, but sometime
after that, they seem to have dropped it.

I seem to remember something about Microsoft but I have no evidence of that so I
may just be seeing spots on the wall.

MEH

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: RSC on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 06:46 AM EST
Have a look at Rekall at:

http://www.rekallrevealed.org/

It is a MS Access like DBM with a lot of similarities.

I does not have its own DB file support, but has postgress, MySql, and XBase
support. The is also a bunch of tools for converting MDB files. Think there
called MDBTools. Just google and you should find them.

Hope this helps...


RSC

---
----
An Australian who IS interested.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: RSC on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 07:20 AM EST
I recently upgraded my RH9 to fedora. The upgrade went great and have had no
issues with Fedora.

Even my wife and two daughters use it with no problems.

While Redhat droped the payed user support they are sponsoring a community based
support structure. And the IRC channel #Fedora on irc.freenode.net is very
active, and full of helpful poeple.

While my PC is dual boot (PC came with XP) I don't boot windows very often at
all. The only thing I boot XP for is the Lexmark All in One that came with the
PC, and only when I need to scan something (Have an other printer).

It is a real shame Lexmark is so anal when it comes to supporting the FOSS
community with their low end products.

I have managed to find replacement apps for all the software I use on my PC.
(Above exception noted).

Camera -> Gphoto.
Office apps -> OpenOffice
CD Burn -> K3b
Database -> Rekall
Browser -> FireBird
EMail -> Eveolution
Music -> Yammi/XMMS or RhythmBox
Video/DVD -> MPlayer
Graphics -> Gimp
Drawing -> Dia
Astronomy -> KStars/XEphems
iPaq Sync -> Evolution/SynCE and Multisync
HTTP Authoring -> Quanta
Desktop -> KDE
Development -> GVim of course!

While I admit that some of these do not come with the Fedora Dist, most do and
the rest (except Rekall which required download and compile) are easily
retrieved from a number of sites (EG: fresh rpms) ready to install.

So don't fear the dists with only community support. If you use the tools out
there (IRC, Google, local Linux group and the mail lists) the community will
give you the support you need. That is what make GNU/Linux and the OSS stuff so
great, the community......

RSC.


---
----
An Australian who IS interested.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 08:19 AM EST
(Hmmm... Why does GROKLAW not let me log in under my account?)

Anyway, yes, it's sad. AutoCAD decided to join itself to
Windows at the hip right from the start, and it paid off by
undercutting the traditional workstation-based CAD products.

Any AutoCAD shop should be looking toward a migration
strategy. DXF translation or OpenDWG are worth looking
into. Ultimately an open data format (SVG? or some
industry standard) should be your target.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Slightly OT, but fits under 'Alternatives'
Authored by: PeteS on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 08:31 AM EST
From CNet there is a story about Austin tests desktop Linux waters

From the article :

The city is about three months into a "nonemotional Linux pilot" project to test the operating system for desktop computers and servers, Pete Collins, director of the city's communications and technology management department, said in an interview Friday. In addition, the city is testing OpenOffice on Windows.

Quite interesting

---
Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity

[ Reply to This | # ]

Slightly OT again.
Authored by: PeteS on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 09:11 AM EST
It is being re ported that Jon Johansen of DeCSS fame has beed acquitted once more by a Norwegian appeals court.

For those unfamiliar with the case (unlikely around here, but I'll say it anyway), the Norwegian white collar crimes unit charged Jon with multiple counts of copyright violations at the 'urging' of the RIAA for finding the exposed keys that permitted decryption of the DVD. The trial court found him not guilty (Don't have the link to that article, maybe someone could find it).

The prosecutors, again at the urging of the RIAA (read : Big bully tactics), appealed the decision to the appeals court. Note that in Norway, a failed proscution can be appealed just as a successful one can be, which is why this case has got this far. The reason I mention that is this is a criminal case, not a civil one where both parties have right of appeal just about everywhere.

Note that there are better alternatives to this now available, and they do not rely on using a known key. Dave Touretzky's Gallery of CSS Descramblers shows many examples, but the original DeCSS code by Jon removed the lockin of using a DVD player sanctioned by the DVD CCA (Copy Control Association).

Nice Christmas (or choose your holiday :) present

So it's not illegal to build a tool that allows users to watch their own legally purchased DVDs on the platform of their own choice.

At least, in Norway.

---
Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity

[ Reply to This | # ]

Discontinuing support for MS product
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 09:26 AM EST
I am really glad this article has been posted to bring some awareness to one of the major failings of proprietary software: You're married to vendors who can - and will - drop support for the products you purchased.

About two weeks ago I was struck with an itch to revisit some old classic games that were released for the DOS/WfW 3.11 platforms in the mid 90s. Anyone who has tried to load these old, classic titles or other legacy apps has probably experienced either they run too fast, crash with division by zero errors, or won't run at all under the DOS-less Windows XP.

To take care of the speed issue, rather than running a throttled VMware session or a Windows distro with Mo'Slo, I scraped together some old hardware and bought what I didn't already have through eBay. For about $75, I put together a PC that was roughly equivilent to what I owned in 1996/7, but at a price of about $1900 less.

After loading up DOS 6.22 and WfW 3.11, I ran into an old Y2K issue in Win 3.x's File Manager - which I entirely expected - but discovered there is nothing available through Microsoft to remedy the problem. Yes, Microsoft released a patch for it back in the late 90's, but this patch isn't even available through Microsoft's own site any longer. After doing a bit more searching, I couldn't find anything related to pre Windows 98 software via Microsoft's site ... as if they never even wrote the software.

I do not expect Microsoft to spend any time in support of this old software, but I find it discouraging that they don't maintain at least an archive of old software patches or even an archived Web address for the now deleted Knowledge Base articles related to problems in said software. Again, all information regarding pre-1998 product has vanished, apparently never to be seen again.

I have managed to Google my way through a couple of the problems to find help through the Internet community, and to my surpise there is a huge base of similarly minded fans who are diving into 'retro'-computing. However, there are still issues centered around some old software and Microsoft's distribution model for it.

IE 4.x and 5.x might as well have never existed. The setup for these old versions required connecting to the Internet to download the install libraries, usually through either microsoft.com or connexion.com, both of which are now defunct. Even 'full' distributions of these old browsers polled the master servers for a package list, so they just can't even be installed anymore.

Without the benefit of an IEAK (Internet Explorer Administration Kit) distributor's CD, these old browsers are gone forever. Even the TUCOWS variants are brain dead, though TUCOWS still offers the entirely useless setup.exe installer for download.

My issues are comparatively minor and admittedly self inflicted. Just imagine the ramification of 20% of current computer owners being shoehorned into the same upgrade-or-else strategy. Windows XP doesn't run well on much of this old pre-Pentium III hardware that will have to be discarded, nor will Office XP/2003. At best, the last OS in the product line that will perform well on a Pentium II or earlier is Windows 98/SE, which will soon meet the same fate as the support and download pages associated with WfW and Windows 95.

I worked for an Internet Service Provider from 1995-2000. I ran into many issues in those early days where a person would try to get Windows 95 loaded on their old 386 or 486 SX computers. It simply would not work, or at least wasn't 'useable.'

The situation at present - while similar - is far, far worse. The install base since the Internet explosion and the introduction of the sub-$1000 PC in the late 90's has grown exponentially. Millions(!!!) of MS customers are using Outlook Express and a Windows 95/98 combination, and don't need anything else.

If grandma can send e-mail and play solitaire, that's enough PC for her.

What will be the result of an exploit/worm/trojan horse that gets unleashed on these PCs without any means of help through the Microsofts, Computer Associates, and Symantecs of the industry?

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: emebit on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 09:35 AM EST
A few others...

web filtering: privoxy (was junkbuster)
email: kmail
spreadsheet: gnumeric

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That many?
Authored by: rsmith on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 10:04 AM EST
There are still 21 million Windows 95 users out there and about 58 million Windows 98 users.

Brr.. I agree with MS (funny, that :-) that people should drop '95 and '98 ASAP.

How many unpatched security holes does that amount to in total? I shudder just thinking about it.

---
Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: pmota on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 10:22 AM EST
A complete distribution of windows free software does
exists: it's called gnuwin.
http://gnuwin.epfl.ch

---
Paul

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Quick and Clean
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 10:24 AM EST
There's is a great little tool for simple databae apps that run in the linux environment (web environment actually but linux has it all) it's called Dadabik. I am using it for some of the simplier things for my employer. Create the database tables and Dadabik automatically gives you the add, update. details, delete, and search functionality forms.

LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) is the way to go. For more dificult stuff I have always been able to find an open source projects that almost fit, and hack them til they do. BTW I am just a computer hobbyist, but Linux has shown me the way.

What so conveniently falls under the blanket of cynicism is a mind which refuses to be bought.

converted (too lazy to sign in)

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Access Replacement. Second thougth
Authored by: wllacer on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:33 PM EST
I asked for an Access replacement and I got a few very different responses, both
in the original thread and in a couple other entries. Reviewing it I discovered
that my original post was wrong in a sense. I didn't specify clearly
"which MsAccess" I did wanted a replacement for. Probably it isn't
anybody's fault, but for the wide scope of the product. So I decided to make a
longer and detailed post (hope somebody is still interested)

1) Access as a Database Engine (aka Jet). My need for Jet is reduced mainly to
Data Design prototyping or offline storage of production data for analisys.
There are tons of FLOSS alternatives, i'm aware of. From the most sofisticated
(PostgreSQL, SapDB) to the barebones (DBM), and a few of them embeddable too
(like GadFly or SQLite), and there are also tons of GUI front-ends for the
basics (DDL management + Database query). There is no lack of choice.

2) Access as an end-user "query and reporting" tool. I've worked
since 1996 with success with following scenario. The operational application is
developed and run with whichever language/dbms is more suitable. We restrict
reports and printouts INSIDE the product to the bare minimum (front desk
paperwork, legal filings, and the like), and we avoid as much as posible to
develop custom OLAP modules. In paralel we develop an MsAccess front end (with
links to the actual database or with a local "warehouse") with the
basic set of general reports and queries built up.
After that, the end user himself, one of his IT pros or we, build and generate
any kind of query or report desired on an "ad hoc" basis. Sometimes
a couple of forms and VBA modules come into the mix.
We have found this is a "win-win" solution. It spares us the need
to get any concevaible report into the product code and to patch it everytime
the user sees fit or to develop/integrate a truly "end user's fit"
report/query builder into the product. The interaction with the user is also
enhanced for the full lifetime of the application. Besides this, if a user from
the medium or upper echelons becomes involved and uses it as a "self
made" OLAP tool (It has happened to me a couple of times) it can be really
"adictive".

This is the kind of tool I really miss. Rekall has the potential to be, but as
I posted earlier, the GPL version is too restricted "in re"
datasources, and -market rules- not beeing free on Win32, doesn't makes me
happy.

3) Access as RAD and application prototyping tool. It's nice to have, mostly
code-less, a form with live access to the database. It helps a lot on the task
of UI designing , and on cleaning the program/user interaction. As the tools are
more or less the same as the prior point i stick with what i said there.

4) Access as a application run time. I sweared I won't do it again. For small
to mid sized applications (in terms of load) PHP and Python serve me now much
better and faster than VBA

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Don't recommend HomePage Builder
Authored by: rittenhr on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 12:45 PM EST
I'd have to disagree with the recommendation for IBM WebSphere HomePage Builder
for Linux. The Linux version is at least a couple versions behind Windows and is
apparently a "dead" product.

The higher end tools, Studio, Application Developer and the like, are supported
but they're $2,000+ & not exactly what one would want for basic web
editing.

Disclaimer: I'm a member of IBM's Scholar's program (i.e. a kind of IBM
partner). We use HpBuilder heavily under Windows (although IBM is also
apparently not interested in further developing that product)
--
Rob Rittenhouse
Computer Science
McMurry University

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 04:51 PM EST
For the academics out there - is there a Linux/OpenOffice-compatible alternative
to EndNote?

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 07:35 PM EST
People looking for CD burning software should really consider K3B. (http://k3b.sourceforge.net/) It is a very nice CD writing program (which recently got support for DVD writing as well!), and is much more 'polished' than XCDRoast. It requires the kdelibs, but so does Quanta for example, and I'm sure you'll want them both. :-)

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 22 2003 @ 07:42 PM EST
Good applications for programmers looking to make a switch
are:

KDevelop (http://www.kdevelop.org/) Best Linux IDE, in my
opinion.
Anjuta (http://anjuta.sourceforge.net/) is another good
IDE.
Glade (http://glade.gnome.org/) is a good user interface
designer for GTK+ applications. The Qt development
environment includes QDesigner, which is simply excellent.

GUI access to scripting languages can be had as well.
There are projects to add GTK+, Qt, and KDE support to
languages such as Perl and Python, and there is a lot of
development going on in with KDE as they work to make
their existing JavaScript engine a suitable scripting
language for rapid KDE development. It is called
KJSEmbed.

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 23 2003 @ 03:51 PM EST
For me its the small applications that I miss.
One example is Ws_ftp. I have yet to find an ftp client i like as much as this.
And as a web programmer, its a good ftp program is essential. I have been able
to set up Ws_ftp on wine, but it fails when I try to upload more then 5 files at
a time. It also lacks the funcionality as on windows.

Winamp - I miss winamp. Yeah, I know there is XMMS, but its just not the same.
Again, small issue.

And I just can't get sound working correctly.

All the major applications: Office, email, browser, text-editor, work great!

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Alternatives to Windows Applications
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 26 2004 @ 03:34 PM EST
alternatives to Visio - Open Office has a built-in flowcharting program that is
a billion times faster than visio, doesn't require the billion entries in your
add/remove programs list (why does EVERY component in visio create a new entry?
so retarded) and can do ANYTHING that visio can as far as flow-charting goes...

alternatives to autocad - what about blender 3d? (www.blender3d.org) i'm just
getting used to it myself, but it seems to be a pretty complete 3d package that
runs on any OS that you'd need/want it to (for the most part)...

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