Need a simple Linux OS

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djw746 Posted: Wed, Sep 9 2009 7:01 PM

I am unfamiliar with using Linux (or any of the kernal variants), but I would like to set-up a platform that will run without any maintenance  after I give it to my friend for her birthday (my fiance's roommate since she will need computer after my fiance becomes my wife).  She is not be planning on buying any Windows games, and I am aware of software like WINE that can play windows games but at a decreased performance.

The major thing is that it must be able to run Microsoft Office 2007 for her college stuffs.  I have seen nice online replacements but do not know how well they work.  Here is one called Live Documents.  Any informed help would be greatly appreciated since I am so unfamiliar.  The free-er the better but i do not know if it is compatible (I also need a compatible media player)...

***Live Documents is great for those who have not found this wonderful site yet.***

I basically would like to set-up her computer to be able to connect the internet with IE (blah, i know but she wants it), write papers and powerpoints, and play DVD's and CD's.  I would like it to be compatible both hardware and software wise (things like adobe flashplayer and wireless adapter), and run trouble-free (as much as possible since I will probably be tech support).  The current system has the free Windows 7 RC but that will obviously need to change next year.

Much thanks

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Sep 9 2009 8:31 PM

For an Microsoft Office replacement, you should just install OpenOffice.org.  Most Linux distributions already have packages in their repos (you don't have to go different websites to download software with Linux, you just use the built-in package manager and it downloads/installs everything for you).

OO.o will open pretty much any Microsoft Office document and allow you to save back to that format as well.  They also make OO.o (freely available) for Windows.

As far as which Linux distro, you might want to check out PCLinuxOS, which I understand to be a fork of the easy to use Mandriva.  Ubuntu's another good choice, but I don't really care for the Gnome desktop.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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djw746 replied on Wed, Sep 9 2009 8:59 PM

any media player recommendations?  or do most work with most linux variations? 

I have heard good things about Mandriva and Ubuntu... I will try PCLinuxOS first... if they're as straight-forward as their name then it might be perfect

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djw746:
any media player recommendations? 

VLC

 

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 7:56 AM

I'll second Bob on this.  VLC is my favorite player too.

Every once in a while you may run into an odd/broken file that it can't play.  In that case, MPlayer is a good choice.

When using any Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu flavor, it's a good idea to check out the codecs available from Medibuntu too.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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urielsd replied on Sun, Sep 13 2009 2:39 PM

Yes, that is a good player, but only if you are not playing High Definition videos. For HD I recommend Media Player Classic Home Cinema(its performance is way superior).

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It's not a Linux player though.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 8:10 AM

I've not had any problems playing HD videos with VLC in Linux.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 10:41 AM

I  am not sure about its maintenance friend-liness , but Jolicloud is a nice simple distro for a netbook or similar low power computer.

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