[scribus] Newbie Mac User

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Sat Aug 1 20:39:50 CEST 2009

On Saturday 01 August 2009 02:01:43 pm John Morris wrote:
> Jeffrey Silverman wrote:
> >Oh, dear, you've opened the door...
> >
> ><disclaimer>I am a Linux whacko. However, I mean "whacko" in the
> > sense that I am whacko nuts about Linux, not that I am a whacko
> > zealot about other people's OS choice. I will, however, try to
> > convince people to use Linux at the drop of a hat.</disclaimer>
>    Thanks for your thoughts, Jeffery; they are very much
> appreciated. I'll give you some feedback on your presentation and
> my personal situation below, but here is my main response. The
> biggest issue that is keeping me from migrating to Linux is time.
> I'm way too busy with my noncomputer life to spend much time on
> computer issues. The fact that I should "ignore any description
> of Linux that is older than 2 years," which is in line with my
> understanding, is telling. I need much more stability than that
> gives me. Apple's schedule of new versions is too fast for me and
> I usually don't make the switch right away. For example, I bought
> Tiger about a year after it came out and then it took me a year
> to migrate my production machine to it. It just does not get
> prioritized around here.
>    The other issue that is keeping me from migrating to Linux is
> that I'm the main source of computer support for many of my
> family members. That keeps me busy, but it also means that, if I
> do switch, I'll still be supporting them on Macs for at least
> some time even if I can eventually get them to switch to Linux.
> That will complicate my life, not simplify it.
>    So, like I said, I see myself using a reasonably current Mac
> OS for at least the next five years on my main production
> machine. In that time, I hope to slowly migrate to more and more
> OS apps in preparation for an eventual switch and perhaps even
> install a Linux distribution on a spare machine, a virtual
> machine, or as a dual boot. (Speaking of virtual machines, I
> would really like to find one that will run a current Mac OS
> client installation. I know that Parallels will run Leopard
> Server, but that is not much use to me.)
> >So,if you are used to Mac OS X, and, more importantly, *like*
> > Mac OS X, it is very possible that you will not like Linux at
> > all.
>    I do *like* the Mac OS. I've been using it since 1984 and have
> grown very comfortable with it. However, as I mentioned before, I
> don't like some aspects of it. My main issue is all the extra
> gratuitous graphics, the cutesy buttons and the useless 3-D
> effects that do nothing to enhance my experience as a user. I
> don't like these things from a minimalist perspective and I don't
> like them from my frugal New England perspective. (Why waste CRU
> on *that*?) I also don't like Apple's habit of making choices for
> me and then making it very difficult for me to choose a different
> path. Apple's unspoken motto use to be "Have it your way," now it
> is "Have it our way." Unfortunately, Apple's way is less and less
> my way. That means I have to spend more and more time figuring
> out how to and then implementing the changes I need to make my
> computer work the way I want it to work.
> >  Also, if you are
> >deeply entrenched -- with apps, mostly -- into Mac OS or
> > Windows, say, then it can be quite difficult in the short term
> > to switch to anything else, let alone to Linux.
>    This is also certainly an issue. The main reason it is an
> issue is that I am a freelance editor by trade. Over 90% of my
> clients use Word. The fact that I use a Mac and most of my
> clients use Windows is already occasionally a problem, but I have
> found ways around it. I have tried a number of OS word processors
> and found them to be of varying quality, some very good and, of
> course, most much better than Word. However, I have found none
> that can reliably read a complex Word document, edit it, and
> write back to the file something that will be reliably read by
> Word 2000 though Word 2008. That's a tall order that Word is
> barely able to (not) fill, so I'm not surprised that the OS
> offerings are not up to the task.
>    I suspect that as long as I'm in my current line of work, I
> will need access to Word. I'm hoping that some day that access
> will be through virtualization, hence my search for Mac OS
> virtualization because I certainly don't want to step down to
> Windows. On a positive note, I do have a number of regular
> clients using LaTeX, which would is well supported on all
> platforms.
> >  - Ignore any description of Linux that is older than 2 years.
>    As I mentioned above, this is an awfully short time frame for
> me these days. That worries me because I don't like feeling as if
> I *have* to upgrade to the next latest and greatest. I'm looking
> for more stability, not less.
> >  - Try to stick to one distribution, and ignore comparisons or
> > descriptions of others, for the time being. I suggest Ubuntu,
> > or, possibly even better, Linux Mint, which is like Ubuntu++,
> > but is just a bit less well known. I'm going to start saying
> > "Ubuntu" in the rest of this diatribe.
>    I can certainly understand the basic idea of sticking to one
> distribution. However, that is a minor part of what is holding me
> back. First, if I move to another operating system, I'm making an
> investment in that platform. If that platform then falls by the
> wayside, I've lost my investment, perhaps before it pays me
> dividends in the form of a more stable platform to do my work.
> Therefore, I have to choose carefully and I don't necessarily
> feel qualified to make that choice yet.
>    Second, I am not a run-of-the-mill user. Therefore, I can't
> expect to be happy with the default advice. I need to evaluate
> all my option, both for the expected longevity of the platform
> and for its user interface elements. That evaluation will take
> time, which is also holding me back.
>    I would really like to find a comparison of the different
> distributions that would help me make that choice, but I
> understand that it is likely to be out of date before I find it.
> >  - Ignore any descriptions or comparisons involving the
> > *installation and setup* phase. This, IMO, is one of the
> > biggest points of FUD about Linux. The point that is most often
> > missed is that Mac OS and Windows users *don't ever install
> > their OS*. Also, this phase is either going to be insanely
> > easy, or next to impossible. 95% of new uesrs will actually
> > find it to be *insanely easy*.
>    So far, most of the OS software I have installed has been in
> the insanely easy category. Despite my programming experience in
> a past life, I have almost no experience with actually compiling
> source code on a modern platform, yet I even found the
> installation of rsync from the sources to be extremely
> straightforward.
>    However, installation and setup does not scare me. I expect to
> do it once a year or every other year, so the investment is
> relatively small even if it takes a day or two.
> >  - Ubuntu is just plain different in the way it is put
> > together. It is not so different, though, at, a 30 thousand
> > foot level. Point, click, mousy mousy, window window -- all
> > modern OSes are basically the same. But the subtle differences
> > will be frustrating at first. It doesn't make Ubuntu harder to
> > use, just different, much like riding a motorcycle is not
> > harder than a car[1], just different. Okay, not a motorcycle,
> > say, a manual transmission vs an automatic one. That's probably
> > a better analogy.
>    This seems par for the course. Mac OS X is different from Mac
> Classic is different from Windows 98 is different from Windows XP
> is different from NeXt is different from Amiga OS. My limited
> experience with Linux suggests to me that the magnitude of the
> differences between it and what I have experienced is not greater
> that of the differences between what I have experienced. The
> devil is in the details. I expect to be frustrated by those
> subtle differences, but I also expect to be rewarded for my
> efforts in the form of a desktop that is more to my liking and
> does not require a near constant (meaning more than every two
> years) upgrade cycle.
>    I do have to admit that I thought your motorcycle analogy was
> more on the ticket. To give you an idea of the level of stability
> I would like to see, I "upgrade" my car about every ten years and
> I don't feel in the interim that I'm missing out in any major
> way. I *never* upgrade my telephone and it keeps right on working
> through all the changes that have been made to the national
> telephone system.
> >Ok, so, step number 1: throw out all your old apps. Just forget
> > they even exist, they will not work, period.
>    As you suggest below, I am already in the process of migrating
> to OS applications in preparation of the day when I am able to
> make the switch. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, my main
> income-producing application does not appear to be replaceable.
> >Step two: try before you buy. Download Ubuntu live CD and try
> > it. It won't install anything or mess up your current computer,
> > but you will be able to preview a fully functional Ubuntu
> > desktop.
> >
> >Step 3: find an old computer to install it on, or try dual boot
>    I suspect that I will combine these two steps through
> virtualization. Given the heavy dependance of modern operating
> systems on virtual memory and the abysmal performance of optical
> drives compared to hard drives, I don't think a live CD would
> give me a fair test of what it is like to work with Linux. Even
> virtualization involves a performance hit, but it is a good first
> step and does not require that I completely take over my computer
> with Linux by booting from an external hard drive or a partition.
> >The best thing about Ubuntu, IMO, is the massive ecosystem of
> > free apps, of which Scribus is just one. Maybe step (0) is:
> > migrate to all free apps on your current OS. The GIMP,
> > Inkscape, Scribus, Firefox, and MANY other "standard" Ubuntu
> > apps have MAc OS or Windows ports. Hey, I said this was
> > non-linear.
>    Yes. This has been a godsend for me. The fact that I have been
> able to install small bits of "Linux" on my current machine has
> been part of the reason that I'm even willing to consider a full
> Linux installation. It's really a brilliant marketing ploy.
> >Speaking of non-linear, I have a nozzle platypus hose beam.
> > Yachting prospectus?
>    OK, I can admit that I have not a clue what this means.
> Best,
> John
> _______________________________________________
> scribus mailing list
> scribus at lists.scribus.net
> http://lists.scribus.net/mailman/listinfo/scribus
 If you use a self loading Linux cdr such as Knoppix (Debian) or 
Slax (Slackware) your "hard disk" is really main memory and after 
the 2.5 mins initial load time things run faster, not slower.  And 
I don't believe you need to "ignore all descriptions more then two 
years old." I still use my  Coherent Manual from the 90's as a 
reference to the standard utilities found on any 'nix system. 

John Culleton
Create Book Covers with Scribus/e-book $5.95

More information about the scribus mailing list