Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Misc Forums > Computers and Operating Systems

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 11, 2011, 5:17 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
Posts: 866
Default Programs

I wonder what peoples' minimum requirements are for an operating system?

My own requirements are that it must provide Internet access, enable me to write both snailmail and email, and be capable of running both Photoshop and Faststone. At present, so far as I know, I can get all those functions only via Windows.

Is there much hope that other systems will eventually offer those six functions?

I'm asking this because I understand that Google is going to offer an operating system and because a long time ago, when Windows 3.1 was popular, I had a computer that ran on a program called Geoworks.

I no longer have the Geoworks install disks, but have discovered that a new version can now be downloaded free from Breadbox. The free version is very limited - no internet for a start - but I've managed - with some difficulty - to get it to work & it looks interesting.

Has anybody tried the any of the revived Breadbox/Geoworks systems? Is there any possibility that eventually one of the Breadbox or Google products will do what I want?

Last edited by Herb; Oct 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM. Reason: clarification
Herb is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 12, 2011, 5:12 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
wave01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1,748
Default

hi all i can say is that after 30 years with pc I went imac and have never regretted it it does all i want it to do
wave01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 13, 2011, 8:36 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oakville, ON
Posts: 97
Default

I wonder what peoples' minimum requirements are for a camera?

My own requirements are that it must take pictures, enable me to photograph landscape and portrait, and be capable of zoom and auto focus (or manual focus). At present, so far as I know, I can get all those functions only via that thing on the shelf over there.

Is there much hope that other systems will eventually offer those functions?

...

;-)

If you are 'married' to Photoshop and Faststone, then, by all means, don't look at other systems. If you want to define your "requirements" a little more specifically, we can probably point to alternatives on various platforms. For example, Photoshop is generally used for moderate-to-advanced image manipulation. On Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, the GIMP is a *free* image manipulation program. While advanced manipulation with Photoshop isn't the easiest thing to learn, it is likely to be *more* difficult on GIMP.

Craig
PvrFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 13, 2011, 10:01 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
Posts: 866
Default

Craig,

I've tried several systems & all I can say is that for sophisticated photo manipulation, I haven't - over the course of the last 15 years - found anything better than Photoshop - and Photoshop Elements 2 at that. I've tried Gimp and found it much more awkward to use than Photoshop.

For quick and easy viewing, sorting and organising of photos and simpler manipulation of photos I used ACDSee 3.1 for years, and also Irfanview & I rate them both highly. On the other hand I discovered Faststone more recently and I find it even more useful & convenient than either Irfanview or ACDSee. I rate Picassa a distant third.

But that's not the end of the story, because there's the question of what computer programs work most to my liking.

I've been impressed in many ways with Macs, because of their exquisite build quality. I also like the fact that they run Photoshop just as well as PCs - but when it comes to quick and easy viewing, sorting and organising and simpler manipulation, I've found all the programs that I've found & will run on Macs very frustrating. None of them has come anywhere near Irfanview, ACDSee or Faststone. Similar objections (from my point of view) apply to every Linux system that I've tried.

This was what led me, when I discovered that Geoworks seems to be making a comeback via Breadbox, to speculate on what photo programs it might be or become compatible with. As I said, the Breadbox Ensemble Lite looks tantalisingly interesting as a basic computer operating system. It certainly runs very fast indeed on my computer, and seems to be organised in a very straightforward way, but whether it is going to run programs that satisfy my photography requirements I really don't know.

Last edited by Herb; Nov 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM. Reason: correcting ref. to wrong version of PS Elements
Herb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2011, 10:55 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oakville, ON
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb View Post
...but when it comes to quick and easy viewing, sorting and organising and simpler manipulation, I've found all the programs that I've found & will run on Macs very frustrating. ...
Frustrating...how? Speed? Do you use tags to sort/filter? Do you store your pictures in folders by 'roll' or some other way? What sorts of 'simpler manipulation' do you mean? Adjusting levels, white balance, hues, ...? What were the problems you experienced?

BTW, this Breadbox/Geoworks looks like a goofing around project to me. Just for grins; not for serious use. But I could be wrong.

Craig
PvrFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2011, 1:51 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
Posts: 866
Default

Craig,

The aspects that are important (to me) are first, the matter of organising and accessing my pictures. That of course has nothing to do with what I call 'manipulating' them.

To my mind the most straightforward system to organise & access pictures follows the principles that were used in, say, Windows 2000, where I could go to File Manager and create folders of my choice and file in those folders files (i.e. pictures) in a way that to me made sense and was convenient. The same principle is used in Faststone, ACDSee and Irfanview. In each case, the program lets me see - at my choice - small ikons (i.e. a list] or thumbnails - and moving backwards and forwards from picture to picture in the same folder is quick and easy. But none of the image organising and viewing programs that will run on a Mac do it anything like so easily.

I can't answer your question about using tags to sort/filter because I don't understand what tags are, and because (to me) "filter" is about the kinds of manipulation that are available under the "filter" heading in Photoshop or that relate to noise removal, as in Neat Image. If you can explain your question for me I'll try to answer. I notice, for example that Faststone has a box called "Tag" but what it leads to is, to me, a mystery.

You ask what I mean by "manipulation". To me it covers everything that you can do to the picture itself. The list is too long to repeat in full, but in Faststone for example, under each of the headings "color" "effects" and "tools" all sorts of manipulations can be done - but of course not so many as in Photoshop. But Faststone incudes a command "edit with external program" and that opens the picture in Photoshop which offers a great many more manipulation tools. The most important one (for me) is Layers.

To sum up - the problems that I experienced with photo programs (other than Photoshop) running on Macs can be summed up by saying that they were all ones of convenience. The Macs I've had wouldn't run Faststone or even Irfanview or ACDSee - and I found all the ones that would very awkward. I think a lot of other people feel the same way.

I find it difficult to think that the Breadbox/Geoworks people are just goofing around - if they are, then it must be costing them rather a lot of money.
Herb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2011, 1:58 PM   #7
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb View Post
I wonder what peoples' minimum requirements are for an operating system?

My own requirements are that it must provide Internet access, enable me to write both snailmail and email, and be capable of running both Photoshop and Faststone. At present, so far as I know, I can get all those functions only via Windows.

Is there much hope that other systems will eventually offer those six functions?
No, Fastone is not available for Linux. But, you'll find other programs that are very similar (for example, Gwenview is very fast for browsing through images and making simple edits). Photoshop isn't available for Linux either (but, there are many other programs that are, and you can run some versions of those using wine, which allows you to run some Windows programs in Lnux). But, it's easier to use native Linux programs for most things.

Personally, I use Linux > 90% of the time. Heck, on the desktop I'm using right this minute, I've only booted into Windows 7 once in the past week or so.

That was yesterday for a little while, for the sole purpose of installing this week's "patch Tuesday" updates from Microsoft to plug security holes, and update my malware protection in Windows to the latest versions. For example, after installing the latest Windows patches, I updated Avira Antivir Premium (one of the products I use under Windows) to the newer 2012 release and installed virus signature updates for it.

Then I made sure that commonly used browser plugins and related programs (Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Java Runtime, etc.) were up to date (and I use the free Qualsys Browser Check for that purpose, as it makes it easy to check for insecure versions of programs running and update them).

Otherwise, the programs available for Linux meet my needs just fine. For example, I have Firefox, Chrome, Opera and other programs available for Internet Browsing, with Adobe Flash Player, Acrobat Reader and lots of other addons; Kdenlive and OpenShot for Video Editing, LibreOffice for docs and spreadsheets; The VLC Media Player for playing most any video content; Amarok for Music, lots of apps for messaging (fully compatible with messengers from major services), e-mail, etc.; and loads of nice image management and image editing programs available.

For example, the free digiKam is fine for most image management tasks, especially when combined with the available free Kipi Plugins for frequently used editing options; and in addition to the large number of free image viewing and editing solutions available, you can also find nice commercial packages like Bibble that are available for Linux (and with Bibble Pro, you're allowed to use the same License Key under Windows, OS X and Linux if you use more than one Operating System).

I keep most of my PCs setup in dual boot configurations with Windows. That way, if I need to test a manufacturer's software package that only has a Windows version available, or need to check a forums complaint related to Internet Explorer, I can reboot into Windows for that purpose.

Since Linux can also read and write to the same NTFS partitions used by Windows, you can easily use Linux apps for some things, and Windows apps for other things (where Windows apps have access to the files you created or modified using Linux).

Setting up a computer in a dual boot configuration with more than one operating system is very easy (so that you pick the one you want to boot into each time you restart your PC). But, another way to approach it is by using Virtual machines, so you can run more than one Operating System at the same time.

I use VirtualBox for that purpose (free). You can use Windows as a host for other operating systems (Linux, different versions of Windows, etc.); or you can use Linux as the host for other operating systems (for example, running a copy of Windows 7 or XP in a Virtual Machine inside of a Window under Linux). Get it here:

http://www.virtualbox.org

So, you're not really limited to a single operating system. You can have multiple operating systems installed on the same machine, selecting the one you want to use each time you reboot your PC; or even run more than one at the same time using programs like VirtualBox (and if your CPU supports virtualization extensions, you're able to run them at very close to native speed that way, too).

I just got a new netbook a few weeks ago from Dell Outlet, and I'm getting ready to install Kbuuntu 11.10 (released just yesterday) on it in a dual boot config with Win 7. See more about it here:

http://www.kubuntu.org/feature-tour

It's using a Celeron 743 Mobile CPU that should work nifty with the latest release of Kubuntu, especially using the new "Low Fat" settings package available for it; even though it's not a very fast CPU for Windows use.

I've been testing the Beta 2 release of Kubuntu 11.10 in a Virtual Machine running in VirtualBox under Mepis 11 (the LInux distro I use on my desktop most of the time), and Kubuntu 11.10 is using very little in the way of resources, and it's very speedy, even when I only give it 384MB of memory and a single CPU core in the Virtual Machine. I've tested it playing Flash Videos from youtube.com under Firefox 7, editing a doc file using LibreOffice, running the Software Manager you can use to install most software with a mouse click or two, and a Performance Monitor at the same time, only using 247MB of physical memory (and about the same amount of swap partition space); and I didn't even turn off the fancy desktop effects (that was without using the low fat settings package available for it).

So, I plan on using it most of the time on the new netbook, which will allow for much "snappier" performance compared to the preinstalled 64 Bit Win 7 that shipped with it; while giving me what I need for software when on the road.

I've got some machines that shipped with Windows that I don't even bother to keep a copy on anymore. For example, my wife's Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop (using a core 2 duo CPU) that I bought refurbished from Dell Outlet in December 2007 shipped with Vista, and the last time I updated Mepis on it to the latest version, I just removed Vista entirely, as it was only wasting space on the drive (as my wife never used Windows on it for anything anyway; so I figured I'd just give all of the space to Linux instead).

I just keep it setup with the programs she needs, with icons on the desktop for most, like Firefox, VLC, Bibbletime, and of course Patience (a really nice card game). LOL

I use it for browsing through images while sitting in the Den, too (it pretty much lives on a table by a recliner in the den, so I can use it in my lap while watching TV, etc.). Here's a downsized screen capture from a while back showing some of the graphics apps installed on it in Mepis 11 (and there are many more that you can install with a mouse click or two)

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2011, 4:04 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oakville, ON
Posts: 97
Default

So it sounds like you are not comfortable with the programs that store your pictures in a 'database'--ala iPhoto, Aperture or Lightroom. On the Mac, did you have a look at Graphic Converter? The browser window lets you, well..., browse the directory tree of pictures on your disk. Common operations can be done within that window. A double click opens an editing window.

By 'tags' I meant metadata stored about or within the picture--eg EXIF data, IPTC comments, etc. Lots of programs let you enter various words (say "soccer" or "diving" if your kids are into sports). You can then use those tags to find all the pictures so tagged. Programs like Picasso, iPhoto etc do face recognition so you can easily find pictures with specific people in them.

Anyway, if you are happy with your current workflow, you should stay with it.

Craig
PvrFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 22, 2011, 5:43 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Victoria, B.C., Canada
Posts: 866
Default

Craig - Yes, for the present I'm certainly staying with my PC setup. Despite my liking for Windows 2000 and my skepticism about Windows 7, I am now using (and am getting more used to) Windows 7.

But going back to my interest in Geoworks & it's successors, I've recently learned that the Breadbox folk are working on a 32-bit version of it. I've found no indication of when it may actually show up, but I'm going to keep an eye open for it.

Herb
Herb is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:37 AM.