Living without Windows!

by Jos Visser


As I left my new house in a desolate "polder" in the Netherlands, I saw a bright white light beam down from the sky, and a thundering voice  spoke to me in a strange, but not unfamiliar, tongue. Then, all went blue and as soon as I regained conciousness it dawned on me that I had been given a mission: to try and "Live without Windows". Not one for careful contemplation, I immediately removed Windows from my laptop and installed Linux.

Unfortunately, we live in a Windows world. Almost all of my collegues, co-workers, friends and customers use Windows and, more importantly, Windows applications. They insist on storing stuff on NT servers, print via NT print servers and sending me files created with Windows applications. I regularly need to be able to retrieve, read and print these files. Can I survive just running Linux? What problems will I run into? Would I still be able to interoperate with others in any meaningful way?

In any case, there is no turning back now. My hard disk has been cleansed and I am writing this in the Netscape HTML Composer running under SuSE Linux 5.3. The next few months will be interesting times as I have decided to go on Living without Windows!

In this series of articles, you can read about my experiences as I move between the great unwashed and try to interoperate with them. What problems have I run into? How did I solve them? Whom have I turned over to the true belief?

The motto

"It is easier to take a multi-tasking, multi-user, operating system and run it on the desktop, than it is to take a single user operating system and run it as a server."

Article list

Chronological overview of events

21-11-1998 Prologue
22-11-1998 Installing Linux
22-11-1998 Configuring the system
23-11-1998 I go to the office
24-11-1998 I go to a customer
24-11-1998 I print some letters
26-11-1998 I edit a Word document and dial in to UUNET (under construction)
27-11-1998 Virtual Network Computing
30-11-1998 I project some slides (under construction)
4-12-1998 I print again
7-12-1998 Jadzia becomes a DHCP client (under construction)
8-12-1998 I get a new laptop (under construction)
16-12-1998 Sound Works (sort of)!
30-12-1998 I fax, therefore I am
30-1-1999 The Portable Document Format
26-2-1999 Sound Works
4-4-1999 This is why I like Unix
22-4-1999 I am too smart
17-5-1999 Hacking course material
4-6-1999 DOS

Other articles (also interesting)

Vague ramblings
Living Without Windows Solutions Catalog

Last change: 5th June by Jos Visser (who else)