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Debating the switch

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  • #1504
    orionid
    Participant

    So every day that goes by, I regret my upgrade to Windows Vista more and more. And with Microsoft ready to drop support for XP, I’m seriously considering falling back to my nerd-like roots and transitioning to linux.

    But……

    I’ve come to know and love Adobe CS, ThumbsPlus, Magix MovieEdit Pro, and pretty much anything kinetix/autodesk.

    What are my options with linux since none of these programs have a Linux version? I’m a huge fan of stitching panoramics, and am wanting to experiment more with HDR (as well as making music videos outside the photographic realm), so those would probably be my priorities.

    Elsinore, if I recall, you use Linux and GIMP, correct? Any pros, cons, or other opinions?

    Any help (or even screams of “No, don’t do it!”) is greatly appreciated.

    /sniff. sniff. I miss 2000 Server Edition. sniff.

    #20197
    staplermofo
    Participant

    WinXP is still supported by Johnny.

    #20198
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    What problems are you having with Vista? I use it in my laptop and actually prefer it to Xp for the most part.

    I have an Ubuntu partition in my desktop but hardly ever boot it up. I find Linux needs more tinkering than I have time for to work properly, but I’m no expert either.

    I use GIMP for windows and love it.

    #20199
    Choc-Ful-A
    Participant

    One option you could consider is using VMWare (or other virtualization software?) so that you could run both Linux and some flavor of Windows at the same time. You could let Linux control the hardware (meaning you boot it first) and do most of you work there. But you could have VMWare+Windows running as well for software which doesn’t have a viable Linux alternative.

    Also, I will note that I’m using Vista on my work system and don’t mind it. But pretty much just use it to run MS Office applications, Seamonkey (which is Firefox plus other stuff), Gimp and CygWIN (UNIX like shell).

    Finally, if this is a home system why do you care about support? I’ve never found the need to call MS for OS help. Maybe if there were no more security patches it might be a problem, but even then you can pretty much isolate your system behind a personal firewall at home. And virus scanning companies are likely to continue supporting XP for a very long time, probably even after MS has stopped.

    PS – Linux is my primary personal use system and my partner has a Windows XP system. If you do go to Linux, I think the tricky choice is whether to go with 32 bit or 64 bit versions. I opted for 64 bit and like the fact that I can use tons of RAM not worry about slowing things down. But it limits the precompiled software you can get, so I don’t have Flash for instance. It might be available if I hunted but it’s certainly not as easy as it would be if I was running 32 bit.

    #20200
    orionid
    Participant

    Thanks for the info and opinions so far. My biggest pet peaves about Vista is that everything is defaulted to… Well….. stupid computer users. I like details, I like getting the technical information handed to me right up front. And I get irritated beyond believe when it asks me if I’m sure I want to do something half a dozen times (for something as simple as viewing file extensions, or – God forbid – changing an operating setting).

    My other issue is resource management. I have two sets of benchmarks that I use whenever I change hardware or OS (or settings thereof). One is raw mathematical calculations using the elliptical curve method to find the two prime factors of a 32 bit encryption key. (I forgot to mention cryptography as another primary use), the other is a 3d studio video render. With my current hardware configuration (yes, it has been a few years since I’ve upgraded… been spending my computer money on cars and camera lenses), I’ve seen the following results:

    Prime factoring:
    Windows 2000: 29 hours, 13 minutes
    Windows XP Pro: 29 hours, 44 minutes
    Windows Vista Business: 63 hours, 23 minutes

    Video Render:
    2000: 12 hours, 31 minutes
    XP: 10 hours, 52 minutes
    Vista: 18 hours, 6 minutes

    Not to mention video playback is choppy with vista and anytime I open a directory with videos compressed using more than three different codecs (see also: downloads and source fodder directories), I get a nice 3.11 flashback in the form of a Runtime Error.

    As far as MS supporting the OS’s, security and bug patches are nice, but my primary concern is that once official support goes away, development support usually isn’t far behind.

    I dunno. I may give linux a try on my laptop first and see if I like it, or shift my desktop back to XP. Either way, after 6 months of grief I’m definately not planning on keeping vista.

    Hell, who am I kidding…. I’ve still got my DOS 5.25’s laying around somewhere… Never had that crash.

    #20201
    soosh
    Participant

    I wouldn’t worry too much about XP support going away. I work for the State of Alaska Dept. of Health, and we have over 1500 computers running XP and there is no plan to switch to Vista anytime soon. I believe that Microsoft will have out their next operating system before terribly long, and it is supposed to revert to having more control than Vista does. It’s my take that we are going to just completely leap-frog over Vista in the same way we did Windows ME during the Windows 95/NT to Windows 2000 transition.

    I like linux a lot, particularly Ubuntu. That said, I don’t do any of my photography work on Linux machines. I don’t like/haven’t taken the time to learn Gimp, and can use Photoshop to get the effects I want. Hell, there’s a lot of Photoshop I don’t even know how to utilize, because I am completely self-taught. But if you’re looking for programs under Linux that will do stitching and such, the best places to look are probably Sourceforge.net or the forums of a particular distribution of Linux you decide upon. As far as I know, the best equivalent of Aperture or Lightroom is BlueMarine http://bluemarine.tidalwave.it/, but it’s still in development.

    #20202
    Choc-Ful-A
    Participant

    Also if one of the main frustrations you have with Vista is the annoying “Do you want to allow XXX?” pop-ups, try disabling UAC (or UAT?) and see how much that improve things. I had that sucker turned off for good within 1 hour of a forced Vista upgrade at work. I also hit the “optimize for speed” button in the display options management screen. Those two changes made a huge difference for me and I mostly don’t even notice the difference anymore.

    I still prefer UNIX (or Linux, which is UNIX-like) over Windows, but I don’t find using Vista a problem.

    #20203
    linguine
    Participant

    I use ubuntu for everything on my computer and do all my photo editing in linux(I’ll let you decide if thats much of an endorsement). I use gimp for my regular photo editing, mostly playing with levels and stuff like that. I know photoshop can do more than gimp, but for what I do gimp suits me fine and even if I was using windows or a mac I’m not sure I’d want to spend the money for photoshop when gimp does a good job for what I do. As for hdr I use qtpfsgui(I think they’re changing names for the next release). Heres the best hdr I’ve made with an older version of qtpfsgui http://www.flickr.com/photos/guine/2107027984/ and the newer versions are able to make more realistic hdrs. Autostitch works really well for panos and every pano I’ve created with it has come out well and looked very realistic. Heres an old pano I made with autostitch if you want to see what autostitch can do too http://www.flickr.com/photos/guine/532496144/

    #20204
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    Sorry I missed this thread! linguine actually said a lot of what I would have said. GIMP does everything I need it to do, and my system’s stable, but then I’m also married to a network guy, so that doesn’t hurt 😉 One downside with photo editing is that I have yet to find a piece of software that will calibrate my monitors under Linux. There is a way to profile your monitors under Linux and GIMP, but all the calibration stuff I’ve found is primarily for Windows or Mac. I’m not a pro photographer, though, and I get reasonable results printing through mpix.com (they also color correct, and I’ve not had problems with it so far), but if I were going pro, that could be an issue. Of course, if I were going pro, I might not worry about shelling out thousands of dollars for PS when it’s a business expense/tax write off.

    #20205
    chupathingie
    Participant

    Bumping this one… No one has mentioned Cinepaint, which I’ve been using in Ubuntu to handle high bit depth RAW processing. It will handle up to 32b/channel, but since RAW files for canon and nikon DSLRs are either 12 or 14 bit, 32bit is overkill. The big plus over the gimp is that the extra color space allows for some pretty aggressive level stretching. I use it for astro pics, and the extent that I wind up stretching color/contrast posterizes 8bit/channel images long before I get useable data out of them.

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