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help with selecting a distribution


I am new to the forum and I need some advice on which distro to select. I am a legal professional and amateur programmer. in order to save money on legal software, I designed my own using Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications. In particular, I have used VBA to integrate Access, Word, and Outlook, so I have a lot of code I will need to duplicate in a Linux environment. I am tired of Windows, and I am tired of updating my other software applications every time Microsoft puts out a new version. I want to switch to Linux for the affordability and the flexibility. I absolutely rely on Dragon Naturally Speaking as well as Adobe Acrobat in my practice. If there are no Linux based versions of these applications, or other voice transcription, pdf applications for Linux that will give me the same functionality, I will probably not be able to make the switch. Any thoughts on which distro I should use or which apps would give me the same functionality in a Linux environment?


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    vba cannot be ported to Linux, so unless you want to learn shell scripting and many new applications you might be better off staying with windows.

    There are pdf authoring applications and nearly every distro has a print to pdf feature that will allow you to make pdf documents from any application. But in partifular for your legal documents i recommend looking into LaTeX as a solution to create professional pdf files.
  • RickSMO
    RickSMO Posts: 123
    I'd recommend putting Linux on a extra system or dual booting one system to allow you to get used to linux and see what you can get to work for you and what obstacles you may or may not have. That way it's a easy transition without going "all in".

    Distributions i'd recommend Ubuntu or Fedora, why? Because it's what I like, and most people are using one or the other in one shape or another.

    But look at them all, you can always change your mind with free software =)
  • kiran.kankipati

    Actually you can try Fedora Distribution. Here are my strict suggestions for a successful migration:

    * Install everything from Fedora DVD (Do not ignore Games, Graphics, Programming tools, just install everything).
    - reason ? actually you will install all required dependants this way. Manually installing them on demand is sometimes annoying.

    * Use Netbeans, or Bluefish, or some great IDE, which it allows you to jump start your programming.

    * Try writing PHP scripts, your scripts sometimes can replace all your core java based programs, and C non-Gui apps.
    - this is a suggestion from me, although I am a core C, and Linux Kernel guy.

    * for GUI apps, you can use Java based apps (USING NETBEANS), you can make it even based triggers, much like
    you code VB, VC++ based apps.
    - moreover these programs you do in Linux, your customers can use them in Windows, mobile phones, etc !
    - so in other words your programs are platform independent.

    * learn Linux single liner scripts for example here is a single liner script (nested via pipe) for you:
    [root@koi ~]# ifconfig | grep "inet"
    inet addr: Mask:
    inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
    inet addr: P-t-P: Mask:
    inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
    [root@koi ~]#

    In fact being my firm as a start-up from day one, I dont need to get into hassles of proprietary software dependency.
    (pretty much I mean is your context). I am also against STRICTLY STEALING and PIRATED STUFF !
    So I choose Open-Source for everything. I love Open-Office (now LibreOffice), being a CEO I love LibreOffice, I can get professional documents with professional looking fonts. I can export them in PDF, Libreoffice calc, draw I use very often to make graphics, logos and other office promo. And little occasional usage of Gimp.

    The big picture is many fail to understand ...
    It is not a question of FREE vs. Commercial PAID,
    but actually
    It is a question of your organization dependency of Open-Source vs. MANY commercial paid software/tools.

    My laptop is now Linux (works always and extremely fast, what a business laptop is meant to be).
    Being a businessman/founder of my firm, still I code, all my desktops in my office are Linux workstations.
    For rare scenarios (IE tests) we use 1-2 Windows OS desktops, but still I do not have any huge dependency on commercial apps. and commercial OS.

    Wish you all the good luck in your business !

    I hope these tips helps you and many more.

    Cheers, Kiran Kankipati.
    Let us monopolize Open-Source !
  • RSims
    RSims Posts: 146
    The best way to really choose a distribution is by trying the different ones and seeing which one you like the most. If you have more then one computer, trying multiple distributions side by side is a logical choice. I have Fedora15 on my desktop, but run Ubuntu 11.04 on my net-book.


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