Linux and College?

This is a discussion on Linux and College? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; So I went back to the darkside and got a dual partition running with openSUSE and Windows 7 right now. ...

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    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Linux and College?

    So I went back to the darkside and got a dual partition running with openSUSE and Windows 7 right now. I'm considering just completely taking off Windows in the near future, but since I'm going back to college I don't know if it's a good idea. I've been doing online courses, and haven't had any compatability problems. But my course load involves a lot of engineering and sciences. Has anyone run into any problems of a class wanting you to use some software, but it wouldn't run on anything but Windows? I'm not trying to get stuck.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I would not uninstall Windows 7. There are far too many apps and utils that run on it which warrants not removing it. Even though the fanboys say otherwise Microsoft OS's are still the king and more PC desktop programs are written for them than any other OS in the world.

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    I've never had that problem with my degree. Although I do have both, I've never used Windows for any uni related stuff. Thankfully, the tools are either for Linux, or cross-platform.

    The only problem you might have is with group work, for example if your team want to use Microsoft Word. It can often be difficult, if not impossible to convince them to use LaTeX . IMO, Leave Windows 7 along.

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    My laptop runs only Linux. Haven't had any problem with it so far (going into third year electrical engineering).

    It depends on the program and profs I guess. They don't really force us to use any program. For example, for circuit simulation, they would show us briefly how to do it with one program (could be Windows-only), but we can choose anything we want, as long as we can get the job done.

    All communications and documents from school/profs are in open formats (mostly PDF).

    For just reading, Open Office can open .doc pretty well, too. But I wouldn't prepare a .doc report using it.

    Fortunately I've never had to compile reports. I'm always the one just sending in my part .

    I heard for mechanical engineering nothing comes to Solidworks, though (a 3D modelling program), and it only runs on Windows. I only use it very rarely, and ran it on my desktop's gaming Windows installation.

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    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm thinking about just shrinking the partition to about 50 gigs just incase I ever need to use it.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It depends on what you want to do after university. Do you wish to get a job in the Windows dominated market? Or do you plan to find a job in the Unix world?

    Stick with both OSes on your system. Besides what do you prefer? To know only one operating system or to know many?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Epy
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    Both OpenOffice and Abiword can handle Office 2007 formats, and GNU Octave can replace MATLAB. You might be screwed if you have to use Autodesk Inventor or SolidWorks.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I barely ever use windows -- mostly for validating things in IE -- but if you have it installed, I would not remove it unless you really need the space. Which even then it would probably be better to just buy a small HD for <$50.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    and the hat of sweating
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    Another option would be to run Linux and put Windows in a VMWare image.
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

    "the internet is a scary place to be thats why i dont use it much." - billet, 03/17/2010

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    Just a pushpin. bernt's Avatar
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    Another option would be to run Linux and put Windows in a VMWare image.
    My experience with stuff like Sun VirtualBox is that even with the OpenGL integration it's pretty much unusable for any sort of graphical programs (3D modeling, video editing, games, etc. - and those are really the only programs for which there are no good Linux alternatives - what a shame). Maybe VMWare is better but VirtualBox is right up there with the best as far as I know. And keep in mind you have to have the resources (especially RAM) to fully support 2 operating systems and whatever programs they may be running.
    Consider this post signed

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    VMWare doesn't add much in terms of support. Sure they have it. But you need a monster machine for anything beyond the basics.

    Or used to. I actually don't know what effect hardware virtualization has on VMWare graphical performance. Anyone?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User valaris's Avatar
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    Most universities give shell access to *nix boxes on the schools network, especially for computer science students.

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    and the hat of sweating
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    There's also VMWare ESXi which is it's own tiny OS so you don't need to run is on top of another OS. If I can ever find a decent motherboard that doesn't crash, I'd like to use that.
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

    "the internet is a scary place to be thats why i dont use it much." - billet, 03/17/2010

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    Registered User carrotcake1029's Avatar
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    What engineering are you going into? I can say from the mechanical side I have used many programs that only run on windows. Also I've had problems with writing documents in OpenOffice that later are opened in MS Word. Tables get screwy and formulas don't work right.

    As valaris said though, you should check to see if you can remotely control a PC from your Uni. My Uni has this and it has come in handy countless times (Modeling and CAD programs).

    Really though, whats the harm on keeping a small partition for windows on your hard drive just to make sure you've got your bases covered. This is college, don't screw it up .

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    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    I'm going into a dual degree program at GA Tech for engineering and physics. Going to try to specialize in biomedical engineering. My end goal is to get into prostetics or the cardiac field. My backup would be to get just into mechanical engineering and go from there.

    My main concern as of right now is the fact that there always seems to be something wrong with Linux. Everytime I start openSUSE up, it seems like I have to jump through hoops to get it to run right. Windows 7 just seems to run. I turn it on, the OS runs right, nothing crashes, and everything works. Right now, my Linux OS has issues, and I feel like Linux is always going to have issues.

    I've got about a month and a half before my next semester starts and that's really my main concern. I don't want to get in there and ........ just won't work right.

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