Is Linux Really Worth it?

Ask questions and give answers about computers, mobile devices, game boxes, PC security and all manner of geeky stuff.
User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 21 May 2019, 10:29

You got me to wondering.
Does it matter to the UEFI computer if an External Hard Drive running via USB port is formatted NTFS?

I've been making all of my copies of everything on NTFS formatted external drives, because if I croak, they have to be able to be read from Windows computers.

If I have time, I will mess with Debi's Win10 computer to see if I can load Ubuntu on it.
As you said, I'm sure it is UEFI and not BIOS since it is new, well a year old now, but still sitting unused.

Compared to Windows, Linux is already Supercharged, hi hi.
Everything works better, with GNU/Linux on it, hi hi.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 21 May 2019, 12:58

You got me to wondering.
Does it matter to the UEFI computer if an External Hard Drive running via USB port is formatted NTFS?
  • Both my laptop and my desktop use NTFS in Windows.
  • The desktop is Win7 on a MBR formatted disk drive.
  • The laptop is Win10 on a GPT formatted disk drive.
Using my desktop, I took a blank USB memory stick and formatted it MBR with NTFS file system. I then copied a bunch of files to it and plugged it into the laptop. No problems. I was able to read the files.

Using my laptop I formatted that USB memory stick to GPT with an NTFS file system. Then I copied a bunch of files from the laptop to the stick. When I plugged the USB stick into the desktop I was able to read all the files.

This shows that files created on the two differently formatted system are readable in either environment.

NOTE: While I demonstrated that NTFS files are interchangeable between MBR and GPT machines, that interchangeability does not apply to the booting process. The MBR stick would not boot in the GPT machine, and vice versa. I doubt you would be saving your archives on bootable media, but that is the trouble spot for a lot of people.


I have no doubt that Ubuntu will slip into Deb's computer seamlessly. That would be a dual boot and something Microsoft actually planned for in Windows 10. Doing a multiple boot on portable drives such as I'm trying to master is a whole different story. LOL


I stand by my previous statement:
"The problem is that the Linux engine won't even start when the supercharger is present. That is a fatal flaw in my opinion."

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 22 May 2019, 12:19

I happen to be talking with a guy at the hardware store last night because of his unusual shirt.

It had the GNU/Linux Penguin sitting on top of the Windows10 Logo!

I said to him, your shirt has me curious, what Distro do you normally run.
He smiled and said, I can install all of them on Windows machines but normally run LInux Mint myself, except at work where we have Windows 10 machines.
I told him about how slow my wife's new computer was with Windows 10.
He asked a couple of questions. The frau's machine came with Windows 8 but automatically loaded Windows 10 right after we started up the machine, she thought it was an upgrade so hit the Go button.

He said that is my problem. I should go out and buy a new Windows 10 disk made by Microsoft and it will more than quadruple the speed over the upgrade from 8 to 10.
I told him I can't afford to pay 120 bucks for a valid disk.
He told me to download Win10Home from Microsoft, then order a disk from NewEgg for 20 to 30 bucks, it will have a valid key. But watch out for other third party vendors who may be selling bad keys obtained from overstocked dealers.

A clean install, not an upgrade from Win 7 or 8, is the best way to get a fast running Win 10 machine.

He also said it is no problem to partition a disk first, then install Win 10 in the first or primary partition, but the trick is to delete the primary partition then install Win 10.
So apparently the install disk does not automatically wipe out the entire disk.
I had a few more questions but he had to get going.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 22 May 2019, 13:33

I've heard that story about the fresh install being an improvement over the upgrade. Never had the opportunity to test that out because all my installs of Windows were fresh. I am getting a new copy of Widows 10 maybe twice a week now by enrolling in their Insider beta testing program.

You don't have to buy anything. Go to the Microsoft download site and download a CD or a USB version of the current (May 2019) version of Windows. You want to select the option to download and install on another computer as opposed to installing on the computer you download from. That will give you a portable copy you can keep on file should you need it. And, of course, when you wipe the disk and do a clean install, that downloaded copy of Windows will want your product key. Be sure you have that before you mess with the OS. I would also take the extra precaution of making a recovery copy of the current system in your wife's computer. If all else fails, you can go back to square one then.

HOW TO: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... tion-media

I wouldn't mind having a few words with the hardware store person you chatted with. For one I'd want to know exactly what he means by having installed all of them (presumably Linux distros) on his Windows 10 machine. Did he convert to Linux and erase Windows? Was it dual boot? Multi Boot? and what about booting from external media? I've been reading a lot of information lately about this exact topic. Maybe 98% of what I'm reading, and what people are trying to actually do, is run Windows 10 side by side with something else. There is very little instruction about booting from external drives and virtually no information about multiboot wherein Windows is the only Microsoft product on the machine. I"m sure all these things can be done, but I'm having a hard time getting specific information about it.

Windows does like to be first and assumes it's the only OS you will have on your computer. However I think the requirements for where Windows is placed physically on the drive are misleading. I already described my case where not only was Windows not first it is not on a primary partition either. That would be on this desktop wherein I'm using Windows to type this message. Go figure.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 23 May 2019, 12:54

I was told I could use the Windows 8 product key that came with the OEM installed on the computer.
But I've checked the computer case, the box it came in, and the booklet, and could find no official Windows Sticker or number anywhere.
I assume I could look somewhere in the Windows OS and find it?

I think what the fellow said was, he Partitioned the HD first, then Deleted the first partition, then installed Windows 10 to the first partition. It could be deleting the first partition is what makes Windows load only into that partition. He may have formatted all the rest EXT4 first, he didn't really get into it that much.
He was mainly bragging about being able to add as many OSs as he wanted to.

I've looked it up a few times, and you are supposed to be able to install a clean install of Windows 10 on a partitioned hard drive. Almost all sources suggest giving Windows the First or Primary Partition. And although Windows 10 only requires 20gb, it is better to give it 50gb or more, especially if you plan on installing several programs. 250gb is not uncommon to set aside for Windows.

It's been years since I've installed a new OS of anything. In fact, whenever you sent me the Silver Yogi and I installed Debian on it, that's when.

I didn't get the guys name, just talked to him because of his shirt.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 23 May 2019, 14:42

The ultimate goal here would be to have the GPT partitioned laptop boot into at least three separate OS's. That's the situation I had on the old machine. I also was able to install OS's onto USB memory sticks and plug them into either of my multiboot machines to boot from them. It wasn't that difficult to set up once I figured out how to deal with GRUB.

Theoretically there is no reason I can't boot into as many OS's as I care to with UEFI/GPT disk schemes. I am discovering, however, that the theory is not generally applicable but rather a special case relegated to non-secure booting and software that isn't Windows based. Some problems I'm experiencing are self-inflicted because I'm trying to incorporate what I could do in the MBR world into the GPT world. In my situation anything UEFI has to be a clean install because I can't copy over an MBR OS.

My strategy of the moment is to copy the current Windows setup from the laptop to an external drive. Then swap that external drive out with the hard drive that is in the laptop now. I'll do all the experimenting on the swap drive and have the option of reinstalling the original drive should something go critically wrong. And I do expect that to happen. LOL

Yesterday I tried to get Linux Mint working on the UEFI laptop. I'm nearly certain it cannot be done. That's one reason I was interested in what your hardware man had to say. For whatever reasons the people who invented Mint added things to the basic Ubuntu and destroyed it. Ubuntu is pretty flexible and I have no trouble getting it to work on the laptop; at least in a single incident. I have yet to try multiple systems on the HDD. Linux Mint wan't even boot the live CD or USB in my case. That's incredible because I've never seen a live USB not boot until I tried to get Mint into the UEFI mode. Since the live CD doesn't boot, I have no way to even attempt an installation. It works perfectly in the MBR jungle of my desktop, however.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 24 May 2019, 10:34

Remember back when I said the reason I've stayed with Debian was because I couldn't get Mint to load on two other machines, but Debian did.

Perhaps it might have to do with the fact the other two machines are UEFI and I just didn't know it?

I hunted for the Registration Key on Debi's new computer I have up here and never found it.
I didn't spend a lot of time looking, and didn't go on-line to see where they have it or how to read it.
I know on XP machines I could with ease. But Win10 is super hard for me to do anything on.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 24 May 2019, 12:09

Product Key Reader: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

Download that little app and install it on the Windows machine of which you want to recover the product key. I've documented all my OS's with that and it seems to work well, but I've only had occasion to need it once. That's good enough for me. LOL

I do recall you saying that Linux Mint won't install in certain instances. Then, I read in the Linux Mint support forums how to do it. So, I attempt doing it. Nada! :badpc:

I've found some inferences suggesting Mint has some bugs because they are doing something different than the normal Ubuntu distro. Yet, there are people who claim it can be installed in UEFI, and multi-booted. This is the exact situation that causes me to say Linux has yet to mature so that it is usable by the general population. At the moment it has a cult following and I'm not in on it. All of which is why I decided to forget the whole approach I've been taking and simply try to migrate the existing UEFI Windows install from HDD to SDD. If that works then I'll have a spare should I apply too much pressure with the hammer.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 25 May 2019, 09:35

Thanks for the Link. I probably won't get time to try to do this since I finally got a small order to fill, on top of everything else. Sad thing though, I will have to use all the money from the order to replace the bulk materials I use, like bottles, caps, cartons, and cases. Pshaw!

I LOVE Debian, although it is not a turn-key system like Ubuntu or Mint.
There are features of Mint I like, which is why I considered changing to Mint.
You seem to know more about why Mint won't work when Ubuntu works fine, and so does Debian.

Looks like I will have to learn about UEFI too, as the new machine does not do BIOS, hi hi.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 25 May 2019, 14:04

I got away with ignoring UEFI until I bought this laptop to replace the one that died. Microsoft updates didn't kill it by the way, which is one of the things I suspected happened. There is no way to reset BIOS either so that I'll end up scavengering the chassis and recycling the toxic parts. Stand alone BIOS died many years ago, but it is written into the UEFI standard if an OEM wants to give you that option. That's exactly what happened in the old laptop. I also can switch over to all BIOS on the new machine, which I tried to see what would happen. It was predictable in that the current HDD is GPT format while BIOS needs MBR. So, it wanted me to go to the boot device selection menu to choose from whence I want to boot. That menu does not exist in UEFI. The other alternative is to wipe out the HDD and reformat it to MBR. Then I'd have to reinstall Windows 10 back on it, which is not allowed. Windows 10 needs UEFI, period. Nothing else will do.

I was just looking at the kernel commands in GRUB for the Linux Mint I'm trying to run on the laptop. There are several lines of script which I'd be happy to photograph and put here for you to review should you be interested. I'm totally convince that a lot of developers know as much about UEFI as you and I know, which isn't much. Mint and any other flavor of Linux has no problem whatsoever running on my ASUS tower (which is set to BIOS). It's only when I try to get the exact same .iso to work on the UEFI laptop that I have problems. They keep telling me it can be done, but I'm from Missouri now. Show me.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 26 May 2019, 10:53

I did mess with the new Acer Aspire X computer last night.
I don't have to worry about the Windows Digital Key, it is built into the UEFI on-board ROM somehow.
I can install a new hard drive and install Windows 10, and it will automatically register itself.

OK, what I did was download a new copy of GParted for UEFI machines.
Don't know if I did this right or not, but I made an ISO of the existing Windows 10 install, using the built-in Windows program for making a reinstallation disk. I think it only copies Windows, not folders we added though.

I did not wipe the disk though so I may not need it. I ran clean-up, and defrag, twice.
Then used GParted to shrink the Windows partition from 500 gigs down to 250 gigs. Then made two more partitions of 100 gigs formatted ext4 each leaving 50 gigs for adding a swap file and
I only used UEFI/GPT not Legacy Bios, made sure that was not activated.

I have not installed any Linux Distro yet. Ran out of time. But Windows 10 booted right up, and when I checked it showed it was registered and active. I checked a couple of the old files and they were still there and worked fine.
I plan on installing Ubuntu first on Partition sda3, and then Debian on sda2 last so it takes over Grub2 so Debian boots first.
If it still works that way on UEFI that is.

I may not get back to adding LInux for a few days, since I have a small order to fill for my customer.
I also may try Linux Mint, but the last time I did, it couldn't read the disk, so maybe I need to download a LInux Mint for UEFI instead?

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 26 May 2019, 14:10

Yep, the UEFI Windows key is locked into a partition on that hard drive. However, you only need it to do a secure boot. You can use Windows without a secure boot (a BIOS setting), which is what I'm doing here. If you want Linux to secure boot in UEFI, you will be asked to create a key for Linux akin to what already exists for Windows. I'm simplifying things by not doing any secure boots.

If you are going to mess with partitions, it's ALWAYS a great idea to make a Windows recovery USB/CD first. I don't know if it's an iso per se, but they do copy enough for you to be able to recreate what you have at the time of the backup.

What you described is something I've seen a few hundred times and have no doubt that I can do the same thing. Resizing Windows to make room for something else is no big trick. In fact I have 500GB in a data storage partition that I can delete and put many Linux distros into it.

I probably have it mixed up, but, I think given the setup you describe you will need to boot from Windows (SHIFT+Restart) in order to get to GRUB, which in turn will allow you to select any version of Linux. That's not the routine we are accustomed to using, and there are people out there who think they can configure a multiboot system with only GRUB as the bootloader. Ultimately, that is what I will do if it is at all humanly possible. LOL

I'm taking a break from all this for a few days, but controlling the boot sequence is the exact situation I'm struggling with on the laptop. I don't care if a copy of GRUB has to sit in the Windows UEFI partition because I'm hoping to boot into Linux by using GRUB that is stored on the external drive with Linux on it. I don't mind booting into Linux through Windows as an option. However, I also want the option of ignoring Windows altogether.

Also, I've read several times that Linux (whatever distro) does come in two flavors. One with and one without UEFI. As far as Ubuntu goes, I've not been able to find two separate downloads. They all have UEFI on the iso and it's up to me to decide if I want to use it or not. In fact, I do use it and it does boot. What it does not do is store GRUB on the external drive. It puts GRUB in the Windows UEFI partition which is useless for my purposes. You will see (in Ubuntu anyway) that their installer has an option for you to select where you want to install GRUB. You can specify whatever you like, but I'm here to tell you it's only going to be installed in one place. That place is the Windows UEFI partition which is locked out to most users. It's for this reason I say you might end up needing to boot Windows in order to get to GRUB. You can't blame Microsoft for this stupidity either. The Linux Ubuntu installer is written that way.

I have used Gparted as well as other partitioning programs. There is something in Windows called diskpart which is their answer to Gparted but sans a GUI. Microsoft insists that you use their tool to do the partitioning so that it gets done in a way acceptable to Windows. Well, in my experience it doesn't seem to matter. The only benefit to it is that it is designed specifically for UEFI/GPT. Gparted is a little more diverse.

And, one more bit of advice. Get yourself a copy of balenaEtcher: here >>> https://www.balena.io/etcher/
Install this program in Windows 10 and make all your Linux installer USB sticks in Windows using Etcher. It makes life a lot easier and it coordinates wonderfully with Windows eccentricities.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 27 May 2019, 08:53

Thanks for all that Yogi - I have not got back to doing anything yet.
I was just happy Windows booted back up without any problems.
After all, it is the frau's computer, if I can ever get it to run faster.

I would also like to update my little netbook, it is still running Debian 8, hi hi.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 27 May 2019, 11:10

Just a little detail to note is that what you did is not clean install. The recovery disk you made most likely reflects the current status of the system which is not the same as a virgin copy of the OS. Microsoft has a download site that can be used to obtain a current copy of Windows. They offer a media creation tool to go along with it so that you can make a USB stick for whatever you download. Activation is accomplished in one of two ways. You either have to type in the product key manually, which is where that little program I linked to comes in handy, or Microsoft has all the particulars on it's server and will activate your system automatically if nothing has changed. I'm guessing Deb's computer is new enough for Microsoft to have the details for automatic activation. Changing partition size would not cause any problems. Installing a clean copy should work too. If you do have problems with activation, I believe there is a help line you can call to plead your case. LOL

Also, The latest and greatest release of "Windows as a service" (May, 2019) is known to be a little buggy. Apparently updating has caused some computers to crash or otherwise malfunction. This put Microsoft in a panic mode and they are currently testing a fix. So, if I were you I'd wait a week or two before downloading or trying to install the latest Windows version. Truth be told they actually are not allowing downloads of the May release until the problem gets solved. But some copies already are installed in unsuspecting PC's, so be advised.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 28 May 2019, 10:15

I hate to say this, if Windows becomes a subscription service, I'm afraid they will lose a lot of users from their database.
At my age, most of the folks I know are on fixed incomes, and it was a hardship for them to even get a new computer with Windows on it. They couldn't afford to pay a monthly fee to use Windows, most are not taking their meds or not eating if the meds are an absolute necessity.
I take a neighbor to the grocery store once a week because they can't afford gas for their car, and it has basically been sitting unused since his insurance ran out. He starts it once a week to make sure it is running if he needs it for an emergency. The thing that bothers me is, he makes 300 bucks a month more than I get from SS, but then too, his real estate taxes are about a grand higher than mine.

You are right, I have not installed a clean copy to her computer yet. I was basically curious if I could shrink the Windows partition first. I did make the recovery disk using the program in Windows to make a copy of the OS for moving it to a new hard drive.

I was told the Windows Digital License was embedded in the UEFI firmware on the motherboard. So as long as I don't replace the motherboard, any Windows 10 HOME I put on the machine should self-register.
Don't know if that is correct or not though. Like you said, it could be Mickey$oft keeps that data on their servers.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 29 May 2019, 10:57

My research revealed that the digital registration comes from Microsoft directly. They could and probably do put information in the UEFI directory, but to my understanding that's not how they validate copies of Windows. You can swap hardware without needing to buy a new license as long as it's equivalent to what you licensed in the first place. When I upgraded from the Silver Yogi everything was different, but there was no problem activating. Well, there was because I forgot to copy down the license key first. There was a 1-800 number I called to straighten that out without ever talking to a human.

Subscriptions to Windows Services are already in place. They are target mostly at corporate users, and of course the folks who like to propagate unsubstantiated rumors claim it will come down to the ordinary user as well. There is a tiny bit of truth to that. I think what you will see is computers with Windows services pre-installed. If you want more than the default, you can subscribe. Right now, for example, if you want to use their Office Suite you can subscribe to it online. You and I use a freebie version, but the point is that you must subscribe if you want to go beyond the basic services. Us old timers who must make a choice between food, medicine, or dying should get along fine with the basics. Email and a watered down browser is about all we need.

You got to give Microsoft some credit for knowing how to run their business. If they suddenly decided it's going to be all subscription tomorrow morning, more than half their users (a wild guess) would disappear. Don't you think they know that? There is a trend to do away with traditional computers and have it all in the cloud, such as Microsoft Azure is doing right now. You just need a dumb terminal to connect and they proved the computer, storage, and apps virtually. This is more or less how mobile devices are currently set up.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 29 May 2019, 13:29

From working as a ghostwriter for Hachette, I'm used to doing my work on-line, using their on-line programs.
No different that coming here to BFChat and typing away in these boxes. With the exception that we can turn on and off other utility programs we may need to use. They did have some useful features you could do right on the page, without actually going directly to another program on a different screen.
For Eg. If I'm doing my own writing work on a word processor, and need a different word, I have to leave the page and open a Thesaurus, study the words and see if one works better, or go to a dictionary for definitions.
On the Hachette writing screen, I can just right click on a word and select Thesaurus or Definition and it appears in a pop-up box, and from that I can click on another word and it will replace my word with the one I clicked on and the box will go away. Well, the dictionary only shows the definition of a word in a temporary small pop-up, move your cursor off the word and the dictionary box goes away.
They had one program I really liked for checking grammar.
So, for myself, I went ahead and paid to get use of a similar program on-line.
I used it so much, I ended up paying for a lifetime subscription, and sadly, have not been back there now for a few years.
Yes, I'm that far behind on my writing to need to check anything. Still all rough drafts, hi hi.

I now use on-line genealogy programs, simply because I cannot afford nor want to buy another program for myself.
I about went broke, and almost lost all of my data, because skipping too many upgrades meant the latest version could not read my older files. So now, all of that is on-line, in the cloud as they say, but I do download a copy for myself in GEDCOM format for safe keeping, hi hi.

So, even in my olde age, I would not be averse to using programs on-line, provided the copy stays on my computer. I still don't trust putting things out there in cyberspace, hi hi. And cloud storage can get expensive is you use more than the free allotment they give from some places. Who's to say they couldn't be hacked?

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 29 May 2019, 18:04

Micrsoft Edge (their browser) introduced inline dictionary/thesaurus functionality quite a while ago. Oddly enough I never used it so that I can't tell you how well, or unwell, it works.

There are articles floating around the Internet which claim Windows 10 is the end of the line. It's all going to be Windows as a service going forward. That kind of goes along with my thoughts that computers as we know them today will become extinct. When you buy a computer it will have the basic services, and they will be updated periodically. But, anything more than that will need to be purchased. The Linux crowd will remain free and open source and I am certain you will find some computers into which you can install a Linux distro. However, if my experience with Linux and UEFI is any indication, it's not going to be popular with anybody other than geeky types.

I'm still of the mind that you would be better off putting your genealogy into a database that isn't as prone to obsolescence as are dedicated programs. SQL will remain SQL well into the foreseeable future. I know the problems you would have putting it all into that format and there may not be enough time left to learn what you need to learn and then migrate it. The end product, however, would be amazingly flexible. You could even make web pages that query your database so that anybody with a computer could get at the information you spent so many years compiling.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 2727
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by Kellemora » 31 May 2019, 11:09

Many years ago, I started out with the LDS system for DOS, which was basically a data entry system to send to their servers in Salt Lake, but it still held our data on our machine.
Then I forked over the money to buy Family Tree Maker for DOS. I worked on adding our family members until I exceeded the limits of that program.
Then I bought Family Tree Maker for Windows 3.11 and filled that up right away.
However, I learned you could create separate files, new family trees under different names.
So I did one for dad's side of the family, and a separate file for mom's side of the family.
Then when I got back three generations and added the aunts and uncles from each side, my files were once again full.
So I started moving certain aunt's or uncle's over to their own files. The bad thing about doing this was I had a lot of files and some of them contained duplicates.
Then came a totally new style of Family Tree Windows for XP. I had to convert all of my files, one at a time, over to their new system. Once that was done, I had to merge all of the files together into one, and check to make sure it worked right. The find duplicate individuals and fix those.
Finally, I had a great working program that held all of my data.
Why change a good working program?
Well, they had several upgrades over the years, and I never wanted the bells and whistles they kept adding, so never upgraded. I went through a few new computers during that time, and never spent much time working on genealogy, too many other irons in the fire.
After I moved south and started adding my new wife's families from data from her sister who is their family genealogist and bought yet another new computer I decided to upgrade to FTMs newest version. Only came to find that I could not convert my data to their new system, it changed again.
In order to transfer my data intact, I would have to buy a certain two upgraded programs, which was cost prohibitive to me. So I just continued with the program I had.

Now the thing here is, you add a lot of data to a program like FTM that cannot be taken out of FTM.
If you run a GEDCOM file, it ONLY takes the genealogical data, no Notes, Comments, Pictures, or Stories, you may have added to FTM.

By this time, I was finally using Ubuntu Linux well enough I could trust it and downloaded a program called GRAMPS.
Honestly, after using FTM I hated GRAMPS, even though it worked well, it is not what I would call user friendly.
But you soon learn how to use it efficiently.
I made a GEDCOM file from my FTM program and uploaded it into GRAMPS, everything was there that is in GEDCOM with no problems. So I used GRAMPS for about four years. Plus I created a FOLDER on my computer for Genealogy images. Which eventually became my MASTER PHOTO FILE for everything, hi hi.

Ancestry allows free uploads, and although Ancestry is NOT a genealogy program, merely a Display Program for genealogy files, they have come a long way. So, after I uploaded and added things to Ancestry I put GRAMPS on the shelf. Too much trouble to keep two databases going with the same things. And Ancestry lets me make a GEDCOM dump so I have my own local backup of just the genealogy. Anything else I put on Ancestry also goes into my Master Photo File, hi hi.

I just wish I understood how Ancestry worked before I added pictures and documents from Ancestry supplied sources. Because, if you let your subscription lapse, or turn it off for awhile, you cannot get to any of the Ancestry supplied sources or the documents or images you may have obtained that way.
And with over 600,000 linked individuals in my family tree, it is way too much to try and make copies of the added-in data to my own personal file folders on my computer.

There are also other free websites out there for genealogy display uploads, and if I ever get mine truncated back down to basics, I may add them to those places as well. But I don't want to have to maintain more than one site, so I haven't done so yet.

Maybe SQL hasn't changed, but I know of websites that have their own databases in SQL and they cannot move the data to other websites because of the way they set up their program.
Besides, the way I forget how to do anything, like html, I could never remember how to parse data from a server which I also do not know how to use, hi hi.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 5154
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Is Linux Really Worth it?

Post by yogi » 31 May 2019, 13:52

I think you are doing the best you can under the circumstances. My experience with SQL and databases give me an insight into methods you probably never thought about. You would have one massive database and only use some version of SQL to extract data, or reports. No proprietary programs would be involved nor would custom data storage be an issue. You could keep that database on a computer in your office.

Making your data accessible to the family would be the trick. The easiest way to do that is to make a php driven web page. Then it's just a matter of hosting the web page so people can get at it. Of course I am making it sound easier than it would actually be, but my point is that you can get around all those program upgrades and subscription web sites if you knew how to roll your own. I'm afraid there would indeed be a lot for you to remember, not to mention the cost of buying SQL software that can handle 600,000 records. In the end it would be simple and customization, but getting to that end would be quite a challenge.

Post Reply