This started as a answer to a post to a mailing list. I have put together some things I found out to be helpful during migrating from Windows to Linux. Some of them I had to find out the hard way – maybe you can learn from my mistakes
David Cartwright has also put together some points under the title: Microsoft strategies for lovers of freedom and justice.
So, let’s move:
- Keep your data concise: Make your servers available to your linux-box so you do not need to store seperate (unsync’d) copies of the same files in various places. For accessing windows-shares read up on samba (there is a tutorial here on LinuxBasics.org). For accessing Novel, there are the ncp-utilities.
- Keep your mail concise: If you do not have it yet, set up an IMAP-server (maybe on a linux-desktop-machine you keep running) and point your mailreaders there. Like this, you will know which mails are read and which ones are not. No matter from which Mail-client you access them. Outlook, O-Express, Mozilla, Netscape, Thunderbird, KMail? support IMAP.
- Keep your working-environment concise:
- Install your TrueType Fonts in KDE!
- Use multi-platform applications! Install OpenOffice.org and Mozilla on the laptop and all windows-machines you work on. If you are currently using MS-Office for work, then you even can tell OOo to use .DOC as the main format for storing files.
- As the next step, start using the OOo-file-format and convert the templates you use to OOo-format. OOo’s .DOC-Import is so good, I even converted my AmiPro documents to OOo by saving them as .DOC in AmiPro and then opening them in OOo.
- Choose your tool wisely:
- If you are under preassure, do your work in windows!
- If you have (at least some) time, do everything you can in linux.
- When doing work based on something you already have on your disk, use the windows-program. When creating something new, use the linux-program.
- If your time runs out, switch over to windows to get it done on time.
- Notice how things will change: You will notice that more often you will turn to the linux-solution if things need to get done, now!
- Decide that you want to use linux:
- Take your time for 4.2.
- Buy hardware that is supported by linux. This is tough! Make sure you can use it before you buy it. This needs money + time = commitment!
- Use k3b instead of WinOnCD?, tar/bzip2 instead of WinZip?, grip instead of CDDA, kpatience instead of solitaire, hack instead of doom, …
- There is a nice site that lists commonly used Windows-programms and their Linux-counterparts at http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html. Thanks to Steve Kist, who pointed this out.
- Try a little Wine. Some Windows programs run nicely on it and if there is no counterpart for Linux, this might do the trick.
- Discover the power of the commandline: Read the man pages of the following tools: mmv, rename, wget, grep, tar,… Find out about redirection and pipes!
- Dual-booting slows you down:
- If you have the hardware: Don’t dual-boot! Have a MS-Machine running right next to the Linux-Machine. KVM-Switches are a great help here, though I noticed they do not like laptops.
- If you do not have the hardware for 7.1) → Get it
- Check out the remote-control possibilities you have! You can work on your Win-PC from the Linux-laptop and vice-versa (using VNC).
Using these techniques, I have migrated all my office-tasks to linux. The only reason to keep a win-pc around is the proprietary hotel-software we use.
BTW, As of Version 1.1, OpenOffice has a PDF-Export button which is as easy as the printer-button but generates a printout to a PDF-File.
So, good luck and have fun,