I bought a new ACER desktop PC. This comes with a wireless keyboard & mouse. I don’t like these. I tend not to remember to turn the mouse off & the keyboard has a poor action & feel.
It also comes with Windows 8.1. I don’t like this either! It seems to be configured for a tablet/touchscreen. I just want the standard windows desktop with the Search feature. After spending time trying to rid the machine of touch icons and unwanted apps, I wondered about giving Linux a try.
I’m also fed up with MS’s built-in obsolescence (I have PCs with Win98 and WinXP), lack of backwards/forwards compatibility & the way MS forces me back on a learning curve with each release of Windows & Office, with familiar features hidden in new unknown places and file formats incompatible with earlier versions. Also I want to be in control of my privacy as far as possible, without apps connecting to clouds here, there and who-knows-where.
I set up a 2GB SD card with Ubuntu Linux on and also an installer disk. I probably didn’t need the SD system, but it may come in handy. I took over the D: partition for Linux. It worked. It found my Wi-fi & I installed updates. I tried USB sticks & drives & they worked fine. I can still boot Win8.1 if necessary.
I installed DOSbox & this let me run my old GJV2000 DOS-based logger in a DOS window on Linux. I set up a desktop file ‘gjv2000.desktop’ to let CONTESTE.EXE launch from an icon on the desktop launcher like this:
sudo nano /usr/share/applications gjv2000.desktop and entered the following lines…
Name=G0GJV CONTESTE logger
Comment=Launches logger in DOSbox
Exec=dosbox “mount c /home/dosprogs” -c “C:” -c “cd GJV2000″ -c “CONTESTE.EXE” -c “exit”
The file assumes a dosprogs directory in my home directory and a GJV2000 directory within that. I found a suitable icon, called it gjv2000.png and stored it as referenced above.
For good measure, I copied the DOS editor files EDIT.EXE & EDIT.HLP into the GJV2000 directory, so I can export & edit “RSGB” files.
I’m impressed with Linux so far. I have loaded WINE from the winehq site & tested it with my old CARDFILE.EXE windows application. It worked fine. I’ll try to install my old-but-current Turnpike emailer (from Demon Internet) and see if that will run on WINE.
I realise that I have a lot installed & configured on Win98SE & it will take a long time to migrate. At the moment though, I feel optimistic that I will be able to save myself some grief by ignoring future Windows releases as it looks possible to run DOS and old Windows applications on Linux.