Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby jparekh » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:42 pm

It's beeen a couple of weeks into my venture to move from Windows XP to Zorin OS 8. I was lured to the Unix fold by promises of a "stable and open" environment. That it may be; however, ease of use and problem resolution in Zorin are but distant dreams.

I installed Zorin 8 lite along side my Win XP running on a Dell Inspiron 1525 with 3GB RAM. The installation was flawless and painless.

Internet Connection
However, I could not connect to the internet. No error messages except - "cannot connect". I spent a few days discovering cause of connection problem - "propreitary" drivers needed for the Broadcom b43 wireless card my laptop uses. Finding the drivers was tough enough but installing them without an internet connection (no, I could not have an ethernet connection) was a b***** nightmare. I worked with Solaris in a previous life time (barely remember ls command now, but used to write shell and perl scripts once upon a time) but can confidently say that this problem would be IMPOSSIBLE to resolve for someone with no Unix experience.

Bookmark Import
Once internet connection was established, I cranked up Google Chrome and tried to import IE 8 bookmark file from Windows XP. No luck. Chrome claims "Success!" when I import but bookmarks are not there. Again, no error messages. Worse, it tells me all is well, when it's anything but. How do you debug this??? Fine, I can manually create new bookmarks.

Email Notifier
Next, I spent a few days experimenting with different email notifiers (to notify me when I receive new mail in Hotmail). After 3 failures (GNUbiff, etc.), I found x-Notifier plugin that finally worked. None of the notifiers that DID not work actually gave me any error messages.

Video
Next, I want to watch a film on GNOME MPlayer that comes with Zorin. I can see the film but the picture covers only half the screen (a rectangle in the middle of screen). After a few days of effort, including installing VLC, playing with different resolutions, apsect ratios, etc., I realized it was a video driver issue. Spent a few hours finding the drivers on some remote website where a kindly gentleman had devoted countless hours writing up said drivers (http://www.winischhofer.eu/linuxsispart4.shtml#download).

WINE
After weeks of effort, I am ready to rock. The last package to install is WINE so that I can run my voIP app. To my surprise, WINE installs smoothly. But guess what???!! The voIP application does not work!! I use this app about 10 times a day to make all my phone calls, so it's not something I can live without. It is also not one that I can replace (with Skype or anything else). I am using this softphone http://adeptotele.com/softphone.html

So, after weeks of work, unless I can run my voIP app on WINE, I am just about ready to ditch Zorin and WINE and pay for Win 7.

On a constructive note, it would be really helpful if the Zorin install were to point out proprietary products it has detected on the computer, what generic drivers it has chosen to use and how proprietary drivers may be obtained should the user choose to do so. Zorin should also come pre-installed with all packages necessary to install such drivers - espcially drivers that help connect to internet (e.g. fwcutter, etc.). I would be happy to assist in such a venture in any way I can.
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby Swarfendor437 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:52 pm

OK, first off Zorin 8 is now end-of-life (just like Ubuntu 13.10 on which it was based). If you are seeking Long-Term-Support for a Core version I would either go with 6 or 9, depending upon which is most compatible with your machine. Lite versions of Zorin are based on Lubuntu and usually have a maximum of 18 months support - not sure on Zorin 9 Lite as I have not got round to looking at this but it is based on Lubuntu 14.04 (distros like Netrunner and LXLE give it a full Long-Term-Support - bearing in mind that Netrunner uses the KDE desktop, not LXDE like Lubuntu.

As for proprietary drivers, it is not possible to include those - not because they don't want to, blame proprietary hardware vendors for this issue, not Zorin, not GNU/Linux! If you want total freedom, then you need to look at Trisquel - but that is unlikely to get you very far unless you have no proprietary hardware present, such as a machine produced by http://www.lemote.com/en.

I prefer SMPlayer (with YouTube downloader) as the best alround media player, with VLC a close second - especially now it has conversion extenstions!

If you had come to the forum for help and advice madvinegar, a fellow moderator, would have got your wireless sorted in no time - I see this is your first (and last?) post on the forum - pity you did not come here for help sooner - we could have guided you and advised you accordingly.

At the end of the day, you pays your money (or not if you use Core or Lite or Educational) and makes your choice - if you want to waste money on an OS that ceases to have official support from next year that is your choice! :D

As for email notifier, that has always worked for me - I just don't like it as it effectively uses teh notifier as a mail client too - I prefer to use either Thunderbird or Evolution - Claws mail is even better as it has extensions tha allow for synchronisation off-line - useful for some users who don't have online capabllity like some of us.

As for VOIP I would recommend jitsi.org - it is free and not monitored like Skype with M$ at the helm. jitsi also offers conference calls at no charge and is cross-platform compatible for Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux - if you need VOIP you need to look at a serious contender IMHO jitsi offers this. :D
https://vimeo.com/user15592214
https://trisquel.info/
https://www.opendesktop.org/member/257685/

Machine: ASUS X470-PRO, AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8 Core, 16 Gb RAM, ZOTAC Geforce GT1030 (2 Gb)
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby Swarfendor437 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:09 pm

Your Voip package appears to run ok on my Zorin 9 Ultimate:

38.jpg


Just to add that when I clicked on the screen I got redirected to this page so it may now be a dead application?

http://www.voipsoftclient.com/

Its domain is up for grabs - you would be better off with jitsi! :D
https://vimeo.com/user15592214
https://trisquel.info/
https://www.opendesktop.org/member/257685/

Machine: ASUS X470-PRO, AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8 Core, 16 Gb RAM, ZOTAC Geforce GT1030 (2 Gb)
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby jparekh » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:57 am

Hello Swarfendor437,

Thanks for your prompt and helpful response.

I am aware that it is not possible to INCLUDE proprietary drivers with Zorin and that the problem lies with the hardware vendors. If you re-read my post, I merely suggested that Zorin could "point out" what devices needed proprietary drivers.

The media player is not an issue any more as I have the right graphics drivers installed and the built in player works just fine. I will however, keep SMPlayer in mind.

Re voIP, I purchase phone credit from adeptotele.com to call landlines and mobiles. Adeptotele REQUIRE me to use this credit through the voIP client. They offer the best connection quality and rates to the countries I call most frequently.

From what I read about the different versions of Zorin, it seemed all versions offered the same basic/essential functionality. Core and Ultimate offered "extra software". It never occurred to me that my voIP app would not work on [Zorin 8] lite but WOULD work on Core/Ultimate. I chose the lite version simply for a faster download and install. If all worked well on lite, I intended to get rid of Win XP, downloaded the latest Core and do a clean install. Feel free to enlighten me on the differences between the lite/core/ultimate versions and why an application would work on one but not another.

Yes, in hindsight, I should have, could have, would have posted here earlier, but didn't. I like figuring things out by myself and only give up when extremely frustrated. And frustrated I was when I chose to bid Adios to Zorin. However, the sight of good old "Adepto voIP" up and running on your screen has rejuvinated my spirits. With renewed hope, I shall persevere and proceed to get it to work on Core 9. Failing that, I will try Ultimate.

I have no interest in going to Win 7 and would rather be without OS if the only thing available was the spyware Win 8.
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby Swarfendor437 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:04 pm

Hi, glad to hear you are reconsidering and apologies for misreading the bit on proprietary drivers - I think it might be difficult for Zorin to issue a 'de facto' list of 'proprietary drivers' the obvious ones remain the same - AMD (ATi), and nVidia Graphics. As for wireless there are so many variants, even within Broadcom, I don't know if it would be physically possible (over to you madvinegar to correct me - perhaps a little project you could look at? ;) )

I haven't got round to trying Core - but if you do download, please make sure it is 9.1 - as this has all the updates that got downloaded in install of 9 - a very long install! :D

The difference between Lite and Core is that Lite is Ubuntu with LXDE = Lubuntu, Core is based on Gnome3 DE, as is Ultimate - the only difference between Core and Ultimate is that you get a raft of applications in all software genres to save you having to find additional softwares after install of Core - that is fundamentally the only difference. Lite will only last for 18 months to 3 years max - Zorin 9.1 Core will last you to April 2019.

One thing you might want to try in light regarding 'voip' - be sure that you right click the install.exe, select Properties and select 'Permissions' tab and check mark - enable to run as a program - it should then work (provided you have WINE installed) ;)
https://vimeo.com/user15592214
https://trisquel.info/
https://www.opendesktop.org/member/257685/

Machine: ASUS X470-PRO, AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8 Core, 16 Gb RAM, ZOTAC Geforce GT1030 (2 Gb)
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby jparekh » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:59 pm

Hello again Swarfendor437,

So, I downloaded and installed Core 9 from here zorin-os.com/free.html (I think I installed 9, not 9.1 - don't know where I can get 9.1). It comes with Firefox (vs. Chrome on lite) and I was able to import my IE8 Win XP bookmarks easily. That's one problem solved. But the voIP problem remains unsolved. The app does start up now but crashes ever so frequently - sometimes when starting, sometimes quitting, other times logging in.

Screenshot_Adepto_Crash.png


The other problem is that I am not able to login. The app constantly tries to connect, but never connects:

Screenshot_Adepto_Signin_Fail.png


Tried configuring WINE to run app in XP, Vista, 7, etc. Tried marking install.exe and app.exe as "enable to run as prog". No luck. Not sure if this could be Zorin or WINE related. I use a wifi connection and have no problems going online with browser.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated..........
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby Swarfendor437 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:08 pm

Hi, obviously, this is going to be difficult to test as I don't want to fork out to see if my connection works! I have just reinstalled and notice my icon is 920 bytes not 900 as in your screenshot.

The only way forward (if you trust me!) is to PM me with your login details to see if I can do it from this end? :)
https://vimeo.com/user15592214
https://trisquel.info/
https://www.opendesktop.org/member/257685/

Machine: ASUS X470-PRO, AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8 Core, 16 Gb RAM, ZOTAC Geforce GT1030 (2 Gb)
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby jparekh » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:00 am

Hi Swarfendor437,

If it wasn't for the fact that I had many business and personal contacts with their phone numbers and more listed, I would have no problem providing you my login info. Not to worry though, Adepto has demo account you can use:
Username: angelo*adeptotele
Password: password1

When I install the app, I click okay on all install questions without any changes. "Help" --> "About" shows v 4.14 build 746.

I really appreciate the effort you are putting in dude. I would really like to make the move from W ---> Z.
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Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby Gizmuntu » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:10 am

I have no interest in going to Win 7 and would rather be without OS if the only thing available was the spyware Win 8.


OK....you say there is spyware amongst windows 8.
Where is it located in Win8.
I would sure like to know.
Please Explain !!!!!
Gizmuntu
 

Re: Adios Zorin, God knows I tried

Postby jparekh » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:42 am

Hi Gizmuntu,

I am not an operating systems expert so I can only go by reports I consider to be from reliable sources.

Check out these articles for example:
http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten ... windows-8/
http://betanews.com/2014/06/05/china-br ... -security/

Many bloggers who I respect and who are concerned about privacy have indicated the presence of "loopholes" in Win 8 that could be exploited to spy on your files, software you work with and effectively take control of your computer. Even NASA has announced that it will NOT upgrade to Win 8 and instead go to Linux because of security loopholes in Win 8.

I understand that Windows systems as far back as 2000 had the ability to "call home" with info, but I feel the scope of what they now choose to "call home" for has expanded greatly. I value my privacy and in my OPINION any OS that spies on my personal computer is spyware.
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