Questions about programs under Linux.

Ann Parsons akp at
Fri Mar 8 21:37:53 EST 2002

Hi all,

Wow, Anna, you certainly have a lot of questions!  I'll try to answer
some of them.  There are people on here who know more than I do and
can flesh out what I'm telling you.

>>>>> "Anna" == Anna Schneider <annas at> writes:

    Anna> All right, now that I have ordered my computer, and am in
    Anna> limbo until it arrives, and have rested my brain for a few
    Anna> days, I have a bunch more questions.

    Anna> First, my understanding is that while Linux comes with some
    Anna> programs under it, many other have to be downloaded off the
    Anna> web.  Is this correct?  Regardless of whether or not this is
    Anna> the case, I am curious about the following:

Yes, and no, If you start with a full set of CD's, you should have
enough basic programs to get you started.  However, if you want
additional programs, you will have to download them off the net.

    Anna> 1.  Does any virus protection exist for Linux and if so,
    Anna> what programs would people recommend and how can I get them?

<smiling sardonically>  Linux is emune to most of the computer viri
going around.  There are some basic security protections you should
take, but if you do your email in Linux, for example, you will not
have to worry about viri that are targeted for Microsoft products.

    Anna> 2.  I want to get the Emacs editor.  When I read some info
    Anna> on the Emacspeak site, it sounded like there are a couple of
    Anna> different Emacs packages available depending on what sorts
    Anna> of things I plan to do with Emacs.  Do I have to go find the
    Anna> package I want and download it?  And then, if I want to fill
    Anna> out my Emacs package even more, with the Dismal Spreadsheet
    Anna> for example, do I have to go download it too?

Again, yes and no.  the packages you're talking about are extensions
to the existing emacs package.  W3, e.g. is the web interface for
Emacs.  VM is the mailer that has been configured to work best with
emacspeak.  These programs do have to be downloaded from the net, but
they do not affect which version of Emacs you use.  You want to use
the latest version. 

    Anna> 3.  Are there ways to open Word and Excel programs in Linux?

No, there are currently no ways to open MSWord and MS-Excel in Linux,
the only equivalent packages are in X-Windows which is closed to the
blind at the moment.  However, and this is a big, big, big, however,
anything you write in Emacs is in plain text, unless you mark it up
for LaTeX, and you can incert any Emacs file into MSWord file.  I
dunnow how Dismal and Excel compare.  I think Raman uses Dismal, but
before I'd tackle Raman, I'd do some considerable reading.  He doesn't
like women and he doesn't like newbies and he doesn't communicate well
with nontechies.  My advice is, if you join the Emacspeak list, be
prepared to fight for yourself and to stand up to the techies there
and give 'em back whatever they dish out.  If you are not of a mind to
scrap with techies, then stick to this list.  The folks here are at
least friendly and helpful and they aren't arogant chauvinist ursine

    Anna> 4.  Will I have to be compliling things before I use them
    Anna> and does Linux usually come with these complers or do I have
    Anna> to go find them too?

Again, yes and no.  Depends on what flavor of Linux you decide to
use.  If you want ease of use and not too much compiling then you want

    Anna> 5.  What is the most recent version of Lynx?  Is it
    Anna> considered to be equivalent to Internet Explorer 4.0 or
    Anna> better?  This matters quite a bit actually.  If I need
    Anna> another web browser in addition to Lynx, do any exist for
    Anna> Linux?

Anna, Lynx is a nongraphical web browser.  "As good as" doesn't really
mean much when it comes to browsing the web.  You're comparing apples
and oranges.  Lynx can not access many of the graphical sites on the
net.  But it does a creditable job with most sites.  If you want web
chat, or pages with lots of Java script, then Lynx is not good.  You
may have to go to Windows for this.

    Anna> 6.  And last I hope and this is just a point of
    Anna> clarification, when you all talk about telnetting and
    Anna> ftyping and all that, you are doing from your machines
    Anna> right?  Do you have to dial in first to do those things from
    Anna> your machine or how does that work?

Yes, you telnet and FTP from your own machine, using your internet
provider's connection, either phone dialup or broadband.  You still
need an ISP, Anna, but you do FTP and telnet from your own machine.

Ann P.

			Ann K. Parsons  
email:  akp at 			ICQ Number:  33006854
"All that is gold does not glitter.  Not all those who wander are lost."  JRRT

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