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Deployment of Wine

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.
Having established that there is no way to migrate fully from Windows to Linux, the project now needs to consider running Windows apps in Linux.This is a big change to the strategy of the project.This is a big change to the deployment of a Linux workstation, a crushing admission of failure, and the opening of a whole new world of risks to an otherwise secure operating system. Environment & required functionalityFor this blog post, Wine was tested on: The Linux Mint Xfce 19 virtual machine "Bilbo", on host Windows 10 laptop "Saruman"The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 virtual machine "Gimli", on host Windows 10 host "Legolas".
Alternatives There are alternatives to Wine/PlayOnLinux, notably the paid software Crossover. Software selection Wine and PlayOnLinux are present in Linux Mint by default.  If uninstalled following advice fr…
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An attempt at full-disk encryption: Vera Crypt

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.
This stage relates to testing full-disk encryption using VeraCrypt. Environment & required functionality Full-disk encryption needs to run on the following machines: The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf";The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas".
The objective requirement is to protect user data from the physical theft of the physical machine, to provide an additional line of defence against data loss.
This is probably more important for Windows than for Linux Mint.Even so, in both cases, the operating system is likely to log activity which can reveal personal data and user (meta)data.
Full-disk encryption does not mitigate against Microsoft’s sinister telemetry functionality, for which the main solutions seem to be: Either to use tools whose developers are constantly on the prowl, hunting for the latest ways in which Microsoft seeks to breach u…

Partial decommissioning of Gandalf

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.
After a few months of continuous use of Linux Mint – mainly for simple browsing during workday lunchtimes and weekdays –the headline of the project remains that wholesale migration from Windows to Linux is not functionally possible, for the reasons cited therein.In this instance, the short story is no Microsoft Excel, no Foxit PDF browser for Windows, no on-the-fly VPN client.
Consequently, there is no further development use of Gandalf.Gandalf has other issues as well: even in last days as a Windows machine, the hard drive had developed a nasty habit of intensive operation, wasting time and resources on misadventure not commanded by the user.The habit has returned to Gandalf as a Linux machine, meaning that the user needs to sit around for up to fifteen minutes from time-to-time while Gandalf faffs around for no good reason.There could be an underlying har…

Scanning & OCRring to PDF: Simple Scan, gimagereader and gscan2pdf v NAPS2 for Windows

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This stage relates to scanning paper documents to PDF and digitising the scanned text via optical character recognition.
Environment & required functionalityThe scan-and-OCR function needs to run on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; A Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 virtual machine "Gimli"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas".In any modern office - whether at home or at work - some transactional documents and documents from public authorities still arrive by snail-mail.

This requires the ability to scan all documents, optionally with the digitisation of scanned text (typically via optical character recognition).

The hardware is an old HP OfficeJet Pro 276dw, connected to the LAN instead of directly to a workstation.
AlternativesThere are two strategies:
To use the software provided by the hardware manufacture…

Status report: wholesale migration from Windows to Linux is not functionally possible

As at mid-May2019, it was clear that the path to migration from Windows to Linux was obstructed by a lack of apps that are fit-for-purpose being available in the Linux environment.

Since May2019, there has been no change to the apps/functionalities then listed in the section, "Path to migration is obstructed by apps which are incompatible or otherwise unusable."  Developments in the interim have merely confirmed that the apps available for the Linux environment are not fit-for-purpose, and are unlikely to be fit-for-purpose for the foreseeable future.

So, it's time for a change of tack.  The time is right to deploy Occam's Razor.

In short, the Linux Mint offers a perfect solution to the jaded Windows user.  The only problem with Linux Mint is not of Linux Mint's making.  The problem is a lack of apps that are fit-for-purpose in the Linux environment.  By fit-for-purpose, I mean apps that meet the hygiene requirements of office-based, corporate lackeys who use softwa…

Status report: to what extent has the migration from Windows to Linux taken place?

As at mid-May2019 - ~10 weeks since a change to the test environment - it's about time to document the status of the migration from Windows to Linux.

Successful path to migration found, a bonus is that the path is bi-directionalLinux Mint, WPS Office, GPS Prune, Google Earth and XNView are successfully replicating their functionality in the Windows environment.

The changes to the data are successfully read and updated within the Windows environment.  For these apps, the path to migration is achieved, is bi-directional.  For these apps, mission accomplished.

Path to migration is visible, but not yet reliable enough to count as a successgscan2pdf has been found over two months to be unreliable, with predictable crashes upon a particular instruction of post-scanning processing.  This could be gscan2pdf itself, or any number of the subsidiary programs it invokes.  It is still worth persistence.  NAPS2 for Windows is still the more reliable app.

Path to migration is obstructed by apps whic…

Change in the testing environment

Following the successful test of WPS Office to stand in the shoes of Excel, the test environment needs to change.

The virtual Linux machine Gimli is hosted on Windows host Legolas via Virtual Box.  Legolas now needs to share data with the Virtual Box, so as to reduce the workload on synchronisation (grive and google-drive-ocamlfuse), thus stepping closer to a "big-bang" migration from Windows to Linux (where parallel co-existence of the two platforms wouldn't happen).

This is nearly a transitional phase.  It enables normal operations in Windows to the extent that apps in the Linux environment are either not available, or there is no time to find them to meet functional requirements.

This change took place ~30 days ago, and so far, is proving very successful as a test environment.  The Linux Mint test environment is handling more and more functionality with each month, successfully manipulating "live" data with no prejudice to the Windows environment or the data th…