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Moving to Unix
Thread poster: Terry Richards
Terry Richards
France
Local time: 20:34
French to English
+ ...
Feb 12, 2016

With Microsoft slowly but surely pushing everybody to Windows 10, a place I don't want to be, I am considering moving over to the Unix side of the Universe. Before I start, I must say that I know next to nothing about Unix having been a die-hard Windows fan since Windows 3.1.

Obviously, I would have to be able to do the same (or equivalent) things that I do now. This primarily breaks down to:

- Working with MS Office documents
- Using a CAT tool (currently WordFast Classic but I would be willing to change)
- E-mail
- Web browsing

I am sure that the last two are covered and Open Office can (more or less) deal with the first one but is there a "proper" CAT tool available for any variety of Unix? I have tried Anaphraseus in Open Office and it chokes on the size of TM that I use on a daily basis.

More generally, is anybody out there running their translation career on Unix? What problems have you encountered and did you manage to solve them?

Thanks!


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
CafeTran runs nicely on Linux Feb 13, 2016

Terry Richards wrote:

With Microsoft slowly but surely pushing everybody to Windows 10, a place I don't want to be, I am considering moving over to the Unix side of the Universe. Before I start, I must say that I know next to nothing about Unix having been a die-hard Windows fan since Windows 3.1.

Obviously, I would have to be able to do the same (or equivalent) things that I do now. This primarily breaks down to:

- Working with MS Office documents
- Using a CAT tool (currently WordFast Classic but I would be willing to change)
- E-mail
- Web browsing

I am sure that the last two are covered and Open Office can (more or less) deal with the first one but is there a "proper" CAT tool available for any variety of Unix? I have tried Anaphraseus in Open Office and it chokes on the size of TM that I use on a daily basis.

More generally, is anybody out there running their translation career on Unix? What problems have you encountered and did you manage to solve them?

Thanks!


For the CAT tool, try CafeTran, which runs perfectly on Linux.

You are going to run into file compatibility problems though re MS Office files.

What's so terrible about Windows 10, by the way? I actually rather like it, and there is so much great translation and language-related software available for Windows that I would never consider switching.

Michael

[Edited at 2016-02-13 22:23 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Linux for the brave and true Feb 13, 2016

Terry Richards wrote:
With Microsoft slowly but surely pushing everybody to Windows 10, a place I don't want to be, I am considering moving over to the Unix side of the Universe. Before I start, I must say that I know next to nothing about Unix having been a die-hard Windows fan since Windows 3.1.

I guess you're talking about some flavour of Linux here. Like yourself, I've been on Windows for a long time and DOS before that, but I have experience in other operating systems (AmigaOS, MacOS, OS X). Unlike yourself, I'm happy with Windows 10. Despite that, I like the way Linux has evolved over the past decade and I have played with it quite a bit.

Modern Linux distros look pretty but I really don't feel that they're as user-friendly as Windows or OS X if you every have to dig beneath the surface. While simple things like browsing and email don't cause any problems, I have frequently run into situations (installing things, changing configurations) where I needed to fire up the shell and start typing. That can get pretty arcane, pretty fast. So if you're not happy using the command line, I would be cautious about taking the plunge.

If you're an inquisitive type who likes to learn - I'd class myself as a power user and I have several decades of programming experience - you'll probably find it a fascinating system. Linux makes a lot of sense when approached on its own terms; you can see that the traditional Unix approach is actually pretty productive if you like getting your hands dirty. Also there's lots of information out there.

As for CAT, I agree with Michael: look at CafeTran. In theory you can run Windows binaries using Wine but I have no experience with that. There are no guarantees that what you want to use will work; try it and see.

If you decide to go ahead, you're going to have to absorb a lot of new information and do quite a bit of work. Take your time. At the very least set up a new Linux system (Debian or maybe Ubuntu) running in parallel with your existing work machine. Test it thoroughly and make sure everything works for a weeks or preferably months before starting the transition.

Still sure Windows 10 isn't for you?

Regards
Dan


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 02:34
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Tuxtrans? Feb 13, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:
I guess you're talking about some flavour of Linux here.


So do I. I also use "UNIX," on my Mac. I once tried Ubuntu, and I don't think it's any better than OS X, but I'm sure it isn't easier.



However, there's a Linux distro especially for translators, Tuxtrans, that may be worth giving a try.


Cheers,

Hans


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andyhd  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
German to English
+ ...
Go for it and don't look back Feb 14, 2016

Terry Richards wrote:

- Working with MS Office documents
- Using a CAT tool (currently WordFast Classic but I would be willing to change)
- E-mail
- Web browsing

Thanks!


I have been happily using Linux for more than a decade.

Emailing and browsing obviously is not an issue. Neither is word processing if you are not sharing documents with complex formating (like nested tables) or have to reply on tracked changes for instance.

A reasonable well-developed CAT tool is OmegaT.


Choose a Linux distribution like "Mint Linux" that has a similar appearance/ design to Windows, it might make the transition easier. Expect normal problem in the beginning of a steep learning curve and gradual satisfaction as you progress.


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 20:34
Alternative for MS Office Feb 14, 2016

As an alternative for MS Office, you might want to have a look at Softmaker: http://www.softmaker.com/en/softmaker-office-linux

From a thorough German review (C't 2/16):

Die Linux-Version von SoftMaker Office 2016 überzeugt durch eine hohe Geschwindigkeit und vor allem durch den problemlosen Do- kumentaustausch mit Microsoft Office. Wer unter Linux Word-Dokumente, Excel-Tabel- len und PowerPoint-Präsentationen in den aktuellen Dateiformaten bearbeiten will, findet derzeit nichts Besseres. Hier ist SoftMaker Office LibreOffice weit überlegen


[Edited at 2016-02-14 07:36 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Freedom Feb 14, 2016

Meta Arkadia wrote:
So do I. I also use "UNIX," on my Mac. I once tried Ubuntu, and I don't think it's any better than OS X, but I'm sure it isn't easier.

I think OS X - a beautifully packaged Unix, as you say - would be a far better choice for most people. However, if the original poster already thinks Microsoft is a bit pushy and restrictive then he'd probably find Apple's walled-garden approach to the world suffocating. My guess is that he wants to be free of all that.

tuxtrans looks like a great place to start exploring.

Regards
Dan


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 02:34
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Objection, your Honour! Feb 14, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:
...Apple's walled-garden approach to the world suffocating.


iOS may be a walled garden, but OS X isn't so much walled. Now if you can't find the Preferences and the Terminal, it's walled a bit. And that's not a bad thing.

Cheers,

Hans


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Eugenio Garcia-Salmones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:34
Member (2015)
Russian to Spanish
+ ...
FreeBSD Feb 14, 2016

I work with cafetran in FreeBSD without problems, also OmegaT work without problems. But linux is not Unix please, is Linux. Mac is system developed from FreeBSD.

Regards

[Editado a las 2016-02-14 08:56 GMT]

http://www.rusofilia.es/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Cafetr-1024x640.jpg

[Editado a las 2016-02-14 09:01 GMT]


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 02:34
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Are you sure? Feb 14, 2016

Eugenio Garcia-Salmones wrote:
Mac is system developed from FreeBSD.


As far as I know, OS X is based on NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP, although it may have "borrowed" elements from FREEBSD. But then again, history isn't my strongest point, it's all in the past, you know.

Cheers,

Hans


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John Holland  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:34
Member (2012)
French to English
GNU/Linux Feb 14, 2016

I'm a longtime GNU/Linux user, currently using Xubuntu.

Regarding CAT tools, in addition to OmegaT (which I use most frequently) and CafeTran, there is also WordFast Pro. All three are java-based and work well in Linux.
http://www.wordfast.com/products_wordfast_pro.html

It is completely possible to run MS Office in Linux under Wine. New users can benefit from the CrossOver Office version of Wine, which is a commercial product with a better frontend for installing and configuring. Here are some links that may help:
https://raymii.org/s/tutorials/Office_2013_and_2010_on_Linux.html
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1885051

I also use Wine to run PDF-Xchange editor for annotating PDFs (for example, final proofs of journal articles):
http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-editor

Another useful application that is Linux-native is GoldenDict. You can use it to look up terms in on-line dictionaries in a popup window, although it is necessary to configure it for the dictionary sites you would like to use. GoldenDict should be provided by most GNU/Linux distributions.

Once installed, it possible to configure just about everything to work as you would like it to work. I can't say I've had many specific problems. It's mostly a matter of getting acclimated to a new environment and learning how to do things in new ways.


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 20:34
Fluency Feb 14, 2016

>Regarding CAT tools, in addition to OmegaT (which I use most frequently) and CafeTran, there is also WordFast Pro. All three are java-based and work well in Linux.

You can add Fluency Now to that list.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Linux’s handling of MS Office formats is still too unreliable Feb 14, 2016

The problem with using Linux, at least for me, is that most of the Word documents that my client send me (99% are .docx and .pptx these days) are very large and contain all manner of complex formatting, tables, etc. I have tried many times to open and edit these documents in programs other than MS office (the list is long and interesting), on various OSs, as well as on Windows, and ran into problems almost every single time. This is a showstopper for me. If I cannot reliably edit the documents that my clients send me (preferably using the same software they used to generate them), I can't work. And if I can't work, I can't make money, which is obviously not a good thing.

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John Holland  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:34
Member (2012)
French to English
Just install MS Office on Linux Feb 14, 2016

Michael Beijer wrote:

The problem with using Linux, at least for me, is that most of the Word documents that my client send me (99% are .docx and .pptx these days) are very large and contain all manner of complex formatting, tables, etc. I have tried many times to open and edit these documents in programs other than MS office (the list is long and interesting), on various OSs, as well as on Windows, and ran into problems almost every single time.


Compatibility is the only reason why I run MS Office on Linux. LibreOffice (as opposed to Apache OpenOffice, which is not updated as frequently) works for 95% of what I need to do, but that last 5% is often determinative. I do use the ODT format for all of my own work.

Luckily, it really is not difficult to install and run MS Office in a Linux environment. I've been doing it for years.


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John Holland  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:34
Member (2012)
French to English
Fluency Feb 14, 2016

CafeTran Training wrote:

>Regarding CAT tools, in addition to OmegaT (which I use most frequently) and CafeTran, there is also WordFast Pro. All three are java-based and work well in Linux.

You can add Fluency Now to that list.


Thank you. I'll give it a try at some point.


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