Thursday, June 19, 2008

Settling into Linuxville

You know it's really cool to try all the whiz bang and flash of all the latest gadgets but there comes a day when you must settle down and get some work done. I've said before being a distro hopper is not the greatest thing to be. By the time you've tried everything on one end, stuff on the other has changed. When I started blogging compositing was the rage and you had to add special sauce to get the effects. Today much of that flash has been integrated into the desktop GUI, that's progress. Now I don't have to work so hard to get the earth shattering effects that filled YouTube with geekness.
And I get to choose the level of effects so that my work flow is not hampered and in fact is enhanced. So to sum it all up I now dual boot Ubuntu 7.10 with Ubuntu 8.04 and will soon have XP as a virtual machine on Ubuntu 8.04. I think Ubuntu is very solid, the tweaks and upgrades have done their job well. I had problems previously with Xubuntu and Kubuntu 8.04. I think it was the download quality or a faulty burned disc. All is great today. Linux is too broad for distro loyalty to supersede the freedom of choice. But, once you settle in, two things become apparent. Once installed and you learn what you have, upgrade fever goes away. Things that are the rage today become integrated features tomorrow. The other thing is that the GUI is not the focus, the apps are. The apps are the same from distro to distro. You don't have to install the KDE desktop in order to use apps based on KDE libraries, if you are using the Gnome desktop. The proper libraries are installed when you install the program. The same is true for Gmone based apps. This is why Linux is so cool, all the parts can work together.

So, what's hot on my desktop? I am still raving over Elisa Media Center. No, it is not like MythTV. MythTV takes advantage of a TV tuner card and internet streaming and is one big setup. Elisa is focused on what you have stored on your computer. Elisa will play the locally stored picture files, video files, and audio files playlist style and then also does some internet streaming. While Elisa can signal out to a connected TV, it does pretty good on your monitor as well. And besides most use their computer one user at a time, the MythTV setup is overkill for that. MythTV is meant for the home theater or living room. And since most folk don't spend hours on end in front of their computer, Elisa is perfect for those short YouTube videos. I got a good collection of 2 min to 1 hour flash movies.
You are looking at the Blue Man Group on Elisa, normally it's full screen, but just hit "F" and it shrinks, escape to exit. They must have done an upgrade because the quality of video is better. That other window with the see-thru background is the terminal or command line interface. To get the screenshot I used "Take Screenshot" and to shrink it for the blog I used the "GIMP". You can have all sorts of fun if you don't whine about it's not like Macs or MS Windows.
Nobody buys a Chevy and says it's not like a Ford or Toyota. You just got to open your eyes and see what's there, if you don't like it, don't use it, peroid. There's much more adventure ahead, see ya when we get there.

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