Saturday, April 26, 2008

Xubuntu renovations in progress

Greetings from Linuxville, excuse the mess. Xubuntu 8.04 has arrived and I've been up to my elbows downloadn', installn' and soon to be tweakn'. Everything downloaded and installed great, except I have a 64-bit machine and a 64-bit Xubuntu, so I needed a "nspluginwrapper" to allow me to use a 32-bit Flash plugin in Firefox. Someone tell Adobe that 64-bit Linux machines are here to stay!! If it weren't for the user fourms, I'd be kickn' my box. Haven't noticed any big changes on the new Xubuntu yet, I'm still nosing around. Did get QGRUBeditor, which is a GUI for managing the Grub boot loader. I still have the older Xubuntu 7.10 on the drive, for now, and I can log into it, my choice. I installed Xubuntu 8.04 right over MS WinXP (ha!) which I plan to reinstall as a virtual machine. The Xubuntu iso file doesn't include a lot of stuff I want, it is after all meant to be lean for lower resource hardware. Being such, it is Ubuntu's best kept secret and I do want to whisper this, Xfce is better than KDE and Gnome!! (my thought). So, after adding some fat apps to my Xubuntu bones, I'm ready to compute.

I have heard some things around town. Firefox, it is said, gets slower when you add too many extensions and plugins. I don't know this to be true, I have no complaints. But if you folks are into the social net thing and photos and such, you should look at the Flock browser, it is made for this stuff. I like downloadn' flash movies and such and found a new app called Miro. Miro hooks you up to video feeds and your saved video files so you can organize and play all day. It is sad that the Linux home entertainment center idea seems to have cooled off some. Many of those projects have not seen recent development updates in a while. You'd think with the advent of digital TV, there be more demand for Linux solutions that aren't so complex. There are a few that are on the download list like Elisa and My Media System, but how to make them work is a mystery to me, meanwhile I got Miro and it works great.

Was at my place of employment (a school) and I overheard a student lament over his "borrowed" software collection and that he can't afford to own his own. The kids here learn on top shelf MS compatible applications, you know, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Win Movie Maker, etc, etc, etc.......but in spite of all the school contracts, discounts, the students still can barely get their own. It is safe to say these kids will eventually buy the apps they learned in school. Why is this so different for cars. You learn to drive any car by taking drivers' training. Does learning Photoshop in school indebt you to use only Photoshop? How can you hone your skills if you can't afford the tools? Open source is the unspoken and misunderstood answer to many questions. Here are some hookups. get a good look at Linux apps that do whatever, this one you see open source stuff that runs on MS Windows (if you must), and then here we have a school focus on Linux apps. The funny thing is that most institutions don't understand GPL or the General Public License. They keep worrying about users agreements and about copy right infringements. Linux is free and there is no catch, open source software, even the MS windows versions are the same. You can get, use and recommend these to your friends, students and co-workers. You can give them as gifts, if you want to. Yeah, we all need a psychology upgrade.

I just had to make an addendum, Ubuntu has two application install programs, one is called 'Add/Remove' and the other Synaptic. If you use the Add/Remove for some applications, it may fail to install all the dependences. This happened with Elisa Media Center, which is why it didn't work for me. I used Synaptic to download and Elisa works beautifully and looks like a winner. Miro is a whiner, but only because it allows video downloads in background. This is fine, if you have a huge hard drive and you don't mind editing channels. I'd like more control over internet content than Miro gives. Miro might be good for some but not for me. So, Elisa Media Center is a must have app. I may have to put a computer in the living room.

No comments: