Friday, December 05, 2008

my imagination at work here

I just wanted to write a quick document of some sort so I click on Open and it takes...................f_o_r_e_v_e_r_! Because of all my experience of well founded knowledge I say it's a bloated program, overstuffed with bells and whistles and I need something lighter!?! Well, I was searching the Ubuntu friendly blogs and I ran across this tip:

When Open finally does open, click on Tools in the main menu bar, then Options at the bottom of the menu, then select the Memory category. On the right there is a box for Undo Memory usually set to "100". Do you really need 100 levels of Undo?? I reset this to 25. Then close Open Now, reopen it and gee, it's kind of zippier at startup.

There's a 100 tips in the naked city, one of them might work for you. Oh, you thought tweaking like a geek means coding the command line of death. No, it's just that the default values for most of the programs you normally use can be adjusted for a more pleasurable Linux experience. Sorry, there is no single manual but there are tips circulating about Linuxville. The hardest thing for folks who don't know or think they know already is to ask for help. You just need to learn how to "google" your request. I start by typing just what I think in a question, then refine it until I get the results from the internet search I want. So "ubuntu tips" might get you more than you could read in one day. Or you might try "Open tips" or "using Open". In any event, a little targeted research yields lots of free online help.

Point shaving and computer buying have consequences resulting in aggravation and regret. It's true, most folk in trying to get the most for their money start to see what they can get away without. Ohooo!, this is a great computer and I can save even more if don't buy any extra memory. I bought my XP machine, had 512mb of ram and it is just fine. Later I find that XP runs way, way better with 1024mb of ram. I look back and realize I had the money at the time of purchase, but now have to justify the cost. So the lesson learned is to buy as much computer as you can afford the first time around. Maybe sacrifice the 500gig hard drive for a 250gig hard drive and spend that money on RAM. If your computer takes 2-4 gig ram, fill it up. You won't regret it later. Of couse the saying is that Linux will run fine with 512mb of ram and it does, but then you have applications to run on top of the operating system. Mostly it is no problem but if performance is important to you, more RAM brings better performance. RAM is for running programs, HARD DISKS are for storing programs and data. So when you see 500gig of hard disk, don't go "Ohooo!" until you see how much RAM comes with it.

To better manage your computer I also have this thought. You can buy that box with the huge hard drive and fill it up with all your stuffs. Then when something goes wrong with your box, virus, malware, spyware, and you need to fix it, chances are you didn't back it up. The operating system that has the problem is on the same hard drive as your stuffs. What if your operating system is hosed and you can't get at your stuffs? To all this I say forget the huge internal hard drive, buy the computer with a smaller hard drive and in addition buy a USB external hard drive (any size) instead. Then save personal stuffs to the external drive as a matter of habit. When/if something goes wrong with your operating system, your stuffs are safe and intact on the other drive. The USB drive is a portable and practical life saver. As Will Smith said in "Independence", "I got ta get me one of these!".

What I would like to see..............
A desktop computer designed to run virtual machines. What's a virtual machine? I have a Linux setup and had a program called Virtualbox. Virtualbox allowed me to run one operating system with it's applications inside of another. So within Linux I could run XP in a window running say Internet Explorer. Both OS's are running at the same time, sharing resources. Each operating system would be on it's own USB drive (or jump drive). The master operating system could load and run any of the attached operating systems in a window. All data would be stored on a large partitioned drive and sharing between operating systems is handled by the master operating system. You would need 4-8gig of RAM for multiple running OS's and a beefy video card.

Then I would like to see a pen input overlay I could put on my present LCD display. I don't really need the added dimension and cost of pen pressure input to vary line weight, I could buy a Wacom tablet for that. I need something more for CAD drawing although that mouse gesture thing might be handy. I would also mount the display in a slanted frame like a real drawing table on my desk with enough space for my keyboard to slide under it.

Computers are changing, the desktop is no longer what most envision. The laptop is now the normal choice. USB stuff is great stuff, smallish, convenient and portable, but Bluetooth is the rage from mice to Blackberries because it's wireless. The big game is to integrate it all into one seamless system.

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