Monday, August 23, 2010

snap, snap, crackle and pop

Here in the chateau of Linuxville I tend to try and experiment and torture my laptop in the name of comfort. My Gateway 4026gz is ancient by many standards but Linux runs wonderfully with a few caveats in play. First memory is 512MB so you can't really get away with Gnome or KDE and whiz-bang. They run, but it's.....well, hmmmmm, OK. I did install Blackbox and it is cool but not great as I don't like to fidget too much. Now I have installed XFCE, it pretty much is Xubuntu. Man what a difference. Snappy! Somebody snap me!

What does having a desktop that uses less resources do for you? The first is less overhead for PC operation. The second is more RAM to run applications. Yes, things run better and it does. People are always saying that Linux doesn't compare with MS XP or Win7. I say yes you are right and I hope you get your money's worth..........eventually. Meanwhile, I am feeling no pain, why? Because all of my exploits fit within typical PC use without the aid of special drivers and hardware set-ups. Wisdom says if you put a light weight desktop on your big powerful PC you will gain so much power it will be faster yet.

My daughter just gave me her newish HP Pavilion Entertainment laptop to fix, "dad I got a virus" Music plays in the background, the return of the man from heck. Not much I could do, two boys who search the net, play games and music, got mugged in the OS. Heck man I don't much about Win7. Good thing the hard drive didn't crash HP like others put the restore partition on the same drive as the installation, what if.........your sunk.

Anyway I started about 9am and finished at 5pm. I backed up some files, formatted the drive and pooped in the restore CD. It took forever, then I installed the anti-virus and the Java and waaa-laaaaa, well.......
I'm not too thrilled with Win7, it's good looking, but this laptop is beefy and fast still the OS is sluggish. Then all the stuff you have to add or take off is like weaving with knots. I look back at my old Gateway. Everybody thought the Hummer off-road-vehicle was so cool, then they made a street legal and class conscious vehicle out of it. Just a fancy high-priced box with no wow! My Ubuntu Gateway is snappy and clean and simple. Remember simple, not complex and it works. I can dress it up if I had more resources but I don't need to impress myself, just get stuff done.  You heard it once more, right here at the Chateau of the Linuxvlle guide office by your truly, the Linuxville guide himself. "nuff said!"

Friday, August 13, 2010

will it ever end.......!

Your life is too busy if you work just as hard sitting down as standing up. I mean I now have the habit of grabbing 5-20 minutes between odd jobs, errands and destinations to sketch or jot down a thought. The bad thing is when this gets engrained into your brain so that when your not scurrying about you get creative block.

Things have settled down at the chateau, moved my main PC from the upstairs penthouse-tech lab-artist nest to the downstairs bedroom so that my bodily presents can be available for duty by the wife and mom-n-law (poor me!). If I have to run one more errand I'm gonna bust! What I have discovered is that one can have multiple computers but usually one has all your stuff. Believe me is a hassle to sync 3 PCs. A better solution might be a network file storage server whose resources can be tapped by the other PCs on the network. In my case this is weak because my laptop needs more memory and a new battery to be powerful and float about too. Time for a new up to date laptop.

I cry about more memory all the time, Ubuntu 10.4 doesn't run on my laptop. I suspect 512MB is not enough. I used Sweet Home 3D and it crashes after I get going good. I am using Gnome desktop and I have loaded Blackbox which is a leaner desktop. It is kind of hard to switch desktops back and forth, you get used to a certain way. Why don't I upgrade? Because memory for old laptops don't get cheaper with age.

Did I tell you about Alchemy? Alchemy is a drawing program that manages chaos or random drawing elements. You can even use sound as a driver of events. It runs on everything because it is a Java app just like Sweet Home 3D. I used to hate Java apps, they were awkward and slow, no more. I used to and sometimes still regard myself as a Linux and Open Source purist, but as an artist I use the tools I have access to, even  Microsoft tools if I have to (darn!). I am looking at printing my artwork and most wide format printers have print drivers for the MS OS and not Linux, it is a wrinkle but not a crimp. Hey, I'm not a whinny prima donna, one day my prints will come. lol