Thursday, November 18, 2010

Linuxaticity - some pride, a fall, a restore to gimptitude

Man, you missed a bunch of stuff. I was playing around with my laptop sound system. Then wanted to check out the Gnome Office suite. I already had AbiWord (word processor) and Gnumeric (spreadsheet), I wanted to know what other packages were included in that suite. A word to the wise, ask the question, then Google search it. I just installed the Gnome Office Suite and it was added but it also removed some stuff and my sound went with it. As of yet I don't know what comprises the sound system (usually ALSA or PulseAudio libraries) and I was using Xubuntu 9.10 which doesn't have a sound configuration app.

Rather than hanging my head and bashing it with my laptop, I reinstalled Ubuntu rather than Xubuntu. Yeah it is a little rich for my laptop, but I also installed XFCE desktop as an alternate desktop. I can now run fat or skinny when I feel to. The cool thing is that the full Ubuntu has lots of configuration tools built-in. I found the Sound icon in the Preferences menu and I had sound. You can also use System Testing in the Administration menu. And if you need to deep oogle your system to get info, there are a few apps otherwise investigate Terminal or Command-line methods. Command-line? Please don't panic, think recipes that work every time if you follow it. Once you know what to expect, it's done. I consider the command-line as the axe in the glass box, there if you need it. And if you hose your system Linux is so easy to install. I do have some recommendations.

1. Put your HOME directory in a separate partition. If you tryout OSs as much as I do, you won't have to reformat the partition with your personal data, that's less backing up.

2. Save your files to a remote drive, flash drive, or second drive. Not having your data on the same drive as your operating system is called security, and less backing up. This is very cool for sharing in a family (a drive for each family member). You can get a lot of personal stuff on a flash drive and the bookshelf hard drive is very handy.

3. If your PC can boot from a flash drive, put Ubuntu on the flash drive. You can turn your Win machine into a Penguinator at the drop of the mouse. Who knew!?

4. I am tired of syncing my PCs and keeping up with duplicate data. Put your stuff on the remote drive OR on that huge, powerful, dust bunny collecting doorstop to be PC in your closet. Then use an app like TightVNC or UltraVNC to remote the desktop from your laptop.

My laptop is three times more than what it appears as I tap the desktop machine remotely. It is way better than dual-booting or virtual machines. I can run two operating systems at the same time and not share resources. And if I want to improve I can share data, though I am not sure about sound across a remote connection (gosh, another adventure!).

Well how does this help my GIMPtitude?  My desktop becomes the workhorse and the barn for my stuff. If you come to my house I have few books on a shelf, mostly PDF files and tutorials and videos and what not all on a hard drive and CDs. My laptop is the smart user access. You don't need new computers for storage but however you work it out, at least for me it's fun. There is one caveat, the older computers sounds like a vacuum cleaner, my wife thinks I'm doing the rugs (hint, hint!).

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