Sunday, March 15, 2009


I've been messing with Ubuntu for nearly two years now. It was my first step away from Windows, and with all the different distros I've tried, probably the best all around. But, I'm now getting sort of bored with Ubuntu. Not that anything is wrong with it, I just feel I need a change. I've been messing around with Puppy Linux lately, and I think, even though it's a very basic OS, I'm going to go with it for a while. My AAO and my desktop will keep Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server, but I think I'm going to learn about Puppy for a while. I honestly want to try a different OS because with all the customization that's possible with Ubuntu, I just don't feel comfortable with Ubuntu.
I just feel that since there are so many different Puplets of Puppy, I could, after learning Puppy, create my own Puplet to my taste. Who knows. I may come running back to Ubuntu very soon, but I may stay with Puppy too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ubuntu 6.10 on an Apple iMac G3

I got an Apple iMac G3 from a friend last night that couldn't get Ubuntu to install properly. Well, I tried last night, with no luck. If you booted from the disc (Ubuntu 6.10 alt. cd), the installer would go through the install, then ask to reboot. After rebooting, you would have the choice of booting from disc and Linux. It would choose linux automatically, and try booting, but never would get past loading the kernel.
Today, I decided to try again today. I connected it to my router, booted up the install disc and let it go. During the install, it went as smooth as it did last night. It never connected to anything during the install, which was odd, but it installed nicely. Well, it asked to reboot, and after the reboot, I thought it would do the same as last night. It booted up the kernel and Ubuntu started. So far the only problem with Ubuntu on the iMac is the resolution is off a litlle and the refresh rate seems slow. Hopefully, that'll be fixed soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Docks in Linux

I decided to re-install the Cairo Dock on my AAO, so I decided to talk about docks. There are several that can be used. First up is the Simdock. It's very basic, and from my experience, sorta user unfriendly. It doesn't need Compiz-Fusion, so it would possibly be good on lower end hardware. Next, is the Gdesklets Dock. Don't use this one. It has too many bugs to be usable at this time. Next is the Kiba Dock. I personally haven't used this one since it needs to be compiled from source. For most, it's not a problem though. Next is AWN. AWN is the Avant Window Navigator. I have used this before, with great success, but it seems to take up a lot of resources. It has several themes that are downloadable, and 2D and 3D looks. The next really isn't a dock, since you can't actually dock apps with it, but it's good none the less. This one is the Wbar. It is just a dock looking bar that has shortcuts to alot of different apps. goS has it preinstalled. I tried this one, but I was dissapointed with it after using goS. The Wbar in goS just seems more refined, like someone spent a LOT of time setting it up properly. I tried changing Wbar a bit, but it never had the feel of a good bar. So I deleted it almost as fast as I installed it. Lastly, is the Cairo Dock, my favorite. It needs Compiz-fusion to run, but doesn't take up a lot of resources, s it runs very well on my AAO. The Cairo Dock has a OS X feel to it, with many different themes that come with it. It has an autohide feature, which is very helpful with my limited screen space. In my opinion, I would recomend the Cairo Dock for most every one. Now, I know this isn't very in depth, but there is so much to talk about with all these, so I chose to keep it short. What I can say, is that if you have the time, try all of these. What I like, you may not. If you need help with any of these in Ubuntu, message me on Skype. My screen name is slammed87d21. Good luck!

Monday, March 2, 2009

RedFlag Linux

I don't know if anyone has heard about RedFlag Linux yet. It's the Chinese Government version of Linux they are focing on internet cafes. Just Google it, and you'll see what's going on. From what I've read was it's supposedly based off Red Hat Linux, and has an XP style and feel to it. I just went to the RedFlag page, and am downloading the ISO right now. The connection for the download sucks, because I'm only getting about 100 kb speed right now. Well, as soon as it finished, I'm gonna run it in Virtual Box, and let everyone know how it works.

Why do people think Linux (Ubuntu) is so hard?

I was reading a thread in the Ubuntu Forums just a little while ago talking about why people think Linux, or specifically Ubuntu, is hard. I think there were a lot of good explanations why. There are a lot of different reasons why Linux is considered hard. I have a few reasons for that but also a few reasons why Windows is a bit harder. I am excluding Mac OS from this, because I don't have enough experience with it to be able to give any information with and certanty.

Let's start with Linux. I got my first taste of Linux when a friend brought his laptop over to my house with Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon on it. I thought it was cool, and would like to try it, but since I had 2 good working computers, I would stick with Windows. I found the Ubuntu Forums, and started looking around. Seeing all the problems kinda scared me. I forgot about Linux for a while, till I started having problems with Windows Vista. Big suprise, right? Kinda pissed me off since I spent over $600 on a new laptop that now didn't work. I remembered Ubuntu, when I started thinking about how much Vista was to purchase. I then hopped onto my desktop, and downloaded the new Ubuntu 8.04 ISO. Then I realized you can't burn an ISO like a music file.

Damn. I spent a week or so trying to find a program to burn it. Got it burnt, and was ready to try Linux for the first time. Installation wasn't bad. I kinda got excited then. The install went smooth, and when I rebooted, Ubuntu loaded. Once loaded, I realized, why can't I connect to my router? At this point, I had forgotten about the forum. So, I connected my ethernet cord, and started Googling. Saw someones blog saying to talk to people on IRC. Got on IRC, and started asking for help.Well, to keep this from getting too long, I said a lot of wrong things, got no help for a while, but finally got the help from someone and got my wifi working after a week.

So far, Linux wasn't too bad. I had the bright idea at some point to try editing config files with no knoweledge first. To say the least, I screwed up my Ubuntu install. Tried the forums this time, and Google to fix my wifi again. Ended up finding a post to set up wifi Saved it as a text file, and was good to go. Linux at this point was irritating, but still not bad. On that laptop, the longer I had Ubuntu, the more I learned and got working. A couple lights didn't work, but I figured out how to get everything to work. All that without any real help, or computer knoweledge. At that time, I was just a basic computer user. Now with Ubuntu I can do most anything on any computer. Not bad for being self taught, I believe.

I just wanted to tell you that, so you could see part of my experience with Linux. I have tried several distros with nearly the same amout of success. There are several reasons why people would think Linux is hard. Like getting help if there's a problem. I honestly thought that the forums, and IRC channels were for computer tech geeks, so it made me nervous to try. Command line work scared the crap outta me. I heard stories that'd scare off noobs in a heartbeat. Also, there are rumors that Linux is still command line only, which is true for a few Linux distros, but not alot. I know people that won't try Linux for some of the most uneducated reasons. My games won't work, I can't put songs on my Ipod, nothing is plug and play, Linux is for tech geeks, I'm just used to Windows.

Not all the excuses are bad ones. Most people won't and probably never will try Linux just for the fact that they've gron up using Windows or Apple computers and are just used to how they work. That's fine, but please don't make excuses or say it's more complicated than it is. Linux isn't really that hard. I personally believe Windows is a bit more complicated.

My reasons for thinking Windows is the harder or more complicated OS is that even though I grew up with Windows, I never could figure out much about it. Like with my Compaq desktop, when I reinstalled XP on it, the Compaq page didn't have the drivers I needed at the time. It took me weeks to find the proper drivers. Never found all of them really. When there was a problem with Windows that was major, all I could find to fix it was to reinstall it. How many people do you know that can edit config files for Windows? More to the point, how many tutorials are there to modify files to get something working? What about customizing Windows to suit your style? There are ways, but those are if you have a really good processor and enough memory to do it. What do you do if you get a virus? Either download or buy more software to fix that problem, but then you have more software using the processor or ram.

Don't get me wrong. Each different OS has it's uses and users. On occasion I use Windows, even though I haven't used Windows in 6 months or more now. Linux, or Ubuntu, does everything I could ask of it. I personally like the fact I don't have to worry about getting viruses from web sites, or e-mails. Also, my Ubuntu install is completely customized to suit my taste, and I run Compiz-Fusion no problem with only 1 GB of ram. Windows has it free software, but with Ubuntu, theres more software that I can use than I know what to do with.

In conclusion, nearly any OS will be hard to someone that has never used it. That's only if people will just try something new. Until computer manufacturers start selling computers with any Linux distro on them, people will always be scared to try Linux. Schools need to offer more training in Linux, but until most Linux distros have compatable commands, I don't believe Linux will be anything more than a niche OS like Apple OS. People will keep using Windows just for the fact it's the major OS on new computers, and people are just used to it. But that's fine by me though. If there were more Linux users than Windows users, the possibility of Linux viruses would skyrocket.