Home > Hobbies > Getting Reacquainted With Linus

Getting Reacquainted With Linus

November 22, 2007

First off, to all my geek friends, I’d like to say “Damn it feels good to be home!” Now with that being said, I guess I should elaborate on what I’m talking about. Huh?

I finally made the switch back to Linux; ditching my old Windows based OS and all of the crap that comes along with it for something a little more secure and a lot easier on the wallet. How easy on the wallet is it you ask? How easy does free sound? That’s right I said FREE! Need an office suite? Free. Want to edit photos like Photoshop? Free. Virus protection? You don’t need it on Linux, but if you want it, it’s free.

How is this possible? Through the wonders of “Open Source”! Linux is an Open Source technology, and in a nutshell that means that anything written in Linux has to have its source code made available to the public. Anyone who has the “know how”, is free to modify this code to their liking, and the only stipulation is that if you make changes to it; you have to make your modified code available too.

Now all this doesn’t come without some “trade off”. While Ubuntu (my personal favorite flavor of Linux) has a very “Windowsie” feel to it, it’s not always as user friendly as Windows. Getting programs and codex’s is usually as simple as opening up Synaptic (Ubuntu’s program getter and installer), typing in the programs name, checking the box next to it, and then clicking the apply button… most of the time. Sometimes though, you may need to tweak them a little bit to get them to work on your particular computer. This however is usually as simple as going to Google and doing a search, you should be able to find a “walk-through” for whatever problem you’re having within the first page of results.

And that’s where I’ve been for the last week, trying to get this simple program working on my new Linux box…

The last time I used Ubuntu, “Dapper Drake” was the most current build (for you Linux users that should tell you how long ago it was) and Beryl used to be the program to do this with. To my surprise, Beryl is no longer supported, and its new counterpart is included with the newest distribution of Ubuntu (Gutsy Gibbon). So I spent about a week trying to get an unsupported program to work on a computer that it was never going to work on anyways. All because I didn’t take the time to check what build of Ubuntu I had and if it supported the program I wanted to install… *shrug* “whatta ya do?”

Long story short: I finally got it working and feel a little stupid for spending so much time on it, when all I had to do was google the build name and the program to find out all I needed to know.

Anyways, for anybody wanting to try it out, you can download the most current version of Ubuntu here, burn it to a CD, and give it a whirl. Ubuntu is especially nice because it comes as a “Live CD”, allowing you to try it out without actually installing it, then if you like it… just click the Install icon on the desktop. Ubuntu also lets you do a “duel boot” allowing you to have both Windows and Linux installed on the same computer, although I’ve never had any luck trying to do this under Dapper Drake. I should add that I haven’t given it a try under Gutsy Gibbon, and at the time it wasn’t important enough to me to Google it and find out why I couldn’t get it to work.

  1. tonyglasses
    November 26, 2007 at 12:08 am

    wanna here something funny? last week i rebuilt a laptop for the kids and decided i was gonna go back to linux myself and while i was at it i thought id start the kiddies out right by teaching it to them. and next thing i know BAM! you post this blog.
    see told you it was funny.

  2. November 26, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Teach em, teach em young! Linux it teh r0x0r!
    Oh yah, You’ve Got Mail!

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