| This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 (  2 ) > > || |
|My Experiment with Ubuntu|
First of all I would like to say I am a Windows user and probably always will be a Windows user, but I like to have choice and the ability to experiment with other operating systems. There are two main reasons I have continued to use Windows.
Simplicity: It just works
Software availability: Most of the major software companies focus their development efforts towards machines running the Windows OS.
I have been using Linux as my secondarily OS for about 10 years. My introduction to Linux was through Suse 8.0. At the time when I bought this distro it was cutting edge, but it certainly wasn't built with the non experienced user in mind. I continued using Linux, and every now and then updated my distro. I tend to buy the Linux distributions in software stores. Not only it is more convenient to have the CD's but you also have a physical book of documentation. The downside of this being, up until today I was still running Suse 9.1 on my laptop. Having bought the Linux distro I tend to horde them. As a result I find myself struggling away with a fairly old OS. You may think this is a bit silly, but in reality the distro I was running was no older than Windows XP. When you use something you get used to it.
I was trying to decide on what version to move onto next and the name Ubuntu kept cropping up. After some digging about I decided to give it a try. This time I decided to download the ISO image as opposed to obtaining the physical media for the install. In total the download was 650 megs.
What you next need to do is create bootable media, this means anything that can be initiated by the computer at boot time. The easiest way of doing this is to burn a bootable ISO image to CD/DVD rom, although you can also create a bootable USB thumb drive for your install. The latter will require a little bit more work and you will need to make sure the system you intend to install on supports booting from USB. This is done within the “Boot priority” section of your bios.
The installation process was very simple and intuitive. The entire procedure was wizard driven. what HD you you wish to install on, do you wish to set up a duel boot with another OS and so on. The install was also very fast. The last time I installed Windows it took about 45 minutes. Ubuntu took 15 minutes. Through the process is displayed a slide show introducing you to the OS and its features. At the end of the install I was asked to create a user account and then the system re-booted. I was very impressed with what happened next.
On system start its clear to see that Linux is coming of age. My previous experience with Linux has been one of “need to learn” Linux has never been a simply OS to get to grips with, Yep Ubuntu do appear to have nailed it. It detected all my hardware and configured all device drivers with no input from me. The laptop I installed Ubuntu Linux on is around 5 years old, so its a fairly old machine, yet had no problems running its new OS at all. It now has a new lease of life. Even with my system it feels quick, and responds very well.
So what can it do?
I mentioned before that Linux is a secondarily OS for me. I mainly use it for Surfing and email. My main development work is still done on a Windows based machine, so this had all the tools I need and quite a bit more. Firefox was installed as standard (3.5) so the web experience you have come to expect from FF on Windows, and I believe the actual browser start up time is a lot quicker.
The default windows manager that is installed with Ubuntu is called Gnome.
Gnome is a user interface that interacts with the underlying OS. Its the User interface that allows you to control the operating system, be it Windows, Linux or Mac they all make good use of a UI. Gnome works very well, the biggest difference a Windows will notice is that the main menus are at the top, as opposed to having the Windows start button at the bottom. It does take a little bit of getting used to.
There is another Windows manager that follows the Windows way of thinking by placing all the menus at the bottom called KDE
This can be installed very easily using the package manager. The package manager is a piece of software that controls the rest of the software. It checks for dependencies and makes sure all required software/libraries are installed based on your selections. The KDE desktop is awesome! It follows the same principles of Windows. If you are used to using Windows Vista or 7 you will have no problems at all using KDE.
I said before one of the main reasons I mainly use Windows is due to the availability of software. I don't just use my Windows PC for development I use it for gaming as well. Because of these reasons switching to Linux full time is not an option. There is however a great selection of software for Linux, and Ubuntu have made it so simple to get software.
If you think of the Apple aps store, or the Android market these places make it very easy to obtain and install software. Ubuntu have done the same thing with Linux. Within your applications menu there is an icon “Ubuntu Software Center” where you can manage your software. The application shows you what applications you have installed. You have the ability to remove installed applications or add more. You can browse applications arranged into categories or use search terms to find new software.
Installing software on Linux used to be a nightmare, very often you had to install from RPM's and if they weren't available you had to get our hands dirty by compiling from source code.
It does seam that this is a of version of Linux for everyone. It's lean and simple, yet still provides tools for people who want to do geeky things. Its not a perfect OS, to be honest I don't think there will ever be such a thing, but it does meet a very high standard. I would say it compares very well with Windows 7.
Thanks Mack. I once went to Linux, but then found there were certain tasks I simply couldn't do (primarily collaborating with colleagues who were on Windows-only software).
I dual-booted for a while, but it was a hassle and I never really booted into Linux after Windows 2000 gave me enough stability to get over the feeling of wanting to hurl the computer through the... uh... window.
Anyway, back in the day, it was a bit of a hassle to set up a dual-boot system. Grabbing the boot sector, installing a boot manager, etc.
You make it sound pretty push-button simple. Yes?
Also, have you explored virtualization options so you wouldn't have to reboot just to change OSes? That seems way more convenient.
Yea it really was point and click, my past experiences with Linux have always been far from perfect. Things have got a lot better.
On Windows my preferred office application is OpenOffice. I now have the same office setup on Linux so document compatability is not an issue.
As for virtulisation, I have thought about it. I wonder how having the additional layer effects OS speed?
I've been using ubuntu as a "second" machine for a couple of years. I would very much like it to be my primary machine and am moving towards it, but there is a LOT of software designed only for windows or only has poor versions on linux: genealogy, text editors (I have yet to find ANYTHING on windows or linux to equal some of Textpad's features and ease of use) programming editors (best so far is Quanta but it's sooo slow!) and, of course, clipboard managers (Klipper is about the best and is rubbish).
On the other hand I use ubuntu almost exclusivley for web activity (safer and faster).
I agree there could be a bit better automation on certain software installations. It's often necessary to invoke Terminal to finish the job and that is tedious to someone who has some clue what they're doing and very off-puuting to novices.
I gues you can run Open Office on Ubuntu, right?
Is there a Dreamweaver like program available?
What about image and video editing software?
Hmm... looks like I'm made my life more difficult than necessary by installing FreeBSD 8.0 last week. My main mistake was wanting to update Gnome 2.26 (included in the distribution) to 2.28 with Compiz Fusion which resulted in having to recompile the whole thing...
Once that was done it was fairly easy to add OpenOffice, Firefox + Flash plugin, Gimp (graphics editing) and webcam drivers. Only thing that I'm still missing are audio drivers.
I'd like to make the BSD box my main desktop machine, but my fear is that it will take considerable time to learn to use Gimp instead of Photoshop. Virtualization may be an option, will have to investigate as soon as I get some free time...
An easier installation route could be via the PC-BSD project, they just released their 8.0 version, which comes with KDE.
Really looking forward to dumping Windows completely, but no luck so far.
|As for virtulisation, I have thought about it. I wonder how having the additional layer effects OS speed? |
I use it with Vmwareplayer and see no speed affect specially if you install the vmware tool pack
|I gues you can run Open Office on Ubuntu, right? |
its pre installed
|Is there a Dreamweaver like program available? |
kompoZer plus many more
Gnome works very well, the biggest difference a Windows will notice is that the main menus are at the top, as opposed to having the Windows start button at the bottom.
you can change that with a right click panel properties
for me it my hobby os
Gnome and KDE are both highly customisable - my KDE desktop looks nothing like Windows, or even anyone else's KDE desktop.
All mainstream Linux distors have package managers.
|I have yet to find ANYTHING on windows or linux to equal some of Textpad's features |
I looked at the list of features on the site, and I can see few features that Kate does not have, and many missing features (such as opening files over ssh) that Kate does have.
|programming editors (best so far is Quanta but it's sooo slow!) |
Quanta is an HTML editor. For programming there are very good text editors and a huge range of IDEs. LOTS of developers use Linux, so the solutions are definitely out there.
I like Klipper, but its too long since I have used Windows to compare it.
I have used only Linux for the past eight years, and would never switch back. My wife, seven year daughter, and my father all use Linux, and so do a few friends (including an accountant and a pre-school teacher, not just geeks).
I use Mandriva because of the control centre and overall polish, but it has a little less software in the repo than Ubuntu.
Good reasons not to use Linux:
1) Needing specific industry vertical software, and WINE or virtualisation does not work well.
2) Having spent years learnings Photoshop.
3) Serious gaming.
Solving most of other problems is a matter of finding the best app.
Photoshop and, even more so, InDesign are the killers.
Even if Linux had an InDesign equivalent, it took so much pain and sweat to be able to do what I wanted in ID, I don't think I could bear to have to go through that learning process again.
For image work I think "The Gimp" is the best all round option available on Linux. Thankfully I also use Gimp under Windows, so not to much of a difference.
Graeme_p, is there a Linux alternative to Quickbooks?
graeme_p - I didn't get on with Kate: I find gedit better, although its Find Next key is weird (Ctrl-G instead of F3).
One feature I really miss on linux text editors is notification / auto-update on file changes. I'm used to Textpad and HTML-Kit telling me if a file has been updated outside of the app. Very useful in multi-machine environments and for software-updated files (eg logs). If Kate can do that then I'll have another look.
Sorry, I meant ASP editing, which is actually programming since none of the code is actual HTML. Quanta is the best I've found so far. If there is a faster app for this that is also better than Quanta I haven't found it yet.
Another apps failure is Open Office Database. There is no real way to get Access databases into it: no forms, macros or ways to cross-link tables on import. Better to use MySQL, yes, but still no real import path that I can see except for the data table themselves. I was very disappointed in that. I can accept it's probably better if you design in OO DB from scratch.
And, as I said, genealogy software. If anyone knows a good replacement for (eg) Family Origins I would be very grateful.
Klipper, at least on this machine, does not clear history. For some reason it adds More into the list (fair enough, but it won't let me see what's in More) and More and anything following, sometimes several more Mores plus single lines, refuses to be deleted without killing the app and re-starting. Also, sometimes it dies for no apparent reason (this is on Heron). Certainly it's not in the same class as Windows Clipmate, which includes built-in editing and several "bins".
Keyboard is a bit annoying in one respect: I've been using MS keyboards since forever and always use the number pad for cursor control. All works fine except in a few apps, including Quanta, where the Shift version of the keys puts numbers into the text instead of highlighting it. If anyone can fix that I'd be delighted. I've tried reassigning keys and that works for most apps but not (eg) Quanta. :(
On the other hand I do like being able to disable the stupidly dangerous shut-down keys. Very nice.
Mack - I use gimp for scanning (which seems to work much better under Ubuntu than Windows) but I would miss Corel Photopaint after all these years for editing pics for internet use. I can accept gimp would do the job but it's retraining my brain. :)
But as I said, I really like Ubuntu and do as much as I can on it. It also runs peripherals better than Windows, assuming they are not MS-proprietary, and the installation is often smoother.
Let's see... I've done builds of RedHat, Centos, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu. All very interesting operating systems, all very difficult to build compare to a Windows machine.
What I mean by that is I could have taken any of those machines and installed Windows on it and everything would have worked. I cannot say that about Linux. Some times I could never get things to work 100% (like audio or video drivers) after days of struggling.
To me this clearly demonstrates the challenges that Microsoft has when introducing a new operating system.
It looks like software is the biggest factor that prevents people from getting the most out of any form of Linux. Heres what I will do. I need to use Windows this week for some dev work, but next week I will pull the plug on my Windows desktop and spend a week using nothing but Linux. As I find solutions I will post them. Probably best if I create a different thread for that.
Nice topic.. Windows is a really good OS, but since the beginning I knew there must be something better.
I use Linux for more then 10 years, mainly for servers.. once in a while i tried using Linux as desktop.
Ubuntu is nice, but it cannot make me feel comfortable.. For a long time I'm a FreeBSD guy, I just love that OS.
As for march 1, my Windows 7 installation was doing difficult, I had to upgrade to an official release ($$$)
I knew there was PC-BSD 7, and guess what, that week they released PC-BSD 8. Bye bye Windows, it was a nice time for about 15 years.. i still remember your floppy disk installation for Windows 95, Chicago, thank you very much but I'm done with it.
PC-BSD is running like never before. Based on rock solid FreeBSD, installed with X, KDE out of the box. I disabled the cube desktop and some other things.. Now it is the same fast as my previous Windows 7 install.
It took me a week to try out several tools for my job, mainly text-editors and file-managers.
First i was still using Notepad++ via Wine but that was not it. Now I mainly use Kate.. it is ok for my kind of work. Uninstalled Wine, I just don't need MS anymore.. o yes for my Hotmail..
After 2 weeks successful running PC-BSD I'm sure, I never go back. Finally I've learned some Perl in about 1 week, (im coming from PHP). Perl is different, but after 1 week coding I have some new neat professional tools.
|For a long time I'm a FreeBSD guy, I just love that OS |
Same here, running FreeBSD on servers for a long time. First tried going to a desktop environment with SUSE Linux around 2000, and later with FreeBSD 6. Both failed...
This time looks very promising - I'm considering to simply use a virtual desktop to my XP machines in order to run legacy Adobe and Intuit software.
@caribguy, I am not familiar with Quickbooks, so I cannot really answer. The Linux accounts apps I know of are Gnucash (for small biz with simple needs only - I have used it) and Ledger SMB. There are others if you Google, including some proprietary ones.
@dstiles, if you use KDE you probably should not use Ubuntu. I do not have the Klipper bugs on Mandriva. I know of no Linux clipboard manager with all the features of Clipmate. It might be worth suggesting some of the features to the Klipper devs.
Kate, KWrite and Scribes (the text editors I use) all notify you when a file updates. Kate is quite configurable so you might be able to get it to suit you.
Regarding Quanta, try the various IDEs. Does the problem occur with other KDE apps?
I have no idea about genealogy.
Moving an Access DB might be another difficult one, but you could try Kexi (part of KOffice).
Lots of BSD fans here! How is hardware support - especially laptops?
Thanks! I remember going through the documentation for both on one of my previous attempts, but several features seemed to be missing or incomplete. - Will take another look.
Just today I was faced with having to support QB2010 in a Samba environment - makes me want to pull my hair out.
Ubuntu is what I installed and what I use. I've had to install a few KDE items to get what I want but mostly from the Add/Remove option. Kate isn't in that.
I did have a look at installing Kate over the weekend and remembered: It was one of several I looked into, some of which I installed and tried, but I didn't actually install Kate in the end as it was too much hassle to install, decided after reading several "I can't get it working" complaints in forums plus I just KNEW it was going to involve tracking down sudo install commands again with "uninstall this" comments amongst them. :(
You may well be right about Kate but I can't see it happening until I have a lot more time to play. In fact, taking your suggestion of not using KDE on ubuntu...
The suggestion about klipper: I'll look into that, if dev is still going on.
Not sure why I didn't try scribes - missed it in the melee, I guess. :( Now installed and I'll play with it as time permits. Kwrite sounds like another KDE one? It's not in the ubuntu list so see above under "Kate". :)
Quanta - I don't use many KDE apps - a couple of seldom-used PDF readers, kcron, kaffeine (which doesn't seem to work), a couple of "organizers", installed and never used in anger, knotes which is very useful, kommander which only lets me load txt files (probably me!), kalarm and smb4k. A few more but no idea why I (or other software) installed them.
Quanta is fine with small files. I'm currently working on 100k's worth with four other windows open on much smaller files. Last night it was taking my text at about a character per second. System Monitor showed the CPU maxing out (not a really fast machine but faster than my Windows ones) and it even showed high activity when it was sleeping - having nightmares, I suppose. :) Odd, because it came down from a high plateau and then oscillated to a stop over about a minute. It's not usually as bad as this even for large files; perhaps I was working too fast.
Best I've found so far for genealogy is GRAMPS, which is poor compared to what I'm used to but may be better than I think if used by someone who has never used such an app before and isn't set in their ways.
I have kexi installed and I played around with it as part of my probe into Access when I first installed ubuntu. Since I'm still complaining it probably didn't do what I wanted. :)
Thanks, graeme-p, for the advice and comments. Much appreciated. And to everyone else here. Very useful thread.
Kate is in Synaptic, and worked for me with both Gnome on Ubuntu and XFCE on MInt (a rather nice Ubuntu derivative).
My comment about not not using KDE on Ubuntu is really meant to apply only to the KDE desktop - I had assumed, that you were using a KDE desktop because you use Klipper.
Ah. No, not KDE desktop. I hunted down Klipper the hard way. :)
Must admit I hadn't looked in Synaptic for Kate. You know, you really are pressuring me to install it! I'm just going to have to find the time. :)
I have no wish to hassle you, but I have to admit to being a hue fan of Kate. I do use Scribes for writing (i.e. content), but Kate and Kwrite (which is just Kate with a simpler GUI - no tabs etc) for everything else.
I tried scribes last night and again now. It's a bit like Windows Notepad-2 but with more template options and fewer editing options.
I tried to load a template using the link on the templates panel but got an error from the web site. Went to the home page and found the download, though I haven't tried it yet. I'm watching the "demo" as I write but all it's done is write a python script using predefined "macros" inserts, which is not the way I work anyway.
There do not seem to be many options/preferences, just a Config icon and the 3-item drop-down beside it. Even the flash demo shows no drop-down menus.
There doesn't seem to be anything really useful that I would normally expect of even a simple text editor (Notepad-2 has over 50 options in menus; my version of TextPad, a very old one, has a couple of dozen plus popup config panels). As a text editor it's also missing regex, which I find useful.
I suppose it could be useful as a programming editor but I prefer tabbed tools - the task bar becomes very complicated otherwise. And off-the shelf it doesn't have an ASP template, which I need.
The one thing I was hoping for didn't happen. It did not warn me of a change in an updated file. To be fair, that may be due to the file being on a different (Windows) computer.
As with several ubuntu apps I had to load smb4k before I could see the networked machines. Ubuntu apps need to make that easier, especially for Windows migrants.
Sorry, graeme_p, don't mean to sound negative and I really appreciate the help. Probably I'm not seeing something obvious - that happens a lot with me. :)
Your observation re: tabs for kwrite has just excluded that as a programming editor for me. I will certainly look into Kate.
Thanks again for the help. :)
Sorry if I was not clear: I use Scribes for writing text as in writing content in a minimal editor - not code or more than minimal markup.
I use Kae as my main text editor and Kwrite for files that I specifically want in a separate Window: for example when I open a file on a remote server in ssh I open it in Kwrite, so I do not confuse it with the local copy that I would open in Kate.
Do look into Kate, its my main tool and probably has the features you need.
I installed Kate last night and am using it now. I'm making notes as I go along but over-all I like it - and it's far faster than Quanta. I'll post my notes when I've used it a little more.
I've also brought up Bluefish again, which I tried after Quanta annoyed me with its slowness and then went back to Quanta because BF annoyed me more. Can't recall exactly why now but I think it was because it frequently died, although that's only from a poor memory.
The trouble is, I'm happy with Quanta except for the speed when editing large files. :( Luckily Kate looks to be quite close to Quanta as a user interface.
|Luckily Kate looks to be quite close to Quanta as a user interface. |
The editing component of Quanta IS the embedable editor component from Kate.
That makes sense, then.
I'm glad I followed your suggestion, graeme_p. After another night working on four files for a project, including the one that ran very slow under Quanta, I think it's going to be the one to use.
I've been using ubuntu, specifically Quanta, for programming web site code for several months now. Previously I used HTML-Kit on Windows which was very easy to use but finally annoyed me once too often with its trick of locking up for no obvious reason, preventing me opening new files until re-started.
I have not had that since moving the editing to ubuntu, which I've been using since early 2008. The worst problem initially, apart from Quanta's speed, was opening files across the local (mainly Windows) network (my dev web server is on a local Windows 2000 box). It can still be a problem in some apps but smb4k seems to do the job (when I remember to start it). Once a file is located it seems to be loadable henceforth without smb4k.
A couple of evenings ago I installed this through Synaptic. My fear that I would need to go hunting for some code to use in Terminal to complete the installation, which I've had to do with several Synaptic installs, was unfounded. Select, Install, Bingo!
Setup was familiar - it was much the same as Quanta, which I was already using. Some things I had to make sure were correct are listed below. In some cases I found out too late (worst was default character encoding utf8: I had to revert to an older document to recover that one).
Beware line endings if editing Windows files.
Set correct character encoding (Tools menu, oddly) - default is utf8. Luckily I had a copy of the file open in Windows that I could write over the top of the newly corrupted one. I found I had to modify the encoding for all open files and have to change it for each new file loaded. I set the coding to Western 8259-1. (Whilst proof-reading this I had another look and tracked down where to set the default: in the Files section, not where I was looking in the Fonts section.)
For some reason "Warn if files updated by foreign app" didn't work. I assume because it's cross-platform (file on Windows machine) or across-network (using smb4k). Confusingly, saving files in Kate doesn't trigger the Windows app's warning, although Quanta does. (Windows one seems to be erratic: seems to be, if the Windows copy is open before the Kate copy there is no update warning, otherwise it works.)
I removed all of the top toolbars except the files and undo sections (see Tab Bar below). They were confusing, unlikely to be used (by me) and I prefer the increased editing space.
Folders/Files down left side of screen is fine but I'm used to it on the right. Minor irritation only. (Quanta's is on the right and Bluefish can be moved.) Just found the trigger to open/close the left file list window. Great!
I added the plug-in Tab Bar Extension to get an easy file-selector. Be nice if this was on a line of its own, preferably along the bottom: I moved some unwanted toolbar icons out of the way to make room for it. On later loading of a new file the removed toolbar objects reappeared, even though they were not in the toolbar settings. This may have been due to not killing/reloading Kate but not tested that as yet (just discovered if I move to a tab opened before I set up the tab bar the toolbar objects go away, then come back on the new page: looks like a bug).
As with SOME other ubuntu apps (including gedit, Quanta) using the numbers-pad arrow keys with the shift key for highlighting entered numbers instead. Very annoying and possibly the most irritating feature of Linux.
Inclusion of an ASP template was much appreciated. I had to track one down for Bluefish and then spend ages modifying it to make it work - I never did get it as I wanted it. I'm still tweaking colours but that's easy.
I haven't yet set up/used a Session. I've never worked that way before. Whether I will now I'm not sure.
Code folding is something I remember from when it was first invented. Failed to see the point then but maybe I'll try it later. Certainly it's something I haven't seen in any of the other editors I've used recently.
I had one near-accident last night when saving a file to the dev server failed. I recovered the data using Save As. For now I've enabled Backu On Save - something I've never needed before. Hopefully I will be able to turn this off soon because it clutters up the web site folders with copies (can't find anything to say "Save backups here").
All in all, I'm happy with Kate. Thank you for introducing me to her, graeme_p. :)
Does anobody know how Google-infected Ubuntu is? I.e. does it use Google Widgets and/or other Google software?
Reason I'm asking is because I've found Google software used in Mandriva Linux which I personally think is superior to Ubuntu in terms of usability.
There are Google widgets available, but none are installed by default.
A note on my earlier posting mentioning Access databases. Just found Gnome MDB File Viewer gmdb2 - "view and export data and schema for Access versions 97/2000/XP/2003". I must have installed it when I was looking into transferring an MDB to Open Office and then forgotten it.
In theory it allows you to view and export MDB files. It offers several Schema export formats (I tried MySQL) but not OO. It includes a SQL query window plus forms, reports, macros etc. Would probably work up to a point but I don't think I ever got too close to it due to lack of time. Schema export allows you to include Relationships and Drops; no idea how the former is implemented.
I think this would be useful if I needed to transfer MDB to MySQL for use on a web site where relationships were controlled via code on the site.
| This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 (  2 ) > > |