Friday, February 29, 2008

Progress of A Gutsy Traveller

So four months after downloading Ubuntu gutsy, I am compelled to report that my Linux experience has been an eye opener.
I am using the latest version of Ubuntu in a desktop computer. I have a Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz, 1,024 mb of RAM and a GEForce Nvidia 64mb video card.
The Gibbon is not without its bugs. Sometimes the panels disappear for no reason at all. Application freezes are frequent especially Evolution and Rhythmbox. I do suggest that anyone new to Linux or Ubuntu configure and select the default settings first before going into the woods. If you do go into the woods, be sure you have the contacts in the Ubuntu forum to turn to if you need directions.
I used to dual boot with XP when I was using Ubuntu feisty. It was a fine transition but my goal is to be freed from Microsoft and proprietary software. Open Source and free software just gives you that freedom. That's all.
With Gutsy, no more anti virus, anti malware third party software to run everyday to keep my data safe. I don't have to run defrag to take care of the hard drive because Linux runs in ext3 format.
So far I have steered clear of the dreaded command line by using the front end GUI that comes with the latest Ubuntu version. Hopefully, they come up with an easier way to backup my email, contacts, documents, photos, mp3 files, multimedia files and settings in a built-in GUI with just two clicks to make the backup and forget it. Backing up should not be the big deal activity for a very busy computer user who just want to feel secure with his data.
The Ubuntu GUI has saved my sessions in more times than I can remember. It has saved my settings and personal data countless times.
The Ubuntu GUI made it easier to change the desktop appearance, change the browser appearance and behavior. Or change it back to where it was.
I am more confident now of ext3 that I have all my mp3 files and songs and photos in my hard drive.
I am looking forward to the coming upgrade to Ubuntu hardy this coming April. I am looking to a solution to install it clean and just use my saved settings for the new version. A solution will do great for better adoption of Ubuntu.
The community of Ubuntu developers and artists are awesome. Support from the community is what keeps me from using other distros.
Ubuntu and Linux in general loves your old hardware. They run fast in old less "capable hardware" than say Vista. It requires less resources.
I have switched from firefox 2 to Epiphany browser to try less resource hungry browsers. At present I am running by default the beta version of firefox 3. Firefox 3 is more than half as resource hungry as its predecessor. Hopefully, Mozilla solves the bugs and releases this upgraded firefox to the public soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dry Land Spotter

I became a linux fan after several interesting experiences with the default operating system of the world. A proprietary software especially an operating system is constricting, clashes with my inate tendency to explore and modify things around me. I suppose all these inate characteristics are common to human beings. Yes, it sounds like the declaration of independence. I know.

First, the operating system most used by the world failed us in security. We trusted it to handle our computer. We trusted it to safely store our personal data. We let it handle our family photos. We let it protect our identity. While linux is not the perfect system too at its core users like me does not have to worry about a very simple way to steal all that I want protected.

Secondly, a proprietary operating system I legitimately purchased declares war on its own users and makes them suffer for problems it created on its own, is not very friendly.

I go home from work and find myself locked out of my home personal computer. I find a veiled threat on my computer screen. I am being told to check if I have pirated copy of the operating system.

When I finally switched to Ubuntu linux, I found a stable, simple operating system to transfer my data and computing to. Simple because no more third party anti-virus anti-malware programs to run. Simple because all the applications you need to make your computing life easy is available in a straight forward graphical user interface GUI.

I know stable is a relative term to use. But Ubuntu linux and most recent linux distributions upgrade with a new version in a fairly strict time table. In Ubuntu you will find a system upgrade every six months. This does not include the fast software patches every week or so to the applications in your system pushed to your desktop for your action.

Most people are going to tell you that linux is a geek OS. That may be true years ago when most modifications to the system can only be done through a command line and a terminal. I am not a computer savvy person and I cringe at the sight of a blank terminal screen where you have to punch commands. Today's linux operating system especially the major distributions are a breed apart from the old linux of text commands.

So to you who are born with the windows spoon in your mouth, there is in fact dry land in the water world of Microsoft. You might have thought or only dreamt of it but there is an alternative.

Update Gnucash 2.6.16 --> 2.6.18

It's a long road to this update. It isn't a normal update at all. I had to manually compile goffice0.8 and webkitgtk as well as gnu...