jump to navigation

Ubuntu is finally working on my computer! Ubuntu 10.10 Review October 13, 2010

Posted by NAyK in Linux, Linux Mint, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, WINE.
add a comment

It is with absolute delight that I report that for the first time ever, on my desktop, an Ubuntu distro is finally working.

I’ve always struggled with Linux distros on my via-(integrated graphics)-chipset. Hardly any distro, apart from PCLinux and Mandriva detected my VIA hardware. Previously, all the Ubuntu distros I tested would have a few positives, but also a boat-load of negatives. Usually, Ubuntu would recognise my internet, but at the same time the graphics drivers wouldn’t allow me to go for more than 800/600 resolution. Therefore I would only rely on Linux Mint or on PCLinux etc for my Linux needs.

However, this time, Ubuntu 10.10 (Meerkat) was (and is) working!

The basic installation process:

1. The installation process was relatively smooth, except it took a long time. Longer than usual. (I’m not sure why).

2. The live CD took a long time to load, plus I was suprised by how “primitive” the Ubuntu logo looked during install. (There was a Ubuntu text, plus four dots. What’s what that?)

3. The options of installation were much better than before, especially giving more control over the partition process.

3b. It was great to see that a VIA driver for my chipset and audio was installed automatically. (ie. it detected my hardware and installed something appropriate).

3c. Also, after installation, it was nice to see that there were only a few updates in the update manager. Suggested that it was a fresh/stable release.

Getting started

4. The bootloader, as usual, recognised my Windows partition, though the default boot screen was boring as usual. (primarily text). somehow, with openSUSE and PClinux, even Mint, I have come to expect a more attractive boot loader by default. (ie. I know I can do some tweeking and install one for Ubuntu. Maybe I will do that one day).

5. The default look/feel was functional (as I have come to expect from GNOME), but somehow it didn’t feel so bad as before. Maybe I have become used to GNOME afterall. It certainly looked better than before.

Functionality:

6.  the internet was working, without needing any configuration. An amazing feature!

7. Also, as soon as I tried out an avi file, Ubuntu asked me if I wanted to install the drivers. I said yes, and most of the codecs were automatically installed. Easy-peasy. (I was concerned that there was no audio, but it turned out that audio was in mute, I wonder how.)

8. I had to manually install chrome, flash and a few other software, like K3B. For some I used Ubuntu’s Software Centre, and for others I used Synaptic.

9. I was concerned that there was no file viewer. ie. I wasn’t able to open a file manager. So I installed Dolphin, and even that problem was solved.

9b. I was also able to install Photoshop 7, using WINE (after installing WINE). The only problem I had was that I had to copy the contents of the CD onto the computer and then make the setup.exe file executable for WINE.

10. there were a couple of times when Ubuntu suddenly hung. I think it was during the time I wanted to change the screensaver.

11. I wish there was an option to change GRUB options through GNOME. However, with some google-found guidance, I realised that Ubuntu 10.10 has changed it’s grub editing options, and it was simple enough. Sadly (still) my Windows XP is my default OS. But I am really enjoying fiddling with Ubuntu (spending more time with it than with Windows).

12. Also, I am concerned that the booting time is not that fast, as some were predicting. When I choose Ubuntu, it waits for a few seconds and only then starts loading Ubuntu. I wonder if there is a configuration issue there.

13. I was also unimpressed with the broadcast option (the one that connects Ubuntu with Facebook and Twitter). It took a long time to set up, and the options to view were too limited to be helpful. I much preferred going to the original Facebook/Twitter pages for updates. Perhaps in the future it will be better.

14. On the whole, I have been quite happy with the general functionality and even look/feel of Ubuntu. It has worked pretty well and easily, and for an Ubuntu distro, that is saying much. I don’t think I’ll be needing Linux Mint after all.

Ubuntu Screenshot

Now that’s more like it. openSUSE (KDE 4.1) starts working… finally. December 23, 2008

Posted by NAyK in KDE 4.1, Linux, OpenSUSE, openSUSE 11.1, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Wallpapers, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
1 comment so far

openSUSE 11So my openSUSE (KDE 4.1) is finally working. Thanks to all those who gave me moral support and some helpful advice. And yes, KDE 4.1 looks fantastic… and once you get the hang of it… the configuration is much much more powerful. Right now I still haven’t figured out this plasma thing… but at least as a basic (open) desktop… this (featured above) is a start.

From now on, I hope… there’s no turning back to openSUSE 11 or even to that GNOME interface (my gosh, people actually use GNOME in today’s age???).

How did things work?

1. I uninstalled pulseaudio, as was suggested… and that got me my audio back.

2. I went to KDE 4.1 and decided to go slow… and not mess around with the configurations too much. Even then when I right click and image and ask to set it to desktop, it doesn’t work, but I expected that. Instead, I made a folder, put the image in that folder, and connected to that folder from the desktop configuration settings. Plus, I slowly (read without trusting intuition) clicked each button hoping I wouldn’t mess anything up… and yes, finally I was able to configure KDE 4.1 to roughly where I want.

Still many many glitches remain, like I can’t still shutdown/restart from KDE… but now it’s good enough to go seeking the forums for help… that’s if I have time… but now fixing it will be fun. Hope I have many more positive posts about openSUSE in the future.

Below is the screenshot… as proof!

kde-openSUSE

Why Google Docs will not work (Not yet at least) July 30, 2008

Posted by NAyK in Google, Internet, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, Reviews, Screenshots, Working with Linux.
Tags: ,
5 comments

I was just working on Google Docs… actually let me be more specific. I had one file which I was working on through many years and on many computers. I decided that I would finally take the plunge and make it into one integrated web-based document that I could access anywhere that is internet-connected. To me, that sounded not only sensible but also time-saving… afterall, web-based integrated collaboration (be it with others or yourself) was surely the way to go (ps. I have done a lot of GoogleDocs stuff before, but this was my first “large” project running across 60 pages).

I started working, putting all the stuff in one place and finally I was ready to format… and then suddenly poof… my GoogleDocs network crashed (the image above gives the error). Interestingly, my internet connection was still active… it was just that GoogleDocs network stopped working… and yes I lost some work.

Thinking I made a mistake I decided to try again… and then again, same problem… and again I lost some work.

I now surmise that perhaps GoogleDocs cannot handle long files… (latest update: Google has a 512KB limit for documents… yes, this is the same Google that gives over 6GB for emails!!!)… though why it showed up as a network error I don’t know.

But it is also another reason why GoogleDocs is not a trustworthy application as a replacement to the wordpressor. But oh, how great it would be, if it was, if it truly was.

I think what GoogleDocs (online word-processors) need to succeed:

1. Network dependability (not a guarantee in developing worlds) so this is not Google’s fault, but perhaps it would be better to improve real-time saving (save as you type) and also perhaps include a save offline option.

2. Better handling of long (longer) documents.

3. Better handling of complex documents (ie. with footnotes, and table of contents perhaps).

(Yet the above list is more a wishlist… so it’s back to OpenOffice we go. Sigh!)

PCLinuxOS 2007 installation review and first impressions May 26, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, First Impressions, How-To, Linux, OpenSUSE, Other Distros, PCLinuxOS, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
77 comments

Never have I had such an incident free installation procedure before. Really! I’m not joking. There’s literally nothing much (in terms of problems) to report. My installation of PCLinuxOS 2007 was simple and error free. What I will say now (about installation) will be comments on certain preferences and perhaps some confusion on (my) part. However, I would say that while PCLinuxOS 2007 installation was one of the most simple and straight-forward linux installations I have ever done, it wasn’t perfect!

Installation Ease? 10/10

Speed of installation? I think I had a whole installation completed in under 30 minutes. That’s excellent, though not as fast as Freespire which I think has a record (on my machine) of about 10-12 minutes!

Configuration capability? Now there’s the problem. I guess every Linux distro has to choose between how “easy” to make an installation and how “configurable”. Well, PCLinuxOS’s installation configuration ability is not thaaaat great. It’s sufficient, but somehow, it is a little scary because when you’re messing with the partition editor, everything looks “fun” even “childlike” and the gravity of the situation just seems to be lacking. The advanced options are limited and often unhelpful. Perhaps to compare, one of the BEST installations in term of configuration was openSUSE 10.2. Now in that installation you can almost change everything (including which windows drives to mount or not)! But I guess, PCLinuxOS just saves the user the trouble and does the thinking for you. Nice, but a little frustrating to non-so-new Linux users.

Bootloader? Well the final bootloader looks pretty, and it even automatically recognises my Windows XP partition, but it failed to recognise my openSUSE 10.2. This was made all the more frustrating because while installing there was no way I could add (or figure out how to add) the full details for openSUSE which was really frustrating. Anyway, all this should not be a problem for those who work only with Windows and PCLinuxOS. I must say though, that the BEST bootloader installation is by Ubuntu, which doesn’t look pretty, but recognises EVERY single distribution that I’ve had on my machine. In fact in times of greatest frustration, I’ve actually loaded an entire Ubuntu just to fix my GRUB. OK… that suggests I’m still a noob, but it also shows how reliable I think Ubuntu’s grubloader is. (latest update: I have eventually fixed my GRUB, but by using a shortcut. Report here)

Internet connectivity? No hassles at all. My DSL modem worked fine as soon as I entered my IP address etc details.

Graphics display? I must add that PCLinuxOS has been one of the BEST (alongside Mandriva) out of the box experiences in terms of my monitor graphics display. Usually, in openSUSE, Ubuntu and any other distro I’ve tried, I’ve usually had to re-configure my Graphics display settings, and even download a VIA driver when available. And even with a VIA drivers, my Ubuntu display blinks! No such problem in PCLinuxOS. It’s working. No configuration needed. And that’s excellent. Really excellent!

Multimedia Codecs? Well, I’ve not tried everything, but so far, everything has worked; EVEN DIVX movies. Can you believe that? (Yes it plays DVDs and mp3s too) No need to install anything. I’m yet to try a Quicktime .mov file, so I’m not sure about that, but any distro that can read my .divx (which even Windows needs a software package for!) out of the box is excellent! (latest update: oops, PCLOS does not play my encrypted DVDs. It seems that is a company policy. So I found out (from a post) that if you want to play DVDs you have to install win32-codecs and libdvdcss2 from the Synaptic. When I did that, it still didn’t play DVD (only .vob file by .vob file). And then I found this post which says that the above solution is will not work for encrypted DVDs: http://www.pclinuxonline.com/wiki/PlayDVDs?show_comments=1 I even installed XINE and still it didn’t work. This is so sad.)

Look and feel? I must say that PCLinuxOS is visually a standout distro! The icons and the desktop look unified, as if they had one designer thinking it all through. We don’t get the modular design look (where many designers work on different programmes to give their own ‘personal’ and contradictory touch). In terms of other distro’s, openSUSE is pretty good, but you still have to work to make it look really good. Ubuntu is just terrible! But PCLinuxOS is just simply beautiful. It did remind me of Dreamlinux, but a better version of Dreamlinux! It even makes the blue look good (and I hate blue distros)! There is one minor drawback. I think because of the lack of ‘proprietary’ fonts, the font-display of my webpages is not as ‘good’ as on openSUSE or on Windows. Well, that can be changed, or gotten used to, but that’s just an additional comment.

Software Packages? I’ve given the packages in PCLinuxOS a quick look-in and I’m surprised that all the major programmes are there… OpenOffice 2.2, GIMP etc. But I’m surprised that the games are missing. That’s sad. Because for such a distro, the games would only help strengthen it. I know where to get the games, but I wish, especially if/when I were to give this distro to a newcomer, the games were already there because it would just be that much more attractive (because the Linux collection of games are actually quite fun… some of them at least).

Summary? Basically, PCLinuxOS 2007 lives up to the hype. And as a single-CD distribution, it looks and feels much better than Ubuntu, at least in its first impression. I find myself missing the power of openSUSE, but then, openSUSE being a multi-CD distro with big-buck-support, is a tough act to beat. I liked PCLinuxOS for all the reasons people are saying that it is a great distro: looks, ease of use, out of the box multimedia functionality etc. And I can’t wait to try and test it out more. Cheers to the PCLinuxOS team. This is really a Linux Plus!

(final screenshot after installation and slight modification below)

PCLinuxOS 2007

Ubuntu ‘Feisty Fawn’ Installation: impressions April 26, 2007

Posted by NAyK in First Impressions, How-To, Linux, OpenSUSE, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
7 comments

The following are just some impressions of events during my installation of Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” 7.04 on my Desktop. The aim is not to be thorough, but to just give a sample perspective of what an installer might face while installing the new (and nice) distro.

Interestingly, I installed the latest Ubuntu not because I needed it, but simply because I wanted it. That’s partly because I’ve been very happy with openSUSE 10.2… and between openSUSE and Windows XP I get all my work done.

Still, how can one resist a new Ubuntu distro? Well I downloaded it through the metalink (the speed continues to amaze me).

When I started installing, I did it without much fanfare or excitement. And sadly, Feisty did not have anything in it to excite me either… not until the *migrate assistant* A window popped up that somehow recognised all my WindowsXP and openSUSE users and asked if I wanted to import their preferences (settings) for a particular login. I checked two preferences and then set up an Ubuntu user… and hoped for (anything).

MigrateUbuntu

I must say that it was a really cool addition, and I wish it will be more finely tuned. When I finally tested it, it only copied the MyDocuments from WindowsXP (and didn’t get anything from openSUSE). Neither did it get my Firefox/IE bookmarks settings. But I guess that’s ok. There is certainly scope here. Perhaps some information on what exactly will be migrated would have made my expectations more realistic.

On other installation events, I did get an error while partitioning. And I’m not sure what it was about. Some error in one of my drives. I “ignored” and “ignored” and “ignore” about five times and then it let me move on.

UbuntuError

The installation was the usual “copy to disk” procedure that took a long time… but that’s only relative to the speed of some other Linux distros (obviously nothing in comparison to Windows XP, or even multi-disk Linux distros like openSUSE).

When the system finally installed… and rebooted… I logged on to the user that I had created for migration (excited to see what exactly happened). I learned later on that the migrated user is NOT an ADMIN. Thus, sudo etc does not work. It’s a limited account, and you must log-in to the admin user account that is not related to the migration. It’s no big deal, but I had to learn this after going to a forum. The link for this problem and solution are here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=421791

Then came the other cool thing about the new Ubuntu. It loads the proprietary drivers as and when you need them. So I needed “flash” for a page, and viola! it asked if I wanted to install the driver and it did it! It even installed Flash 9! Which is cool.

flashagree

However, I tried this same thing with a divx movie and even a DVD. It tried to install the codec, but the movie (and maybe codec) failed to install. It reached to the point of finding the driver for me, but when I installed, it just refused to play the media saying that the codec was missing. I wonder why, but the concept it extremely exciting. Very very good!

Interestingly, I tried to connect to the internet through the live-cd, but it refused to connect. However, I’ve had a very good time with internet connectivity and Ubuntu… and so, I hoped that it would just work when installed the distro (after putting the network details in the live cd network tools). And guess what! It did work!

Also, Ubuntu recognised all the distro’s I was using for GRUB, ie. it rightly located WindowsXP and openSUSE. I’m saying this now, because I’ve come to take Ubuntu’s GRUB management for granted… but actually, not all Linux distro’s do such a good job in locating all the operating systems on the computer and give them a good GRUB boot link. Another good job, there.

ubuntudesktop

The above image is the look I’ve chosen, simply to get rid of the now-too-old brown of Ubuntu. The default Ubuntu look is actually so ‘boring’ one wonders whether any thought went into the design at all. Still, not that my own design is better. And so I’ll probably liven this Ubuntu desktop later. Apart from all this, I have nothing much to report. The installation was relatively painless, even eventless, certainly not bad at all.

Summary: the new Ubuntu looks irritatingly like the old one… but two new innovations are certainly worth watching out for: the migrate assistant and the codec installer. The latter alone (the codec installer) makes it worth installing and trying out “Feisty Fawn”!

Speed: OK, Look-Feel: boring, innovations: worth-checking out. Overall: Good distro to try.

Timed shutdown in openSUSE: kshutdown April 12, 2007

Posted by NAyK in First Impressions, How-To, Linux, OpenSUSE, Reviews, Screenshots, Software, Working with Linux.
10 comments

I never thought I’d need it, but today I did. I needed a timer (for shutdown) in linux.For some strange reason, I DON’T have a timed shut down automatically installed in the “Shutdown” option in openSUSE, and what I needed was a feature that would allow me to shutdown after a few hours. In my openSUSE I don’t even have the option to restart in an alternative operating system. The screenshot of my shutdown screen is found below.

my official shutdown screenshot

I was doing some bittorrent downloads during an ISP limited timeframe. I had to finish by 8:00am otherwise it would cost me dearly!

Fact is, because I didn’t know how to do it (I never even did it in Windows or Ubuntu or whatever), I had to figure out from scratch.

I googled for “timed shutdown” and found two main solutions… THAT DIDN’T WORK in openSUSE.

The first solution is for Ubuntu and it is found here. Which offered the “at” command to shutdown programs after a certain time. It looked like this:

echo "killall mplayer" | at 4am

I thought it looked interesting because ultimately I simply needed ktorrent shut-down. So I replaced “mplayer” with “ktorrent” but somehow this whole phrase was not recognised by openSUSE. The error message was as follows:

warning: commands will be executed using /bin/sh
job 3 at 2007-04-13 04:00
Can't open /var/run/atd.pid to signal atd. No atd running?

I had no idea what that meant, or whether it would actually shut down “job 3”. I tried again.

The second solution is found here. Which asked me to type a command:

shutdown 4:23

This command gave me an error, saying “bash: shutdown: command not found”

So what worked? I decided to go the software route and found a small software called Kshutdown in YAST. I clicked on the non-Beta one and installed.

The programme asks what I wanted to do (shutdown, restart etc.) and by what time/date. I entered my figure and viola! Fingers crossed… it looks like it is working.

The screenshot looks like this, below.

kshutdown screenshot

From Fedora Core to Fedora (Multimedia) Extras: an Installation review – II January 27, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Fedora, First Impressions, How-To, Linux, Reviews, Screenshots, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
6 comments

Working with Fedora, after a year with ‘other distributions’ was quite a culture-shock. The Fedora world is so strange coming from Ubuntu/OpenSUSE; entering the Fedora world meant I had(have) to literally figure (learn) things from scratch. However, some similarities exist, thankfully, and of course the internet help(s)/(ed). The following is a brief installation review for getting Fedora Core enabled with other extras that we have come to expect from our distros… the actual how-to is available on this site.

Understanding “Core” and “Extras.” Starting Fedora 7, there will be no differentiation between Core and Extras, only Fedora 7. That sounds good, because I still have no idea what this core is about. I guess it is a modular core that supposedly makes it easier to add other things. But aren’t all Linux systems like that? Anyway, when I tried to installs along with my Fedora Cor 6 DVD, it kept crashing (I tried 5 times). Something about network etc. I eventually just ignored extras and installed Fedora Core plain. Then, I started “Xtra-fying” my Fedora…

…and thus, Fedora Extras, to me, are basically the multimedia functionalities (and some software) that don’t come by default in most Linux distros (codecs/players etc.)

For those of us who use Automatix in Ubuntu, I found no such thing here… and thus, like openSUSE, I had to pretty much get the multimedia capability of Fedora by myself, codec-by-codec, software-by-software. Note: there is still a lot of Fedora Core 5, 4 and even 3 stuff out there… so watch what version help you are using.

The few culture-shocks I faced when entering the Fedora world are listed below:

1. No graphical install/download/uninstall in Fedora that I could find. (latest update: My thanks to rexbinary whose comment directed me to Add/Remove software in Fedora. However, When I did it, the same kind of hanging window occured. The screenshot of the process after 5-minutes is below).

Add-Remove error in (my) Fedora

And then this error, after waiting for about 7 minutes. I guess it could be a yum.conf error, but I don’t know).

Add-remove error in (my) Fedora - 2

1b. This applies even to the update function. When I tried to manually do a “software update” in system, the computer hung. However, through the terminal I did “yum update” and it worked fine.

openSUSE has YAST. Ubuntu has Synaptic. But Fedora uses YUM, but it’s a text based install. Not that it’s that bad… in fact it was pretty decent… only, it can be quite disconcerting to newbies like us… trying to find our way in the Linux maze.

When installing, I only faced one dependency error (while installing Banshee) otherwise most of the things I wanted to do worked.

2. No automatic NTFS mount support. I’m not talking about read-only for NTFS. Fedora doesn’t even recognise NTFS for mounting, you have to download something to enable it. (latest update: I downloaded the NTFS driver, but have still not been able to mount my NTFS partition. There is a strong warning, and so I’m scared… I don’t want to lose my shared stuff).

3. Also, it’s better to operate in ROOT (within user of course). ie. When using Terminal within user, it’s better to work on root mode, b/c the sudo command seems to work differently. I found that when I typed my sudo password in user mode, it wasn’t as simple as Ubuntu… and I think I was confused… thus it didn’t allow me to work on user. (latest update: yes, as one commentor said, in Fedora you need to type su and then you’ll be asked to enter your password, and then you eventually just work in administrator mode).

Considering these challenges, why am I sticking with Fedora? I think Fedora is doing a commendable thing by going all-out free software (though that is not my own personal position). Also, the purpose of Fedora is to cater not to the beginner but to the cutting(bleeding)edge Linux user. So, it’s ok if they don’t simplify it for us. Also, Fedora recognises my desktop graphics card, which is something many distro’s, even openSUSE, do not do. All in all, I can say is that I’m still in the middle of getting Fedora configured to my liking/usability. And it is difficult, but not impossible to get to know.

The helpful how-to for installing Fedora multimedia is available on this site.

Other helps: Unofficial Extras FAQ here.

(latest update: I did not heed my own advice of being aware of the differences between Fedora Core 4/5/6 and following one site, I messed up my yum.conf (an important configuration file) and it has become a Fedora Core 5 configuration. I cannot still find a sample for Fedora Core 6 yum.conf. It is really interesting that the Fedora Core family is so diverse… I still find many sites that feature Fedora Cor 2-3 etc. And they’re first-prominent in google.com. Scary!)

Finally Fedora!!! (no I will NOT tell you the harrowing story of how I got there) January 23, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Fedora, First Impressions, How-To, Linux, OpenSUSE, Reviews, Screenshots, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.
5 comments

Only a till a few hours ago, I believed I was Fedora-cursed! For over a year I’ve been trying to download/install Fedora, and finally when I BOUGHT a CD… even that didn’t work!!! Fedora just wouldn’t install. And when it finally did, it crashed! I almost gave up, but then I did what any (sane) linux enthusiast would do. I tested on another machine and the Fedora Core 6 DVD passed without a problem. So, it was time to get back to my desktop and try again. And well… I will skip all the gory details of how I got it to work (even though I painstakingly recording each terrible moment). And since the story ended happily, I will just say that… this time… about 6 hours later, it finally worked… and I now have the first Fedora distro I have ever tried on my desktop! (I’m writing this on Fedora 6… and so I no longer believe I’m cursed).

I was impressed by…

1. it has recognised my VIA sound/graphics… everything… something that most distros have failed to do.

2. I thought I’d hate the look, but it’s not so bad (though I of course changed it. Fedora Screenshot below).

3. Speed… though the timer was off, Fedora 6 was much faster than openSUSE 10.2. But of course I installed without Extras. But still, it was much faster.

4. Software installation groupings. I liked the simplicity of selections, though I would have liked just one more layer of selection for more advanced users. The groupings work really well for fast work though.

5. Security features are more robust… you’re forced to be more secure. A nice practice.

Concerns…

1. I’m not able to update through the graphical mode. It’s too slow and I have to Force-Quit (<ctr-alt-esp>). (latest update: I realised that you need to use YUM to install, in the command propt (KONSOLE) mode. Then the updates weren’t slow).

2. I’m not sure how to install Fedora Extras. But I’ll figure that out too. (latest update: see this post)

3. It did not mount my Windows (and Ubuntu CE partitions). But that I think I’ll have to fix as well. (latest update: to mount other non NTFS partitions, it is best to mount it while partitioning the disk during install. When asked to mount disks, I simply mounted my UbuntuCE and my vFAT Windows partitions (not the NTFS)… and chose NOT to format!!! It recognises partitions fine).

4. Finally, it messed up my grub and I lost access to my Ubuntu CE! This is tougher to fix… b/c I don’t know how (other than by reinstalling Ubuntu CE again, which I don’t want to do. But that too is a cross I will have to bear). (latest update: I just couldn’t figure out how to install grub if you choose not to install GRUB in a Fedora install. So I had to reinstall Fedora on my computer. It messed up my Ubuntu install… so then I booted an Ubuntu LiveCD… set up GRUB again, and copied-pasted the Fedora boot code onto the Ubuntu Grub settings. My grub now works fine).

5. Finally, I’m a little concerned with this whole Red-Hat link. It’s more blatant than openSUSE’s Novell link. There’s a lot more Red-Hat here… or maybe I just noticed it more. Anyway, this is not so serious, but Fedora almost feels corporate, rather than community, driven. But that is just the initial impression. (It’s not so bad actually. Like Ubuntu Christian… the branding is not so strong and can be ignored.)

OK. Lot of work to do on this system. But I’ll defer that to later. Right now I’m just relieved (and a little happy) that I’ve got Fedora Core 6 finally on my system. Fedora KDE screenshot below. (desktop background called: “Winter without leaves” or something like that from kde-look.org)

Click to enlarge

ksnapshot vs gnome-screenshot: no comparison! January 22, 2007

Posted by NAyK in How-To, Linux, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Software, Working with Linux.
10 comments

This is just a quick post to pronounce my verdit (that’s if you don’t know it already). ksnapshot is really a very good, flexible and superior screenshot generator in comparison to gnome’s own’s screenshot gnome-screenshot. In fact, ksnapshot is so good, that I would recommend any gnome user to install ksnapshot by default. It’s more functional and a lot more fun.

Below is a screenshot of ksnapshot made by ksnapshot. As you can see it has more functons that gnome-screenshot, whose screenshot is also below.

I still don’t know how to take screenshots of boot-processes etc. But I’ve really enjoyed playing around with ksnapshot.

For making screenshots using ksnapshot, press <alt f2> which is linux’s universal application launcher (use it, it will become indespensable!). And then type ksnapshot (it should auto compelte in grey if you have it installed already) and press <enter>. The screenshot will appear, but you can just choose to make a more controlled screenshot later.

Now that I’ve said my ‘two-bits’… it’s off for the day!

ksnapshot: as you can see, many functions. I like the delayed response, the region chooser etc.

ksnapshot recommended for making screenshots

gnome-screenshot: as you can see, it’s pretty much like pressing <PrtScr>. not that helpful at all… except for the save as function, perhaps.

gnome-screenshot, 2nd best for screenshots in Linux

(BlueFish & NVU) vs Dreamweaver: A Linux Web-Publishing (brief) review-comparison January 22, 2007

Posted by NAyK in First Impressions, Linux, OpenSUSE, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Software, Windows, Working with Linux.
23 comments

Recently I was expressing the need for Dreamweaver in Linux, because my company website (which I build and run) was built on Dreamweaver. Someone (I forget who) said that I should try NVU. And when I specified that I wanted a heavy-duty web-development package, he suggested Bluefish. I of course hadn’t heard of these packages, and eventually gave them a try.

I didn’t try it on my company site (obviously), but on my own homepage, a simple html+flash-based static web page.

Bluefish is scary (for non coders). It has no WYSIWYG whatever. And if it’s there, I couldn’t find it. Instead, it’s a coder’s paradise. No visual distractions, and only code helps. (I didn’t find any code hints, which I think is important).Since I’m not a coder,I was impressed for coders, but I can’t speak for coders… I did do my web-edit on Bluefish… as I would have (could have) done using notepad/krite etc. But, maybe with more time I could use the code helps better. I particularly liked the table tag creaters, which created special tags for all aspects of a table. Nice. I didn’t see any template support either, which was something I really really need for my company site (it’s built entirely on templates and CSS).

In relation to Dreamweaver therefore, I find the biggest drawback the lack of a dual code+WYSIWYG interfact, and template support. In that sense, I find Bluefish more like Macromedia… oops, sorry… Adobe’s Homesite, which is another coder-oriented web-development tool.

So is Bluefish an assett to Linux? Yes of course. Personally, I like having it. I will use it. And in time, I might even learn to love it. right now, though, it’s just a fun programme to have around… and learn.

NVU on the other hand is more friendly. And for professional web-development, a little too friendly. It reminded me too much of MS Frontpage… not in interface exactly, but it was just a feeling. It felt playful not professional. And thus, it makes basic web-design easy, but more complex stuff… not so. It was certainly sufficient for me to do what I wanted on it (for my static page). And I liked the dual code and visual interface. It’s table-view however demanded me to be quite precise and there were times when columns were changing lengths when they shouldn’t.

NVU, I think, is a really good programme to have in the Linux repository belt. It caters to the average home-small office web-designer. But again it’s limitations, as I say it in relation to Dreamweaver, was that it didn’t seem to be as robust as Dreamweaver, plus, it didn’t seem to handle templates like Dreamweaver. Just my humble opinion, but NVU, like many other Linux software, are in their growing stages. And there is a lot of potential there. I liked using it. better than some other linux-based alternatives (cf. KDE or even open office) And it is certainly more friendly than Bluefish. However, in time, it will hopefully make a niche for itself as the ‘Frontpage’ of Linux… which I don’t think is a bad thing.

One reviewer wrote on the positives of NVU. Another commentator wrote on a few NVU limitations here.

So what am I trying to say? I’m definitely NOT dissing these amazing programmes. Both Bluefish and NVU are more than functional for their purposes. And within the OSS, they certain rank as some of the top softwares being developed.

I am however saying that Dreamweaver is unmatched even in the Windows based world. It is beyond doubt, the standard for web-publishing. Something like what Photoshop is for photo-manipulation. And I guess it is important to keep sight of the high standards, even as we try and work with (and sometimes work around) various limitations that encumber us.

My company website is not my own. So I can’t fool around with it. But I’m certainly enjoying using these programmes for my own site, and will hopefully make better use of them in the near future.

Screenshots of Bluefish and NVU (visual view) below.

BLUEFISH

Bluefish web-editing


NVU web-editing (visual view) NVU

ps. I haven’t written anything about Quanta Plus, because I haven’t tried it yet, I downloaded it onto my openSUSE system today. Will try it out someday though. First impression, it does look good… but is it enough? Perhaps it is THE answer!

(latest update: I have testing Dreamweaver MX using Codeweaver on Linux and it works. So, I guess I won’t be trying out Quanta Plus anytime soon… until I get more time of course)