The Ubuntu Applications book

Why don't people switch to GNU/Linux? It's not the difficulty (GNU/Linux has evolved far past its Bash days, although it still stays true to its roots). It's not the stability (GNU/Linux' stability is far superior to Windows'). It's not the security (ditto the stability). It's the applications. People feel like they can't do things in Windows that they can in GNU/Linux. They can. But they don't know it. This book was written to correct that illogical thinking.

--Andrew Min

Under construction

gedit: a powerful, underrated text editor for everybody

Most computer users spend their entire life looking for the Holy Grail. In other words, they spend all their life searching for the perfect editor that supports all their languages, is free as in speech, has spelling, has highlighting... you get the picture. Obviously, there isn't a perfect editor out there. However, some come pretty close. Ironically, one of them is one that any Ubuntu (or in fact, any Gnome) user has installed, though they may not know it. It's called gedit (also known as Text Editor).

gedit: not as simple as it looks

Ubuntu Help: Reporting bugs using Launchpad

One of the reasons free operating systems are so great is because of their bug reporting features. Ubuntu is no exception. Like most other GNU/Linux operating systems, Ubuntu allows users to file bug reports using its bug reporting site, Launchpad. In the free software world, each user becomes a potential beta tester and gets the chance to contribute to the community without ever coding or writing documentation. Unfortunately, Launchpad's bug reporting tool often scares away users who have no idea what a ticket, project, or distribution is.

Run any GNU/Linux app on Windows without any virtualization

SSH tools, long used by UNIX gurus to perform complicated administrative tasks over the internet on machines miles away, are a very simple and user-friendly solution for more conventional purposes. Ubuntu users, read on to learn how to use SSH to run your favorite GNU/Linux software on Microsoft Windows—without installing any software on the Windows box.

Mandriva 2008 VS Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

For those of you that follow my blog, you must have noticed that I’m a Mandriva user. Recently though, I took an interest in Ubuntu: I installed version 7.04 on a laptop, and it did look interesting, enough to make me doubt my commitment to Mandriva’s products.

Thus, when 7.10 came out with a bang in the media, and I got another laptop to de-borgify, I downloaded the Ubuntu 7.10 ISO along with the install CD for Mandriva 2008.0 Free.

Free software media players

Last year, while running Ubuntu, I decided I wanted to watch a video, so I opened it up in the built-in Totem player. What happened next took me back to the dark era of codecs and computing. The XviD video I was watching became pixelated, the video became out of sync; within a few minutes it was unwatchable. I dual booted back into Windows XP, opened up by trusty MPUI and watched the video with the free software XviD codecs without any issues. The experience had left a bad taste in my mouth.

Customizing your screensaver in GNOME

One popular screensaver in Ubuntu is “Floating Ubuntu”, which displays a number of Ubuntu logos floating around the screen. This screensaver exists in many different flavours; for example in Ubuntu you can also find “Floating Feet”, that has the GNOME logo instead of Ubuntu’s; or, on Debian you have Debian’s “swirls” floating around. I thought that it would probably be easy to customize it and have an image of my choice floating around instead. Unfortunately, screensavers in Ubuntu are not configurable using the GUI so I had to hack the screensaver myself. Here’s how I did it.

Vodafone goes free software and does it very, very well!!!

Days ago I was appointed as the on-call support on our TIBCO installation. So I have been given a personal mobile phone, a personal laptop and, lastly, a Vodafone Mobile Connect Super UMTS card. You may well be interested in the fact that Vodafone Spain developed a Linux driver, the card seems to work very well with Linux, and that it was quite easy to configure it!

I am going to describe how I configured it to work with Vodafone Italia as the provider. Please feel encouraged to comment on this entry and fill in the configuration you made for your own Country or distribution. What follows is the configuration for Ubuntu 7.04.

How to find .debs (even if you think they don't exist)

One of the biggest strengths of Debian (and derivatives like Ubuntu) is support for the .deb package. After all, it provides a one-click method of easily installing programs. Best of all, these programs are automatically updated via the official Debian repositories. Unfortunately, the official repositories aren’t always the best. Some programs aren’t always up to date (the latest version of Thunderbird is 2.0. However, the latest version in the repositories is 1.5).

Book review: Beginning Ubuntu Linux by Keir Thomas

I picked up Beginning Ubuntu Linux, Second Edition with a sense of familiarity; I also had the pleasure of reviewing the First Edition and found the experience to be a gentle and very complete introduction to Ubuntu. It’s as though Keir Thomas wants to ensure that anyone starting out with GNU/Linux won’t feel like a worthless newb being thrown to the proverbial geeks, who will guffaw and point and weeze asthmatically and incomprehensibly.

Questions I have for Michael Dell regarding Ubuntu

The free software world erupted into cheering when Canonical announced that Ubuntu would be one of the first GNU/Linux distributions to ship pre-installed on Dell machines. Obviously, this is huge news. A major computer manufacturer has not included a GNU/Linux distribution as a pre-installed option on desktops and laptops in a very long time. However, I’m not getting excited until a few questions are answered.

Question 1: What versions of Ubuntu?

Mark Shuttleworth interview released!

The interview with Mark Shuttleworth in which he answers the questions sent in by all of you has finally been released after a few delays. Read on for more information!

In the interview, available at Questions Please..., Mark covers a wide range of topics including the possibility of a completely free Ubuntu release on the time frame of feisty+1 - he also lets us know a quick tip on how to install any current Ubuntu release without any of the proprietary blobs!

My quest to stop dual-booting

I'm still on my quest to stop dual-booting between Edubuntuand Windows XP. The hope is to solely boot into Edubuntu since I've switched the majority of our personal computing over already. The last pockets of resistance were the MS Money and Hallmark's Greeting Card programs. I could address MS Money with GnuCash, a QIF import and a little time (see prior blog Trial Balances and Tribulations). That left the Hallmark program.

Fun with Ubuntu - top ten next names, part 2

Last week I gave you half of my Top Ten Names for Ubuntu releases. As a reminder, they were: 'pissy porcupine', 'bitty bat', 'virtual viper', 'talky tortoise', and (my favorite) 'kinky kangaroo'. Now here are the rest. I do this, again, as a public service to Ubuntu, which can freely use these names as it sees fit (though a brand new laptop would be a most fitting 'gift' as a show of gratitude for my creative genius). Anyway... read em and weep! Oh, and you even get a bonus release.

Zesty zebra

Fun with Ubuntu - top ten next names, part 1

The Ubuntu people enjoy giving their releases funny animal names. There have been "warty warthog", "hoary hedgehog", "breezy badger", "dapper drake", "edgy eft", and the coming "feisty fawn". Well, with nothing better to blog about this week, I've decided to provide my suggestions for names. So for this week, and next, I will present my Top Ten Ubuntu Release Names, five this week, and the rest next. Read em and weep!

Pissy Porcupine

Interview with Mark Shuttleworth: ask your questions here!

Mark Shuttleworth is going to be the next guest on my podcast where the idea is that YOU are the ones who ask the questions. To make this work we need your questions: send them in to yourquestions@questionsplease.org or read on for more contact information.


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