linux n00b

Stop the condemnation, start the glorification!

Posted in General by downforce on March 30, 2007

Great – I’ve got your attention with a severly over the top title. So far I’ve done a lot of complaining about things not working. You’d think with all the problems I’ve been having I’d ask myself “Why do I bother?”. There are a lot of stuff Linux does that just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Repositories – These have to be the single greatest idea within the linux world. Seriously, tell me one site that has so much software for your operating system whereby you can installed/remove/tweak your apps with the minimal of fuss?

Command Line – I missed the command prompt in Windows. Yes I know it’s there, but what can you seriously do with it? All I ever did was ipconfigs/pings/traceroutes and nslookups. I can’t think of another command I used …. Actually, I suppose the Run box replaced some of the things I’d have done with a command prompt. Win-R was a favourite, one I haven’t got around to replacing under Linux.

Everything is a file – and aint it grand? I love the fact I can change pretty much any settings with a text editor. Want a new samba share? No problems, vi /etc/samba/smb.conf, a bit of cut and paste, a few edits, one sudo /etc/init.d/samba reload and it’s there.

SSH – Until recently, I could access my box from anywhere. Been told about some new app or ‘thing’ to try at home, SSH in with lynx (or I used elinks) download the file. Or if I knew the exact link, wget.

GNU – This is the ultimate reason I swapped. As I get older and apparently wiser, I decided that I wasn’t going to give my money to Microsoft when I can do what I want for far less. I do intend to make some donations to some FOSS projects, but procrastination has got the better of me!

Moving onto the Ubuntu Gnome side of things, I actually got to sit down for an hour last night and just “have a play”.

Some of the things that stand out are:

Auto mounting of USB devices – I have a 4 slot memory card reader and a Sansa e240 MP3 player. Plugged both in and it was detect and Nautilus popped up. Cards in the memory card reader are auto mounted too and a nice popup from GImageView to ‘import’ them. I move them, but import is fine 😉

This is a backhanded compliment … I like how nearly all configs are in a menu with a GUI. Only problem, a lot of the information doesn’t really display well in a GUI format. Creating a new samba share was actually confusing compared to directly editing the smb.conf file.

It’s stable – Although this is an unfair comparison. E17 is still in ‘testing’, not sure if it’s beta or alpha, I’d say beta so it’s bound to have problems – and it does at that! Fluxbox wasn’t anywhere near configured, I never had stability issues but then I couldn’t do as much as I wanted.

I feel bad now; this is all I can come up with. I spent most of the hour copying and looking at photos and copying mp3’s to my Sansa. The rest of the time, I was loading and looking at the different config options. Most of them I’ll never use.

I also checked out gDesklets and another tool that while looks great, I’ll never use. I rarely see my desktop, it’s covered in screens. I was running conkk under E17 for a while and still have my config for it, but I never knew what it said as I could never see it. Not to mention a few of the applets kept dieing. One of them decided it loved my mouse and wouldn’t detach and stick to the screen. A kill from terminal was required.

As usual … more to come.


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