Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Been Gone So Long......

Wow, it really has been a minute since I have posted anything. The reason is, well I broke my desktop a while ago and it took me a while to get things back up and running. How did I manage to break my system, well as much as I would love to blame OpenSUSE, the fault lies with me and me alone. But this setback does illustrate a valuable lesson, always be aware of what hard disk you are working on and don't screw up GRUB. Sheer NOOB!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick Update

Hello there Linux fans. Sorry about the break between posts, but I had quite the busy weekend and really could not find the time to to update. So with that in mind, I have decided to give Kubuntu one more week in the spotlight as I didn't have the time to really give it a fair shake. But in the meantime, I will talk about some of the things that I have run into so far.

On the good side of things, the native KDE web browser Konqueror is a very compelling Firefox replacement. It renders pages very quickly and is pretty much a breeze to use, with just a minor adjustment period. I did run into a very interesting issue. Konqueror would not load the Adsense ads on web pages that I visited. This really isn't a deal breaker in any sense, unless of course you like viewing ads, just a weird happenstance. As for the system itself, I must say that start up and shutdown times are amazingly fast. Now I am not really one to care about such things, but it was quick enough for me to actually take notice of it.

Now, unfortunately, I must talk about the bad. First off, I had a major issue trying to set up a wireless connection. I tried every permutation of my setup info to get it to work with no success. I even logged into my Ubuntu install and copied the settings exactly from Network Manager and transferred them to Kubuntu. This was very annoying, doubly so since I have never had this problem with any other distro that I have used before. I must say that it got the best of me and I gave up and plugged the system into the router. The next issue I had is a rather minor one, but annoying still. I can't seem to figure out how to set the bindings on my macro keys for my keyboard. As I said, not major, just a pain. The last issues are all multimedia ones and mainly revolve around Amarok. I started by testing how well the system rips music and found that it couldn't encode to MP3, which isn't a surprise and a quick trip through the repositories to install LAME fixed that. After the music was ripped, I imported it into my library and told it to retrieve the artwork, the retrieval process took a full 10 minutes on a fairly snappy internet connection. WOW, WTF there. After the artwork finally arrived, I decided to try out the streaming radio stations, this is where things took a major turn for the worst as Amarok just completely died on me. No big deal I say to myself, I start up the player again, attempt to connect to radio and BAM it dies again. So far I haven't been able to get it to work.

So as you can see, I have been having quite a few problems with Kubuntu. Hopefully with an added week to test, I can make some sort of headway with the system, but right now it doesn't look to good. BRB for now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Slight Update Issue

Upon running my first update I ran into a slight snag. I had 4 updates that were blocked, and not just some simple lib files, but a whole new kernel image and related header files. (Newbie Note: Kernel images are very important) But as with most problems on Linux, this is a chance to learn something new. So I fired up my trusty browser and "googled" my problem. Of course Google didn't fail me as it brought up a link to the Ubuntu Forums that gave me the solution to my exact problem.

This is probably the best time for this to happen, as it allows me to share probably the greatest truth in computing. Whatever happens to you, has probably happened to at least a hundred other people and at least one of them knows how to fix it and is willing to share that knowledge. The Linux community, and not just the Ubuntu people, is pretty good at sharing know-how. It is that sharing, that is the basis for the whole Open Source movement in the first place. So the lesson is, if something breaks, you are not alone in facing it. Search the forums and the web as a whole, I am sure that you will find the answers. BRB.

Meet Kubuntu 9.04

Well after a bit of internal debate, I decided to start with something a bit familiar and yet so unfamiliar at the same time. I thought about beginning with my "native" distro which is Ubuntu, but why stay in home waters when this site is about discovery. So into the shallows I waded, over to the Kubuntu site and downloaded the LiveCD ISO image. Using a program called UNetbootin, I extracted the ISO file onto a USB thumb drive and created a bootable "LiveUSB". Then plugging in the USB key, and making sure that my bios was set to boot from it, I restarted my system.

You may ask why I don't just burn the ISO to a CD? The answer,I am not made of money and this is a very affordable option for playing with a variety of distro options. I really won't go into the performance of the "live" OS, at least on my desktop that is, because it is just used for testing and installation of the software to the hard disk. So as I have an empty hard drive in my desktop, I used that to perform a standard install. After the install was completed and a reboot, I was greeted with my new OS. And here it is!

Now as lovely as this is, I am kind of frightened by it as well. I am not a KDE user, so though this is Ubuntu, it really is nothing like Ubuntu. All the menus and layouts are completely different than what I am used to. Programs that I am so used to using on a daily basis, simply aren't here. So needless to say, I have to learn something utterly new. The only thing keeping me from curling up into a ball and crying is, well, I am kind of excited about the whole deal. So onward into the unknown I plunge, I'll let you know how things go with the installed version and will play around with the "live" version on my laptop and my Eee PC. BRB.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hackers Welcome

Greetings All. Welcome to what I am hoping will be an exciting journey not just for myself but for all of you out there who either run Linux or who may be interested in running it. For you "newbies", this will truly be an adventure into the unknown, but hopefully it will be a worthwhile experience and lead you to a new found love for Linux. For you "vets" and "gurus", most of what I write about won't be exactly ground breaking, but I hope that it at least will be enjoyable and maybe even *gasp* informative.

So I should start off by outlining what it is I want to do with this site. I really enjoy trying new things, so mainly I am going to be reviewing Linux "distros". The plan is to run a new distro every week, talk about any issues I run into, discuss the solutions to said problems and at the end of the week write a final review. Also, I am planning to test on various systems that I own, so that the reader can get a sense of whether a particular distro will work with their hardware setup.

So, now that we have the course laid out, I suppose I should say a little about the instructor. Am I some hardcore geek with a Ph.D in Computer Science, teaching at a university and compiling kernel code for fun? Heck no! I am just a regular guy who happens to enjoy using Linux. I am not a command-line master nor am I a programmer, so I am not going to be using too much jargon and will try not to talk down to people, or over their heads. Mainly I am a guy that grew tired of the limits imposed on me by other operating systems and was looking for something a bit more free. I must say that I have found it. I hope you will too. Welcome to Linux!