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Things I can do in Linux that I can’t do on Windows. |

May 18, 2007 at 05:05 AM | categories: Open Source, Ubuntu | View Comments

This article lists some of the things I can do in Linux that I can’t do on Windows. Nice article.

You Can Switch to Linux! - willsmith - Maximum PC

May 18, 2007 at 05:05 AM | categories: Open Source, Ubuntu | View Comments

Apparently it’s Ubuntu day for me. Wondering if you can switch to Linux? Here’s a nice article on how to do so. Published in Maximum PC magazine, it’s clear and current with Feisty Fawn, released just less than a month ago. Good stuff.

How to choose the right screenshot program

May 07, 2007 at 05:05 AM | categories: Ubuntu | View Comments

I need to get pictures of screens for reporting problems. I don’t usually want to take the full screen or even a window - I want the smallest section that will show the problem. Using Ubuntu, I wasn’t able to find anything that would do it as easily as I would like. I’m guessing with some certainty that I could have rigged The Gimp or something to capture the screen but then I would have to work at reducing the size, etc. In | How to choose the right screenshot program there was a reference to Ksnapshot. It installed with just one file, though it referenced khelpcenter as suggested. With a bit of clicking, I found that the “region” mode was what I wanted. It works nicely with Gnome-based Ubuntu.

Linux Audio Players Compared

May 05, 2007 at 05:05 AM | categories: Home Computers | View Comments

Really liked this article. PC World - Linux Audio Players, Tested and Graded I’m working my way through the Linux equivalents of Windows apps. I’ve used iTunes under Windows because it would talk easily to my iPod.

I tried Rhythmbox but it was out immediately. I want to keep my songs on a network-attached storage drive. Basically, the SimpleShare is a hard drive with an ethernet port. I don’t expect it to be as vulnerable to attacks as Windows XP. I don’t have to punch holes in its firewall that might allow people to get control of my Linux box or my wife’s Mac. Rhythmbox wants import all my music to one local location. No.

I moved on to Exaile because it didn’t require me to bring music locally. It’s OK. What I don’t like is how hard it is to play one song. If I want to listen to song X by artist Y, I can find it easily. But I expect to be able to double click. Or click to select and then play. Or something. Also, it’s not obvious how I connect my iPod.

So I tried installing Banshee. Gorgeous. Good (apparent) support for iPods and podcasts. But it again wants to import all my music to local disk. No.

So I found the PC World article. Looked at exaile again. It has simple, clear instructions on how to upgrade from the 0.2.8 version distributed with Feisty Fawn to the current 0.2.9. I’m not thrilled about adding sources to apt but OK. The logo for Exaile is now a play button instead of an equals sign or whatever it was. Good improvement. Has plugins for SoundJuicer and iPods and other things. Cool.

So I’ve removed Banshee and Rhythmbox. One of the things I hated about most Linux distributions was that they gave you 10 ways of doing things. None of which quite worked. Part of the value that I see with using Ubuntu is that they’re making decisions about what players to include. I might say that their choice was wrong for me when using Rhythmbox instead of Exaile but at least they’re making some decisions.

Next week’s project will be looking at movie players. Is gxine the best for me? Or is there something better?

Official Google Reader Blog - There are people who don’t use feed readers?

May 03, 2007 at 05:05 AM | categories: User Interface | View Comments

Do you use Google Reader? I’ve thought that other readers were better beause they’re faster. I really like RSS Owl, which uses IE to display pages. It’s based on Java and is cross-platform, usable on Macs, Windows and Linux. It uses one file to track what feeds you read. I had been thinking

Problem is, there’s no standard way to show how far you’ve read in a newsfeed. Articles are updated, the online services fetch them at different times - Google and Bloglines are online all the time but your RSS reader probably is not. So I can’t easily keep offline readers in sync unless they’re hooked up to something to like FeedDemon. That costs money, which would be OK, except that they have Mac and Windows (and BlackBerry) but no Linux. Plus I don’t - or want to know - what their licensing scheme is. If I have it on my laptop and my desktop, is that one instance? It’s probably two.

So I made the decision to stick with Google reader which also works on my Blackberry, though not in a great fashion.

I’ve really not been happy with the way that they did “email an article”. But they’ve introduced a new way of doing that and I’m much happier with their implementation. Hmmm. I’d show you a screenshot except that I don’t know how to do that in Linux. I will figure it out.
Official Google Reader Blog: There are people who don’t use feed readers?