Category Archives: Uncategorized

Working on my server.

Hopefully I will have an actual webserver sometime soon, I recently was given a nice SCSI machine, but it has a few minor problems. Like having no heatsink, despite it having some weird base that none of my heatsinks fit into.
:-/

-John

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Swings

I made a set of swings for my workshop.

They are quite fun.

-J

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Problem, Ideas, Plan

I recently found this worksheet titled PIP: Problem, Ideas, Plan. Apparently, it is a template for improving your problem solving skills through solving your problems. What a strange concept. It goes as follows:

Problem
A. What is on your mind? What is something you would like help in solving?

B. From what you wrote above, create at least three was to phase a problem starting with “How to”.
How to….

How to….

How to….

C. Now, form the list above, select the most important problem to address and write it below.
How to….

Ideas
D. Generate at least 6 ideas for answering the question above. Seek quantity, wild and unusual ideas, and build on ideas.
1
2
3
4
5
6

E. Choose the best idea from the list above. Can you see yourself doing this? Write exactly what you will be doing.
What I see myself doing is….

F Now, create and action plan to implement your solution. Start with the last date, Make sure there is action scheduled within 24 hours, Use physical dates on the calender, and write at least 5 action steps.

_______________________________

I’m posting this because i like this plan, and think there is probably someone who can benefit from it. Try it and see for yourself.

-John

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Perfect Distro

So, I recently found a great article about the “Perfect Distro.” The article was good, but what really impressed me was the number of good comments on the site. Inspired, I went on to post a very long comment, which I figured I would turn into a post here.

Overview:

KDE is not so great now, but has the most potential of creating a mainstream(ish) distro. Ubuntu is pretty great. And the perfect distro is only as good as it’s programs.

The Perfect Distro

The Base/Package manager

I like Ubuntu. It has problems, but I love .deb and apt. An average user of windows/mac would never be installing from source code, and there’s no reason why we should have to. (Also, yum/.rpm don’t play as well with dependencies for my experience.)

Desktop Environment:

Currently, I prefer Gnome, as it can be very nice looking, but, unlike KDE, it still feels practical. For me, KDE feels pretty, but a lot of features are pretty useless. (An always open window for desktop, Really? Why don’t we just the Desktop on the desktop?)

That said, we need something different than the norm, something we can say is only ours. Overall I think KDE, and more importantly, the KDE programs, hold our best hope for distinguishing ourself from the other big 2. (Course, it’s not on my computer yet, so i think it has a way to go before it fulfills its destiny.)

Dock:

Docky is a good dock, but it’s still to much in it’s infancy to be a real contender. The other problem with that type of dock is when we use it, we run the risk of being called an OS-X knockoff. I think we need another way of showing off programs that is neither like windows, nor like OS-X. If we wish to create something truly innovative, we will need to thing outside the box of current Operating systems.

Font:

Same preaching here, something different blah blah blah. But seriously, some different and high quality fonts would be great. There are lots of good free fonts on the web, why don’t we just use the best of them?

App Store:

I don’t like Click N Run, it reminds me too much of corporate online stores. But Get Deb is good, and I really like Linux Mints “app store” or whatever they call it.

Rules on Updating:

Strict Package updating rules. Very rarely update the core components. This is needed desperately.

Office Suite:

OpenOffice is good, but in keeping with my “different” philosophy, I think KOffice would be better.

Video Player:

Miro is more of a video finder, but still should be included. VLC seems like a better all-around video player.

Media Center:

Moovida. Unless someone can offer a better solution.

Audio Player:

I prefer Amarok, but Banshee is also a good player, it is not that important.

Audio Editor:

I agree this should be included in the distro.

From most complicated+ powerful to easiest+ weakest.
-Ardour is indeed very powerful, but not very user-friendly.

-Linux MultiMedia StudioLinux MultiMedia Studio is slightly easier to use, but less powerful, and still pretty hard to use.

-Rosegarden is the middle ground, and my pick for this category, for three reasons. First, It is powerful, but not as thorough as Ardour or LMMS. But this is okay, because (2) Rosegardens greatest strength is it’s fantastic ability to work well with other software. Finally, I it is approachable. Not completely intuitive, but I never felt like I couldn’t learn It.

-Jokosher I really want to like Jokesher, but the interface seems easy but very unintuitive, like an elite club that you feel like you would fit in well, but they aren’t interested in having any new members.

-Audacity is very easy to use, but it feels too much like a one trick application. It can edit audio well, and that is it.

Video Editor:

-Pitivi is buggy and (relatively) featureless, but it seems like it has the most potential.
-Kdenlive is slighly more buggy, but currently it is more advanced and equally intuitive as Pitivi.
-OpenMovieEditor is buggy, less advanced than Kdenlive, but more advanced than Pitivi.
-There are others, like Cinerella or Kino, but those don’t seem intuitive enough for mass use.
Overall, it seems like a very close race for the top 3. I don’t know who will win the Linux Video Editor race, but the future looks pretty bright.

I think, if we want to jump start the progress of a software category, we should hold a contest with a cash prize for the best (judge+ community voted) of that category with a year deadline.

Photo Management:

F-Spot is not bad, but Digikam is a much more powerful option. Unfortunately, Digikam has quite a few bugs and doesn’t feel as polished as it should be. The only other contender is Picassa, but it doesn’t have a real linux port, it only exists as self-contained WINE program.

Games:
For casual gamers, KDE has a nice set of games that I prefer to gnomes games. Linux has a nice set of games, you just have to know where to look. As I recall, linuxlinks.com had a nice list of them, but a bit of googling can turn up some other good ones.

Chat:
Skype defiantly.
I have used both Empathy and PidginPidgin, and even though pidgin occasionally gives me problems, I still prefer it to Empathy. The main reason is that the plugins are superior, but i also prefer the interface.

Web Browsing:
Firefox is the obvious choice.
But what if we think outside the box for a moment. Mac has Safari, Windows has IE, what other options do we have that’s relatively linux-only.

I am a big fan of Konquerer. There is something about it I really like, plus, it has add-block and other features that make it an appealing choice. That said, I still use Firefox. Take that for what you will.

Email:
I prefer Thunderbird to Evolution, but meh.

Development Enviroment:
Well, now that we use KDE, we can use QT Creator. Also, this means no legal battles about MonoDevelop. Yay!

Flash:
Installed by default. I like the idea of also having Air installed.

Overall, I think the best chance for Linux success comes from KDE and kde programs. If the developers for Kubuntu started doing things right (KDE is pretty, we know, now make it useful!), I think we could have a real winner.

Unrelated to the rest of the post, I think master-razorstrap has a good point (see the comments), that the best distro would be customizable for whoever uses it and they would choose what programs they want, maybe if we could use the live cd idea to demo software during the installation…..

-John

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Links for Linux: Ubuntu

I recently found this guide I wrote a while ago for newbies for installing Ubuntu.

__________________________________________________________

Welcome to “Links of Linux: Ubuntu” Beta, all o knowledge of Linux in one place, beta-style. Here I will link various websites to help you use, understand, and master the Ubuntu operating system. Many of the links here overlap, and a few I included just for a small part of the article. I will tell you briefly why I chose to include each link after I give it. I would recommend following all the links, but some are a matter of style and personal preferences, while others are critical.

  • Background

What is Life, Linux, or Ubuntu?

10 Basic Linux Questions, Answered.

Simple Wikipedia article on Linux – I actually prefer their explanation of Linux to that of real Wikipedia’s.

Common Linux Terms

  • Installing

The first step for any Linux user is ditching their current OS (operating system) and installing Linux, this link make it easy.

Ubuntu Jaunty Installation Guide – I included this link because it is the easiest installation guide I’ve found. The PDF file is Here.

The Perfect Desktop Series – Another more in-depth installation guide for Ubuntu, the important pages are 1 and 2.

  • Preparing for daily use

After a fresh Install, Ubuntu will work sorta well, here are links to make it run really well.

9 Things You Need To Do/Install After Installing Ubuntu 9.04 – In my opinion, the most important things to do here are #4, #5, #7,and #8.

25 Must Have Ubuntu Programs – The only ones I have installed here are 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16, 22, and 25.

20 things to do after installing Ubuntu Linux– The big ones here are 1-8 and 14-20

  • Upkeep

10 useful sites you should bookmark

How to be your own tech support.


Congratulations, you have a wonderfully running OS, now lets see what it can really do.

*I’m still gathering my bookmarks, don’t shank me!*

  • Continued reading

More programs, more links, more fun, more to come.

Gimpshop

Adobe Air apps ( assuming you’ve installed Adobe air)

http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20070701111340544/Equivalents.html

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Back

I have not posted for a long time, so the last project i posted is woefully out of date. But i shall fix that with these posts.

First, Mint studio: I have abandoned this project and the personalized linux distro mindset for now, I got it working and used it for a while, but then I started going to 023 and more important things filled my thoughts than just messing with linux distros.

Which brings me to my log of 023. 023 is part of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. It is a lab filled with grad students, machinery and fantastic projects. I have an intern-like position there, and you can track what I am doing here.

-John

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Mint Studio

I have been using ArtistX for the past week, and while I do like it, especially the wealth of programs, it has problems just working. so I have devised a plan. I am creating my own distro called, Mint Studio, which is based off of Linux Mint. It will combine ArtistX, Ubuntu Studio, and Linux Mint. I am currently in the process of reviewing programs to go onto it.

-John

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