ramblings of an aimless mind

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Since a month ago, i have my first and only PC solely dedicated to linux. It is my playground, a miniature lab where i can blow up things if i want and no one can do shit about it. Its pretty much a culmination of all my linux experiences so far, which have consisted of installing loads of different distributions and then moving the mouse around, too afraid to do anything else as I may be destroying someone else’s important data.

This system currently runs ubuntu 7.10 and so far i have been pretty successful in creating the replacement system for MS windows. This is part of my “legalisation” of the computer systems in my family and i hope to recreate this system on my parents computer as well, thus doing my bit to keep them from catching the latest which is roaming the net(they seem very good at this).

Ubuntu installed without a hitch as most linux distros do nowadays. There was an initial hiccup with my wireless card not working but that was soon sorted out by using ndiswrapper. Todays gnome is also much slicker and prettier than the one we had in the yesteryears and I do not miss the windows GUI at all while I am working with it, which was not the case in a lot of the older linux distros I had test driven. I know that this focus on the UI probably drops me from the “power users” list, but then , I do like a good look and feel 🙂

The best part of the whole system however is the advanced packaging tool (APT) which is used to install/update/remove software. This tool was first introduced by Debian to ease dependency resolution and it was adopted by all distros based on Debian(read Ubuntu). APT works by drawing software from Ubuntu repositories on the web so it is well and truly kissing goodbye to the installation disks, library dependency problems etc which can form part of a usual install. APT can search for the software in the repositories, check what libraries/programs are needed to run it, download the whole stuff, install it and hand over the system with the software perfectly installed and no hitches anywhere. The whole process is pretty much opaque to the user and I simply have no words to describe its ease, though probably “sublime” would be a good one 🙂 Dependency resolution was a pain in Red Hat and Mandrake when I last tried them out (which was a long time ago) and I have heard that these are also moving to an APT-kind of packaging tool, but kudos to the guys at Debian who first came up with the idea AND the implementation.

At the moment, I pretty much have a system that can replace a windows system for the average user. By “average”, I mean a system that can surf the web, send/receive email, RSS feeds, do all the kind of work that gets done in Microsoft office, listen to music and watch movies. Other important domains are photograph management/editing, for which I have ideas of what can be used, though I haven’t tried it out yet. I guess thats quite a capable system for most people, so in case anyone wants to “legalise” their system by adopting linux instead of buying windows software, I would highly recommend Ubuntu 🙂

I am now charting my plans for where I will go next and what i will use my new testbench machine for. Any interesting advances could make for a new post…


Written by clueso

February 10, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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