The frustrations of Linux (UPDATED)

If Linux really wants to see itself installed on the average Joe’s home computer, it HAS to be better than it’s counter-part, Windows. As an OS (Operating System), it IS — it’s light-years ahead of the Windows architecture, IMHO. However, there is a side to Linux that is SERIOUSLY lacking — error and system messages — they SUCK large.

Now, I don’t claim to be a super-user, but I do my fair share of computing — from websites, to blogging, to programming, to just plain old web-surfing — I’ve used my fair share of computers, right on up from the TRS-80. Accordingly, I am not in the “{whatever} For Dummies” category either. I’m “above average”, as far as the general public would be concerned, simply because of the time I spend on computers. I’ve seen my share of error messages, let me tell you. So, if I’m complaining about them not being descriptive/helpful, what do you think the general public is seeing?

On to the problem…

Read more The frustrations of Linux (UPDATED)

Ubuntu update!

It’s been two weeks since I first started using Ubuntu Linux as a desktop machine — there have been a few struggles (read as: learning curve), but all-in-all I am quite pleased with it.



There have been a few times where I’d have to switch to my Windows machine in order to get something specific done… but that was mostly due to my lack of knowledge, and not Ubuntu. 😉

I moved all of my website and programming development files over to my Linux machine and have been developing from here (I’ve been using gedit mostly — a pretty good little editor that comes as part of the Ubuntu install. The PHP highlighting is pretty good. But hey, I’m used to Notepad2 in Windows! I’m not into flashy editors.). Anyway, since I’ve been developing my sites under Linux, I’ve had the need to add a few tools that do not come as part of a standard Ubuntu install.

First thing that I noted I need was an FTP client. For that, a quick Google search led me to gFTP. The install directions were simple;

sudo apt-get install gftp

But that produced a “package not found” error. Arg! A little more Googling and I found my answer — I had to “uncomment the following two lines to add software from the ‘universe’ repository”.

deb edgy universe
deb-src edgy universe

I then had to update the package list with;

sudo apt-get update

Another go at the install and I was in business. From there, the install went smoothly and I was rewarded with a new icon/link in Applications/Internet, accordingly labeled “gFTP”. I am familiar with GUI based FTP on Windows, so the software itself was no problem getting used to.

My next obstacle was image editing. This came in two parts — first, I was used to working with Photoshop… does Adobe have a Linux version? With a little Googling, I found that there wasn’t, but there were people successfully running the Windows version of Photoshop through Wine, but I didn’t particularly want to start messing with that at the present time. 😉

During my Googling, I kept seeing the name “GIMP“, so I Googled that! What do you know? Another piece of Open Source Software that is installed with Ubuntu by default! Cool! I say I’m used to Photoshop, simply because that’s what I’ve always used on Windows. I don’t do any serious image editing, just your basic stuff for my websites, catalogs, etc. — accordingly, the features of GIMP will suit me just fine. That’s one down.

The second part to my image editing I have not figured out a solution for my Linux machine. And that is the scanning of source material. I have a Lexmark PrintTrio that I have used under Windows for something like 2 years and have been, basically, happy with it’s performance. Unfortunately, Lexmark has not developed any drivers for Linux for the X1150. From what I have read in various posts during my searches, it appears that Lexmark is not too fond of Open Source Software. Printing was no problem with the x125 driver, but I needed to scan — so I had no choice but to hook the Lexmark back up to the Windows machine (oh yeah, gotta switch machines for a second and check the driver install… back… all is well!).

OK, so I have scanning back… but still, it’s a PITA having to scan on Windows and then transfer the file to my Linux machine. Oh well, something else to look out for the next time I buy a new printer/scanner!

Well, I think that’s about it for now (hey, I’ve only been using it for two weeks!). For a Linux Desktop noob, I have actually been surprised at how little I have to switch to my Windows machine — and it will only get less and less with each passing day!