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Author Topic: Software  (Read 6593 times)
petertc
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« on: December 30, 2008, 11:10:29 AM »

I am not sure that this is the best place to put things. but it is to do with computers.

I notice that there are a few users that have seen the light and don't use MS products !!
I have been using Linux for about 10 years now and it is on all of the computers that we have at home.
2 old laptops that the children play with, the desk top and an EEEpc that i play with!

My real posting is to do with open source software that will run on Windows and Linux. I just thought that I would start off a list.


Office suite
Openoffice3 this is a general replacement for  MS office for most users this will be fine
Openprj this is an replacement for MS project ( it can open project files)

Graphics
The gimp ( photo shop replacement) 
Blender 3D modeler ( graphics and animation) look at big buck bunny to see what it can do. this is a 10 min animation
Scribus Desktop publishing

7zip this is a good zip replacement
filezilla Ftp software .

I am sure that there are lots of others out there so the list can be added to !

These are the main ones that i use at work and home
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martin
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 11:13:36 AM »

For listening to internet radio - "Tunapie" running with "XMMS" - (bung output into car amp and hefty speakers - boofalicious!) Wink
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Treebeard
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 12:17:07 PM »

Which version of Linux do you recommend?
I'm downloading Ubuntu at the moment but any other advice would be appreciated.
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martin
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 01:06:29 PM »

I'm prejudiced - I like Ubuntu - been running it for over a year, and am well chuffed - other people mutter about "Suse" and "Debian" - neither of which I've tried.. Grin
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wookey
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 04:07:54 PM »

Treebeard, you have to give us a clue on what your preferences are before we can recommend a flavour.

Some are designed to 'just work' on a typicasl home computer, other to be terifically small for embedded use, some try to look like Windows replacements, some try to include as much of 'everything in the world for all possible purposes' as possible, some try to ensure there is no non-free software present at all, others include a load to make your life easy. Some assume great knowledge on the part of the user, others assume none.

Part of the joy is that there is plenty of choice. I use Debian on everything, but I don't always recommend it to others. If you've not used it before, and are a typical home user with slight geeky tendencies then Ubuntu is as good a choice as any (it's essentially a subset of Debian tarted up for home users). My mother uses Ubuntu, and finds it does the job.
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Wookey
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 11:33:36 AM »

I agree with Wookey,

I use Debian but it's pretty 'pure' The documentation is superb because it has a policy on pretty much everything and it explains exactl how things are set up. Distributions seem to wing in and out of favour and Ubuntu would seem to be the most general get yourself going dist at the moment but as with all things in the open source community many opinions are available.

Once you've got over the initial thrill of getting a dist running, and nowadays that really boils down to downloading an .iso file which can be burnt directly onto a CD, and then starting up that CD on the pc you want to 'upgrade'. there are a couple of weird concepts if you are used to windows, particularly partitions, but once again there tends to be defaults which will do a pretty good job. Also Run levels are something that has a greater subtlety than windows offers. If you dont' want to run a Graphics User Interface, and in a lot of server situations that is what you want to do. Again not too difficult but it's another area where the experienced **ix user will just know it and documentation will appear convoluted to the Windows user. As far as GUI's go, once again the area of choice is not something that windows users can excercise. Really it's Gnome or KDE and once again there's no right answer, like a lot of things in Open Source, this division resulted from a difference of opinion over what code could or couldn't be included in distributions. Don't expect the innumerable discussions or comparisons to help you to make this decision either, they tend to concentrate on subtleties of an almost religious bent. Just go with whatever your dist sets as it's default and go with that.

Installing software, varies, Mandriva, Red-hat and others use rpm files and it will often feel unsettling typing on a command line with strange and unfamiliar command line options... is rpm -uvf or rpm -UVF or some other combination that installs? I can never remember alhou' regular users spool them off with a smirk and a flourish, but I would personally avoid those dists because they don't check dependencies as thoroughly as the debian derivatives ubutnu being one. i tendto use synaptic to do m debian installation for me, but that's seen as the act of a weakling by some guru's and once you've spent a morning trying to get to the bottom of quite why you can't just install firefox on debian you'll probably hanker for windows, but once again, a good read around will explain if only in part the legalities which tend to dominate these issues and why different dists represent different interpretations of the word free.

I have heard hell described as unix without manuals, and certainly the command line is incredibly powerful but doesn't suffer fools gladly. It dates back to a time when memory was really valuable and people wanted to cut down on typing, so its rm for remove and mv for move and cp for copy, but do you realise how much you will be using chmod, ps, grep and ln. All very perverse and often connected with things that you think should run but don't, but DO resist the tempation to do everything as root, the more you use **ix the more you realise that you are often the systems worst enemy and a mistyped rm can leave you with a rather precisely machined frisbee as a hard disk, so persevere with lowly users and only become root when you have to.

All sounds pretty complicated? Probably, but what it does do is demonstrate that what you know about computing is mostly derived from one way of doing computing rather than the way, that Microsoft might have you believe. It's a genuine community of communities and as such with power comes responsibility which is something you assume as you grow.

Just don't go on the debian forums and ask ubutnu questions, they assume you know that much at least and the replies can be pretty short.

Chris@wyleu
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 11:35:48 AM by wyleu » Logged
wookey
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 04:25:09 PM »

Really it's Gnome or KDE

Or XFCE.

This is a perfectly fine (and relatively low-resource) alternative these days, with good noob-friendly features. I use it on most machines now, and if you're a bit short of welly it's a particularly good idea. Not quite so good if Windows share integration is important for you (nautilus (gnome file manager) does that really well, and thunar (XFCE file manager) doesn't even try).

It's what you see/use if you buy an acer aspire netbook, for example.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 02:53:09 AM by wookey » Logged

Wookey
stephend
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2008, 04:57:38 PM »

I usually run linux in a vmware virtual machine and stumbled on this wonderful little ubuntu project: http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/serveredition/jeos
It's a tiny OS optimised for running in VM's.  And there's even a script to help you build custom VMs: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/JeOSVMBuilder

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Treebeard
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 05:27:57 PM »

Thanks for your replies, Ubuntu sounds fine for me. I want easy to install, I'm not a geek when it's to do with computers.
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Eleanor
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2009, 10:11:45 PM »

At the risk of being on the end of a very short reply from the Wily One  fight. I am trying to integrate back into normal life and keep up with popular culture  norfolk
To this end I want to download BBC iPlayer onto my new Acer Aspire One so I can watch programmes without being connected to the internet. It doesn't seem to be as straight forward as I expected. Has anyone managed this?  Huh
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martin
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2009, 10:17:13 PM »

I think this one is using the "Media Wrap" extension in Firefox (laptop running Ubuntu), the Asus EEE "just does it"......... faint
If you want it to play "offline" is that the podcasts?
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frank2
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2009, 10:43:31 PM »

At the risk of being on the end of a very short reply from the Wily One  fight. I am trying to integrate back into normal life and keep up with popular culture  norfolk
To this end I want to download BBC iPlayer onto my new Acer Aspire One so I can watch programmes without being connected to the internet. It doesn't seem to be as straight forward as I expected. Has anyone managed this?  Huh

eleanor, have you tried this ?

http://www.aspireoneuser.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8406  Smiley
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Eleanor
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2009, 11:03:18 PM »

Thanks both. Will investigate getiplayer tomorrow. Late night PC tinkering usually leads to disaster  help
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wyleu
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2009, 12:30:21 PM »

Briefly stirs from deep Smaug like sleep and slowly opens one eye, and then falls back into a deep dream involving low pressure flow sensors and smites...
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wookey
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 03:30:24 AM »

iplayer works fine on an aspire running Debian if you install adobe's flash. I'd expect it to be fine on the Linpus distro it comes with but I never actually tried. iplayer doesn't work the the free equivalent of adobe flashplayer: gnash (yet, but it's getting close). If you want audio (i.e radio) then you can use http://beebotron.org/ the beebotron to just get the files direct and thus use any player you like intead of the beeb's increasingly-tiresome iplayer. Looks like getiplayer does the same trick for video (hurrah!)

<fx: fiddles a bit>

woohoo - beebovision with 100% free software (using vlc for display). Excellent. Phil Lewis is a star.

Elanor - downloading the deb and installing it plus the idv32 package it needs works on Debian, so on your linpus machine just try installing the rpm provided: http://linuxcentre.net/get_iplayer/packages/get_iplayer-current.noarch.rpm
Assuming linpus includes the id32 thing and the totem movie-player installed has an H264 codec in it then you're sorted. (I can't check now as I erased mine. But I do have a few more at the office I can check on if you run into trouble).

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Wookey
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