athelind: (Default)
I meant to post this when it first showed up, but...

This is actually the first indication I've had that the stuttery, spazzy, laggy video I get from YouTube and its ilk isn't just due to my ancient 2003-era motherboard and underpowered video card.

athelind: (Default)
You know, I've very quickly adapted to using a single monitor -- thanks in part to the quick-and-easy Desktop Switcher that Ubuntu has.

The whole system seems to be working much more smoothly than it has in a very long time.

After almost a full day of this, I've started to realize that all of my most blood-pressure-raising computer issues in the last few years have centered around my stubborn insistence at keeping the two-monitor set-up running.

Hell, if I recall correctly, that was what kept me from keeping that video card I got last year in the machine: it ran fine until I tried a second monitor.


athelind: (Default)
I'm getting used to one monitor, but so far, that's not the most annoying thing about the glitches in the Ubuntu display editors.

No, the most annoying thing is that, now that I'm only running one screen, all of the annoying little visual flourishes like expanding windows and transparent toolbars have activated -- and I CAN'T TURN THEM OFF.

It's taunting me.

athelind: (Default)
Well, over the last couple of weeks, I upgraded from Ubuntu 8.04 to 9.04, with a week or so at 8.10 just to make sure everything was stable.

Annoyingly, the jump to 9.X threw a wrench in my video drivers, and the setting software was cranky.

In the proces of trying to correct a minor glitch (that made Second Life almost unusable), I've once again completely cocked up my two-monitor browser settings. The second monitor refuses to set itself at the proper 1440x900 resolution -- it's turned into a 1024x768 monitor PANNING ACROSS a 1440x900 virtual screen.

That's worse than useless.

Once again, the only hints of help I can find online involve hand-editing the appropriate config files; meanwhile, finding useful information about just how to DO that elude me.

So, to hell with it. I'll just use one monitor, like everyone else does.

Ironically, I've got the replacement Eee working just fine under Eeebuntu.

athelind: (Default)
I can has netbook.

You can has, too, if you order before Sunday.

It just arrived today. Haven't really had time to play with it. I need to scream at the wireless router this weekend; it's being st00pid again. So far, though, the Eee is NICE. Tiny keyboard, but I'm getting used to it. The high resolution makes the little screen seem loads bigger than the grainy 600x800 of the Transnote.

If nothing else, I'll be able to curl up in my Comfy Chair and read ebooks!

athelind: (Default)
All right, wish me luck.

After weeks... okay, MONTHS... of procrastinating, I'm finally going to shut down my desktop machine, yank its almost-decade-old 20-gig C: drive, plug in a new 320-gig drive, and install Ubuntu. All in one swell foop.

My laptop is up and running, so I'll still have web access and access to FurryMUCK if things go south.

Unfortunately, my long-time ICQ account may go bye-bye. I simply can't change my password on ICQ -- it stubbornly refuses to send new passwords to the email address it shows in the frakkin' Personal Details.

I have one possible Gordian solution, though: I'm using an old, old version of ICQ, because all the subsequent ones suck.

(No, I'm not using Trillian or whatever... because I can't remember my blippin' password.)

It's possible that the protocols for stuff like password confirmations have changed.

So... maybe... if I download the latest version, it'll read all the stuff from my OLD copy, and transfer it over, and then let me CHANGE stuff because IT has the right protocol.

And if it eats my old ICQ and doesn't do what I want it to do -- WHO CARES? I'm without my preferred version of an IM client that I don't even use much these days, on a HARD DRIVE THAT WON'T EVEN BE IN MY COMPUTER ANYMORE.
athelind: (Default)
I have been cautioned against trying to install Ubuntu onto the 80 GB, since it's full of years and years of data that would make me cry if it went away.

I need a decent backup system. There's just no good way to BACK UP that much data.

I also need to clean off my desk; the drive-juggling will go much faster if I don't have to keep running back and forth to the kitchen table to do surgery.


Nov. 2nd, 2007 03:27 pm
athelind: (Default)
I finally got Infra Recorder to cooperate with my CD/DVD burner. I am now posting to LJ via FireFox, from Ubuntu Live, running from DVD.

My second monitor is NOT happy, and is currently turned off to avoid the Dance of the Angry ASCII.

Tasks To Do:

  1. Figure out how to get my FireFox and Thunderbird config data from the Windows versions to the Linubuntunix versions. I have tons of bookmarks and eight friggin' email accounts, and redoing even the latter by hand would be traumatic.

  2. Figure out if Ubuntu is set up for a dual-boot install.

  3. Install Ubuntu on my old 80 GB "Data" drive for a "Test Run", using the dual-boot option and leaving the even older 20GB "OS and App" drive untouched.

  4. Make sure I can get the nVidia drivers up and running properly, with both monitors.

  5. Remove the 80 GB drive, and install the Shiny New 320 GB drive.

  6. Install Ubuntu with Dual-Boot option on the 320 GB. The "Second Boot" will be the 20 GB Windows XP drive. This is the "emergency exit".

  7. Temporarily unplug the 20 GB drive from the CD controller and power. Plug in the old 80 GB. Transfer all data into an "Archive" directory.*

  8. Buhbye, 80 Gig. You've served me well.

  9. And if Ubuntu is up, running and stable at this stage...

  10. Yank out the old nVidia card, install the 7600 GT, and see if the Linux drivers work on this hardware combination when the Windows drivers wouldn't.

  11. If so... buhbye, 20 Gig. Buhbye, Windoze.

*(Yes, it would be much simpler to have all three drives running at once, but I don't have any spare IDE connections... unless I yank out my old, half-functional, never-used CD-RW drive. And trying to figure out Master/Slave settings between THREE drives is scary.)
athelind: (Default)
Okay, computer folks out there in Friends List Land, I'm looking for suggestions

At this point, I'm leaning toward an Ubuntu release. From the reviews I've read and the feedback I've gotten, it sounds like it's the simplest to install and configure, and the most transparent to use.

Ubuntu has three main variations: Ubuntu, which uses the GNOME environment; Kubuntu, which uses KDE; and Xubuntu, which uses Xfce, and is intended for older systems or for people who want better performance and less system overhead. Feedback on these environments would be nice; I know a lot of the difference between GNOME and KDE boils down to Personal Preference, so discussions of functional differences will be more useful than "Ewww, GNOME sucks!!"

For those who've used Xfce, what "fat" does it leave out? Does it make a noticable impact on ease of use?

Nota Bene: My primary goal is not to become Super L33t *NIX Power User IT Guru Man. My computer is a tool that I use to do other things, and I want to spend my time and energy on doing those other things, rather than figuring out how to get my computer to let me do them.

So: Easy Use trumps Power Use. Spoon feed me!

My two biggest potential technical obstacles:

  1. I run a two-monitor setup, and I want to continue to do so. At the moment, I have an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 running dual 19" Trinitron CRTs at 1280x960. Eventually, I plan to upgrade those to LCDs, and upgrade the video card accordingly.

  2. I keep my Data and Documents on their own drive, separate from my Application Drive. The Data Drive is in FAT32 format; does Linux read that natively? I know there are some propriatary Windows formats that Linux can't read, but I don't know which ones are which.

Suggestions on good *NIX MUCK and IM clients would be helpful, too.
athelind: (Default)
Through my college years, I ran Windows because all of the applications that I needed for school would run under it, and there were a few vitally important applications that would only run under it. I disliked the Microsoft monopoly, and I disliked the ever-more-intrusive "features" they were including with each subsequent "upgrade". I liked the open-source philosophy, but at the time, Linux, BSD, and other open-source OSs were difficult to install. Applications were few and far between, and their compatability with The Stuff I Had To Use was questionable at best.

After I graduated, my first couple of jobs involved extensions of my college capstone (that's basically a "Bachelor's Thesis", for those who weren't reading this journal back then). I needed MS Office to make sure that my Office-generated documents didn't lose any vital formatting, and I had a legacy copy of the Industry-Standard GIS Software that, again, was a strictly Windows application.

Over the years, OpenOffice became increasingly adept at opening MS Office documents, and more than one open-source GIS package has emerged. The one thing keeping me in Windows was that Industry-Standard GIS Software; map files created in it are notoriously twitchy about migrating even to other copies of the same software.

Well, as I mentioned before, that application has completely given up the ghost.

There is now nothing that I do with this system that I cannot do with Linux.

It's time to seriously look into migrating.

March 2010

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