Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Various Distros and Distractions

In my time with Linux I have tried out a few different distributions. I am running the LXDE Ubuntu 10.04 at the moment. I like it for its quick startup and shut down but the differences in this new "desktop skin" have me thinking about going back to basic gnome Ubuntu or something different all together. I have yet to figure out how to get it back to that point, so starting fresh is a viable option if the payoff is a fresh new desktop.
I have been making use of a stack of blank cds by burning various Live CDs of different distributions to try them out. They are great to have on hand in the event of a system failure as well. For a user starting out fresh with zero knowledge I would recommend Linux Mint.
I prefer a desktop PC-like experience on a laptop, I'm not running a netbook so i don't need it to be optimized for a smaller screen and i like my panels and clocks and calendars where they currently are. A drastic change is unnecessary, but i would like to see the Linux Mint crew take a swing at a netbook optimized OS, the regular distributions of Linux Mint 8 & 9 are phenomenal.

In my quest for an economical and enlightening alternative operating system, i have come across quite a bit of impressive music that does the same. I have found that listening to music podcasts can help you find plenty of good music out there on the internet. The days of horribly produced garage bands and mix tapes are pretty much over in this new digital age. However, the age of overproduced mainstream garbage is in full swing. There are many self made artists and net-labels out there with plenty of good music for all to sample, buy and enjoy. I stock up on great free stuff, but I have no problem shelling out a couple bills to an artist that makes music for the love of it. Many a long troubleshot, install, uninstall, reinstall, and hair pulling sessions have been smoothed over with some quality music.
To keep the computer gremlins at bay I have to suggest my go-to podcasts: The Chillcast with Anji Bee, Radio Bsots, and Dave's Lounge. From there you can research, download and enjoy some great music.

When completely tired from the PC, I turn to the glorified PC... mr xbox 360. I can be found up at odd hours of the night racking up frags and points in various games. When I am not playing them, I am checking out info on what is new to come in the industry. For clever insight and commentary my one stop shop for all video game news thats fit to be joked about is The GameEnthus Podcast.

Distractions aside, thanks for checking in.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Starting Fresh

I am starting this blog as a soapbox to hopefully dispense some knowledge on using Linux and open source software.

As far as my own setups I run mainly on an older Toshiba Satellite laptop, very little portability with a failing battery. I have the remains of an old gaming rig cir 2003, its an old Pentium 4 HT, 1Gb ram, with a decked out ati/msi video card. It has always been my project pc, but with a broken monitor it hasn't been tinkered with for a while. Replacing my laptop battery and the monitor are on my todo/wish list. Investing in a harddrive reader or a couple enclosure cases would probably be a good idea too since ive got about 3 small HDDs in that project pc.

To get down to business... I have all this old hardware and no disposable income to replace at them moment, what could i do?
Windows is taxing on old hardware with low or non current specs and buying new hardware was out of the question. I turned to Ubuntu as a free alternative to purchasing a new operating system that was fairly lightweight for an older laptop. I have been quite happy with Ubuntu and have been using it for about a year now... I do dual-boot with windows cuz i havent successfully gotten 100% away yet, but im working towards that. When Netflix comes to Ubuntu i will finally delete xp from this laptop.