Pondering Ubuntu

I loaded the latest Live CD earlier so have a poke around, and tried to play some music. mp3 music. The media manager said No, and the Rhythmbox said No. Is Linux a music free zone ? Why supply two programs that cannot even play an mp3 ? Is mp3 a dirty word ? Oh well, no doubt someone will tell me.

Remind me … apart from avoiding the evilness of the Redmond Gang, why exactly am I contemplating the move to linux ? Feel free to assist my thinking here …

Anyway, here’s the plan:
Get Orinoco card from Skippy.
Plug it in.
Fire up the (already burned) Ubuntu Live CD
Try to get online
If not successful, return to XP
If successful, remove Live CD, insert the (already burned) Install CD and bring the whole thing in. No dual boot, a full install.
Once that’s done, head into #wordpress and bug people to help me find and install the programs I need. I’ve started a small list of immediate essentials below.

I’ll give this unbuntu thing a fair crack – promise – though you may have to put up with some rants here when things don’t work. Is Linux intuitive for a Windows convert ? I shall let you know… although The Gimp …… do I have to ? Is it better on it’s native platform ?

Aside from a browser and email (and xchat which I assume comes with Ubuntu), programs needed are:

  • RSS reader
  • Password Manager
  • IM (Gaim ?)
  • Search program that will search for text inside files
  • Editor for changing files directly on a server
  • FTP
  • Music
  • CD Burner
  • GBA emulator
  • Binary File grabber
  • Shell program (like putty)(but nicer)
  • Zip/Unzip
  • Shell and not shell programs to backup incrementally from server to machine
  • LAMP setup (is this included ?)
  • Do I need AV / spyware stuff ? at all ?
  • Anything cool I should get ?

And if all these have nice gui’s that would be really cool. I’ll go hunting around then ……. …. hint hint

15 thoughts on “Pondering Ubuntu

  1. You’ll have to download a plugin for your player to play MP3 most likely. Something to do with distributions and patent worries.
    I had to do this on almost every distro I’ve tried this past year.

  2. Linux is free, and it’s about Freedom. But a balance must be struck. MP3 is a patent-encumbered technology. If Linux wants the world to honor its GPL license, it makes sense that Linux should honor the licenses of the competition, even if it doesn’t agree with them.

    That said, have a read of Ubuntu Guide for help installing a great many applications. See also Restricted Formats for info on MP3 and DVD playback.

    * RSS reader: LiFeRea is supposed to be good; though I’ve not used it. I use FeedOnFeeds on my server.
    * IM: Gaim
    * Search program that will search for text inside files: Beagle (note: I’ve not used it)
    * Music: RhythmBox, or XMMS, or Quod Libet (I use XMMS)
    * CD Burner: built in. Stick in a blank CD and Ubuntu will ask what kind of disc you want to burn: data, music, Photo CD?
    * Shell program: built in GNOME terminal; supports transparency, and window wallpapers, and such.
    * Zip/Unzip: file-roller is bundled.
    * LAMP setup: see the guide
    * Do I need AV / spyware stuff ? Nope.

  3. Skippy – you know what ? I had no idea that mp3 was indeed patented (I do now having searched) and everything I have used up to this point has not indicated that either. Windows… strange place 🙂
    Many thanks for the information – I’m sure it’ll save some frustrations !

  4. Yeah, MPEG is a very very patented format Mark 🙂

    That’s why the geeky crowd loves OGG, even though almost nowhere (comparitivly) plays it.

    And is it easy to switch… well, you’ll get frustrated, a lot. But Ubuntu is pretty nice to use for a Linux system. A lot of the problems will be getting used how to do something (or, sometimes, getting used to not knowing how to do something at all).

    A lot of my issues with using a Mac were actually *nix curveballs that I wasn’t used to. You’ll get there!

  5. Oh and The Gimp? No you don’t have to, if you don’t mind using a version of PS that isn’t the latest – I think WINE has Photoshop CS support now, it certainly does the version before.

    So no, you don’t have to put up with the goddawful Gimp.

  6. Ah, well WINE can run a lot of stuff, so whatever your favourite application for creating stuff in is.. you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

    It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good solution for most non high-end applications.

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