Sunday Recap: Geek Week for Randomguru

My notebook, running Ubuntu Linux 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”: Get it here!

Current Workspace

The above photo is of my current workstation in my kitchen. Having your workspace in your kitchen is very convenient and I’ve had this setup for years. I can muti-task and do chores in the kitchen, cook meals for the family, play the grand piano (which is close by too), and work on the computer.

My Current Downstairs Computer Setup

  • Notebook Computer – HP Pavilion dv4000 series, Intel Pentium 1.72 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 100 GB HD.
  • External Hard Drive – Seagate 1 terabyte hard drive.
  • CyberPower 425va UPS Regulated Power Supply with Battery backup and surge protection. (I learned my lesson while in the Philippines during a thunder storm!)
  • Altec Lansing BXR1120 PC Speakers.
  • Blackberry Curve 8320 synced to apps to manage calendar and contacts, etc.
  • PC Toys at Discount Prices

    I was able to buy a few computer-related items at Fry’s Electronics over the weekend. This was a special treat for me since I haven’t purchased anything for my PC in ages.

    So, my old pair of PC speakers died a slow painful death recently, so I needed to buy a new pair. Something decent yet inexpensive. Being the poor semi-unemployed musician that I am as a result of the economy, I was able to find some sales.

    • 1. Altec Lansing speakers at $14.99 per pair, which I thought was an incredibly good deal. The speakers sound much better than the built-in speakers in my notebook. And the overall sound quality is good, so I’m happy.
    • 2. I also bought a LogicTech notebook mouse for $19.99. Another good deal I thought and was essential because my Powerbook G4 laptop upstairs has a mouse that is totally garbage now. So I transferred my old mouse upstairs and have the new one with my notebook.

    Ran Into An Old Friend

    While I was looking for PC speakers at Fry’s I ran into an old friend from high school. He actually recognized me saying, “You’re… the drummer! Carlos Rull!” I felt bad because I didn’t recognize him. It had been something like 30+ years since my high school days.

    And we talked and I was able to get his email address and cell phone number so we could keep in touch. It’s interesting how some friends can just somehow drift apart and somehow re-unite after years. But it was good to find him again… I remember now that I used to hang out at his place a lot.

    Blackberry Problems Resolved

    As you may have read last week, my Blackberry Curve kept turning off whenever it wanted to, and right in the middle of a few important phone calls, not that most of my calls aren’t important. They all are, actually, and when the phone goes dead it’s so frustrating.

    Anyway, taking it to a local T-Mobile store, the phone person found out right away that it was the battery being messed up by the new car charger I’d gotten from Target. It’s been a few days since I got my new FREE battery, and everything is A-OK!

    Ubuntu Linux Bliss

    10 Advantages of Ubuntu over Vista

    “I converted from Vista to Ubuntu a little over 2 months ago and am soooooo happy with it, best decision of my life. I am going to tell you my top 10 advantages of it over Windows Vista.”

    I just wanted to say that I am extremely happy running Ubuntu Linux on my PC. I still have Windows XP on the other partition on my notebook’s hard drive, but I’ve not had any reason to switch back to Windows.

    I can even still access my files from the Windows side and launch them on compatible apps on the Linux side.

    After launching Ubuntu Linux last week I’ve come up with PROS and CONS about this Operating System:

    The Good Stuff about Ubuntu Linux:

    • 1. Ubuntu Linux is 100% FREE.
    • 2. You can download the ISO, burn it to a disk, then launch and install Ubuntu from your CD-DVD ROM drive.
    • 3. The install was so effortless and painless, and free of any difficulties! I was able to successfully partition my hard drive to have Windows XP on one side and Linux on the other, and I was able to choose the amount of memory alloted to the new partition for Linux.
    • 4. Ubuntu is super-fast! Compared to Windows XP which is super sluggish performance-wise.
    • 5. Booting, Rebooting and Shutting Down the PC is very fast in Ubuntu Linux. I’ll have to clock the actual speed next time, but it was like rebooted in 20 some odd seconds.
    • 6. Most of the apps I’ve used in Windows XP had comparable Linux counterparts in Ubuntu. And these apps work just as well, if not better.
    • 7. I haven’t gone through all the system specs yet, but so far Ubuntu Linux “flies” and it’s performance is fast and efficient.
    • 8. Updates for Ubuntu Linux will ALWAYS be 100% FREE because it is open source. Whereas, we would have to upgrade to a newer version of Windows and pay a hefty amount for that major upgrade!
    • 9. Also, being that Ubuntu Linux applications are 100% Free (most of them anyway, some are shareware) their updates will be FREE as well.
    • 10. Ubuntu Linux automatically checks for updates and install them just like Windows, but Ubuntu also will check for updates system-wide for system software and applications and do so with the click of a button!
    • 11. The command line in Linux is all-powerful. DOS is great but no match for Linux.
    • 12. The quickness of the Linux OS is felt when surfing the world wide web. And there is a Linux version of Firefox that, in my humble opinion, is noticeably much faster than Firefox in Windows. Being that Linux servers are used in serving most of the web pages on the Internet, it’s no surprise.
    • 13. Viruses, trojan horses, malware, and other malicious programs are pretty much non-existent in Ubuntu Linux. There is no virus protection software that I’ve seen. Windows has too many “holes” that make it vulnerable to viruses, etc., thus the need for virus protection. Linux’s virus protection is built right into the code. It is a solid, well thought out operating system that is frequently updated.

    The Downside of Ubuntu Linux:

    • 1. Support for Ubuntu applications and the OS may not be at the level as Microsoft or Apple, but there are extensive resources, forums and online communities that can provide support.
    • 2. There may not be comparable apps in Linux for all of the Windows apps available. For instance, I haven’t yet found a comparable Slideshow Software in Linux.
    • 3. Many people use Adobe Photoshop in Mac OS X and Windows XP and Vista, and there isn’t a Linux version of Adobe Photoshop. The Gimp Image Editor is workable and useful, but can not match the elegance and power of Photoshop.
    • 4. And, there simply are a LOT more software choices in Windows and Mac OS X than in Linux, although Linux does cover many of the essential apps to get work done.
    • 5. Traditionally Linux has been an OS more suitable for sys ops, engineers, and computer scientists, and it might be difficult for regular computer users to get used to, but at the same time Ubuntu Linux is the first distribution I’ve installed that is so user-friendly and closely resembles its rival OS’s, Windows and Mac OS X.
  • 6. Downloading the actual Ubuntu Linux ISO and installing it might still be something alien to most people, but it is doable. Though it takes 2+ hours to download the ISO, and if you order the FREE Install CD, it maybe take 10 weeks to get to your doorstep. Another alternative would be to buy a Linux book or store bought package with the install CD inside and instructions, though it would be a bit pricey and could cost as much as buying the other OS’s. It would be cheaper to buy a book with the install CD.
  • The Final Word…

    The launching of Ubuntu Linux goes well with my philosophy to become more frugal and save money (especially amidst this troubled economy).

    Well, as you can see, I’ve been spending some time getting familiar with my new operating system. And getting used to all the new apps that are available. There is a bit of a learning curve, of course, with anything one learns for the first time.

    I’ve had earlier versions of Linux installed to play around in… Mandrake, SuSe, Red Hat, but Ubuntu is by far the most user-friendly, easiest to install, and with a desktop interface that is quick easy to learn and navigate.

    If you’re look to save money on computer purchases of operating system and application software, Ubuntu Linux is a great alternative. Again, Linux is all FREE, open source software with a strong online community that supports the software and its users.

    Building My Own PC that Runs on Ubuntu Linux Exclusively

    My next goal for the year is to build my own PC from parts and have Ubuntu Linux running on it exclusively! I think that would be totally awesome! I’m planning on a budget of less than $500 for a totally customized PC, and of course the operating system and application software will be 100% free and open source…

    That’s not too much to ask for, no?

    Obligatory Disclaimer:

    Note: If you are going to make the switch from Windows or Mac to Linux, please be sure you have a backup for all your stuff!!! I made sure that I had everything backed up just in case, although I attest that the installation of Ubuntu Linux was so easy, and others have said the same…. other than waiting for it to download over the Internet, and it was a painless installation. Installing a new version of Windows imho is harder!

    Comments

    comments

Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Recap: Geek Week for Randomguru

  • Monday May 4, 2009 at 5:27 pm
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    >my current workstation in my kitchen
    oh my…if i was your wife, i’d definitely have something to say about that! ^ –

  • Monday May 4, 2009 at 9:27 am
    Permalink

    >my current workstation in my kitchen
    oh my…if i was your wife, i’d definitely have something to say about that! ^ –

  • Monday May 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm
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    @tokyorose – haha… well, after several years (since 2003) of having my notebook sitting in the kitchen, i think my wife’s forgiven me.

    i once went to a million dollar model home and they had a computer workstation especially built in the kitchen. of course it was a huge kitchen, but i think that’s where the idea came from.

    i suppose if you were in my wife’s shoes i’d be in the doghouse. ;o)

    and now it’s time to wash the dishes and mop the tiles. hehe….

  • Monday May 4, 2009 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    @tokyorose – haha… well, after several years (since 2003) of having my notebook sitting in the kitchen, i think my wife’s forgiven me.

    i once went to a million dollar model home and they had a computer workstation especially built in the kitchen. of course it was a huge kitchen, but i think that’s where the idea came from.

    i suppose if you were in my wife’s shoes i’d be in the doghouse. ;o)

    and now it’s time to wash the dishes and mop the tiles. hehe….

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