Ubuntu Install Notes


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This is an overview of a very long web page of notes on Ubuntu installs --- 9.04 (Jaunty Jaguar) and later releases, like 9.10 (Karmic Koala) --- on netbook and desktop computers of this web-page author.

The Overview :

There is more to the page than notes on overcoming issues encountered in installing Ubuntu on several computers. Namely:

At the bottom of that 'Ubuntu Installs' web page is a summary that gives an overview of the applications that I have found useful and capable and (relatively) stable.

And above that handy summary of useful-capable-relativelyReliable applications, there are comments on

  • Several things that have probably sent tens (if not 100s) of 1000s of Linux-attempters scurrying back to MS-Windoze. Examples:

    • windows oversized (and windows movability) problems

    • trackpad (and mouse) confusing (or extremely-frustrating) behavior issues

    • monitor-resolution configuration issues

    • boot-hangs-after-install problems on several models of Dell PCs.

    IMPORTANT NOTE on the first of these items:

    The windows-move problems would be 'almost resolved' if the following keyboard shortcuts for windows would be 'well advertised'. That is, Linux 'newbies' should be made aware of these three VERY HANDY 'Alt' options.

    • Alt-clickMB1 allows for Moving a window with the mouse.

    • Alt-clickMB2 allows for Resizing a window with the mouse.

    • Alt-clickMB3 pops open the WindowMenu at the location of the mouse cursor on the window. (This gives you a way of closing the window if both the top-left and top-right Close buttons of the window are inaccessible. And you can minimize and restore [unmaximize] this way.)

    where MBi indicates Mouse Button number i.

    And the greatest (most important) of these is item 1: Alt-clickMB1

    I am suggesting --- no, urging --- no, pleading --- that the WindowMenu hints that were used on the various Unixes in the 1980's and 1990's be added to the Linux WindowMenu of Gnome, KDE, etc. (But show 'Alt-MB1', instead of --- or in addition to --- 'Alt-F7'.)

  • Some things that Gnome/kernel/Ubuntu developers could do to eliminate some of the 'scurrying back to MS Windohs'. Example: Indicate the keyboard window management shortcuts (above) in the X-window-menu --- as was done on all Unix systems (Sun-Solaris, HP-UX, IBM-AIX, SGI-IRIX, etc.)

  • Why I prefer Gnome-Ubuntu (rather than UNR or KDE) on my netbook. In relation to just-say-no-to-KDE-on-my-netbook: no "venetian blinds" effect and faster application window startups.

  • Some Nautilus scripts that I have created to fill gaping holes in the capabilities of Linux apps for BATCH image processing.

    < link to a web page of the Nautilus scripts >

  • The commendable OpenShot video editor development 'story' --- in which users from around the world pitch in to help a programmer in Texas document and internationalize (translate) his apparently much-needed, relatively-crash-free video editor.

  • The one piece of software that forces me to keep an MS Windows operating system on one or more of my PCs --- U.S. tax software, namely Turbotax. (I wonder why I never read of anyone mentioning this type of software in this regard. The usual software mentioned, that requires keeping an MS Windows OS, is video gaming software. Does this indicate that Linux is not for 'serious' users?)

      (Don't Linux users pay taxes? Do the self-employed Linux users decline to pay taxes? Do ALL the non-self-employed Linux users have such simple income and deductions that they do their taxes manually?

      Do ALL Linux users expect EVERYTHING for free --- free roads, schools, army, police, border patrols, coastline patrols, sewage systems, clean water monitoring, clean air monitoring, clean bank monitoring, etc. --- as well as free operating systems --- hence they refuse to pay taxes --- and depend on the kindness of others --- and hence do not need tax software?)

  • A class of 'serious' computer users who still need MS Windows --- mechanical engineers. See the explanation (with 3D software apps listed) at the bottom of the 'Ubuntu Installs' page.

Conclusion derived from the above experiences :

Although I have managed to pick through a lot of bug-filled, crash-prone, feature-starved apps to find a group that fits most of my needs (tax software excluded), I feel compelled to point out that some of us have experienced a significant number of the 'warts' of Linux and its apps. (Many of us have non-trivial Unix backgrounds, so we are not command-line newbies.)

Hence I get a little disgusted with the constant 'Linux is ready' dogmatic snow jobs by Linux promoters --- in Linux magazine editorials and articles and 'podcasts' and so on. And I get REALLY disgusted with angry posters in computer forums who pounce on 'newbies' and berate them for not immediately embracing Linux. A lot of heat and absolutely no light. No attempt at all to get at the details that are causing them problems. "The devil is in the details."

Linux (including the apps) is getting readier and readier, BUT ...

It is ready for some people and for some things --- but NOT ready for other people or for other things.

To paraphrase Abe Lincoln:

Linux is good for

  • SOME of the people ALL of the time (like people with simple web browsing and email needs),

  • and for ALL of the people SOME of the time (like all people when they use Google running on Linux or when they use a particular Linux-based app that works for them)

  • but NOT for ALL of the people ALL of the time.

Some people who keep the statement "Linux serves ALL people ALL of the time" from being true:

    mechanical engineers (see bottom of my 'Ubuntu Installs' web page) ... and me, at tax time.


More properly (to give credit where credit is due) :

GO Linux OS and app developers! KEEP MAKING THEM (OS and apps) BETTER.

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Page created 2010 Apr 27. Changed 2010 Nov 06.