Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Bar Room => The Bar (ON-TOPIC) => Tech Talk, or If Yer So Damn Smart, What The Hell You Doin' Teachin' English? => Topic started by: Calach Pfeffer on May 30, 2014, 04:04:46 AM

Title: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 30, 2014, 04:04:46 AM
Any enthusiasts have some tips? I have the linuxmint-16-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.iso sitting on my win7 laptop and some day, some weeks later during the summer I guess, I'll try it out on my old winxp laptop. Basically, I've decided it's about time to stop pirating windows. Having gotten a little bit into Android, Linux on a laptop is starting to look okay. Plus, there's things like encryption and privacy that I want to start worrying about too.

So, what's the skinny?
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: bobrage on May 30, 2014, 05:23:49 AM
Bye bye games, hello trouble free computing. 

If you know how to use a computer, or at the very least can Google things and follow instructions, then Linux is great.

I run my laptop on Linux and I have no problems.

Do be aware that if your laptop has any daft Acer-like buttons and suchlike then changing the OS may also mean you'll need to reflash the BIOS.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 30, 2014, 01:50:57 PM
I can't remember why I chose Linux Mint. The iso has been sitting in my torrents folder for some time. For reasons I can't remember, I decided it would be better than Ubuntu. Possibly something about multimedia support out-of-the-box. The install (when I eventually do it - after the exams) will be going on my number two laptop with the heat problem, but I want to see multimedia working quick.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: bobrage on June 02, 2014, 04:49:49 AM
I use Ubuntu [Orgasmic Ocelot 1.4.5.&.?.89]  and it is fine out-of-the-box. 

I actually use an ostensibly "desktop" OS on my laptop with no issues. 

Not sure what you mean by "multimedia" support (like, playing videos or doing stuff with video editing software?) - but Ubuntu can do everything that Windows can do out of the box (and a damn sight more besides).  The great thing about Ubuntu is the size of its community.  When you want to do something clever, like get a Windows program to run on Ubuntu using Wine, you sometimes have to put a few lines of commands into the console.  Now, unless you are a computer network dude then this requires a Google search or two and it's much easier to turn up results if everything is tied to Ubuntu.

Not sure if Linux will result in a fix for your heating issues.  Although you tend to find that everything runs quicker on Linux because 1: less time is spent making the front end look super shiny to impress people who can't use computers and need things to look friendly and 2: no anti-virus software is needed because Linux f*cking rocks and so your computer doesn't spend any time looking at what it is doing while it's supposed to be doing it. 

Also, Windows tries to do everything for you.  It assumes that you can't use a computer.  Linux on the other hand assumes that you are cleverer than the OS you are using and if you want it to do something, then you can tell it to do something.  The bottom right hand of your screen will no longer be a telegraph station whenever you start up.   
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 02, 2014, 07:02:09 AM
It may have been a Lifehacker article (http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners) that turned my head. In any case, still researchin'. At some point I'll put the iso on a USB stick and get the system a spin. I probably started this thread  a bit too early.

(The heat problem on the number two laptop is likely just several years worth of dust. I don't expect a new OS will fix it. Possibly the laptop needs its owner replaced.)
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: bobrage on June 02, 2014, 07:15:09 AM
Number two laptops are there to be taken apart. 

Compressed air, cloth, thermal grease: have a party.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 13, 2014, 11:34:59 AM
Both my laptops have DVD drives but my next one won't and who uses CDs any more anyway (except for textbook companies) so I made my 8GB usb drive bootable (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/) and did thereby install linuxmint-16-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.

The installer prefers to have network access. For me this would have added hours or more to the install process. I was looking at reaaally slow download rates for -- I forget, language helper files? -- if I were to rely on my ISP provided DNS. Starting over with OpenDNS settings quickened things up enough to be going on with, but I got bored anyway and skipped the download. Thus, fairly promptly, I was able to get the thing going and start playing around.

Initial impressions:

I forget why I chose Linux Mint with Cinammon. Maybe something about how it's similar in UI layout to XP. Because, it is. Which is cool. I am willing to look further into the experience. However...

Day 1 protips discovered:

Don't wait too long between downloading the install iso and actually installing the OS. I discovered a large number of updates waiting to install, and went on to discover this is because Linux Mint is up to version 17 now. Thus I believe I shall give up for today. I'll torrent version 17 and start over tomorrow.

But in any case, my old XP laptop is now no longer an XP laptop. Hooray for progress.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: BrandeX on July 13, 2014, 01:20:38 PM
Upgrading via the package manger in any Linux based system often results in issues. It's definitely better to do a fresh install with the latest version instead as you are planning.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 14, 2014, 08:01:04 AM
Day 2 - linuxmint-17-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.

Easy-squeazy.

Same as before, I installed from usb. Same as before, I got bored waiting for the language-packs to download, so I skipped them. Different from before, once the whole thing was up and running I tried screwing around with software. Thus began the nightmare, no more nightmarish than setting up any other new system, but made so-o-o much worse by China being China. You see, I wanted to install Chrome.

Now, Chrome being Chrome, it's available only from the anti-leftist capitalist roaders, Google. Like any running dog, I'd have to Vigorously Pound my Nuts if I wanted to espouse universal values and/or download Chrome. I discovered the set up process for Vigorously Pounding Nuts was not unlike vigorously pounding my nuts: it hurt, it took a long time, but eventually, well eventually, I "made a connection". Reached Nirvana if you will. You see, the service that would pound my nuts for me does have a really easy set up method for Linux Mint. It's very nearly built in to the OS. You just enter values and change a few settings and viola, a really, really slow pptp connection of limited functionality. If this weren't China, it'd probably be fast and functional. But this is China.

So, long story short, I gave in and tried the relatively more complex set up method meant for Ubuntu, which involved using the software installer and, Lord help me, Terminal commands. It worked though. The end result was a connection more like I was used to on my Windows 7 machine and soon enough, it produced a downloaded Chrome installer. (Which crapped out at the end but thankfully gave me easy-to-follow instructions on what to do next: "sudo apt-get install -f", whatever that is.)

Right now my new Linux Mint laptop (aka "my old XP laptop") is sitting in the corner taking a very long time "Applying changes..." As far as I know, those changes will result in the laptop using a card-specific driver for the graphics display, and everything will be wonderful.

Tune in tomorrow for: Ice Packs and Comfortable Cushions.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 14, 2014, 10:06:36 AM
Holy mother of God, NVIDIA graphics card.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: bobrage on July 15, 2014, 05:05:13 AM
Elaborate...

It works?  You have games to run on it? 

-sudo apt-get a vat of Winetricks
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 15, 2014, 06:08:08 AM
I'm not wholly enamored of the look of the Linux Mint desktop. Windows straight out of the box provokes a similar displeasure, This is normally straightened out by installing suitable graphics drivers, giving one access to crisper icons and a wider variety of resolutions. At the time of the above post, I'd just discovered that by default, Linux, or at least Linux Mint, when it spots an Nvidia graphics card will install some open source driver called Nouveau... and one does not simply install the proprietary drivers over the top. One must disable Nouveau as well, which involves editing config files, which necessarily means a crash course in sudo.

Thus, I spent some time trying to work out, was the chunky, chintzy appearance of my new desktop because Nouveau is too basic, the Nvidia-specific drivers weren't being allowed to work, or my recollections of the graphics capabilities of this old laptop were exaggerated. I have since then determined the Nvidia drivers are working, and the desktop still looks kinda basic. This is okay because even under Windows the same was true. What's not okay is, it looks crap on the 22" external monitor too. This is possibly just a matter of various as yet undiscovered settings. I did just now for instance discover I can resize icons, which looks like it might work out well on the bigger screen. But I've had enough for today. I try again tomorrow and see what's what.

(I in particular want to find out if LibreOffice on a bigger screen still makes my Word documents look like crap. Over the last year or so I've become a fan of a Windows font called Calibri. It prints well and looks good in docx files. It's not in LibreOffice but it was easy enough to install by copying from a Windows machine. It, however, doesn't look the same at all. On my laptop screen it was some spindly anorexic shadow of itself.)
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: bobrage on July 15, 2014, 06:52:15 AM
Just in case you haven't found it, but you probably have:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia

It has some icon resolution info down the bottom there.  Also, it's for Ubuntu.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 17, 2014, 10:58:43 AM
The reason I chose Linux Mint with Cinnamon, as I have recalled from reading around, was speed. Somewhere or other I read that Linux Mint was the hastier of the two when compared with Ubuntu proper. I like a nippy os. More specifically, I like a responsive operating system. And graphics. I liek teh graphics. I've always purchased systems with independent graphics cards, not just onboard whatevers. Thus, a pickle...

It's partly the old laptop (an SL400 Thinkpad - Intel Core 2 Duo, 2Gb RAM, NVIDIA  GeForce 9300M GS, 5400 rpm HDD), but Linux Mint 17 is sometimes a little slow to respond to mouse clicks (particularly when screwing around with System Settings menus). So I thought, what the hell, I'll try Ubuntu and see. I installed Ubuntu 14.04 (Tumescent Trollop) alongside Mint, and was appalled. Ubuntu is faster and more responsive. (And it displays my preferred font, Calibri, the right way by default.) But that's not the pickle. The pickle is Ubuntu's Unity interface. It is, I don't know, poop. Its dark, there's no task bar displaying open programs and folders, and there's an mostly immovable strip of blighted space alongside the left edge of the screen (aka Launcher - because touch screens). I like Cinnamon much, much more. That's the pickle.

The pickle is complicated by there being a way to install Cinnamon on Ubuntu, only the relevant Cinnamon is a "nightly", and for reasons known only to the designer, an uglified version of the Cinnamon you find in Linux Mint.

I discovered you can choose interfaces. You can log out and then select older interfaces (Gnome 2?). I gave it a try and it's a little better, but there's still this question of an active and informative task bar. I like to know what's open, just like in Windows, so I can switch, as I often will do.

Possibly therefore, judging from screen shots, I am looking for Xubuntu? I imagine I shall have to torrent that too and find out.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 17, 2014, 12:35:10 PM
And now, another 1gb in the hole to my torrent ratios, I discover you don't, technically, have to download a whole new Linux installation. One could just install a different UI, and it's about as easy as installing a launcher in Android. And as far as UIs go, I'm presently thinking:

Cinnamon > Xfce > Unity

Later, after I try MATE, I reckon I might start over, erase the disk, install Ubuntu again, drop in a preferred UI, and set up the machine properly. (And if ultimately I want and can't get a decent Cinnamon on Ubuntu, I might start over again, with whatever is the next iteration of Mint + Cinnamon).

YMMV
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 17, 2014, 11:08:25 PM
For my next trick I propose to partition the hard drive. However, much of the info online seems, in tech terms, ancient. They talk of systems with 80gb or less hard disk space. I have 300gb to screw around with today. Imma go ahead and guess. I shall perform a clean install of Ubuntu 14.04 (wiping out everything from before). In the installation program I shall allocate 20Gb for root and put the operating system there. The rest I leave to /home..

But then... swap partition?

I have the vague impression the install disk with set up swap automatically. With 2Gb of RAM already, and this being the year of our Linux, 2014, are people still planning their own swap partitions?
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: BrandeX on July 18, 2014, 02:28:17 AM
The installer didn't do that for you automatically?
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 18, 2014, 03:50:43 AM
The first install, of Linux Mint, I chose the first install option - install the OS, "erase" everything else. The second install, of Ubuntu, I chose the second option - install one OS alongside the other. For that, the installer split the hard drive in two - made two partitions of about equal size. For either or both of them, unless the installer creates swap partitions by itself, I assume there was no other partitioning going on. For the future, I want /home (and thus all my data) to be separate from the OS root, so I imagine I'll be using the "Something Else" install option next time. I don't know if I have to choose  a swap partition by myself. I recall the arcane magicks invented for Windows swap files back in the 95/XP days of yore. I'm wondering if Linux is beyond that yet or not.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 18, 2014, 10:35:22 AM
What I learned today:

It's easier than I thought to install Cinnamon on Ubuntu 14.04 (http://www.ubuntugeek.com/install-cinnamon-desktop-in-ubuntu-14-04-trusty.html). But the result is not pretty. Also, Linux Mint doesn't screw up Calibri. Me screwing around removing the Nouveau graphics driver screwed Calibri. I presently have a clean install of Mint 17 and Calibri looks fine.

Also, the Linux installer creates swap space by itself. During yet another install of Linux Mint today I had a look at the hard drive partition table and there it was, left over from the Ubuntu install, and way up the other end of the drive, 2 gigabytes of swap space that wasn't put there by me.

Also, I discovered Mint *is* quicker than Ubuntu. Ubuntu starts quicker, but clicking around inside the file system, Mint responds quicker. Also, I like the look. And the functionality. I shall stick for a while with what I set up today - Mint w/ Cinnamon on 20gbs of hard drive. Tomorrow I'll start loading up /home with movies, music, and books and see how it all works out.


Also, as an addendum, it turns out one doesn't need to go to the Be Evils, Google, to get Chrome as a browser on Linux. There's a thing in the software repositories called Chromium.

Booyah.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: bobrage on July 18, 2014, 11:49:29 PM
Yeah, you can make the front end look different but as long as the back end is Ubuntu then you'll have a stable platform with (and here's the key) a very large support network and exhaustive "tow to" wikis.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Pashley on July 19, 2014, 01:13:18 AM
For background info, see also this ancient thread:
http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=2460.msg47301#msg47301
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 19, 2014, 02:55:07 AM
In Search Of:

a media player that will take a directory (and subdirectories) of music in various formats and play them on shuffle, preferably without randomly repeating tunes too frequently. Also, cross-fading.

Cross-fading tunes while playing on random isn't strictly necessary but it's a pleasant sophistication since I don't use playlists and hard changes from one random tune to another is not the perfect listening experience. On Windows I use, and applaud, MediaMonkey.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 21, 2014, 10:52:01 AM
Discovered Samba. After that, not sure exactly how I did it (http://www.ehow.com/how_7362192_transfer-data-windows-linux.html) but woot! my first nearly network. I'll transfer a jillion gigabytes of media and not burn out my USB stick, and then the Linux puter will be Mr Backup. I might then go ahead and thin out the herd on my main Win7 computer.

When I first bought this Win7 machine, it was on the understanding that one day, some day, I'd get a SSD. This particular machine is easily upgradeable in that respect. Might be then that I go the full Linux. I urge everyone to hold their breath.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 22, 2014, 09:15:09 AM
Contentious point: Office v Office.

I've grown accustomed to Microsoft Office 2010, which is to say Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Powerpoint 2010. How does it really compare to LibreOffice? For reference, I installed Microsoft Office 2007 on Linux Mint 17 today. (Used Wine 1.6.2, installed Word and Powerpoint.) Word works. Powerpoint didn't. I'll make an attempt to install Office 2010 some other time. But meanwhile, LibreOffice 4.2 is what I otherwise have in Linux Mint 17. Haven't really tried it out. Don't know what I'm missing. Don't really have a question except to wonder what experiences others have had. I likely would prefer that LibreOffice take over as my whatsit, productivity suite, if it can.

I make powerpoints for class. They are fairly basic but recently I've like dramatising images and stories with collages created by fading in and out images on top of one another. Also, embedded video and audio are de rigeur for marketing class. With word, I format documents that usually end up as A4 handouts. Text + pictures, mostly.

LibreOffice will do it all for me too?

(I know the answer is, gah! dude, try it for yourself and find out like we all did, but still....)
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 22, 2014, 09:47:25 AM
Also, window size and position is not remembered? Apps, unless programmed otherwise, always open in the top left corner of the screen? And this has been an issue for a decade? Well thanks, Linux developers! I guess you can't have principles without having principles.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: BrandeX on July 22, 2014, 03:50:21 PM
I use Mint 15 w/ Cinnamon at work, and it doesn't do that.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 22, 2014, 10:50:35 PM
Perhaps I'm missing a setting. There is however something of a pattern. If I start Terminal or Files from the panel, it'll open in the top left corner. (Though Chrome started from the panel opens wherever.) And, if I click on something that'll call something else (like click on an mp3 and it opens with a player), then it'll open in the top left. (Not images though - they open middle screen.) But if I open a program from a Desktop link, it'll open wherever it was before.

I went online looking for what setting I'm missing and found only discussion of the great developer schism, on the one side are developers who believe it good manners for their programs to remember for themselves, on the other are developers who say a  desktop windows manager should manage windows for them. It's a GNOME thing, apparently.

In any case, I shall be trying out KDE in place of Cinnamon today. Apparently it's the more well-liked desktop environment where eye-candy and over-management are concerned.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 23, 2014, 09:35:48 AM
So what does happen when you opt out of the mainstream? Microsoft Office, it seems to me, is relatively inaccessible from Linux.  Can be installed, can be run, partly, and sometimes. It seems to me likely better to commit to LibreOffice (or some other alternative) and see what happens. So what does happen? I get the impression LibreOffice will be fine for most individual uses, but you're on the way to screwed if you have to cooperate with lots of people around you using Microsoft products. So what happens in China? Presumably classroom setups will be WinXP for quite a time to come. Does one often get surprised by how LibreOffice output doesn't quite work with WinXP when you want to give a class?
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 24, 2014, 07:13:19 AM
The adventure comes to a crashing halt.

Impress files with embedded video work fine in LibreOffice, but saved as any of the other file formats offered in LibreOffice 4.2.5 (including ppt and pptx), the embedded video slides are blank. For a lot of things I normally do with ppt, it looks like LibreOffice would be fine, albeit slow, basic, and in some cases dumb (you can resize images by hand but you have to maintain the aspect ratio by hand too?!), but screwing up embedded video is a deal breaker. LibreOffice, as a tool for making what it's not primarily supposed to make, ppts, is okay but not adequate.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Nolefan on July 24, 2014, 08:35:16 AM
The adventure comes to a crashing halt.

Impress files with embedded video work fine in LibreOffice, but saved as any of the other file formats offered in LibreOffice 4.2.5 (including ppt and pptx), the embedded video slides are blank. For a lot of things I normally do with ppt, it looks like LibreOffice would be fine, albeit slow, basic, and in some cases dumb (you can resize images by hand but you have to maintain the aspect ratio by hand too?!), but screwing up embedded video is a deal breaker. LibreOffice, as a tool for making what it's not primarily supposed to make, ppts, is okay but not adequate.
Libreoffice can't cut it on those fancy things. Best is using something along the lines of google docs or ZOHO docs. They have better trac record.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 24, 2014, 11:07:56 AM
Back in the saddle...

Discovered Play on Linux (http://www.playonlinux.com/en/). Installed and successfully ran Powerpoint 2007 and Word 2007. According to their website, Office 2010 might work too. (As far as I know, Play on Linux is basically Wine, but with assorted tricks built in that I'd have to find for myself otherwise.)

Issue: can select and embed images in a ppt, get error messages when trying to embed video.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: BrandeX on July 24, 2014, 02:18:11 PM
Try this instead, for whenever LibreOffice is not suitable:

https://office.live.com/start/PowerPoint.aspx
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 25, 2014, 12:03:00 AM
Online tools, eh? I am suspicious and mistrustful. I suppose with always-on, reasonable speed internet, "the cloud" is the way. I don't know what's in it for "the cloud" though.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 25, 2014, 09:30:31 AM
PlayOnLinux:

Office 2010 (specifically Powerpoint and Word, and possibly other elements of the suite but I didn't try) will install and, as far as I can tell, work. However, embedding video in that installed Powerpoint doesn't work, and is hard if not impossible to fix.

Wine + Winetricks

Using (most of) this guide (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1885051) (I used a different version of Wine), once again Office 2010 (specifically Powerpoint and Word) will install and, for the most part, work. Also once again, embedding video in a ppt fails.

However, if via Winetricks one also installs wmp10, then embedding will succeed. The embedded file will "play" inasmuch as Powerpoint will wile away the time required for the file to play doing nothing. No audio will be heard, and no picture displayed. Presumably this can be remedied by installing further codecs, probably via Winetricks. But I have had enough for today. Helpless reader, you are on your own.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 26, 2014, 11:50:55 AM
So, installing whatever random codec I could find in Winetricks actually broke whatever progress I had yesterday. Now Powerpoint force closes when I try putting video on a slide. The Linux adventure may have to wait on whatever it is in LibreOffice that doesn't export Impress slides with embedded video to Powerpoint slides with embedded video. (Technically they do export - the video slide in Impress becomes a static image in Powerpoint of whatever is the first frame of the video.)

I have seen suggested an alternative solution: LibreOffice Portable (http://www.libreoffice.org/download/portable-versions/). You carry it with you on USB and run your presentations from there. One would, I suppose, have to love Linux, or LibreOffice (which, by the way, should be called "Office Libre" - what are these programmers, not Spanish?)
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 26, 2014, 12:59:39 PM
Embedded video is a long-standing issue (https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=90272) apparently. It would seem the agreed-upon solution is wait until Open Office and/or Office Libittilater dethrone Microsoft Office. And that isn't going to happen until someone huge does for Linux what Google did for Android.

Nifty case study for monopoly environment competitive behaviours, anyway.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 27, 2014, 04:08:58 AM
Freakin' learning curves...

Microsoft Word 2007 and Powerpoint 2007 can be installed and used, complete with working enbedded video in ppts, if you perform a modest tweak in Wine:

Run Wine Config > Libraries

(http://www.fclose.com/wp/files/2012/08/winecfg-for-powerpoint-2007.png)

In "New override for library:", look for, select, and add "riched20.dll"

Once it is added to "Existing overrides:", select Edit and change "(builtin, native)" to "(native)"

Press OK.


After that, Word and Powerpoint will run. I haven't tested extensively, but I have embedded video without issues. Three hour cruise, my arse.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 29, 2014, 08:46:01 AM
Using (most of) this guide (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1885051) (I used a different version of Wine), once again Office 2010 (specifically Powerpoint and Word) will install and, for the most part, work. Also once again, embedding video in a ppt fails.

Not mentioned in the guide but, as it turns out, necessary anyway is: winbind. Whatever winbind is, it is available through the built in Software Manager. When it's not installed, installation of Office 2010 (Word and Powerpoint) fails with a "setup encountered an error" message. (And even so, I still don't know how to make videos work.)

In other news, KDE is more pretty than Cinnamon, but also, to my mind, more full of stuff and management by obscure settings. I might switch back to Mint with Cinnamon (and to Office 2007) and leave it at that.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 08, 2014, 04:47:28 AM
Do we suppose there will come a time when LibreOffice gains on Windows Office? I still have Linux Mint 17 w/ Cinnamon running on my number two laptop, and I think, all in all, it's not bad. There's a learning curve, and a lot of not really very newbie friendly screwing around to do, but it could all be okay if somebody, somewhere could do away with the clunkiness. In this it seems I have a view somewhat akin to the Apple user's view of Android. I think for as long as Linux is a patchwork of enthusiastic develop of this and disinterested abandonment of that, it may wind up being freaking everywhere but it's not going to be the best available. If, in particular, LibreOffice could eventually do something it can't do, jump ahead of Microsoft Office, then Linux would be the place to be. I don't really see how it can though.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 12, 2014, 08:16:35 AM
To my grave technological embarrassment, I just spent the afternoon using the old Thinkpad SL400 to surf the web, look up Linux stuff, check out some movies, download utilities, have torrents seeding in the background, and etc, all on a 22" external monitor, and ye olden machine never broke a sweat. I had a temperature monitor running the whole time and it rarely hit even 80C inside the box. If 80 degrees Celsius seems high, for this computer it's not. It didn't even trip the fans once. This is the same old laptop that three days ago got so hot it froze after only five minutes running the external monitor. The difference? A couple of days ago I finally got up the nerve to remove the fan assembly. Once it was out, I was able take a makeup brush to the vents and puff away a few too many years worth of accumulated dust (and coincidentally bang a lot of dust out through the keyboard).

I still have peeves about Linux - screen dpi, mouse wheel settings, weird window handling, goddamn LibreOffice, the fact that Windows 7 just is less eye-aching on the very same monitor - but I might put an ssd in that old SL400 and see what happens then.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 14, 2014, 02:09:17 PM
So... Linux and SSDs... what's the rumpus?

One tiresome aspect of working out how Linux works is "Googling" your problem - or deploying some other search engine if you are in China - frequently yields answers that are years old and for some Linux version 2 or 3 iterations out-of-date. For instance, Linux and SSDs... You have to set up your own TRIM and/or insist on an ext4 filesystem?


Linux, I've been seeing other hobbies. I don't even know if we can be friends.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: El Macho on October 15, 2014, 12:31:02 AM
Have you played with Chrome OS? I've used Chromebooks before and they were great.

Looking to get Ubuntu Kylin loaded on my wife's old iBook soon, been having problems making a bootable USB image.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 15, 2014, 07:56:18 AM
I've considered Chrome OS. Haven't tried it. I do more or less have always on internet, but I'm, perhaps needlessly, suspicious of the always online. I have the vague suspicion that no one really has developed good on-demand services, and that cobbling together an offline capability (eg download a movie and watch, don't stream, etc) is still better.

Then again, this is China. The internet here isn't (somehow) what it is elsewhere. Maybe elsewhere the always-online would work out fine.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 19, 2014, 12:55:45 AM
Well, this is embarrassing... a fresh install of Windows 7 on this same laptop is quicker and more responsive than Mint 17.


/Thinkpad SL400
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Tree on December 13, 2014, 10:45:48 AM
I made the jump from windows to linux this past week. So far so good. I'm a really light computer user these days so haven't noticed any issues in terms of accessibility.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 13, 2014, 11:52:16 AM
Which Windows and which Linux? Just curious.

To my shock, chagrin, and horror, I've found Windows 7 to be more acceptable than the Linux I tried. Ubuntu has an annoying interface and I didn't give it much of a chance. Mint w/ Cinnamon appealed, but ultimately seemed more like Windows 95 than anything else. I put an SSD in the old laptop basically just to see what would happen, and Win7 on that platform is just so much simpler, and slicker.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Tree on December 15, 2014, 03:25:07 PM
I went from the new Windows [the "app" based one] back to XP, and now to Linux Mint [Q something I believe]. The terminal feature alone is worth it, and the fact that it loads up in under a minute, and haven't hit any snags in a week of "normal" usage.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Tree on December 21, 2014, 02:50:17 AM
Allright, reasons I love Mint so far:

1) Comes fully loaded with a host of lightweight programs
2) Related to 1, my computer boots up and down in about a minute, and I have access to most of my processing power at all times
3) The terminal feature allows me to find and download programs that have been more or less vetted by the community, so far everything I've downloaded has worked 100%. Granted I remember Silverlight being a huge issue for my old Ubuntu, but I've lived without Netflix for some time now so it's only so much water under the bridge.

It seems I've only just scratched the surface as well. Don't know how much more functionality I'll need, but this feels nice to know there are options down the road.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 13, 2017, 09:01:52 AM
Here we go again...

Ubuntu GNOME 17.04
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 14, 2017, 12:08:22 AM
Day 1: proprietary graphics drivers ruin everything
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 14, 2017, 05:23:33 AM
Kubuntu-17.04. Thought I was going to like KDE better than GNOME.

Nope.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 14, 2017, 09:55:51 AM
Xubuntu 17.04  -  nope
Mint 18.1 w/ Cinnamon  -  not much changed since last time, me no likee, so  -  nope

Turns out I like Gnome.

Presently trying Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.2 LTS (and it's throwing a lot more errors than 17.04 for a "stable" release....). If it works with the nvidia drivers when it's all updated, might well keep
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 16, 2017, 12:15:18 PM
I might be on the verge of a conversion experience. It has occurred to me the reason I'm enjoying the GNOME version of Ubuntu is how it parallels my Android experience. The launcher is minimal to the point of lacking quite a number of useful flourishes and one must go looking for extensions. Which may sound like work. But since those extensions do exist, and finding them is mostly just a matter of googling, that work is eminently more entertaining than the tiresome projects of removing the obtrusive design choices other desktop designers have made. Thumbs up, GNOME  bfbfbfbfbf bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 17, 2017, 02:44:08 AM
O linux, you hilarious kidder, apps should remember their own previous window locations? HAHAHAHA, good one.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 17, 2017, 09:54:46 AM
Boom, new adventure: in place update from 16.04.2 to 16.10 to 17.04. As far as I can tell, nothing broke.

I also discovered that if the file manager manages the desktop, then windows don't remember where they last closed; but where, I guess, GNOME itself manages the desktop, blammo, windows and apps open where they were last closed... mostly.

Next test is the acid test.... LibreOffice. And that's for tomorrow.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: old34 on May 17, 2017, 04:04:37 PM
Boom, new adventure: in place update from 16.04.2 to 16.10 to 17.04. As far as I can tell, nothing broke.

I also discovered that if the file manager manages the desktop, then windows don't remember where they last closed; but where, I guess, GNOME itself manages the desktop, blammo, windows and apps open where they were last closed... mostly.

Next test is the acid test.... LibreOffice. And that's for tomorrow.


Or you could just go Mac and save yourself all this technology tinkering, and use the time and effort to improve your teaching tinkering.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 17, 2017, 11:05:22 PM
Computer power is and should be a commodity

THERE SHALL BE NO PREMIUM USER EXPERIENCE!
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 25, 2017, 07:46:25 AM
Currently still on Ubuntu Gnome 17.04. Experimenting with PlayOnLinux. Haven't checked much at all but Office 2010 appears to install and work. PlayOnLinux appears to have China issues however. It doesn't access its servers very well. Automatic downloads of, for instance, Wine elements needed for some program you want to import from Windows are reeeeeally slow and most often crap out after a few hours. (Yeah, that's right, a few hours....) You can do manual installations though. That's what I did to get this particular Office 2010 going.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 25, 2017, 08:17:22 AM
Going through the list of things I might want to use a computer for and asking if Ubuntu can do it, I get to....

QQ and Wechat


Apparently web wechat is okay, but QQ for Linux basically no longer exists?

Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 29, 2017, 12:35:52 AM
WPS Office - formerly Kingsoft Office - an actively developed Chinese product! Available in Free and Premium versions.... and seemingly a surprisingly good word processor, presentation editor, and spreadsheet package. A clone of Microsoft Office, basically. And on Ubuntu, it works better than accessing actual Microsoft Office via PlayOnLinux.

But....


WPS Presentation won't insert audio?!?!?!?

Freaking Jesus, I thought we past this horsepucky. If maintaining Windows 7 just is more functional than using Linux, then wtf? The assorted dumbassery that is the Linux user experience was basically okay to me right up until discovering once again that using Linux to produce a basically functional presentation for class will just... fail.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: old34 on May 29, 2017, 05:54:57 AM
Just a suggestion, which you probably won't try but I'll try anyway....


Apple provides it's iWork productivity suite FREE in an online browser-based version and it's system neutral. that is, as long as you have a Windows or Linux with a browser, you can go to this webpage, register (any email address will do, doesn't have to be an Apple address), and use Pages, Keynote, and Numbers to your heart's content. Inserting audio and video into documents can be easily done.


Not that this will happen, but the suite software itself comes free and installed if you ever do breakdown and buy any apple device. But for now, it's free, available (albeit a browser-based version) on ANY device, and all it will cost you is an email address.


P.S. The iTunes for Windows app has some incredible FREE Educational Resources (audio, video, text) in the iTunes U section.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 29, 2017, 06:23:51 AM
If Linux is the rebel alliance - loosely organized, skeptical cannon fodder living in the seventies, prone to poor decision making and still hysterically focused on that single glaring flaw within the death star - then Apple is in a whole nother galaxy, and is still the Borg.

The only aspect of the free-and-open-source movement that I genuinely do believe is the one they don't exactly spell out: that very large companies do with government support treat "the internet" as some kind of terra nulis that shall rightly be pillaged of whatever is discovered there because whatever is discovered there is a natural and unowned resource. I am thus deeply skeptical of online productivity suites. I am not interested in trading away my content for the opportunity to create that content, noting of course that much of this "content" is in fact not mine and all I did was reorganize it but still, screw them, because reorganization is effortful and is worth money.

Ironically, I will put stuff on a wordpress blog. Contradiction? Not exactly. I trade away my organization of content for the opportunity to display that content to others. With a productivty suite, I trade away my organization of content for the opportunity to.... organize content. Not an interesting deal.

Free is not free. We have always been at war with eastasia.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: old34 on May 29, 2017, 07:44:01 AM
Oops, forgot the link: http://beta.icloud.com (http://beta.icloud.com)
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 03, 2017, 02:23:21 AM
Tried out for my Debian merit badge. Debian 8 Jessie. Nope. I like it fine. It even seems like it may be a tad more responsive than whatever mess of Ubuntu I had on the machine previously. But... nope. Even that level of user unfriendliness was more than I want to deal with right now. It seems to me like Linux is a system administrator's operating system, and the further one moves from Ubuntu the more that becomes clear. I shall go back to a clean Ubuntu Gnome 16.04.2 LTS.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 03, 2017, 11:58:46 PM
And then I discovered elementary OS (https://elementary.io/)...

Why I was looking at Debian was the assumption it'd be a stripped down Ubuntu. (It sort of is, but then it's not too because it's freakishly frontloaded with games?!?!?). I also assumed it was going to be prettier because it does have the better default wallpaper. (It's not prettier - the default fonts look like pixelated poop.) So on the way back to Ubuntu I decided to look again at Xubuntu and... wait for it... this other distribution touted as design-oriented... elementary OS.

Dude, it's just really, really pretty. And brisk, particularly the pantheon-files. And STRIPPED DOWN! It has virtually no cruft. It doesn't even come with a default Office suite! SWEET!


You know what else? You'll like this: it's well designed, it's pretty, it's fast: IT'S A FREAKIN MAC OS CLONE!!! ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah


http://blog.elementary.io/post/152626170946/switching-from-macos-the-basics

Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 05, 2017, 02:28:47 AM
I'm liking this Loki, I think I might keep it.

elementary OS 0.4.1, aka "Loki", is brisk, efficient, and attractive to look at. Basically it appears to be the best of both worlds, a Mac OS design philosophy on top of Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS - fast, attractive, and it doesn't just work ( ahahahahah). You still have to go looking for a fair amount of sudo arcana before the whole thing is properly functional. By the time they get to a 1.0 release, perhaps that will have changed. Meanwhile, for my old SL400 the wifi driver is a bit wonky (not always present at reboot) and the proprietary Radeon graphics driver might be puttng shivers on the screen, but the good seems like it outweighs the bad. I do like the Gnome desktop on Ubuntu Gnome, but this Pantheon desktop in elementary is better. Good enough even to make me think having a dock could be okay. WPS Office does seem to crash a lot, but we'll see.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 17, 2017, 04:45:12 AM
And now... Lubuntu!

Easy to like, because:

- GUI is easily set up to work like Windows 7 and thus be an actual USER interface as opposed to a FILE SYSTEM interface (even if using the main menu involves a LOT of hunting through categories...)

but mostly (b)

- thus far it hasn't once frozen or crashed, which makes it quite a bit different from GNOME on this machine.


elementary OS still is the most attractive (though it took them six years to produce a 0.4 release and it's going to be a while before it stops being just a tad too rudimentary), and GNOME 3 is better than Unity (inasmuch as Unity and/or GNOME 2 is what stopped me liking Ubuntu before) but currently I'm thinking the LXDE interface is functional enough to be the winner.

 bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 24, 2017, 02:38:38 AM
Lubuntu ftw.

This one installation of 32 bit lubuntu 16.04.2 LTS has yet to seize up and require a reboot. (Well, Tixati did seize up that one time and it took out the mouse with it, but everything else stayed operational long enough for me to find out how to work the terminal and kill a seized program.) Indeed, the whole installation has stayed functional entirely long enough for me to start finding out about actual workflow. (I used this machine to gather and grade that assload of makeup exams - and it worked fine.)

I have mentioned this before, but the test machine is an old Thinkpad SL400 (Intel Core 2 Duo), which technically is nearly ten years out of date. But it has an NVIDIA GPU, 2GB RAM, and a 120GB SSD, so it's not that crappy.

What do other people run Linux on? I don't know.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 25, 2017, 05:48:38 AM
And finally, a China-specific question: fcitx or Sogou?

Personally, I've always assumed Sogou Pinyin beams information back to the mothership. Meanwhile, fcitx Sunpinyin seems to work fine as a way of writing Chinese characters so I'll go with that one.

Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 15, 2017, 09:34:30 AM
QQ on Ubuntu?

Do I even want to know? The internet tells me QQ for Linux is basically discontinued and the appropriate alternative is use Wine QQ from Kylin or Android QQ with an emulator. Is there anything more internationally straightforward?
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 21, 2018, 06:51:56 AM
I want to like Linux, but nvidia driver issues suck the life out of everything
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 26, 2019, 12:57:20 PM
Installing Arch Linux sucks all the parts of everything unless you remember to put all the China mirrors (https://www.archlinux.org/mirrorlist/?country=CN&protocol=http&protocol=https&ip_version=4) at the top of /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

that is all
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 05, 2019, 12:15:25 PM
Manjaro Mate

sucketh less than other installations.


Still cartoony.

I've been thinking of Linux desktop environments as computer interfaces rather than user interfaces.
Title: Re: Linux - the adventure begins...
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 28, 2019, 10:11:05 AM
Debian Xfce

i like Manjaro better on principle because no more ppa nonsense, but being that famous thing, a rolling release, it is the forever download option. Debian being the rarely download and tutt-tutt don't ppa option, might well be the right compromise.

Also, out of the box I like the Brisk menu on Mate until there being no way to customize starts to suck and the Whisker menu on Xfce starts to shine.

if LibreOffice didn't seem to suck so much relative to Microsoft Office (and XPS Office weren't so abandonware nor so suspect because of it's origin), I think I might well have found my preferred distribution.