If you’re looking for a program that will make Ubuntu just a little easier to use when it comes to tweaking settings and installing software (not that it’s all to difficult in the first place) then check out Ubuntu Tweak.
“Ubuntu Tweak is an application to config Ubuntu easier for everyone. It provides many useful desktop and system options that the default desktop environment doesn’t provide. With its help, you will enjoy with the experience of Ubuntu!”
Here’s an idea on how to use one of those very old desktop computers, try installing Qimo, the first Linux distribution designed for Kid. Since it’s a version of Ubuntu Linux, it’ll pretty much run on anything that you can still boot. It comes with several programs and games for kids three and up. Additionally, “Qimo’s interface has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use, providing large icons for all installed games, so that even the youngest users have no trouble selecting the activity they want.” I’ve got it running in my office and it does work. I can’t say it’s something I’ll use daily but I can see the appeal. I’d love to hear back from someone who’s installed this and left it out for some children to play with.
Want to try Ubuntu Linux but don’t have a spare computer to install it on, or even the know-how to install multiple OSes on a single computer? Try running Portable Ubuntu off your flash drive instead. In this case, you end up running Ubuntu just as you would any other Windows application and then, within that, you have the ability to run any program within Ubuntu as if you’d installed it as a full OS. There couldn’t be an easier way to give this great free OS a try.
One thing I love about Linux/Ubuntu is its absolute extensibility. One easy way to extend the functionality of Nautilus (the standard file browser in Ubuntu) is to add scripts for added functionality. There are a few scripts (also called addons or extensions) in Synaptic – just go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager and search for Nautilus addon or extension. You can also find a wealth of scripts at G-Scripts and you can download a 125 of Nautilus scripts at one time. There’s also an article that explains how to use the scripts. You can also write your own scripts to help you automate your most common tasks.
Today (October 30th) sees a new version of Ubuntu released, version 8.10 (more commonly known as Intrepid Ibex). The release features lots of little improvements and a few bigger ones. A few I am looking forward to:
- The ability to create a bootable USB drive
- A system cleaner
- A new version of Nautilus (the file browser, like Windows Explorer) that brings tabbed windows and eject buttons for media
- A built in encrypted private directory
- Improvements in wireless (maybe I’ll finally be able to get my Vaio online!)
- Better multi-monitor support
- A guest login feature
- A new dark theme (see picture above)
More about these features can be found here and here.
I’m sure I will have more to say about these features once I uprade. It may seem unusual that I’m not downloading the first day- after all, there’s a way to do it via BitTorrent to speed it up, and I love new things. I have learned over past upgrades, though, that’s it’s better to wait a week for the dust to settle. Also, it’s best not to make changes to a perfectly working system in the middle of a big project- in my case, comprehensive exams, which I have this week.
pic by John Griffiths
Thanks to Michael for providing a great segue into my introduction here.
Hi, my name is Karin, and I am a Linux addict.
I wasn’t always this way. I used Macs for a while, and switched to Windows because computers that came with Windows were cheaper. I started using Linux because I had a spare computer but no spare Windows license- I’d heard about this free operating system and I figured “what the heck, I’ll give it a try.”
Now, I’m glad I did. There’s been a learning curve, but the learning has been worth it.
My posts here will try to focus on beginning Linux ideas and solutions – but please feel free to call me out if I get too technical. I still feel that I am just learning this stuff, but after two years I feel a tenuous mastery over Linux.
If you want to check out my distribution (flavor of Linux) of choice, Ubuntu, you can do so here: www.ubuntu.com. You can even request that a free copy of Ubuntu be sent to you in the mail by going here: shipit.ubuntu.com.