Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Little Hitch

I created myself a problem just the other day. I am using Ubuntu 10.04 GNU/Linux, and the top panel wasn't showing me what I wanted to see, so I deleted it. I thought that it would be reinstated after I logged out or rebooted, but no, it wasn't. So there I am with a blank desktop, with just the bottom panel, which shows open programs, virtual desktops, and an icon to clear the desktop. Nothing to launch programs graphically.

The next day, I looked it up on the Internet, and read all about moving, resizing, adding and deleting panels, and how to add items to the panel. Last night, I created a new panel, then populated it with appropriate launchers, all by pointing and clicking. One of the items you can choose is called the 'Menu Bar', and it includes three drop-down menus. Now I am back in business. I have discovered that even with small hitches like this, and the ability to totally customize everything (which sometimes leads to confusion), I still like this version of Linux wa-a-a-ay better than Windows. It is just plain fun to use, plus I can do some development work, run a local web server, etc.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Day in Computing

Yesterday was a red-letter day for me. I ditched Windows Vista (Home Basic), and installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Linux as my one-and-only operating system.

I had been thinking about it for a while, trying out different programs, and working up my nerve to not use Spider Solitaire under Windows, with its cool graphics, ever again.

When I was about 97% sure I wanted to go for it, I started the process of backing up my files to a DVD. First, I was going to use the Windows Back-Up software, but it had so many restrictions on what it would back up, that almost put me at 100%. Then, I used Roxio CD/DVD Creator to make my backup, and it hung up, then wouldn't respond when asked to stop. That really pushed me over the top.

I inserted the CD of Ubuntu, and let 'er rip. Within about an hour, I had a basic, usable system. Today, I have been seeking out and installing some cool software that is not part of the basic system. You can do a lot of real work with the basics, but there are a few things I wanted. The first was GnuCash, an accounting program. I also downloaded Audacity, Gimp, a web server, a CD ripper, and some other interesting-sounding titles. When I was looking at GnuCash, I found two other "simple home banking" programs, and downloaded them, too. I plan to eventually set up a CMS package, such as Word Press or Drupal.