Aug 29, 2008

My Ubuntu

This time I am going to list and discuss all of the cool things that makes using linux Ubuntu so pretty and so fun. We will go with form over function and talk about the pretty things first.

Compiz Fusion and Metacity are the two main "window managers" in ubuntu. They control the rules that windows follow and how they behave on screen. Compiz comes with every beautiful option in the book and is very, very pleasing on the eyes. However, compiz does get into fights with some full screen apps, so I would be sure to remember this handy code: "metacity --replace" which can be entered from the run app menu(alt + F2) or from the command line. If using compiz you can use the Emerald Theme Manager to make your windows truly stunning, just do a quick google search to see all of the cool and pretty themes for your windows.

Here is a cool Compiz & Emerald Demo video

Also, every color, icon, pointer, splash screen, and anyhting else you can think of can be suited to your tastes. I've been through an ocean phase where everything was set to remind me so much of the ocean I could almost smell it. I've had a communist red set-up, dark set ups, Macintosh clone (looks just like a mac book :P), and even a set up to look exactly like Windows XP!

And now for the FUNCTION! Why on earth would you leave your super comfortable zone of Windows (or maybe even Mac) for something as nerdy as linux? Ubuntu is the answer, and you will love it if you give it a shot. Here are the highlights:

-Everything is free, F-R-E-E. Open source software is free, so anyone can use it and it gets updated quite often.

-Resources! Ubuntu can run REALLY well even on old computers. Maybe that PC in your attic deserves another chance.

-If there is a program for it in Windoze, then there is an app for it in Ubuntu. Like Photoshop? Try GIMP. Microsoft Office, try OpenOffice, AbiWord, Kexi, and many other office suites/applications.

-Games? There are a TON of free games. They may not be the most cutting edge, but there are ways around that... Emulators to play Playstation One and Two games, Super Nintendo, and just about any other system you could want... On your computer. And if you absolutely need those windows games, try WINE (windows emulator), VirtualBox, or dual booting.

-Compatibility. Ubuntu is AWESOME at picking up new hardware, devices, printers, wireless cards et cetera. If it doesn't get picked up right away google it, odds are that some one has had the problem already and a solution exists. Unlike Windows, people involved with Ubuntu and Linux WANT to help each other and share innovation and solutions.

-Penguins. The official mascot of Linux. They are damn cute.

-Upgrades and Updates. These are easy and pain free. You RARELY have to restart your computer

-Security. This one is the hardest for new users to understand. People ask: "Where do I get antivirus for Ubunut" and the answer is "NOWHERE!" There are no anti virus, spyware, malware, or any other of those kind of applications because there are not any viruses, spyware, or malwares for linux. This is because of the way Linux works. On windows, a program has permission to change it's envirnoment to make it run. It can tell itself to turn on at start up, to add itself to different places and so on. On Linux, every program needs permission (you typing in your password) to be installed, to change settings of the computer etc. So without you the program can't do much. It doesn't need to work as hard either because Linux uses shared libraries of program parts(think of it as gears) and windows programs bring all of the parts with them. So if two programs on windows are almost the same, they double up on a lot of parts. On linux they share, and so they save space and are more secure. Whew!

If you know me personally, and you switch to Ubuntu, I will help you with all of your problems and help you get used to the new operating system. People with windows, you're on your own :P The newest release of Ubuntu, Intrepid Ibex just came out. For those of you who would like to try it pain free, try a LiveCD(download and burn to CD) or Wubi(install into windows like a program).

I hope you try this out and enjoy it as much as I do!

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