Saturday, December 3, 2016

Linux Update...A Ralph Post

Fiona has asked me to do an update on my use of Linux. I have taken a triple dose of blood pressure medicine so I can start with an anti-Microsoft rant. I hate Windows! It so so buggy. Everyone and his brother hacks the vulnerabilities of the windows operating system. Microsoft does updates when you don’t want it. Their updates break the system! The system costs you now and later. You have to buy new software when you already have that software – it just won’t work with the upgrade. And now, they lie in their advertising (I suspect). Their ad for the Surface Pro shows Golf course help for Gil or someone. They don’t mention buying the software to do that work. It sounds like Windows will do the work out of the box. The couple that met at a young age and married and are now doing animated movies. It sounds like you or I could use Windows to make animated movies just like they are doing – without buying anything. Or Beowolf doing Stage designs. Windows will do none of these things (my guess). But you can BUY software to do these things on Windows. I seriously doubt Windows can do any of these things. It didn’t years ago when I had Windows. You had to buy additional software to do just about anything. Email and web browsing and watching videos or listening to music is about it. Nothing major. And the prices are high for Windows and the software.

I bought a laptop. End of story. End of expenses. My operating system was free. My software was free. I can use Blender, Gimp, Inkscape, etc. free of charge.

inkscape - A vector-based drawing program using SVG​                             
Notice: This is an official update which is supported by ROSA.

Inkscape is a generic SVG-based vector-drawing program.

Inkscape uses the W3C SVG (= "Scalable Vector Graphics") standard as its native file format. Therefore, it is a very useful tool for web designers and can be used as an interchange format for desktop publishing.

blender - A fully functional 3D modeling/rendering/animation package.                                                                                                                       
Notice: This is an official update which is supported by ROSA.

Blender is the in-house software of a high quality animation studio. It has proven to be an extremely fast and versatile design instrument. The software has a personal touch, offering a unique approach to the world of three dimensions. Blender can be used to create TV commercials, to make technical visualizations or business graphics, to do some morphing, or to design user interfaces. Developers can easily build and manage complex environments. The renderer is versatile and extremely fast. All basic animation principles (curves and keys) are implemented.

gimp - The GNU Image Manipulation Program​
The GIMP is an image manipulation program suitable for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.  Many people find it extremely useful in creating logos and other graphics for web pages.  The GIMP has many of the tools and filters you would expect to find in similar commercial offerings, and some interesting extras as well.

The GIMP provides a large image manipulation toolbox, including channel operations and layers, effects, sub-pixel imaging and anti-aliasing, and conversions, all with multi-level undo.

This version of The GIMP includes a scripting facility, but many of the included scripts rely on fonts that we cannot distribute.  The GIMP ftp site has a package of fonts that you can install by yourself, which includes all the fonts needed to run the included scripts.  Some of the fonts have unusual licensing requirements; all the licenses are documented in the package.  Get them in if you are so inclined.  Alternatively, choose fonts which exist on your system before running the scripts.

(I went into the software management program to get the above information on blender, inkscape, and gimp. While there, I looked at the bottom of the home screen. There was an “update available” icon there. I have updates available. It did not update without my permission! I looked at the 6 updates available. I can see what the updates are. There is a box in front. If I check it and hit apply, it will update only the updates I have checked. I have no problem with any of the updates. I am going to update all 6 updates. I just saved this document. I am going to hit apply now. I am back. It took 2 minutes and 42 seconds for me to go to the software manager, click the 6 boxes, hit apply, it tells me I have to download 23 MB and it will use 37 KB additional disk space, it asks if it is ok to continue, I click yes, it downloads and installs all 6 program updates, checks for additional updates, there are none, I click ok and it closes the info box, I click on “all software”, it brings up all software categories, and I come back to OpenOffice to continue typing. 2 minutes and 42 seconds for all that. There was not any problems. Even with Linux, I save before updating. I could have continued working here while it was updating. I chose not to. By the way, that “Notice: This is an official update which is supported by ROSA” above , just says that my operating system (ROSA Linux) supports that software. They have thousands of programs they support, and thousands more they do not support, but offer. There are many thousands of programs I can download and install (if I want to). There are at least hundreds of variants of Linux. ROSA is just my current favorite. If I move from ROSA to Mint, Ubuntu, SUSE, PCLinuxOS, Debian, or whatever, I will have to download and reinstall any software I want. Most distro’s come with a standard load of programs. You can delete and add as you choose.)

Wow, it is hard to believe how much better I feel, now that I am off my high horse and Windows. Linux (for me) is just so much better. Let me do a check. I have:

5 – word processor/office type programs

29+ - audio programs (some also do video, some record, some manage gain, some convert formats, some do all, some will edit audio tracks, some do other things, and some are in the “I don’t know” category because I have never used them)

24+ - video and photo programs (some do panoramas, editing, recording, converting, transcode DVDs, Blu-Rays, etc.)

5+ - Web browsers

2 - astronomy programs

4+ - e-book readers

3 – You Tube downloaders

3 - disk backup programs

4 or 5 file managers

10+ - games (hundreds plus or more downloadable, I just don’t have time for them. But the Majhongg and palapali are my favorites. Palapali is a jigsaw puzzle game. You can select a photo from the internet or a photo file from your computer or one of the 8 or 10 that comes with the program. It will cut it up and make a jigsaw. You put it back together.

Plus another 1 or 2 hundred programs of one kind or another(terminals, editors of one kind or another, DVD recorders, downloaders, webcam programs, Tor or bittorrent programs, messengers, screenshot programs, etc).

Check out a couple of linux videos made using blender.  Big Buck Bunny   Elephants Dream 3D CGI ANIMATION SHORT FILM HD

Fiona uses gimp to resize, to crop, etc. photos for the blog. Gimp is comparable to Photoshop, just free.

As you can see, lots of programs are available. And they work. I have core programs I use “all the time”. The others were downloaded with ROSA or I downloaded them to see if they were better than my main standby. I just never deleted it. Or, I use it once in a while for a special feature.

I have several programs that are my go-to programs. I use Bibletime or Xiphos for Bible study. I usually use K3B or brasero to burn cd’s/DVD’s. I use shotwell or digikam to download photos/videos from the cameras. I use gmusicbrowser or rhythmbox or amarok or miro or guayadeque for music. I use VLC or smplayer for video. I use clipgrab to download you tube videos. I use calibre or FBReader for e-books. I use openoffice writer or textmaker for multiple page writing. I use abiword or calligra for short compositions. I use liferea for news feeds and podcasts and blog reading (it collects and displays all of my blogs/news feeds/podcasts on one screen, downloads/updates them all, and I select which one to view – all on one screen). I use firefox most of the time for my web browsing. Thunderbird for e-mail/calendar. I have skype – never used it. I use openoffice for spreadsheet and presentations. I use all of these at least once a week. Most, I will use daily, if not several times a day. I am sure Windows has similar programs, but I like my price tag better – free. And legal!

Bibletime/Xiphos has about 55 Bible versions in English, 24 commentaries, 3 devotionals, 22 lexicons and dictionaries, and 15 books. I did not knowingly find any muslim, hindi, etc. I can view four plus books/Bibles/commentaries/etc. at a time. It is easy to use.

ClipGrab is for You Tube/Vimeo/etc. I enter a name or an address. Hit enter. It searches the internet/You Tube for what I have entered. It displays 8 to 10 thumbnails. I select and it goes to the download screen. It locates the video. It then asks: “Grab this clip”. I click that tab and it asks me where to save it to. I set that. It downloads the video to that location, on my computer. I watch it when I want to. I think there could be some improvement to the program. It isn’t perfect on searching and will only display one page of thumbnails. I would like more on some searchesand more info while downloading. It is a hit 97% to 99% of the time. Windows may have something that works better, but it won’t beat the price! I have a little more at the end of a recent post.

Calibre. I like to read e-books. Calibre will download e-books, newspapers, magazines, PDF's, etc. from all over the world. For English, there are 443 entries. Plus, there are 2 Argentina English, 9 Australia English, 1 Bulgaria English, 30 Canada English, 5 China English, 23 India English, 42 UK English, etc. There are about 29 other countries with English downloads. Not all are free. The Wall Street Journal has two entries. One is paid, the other is free (excerpts - headlines with the first paragraph or two). If you want Croatian reading, they have 9 entries. Arabic has 4 entries. Basque has 1 entry. German has 99 entries. Hebrew has 6. Japanese has 20. Irish has 1 (not English - Irish). Marathi has 1. Polish has 182. Spanish has 69. But, there are Argentina, Bolivia,and 11 other Spanish (including Cuba - 2). Tagalog has 1. Turkish has 39. Unknown has 9 (including Klipme, Korben, wallabag, Zerocalcare, etc.). Don't ask me! And many other major and minor countries. You can set up automatic downloads (if your computer will be on). It will convert e-book formats for you. EPUB, Modi, AZW3. It can download books, periodicals, etc. from numerous sources.

miro - Miro Player                                                                                                                      
Internet TV player with integrated RSS and BitTorrent functionality. This is not tested or supported by ROSA. I don’t have this installed right now. It has a native link to view TED Talks. Too busy to view TED lately.

Guayadeque is a music management program designed for all music enthusiasts. It is Full Featured Linux media player that can easily manage large collections and uses the Gstreamer media framework. It will play mp3, ogg, flac, wma, wav, mpc, mp4, ape, … I particularly like this for Venice Classic Radio out of Venice, Italy. It is the best Classical station I have found.
OpenOffice and TextMaker are like Microsoft Office Word. They are quite indepth and powerful. I do my writing in one of these. I then save it to my computer. I then copy it and paste it into thunderbird and e-mail it to Fiona. She proof reads, edits, rewrite, adds photos, etc. before posting it. She makes me look a lot better than me. You don’t get to see the real me – warts and all. And my many thanks to her for her help. (Maybe she is just trying to hide the real me?)

Computers are computers. They are nothing but hardware. The operating system tells it how to work. The computer will not work without an operating system. It is just a high priced paperweight without an OS. It is like a gun with no ammo. Windows is an OS. So is Linux, Apple’s iOS and/or Mac OS, BSD, UNIX, etc. This site has a more complete list of OS’s:  Old timers can go back to Unisys, Wang, Univac, Tandy, Texas Instruments, Nintendo, NCR, IBM, Intel Honeywell, Google, General Electric, Fujitsu, Amiga, and a whole bunch of other OS’s. Linux is my ammo of choice!

Linux and Windows are like cars. Windows is like an automatic. It is what most people have and are comfortable with. Linux is a five speed manual. Most people don’t have it and don’t want it and don’t know how to use it. Their choice. Automatics cost more. Windows costs more. Linux (and manual’s) are more versatile and powerful. You have more control. But they are harder to learn. And most people avoid them. But, like a manual transmission, you will never learn until you take your time and learn to use it. And then, you look back and say: “that wasn’t so bad”. It can be real frustrating, like a manual transmission, when you are learning. And, like a manual transmission, it is not for everyone. Some will stick with their higher priced automatics. (I am old and out of touch – I assume automatics are still more expensive!)

Anyway, most of you are locked into Windows and its system and expenses. You won’t or can’t switch. I just wanted to let you know what is out there and that some people are switching. This is what I moved to years ago. And I am extremely happy with what I have. And so are most of you. By the way, android phones, set top boxes, appliances, gadgets, etc. are linux “appliances”. They are run on a variant of linux. Linux permits this, Windows doesn’t.

Whether you are in a Windows world, Apple world, a linux world, or somewhere else, we hope God is still smiling on you and at what you are doing.

Ralph and Fiona

PS: I guess I need to apologize to you for the test question at the end of the “input needed” post. Did you get it right? Did you not see the question? Do you need to go back and review? It was in the mosquito note. Oh, alright. I’ll go ahead and give you the correct answer. This really is an old one. Moses never took anything aboard the Ark. Noah did. Gotcha!!! You weren’t paying attention! We love you anyway.

1 comment:

  1. you are writing in an alien tongue but will have daughter read it. it is right up her alley.
    she has an older computer that she is putting linux in as she feels well enough to do ti.
    i think the gobbledy gook you have written here will be very interesting to her.
    two happy nerds!