Posts Tagged “Linux”

linux

It is very rare that I delete a post after it is published. I made this rare exception yesterday.

The post was about a school teacher that reprimanded a student after he shared Linux disks with his fellow students.

The computers at my house run under Ubuntu Linux, NOT Windows.  Many Many people believe that computers only run on Windows or Mac OS/X.  These people also believe that all software costs something and if you give it to someone, you are doing an illegal activity.  Linux operating systems are almost always FREE, and many times out perform Windows.  If you want to see a computer desktop that puts Windows Aero to shame, let me show you Ubuntu Linux with Compiz.  WOW! And VERY cool!  Most of the applications that run on Linux are free also, and the process of installing the applications is usually a matter of  a click or two.

Here is a link to the original article.

You must read this follow up article also to make a fair analysis of the whole deal; and that is why I deleted my post about the whole bit.

In short, it is PERFECTLY LEGAL to copy and share Linux Operating System disks AND ENCOURAGED.

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The heavy and large HP Laserjet 4Si

The heavy and large (but inexpensive) HP Laserjet 4Si

Up to this point, our main computer printer has been a HP Photosmart D5360 inkjet. It is a very nice printer, but as you probably know, the price of ink is outrageous. I refill my own ink cartridges, which helps; but, that is a pain, and the whole deal is still expensive.

99 percent of what we print, does not need to be done with color.  My boss bought an old laser printer from the state surplus, and it works great to print those everyday things that don’t have to be in color.  Yesterday, I went to the monthly state surplus garage sale and picked up a huge behemoth old HP Laserjet 4Si laser printer for twenty bucks.  It also included a new toner cartridge that was still in the box. I figured, if it happened to work, it was a steal with the extra cartridge included.  I found prices for used Laserjet 4Si‘s on the Internet for $400 to $550 dollars refurbished, depending on what accessories were included.  This printer has the duplex module, and high speed parallel interface modules included, along with 8 megabytes of RAM.

I got some help putting it into my car.  When I got home, I used a hand truck to haul it into the house, and into our “library” where our family compter is located.  I dug around my junk box and found a centronics style parallel printer cable (since this computer interfaced with a parallel port), and plugged it in.  The printer seemed to power up correctly, and my hope rose.

I do not run the Windows operating system on our home computers.  They run on Ubuntu Linux.  I ran the printer configuration utility on Ubuntu, and it immediately recognized the printer as an HP Laserjet 4Si, and downloaded the proper driver for it.  Wow, “it just worked”!

I ran some test pages, and the printer ran perfectly.  Other than the paper cost, now my kids can print the stuff they want to print, and we have enough toner to last the life time of the printer.

I found the user manual on the Internet.  This printer prints on both sides, has slots for two paper trays.  I have two “letter” size trays and a “legal” size tray that will fit in it.  It has a slot for hand fed items like envelopes. What a deal!  We have a small table with a lamp on it next to our computer operating desk.  The printer fit nicely on the floor under the table.

Our HP Laserjet 4Si in our Library

Our HP Laserjet 4Si in our Library

Now, we can print all the stuff we want to, and use the more expensive inkjet printer when we need a nice color report or photo.  If you need an inexpensive printer for day to day printing, consider one of those old laser printers you see at that garage sale or auction.  If you can get it working, it will be well worth it. John.

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If you frequent McDougallsHome.net, you may have seen the widget displayed above. What is this “Ubuntu 8.10” thing?
Your computer, that you are looking at right now, has an “operating system” that controls the computer and runs the programs you want to run. On your computer, the operating system is probably Windows XP or Windows Vista. Ten percent of computers have an operating system called OS X. Those computers are Macs. Besides Windows and OS X, there are many other operating systems out there. One such system is called Linux. A few percent of personal computers have Linux on them. Ubuntu is a type of Linux and the computers in our house all have Ubuntu on them.
A new version of Ubuntu Linux is about to be released. It is version 8.10, meaning 2008, and the 10th month. This version representation is very nice when trying to determine what version of Ubuntu one has.
The neat thing about Ubuntu and most other Linux version, is that it is FREE. And almost all the programs that run on it are FREE. It is also EXTREMELY EASY to install new programs and to delete old ones. With the help of a free program called Compiz, the Desktop environment (what you see on the screen) is WAY COOL, with multiple desktops, that rotate from one to another. It has many special effects that are just plain neat!  Click the picture of my desktop above to see what it looks like.
Linux is also a safer operating system. Mostly because only a percentage of computer users use Linux, it is not a big target for virus’s and other bad stuff that happens so often on Windows computers. Our kids love it too.
So, I am excited about the new version of Ubuntu that is about to come out. If you are tired of expensive software, and bad malware, and want a cool looking desktop, try out Ubuntu.

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My old Toshiba comes back to life with Xubuntu Linux

My old Toshiba comes back to life with Xubuntu Linux

My Xubuntu desktop.  Clean, pretty, slow on my old computer, but very usable.

My Xubuntu desktop. Clean, pretty, slow on my old computer, but very usable.

(Updated – Original Post Sept 1, 2008)

I have a quite old Toshiba laptop. Carol and I are going on a missions trip to Moldova in October.  Many on our team to Moldova are bringing a laptop computer along so they can check e-mail, use Skype, and other stuff. My old computer had Windows 98 on it and has never been connected to the Internet. I decided I would try to breathe some new life into it so I can send e-mail and post to this web site from Moldova. It was quite a challange since it only has 128 MB of memory and I have about 2 Gigabytes of hard disk storage available. I decided to try a trimmed down version of Ubuntu Linux. I run Ubuntu on our desktop computers at home and there is a derivative of it called Xubuntu (Zoo bune too) that is supposed to be ideal for older computers. It requires 196 MB of memory and I only have 128 MB. I searched the internet and found a procedure to do the job.

I scratched my head for a couple of days trying to figure out how to do it, and with many failed attempts, I finally succeded. If you are a computer guru, this is what I had to do. I have an USB WIFI adapter that I had to plug into the only USB slot in the computer. I installed a command line version of Xubuntu. That means NO graphics, no desktop, no menus, etc. Once I had that installed successfully, I had to do some manual changes to some files so it would recognize my WIFI USB plugin. Then I had to install the graphical desktop and modify some other files. In the end, it worked!

The computer is very useful, but with such limited resources, I have to push a button and wait for the screen to draw all of its pieces, but it DOES work. In fact I am writing this post on it right now!
I am also testing out an e-mail system that I can use to send this to my blog and it will be posted. So really, you are reading an e-mail message I sent to the blog. Pretty nifty eh?

To see more information about our trip to Moldova, go to www.McDougallsHome.net/moldova . Click the blue and white box on the upper right to check out our daily posts about our preparations and trip to Moldova. John

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Have you wondered how I got those nice frames around my photos? And, how about the text or “watermark” with our web site lightly on the photos?  I use a great free program called FSResizer by FastStone.  Visit them at www.FastStone.org for several very handy photo tools.  FSResizer is specifically made for Windows.  I do not use Window, however.  Our family computer runs on Ubuntu Linux and FSResizer works wonderfully under Ubuntu with WINE.  WINE is a program that enables certain Windows programs to run under Linux.  How Cool!

Besides making frames around the photos, and putting a watermark on them,  FSResizer also does them in BATCH mode, that is, a bunch at one time.  FSResizer also will resize the photos, rotate them, crop them, change the canvas, color depth, and color adjustments.  It will change the number of dots per inch that the photo is made up of.  Give FSResizer a try, it is a real slick lightweight program that I couldn’t do without.

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