Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A victory for Linux

I always told my friends at university that Linux was good, and that it was better than Windows (for me), although I used the Microsoft operating system too. But as I stated on a previous post, I ditched Windows not long ago.

What has been quite surprising is that now five of my friends are using Ubuntu on their machines because Windows caused them too many problems, so they decided to give Linux a go. They liked it and are now using it, but take in account that they're computer science students, so they know their way around computers (in theory).

Other two friends are considering making the switch. They always ask me what Linux distribution they should install, and I always say "Ubuntu", simply because it works alright on most machines, and it's relatively easy to use and maintain.

These guys are somewhat knowledgeable about Windows, but one of then didn't even know how to partition a hard drive. Still, that didn't stop him and I helped him to install Ubuntu on his laptop. It worked alright, but the wireless network didn't work, and I told him I'd help him out later, but that he should search the Ubuntu forums and google to see if he could figure it out on his own. Today he told me he got it working and that made me feel good, because they're learning the ropes of a new system on their own.

The whole point of this post is that you can help the whole open source / free software movement by just using it. Sooner or later your friends or someone you know may become curious and discover this new world where (almost) everything is free, it works, and there is a big community of people willing to help you out with your problems. Not all is bad in the Linux world.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Ubuntu effect

Ever since I switched to ubuntu I've noticed my chronic torrent-downloading habbit has decreased by leaps and bounds. I think this is in part because there is a lack of decent bittorrent clients on linux. I know there is azureus, but it consumes a lot of ram and I haven't had the best of experiences with it on ubuntu.

There's hope though, and it's not uTorrent, but it's close. It's a client called Transmission. It's small, fast and sleek. It works really good, and I get the same speeds I achieved with azureus on windows xp, so no problems there. Still, there seems to be a problem with Transmission and some tracker sites, like demonoid. This bug (I think is a bug) makes your ratio go up or go down, so it's risky, but this has been reported with the svn unstable version (0.7.x I think), so if you're having problems just downgrade to 0.6.1 and you're good to go.

If you're searching for a nice bittorrent client on ubuntu just do sudo apt-get install transmission-0.6.1 and try it out!

Human stupidity

Today on the newspaper I was reading about a girl from pakistan who was murdered (beheaded) by her own father. He did it because she was living with an italian man, she smoked and had a tatoo, and refused to marry one of her cousins in pakistan, as the family had arranged.

The mother said her daughter was a "bad muslim", and that she dishonored the family. That may be ok, but not enough reason to kill your own daughter. It seems to me that the guilty ones here are the girl's parents, because if they wanted to keep their home country traditions they shouldn't have left it in the first place. How can they expect their sons not to be influenced by the european/occidental culture they're exposed to every day?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Life with Ubuntu

A week ago or so I decided to ditch windowx xp on my machine. I would install one of the many popular Linux distributions floating around on the net and mentioned in distrowatch, a site I always visited for the fun of it. Anyway, windows saw the last of me some time ago, and I decided to install the Zenwalk linux distribution, which is based on Slackware linux, but I had some problems with it, regarding it's hardware detection (sound), and its bootloader (lilo). The thing is that Zenwalk made things harder for me, because when it installs lilo, it gets stuck on your hard drive's mbr, and won't go away, so I had to boot up with a windows 98 (gasp!) boot diskette to erase the mbr, which is my rather primitive way of doing it.

Anyway, after wiping clean my mbr I installed ubuntu, the 6.06 LTS release. I was planning on using the xfs filesystem, as its very efficient and has support for ├╝ber large files, but a bug in the installer, related to grub I guess, prevented me from using that filesytem. Anyway, after settling on reiserfs all went smoothly.

After the initial setup, I went ahead and began to use the preloaded software. The distro is not bloated, it has one application for each use, and its very easy to install new software by using the synaptic package manager or the terminal (a wee bit more advanced). What impressed me was the automatic updates and that the system notified you if you had packages that could be upgraded, but this proved to be hell when the dreaded xorg update came about, but that's another story.

The main problem with ubuntu was its instability concerning the nvidia driver setup, because everything was correctly configured, yet it wouldn't load with the correct screen resolution and it became quite annoying.

To make the long story short, I ended up screwing the system, rendering it unusable, and then I tried reinstalling, but the same problem kept happening. So I decided to download the alternate install cd image, which provides a text installer rather than the live cd graphical installer. I fired it up in expert mode and it gave me the choice to configure my xserver beforehand, so I just picked the resolutions I wanted and presto, on the first boot I had my precious resolution correctly set up and working! After that all has been ubuntu love!


Welcome to the Tux -o- Blog, where I'll post random thoughts, guides and how-to's, etc. about the linux operating system. Also I'll post more general posts about me, my life and my thoughts. This is all for now, cheers!