Tag Archives: linux

Installing new, quirky apps under Linux

First off, you need to go through a bit of a cultural shift. When you’re looking for/at quirky, little apps; you should be for the Linux version.Secondly, installing and maintaining all your apps under Linux tends to be easier than under Windows. Yes, I said easier. In Windows, you find application “XYZ” on a website. You download a ZIP file and extract it to find an EXE. You run the EXE and it installs, but the program doesn’t run. Why? You’re missing something. It might be Microsoft’s .NET, Java, DirectX, etc…. Only it’s highly unlikely XYZ will tell you in plain English what went wrong. More likely, the app will just die without reporting an error. Then you’re off to Google to figure out what went wrong. Or if XYZ will run, it has no way of knowing when a new version is available or at best it can check their website for updates and when one comes out; you have to download, unzip and install the new version of XYZ (possibly uninstalling the old version first). Since you’re used to this, it doesn’t seem like much but it’s actually a complex operation.

Now let’s compare that to installing/maintaining apps under Linux (specifically Ubuntu). First off, you should enable the extra repositories and after doing so you suddenly have thousands of apps you can install with a few clicks in Synaptic. With the added bonus of Ubuntu automatically checking for updates to every single one you install and then enabling you to update all of them with a couple of clicks. And if some app you want to install requires other packages, then Synaptic will download and install those for you automatically. For the occassional app that is not include in the extra repositories, many 3rd party developers who work on Linux will provide their own repositories which you can add to your sources.list in Synaptic, which gives you all the same benefits as apps in the official repositories. True, there are still other 3rd party developers who don’t provide repositories but for some of these there are sites like Get Deb which offer pre-compiled DEB files for you to use in installing a given app. DEB files serve the same purpose as the installation EXE you download for Windows apps. Lastly, there are those developers where all they provide is the source code. For these, you can generally find detailed instructions on how to compile the app to use it. Though, I’ve been using Linux full-time for about 5 years now and I’ve yet to find a must-have app which was only provided in source code form that I had to compile.

In reply to More Linux at Desperados Under the Eaves.

HowTo: Install Windows Vista in 2 Minutes

Do you have a new computer that doesn’t run Windows Vista? Do you need step-by-step instructions on how to install it? Then watch this great YouTube video for instructions.

Then go download and install a proper OS, like Ubuntu.

Dang Computers

I finished my evening in front of ye olde boob tube1 at 10 and was thinking about heading to bed early. I decided just before doing so I’d go read some email, maybe run CastPodder and grab some stuff to listen to at work. That was nearly two hours ago and I’m still not continuing on my way to bed. *sigh* I really should learn my lesson and stop thinking I can hit up the crack pipe use my computer for a just a few minutes. On the bright side, my last run of APT-GET updated amaroK which fixed an annoying crash I’d been experiencing for the last week or so. Also, I setup amaroK up to use the MySQL backend and it’s massively faster than using SQLite. The only downside is that somewhere along the way of my manual attempts to fix the crash, updating to the latest/greatest and switching the MySQL backend; amaroK “forgot” which songs I’ve already listened to. This brings my playlist of “new” music to just under 3,000 tracks2.

1 T.V. for you little whipper-snappers.
2 This playlist excludes podcasts, audiobooks and the like but does include music that is podsafe or ripped from CDs that I own.

amaroK & Magnatune

As has been noted on this blog multiple times, I use Linux. Specifically, I use SuSE Linux. For my desktop environment, I use KDE. There are several music players available for KDE but the one that is far & away the best is amaroK. It’s got some great organizational tools, a cover manager and can even copy songs to your iPod. It rocks and if you listen to music under Linux; you’re missing out if you’re still using XMMS.

Another thing I like is Magnatune. This is a website that allows you to listen to MP3s of all the albums they offer for sale as CDs, plus they let you podcast with their music without paying for some ridiculous license. They’ve got a wide selection of music (e.g. blues, ambient, rock, medieval, etc…) and when I’m looking for something new to listen to; they’re the first place I go.

In fact tonight, I started poking around their site for some new music when I ran across this post on their founder’s blog:

A few months ago, the developers of amaroK (the amazingly gorgeous music player for Linux and Unix, that really does give iTunes a run for its money) asked me about Magnatune cooperating on their new release of their version 1.3. Their idea was to make a self-booting linux image, that boots into a linux desktop, with amaroK running and some Magnatune music included.

It’s like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, they’re getting peanut butter (Magnatunes) mixed in with my chocolate (amaroK)! Nice move people! 😀

Pukka’s Links of the Week

The last PLotW never happened because I was too lazy to post it. :p Sorry about that.

From Pukka:

Not from Pukka:

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