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Old 12-29-2007, 03:27 PM   #21
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Vicenzo - WOW - you know I've been away from the hard-core computing stuff for years and remember when graphics was the BYU application (used it in undergrad - was considered state of the art). That video was phenomenal. Now I know if some MD sees it, they'll want me to 'make it happen.' Imagine being able to do that with all kinds of medial images and information......WOW.
Yeah, I was impressed with it too when I first saw it. Had to get it for myself. It took a little setting up, but I don't mind that sort of stuff. You're right, something like this for medical imaging and info would probably be helpful - I'd be surprised if it didn't already exist.

Um....BYU? Sorry, can you fill me in? I remember back in high school (1982-83) when we used the Commodore PET with tape drives :-). We certainly have come a long way since then.
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:39 PM   #22
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Oh dear god, thats some old stuff. IIRC that was a wireframe based graphics plotting package for a VAX Lisp based numerical computation package? Wow, that must be from the late 70's.

Some of the newer user interface stuff that the demo shows is the answer to that question "Why do I need dual and quad core computers again?"
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:28 PM   #23
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Some of the newer user interface stuff that the demo shows is the answer to that question "Why do I need dual and quad core computers again?"
I know this was said with a winky/smiley face, but just for the sake of information - a close variant of Compiz Fusion called Beryl (the Beryl project merged with the Compiz Fusion project) runs quite comfortably on my 4-5 year old laptop with a Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor and 2 gigs of RAM.

Again, it serves no real purpose other than eye candy. It's a toy I enjoy
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:57 PM   #24
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Once I manually removed all the vestiges of the 'bad' flash install and manually untarred and installed the .115 version by hand, all was well.
Yeah, Linux never quite seems to get to the brain dead simple level I would like. Messing around with tarballs isn't too bad but keeping after the upgrades and conflicts when you do is a king size PITA. If I ever decide to switch to Ubuntu for my main desktop I will probably get pretty vexed by issues like that. In the meantime I try to keep everything tied to the automatic package installer.

But that Compiz Fusion stuff is pretty cool. I passed on Beryl on my current Linux boxes since they are low end but when I swap out my current XP desktop...
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:40 PM   #25
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I found a cool app called Automatix that automates the install of a whole bunch of applications like google earth, picasa, skype, etc. Smoothed out a bunch of that and made it a one step process. Nice.
I think the use of Automatix is deprecated nowadays, from what I read on the Ubuntu forums. It is advised to stick to apt-get or aptitude (the latter will track down dependencies, I believe), or the graphical package manager.

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I had one...aggravating...pain in the butt...annoying situation around the Flash player.[...]
I've had similar problems with the PDF viewer. After the latest major system upgrade a couple of months ago, the system default viewer (evince) lost the ability to display Japanese text properly. I had to install Adobe's acroread, and then figure out how to install the fonts needed for it (the instructions from Adobe are not correct for Ubuntu), and even now it only works about three-quarters of the time. At least I can now read my brokerage statements again, but I have to find a better solution at some point...

The prior major upgrade broke the wireless network for a while.

So yeah, there are always little problems like this, that seem especially likely to show up during the major upgrades -- and there is a major upgrade every 6 months, so it's always something. And the refusal to bundle by default all the needed codecs and stuff for multi-media use is annoying, though I assume there is some legal concern involved. Overall, though, I figure I am getting my money's worth. And at least most problems do seem to get solved relatively quickly, unlike some commercial OSes I won't mention.
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:44 AM   #26
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I just got my "One Laptop Per Child" in the mail. It has some sort of custom Linux OS with specialized apps including a stripped down browser. With its excellent wifi acquisition capabilities, 6 inch screen, green plastic cover and cute carrying handle this will be my travel laptop. It has some weird custom application I can't figure out. Makes me want to sign Tom Leher's New Math - "it's so simple, so very simple, that only a child can do it."
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:29 PM   #27
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I used Ubuntu Dapper Drake (version 6.06) with Gnome for awhile. I setup MythTV and also used it as a server. Worked very well for me until I upgraded to HD cable. I was surprised that all the hardware drivers worked immediately. I did have to change some of the repositories to get the functionality I wanted. The system worked great as a video recorder, server, and for basic applications like web surfing, email, file serving, and apache. I'd still be running it but I found the photo apps, video apps, and dvd burning was limiting (could be my dvd drive which is old). I switched back to XP for now. I see that they've released three new versions in 18 months. I hope they are focusing on basic functionality, error handling, and stability as opposed the eye candy that apple and microsoft are releasing.
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:04 PM   #28
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I didnt really dig into using additional or different repositories. Seemed like kind of a pain in the butt, choosing the repositories, adding the keys, a few extra steps. Heck, just wading through the disclaimers about "this is NOT associated with ubuntu!" "This may NOT be open source" and so forth was a major chore.

Theres something to be said with automatic updates in windows.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:18 AM   #29
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My peeps swear by ubuntu. But I have not used it myself.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:26 PM   #30
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Some stuff seems to be done differently than windows just for the sake of being different. Thats not a plus to me. Putting stuff like the clock and the gnome equivalent of the 'start' button up top instead of on the bottom...
This is configurable - right-click on each panel, select Properties, and change the Orientation to Top or Bottom as desired. My preference is to reverse the defaults as well.

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Some other stuff sort of requires that you know what you want or want to do and presuming something is the way it oughta be for most people is a bad idea. There is no firewall installed by default. Telnet is wide open.
Just to note, I believe iptables firewalling is installed by default; however it's not enabled (doesn't contain any filtering rules), and I don't know if it has a user-friendly GUI to configure it instead of manually editing the config files. By default it shouldn't be running services that listen for network connections such as the telnet server, so if you go for the default install it's not that insecure. But I think they should have enabled the firewall by default in case people do turn on such services. (But do you really still have a need for telnet instead of ssh?)

Glad you're posting your experience. I'm interested in how many of the linux distros come across to folks who aren't regular users.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:01 PM   #31
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Yep, i moved all the stuff to where 90% of the rest of the computing world has it. Wasnt that hard...in fact I moved the toolbar that was on top to the bottom by accident.

There was a firewall package installable by the Synaptics download manager, so I put that in. Never did go back to look at any of the logs to see if anything was getting picked up.

Had a major fight with the graphics/monitor properties section. The default install put a driver on my integrated i945 graphics chip that starts with "experimental mode sett...". Havent figured out yet how to see the rest of what comes after the '...'. When I told it I wanted to manually configure a driver for the i945, it put in a driver for the old i810 which doesnt do the 1440x900 resolution capability of my monitor. It blinked out to the standard VESA driver at some low resolution on the next reboot. I put the 'experimental' driver back and reset the resolution, but it defaulted back to the vesa driver and low resolution on the next reboot. So I did each separately with a reboot in between and it stuck this time.

Seems to me that I'd do fine with this as a sole OS if I actually read all the documentation and researched what didnt match up, and also given the fair amount of (old) unix experience I have. Its kind of amusing how little things have changed in all this time.

After the hour or so of time trying to fix what I broke in the graphics area, I was starting to feel like I was back in the windows 98 days when stuff almost worked most of the time but you had to force a few things and deal with a lot of weirdness. But then I had a fight with Vistas readyboost feature that went on for a couple of days and that was a bit of a moderating influence on my opinion.

What I think I'll do is keep ubuntu on my spare partition with the dual boot, keep using vista, but delve into tweaking the freebie when I have spare time. Maybe I'll try one or two of the other distributions to see how they work out, or try the KDE version of ubuntu.

Still about at the same opinion: if I had a machine with no OS license on it and I just wanted to do browsing, email and generic Office apps, and I didnt mind doing a little reading to figure out how to do other stuff and deal with strange new apps...I'd use ubuntu in a heartbeat. Not seeing any compelling reasons to eject XP or Vista over it, but I'd probably chuck windows 95 or 98 in favor of it.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:09 AM   #32
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Still about at the same opinion: if I had a machine with no OS license on it and I just wanted to do browsing, email and generic Office apps, and I didnt mind doing a little reading to figure out how to do other stuff and deal with strange new apps...I'd use ubuntu in a heartbeat. Not seeing any compelling reasons to eject XP or Vista over it, but I'd probably chuck windows 95 or 98 in favor of it.
That is about the same way I feel and why I put Linux on old beater PCs. I also figure that I should probably keep up with MS since 90% of others use it and I don't want to be completely out of touch with them.
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