James Selvakumar’s Blog

December 13, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 – A Productive Java Development Environment

I recently started using Ubuntu 8.10 at my workplace as well. Till then, I have been using Ubuntu only at home. For me, Ubuntu@Work was very different from Ubuntu@Home. I mostly surf, blog, listen to music and play some games at home. But Ubuntu@Work was a completely different scenario.

Since I’m new to this linux stuff, it took me some time to configure things like static ip address, host names etc. But once everything was setup, things started moving quickly. I initially had doubt in my minds about the font rendering of NetBeans (or any swing app for that matter) under linux. I even wrote an post showing my frustration with NetBeans font rendering when compared to Eclipse. But with jdk.1.6.10, font rendering is smooth and NetBeans works like a champ! You can see some samples here:

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December 7, 2008

Beyond Wubi…

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:27 pm
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In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I installed Ubuntu 8.10 in my machine via Wubi. Before that, I was playing around with some *nix distros with the help of VirtualBox which ran on Windows XP in my machine. Wubi was very helpful in installing Ubuntu side by side with Windows XP which still is my primary operating system. So if you are new are still a Windows user but pondering to try linux in the safest possible way, Wubi is probably the simplest choice available. If you haven’t already tried it, I encourage you to go for it. You won’t be discouraged.

After playing around with my Ubuntu 8.10 installed inside a virtual harddisk, courtesy Wubi, I felt that I should go for a full installation. Though Wubi gives you a perfectly working Ubuntu system, it should not be compared to a full fledged installation. For example, certain features like “Hibernation” are not available when you install Ubuntu through Wubi. Wubi’s primary objective is to encourage Windows users to try and enjoy Ubuntu. At the end, when you are comfortable with Ubuntu, it’s time for a complete installation. And that’s exactly what I did.

I have attempted for a full installation before but I was always scared whenever I come across the “partition” page. And being a Windows user, I never understood terms like “dev/sda1”, “/home” etc. But after playing around with VirtualBox and Wubi, I felt comfortable enough to go ahead.

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November 26, 2008

Ubuntu time-saving tips

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 2:32 pm
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I happened to read a nice article which precisely explains many good tips to new ubuntu users. I must admit that I learnt many new things from it. If you are a Ubuntu newbie you might like this article. But if you are a linux geek, then this might not amuse you. Here is the link for the article:

50 amazing Ubuntu time-saving tips

November 24, 2008

Getting better results with WUBI

Filed under: opensource,ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:03 pm
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WUBI dramatically reduces the gap that prevents windows users to try Ubuntu. If you are wondering what WUBI is all about, you may get some idea from my post “WUBI – A wonderful little gem that helps windows users to try Ubuntu“. Yes, with WUBI, installing Ubuntu is just like installing Firefox or Thunderbird on a windows machine.

Well, while there are so many great things that WUBI offers, there is one drawback that can make eyebrows rise. WUBI downloads the latest “iso” image from the web automatically when you run it. There is nothing wrong with that and infact this is what makes WUBI a very very easy tool to use. Then what really is wrong with WUBI?

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November 17, 2008

Good news for Google Talk users on Linux

Yesterday I asked my wife to chat with her mother using my new Ubuntu 8.10 and she happily accepted it. She quickly picked up pidgin and started chatting. But then she asked me, ” I want to speak to my mother, how can I go about?”. I told her that with pidgin you can only do text chat and voice chat facilities are not supported in pidgin. When she asked me, “Why don’t you just install Google Talk?”, I replied her, “Google Talk is not yet available for Linux”. She just went to her Windows XP notebook. Looks like I missed a major oppurtunity to convert my wife to Ubuntu.

I too love Google Talk and I miss it whenever I use Ubuntu. Most of my friends have google talk account but I was able to only chat with them by sending text messages from either Pidgin or Gmail. Though many Google products like Google Earth, Picasa are now available in Linux, Google Talk is not yet there and many Linux users like me need it very badly.

Read the rest of the post from SolitaryGeek.

November 15, 2008

Customizing Ubuntu to provide stunning looks

Disclaimer:
This blog is intended to help those who are new to the linux world (like me). So if you are a long time linux user, you might perhaps know/used the concepts explained here, but you can help me by providing your valuable comments and suggestions.

I recently installed Ubuntu 8.10 in my notebook using Wubi. As a result I started using Ubuntu regularly at home and Windows XP at office. But as I used my Ubuntu more and more, I felt the pain of living with Ubuntu’s default font rendering, especially when I browse using firefox. I tried all the options available under the “fonts” section in “Appearance Preferences” with no fruitful result.

Then when I started looking around for solutions, I came to know from this nice article that certain “font rendering features” were turned off in Ubuntu by default due to some legal reasons. The article went ahead and suggested a solution, which I successfully implemented in my Ubuntu. So, if you are struggling with fonts in your Ubuntu, please follow the steps mentioned in the article “Enable Smooth fonts on Ubuntu Linux“.

Ok, now my fonts look great and the web pages I surf looks the same as it use to be in Windows. But I don’t like the default brown theme of my Ubuntu. So I looked for other options in the “Appearance Preferences” window but none could satisfy me. So I started surfing around to find some alternatives.

But luckily I came across a great site called “www.art.gnome.org” which contains tons of themes for the gnome desktop. There is a section called “Desktop Themes” which contains so many options. I quickly found out that there are so many things you configure in your desktop like “Application” or “Control”, “Window Border”, “Icons”, “Login Manager”, “GTK Engines” etc. By making use of these themes you can customize the look and feel of your Ubuntu desktop much like how you configure firefox with various themes.

Read the rest of this post from SolitaryGeek.

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