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Old 08-23-2006, 11:11 PM   #1
legacyprog
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Registered: Feb 2004
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Question Suggestions for fun projects for a Linux newb to get feet wet?


I recently installed Suse 10.1 Gnome on a spare PC (1.6 Gig HP). I got Samba working and have scheduled a backup of my system. I'm a professional "mainframe" programmer who likes doing fun PC software projects at home. In the past they have been Windows projects, I want to get my feet wet in Linux.

Yes, I realize there are endless possibilities, but to narrow it down...what would folks suggest for someone who has 1) limited time to tinker, 2) that would be fun and 3) would only require newb Linux skill levels?

In case it matters to anyone's answer, my PC programming projects in the past have been in Delphi, 808x Assembler and some VB and Java. I have curiousity/interest in AI. Also, a "project" to me doesn't have to entail programming. I am also interested in personal productivity, desktop themes, some arcade games, using my PocketPC (but I don't suppose that's connectable to Linux) and in general what you'd expect a middle aged geek to like.

Thanks in advance for any links or suggestions.
 
Old 08-23-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
corfe
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I personally enjoyed working with acpid to configure my computer's power button to play / pause MP3's. It's a pretty basic project to "get your feet wet", and it comes in handy when playing full-screen games sometimes.

I also liked making various scripts to run when certain USB devices were plugged in - look up "hotplug".

Of course, the classic thing to do if you're feeling confident is download a CVS version of some open source program, and start playing with the code - then submit a patch if you think you made an improvement!
 
Old 08-24-2006, 12:31 AM   #3
firedance
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Make your desktop perfect (lots and lots of eyecandy )

You could start a programming project in perl, it's an exelent language (of what i have seen yet, i am learning it myself right now)

Also, are all your mouse buttons working, Are they all doing something? Is your graphics card working? You could try another wm (like fluxbox)
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:14 PM   #4
legacyprog
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Thanks very much for the replies! I was hoping folks wouldn't see my question as too lame.

corfe: acpid and hotplug look real cool...the site I found even mentioned an HP Pavilion which by coincidence is my Suse machine. I didn't think I wanted to get into working with the source to Linux (skill and time limitations) but you make a good point that if I just looked at an open source *program* then it might be more manageable...don't expect to see any patches checked in by me soon, though.

firedance: I'm not 100% sure I know what you mean about the perfect desktop. I certainly installed some screensavers and adjusted the theme. All my Logitech mouse buttons work, including the scroll wheel, but you're right about my video card! My ATI Radeon 7500 is too old for the proprietary Linux drivers (at least I think so). I'll put that on the list of things to look into again later. Yes, I've heard of perl, and ruby and python...I haven't delved into them enough to know the relative advantages. Never heard of fluxbox...I'm not clear on the relationship between Gnome, X Windows and something like fluxbox, but I'm sure a drink from the Google firehose will help.

Thanks again for taking the time to share these ideas!
 
Old 08-24-2006, 09:32 PM   #5
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legacyprog
My ATI Radeon 7500 is too old for the proprietary Linux drivers (at least I think so). I'll put that on the list of things to look into again later. Never heard of fluxbox...I'm not clear on the relationship between Gnome, X Windows and something like fluxbox, but I'm sure a drink from the Google firehose will help.

Thanks again for taking the time to share these ideas!
Your right about that I had a 7500 AIW and it was useless trying to get the drivers to work with it. Gnome is a desktop environment that runs on top of the X server, Fluxbox is just a different environment on top of X you can have multiple desktops installed and switch between them until you find the one you like the best. For you PocketPC you mention above you can sync to it an article explains some of it and if you want with the right model put linux on it as well an older article.
 
  


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