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Wow. Linux has come a LONG way since Slackware 3.2

Posted 03-09-2010 at 11:35 AM by Raveolution

Yeah, that's when I started using Linux. Since then I've been on Slackware up to 9.1, and then mainly Redhat from then on, stopping at about RedHat 9 and then jumping back on around Fedora 7, then off again around Fedora 9, and now I'm running a fully upgraded install of Fedora 12. Well, it'll be fully upgraded when I reboot, which I am want to do whenever a kernel or X upgrade occurs. Other than that, it's been six SOLID weeks since I've booted this comp into Windows, and three days as far as my laptop is concerned. (Both run the exact same copy of the OS; the desktop is the fileserver and runs archives of all my work.)

Anyhoot. What is my reason for using Linux? To get away from Microsoft! Of course! Oh, and to answer a basic question... that being, how long can a power user or his wife and kids and in-laws go without booting into Windows?

The answer to that hinges on one critical issue: can you do in Linux what you can do in Windows? Well, so far, the answer is 95% yes, as far as everything we do is concerned.

Right now I'm having a bit of a problem getting xmms to work with its own equalizer and the pulse audio equalizer is a bit too horrendously powerful, but... wow.

Wow? Well, lemme explain. Two days ago I knew I could not convert wmv to easy-seek mpegs on Linux. Most of my time in Windows is spent using a few minor programs, plus four important programs Linux had no equivalent for, at least any that I knew of: yWriter, TMPEGenc, Imtoo DVD Ripper and Textpad. Then I discovered winff, an unfortunately named app that converts tons of formats to mpeg. THEN... I discovered the friggin' superweapons of video conversion... ffmpeg2theora, oggCat, and oggCut. Wrapped it up with the appropriate application of the 'find -execdir' command and a few other tricks and TMPEGenc went byebye. Forever. One more software I won't have to buy a new version of again, EVER. Oh and yeah, I also discovered ffmpeg2theora --optimize -a 10 etc etc. I kinda wish ffmpeg2theora was just a tad faster at HQ mode. Still, I'm seeing about a 50% reduction in file sizes for some stuff using --optimize. Oh, and ogv seeks like a dream.

Now all I have left to do is figure out how to reliably rip any future DVDs that I purchase. DVD::Rip is looking kind of strange to manage but I haven't ruled it out yet.

That leaves Textpad. Why Textpad? Because, for one, I can search for the word "foo" in every file in every subdirectory EVER from the search starting point. I'm a writer and I use this a LOT. TextPad is also marvellously easy to configure and amazingly powerful, even if it keeps itself simple when it needs to be. Right now I'm kinda stuck on nedit in Linux or using Wine to fire up TextPad.

Oh, and I would LOVE to get my hands on the Linux version of yWriter. Those of you who write novels, might know why.

The minor programs I have seen no replacement for? IrfanView. Why? Because I can mass resize a whole directory of jpegs to a max pixel size of 800 (width or length) while retaining their proportion - while also renaming them. Brutally efficient! I've been experimenting with ImageMagick's "convert" but I haven't seen a way to do things as efficiently as with IrfanView. For viewing thumbnails, KDE's dolphin or geeqie (long live gqview!!!) more than rocks my socks. Oh and I was deeeelighted to get my hands on the ol' "xv" program, too.

A few other minor but pleasant surprises I recently found: skype, vlc, smplayer, azureus vuze, some par2 utils, and the absolutely awesome vcdxrip for ripping ancient old anime vcds. Would love to be able to rip them to ogv in one swipe though.

I'm having a real bitch of a time, mainly, in getting my vnc to work. Actually, I can connect - that's not the problem. The problem is when I do connect, I get a frozen screen. If I type anything or do anything, I have to close the vnc viewer and reopen a connection to see what I did. Not good. At least, though, I can do work with the command line via ssh.

Oh, and Compiz FUSION? WTF. I haven't had this much fun since I fired up the Enlightenment desktop environment ages ago on Slackware. Okay now, though, time to give it a rest. It's pretty but it uses CPU resources like crazy when in rotating cube mode. Hmmmmm. Makes for killer screenshots, though. And the OpenGL mode seems to cut back on CPU usage versus the xrender mode. Thank God I listened to the advice of certain websites and installed rpmfusion's drivers. I can't imagine how nVidia's install (a dangerous little bomb which I have on my system waiting to install itself... er, time to delete!!!) could have screwed me. Don't wanna know.

Oh yes, and I forgot. When I booted into 32bit Windows XP, even PAE mode wouldn't let me see all 5 gigs of laptop RAM. Plus if I opened a buncha apps it started wonking out on me, not allowing more files to be opened, funky things happening with the graphics, refusing to open new apps... it probably had something to do with too many apps being open at the same time. Well, in Linux, I've got enough apps open right now to fill four virtual desktops, and a Wine/TextPad session with 25 open text files (for shiznits and giggles), plus OpenOffice with 4 open files. Linux is eating this workload like orange juice. And PAE mode shows I have 5 gigs of RAM. Woot. THAT, right there, is why I am not seeing a reboot into Windows any time soon.

Now, I'm off to find other apps/functionality I use in Windows that I need to access here.

Oh wait, yeah, I got Borderlands to start up in Linux. It crashed as it started up the opening scene with the Skag getting hit. It did not come up again. ARGH. I guess that's what the PS3 is for. Which reminds me, I gotta try mediatomb next...
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  1. Old Comment
    Because Linux owns. period.
    Posted 03-09-2010 at 01:41 PM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    What of vnc: what do you use as vnc server and client? You'd better post that on forum if you still having issues.
    Posted 03-09-2010 at 01:45 PM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by Web31337 View Comment
    What of vnc: what do you use as vnc server and client? You'd better post that on forum if you still having issues.
    I use the standard vnc that came with Fedora 12, whichever that is. I'd sure like to know how to customize it beyond just running krfb.
    Posted 03-10-2010 at 01:34 AM by Raveolution Raveolution is offline
  4. Old Comment
    try x11vnc server, it works perfect here. debian lenny.
    Posted 03-10-2010 at 03:18 AM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by Web31337 View Comment
    try x11vnc server, it works perfect here. debian lenny.
    Argh. I managed to get realtime refreshes/updates (normality) with x11vnc but now the shift key does not work.

    And now samba somehow broke, preventing my Windows PC from being able to connect (my local system can connect though... hmmm), even when SeLinux AND the firewall are turned off. Nothing has changed in smb.conf. Argh x2.
    Posted 03-11-2010 at 04:26 AM by Raveolution Raveolution is offline


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