An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


My New Laptop and Debian GNU/Linux

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 11:00


Well, it took me a few more days to get everything onto my new laptop. First I had to install all the applications I wanted that could run on Debian GNU/Linux and Gnome. So far, things work nicely, but I’ve had to tweak applications here and there to get it to do what I want. After I got the right applications working, I then had to transfer my files over. All of this took some considerable time. Next, I had to log into WindowsXP and install some of my games on there. I don’t play many games, but I have a few just so I have some leisure activities once in a while. Anyway, these games don’t run on Debian GNU/Linux – they needed to be installed on Windows. I ended up taking some time installing my pinball games, and then had to play them a bit to make sure they all worked fine. When I was done installing all my games, I had a few more files to transfer and then I was done. Yay. I can now enjoy my new laptop, but…

I’m now running Debian GNU/Linux instead of WindowsXP. This means that I have to get used to some of the applications on here. I primarily do work online nowadays, but I still do much of my document production offline. For document production, OpenOffice is available as a free application. I tried the first version on my old laptop running Windows and wasn’t impressed. I stuck with using MSOffice95 for a little while longer. OpenOffice has since released a new version that seems to work better than the first. It seems to have nearly the same functions as MSOffice95. Now, I’m a fairly expert word document user. I know how to do everything from your basic document to doing form letters to using macros to inserting tables, charts, spreadsheets, and graphics. MSOffice95 admitted allows you to do this stuff easily. Supposedly though, OpenOffice is the newest favourite for word documentation, and Nathan assures me that it works just as well as MSOffice95. I will have to see though. I have not had time to do any of my bigger documents to see if it works the way I’d expect. The big plus with OpenOffice is the free capability to export your word documents in PDF format. This is great because you won’t need Adobe Acrobat anymore (the newest Windows version takes up a whole load of disk space).

I still have to tweak my email application. I can download the emails, but I’m having issues sending email out. I think in the end, it might just be easier checking email online instead. For now, I’m just leaving the email application installed until I figure out what to do about the loads of email addresses I need to check often.

Aside from a word document application and something to download my email, I don’t need to adjust to much more. (For MSN users, there’s aMSN or you can just use GAIM.) XMMS is the player you use to play mp3 music files. You can get plugins to play other music files like mpc. The player works nicely and looks nice (it has a bunch of skins that can change randomly with each song it plays). To watch movies, mplayer does a good job. It’s best run through the terminal though. The GUI is a little confusing – I’d need to spend more time fiddling with it to get it to work. I haven’t checked to see if my DVDs work, but I expect it should or at least shouldn’t be too difficult to fix (besides I have a resident computer expert at home – Nathan. ;)) BTW, the laptop sounds great with headphones or speakers (like all laptops you WANT external speakers or headphones).

Gnome has a lot of packages that you can install. The nice thing about Debian GNU/Linux is that if there’s an application you need, you can go to the Synaptic Package Manager, search for the appropriate application and install it. You don’t need to look around for special software. If there’s a Debian version of an application, you should be able to find it on Synaptic. The other bonus I found out is that I don’t need a separate FTP application to upload to my website. 🙂 This is easily done through the file manager. First you set up your FTP server on the file manager (just go to “file”, “connect to server”). Once that is done, you can find the server directory in your file manager. FTP is done just like transfering files on your hard drive.

Debian runs much better than WindowsXP. I can multi-task on my laptop and it won’t crash on me. WindowsXP already has given me problems with the few stuff I have installed on there. I’ve partitioned my disk drive into 30 GB for Debian GNU/Linux and 10 GB for WindowsXP. The 10 GB for Windows seems like a waste, but there are some applications I can only run on there. I’m just appalled that for the Windows operating system alone, it takes up so much disk space. No wonder people are switching to Debian GNU/Linux. It is fairly easy to switch too. The neat thing is that you can do things using the GUI (graphical user interface) or using the more traditional terminal (remember DOS?). This is nice because with a terminal you can use specific commands to get the computer to do what you want while with a GUI sometimes you’re stuck doing only what it gives you. It’s great to have to option of doing something more than one way.

Okay, that’s my little review of using my new laptop and Debian GNU/Linux. This is a change, but it’s all good. I was getting bored and annoyed with Windows. Change is good. Something new is good. It keeps me on my toes and life interesting. 😀

Brigid’s Flame

P.S. This blog entry is a follow-up to a previous entry, My New Laptop – Acer Travelmate 2428

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