Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 14

I have been away for a couple of days....
(had a death in the family, and had to do the mom/family thing)

There hasn't been a ton of things to talk about...I've just been using my computer and not having issues.

A new class starts on Sunday, so I am excited to see if everything still works, I have to watch some video clips for this class. Let's see if I have everything set to do that when the time comes:) I'll let you know.

I had to go to our place in the mountains, and the only trouble I had was trying to remember how pgraner set up the wireless router. After adding several networks and they didn't work; I finally remembered. Again, pgraner usually just tells me what to do or has the computer pre-configured. Not this time. I had to figure it out. Still don't know a hex key form a Wep 40/128 bit -Key but I figured out what worked, and that's what matters to me.:)

I did ask in #ubuntu-women how do I delete the networks I don't want - Found out if I use my right mouse button on the wireless thing, on my panel or bar across the top of my screen, there is an option for editing connections...DUH..:( I felt silly (if I'd only played with it a little more, before I asked the question). Then I just deleted the ones I didn't want.

I have to say everyone is so helpful.

I am going to attended my very first every IRC meeting tomorrow, might not even say a word but I am going to attend and at least introduce myself, or just say yes I'm here what ever is the right format. Still reading all the protocol.
/me wonders does Roberts rules apply in IRC meetings? Just wondering. I think it's a little less formal. I still think it is cool. I'm excited regardless.

Anyway...more tomorrow I hope....:) Hope your weekend is sunny and warm, we are cold and rainy in the hills of NC....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 13

I decided to take MagicFab, up on his advice, a slow the pace a bit. I am just enjoying using Ubuntu.

I wrote emails, got my Facebook (crack) fix, newsletters done, wrote a few essays, chatted with Friends and just basically used it without noticing that I wasn't using my Mac. (Other than the Powerbook G4 has a 17 inch screen and the Mac Air is light).

I guess things are transparent for day to day use now. It's only when I want to do more complicated things, and then it is just a matter of learning a new way. That is true with anything though....(This whole new switch reminded me of a book I used to encourage my mangers read (I gave copies to them) when I worked in the Hotel Industry, "Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life", by Spencer Johnson, Foreward by Ken Blanchard) It's just change and how you deal with it is half the battle.

Still fighting with Scribus, but that to will pass. I only have to be 10% smarter than the equipment/application I am trying to operate. (still trying to figure out my % ratio here)

So there is not a long list of "guess what I tried todays" to write about.

Yestersday was the 1st day of just forgetting that it was a different Operating System and just using it.

I was comfortable and it was easy.

(so in short, in under two weeks I am not expert at Ubuntu, but my ease of use and comfort level in using it Ubuntu was easier than when I switched from Windows to Mac. There were a few times I almost threw my Mac away, I haven't threatened to do that with Ubuntu yet. Just Scribus..:) )

Tomorrow is a new day so I am going to look at Jaunty again and install the cool things I like and see what happens when I click some more buttons.

On or about the 10th I will get another notebook, so I don't have to swap out hard drives or try to dual boot yet (though I will try it). I can just do a clean install of Fedora 10 like I did Ubuntu 8.10 and go from there. After thinking about all the ways to do that, (that being try Fedora 10 on my own for the 1st time) I figured that was the best thing to do for me anyway.

So today is Short and Sweet (yet reflective)....have a great day!
More tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 12

Ok so I was able to download the image (iso), but I think this operation (testing) is above me right now. I tried the USB stick; couldn't boot, from it. Black screen blinking cursor. UGH!!!

The tried burning the image to CD and booting from it...nope. So I am taking a break. Then I am going to find another USB stick and another CD and see what happens then.

Maybe I will have to download an new image and start over.

After several attempts at getting a good test image of Jaunty onto the USB stick, talking to people in the Ubuntu IRC channels and reading wiki pages I finally PM'd pgraner, with "This is hard, what am I doing wrong?" He said, "I have no idea what you are seeing?" So, I told him everything I tried and he said "do me a favor type...." so I typed some *sudo* command some magic happened and then he (pgraner) was in my computer, and we were using "screenbin". I basically gave him permission to login to my computer from a different location (not a different room, but a whole other state) I see a statement that says, "Can you see this?" I said, "yes" and he said, "watch this, here's how to fix your USB stick." He did what he had to do and then my USB stick was formated it for me. (I have no idea what all the commands meant except they fixed my USB stick)

In all fairness I tried to format it myself. However, the "create a USB startup disk." button and the options that followed didn't work. I tried it 3 times with 3 different USB sticks. Once pgraner worked his magic then I could take it from there and managed to test Jaunty yesterday.

I didn't get a lot done. I was just happy I got the right image, then once the stick was formated, loaded it and ran it live from the USB stick.

After that I did the things I did when I loaded Intrepid, I connected to the internet, then the printer. That's when it got interesting. I started to set up Pidgin and then I noticed all these other cool things for the internet. Pidgin was working; then I loaded a Facebook app, Not the one that lets you chat on Pidgin with your friends on Facebook, but this one that lets you just click the icon and you go to Facebook, kinda like a bookmark in your browser, but instead you just go to icon and it opens the browser and brings up facebook. Well I thought it would be great, but I loaded it and it broke Pidgin.

I needed to find out if there was anyone else having the same issue. Went to Launchpad to look, but in the meantime BUGabundo (great community guy that has helped me learn a ton through blog comments and IRC Channel help) was in one of the Ubuntu IRC Channels and asked if he was busy and could he help me. He gave me the option of ticking boxes or using sudo. Meanwhile, Maco (another great community woman who has also helped me a ton in the Ubuntu IRC Channles) and BUGabundo proved to me yesterday the reason and the value of sudo to people in the community/industry/techies. They all use *sudo* it's quicker and easier to do things like debugging, and installing. (Still not for me yet but I am amazed at what happens when you know how to use it.)

Yesterday, I also learned about Ubuntu pastebin, and how not to *flood* a channel or IRC PM with lines of code. Very valuable lesson. Some things aren't in wiki pages, well in the common language of "average user mom", anyway.

I still think the average user shouldn't have know sudo but I know and understand why it is important. (Which is a lesson in itself, just understanding the why.)

The things I was trying yesterday, was more that the average user would. How many mom's sign up to be a Beta tester for WIndows or Mac? (before I get beat up I know some do but the majority don't) I know I never tested anything when I was using them. I just took what they gave me and worked with it, or not.

Now I think the most important lesson was *I tried*! Sorry BUGabundo, and Maco (and yes you too pgraner) if you were ready to strangle me. Your help was greatly appreciated. However, I *am* learning and doing. :)

All you guys/gals in the community that track and debug and fix things, my hat is off and I salute you! ..I just saw a little of it in action yesterday. Ok I'm hooked but far away doing anything other than saying it's broke.

Oh and btw, Open Office worked fine for this newsletter. I am almost finished with it. I haven't given up on Scribus yet. Just taking a break and I'll try again later with a fresh face and new attitude toward it. See sometimes the KISS method is still the best, IMHO...:)

Well today I think I might click a few more boxes and see what happens next, but the newsletter comes 1st.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 11

Well I have spent about 4 hours and making some headway with Scribus, but not enough to get the newsletter out in time. So even thought I am not giving up, and throwing in the towel, but I need to get the newsletter out before people think I have forgotten about them. I am going back to Pages and my Mac. I am sure that before long I will figure it out. I just need the easier stuff for what I am trying to do. SO yes I am going back to the Mac for my desktop publishing needs for the time being. Again, I am not giving up, I am still learning. I just need to finish this... /me sighs heavily...... (new plan haven't run back to it yet)

Thought about it some more, hmmmmm, I think I am just going to try one more thing before I go running back to my Mac...Open Office..when I started my newsletters many years ago, I started with Word. I will just go back to the beginning again and take baby steps. Can't hurt and it just might help. Who knows maybe I will learn something new. I'm not running back just yet just finding a different way to solve my newsletter issue. (see how things change from moment to moment.)

Unless you are into desktop publishing then this won't be an issue for you, however it is for me. I don't like deciding on all the formats, I want stuff already there and I just get to highlight something and tweak it a bit and then I have what I want. Scribus may have won a battle but in the end I'll figure it out. I'll keep you posted.:)

Stefano F. gave me a great link to read in response to my last posting and I am passing it along., it is a great letter by Gina Trapani of Ex-Lifehacker's. Thank you Stefano. I appreciated it so much I wanted to public thank you for the great advice and great link. I also sent Gina Trapani, a Thank you!

Maybe average user mom, has thick skin when it comes to raising children, being a wife, volunteering, going to school, and dealing with extended family issues, but putting my thoughts out for the whole world to read, I need to develop that thick a little quicker. :) Where is mole skin when I need it...:) It will show up sooner rather that later:) Until then I'll just Keep Blogging....This whole Linux world is great, sometimes I need a wiki page or two (OK a dozen) to get me where I need to be.
(but think back to the 1st time you started learning Windows, or Mac there were some frustrating moments learning those until you got to your comfort level. So I see using Linux (some flavors are just easier than others) as no different)

Ok learned (and downloaded Jaunty), making and USB stick now that I can test on with. I am sure I will be "the Ubuntu channels today" asking questions. (Hope no-one wants to strangle me before the day is over.)

I am also reading up on how to make my machine dual boot. So I can run both Ubuntu and Fedora at the same time. That sounds like something "Linuxie" (is that even a word) to learn, so I am going to read some more how to's and once Alpha 4 testing is complete I'll get some help, but not from Pgraner, he said, "the only way for you to really learn is to do. How many times since '92 do you think I've (and everyone else) learning this stuff has had to re-install machines for one reason or another" (I have no idea the thought never occurred to me to be honest). Now dual booting and multi booting is where you can run two or more operating systems on the same computer. (Usually something average user wouldn't do, I would have never even seen a reason for such a thing just using my Mac)

What a community Linux is..and one that I am enjoying settling into. I feel like I have just moved into a new house, and I am getting to know my neighbors....:)

Howdy neighbors....more tomorrow! :) See ya again tomorrow.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 10

I have found it sad that there are some in the Open Source Community that instead of helping the new Linux user want to learn more, only serve to confuse people. Regardless of which flavor of Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse etc), the communities, and the overall missions are the same. Sure different code, and the presentation of the projects are different. I would like to think that regardless of the flavor of Linux one chooses each person of the Open Source Community would welcome them (new users) and want to help them understand and not potentially scare new people away from trying any flavor of Linux. Some of the comments I have gotten would be enough to scare me away and send me back to Mac and say forget it, if I hadn't been brave enough to just try. I am not by nature a confrontational person, but I sense some undercurrent of hostility toward Ubuntu vs. Fedora. Having said that I am still curious about Fedora but the them vs. us mentality is making me less inclined to even go there. The Ubuntu Community seems nice and helpful. The comments I am getting from some (but not all) in the Fedora community seem very hostile and not at all what this Blog is about.

I find it by comparison to those traveling to a city. The mode of transportation and the route may be different, but in the end they wind up at the same place. If someone gets lost along the way then regardless of how they choose to reach their destination then someone can help them along. Either they call and say I'm here how do I get there. They put a better address in a GPS system, or they just stay where they are at and let someone find them, but eventually they get there. (the sad part is that there is always someone saying let them just find they're way they didn't fly or, they didn't drive, they took a bus etc so I'm not helping and end up giving them the wrong or conflicting directions.) Hope you can follow that.

So, I would ask please keep in mind I am "average user mom" here. Trying to let other non techie people know that Linux is not a scary place to go. It is actually pretty comfortable. If your comments are purely for the sake of helping me and others new to Linux then by all means please help, If however you are just using my Blog and the ability to grandstand against Ubuntu or any other flavor of Linux then I would question the motive behind your post before you post it.

Please understand that I am not discouraging comments I welcome them. I understand too "That everything is personality driven, and I should not take everything personally." Please remember that "average user mom" does not want to know about the politics behind the flavors of Linux as they all have their issues, because *nothing* in this world is perfect.

OK, now I have that off my mind I can talk about what else I am learning. :)

Tried out the games that come with Ubuntu...they are fun and I am not really a game playing person. However, I thought I just had to try them out. At least Ubuntu comes with more than Solitaire.:) (see how long it's been since I used windows :P )

OK, so I'm logged into IRC watching a couple Ubuntu channels; before now I thought IRC was like a social networking area. I had *NO* idea that people worked in IRC and actually accomplished things. Pgraner would say, "I have an IRC meeting" I didn't get it. SO I watched the Ubuntu Release meeting and was in amazement at all the things that were accomplished. You don't have to have a huge conference room, white boards, someone taking minutes etc. Everyone involved logs in, there is link to the agenda and bam then meeting starts. Bots record the meeting and then spit out the minutes. How cool is that.

Played around with Drivel it was easy to sign in and once I picked what format I was using it just knew where to go to put my stuff. That was awesome too It seems to have the ability to do more that BloGTK, but that could only be my perception because I haven't read a lot about it either, I am just kinda' learning as I go. It's fun!

OK, so I wanted to learn to download the daily image, and it took a while to figure out. Some of the instructions weren't what I needed. So this time just to make sure I got what I needed I asked pgraner, "is this what I need?". Once I was at the right page I bookmarked it. I learned how to download the daily/current images. It was timing out on me, I think because so many people were getting the image to test that my download was slowing to a crawl. So I will try it again tomorrow. I still think it the whole process is AWESOME. [things above average user level I don't mind asking one or two questions, I stick to the Ubuntu IRC channels as much as possible but again this was above average user mom stuff so I'm still sticking to my rule of not asking for help for the regular user stuff]

Today, I will be working on my newsletter using Scribus. I'll let you know how it goes. I kept thinking I would work on it before now,however, like anything priorities get rearranged and family will always come first.

Hope everyone is still enjoy this saga...:) I am still enjoying learning...:)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 9

I have to pause to say I am 3-D type learner (I have to see, touch and do) in order to really understand something.

I said that to say....BitTorrent is fast and easy once you understand it. I was expecting a Box to "Pop up" and tell me my download was complete. So at 7pm last night I finally said to Pgraner "this should have been finished hours ago". "what is wrong" He said, "Amber, it is finished, now you are up loading parts." Hmmmm So I apologize, for giving the impression yesterday that it was taking all day to get Fedora when it only took less than 2 hours. (note here...if it hadn't been so late I would have logged onto the #Ubuntu-women and asked but the whole family was hungry and I needed an answer right then, I am sure they would have told me as well. So the resources are there to answer questions like that if you ever get stuck and need a REAL person to help you.)

So here is how I understand BitTorrent now. It goes out and gets the pieces and parts from different places and assembles them and puts them together and gives them to you (OK I know over simplified but that's how average user mom here gets it). So once the arrow that says down has nothing coming in it will say 0% or something like that and the bar (which happens to be orange on my screen) goes from gray to 100% filled in then you have what you are downloading. After that then you start uploading stuff for other people who are downloading the same thing. I get it. I think it is cool now that I understand it in it it's simplest form.

I am going to read up on it some more.

So anyway I managed to Burn the Fedora 10 ISO to DVD yesterday and it only took about 10 minutes +/- a few minutes to make the DVD. Then Fedora had a place where you could test to see if the image you have is good. I still have to do that but I feel confident it is, but I'll check it out anyway.

BitTorrent is not something that average mom would use. If someone, (Thanks S.M.)had not told me to doing it that way, I would have never thought about. Most people me included would not think about downloading a file that big. So don't let that scare you from trying Linux.

Pgraner, said, "Hey Honey, if I can order a new Dell you can have mine, and run both OSs at the same time" I think he just wants a new toy to play with. :) So now I am debating, Wii Fit or new computer. /me sighs I want to try Fedora 10, but I don't want to have to give up using Ubuntu. It's easy.!

I might find that Fedora is easy for average user mom now. However, I am enjoying Ubuntu. I haven't missed the Mac yet, but I am not ready to give it up just yet. (either one Ubuntu or Mac)

Every person I know who works in the Computer industry usually has 2,3 + computers and each one has a specific reason for their use. Some are for testing final releases of things before they update their main machines. Some of them are Alpha, Beta testers and that's what they use them for, others only for graphics stuff and others are just for the kids or wife/husband. The same with printers, each printer has a different function. So I am not feeling guilty for keeping it (my Mac)

I don't have a lot to say today except I am going to learn to make a live Ubuntu USB stick so I can help test on Monday. So that Monday I can make a new one and test on the daily image. (Again, average user doesn't have to do this. I just think it is fun to become involved).

I am doing everything I can do with my Mac on Ubuntu it just does it differently. Just like when I switched from Windows to Mac. At first I didn't understand how things worked. I only knew that everything I plugged into just worked, and so far everything I've plugged into my computer (that I normally use) works as well. So that's cool.

I need to go an clean my garage today....UGH I would rather play some more with Ubuntu but, there are some things that just won't happen by just thinking about it, and my easy button just doesn't work on the garage.

Enjoy! Maybe more later, depending on what my kids and husband have managed to do or undo in the garage...:) Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend. It is beautiful here in NC. The sun is shining and it just makes you want spring to head this way. The birds are out, the squirrels are playing and I even saw a few deer stealing my bird seed. Life is good!

Thanks everyone!......:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 8

(well I am blogging again, so that means I got all my housework done, vacuumed, mopped and cleaned the kitchen, got all the laundry done, washed and changed the sheets on my bed, washed all the rugs as well as got the ingredients ready for dinner. So See I am still doing all the "stay at home" mom and homemaker stuff while learning this. I added this to let all the other mom's /wife's know they can still learn this while doing all the other stuff. That's important, at least to me to know I can carry on with Mom/wife, school, volunteer etc commitments and still learn Ubuntu without interrupting my normal schedule. I would even add that if I was back in Corporate America working I would be able to do this transition also, just incase you are thinking "but you are a stay home mom", I wasn't always. :) )

OK so I found the Ubuntu Help page for reporting bugs so I can learn what to do and what not to do. I guess it's call protocol for filing bugs. So I have a ton of reading to do. (I pause here to say, average user mom does not have to this. I just thought it's cool to participate in helping out. However, I know that the people who have to read the reports and triage them get overloaded with *bugs* that might not really fit the description of a bug. I thought it best to do some more research and learn before filing ANY more bugs of any kind. I'm a little gun shy now, but not giving up.)

I also have to say, if you are using a Mac and want to switch to Ubuntu it is pretty easy. You don't have to do all the extra stuff I am doing and learning, so don't let some of the comments people are writing scare you away.

Some of them (the comments) are above my head, but they make me think, hunt down information, and decide what I want to do with that information. Researching information is fun, and understanding what I am reading is even better. However, it doesn't make a difference in how I've run "it out of the box". (Note to people commenting, Thank You I appreciate it. PLEASE keep it up I want to learn all I can, but some of the stuff is still above my head. (I mean upper atmosphere) I need "layman's" terms. Thank you to those who are keeping it simple for me and those who are new to Linux and Ubuntu and wondering if Ubuntu or even any flavor of Linux is right for them. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!)

OK so I wanted to show you the disk and the t-shirt that started it all. I am in Homemaker mode in the pictures so they are not my favorite pictures of me but you get the idea. I need to tell my camera man to use better lighting and find better angle. jeez..... You would think he had another job or something...:) ;)......

Oh I loaded some more pics today using the same method as before. This time I picked the picture folder and I didn't get any errors and it worked..:) I like this and the kinks are being worked out quicker than I thought. :) So F-spot is working for me and the error I got was not the software's issue but mine.

Figured how to fix my touch pad issues. By going to System, then preferences, then mouse, from there clicked on the touchpad tab and set it up for what I like. Now I am staying with the touchpad and not grabbing my trackball.

Oh the other cool factor thing is you can run Ubuntu on a live CD/USB stick and try it out 1st before you install it. Kinda' like test driving a car before you buy it. However with Ubuntu you are only investing your time and increasing your knowledge base. Can't beat that price. ( I don't know if you can do that with Fedora, but I am sure someone can answer that question)

I learned how to do the "wobble windows" (or what ever you call it, it's cool.) System then Preferences then Appearance then Visual Effects then I ticked the circle with Extra. Then I closed the window. I had the "wobble windows". Just added to the cool factor...:)

I just got added to Planet Ubuntu Women...I am so excited, and learning so much. I feel a little slow though. Learning beyond the easy "out of the box" stuff. I can do almost all the regular stuff I want to do without extra stuff. Now I want to learn more. The women (and some guys) in the #ubuntu-women, are great at helping me.

I was asked about my suspend resume issue, so far when my computer goes to sleep it comes back now, and since I installed the updates (with the funny names), as they are made available, I still have to suspend the machine, put it into hibernate mode to see if I still have issues or not. To answer one of the questions that was asked of me, since I installed Ubuntu on a machine that had nothing else on it, I think it happened "out of the box." However after I installed it I did not suspend/hibernate etc...before installing the 247 updates etc., so I have no idea when/where the problem can from. Nor would I as the average mom user care as long as it is fixed or doesn't bother me enough to "squeak" about it.

OK so I tested the suspend/hibernate/resume....there is some kinda video driver issue. The Programs all still work, they just have a funny white box around them for a while then they clear up. Not enough of a problem for me (average user to care about as my stuff still works, maybe when I upgrade to Jaunty it will be fixed.)

Also in regards to Mac regressions I have never gotten a hold of a bad Mac install and had to undo an Install. So I can't speak as to how I would do that even if I needed to. I have never needed to.

About BitTorrent, I was going to download Fedora 10 and Blow away my Macbook Air and install in there, but Air doesn't allow boot from USB and it has no CD/DVD drive I scrapped that idea. I think it can be done, but it is way over my head, so the ease of installation would be skewed. I found the extra drives and I will be trying Fedora 10 soon. I still have a few more things to read about and try with Ubuntu 1st.

I learned that BitTorrent is a way to transmit large files easily across the Internet. I found it was already installed and read up about it. I can use that. Will try soon enough.

OK my morbid curiosity got the better of me. I looked up Fedora Project at and found what I needed to download. This time I had to ask Pgraner for help. (Sorry Fedora guys I just didn't know) I had to figure out which download I needed and had no idea what the guts of my computer are. It said Get Fedora, so I clicked it. KDE Fans go here...I knew that wasn't what I wanted as I am just now using GNOME, so then there was a window that said , Have a PowerPC go here, I asked Pgraner do I have a Powerpc, nope I don't. So then I had to go Show me all download options on one page. After going there I had to ask Pgraner again, which one. I knew I wanted one under the BitTorrent column, and was told pick x86_64. So did. Started the download about 10am and it is now 2:24pm. I know you wondering what our bandwidth is here so I asked. We have a 12mbit data line here.

Now I know I like media over downloads and to be fair Jef. S, did tell me where I could go to get a DVD sent to me. I just got impatient and wanted to try BitTorrent and see how this downloading works since I was told it should be easy to do.

As of this posting that's about all I can say about Fedora 10. Other than it looks like it would look cool once it's installed.

Monday will be Januty testing day, and I can't wait to participate in it. Again, average user doesn't have to do this, but once I started learning about all this stuff I couldn't help but want to know more.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 7

Guess the whole Hackergotchi thingy didn't work so between loads of laundry today I will be working on that. Guess what! My Hachergotchi is now working....found out about 8:35pm(yesterday). Wrote the 1st sentence about 6:30am (yesterday). Gimp won a few battles but in the end I at least got a usable Hackergotchi. Now I just have to work on a better on. As soon as I have a better picture. (I left in the work didn't work statements, because I wanted to document that I battled with with Gimp and persistence worked. That and rereading the instructions a million times and being patient with myself.)

I am getting so caught up in learning that there is this whole huge wonderful world of a thing known as the Open Source Community stuff out there and I am being assimilated into an Ubuntu BORG :) (I like it I must say) Hmmmm I thinking this might just be a good thing. Hey, I am less than two weeks in, I think I am doing quite well for not understanding anything about code,scripts,or programming languages because you don't have to to run Ubuntu. All I want is my stuff to work "out of the box" and so far Ubuntu is doing just that. (you just have to apply some updates and use the add/remove tool, but it is easy. (love that tool btw))

(I still have to try Fedora 10, just have to swap out hard drives and see if I can get a disk. I know, I know just download it. I didn't have to do that with Ubuntu, why should I with Fedora. I don't go to the Mac store and they point me to a website, no I purchase a disk and I take it home and install it. Speaking for myself I want a disk not a website to download an operating system. I just don't think I'm there yet, could be wrong)
(In the Spirit of full disclosure if my husband had not given me a disk and that t-shirt I promise I would not be switching OSs right now, fair comparison or not that is just the way it would be, so now I am begging him for a spare computer, I know he has to have one somewhere so I don't have to change out hard drives and go without Ubuntu for a while)

So I found out today there are some places I can buy A DVD for Fedora for $5.00 +/- a few cents.... It was suggested that I use BitTorrent to download Fedora and burn a DVD and that it could be done rather quickly. I have no Idea what BitTorrent is but I am going to find out, and see how well I can burn a DVD with Ubuntu. (I find it funny that I am going to be using one flavor of Linux to get another) (but I'm going to try)

Ok so I was happy about the bug I filed until I got a question back. Basically asking why this was important. I even put in the report it was a Usability Issue with FireFox or at least I thought so. I thought it would be nice if there was a downloads folder in Ubuntu (so you don't have to create it and if Firefox came pre-configured to put the downloads in there. (see early posts I had trouble finding the downloads as I thought it would be like my Mac, little did I know they were all hidden behind the windows on the desktop). I even told them (the bug people)I was a new user.

This is the question I got back..."How is not having a downloads folder a mozilla issue? Ubuntu/nautilus
would be the problem since we don't offer that folder on file system?"

???? I was left scratching my head so I replied with the following, I hope I used the right language and terms.

"I think it is both. Firefox/Mozilla [Ubuntu] should be pre-configured to put things in the downloads folder for ease of transition from other OS systems. SO why can't both teams fix it together. Or can it just be reassigned [to] the [right] package team.

It's a problem on both sides. There needs to be a downloads folder and Firefox needs to be pre-configured to put downloads there.

Since I am a new user, this is one of the issues that made it confusing to switch systems."
[bracketed words added after submission]

MagicFab - Thanks for understanding what I was trying to say about the issues and the bug. I was beginning to feel stupid for suggesting it.

another PS here I'm happy....I HAVE KARMA NOW...(just a little but I think it is sooooo cool) Let me pause to explain how I understand this so, my friends don't think I've lost my mind. I have this Launchpad account, it's where you file bugs for Ubuntu (bugs being problems). When you file bugs and reply and do "stuff" in Launchpad you get Karma. Kinda like in Facebook when you can send Karma to your friends Laundpad gives you Karma for participating in the process of helping make Ubuntu better. I think I got that right, as I understand it for a user of 8 days now.

I'll let you know what happens next...:) I am just happy I figured out how to file what is termed as a Usability Bug vs A Bug that breaks things or causes them not to work. I learned reading on the Ubuntu sites and in #Ubuntu-women, that bugs in OS and applications are different, just like in our homes we have different bugs i.e. spiders, Moths, crickets, etc.. around my house there are different types of bugs in the systems (as in my house) as well, some you can tolerate more than others and some you can't at all. Spiders (to me) are like those bugs that crash a system or applications, to me they need to be eradicated, Moths (again to me) though they are annoying, you can work around them, that I think is what is termed a Usability bug. I'm not a techie (I think that's the word), but I think I understand the bug thing now. Hope that helps the non Technical people understand as well.

With my Mac it just says an error has occurred send apple a report. Sometimes I say yes, most of the time I say No. depends on if I can repeat the error, or if it is Operator Error. :) (you know some silly thing I did to cause the problem, like being impatient)

I used 'sudo' for the 1st time....Thanks to dflock... I would have had no idea what to type in the command line if I hadn't been told what to type.

Here was the command: sudo apt-get install scribus-template create-resources scribus-doc

then all this *magic* stuff happened

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
linux-headers-2.6.27-7 linux-headers-2.6.27-7-generic python-compizconfig
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following NEW packages will be installed:
create-resources scribus-doc scribus-template
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 9674kB of archives.
After this operation, 20.4MB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 intrepid/main scribus-doc [4384kB]
Get:2 intrepid/universe scribus-template [1873kB]
Get:3 intrepid/universe create-resources 0.1.3-2.1 [3417kB]
Fetched 9674kB in 34s (279kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package scribus-doc.
(Reading database ... 118958 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking scribus-doc (from .../scribus-doc_1.3.3.9-1_all.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package scribus-template.
Unpacking scribus-template (from .../scribus-template_1.2.4.1-2_all.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package create-resources.
Unpacking create-resources (from .../create-resources_0.1.3-2.1_all.deb) ...
Processing triggers for doc-base ...
Processing 1 added doc-base file(s)...
Registering documents with scrollkeeper...
Setting up scribus-doc ( ...

Setting up scribus-template ( ...
Setting up create-resources (0.1.3-2.1) ...

I have to admit it was quicker than ticking the boxing and picking the stuff, but unless the command had been given to me then I would have had to do it the other way. Again I have to admit *sudo* is still above me/average mom here. Thanks dflock you saved me a ton of time. I'll let you know about the templates and if they work or not.

I think I found a template that might just work. Only thing I have noticed was all the templates are set for A4 paper (European Size Paper I think). However I think I can change that when I set up the template for use. I hope so. (I noticed a lot of "I thinks" in there) I'll keep you informed. Also thanks to D Anderson who pointed me to a great Scribus website. Just maybe I'll get my Jan-Feb newsletter out by March now. (to my friends who are wondering what I'm doing, be patient I'll get it out remember; I told you I was learning something new, not to mention I was behind already.:) )

Learned about and mirco-blogging. It's like Twitter and there is and Ubuntu community there.:) I suspect there is one on twitter too, I'll check that out tomorrow.

I tried using BloGTK. I need to do some more research. To figure out how to do the color stuff. I still need to try Drivel also, not giving up yet. Just need to learn. Until then I will stick to what I know and go from there. (you know the KISS method kinda' works best for me, and "if ain't broke don't fix it")

OK Pgraner reminded me, about the "stay at home" mom thing. When he asked,(with a wink and smile) "Are you going to Vacuum anytime this week?" I said jokingly, "I suppose you want the laundry done more than once a week too?" He smiled, "yes that would be nice." I paused mention that because now I understand how easy and exciting the Open Source Community can be. It is as addictive as Facebook. I have to admit, when I got my Mac I did a lot of YELLING "hooooooonnnnneeeyyyyy, why doesn't this do what I am telling it to? Make it do (fill in blank) until I got the hang of a Mac." With Ubuntu I am doing my best to navigate this using the community and the tools available. It is easier that I thought and the community is very helpful to the non-technical person like me.

Enjoy! I know still am! :) Thanks again! More tomorrow (after laundry, and cleaning, oh and cooking dinner...etc... /me winks at pgraner)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 6
Oh renamed 1-4 as well..:)
(PS Thanks D. Anderson for the suggestion I liked it, if you couldn't tell)

The following was my day yesterday...Enjoy (I hope)

Plugged in my Sandisk Card Reader to the USB drive then inserted the Lexar 1GB SD card. A window popped up and said, "You have just inserted a media with digital photos. Choose what application to launch". I left Open F-Spot Photo Manager That's all I had to choose from on the drop down menu anyway :). I guess there is more I just don't have it configured for anything else. (Another thing to work on) Clicked OK

Got an error Message " The Folder contents could not be displayed"
Error stating file "home akgraner/Photos': No such file or directory. hmm now I have to create another folder I think. Dang! However, (much to my surprise) I closed the error message and it downloaded the photo's. I am confused. OK I should have picked the pictures folder but it was still easy to import them into F-spot. (After I closed the error message) Now I have to figure out how to eject the card? Oh I just have to unmount it from the desktop. I had it covered with to many windows...Duh...:P

As to the error I got when loading the pictures I will load some more tomorrow and see if I get the same error. If I do then I guess I have to search Launchpad to see if it is a known bug, and if not the file it.

I'm loving using Pidgin. I just learned about it when I started using Ubuntu. Now I am sure the rest of the world knew about it. All I ever used before was Adium (I liked the duck). I am quickly learning Pidgin can do so much more or at least it seems that way to me.

Ok, so I almost fell off the Ubuntu Wagon...I had to create a Hackergotchi, and since I have never used Gimp or F-Spot before I had a bit of a challenge. I still have yet to see if it worked. I had my blog added to, but Pgraner walked through the room and laughed (as I was logging into my Mac, I was very frustrated at this point) and said, "I can't believe you are going to let a piece software get the better of you" and well I went back and tried Gimp some more. I have yet know if it worked yet or not (if I made my Hackergotchi correctly). Still waiting on the confirmation email, or just to see it show up on the page. If not I know I need to keep working on it. And for those of you who are just going to point me to the wiki page...I've been there.:) Thanks though I have it bookmarked and keep referring to it incase I missed something.

I am working with Scribus to publish my next newsletter. I have to admit, that of all the Publishing Applications (Scribius, Xara Xtreme, Inkscape) none of them are as easy as Pages and none of them have the templates that Pages have and that I need at this exact moment. I think that for what I need to do Pages is still the best tool for the job. However, I'm still willing to be convinced does any one have or know of templates for Scribus that will allow me to publish my newsletters easily and with the least amount of pain and frustration. You can see older newsletters off my main Blog page if that helps anyone help me.
/me sighs....

I still think there are the right tools for the right jobs and maybe Ubuntu and the publishing applications aren't what I need to the job I want to do (yet:) ). Mac and Pages just make it easy. I pick what I want to do, pick the template and with minimal tweaking bam I have what I want and need.

Oh And I filed my first bug report. I am learning:) I am so happy.

I still haven't clicked all the buttons yet I am only about halfway through "system" on the panel. However, I am still clicking along.

The switch to Ubuntu has been pretty easy so far (I even have a friend convinced that she can do it to. I'm giving her a disk later this week. My son's teacher is even going to try it out I feel like an Evangelist. (no offense intended here just the best reference I could think of, so I apologize if it offended anyone.)

There are still a few things left to try compared to Mac before I rule the t-shirt has it right. So far the Publishing Part of it well, I had to Purchase Pages and I don't mind Purchasing something for Ubuntu but I really thought the whole idea was open source was free. Looks like I might have to figure out how to make my own templates in my spare time. :) Oh so much to learn and I am loving every minute of it even if some of those minutes are a little (just a little) frustrating.

Enjoy! I am:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu ( thought naming it Parts 1, 2, etc..was getting boring)

OK. My goodness what all have I learned since my last posting. I changed the name of the postings but if you are keeping track it's Part 5...I was getting bored with the part 1,2,3......

How to set my downloads in Firefox to go to a downloads folder, I guess what surprised me was Ubuntu didn't even have a folder named downloads so created it. I am so glad people are willing to give me pointers.

Thanks to #ubuntu-women I learned about Scribus, Inkscape, Xara Xtreme, I haven't had a chance to attempt to use them yet, but I love the add/remove function it made it so easy. I publish a newsletter for all my family and friends and since we have moved so much over the last 16 years I have gathered a ton of friends not to mention I have a huge extended family. They are wondering when they are going to get there next one. I love Pages and I am doing my best not to use the Mac to do this. If you see a link posted you will know the above worked,:).

It was suggested by shirishag75 that I try out some applications for creating and editing etc. Blog posts, so I thought ok...
Found BloGTK and drivel and installed them. Took me a few minutes. I didn't know I had to change it to search for All available applications instead of Canonical Maintained Applications but it only took a few minutes to figure out. I'll keep you informed.

I learned a little about the different flavors of Ubuntu, ie Kbuntu, Mythbuntu ect..Also about GNOME and KDE, which are desktop environments.

I also learned about Evolution (which if I understand it correctly it is like Outlook in MS). I decided I'd stick with my google stuff and Gmail etc...

Maybe I mentioned this before, but I managed to set up a Launchpad account, and I learned about Usability bugs, and how to test for bugs before I submit them.

I am about to hook up my card reader and see what happens to my photo's I did notice that in addition to F-spot I have Gimp. I have used it a few times. I was given some suggestions on what to use for iMovie and iDvd but not ready for that yet.

This is fun....It really is easier than I thought for the average user. I haven't had a change to click everybutton yet, but I will before I'm finished. I'm sure you'll "hear about all that as well"

p.s. Should I go back to the old title or stick with the new one just wondering?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 4
Here goes ....WOW! There is so much more to learn.

Thanks everyone for all those comments keep them coming I really appreciate it and I am learning so much more.

Today there are 7 updates to install I have no idea what any of the names mean except one: rhythmbox, the rest are a foreign language to me but what the heck here goes nothing, :) if you want to know the names they are (dpkg, gvfs, gffs-backends, gvfs-bin, gvfs-fuse, libgvfscommon0 and rhythmbox as mentioned earlier. However the description under each of them tells me it has something to do with virtual userspace filesystems (I'll hit google again later), rhythmbox I know has to do with the music player,:), but I really wish there was a "laymans" terms updates you could have. For example when you set up Ubuntu you could tell it you were beginner, intermediate, or advanced, then the updates and their names could reflect that. (now maybe that's just too much to ask.) (My Mac doesn't give me the names unless I ask for them.)

I started going through the System Preferences to see what everything was and what it did. Some things made perfect sense. Others were confusing, especially to a new user. But I am the type of person who will click every button just to see what it is and what it does, and what does it mean to me. So I hope you will be patient as I go through it all. I am just me, I am finding this very interesting to say the least. I must admit that some of the names of things are just confusing. I just want things to work. The more I understand the more I will want to know but as a user of 4 days, ok it's a lot over my head.

System Preferences - About Me? Why? I filled it out. But why is that necessary...It doesn't say why this is a good idea. I did it anyway. And I still don't know why?

Went to Ubuntu Help Center then went to NEW to Ubuntu there was a bullet for if you've been using Windows but I couldn't find any If you been using a Mac bullet. However before the links it states and I am quoting "Whether you’ve upgraded from a previous version of Ubuntu, or you’re switching from Windows or Mac OS X, these pages will help you get your bearings." Looked through the "if you've been using windows" to see if any of it would be helpful to me since I am a die hard Mac user. NO! I need the "If you been using Mac" Link on the New to Unbuntu 8.10 help screen.

Using sudo, what does this mean? In all the years I have been using Mac's I have only used the command line once, when I accidental got a DVD stuck in my Mac powerbook G4 and none of the help the Mac help suggested did the trick. So I had to call in the Calvary (My Husband, who happened to be sitting around the table with all the engineering managers with Canonical, and within a few minutes they told me what to do and bam problem solved) So why would I need to know about sudo as a beginner. Shouldn't there be various levels of "New to Ubuntu. Reading the "Using sudo at the command line" is a bit confusing to me right now. I am sure at a later date I'll get it, 4 days in...just isn't happening.

Yesterday I was in the #Ubuntu-Women and they told me about this great note taking application called Tomboy. I went through the menu trying to find it. Then I searched for it and found it in Applications. I added to the panel and it works great. The women in the group told me it would be. The great thing is I don't have to keep saving it, and it stays in the foreground unlike the Sticky Notes on the Mac which you have to save what you write and it always manages to end up in the background. I am really enjoying using Tomboy.

SCIM Imput Method Setup Platform (Smart Common Imput Method) OK I am not an idiot but this makes me feel like one. So I figured out (after hitting google again) that this must be what I can change to give me the international symbols i.e. currency, language accents etc, but on my Mac I just tell it what language I need and it just does it. It doesn't imply that it is smart and I am stupid. On my Mac it just seem easier, I just switch between languages or I google the short cut keys and use those, I never knew it had a name and if that is the standard name for this platform as a new user I am glad Mac doesn't give me the name is just lets me use it.

Last night I left my computer on and let it go to sleep, it would not wake up. There is that suspend and resume thing again. I was patient and I tried the space bar and I waited. I tried any key and I waited. I tired the mouse and I waited, but my computer did not wake up. I had to reboot it. I even hit the power button lightly once but it did not wake up.But true to my husband's credit there was no "blue scree of dreath" etc...... There was nothing on the screen it was just blackness.

So there is day four...the coolness factor is: I can do all my Facebook stuff, Chat with my friends, work on my newsletter, and get to all the websites I need (see how many times google comes through for me. :). I really am enjoying using Ubuntu don't get me wrong, I am just trying to go through everything and learn as much as possible each day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Well I can't say Part 3 was as interesting as 1 and 2; however, I did manage to learn a few more things.

1) When I suspended my machine I had to reboot in order for my panel to work and look the same. I tried logging out and logging back in but it did not make a difference. I refused to ask my husband what the problem was. hmmmm ( I have to figure out how to file a bug report haven't done that yet but it is on my to do list, wonder if I do that will it get fixed in an update. I installed 247 already hmmm? one wonders)

2) Thanks to MagicFab for the suggestions of finding FreeNode and #Ubuntu-women I was able to get some more great suggestions and signed up for the Ubuntu Women Mailing list.

3) I found Pidgin in the Internet Applications on the Menu and I knew that you could add a Facebook application to it, but I couldn't find it under add/remove and searched for it and it wasn't there. Then I went to google (you know if it's not in google it doesn't exist, so kids tell me. :) ) Guess what I found what I needed: The 1st one: v1.47 Plugin for Debian/Ubuntu Linux Installer, I clicked on it and it offered to open it with GDebi (whatever that is?) and bunch of message boxes popped up and let me know it was not going to do what I wanted. The biggest annoyance was I couldn't close the boxes because I had to close the 1st one that popped up but it was covered by the other windows that popped up. For a new user I was frustrated. Even though I did NOT ask my husband for help my 1st reaction was to reboot my machine and before I could do that, he actually told me "no", however, I did not ask, but I think I was glad he volunteered to tell me to think about it just a few more minutes. He gave me a hint that if there were multiple windows they might need to me closed in reverse order ( I told him that was stupid). He told me this was Linux and very rarely do you need to reboot, and that should not be my 1st instinct. (My operating systems have trained me poorly he assured me that no matter what flavor of Linux I was going to use I would NEVER get a "blue screen of death" or the "stupid folder with question mark")

Then I clicked on the same link again this time instead of installing I said save file. The next question I had was OK it was saved now where the heck was it. On my Mac it puts it in a downloads folders. I looked for one, but there was nothing named downloads. I found, documents, pictures, downloads, guess when it was. On my desktop. Who knew? I don't mind if things get put on my desktop but I want to know that in advance so I can create a folder to put things in and unclutter my desktop. I really don't want a bunch of "junk" or "stuff" on my desktop. Anyway I got it installed. However, I double clicked Icon on my desktop and I got a window with tabs. Then I clicked the Install Package Button, then I had to type in my password, then it installed. Now What? It just did whatever it did (installed correctly I found out when I opened Pidgin but there was nothing to tell me it had finished and I could now use it or how to use it) Now I can use Gmail, yahoo, and facebook on Pidgin. I am happy, but there seemed to be a lot of steps to get there. Why so many clicks. I am using a touch pad but finding I need to turn it off and go back to my track ball for all this and these steps. It seems like it is going to be easier for me if I do that (go back to using the track ball).

4) I tried to reply to most of the comments that people gave me, thanks everyone, I am learning a great deal. I am finding the more I learn the more I need to learn.

5) I know my goal for part 3/day 3 was all the photos/dvd's etc...however, I spent the day traveling to Western NC to be with family as we are getting ready to move in June. I know, I know, Linux should just naturally come before ANYTHING (right?), but I haven't gotten there yet. :)

Enjoy! Part 4 soon..:)

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Well Part 1 was a success...:)

Here's Part 2....

Let's see, I managed to get videos to play, CD's, MP3's, work (which required installing extra software which I couldn't do on Red Hat. I did it myself). Installed 247 updates (on my own) and guess what once they were installed NOTHING broke everything still worked. The other cool thing was it took less than 30 minutes.

OK, so some questions were asked on Peter's Blog about the time scale vs. functionality with Red Hat/Fedora before things broke. Let me answer that in a simple answer. Pete did everything. When he would install the updates (and in full disclosure it was a final release i.e. Fedora 5 not as he called it an alpha or beta something...) something would break, then I would have to wait for him or the community people to fix stuff to make it work (at least that how the process was explained to me). Sometimes that would only take a few minutes other times it would take hours to days. Then I would just give up and go back to my Mac. I didn't understand the language of Linux and now I am ready to try all this.

About the Mac updates, I, not Pete install them as they become available.

I am not opposed to learning Fedora 10 and comparing it to Ubuntu, once I finish this experiment. I only have a have one spare computer to "play" with at the moment.

I managed to write my essays for my class using Open Office and get them posted to the Website at Dayton. That was my goal for today.

This weekend I want to transfer my photos from i-Photo to F-Spot and see if I can do all the stuff I can do with iPhoto. I am wondering what I can use in the place of iDVD and iMovie, I am not seeing anything in my menu on Ubuntu that will allow me to do this. Might have to go on a hunt. Under applications I saw this thing that says add/remove but it doesn't say what I can add and remove. Once I opened it I figured out it was to Add/Remove software. Guess I will find out how easy it is.

Part 3 on Monday....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 1
OK, since Canonical says and I quote, "Linux for human beings" I decided that I would attempt to install (a clean install) and use only Ubuntu.

Besides I just had my yearly check up with my doctor and it was confirmed that I am definitely human based on that positive confirmation I decided to give it a try. Now I'm ready to begin. Let's GO!

(I have to pause here to mention my husband, Pete Graner, works for Canonical and I am NOT, repeat NOT asking him for help. All I asked him for was the Installation CD. According to all the literature I have read about this version of Linux I should not have to ask anyway.)

Let me also give you a little background about me: I am just your average housewife, home maker, mom, volunteer, etc. I normally use a MacBook Air or a Mac Powerbook G4. I just plug things in and they work and I must say I love using a Mac.

My husband Pete used to work for Red Hat, Inc., and I tried several times to learn to install and use their versions of Linux and always ended up going back to my Mac. Every time Pete went on travel something would "break" and I could not print or get onto the Internet, the big problem for me was I didn't know how to fix it and Pete would be in meetings and I would have to go somewhere else to complete what I had to finish. I would get frustrated and felt like I needed the RHCE course just to use the Red Hat version of Linux much less understand it.

(Side note...I loved the cool stuff that Red Hat was/is doing in Open Source Community but the average mom like me just couldn't figure it out. I am NOT and idiot! I am a decorated Army Veteran, I teach Religious Education Classes, and I take courses in Theology through the University of Dayton, and I could NOT figure it out without help.)

I find myself grabbing a Dell Inspiron 6400 and Installing Ubuntu. There were 7 steps to Installing it. Steps 4 and 7 I did not understand but I went the default settings and it has worked out great.

My goals for tonight were to Install Ubuntu Linux (Done), Connect to the Internet (Done), Connect to my Dell 3110 CN Color Laser Printer wirelessly (Done). After that I wanted to be able to get to my Website (Done), get to FaceBook, I am an addict (Done), access my classes at Dayton (Done), and write my Blog (Done).

It took less than 2 hours to get all the stuff listed above done.I really thought it would take a few days. I am pleasantly surprised to say the least. I am very happy that I was able to do this myself and NOT have Pete help me at all. I was able to stick to my initial position of NOT having him help me. :)

In short I want to be able to do all the stuff I can do on my Mac on the Dell using Ubuntu. I have an couple of essays that are due for my class so tomorrow I will try the Open Office Suite, I'll let you know how it progresses.