Home Forums General Discussion Ubuntu – a rant.

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    • #7354

      For the most part I’ve worked under Windows, with brief excursions into Linux over the years. This include RedHat @ LYIT, and mates recommending Slackware and also Knoppix.

      Although the bootable CD/DVD was a novel feature, I always encountered issues with drivers (admittedly, my laptop of the time, and XT395 – was/is an obscure beast) and I could not understand why the "Windows" or Logo key (or whatever) could not bring up the start/applications menu.

      In the end, regardless of my good intentions to unplug from Microsoft’s grip, I returned to Windows, Visual Studio, DirectX, etc.

      Over the past few months, I have once again been recommended to give Linux another go, as Ubuntu appears to have taken up where Knoppix left off. (Knoppix is still out there, at version 6.0 or so – I’m not suggesting its dead or anything)

      So. I did. I just installed Ubuntu to an external 3.5" USB hard drive and grub handles the boot load process. Its a little slow but I can live with that for now.

      Next up was to find a Visual Studio-like IDE. Found it. Code::Blocks and have to say, its pretty good to use, considering its free.

      Source control handled by SVNWorkbench.

      No DirectX as yet (and not available as far as I know), but my OpenGL is rusty, so I’ve been brushing up on that.

      Photoshop has been replaced by the GIMP and again, for the most part no hiccups.

      3DS Max (to get basic programmer art place-holders) has been replaced by Blender. This has not been an easy transition as the interface is considerable different, but in the grand scheme of things, I generally need to create some primitives, joints and key-frame animations and thats about it really so I’ll figure it out.

      Libraries. Lua, Python, SDL are all API’s I work under Windows with so they are on the list to get, build, and test, but again, so far this seems easy and do-able.

      What’s missing? PhysX and Havok are next on my list. PhysX 2.8.1 is available (although I haven’t tested it yet). Will be checking on Havok later.

      Docs, reports, etc. Taken care of by OpenOffice.

      UML. DIA.

      Project Management/Scheduling. KPlato is good, and "Planner 0.14.3" is a slim-down MS Project clone.

      So that’s really "work-related" stuff up and running.

      As for the "non-work-related" stuff, its mostly there also.

      Web. Firefox.

      Chat. Skype.

      Messenger. Pidgeon (handles all your messenger chat stuff in one app – think there’s a windows port out also).

      Music. VLC.

      Music Editing. Audacity.

      Reading. Acrobat (but there’s also a host of faster PDF/PS document viewers available).

      Games? this is usually the deal-breaker. But to my surprise, most of the popular emulators are available. (Not that I use emulators, ROM’s, etc…) But if you are looking for them, VBA (Visual Boy Advance), ZSNES, DeSmuME (DS), Stella (Atari) are all there and workable.

      Joysick? USB XBox360 controller works to fair bit, the "diagonals" (UL / UR) are a bit iffy at present, and this process also took some hassle, but not that much.

      Antivirus. AVG.

      Compression. 7zip.

      Some other nice features that I have found are the automatic updates, which features an easy to use way to update your OS.

      And the "Add/Remove" under the applications menu is a real treat. Basically it connects to Ubuntu servers and you can specificy a software type or name (e.g. UML) and it will retrieve any applications (free) that are available to you. It also has third party listings, and user ratings. Its *almost* like an app store. Only it is all free. Simply click on what you want, and it installs it, no hassle, no head-aches.

      So there you have it. That’s my two cents for anyone considering giving it a go. I’m somewhat of a reformed sceptic. I still miss bits and pieces of Windows (and return to those bits and pieces when I need to), but for now I’m spending more and more time using Ubuntu.

      And there’s always WINE to look at also…


    • #44362

      funny enough I got a new pc a few weeks ago and i duel boot with xp and ubunto 64bit. I had Vista on my laptop, but its pisses me of so much and had to go back to xp. For the sake of compatibly I running the standard xp which can only read 3gbs of my 4gb ram, while ubunto is running 64 bit and all 4gb.

      Since I have been mostly web browsing, irc’ing and ftping/ basic html/php editing have been using ubunto the most. It runs so fast compared to my xp. As jediboy has pointed out the auto updates are great and the add/remove is brill. Only problems are some bugs, that I think are cause by the 64bit os. I tried Gimp the other day and it seemed broken, ie i pasted in a layor or it would not show ( but the dotted line section is showing), is that a bug or is it just gimp does things differently to photoshop? I don’t know.

      Firefox has the odd bug with images but it every rare, and but 64bit (or 32bit running ) plugin’s for firefox is a bit of a pain (flash being the hardest to sort out).

      Another annoyance is the when you trying to get a file to open automatically with a program, is hard to find programs as they don’t all go into "program files" like folder.

      One last bug , every time I shut down Ubunto the computer restarts instead (xp shut downs ok). But since Ubunto starts up and shuts down so quickly its not that bad.

      So yeah I think I’ll stick with if for a while longer. The only thing really booting xp at the mo is photoshop

    • #44366

      I’ve been using Ubuntu nearly exclusively for 2 1/2 years now (I have a windows box for Windows Mobile development) and at the risk of sounding like a fanboy, it’s superior to windows as a dev environment to me. I’m probably not like normal users as I spend a lot of time in the terminal, but the powerful bash scripting, as well as support for every scripting language under the sun makes nearly every task trivial.

    • #44370

      Just found a real slick feature in Code::Blocks (8.02) last night.

      Check out "Abbreviations." Its kind of like VisualAssist, or code snippet, or macro, and assign it an abbreviation.

      So I can have something like this defined in the IDE as my template for classes:

      class CFoo
      // members



      // methods


      CFoo& CFoo( const CFoo& _krOther );
      CFoo& operator=( const CFoo& _krOther );

      and then assign it an "abbreviation" like BBClass. Whenever I type BBClass in the IDE I’ll be prompted for a variable name. Press enter, and the code above is inserted using the variable name provided (instead of CFoo).

      Long story short, cool feature, not aware of anything like it (by default) in VS2005, (although VisualAssist is a good add-on). I suppose it won’t be long until VS2008/VS2010 adopts this feature.


    • #44442

      When i saw the title there i thought you were gonna be complaining about Ubuntu!

      Yeah linux is very useful once you get over the fact that *everything* you see can be configured. I’ve been working with Debian in work for the past 3 years now. Love it now even though i spent half an hour this morning trying to get my PC to boot up as i had been messing around with the firewall after running some unit tests yesterday!

      One very nice IDE for C/C++ is slickedit, although not free. I find that alot of the free IDEs like Kevelop are buggy. I must try out that Code::Blocks one, never heard of it before.

      Are you shutting down through a dialog or issuing the poweroff command at the command line? If its through a dialog then it sounds like you may have your run level scripts (/etc/rc6.d/) mixed up or something if its rebooting. It might be triggering run level 6 when you click on the dialog maybe. Google "ubuntu run levels" to see what i mean.

      I find bootable CDs are still a pain in the nuts for detecting hardware, etc. even though all the major distributions provide them now. Recently i worked on creating a bootable subset of Debian from a compact flash/usb for the hardware we use in work here. It was a pain to develop but it works pretty well now. It boots up in no time at all seeing a we stripped alot of the default packages out.

    • #44445

      Hi guys,
      this is my first post and it should be on anything else but linux. I’ve been using it for a while now, mainly for music, but I’m turning also on game development now.

      I’d also like to add the MONO project for those who are used to .NET and C# development. I’ve not used it yet, but I’ll do soon.


    • #44449


      Nice to meet you and welcome to the boards.

      Thanks for the heads up on Mono, I’ll have a look.


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