Monday, June 6, 2011

Adopting Linux

Not everybody makes the move to Linux in the first try. At least I didn't. I first tried back in version 7.04 of Ubuntu. Had to go back to MS WIN. Then 10.04 came along and I am using that version up to this day (June 2011).

Some history

During my middle-school years in Honduras I signed up for a computer course. The basics were taught there. Formatting a floppy, creating files and folders, word-processor use, printing. I took an aptitude test and I scored high on computer-related fields.

Then came High-School. Things were different there. We had programming, network design and analysis, and informatics classes. FoxPro and Visual FoxPro were used in the first year. On the second year we switched to Visual Basic 6.0; did some database driven application with Crystal Reports integrated.

On that second year I came to the US for vacation/work for a month. Bought my first computer. An eMachines w/ 120GB HDD, Athlon XP processor. My brother-in-law said that it was the best he had seen in the region so far. Anyway, I was allowed to take home my computer lab floppy. I was always ahead on the VB 6 project. Back in school I assisted my classmates with their program. The debugging I did at home helped us all, even the professor had a little more room to breathe.

I used to take my PC to school for presentations when the lab was in use. Even our graduation's slide show and music were played on that old computer. I still have that case at home. I re-purposed it with another motherboard since the original one fried when I tried to boot Linux from a separate hard drive. Hardware is not my forte.

After graduating from Instituto Pedagógico Manuel Antonio Santos - in Juticalpa, Olancho (Honduras)- I moved to Miami. Supposedly to start college. I kept procrastinating and to this day (5 years later) I have yet to enroll.

The switch

I have moved on from desktop application programming as a hobby to web development. I have successfully made the switch from Mocosoft Windose to Ubuntu (Debian based). I am not much of a game enthusiast so portability is not an issue. Although I could use WINE or some other commercial alternative to run .exe's on Ubuntu. Here's what I use on a daily basis when the need arises:
Music Rhythmbox
Word-processor Writer
Spreadsheet Spreadsheet
Web browsing Firefox
FTP client Filezilla
Email client Evolution
Simple text editor gedit
Video playback VLC
PHP, HTML coding Quanta Plus, Aptana
Web server Apache

All this using FOSS – Free Open Source Software. Give Linux a try. I chose Ubuntu because it seemed easy to use. I have my eye on Fedora Core 14, seems to be well maintained. Perhaps one day I will contribute a few lines myself.


  1. How do you get mp3's and some video formats to play? restricted codecs ?

  2. In a terminal window run these lines that start with "sudo". You will have to enter your password.
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

    For encrypted DVDs (originals) on Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10 and 11.04
    sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
    and then
    sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

    Have fun