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Old 30th May, 2007, 12:12 AM
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Linux Switchover

Well, I thought I'd give Linux a whirl on my kid's machine, just to see how it works. I downloaded and installed Ubuntu Feisty Fawn.

Installed on a pretty plain machine:

DFI LanParty II (NF2 chipset)
AthlonXP 2500+ OC'd to 2.2 GHz. (Been running Windows stable for over a year)
10 Gig Seagate drive
512 Meg RAM.
CD
Radeon 8500

Everthing installed without a hitch. Audio, video, the whole 9 yards. Interestingly, although it found the RealTek ethernet interface, it doesn't seem to know about the NF2 ethernet interface. Dunno what's up with that, but it doesn't really matter.

Automatically downloaded and installed about 40 updates, including a kernel update, once it was installed.

The first thing I had to do was download and install both Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Acrobat Reader install was pretty straight-forward; I just had to run the installer. Unfortunately, running the installer required me to sudo; this is NOT something someone coming from windows would have a clue to do.

Worse, however, was the Flash Player install; in addition to sudo, I had to actually tell it where FireFox was stored on the system so that it could install the plugin. I had no idea where FireFox was installed, because FF was installed with the system. So <I> had to go find FF, and then tell the installer where to put itself.

For a system that is supposed to be as easy to use and as friendly as Windows, I'm not impressed.
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Old 30th May, 2007, 12:14 AM
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Oh, and I just ran into another wrinkle:

There is NO Shockwave player for FF (or anything else) under Linux. There IS a workaround for Shockwave that involves downloading and installing WINE (the Windows emulator from CodeWeaver), installing the Windows version of FF, and then downloading and installing the Shockwave player for FF under Windows.

Disney's ToonTown just refuses to load, which is a bitter disappointment for my middle child. I've sent a request to ToonTown.com asking them when they are going to support FF or Linux (they support IE under Win, and Safari under Mac, but no FF under Linux {or anything else}). No response, and I did that yesterday.

Last edited by Gizmo; 30th May, 2007 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 30th May, 2007, 04:14 AM
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Sounds like it is close but not quite there yet. My 9 year old daughter loves Disney.com. I had to leave IE on her machine for this reason. Keep us updated. This still sounds a little promising.
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Old 30th May, 2007, 11:01 PM
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So close you can taste freedom from MS, then it fades and the tears come...I feel your pain...":O}
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Old 30th May, 2007, 11:50 PM
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I wouldn't have done it that way at all.

Installing programs manually is a big waste of time and effort, and is not the way most modern distros are designed to be used. To install flash player on my machine:

pop a terminal>
su
yum install Flash*

done.

While you may have trouble keeping track of where everything is, the package management system wont. My Nvidia/atheros-madwifi etc kernel modules are all downloaded, precompiled, functional, and installed correctly automatically, every 12 hours, or whenever I force an update.

If it isnt available through one of the standard Fedora yum repositories, I get it from one of the thousands of 3rd party repos.

All of this is also accessible through a very easy to use GUI if its anything like Fedora, merely prompting you for the root password when its time for things to happen.

btw, acrobat reader isnt actually very good. There are some apps such as KPDF and EOG (Eye of gnome) that handle pdfs, and even do very fast and accurate antialiasing on pdfs, and images alike.
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Old 31st May, 2007, 12:46 AM
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Well, if you'll point me to the spot in the documentation where it tells me how to install new applications using Ubuntu's package manager, I'll be more than happy to use it.
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Old 31st May, 2007, 12:53 AM
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I'm not actually that familiar with Ubuntu or Debian, but I found this from a quick google, not sure how useful it is: http://monkeyblog.org/ubuntu/installing/

You may have to look for third party sites, but you should find some .deb files which will make life much easier, if not able to get it through apt.

Some info on apt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Packaging_Tool

and some info on the GUI frontend http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaptic
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