Thursday, 30 August 2012
Friday, 13 January 2012
I then had the idea of trying this in Google Video chat, and bingo! It all worked, albeit that on the other machine the sound coming from Ubuntu was quite intelligible but very scratchy - but that might just have been because I was running Ubuntu as a live CD.
It's very definitely worth (I think) trying this on an install of Ubuntu...
Again, watch this space...
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
I have a Microsoft Lifecam VX1000 which will show images in Cheese but neither the camera nor the mic will work in Skype in Ubuntu or Mint and it's a pain to have to restart the machine just to use Windows for Skype.
I purchased a Logitech 270 HD camera which indeed works in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS but the mic does NOT work in 11.10 nor in Mint 12 unfortunately - all you get is a Mickey-Mouse sounding gibberish.
I've returned it, and will obtain a Logitech 250 which I am assured DOES work perfectly OK in Ubuntu 11.04.
Watch this space!
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Linux Mint has released version 11 - if you want a "windows-like" alternative experience then this may be the one for you.
Looking at it, it seems very slick and dare I say it, more Windows than Windows!
Then again there's been a new release of Ubuntu - 11.04.
This has replaced the standard Gnome desktop with something called Unity - a desktop manager that isn't to everyone's liking but is certainly different, and I think, innovative.
Both can be booted from a Live CD, and both can be installed (and booted from) an external disk or flash drive - take your favourite version of Linux with you!
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
There's a wealth of help available out there if you do decide to try alternative computing and run into trouble. (I have to say that unless you try bleeding-edge software or have esoteric hardware then you shouldn't need a lot of help!)
All the popular distros have their own Help forums, and there are plenty of mailing lists, newsgroups and web pages for applications and distributions as well.
Don't be put off by your lack of knowledge – although you will encounter the odd person who will brusquely tell you just to read the MAN pages (MAN – short for Manual - all distributions have them but they can be quite cryptic and confusing for someone who is new to this), I assure you that they are few and far between. Most people will welcome you to the alternative computing scene and will try to be as helpful as possible.
All you need to do is to make sure that you supply as much information as you can, and stay calm!
Some non-Distro specific help resources:
Friday, 4 March 2011
The first thing you can do on your journey is to try is some of the free Open Source applications that are available for Windows. As they are free, all it takes to try them is some bandwidth and your time! There are no licenses, no activation codes, complete freedom to use these applications on as many computers as you want to with no restrictions. That's the joy of Free and Open Source software!
The major application that most people need is an Office suite, and to most people that means Microsoft Office. Well, you may be surprised to know that there are several free alternatives.
The suite that is most advanced in competition with MS Office is undoubtedly Libre Office, although there are others: Apache Open Office (and varieties) being the other major player in this area.
The current version of Libre Office (3.6.1 at the time of writing) contains all the functionality (and a lot lot more) that any home or small business user could ever need.
Its default document type is the international standard ODF (Open Document Format) but it will save and open MS Office document formats including the new OOXML format that was introduced in MS Office 2007. (However there is some concern that the soon-to-be-released Office 2013 uses a different format - again!)
The only module that Libre Office does NOT contain is an email client. That is not a problem however because there are a wide number of free clients available - some very good, others not so good. So we come on to
There are several free excellent email clients available for Windows, some of which are cross-platform (i.e. are able to be installed and run on operating systems other than Windows)
The major players in this area are:
Zimbra Collaboration Suite
All these run on both Windows and Linux.
See this site for comparisons and more info:
Top cross-platform email clients
I mentioned Photoshop above - there is a free application that is used by many professionals in place of Photoshop - The Gimp.
This is not quite so "pointy-clicky" as Photoshop, but is well worth learning if manipulating pictures is your thing.