08
Jun
12

Explore Ubuntu is over

I am not really good at lengthy non geeky writing, so I’ll try my best to keep this short and hopefully not boring.

Explore Ubuntu started out as a casual blog of mine primarily because I wanted to keep track of the loads of things I learned while using Ubuntu. It was meant to be my personal catalogue of tweaks and tricks. Over time of course, the blog got quite popular and still gets a few hundred hits a day (which is decent for a personal blog).

This was never and never meant to be a professional endeavor. However, to be honest, I found it increasingly difficult to keep track of tweaks post Ubuntu 10.10. I never really was a fan of Unity and once it came out I decided to stick to 10.04, which is actually still supported and in my opinion, the best Ubuntu release till date. So frustrated I was with the subsequent Ubuntu releases that I decided to take the plunge and got rid of my PC which ran Ubuntu and bought a Dell running Windows 7. Now that might seem blasphemous to many, if not all users visiting this blog, but to be honest I have been quite happy with Windows 7. I have always held the view that usability comes first as source code is something very few users will be using. Also, the fact that neither my iPad nor my Android device would update via Ubuntu was a bit of a bummer. (Although I have to admit that my recently discovered love for PC games has much to blame for the transition)

Of late Ubuntu has started getting interesting all over again. Unity has become almost glitch free and integrates reassuringly well with the whole look and feel of the Ubuntu desktop. So will I be going back to Ubuntu? Short answer, not yet. There’s much to be liked about Ubuntu and FOSS needs all the support it can get. But at some point I guess the average user will look at usability and compatibility with other devices. For many this realisation comes after a few months, for others after a few years. But it eventually does bother and irritate everyone.

Final words. I could have actually just shut myself up and stopped writing, however considering the number of  people who have visited the blog, it would seem rude and selfish. My readers (if I can call you that) deserve an explanation. Hence this post.

So when will I be back? Erm…I’m not sure. Not to worry though, this blog and its existing posts will still be up and running. But in the meantime, you can stay in touch via my personal blog.

Thank you for all the love that you have shown over the years. It truly has been humbling.

Best wishes and thank you.

22
Apr
10

Scribes Text Editor

Tired of gedit? Although gedit is one of the most powerful text editors available, there are other sleerker ones as well. Scribes is one of them.

Its pretty much a really simple text editor. Its quite powerful though but the interface is what wins it for me. Simple and easy to use.

Here’s a screenshot:

How to install:

Scribes can be installed from the Ubuntu Software Center itself. Simple search for “Scribes” in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Alternate method: Go to Accessories > Terminal. Now type

sudo apt-get install scribes

Thats it. Pretty cool app. Worth a look.

21
Apr
10

Tribler file sharing client

Tribler is an application which helps you find, share, download, search for pictures, music, videos and so on. In other words its more like a media player integrated within a torrent client. I have tried it out, and frankly, the search and download function is pretty good. The integrated search is quite exhaustive, eg. take a look at the results Tribler came up with when I searched for “Ubuntu” (pic in the screenshots below).

It has Windows, Mac and Linux versions of its software. Here are a few screenshots of the application:

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How to install:

Go to System > Administration > Software Sources. From there go the Other Software tab and then Add the following line:

deb http://ubuntu.tribler.org/ karmic main

(If you need more and simpler information alongwith screenshots about how to add a repository, you should go through the details given here : http://exploreubuntu.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/adding-repositories/)

Now go to the Terminal (Applications > Terminal) and type the following:

sudo apt-get update

Next type the following in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install tribler

Thats it. Tribler will be available in the Internet menu.

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For experienced users seeking more information about Tribler:
Official page of Tribler: www.tribler.org
Launchpad page of Tribler: https://launchpad.net/tribler

20
Apr
10

BeeSeek

Very often there are seriously awesome projects being undertaken which we know nothing of. BeeSeek is one such gem of a project.

BeeSeek is a project intended to build a free open-source search engine based on peer to peer (P2P) technology.

It intends to create an effective search engine which doesnt compromise on user’s privacy. At the moment none of the popular search engines are open source ones, BeeSeek intends to change that by creating a source code which will be accessible to everyone.

The developers are working on the project and the community seeks more of them, web editors, marketing experts etc. As of now there isnt a stable release of BeeSeek. But you can try out their beta search engine : www.beta.beeseek.org

To be frank, such a project deserves attention and all the help it can get.

To know more about BeeSeek and help the BeeSeek community, check out the links below:

Wiki: http://wiki.beeseek.org/
Home Page: http://www.beeseek.org/
Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/beeseek

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19
Apr
10

VLMC – VideoLAN Movie Creator

VLMC or VideoLAN Movie Creator comes from the same good folks who gave us the awesome VLC Media Player. VideoLAN Movie Creator is basically a video editor and creator running on Windows and Linux. Without a doubt this is one project which has caught the attention of many users of VLC softwares. Personally, I’m pretty excited as well. I know Ubuntu has loads of video editors in its repositories but when VLC makes one, well, it definitely catches the attention.

However, the project is very much in its infancy and VLMC is in testing phase as of now. They havent announced any specific installation guides/instructions for Ubuntu users. But fret not my friends, for you can use VLMC via Wine (yes, the all purpose Windows emulator). So, for Ubuntu users, download the Windows version and run it under Wine. It works perfectly.

Screenshot:

How to Download:

To download VLMC (testing) you need to go to their official site (and download the Windows version of the software): www.trac.videolan.org/vlmc/wiki/Downloads

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18
Apr
10

Adding repositories

This is a very basic guideline for installing repositories. Repository is a place where a particular software is kept or maintained. Ubuntu Software Center has loads of softwares for nearly every imaginable use. However you might still need to install additional ones. For those softwares you need to install/add repositories. Repositories are also installed to stay up to date with the very latest versions of softwares.

There are two ways of adding repositories. The graphic (GUI) way and the terminal (CLI) way. I’ll discuss both here one after the other.

GUI (Graphic user interface aka graphic method):

Go to System > Administration > Software Sources

Click on the Other Software tab and then click Add.

Then simply type or copy paste the repository you want to add and thats it.

CLI (Command line interface aka terminal method):

Open the Terminal (Accessories > Terminal) and then type the following:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

A new window will open up and there simple copy paste the repository you want to add. Remember that you need to enter the repository name in a separate line or a new line. Hence press Enter from your keyboard before pasting/adding the repository.

Remember to save the file before you exit.

There’s another CLI method as well, its a more direct approach.

Go to the Terminal and type out the direct command to add the repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:name of repository

eg. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pcf/miro-releases (installs the official repository for the software Miro)

Tip: Always make sure you update your repositories after adding them. To update your repositories, go to System > Administration > Update Manager and click on Check.

Alternatively, you can go to the Terminal and type sudo apt-get update

Thereafter you can install the software from the Ubuntu Software Center itself or from the Terminal as the case may be (read instructions for that particular software in its documentation or FAQ section).

Thats was all about adding repositories in Ubuntu.

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18
Apr
10

Equalizer for Pulse Audio

There’s a really cool equalizer for Pulse Audio which can be installed by adding a repository. Its a system wide equalizer hence no matter what media player you use, you will be able to utilise this setting.

The image below is a screenshot of the same:

How to install:

Open the Terminal (Accessories > Terminal) and type in the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:psyke83/ppa

Next type the following in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get update

Finally, type the following (in the Terminal of course)

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer

Thats it. You can access the Pulse Audio Equalizer from the Sounds & Video menu.

Update: The creator of this Equalizer has added a new .deb file for both 32 and 64 bit versions of Ubuntu 10.10, simply click on the following link and install: Download Link

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