Using Ubuntu

Hello everybody!

We learnt in class today that we would be using Ubuntu for the rest of the semester. I’m actually pretty excited to be honest. Ever since I can remember, I’ve personally used Windows. I’m proficient in Windows but I can’t imagine using any other operating system which is why I think this will be a great learning experience.

There are still a few issues that I’m trying  to find more information about before I finally go through and install Ubuntu. The basic question that I’m trying to resolve right now is where I should partition my hard drive and make a separate drive for Ubuntu or just install VirtualBox and try to run Ubuntu within Windows. While the partition install might be more stable and recommended, I want to be able to switch back between Windows and Ubuntu almost instantaneously as I do most of my work on Windows.

Weighing out the pros and cons though, I think I’m going to go with a partition install. I would rather have a stable operating system even if it means a longer boot time and switch time to Windows. I finally installed Ubuntu and I’m actually impressed. It’s a lot smaller, faster and user friendly.  One of the features that has stood out immediately is the increased functionality of the keyboard. I really like the fact that Ubuntu integrates some of traditional features of Windows such as dragging a window on either side of the screen to split-screen it along with the more primitive Unix operating systems which are primarily dependant on terminal commands. I’m hoping to become a lot more familiar with the environment by the end of the semester.

Until next time!

Desktop Environment – Cinnamon

I have been testing out different Desktop Environment throughout the semester. Of all of the ones that I tried out, I seem to always go back to using Cinnamon. Cinnamon has a very simple interface that combines the usefulness of Unity and Simplicity of GNOME 2. Cinnamon was created to maintain the classic GNOME 2 look as well as be adaptable to the new features coming GNOME 3 and Unity interfaces.

Cinnamon was originally created for a different distro called Mint Linux. However, since Mint is based off of Ubuntu, porting the desktop environment to the Ubuntu wasn’t too difficult.

I think this desktop environment is the best way to introduce Linux to a new user because of its similarities to Windows XP/Windows 7. Some similarities like the task bar at the bottom of the screen helps new user break out of their comfort zones slowly.

I highly recommend anyone to give Cinnamon a shot. Just go to their website and follow the instructions to install.

 

 

Desktop Environments – GNOME

Ever since I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for Intro to Unix and Applied Software, I have been trying to find alternatives to the default Desktop Environment, Unity. I gave Unity a chance for the first few weeks on installing the OS, but it felt like an awkward combination of Mac OSX and Linux fundamentals. Then I began researching for new desktop environments. While researching, I found into GNOME Desktop Environment. After I installed it from the Ubuntu Software Center, I logged out and went to select the GNOME interface. The selection menu, there were multiple options. GNOME Classic, GNOME, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 2D.

GNOME Classic is basically GNOME 3.0 with a the classic GNOME 2.0 interface. This was created for people who couldn’t adapt to the new interface.

 

GNOME 3.0 is the latest version of the desktop environment. It is similar to Unity in many ways, but the biggest difference is the way the GNOME 3.0 interface looks.Surprisingly, I found out that Ubuntu Unity was forked from the GNOME 3.0. Unlike Unity, many of the setting and apps are hidden away until you hit a hot corner on the left to reveal all of the running apps,app tray, and additional virtual desktop.

Overall, I found GNOME 3.0 to be a little annoying when it came to be productive because the desktop screens where set up on top to bottom, and in order to open any app it required going to the app tray. I’ll try to stick with it a little bit longer and see if I can look past these annoyances.

If anyone is interested check out the GNOME website: http://www.gnome.org/gnome-3/

Third Look at Ubuntu – reposted

I posted this one on the wrong blog too, but I have figured it out for future posts.

Having been using Ubuntu through the first half of the semester, I thought I would revisit my feelings about Linux in general and about Ubuntu specifically. When not doing any assignments I find myself using only Windows 7. I know some people who after this class have adopted Ubuntu as their primary operating system, but I won’t be one of those people. I know the ins and outs of windows and I just feel there is so much in Ubuntu that I don’t know and I won’t ever be able to know it as well as windows.

The idea of an open source “do anything you want/need to do” is great and that is why Linux is so popular. It can adapt to your needs and let you accomplish everything you need to. When using ubuntu for class or homework, I find myself dreading using it. It may just be my computer but it feels extremely slow and hard to use. Some of the basic settings have default settings that I don’t like but don’t know how to change.them.

I started off on the wrong foot with ubuntu trying to run off a flashdrive. I completed our first homework assignments on the multiple commands we had to learn. I didn’t upload it because I was going to check it later before it was due. A while later I booted to Ubuntu again and the files were gone because I had set up the flashdrive wrong. I ended up going with VirtualBox. If I had started learning Ubuntu first instead of Windows I’m sure I would like it more, but I am resistant to change.

Post Midterms Updates

Even though we haven’t had our class for two weeks, the midterm and other projects helped me a lot to learn Ubuntu Operating System, Ubuntu terminal, Python etc. There is still a long way to go, but I am in the process of getting there. In addition, we got our grades for the first exam. I got a better grade that what I anticipated. Looking at the schedule, I see that we are behind in schedule, mostly in projects. I have been experimenting with some new  Unix commands in the terminal. Data/ files manipulation in Ubuntu is so much easier than windows in Unix terminal. Shortcut keys such as cp and mv enables you to make copies and pasted them in directories which can also be created by typing mkdir. I am looking forward to do more assignments in C++.

For ECE 3574, I completed my first GUI project. It was a simple QWidget which had four buttons. Each button had a signal which connected to a corresponding slot and performed associated action. In addition to that, our 2nd GUI project was assigned as well. HW5 demands us to implement a log in page where the information is stored in password.dat file. If the user enters the password correctly, the user is then directed to play  a tic-tac-toe game. Meanwhile, there are other frames which could register a new user, change password, display welcome screen, etc. This project might be tough, but using Unix Philosophies of modularity might simplify this project. These are my updates for this week. Check back next week for more updates.

Week4/5

The first few Python projects weren’t as difficult as the latest homework(homework 4). Despite having a decent knowledge in Python syntax, homework 4 is taking a fair bit of time. We have to create a mini language in Python. The basic functionality of the program involves getting keywords from the user commands and executing them such as adding  files, removing, sort, search, etc. So far I have implemented two of the functions and it was very tough doing that. Initially, I created a list to store the data. I later realized that this could improved by having a dictionary which stores two values for each node of the list instead of one. This enables us to have the data variable name in one field and the content in the other. After making slight modifications to the existing code, I was able to implement it using both list and a Dictionary. I am planning on finishing this project today or tomorrow based on my workload.

For the first time, I have projects due for Software Engineering and Unix within two days. The project for Unix is due on Wednesday and the project for Software engineering is due on Friday. For the software engineering project, I have to loop across Directories and print out files and associated memory of each files and directories. The Qt libraries have several built in functions that we can use to iterate through the directories and files.

Previously, the sound was not working while I was on the Unix system. After doing some research and installing some drives, it was finally working. I later realized that the sound was not coming from the head phone jack. Presently, I am working on that issues. These are my updates for week 3/4> Please check back next week for a new post.

Intro to Unix ECE 2524 Entry #3

Had my first issue with Ubuntu today, I guess moreso with the VirtualBox which crashed for the first time. Luckily managed to recover everything.  Still having issues getting it to have the correct resolution within VirtualBox though,  I don’t remember how I got it into widescreen form last time.

Python proved to be more difficult than last weeks assignment.  Getting the parser to work along with the fileinput was more challenging than it originally seemed. At first I had a hard time figuring out how to handle each optional argument in the parser. Eventually figured out you can literally say if argument… and handle it. A lot more intuitive than I thought it would be. After getting that, it still wasn’t working because the optional arguments had dashes within them like –ignore-blanks.  Turns out Python converts these dashes to understrikes so the statement became if “ignore_blanks”.  Then the fileinput tried to take these optional arguments as files which caused more issues. Finally got all of that working and then learned about the shebang too.

ECE3574 continues to have an overwhelming amount of work. Project 2 is some exercises out of the book that are extremely annoying. The exercises require you to implement the functions listed in the book, and you have to figure out what the book wants you to do with each function and what they want you to do with the parameters passed to each function.  One of the exercises you have to use some of the source code given and it’s extremely hard implementing classes and functions that you didn’t design.  It would be a lot easier just to write everything on my own rather than trying to figure out how their stuff works and then incorporating it. Gunna have to go see the TA just to understand what the book expects you to do in certain parts.  Sure hope there won’t be any more assigments out of the book.

Week 3 Updates

This was the third week of using Unix for a class related project, and so far I am liking it. Even though the interface is similar to windows office or XP, its the terminal that makes using Ubuntu good. Like I mentioned earlier, in the Unix Command School assignment, the commands are pretty simple and intuitive. While I like the terminal part of Ubuntu, I don’t know how to decrease the screen brightness on Ubuntu. This is destroying the battery life of my laptop. My plan is get it fixed sometime over this weekend.

As far the second assignment goes, it wasn’t too difficult. I had prior experience in python which made me finish the project quickly. It initially took some time to recall python syntax. I thought that the hardest part of this assignment was uploading .py files to github. I was regretting uploading it after realizing that our programs can be seen by anyone with a Github account. Regardless, I realized that if used correctly, this could be an excellent source to share code.

In addition to this, I had my first project due for ECE 3574. The project required us to get command line arguments and carry out some functions in it. The main focus of the project was managing a database. These are my updates with Ubuntu for this week, and check back next week for more.

Experience with Ubuntu installation on flash drive so far

I thought it’d be pretty cool to install Ubuntu on a flash drive instead of just using a VM. Turns out it is. After a couple hours of googling “how to install Ubuntu on a flash drive” and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong (I was missing a ‘./’), the OS finally installed on my new Kingston 16GB flash drive. It has all the functionality of a hard drive OS and can even save files permanently too.

So far it’s been pretty reliable. However, since it doesn’t have access to my Fujitsu’s RAM (can it?) it often slows down when you try to start applications ranging from Qt Creator to just the Terminal. It can get pretty annoying but once everything is open and running, it’s relatively smooth. If anyone else has any tips about having an OS on a flash drive feel free to comment below!

I’ll definitely update this if anything drastic happens.

Unix Blog Post #2 – Issues :(

Today, I had to switch a virtual machine to run Ubuntu because my Ubuntu install on my hard drive was over heating my laptop. My laptop would constantly run the fan, whether or not, I am doing anything intensive. Initially, I thought it was a video card issue, since I have both an Intel and ATI Radeon graphics cards in my laptop. So I installed the required drivers, which allowed me to turn of the ATI Radeon Graphics card. Unfortunately, my fan continued to exhaust heat from the fans.I am going to take my laptop tomorrow to LUUG. Hopefully, they can figure out what is going. If anyone else can help me, my laptop model is HP Pavilion DV6.

Despite, the driver issues, I am enjoying using Ubuntu. Many of the different commands that I am learning from this class and ECE 3574 are finally starting to sink in. Typing commands into the Ubuntu’s terminal is starting to become more natural. Hopefully, by the end of this class, I will remember most of these commands.