Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Of desktop environments and window managers

March 29, 2009 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

Of desktop environments and window managers

Image Credit: Clair Ching, 2009.
Desktop environments and window managers are related but they are not quite the same. It was not that easy for me to realize it at first. Why? Because both allowed me to interact with Linux through something graphical.
Desktop Environments
Desktop environments are the ones which provide a complete set of tools and as such, we have an easier time of doing things because everything worked together. From the desktop panel/s to the applets and/or widgets, and even tools like calendars and screensavers, there’s a complete set of tools that let us work with …read more

Blog of Helios gives reasons why we should use Linux

August 31, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

Blog of Helios gives reasons why we should use Linux

The blog post “Why Linux…?” gives us a background on Linux and what we could gain from using Linux.
Regarding the background to Linux, the blog entry mentions the security benefits of using it as well as an idea that it is an operating system which has improved so that users young and old alike might all be able to use it. It also gave a link t an article about security.
As for the benefits, it emphasizes the freedom that comes with using Linux. Also points out that Microsoft has stopped giving disks for its pre-installed software. The …read more

Why should you care about the kernel?

April 18, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation, Geeky Fun

Why should you care about the kernel?

The kernel is the one that makes your computer work. It makes you get things done. Your tasks could be printing out that report due in ten minutes or sending email when your client demands your reply. The kernel would be the key to the efficient use of your computer’s resources.
Sometimes you want to do some things but you can’t. For example, your laptop is having problems with hibernate/sleep. There is a chance that you might have to reconfigure your kernel so that the hardware involved in the process would be able to work well.
There …read more

Ext3 as a default file system

April 3, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation, Geeky Fun

Ext3 as a default file system

I’ve been wondering why my friends told me to use the ext3 filesystem when I installed Linux. At the time, I didn’t really understand. Why should I choose ext3? And why should you?

ext3 is stable
ext3 is sufficient for most desktop computing needs
ext3 is well-supported

I think that by default, most installaions of distributions use ext3. I guess that people sometimes get tempted to try out other file systems. I asked one of my friends about XFS and Reiser. He pointed out that the Reiser3 file system is deprecated according to its creator. I also …read more

Learning how to build from source

March 7, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

Learning how to build from source

No need to hate building apps from the source tarball! Mitch Meyran’s article on How to love free software in 3 steps is really good read.
Compiling a kernel or an app that you need might feel daunting but he does give helpful hints:

Read the manual.
Check out the compile options carefully.
Don’t forget to create backups!
Keep a live CD near you just in case.

And don’t worry too much if you’re taking so much time compiling something because you’re reading the manual and stuff. It’s ok. It’s better than having an unusable system.

Repos, repositories – what?

March 5, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

Repos, repositories – what?

For those who are using Linux, new users are getting accustomed with the terms and it might not be easy to remember all the time. Take for example the term repository.
Repositories are where users could get packages of software they want to install. Hmmm. Maybe one could say it’s a place of installers — it’s a loose analogy but people who have been using Windows might be more familiar with the concept of installers. Anyhow, the nice thing about repositories is that there a lot of software that could be fetched there and installed on your system. …read more

Fix your desktop shortcuts

February 19, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

Fix your desktop shortcuts

Customizing the desktop is one of the fun things you could do. I usually make sure that mine has a nice inspirational background image or something cute to brighten up my day. Aside from that, I also set the number of workspaces I have to what is relevant for me. (If for example, I have to edit several totally different kinds of documents, I make the number of workspaces equal to their number. Or at least the number of projects that they fall under.)
Kiven of That Damn PC wrote about improving your desktop layout …read more

When do you compile a custom kernel?

January 29, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

When do you compile a custom kernel?

For someone new to Linux, hearing tales of people compiling apps is scary. “WHOA! Command line. Text-only interface. Ack! Ack! Ack!” There were only two instances thus far that made me compile a custom kernel. One time I had to compile a custom kernel so that sleep will work on my laptop. Another time I had to compile a kernel was when I experienced kernel panic. Was it scary? Yes. I didn’t know what will happen to my laptop. I spent so much time configuring the kernel because there was just too many things …read more

Log on to any machine via LDAP

January 7, 2008 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation, The Free World.

Log on to any machine via LDAP

I am not quite sure yet how LDAP really works, but I am sure that all sys admins out there have an idea. In any case, I am currently logged on to one of the desktops in the office and it’s because of LDAP that I can log in here and do my work. I don’t really have access to my main data source at the moment because that’s on my laptop and it’s turned off. But at least I don’t have to worry about bugging someone about the username and password I could use on other …read more

Version control

November 28, 2007 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Explanation

Version control

Sometimes we need to control the version of the files we’re working with. It could be because of work, but there are times we just need to because of a personal project. In any case, there’s a need for a system that would help us for that kind of task. For this entry let’s take a look at Subversion.
Jerome Gotangco’s guide to installing Subversion on the Ubuntu Philippines loco page is something that’s quite easy to follow.
Even before you start following that guide, here are some concepts and terms you need to understand first:

repository – …read more

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