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Making Ubuntu 14.04 Work for Me – The Easy Stuff:
Windows XP has been on the way out for the last couple of years. Recently, my Google Chrome started informing me that as of April 8, 2016, Chrome will no longer be supported on Windows XP and several other Operating Systems. As mentioned in Ubuntu: An Alternative to Windows XP, I have been exploring the possibilities in Ubuntu.
Device HP Media Center PCm7160n
Memory 2.0 GiB
Processor Intel® Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz × 2
Graphics Intel® 945G x86/MMX/SSE2
OS Type 32-bit
Disk 117.4 GB
When we bought this computer, it was state of the art. I have had some minor problems over the years. I have had to replace a couple of the fans and when the fan on the power supply went out, I had to replace it as well. Fortunately, I had been collecting old machines over the years. I was able to scavenge a better power supply than the one that went bad and even located another couple of RAM chips to raise it to 2 GB. When I set up the dual installation of Ubuntu with my Windows XP, I divided the available disk space evenly between the two Operating Systems. You can see by the disk space that I have allocated to Ubuntu 14.04, that I had disk space to spare.
Programs That I Used in Windows XP:
This was a family computer for years and therefore was cluttered with all kinds of downloads and installations. Now, I am the only user. For my online efforts, I have a Working folder on my desktop. In preparation for Ubuntu, I updated my USB copy of my working folder.
About OneNote and Ubuntu:
I had become heavily dependent upon Microsoft OneNote. Unless you have the installation disk, it is not readily available for the Ubuntu Operating Systems. One solution is to save all of your OneNote Notebooks to the web. OneNote makes this very simple. As long as you have a Microsoft Account at Hotmail or Outlook, you can setup your OneNote online. Some of the highlighting was lost in translation and it is nowhere near as easy to use. But, the information will be available for you to use and or transfer to new systems. This should have been my second preparation step. Instead, I returned to the Windows OS and shared all my OneNote Notebooks to the web.
Getting Started With Ubuntu 14.04:
After installation of Ubuntu 14.04, I copied my Working folder to the new Desktop under the folder name of “Windows Files”. I figured that I may as well take advantage of the opportunity to strip my Working folder back to essentials. Next I created a new Working folder for the Folders and Files that I will be using in Ubuntu 14.04.
My Password Tool Came First:
One thing that made my transition to Ubuntu 14.04 easy was the ready availability of my password tool, KeePass2, in the Ubuntu Software Center. With a copy of the folder containing my password database in the new Working Folder, all I had to do was Install the KeePass2 Password Tool from the Ubuntu Software Center and tell it where to look for the database file. Aside from some minor differences, it was like I had never changed a thing.
*Note: KeePass Password Safe is available at keepass.info. As with all security devices on any system but Ubuntu, you should do your own search for the tool. It was first suggested to me by a Library Professional that I Trust. I am very happy to see it available on Ubuntu.
The Easy Ones First:
I went through my list of Programs that I use. Two more that were readily available in the Ubuntu Software Center were FileZilla that I use for uploading my Web Pages to Nove-Noga.com, and GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, that I use to create and manipulate images.
Chromium Replaces Chrome:
The messages from Google Chrome are what set me off on this course. Ubuntu 14.04 comes with Firefox as the default browser. I am very used to Chrome and wanted to stay with it. It turns out that “Chrome” as such is not available for Ubuntu. However, there is a Ubuntu alternative, Chromium. Search in the Ubuntu Software Center for “chrom” and it will pop up. Once I signed into Google, (thank you KeePass2) most of my old bookmarks showed up. There are several aspects of Chromium that I like better than Chrome. For example, I can move the tabs around if I open them in the wrong order. I couldn't do that in XP Chrome.
All of my recent work has been with Microsoft Word 2010. I did take a look at Open Office but decided to use the Microsoft Office 2010 that was available to me. Unfortunately, unless you have the installation disk, you cannot easily use Microsoft products in Ubuntu 14.04. The default Word Processor in Ubuntu 14.04 is LibreOffice. It will read your .docx files from Microsoft Word but it recommends that you save your files in the .odt format. I agree. As I open my old files, I immediately save them in the new format. That leaves my original files safe and makes the LibreOffice Word Processor happily content.
*Note: One interesting change is in the Wenesday IBO Toolbox Training Webinar. In Windows, Citrix runs as a separate program. With Chromium on Ubuntu 14.04, the Webinar simply opens in another tab.
That about covers the easy stuff of making Ubuntu 14.04 work for me. With my dependence upon Microsoft Office products, the rest of it was not quite so easy. In fact, until today, I had not solved what I considered to be my biggest problem. That is one reason for the delay of this Press Release. In the next I will detail my solutions to the problems presented by my dependence upon Microsoft OneNote, my Access database problem, making my printer work and other observations.
By now you may be wondering, could Ubuntu 14.04 be worth the effort? If you take it as given that I have to make a change then you also have to take it as given that there will be problems to solve. With Ubuntu, I am giving up easy access to Microsoft products but I am also giving up the vulnerability that comes with Windows. Plus, the only “cost” involved with my change to the Ubuntu 14.04 Operating System was a 2 Gig USB that I needed for the boot device. And I had that in my desk. Is the change to Ubuntu 14.04 worth it to me? Yes! It is a simple case of “nothing ventured – nothing gained.”
Making Ubuntu 14.04 Work for Me – The Hard Stuff