Author Topic: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008  (Read 2975 times)

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Offline abdullahazzam

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Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« on: April 18, 2008, 05:38:49 PM »
ubuntu Demonstration Day

Saturday 26th April 2008 10am to 4pm


The Museum of Computing, University of Bath in Swindon, Oakfield Campus, Marlowe Avenue, Swindon SN3 3JR (map)

Tel: 07939 582544

Free admission


Come and find out about Ubuntu, a free Linux operating system for PCs. Whether you are a computer beginner or a Linux expert there will be lots of information, help and free advice available. And of course you can see the Museum of Computing and take a trip down technological memory lane.


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Offline Simon

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 09:08:49 AM »
I may well check this out.

I picked up a Ubuntu CD last year, along with a dyne:bolic CD (another Linux variation which was recommended to me when I was looking for some open-source video editing software with a bit more sophistication than Windows Movie Maker).

Linux is certainly easier than it was when I first looked at it a few years back. No more of that messy business of partitioning and dual-booting, because both run straight from the CD. Unfortunately I couldn't get either one to recognise my PC's USB ports, or my DV camera  :(

Maybe these guys will be able to tell me where I was going wrong.
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Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2008, 10:06:20 AM »
The Museum of Computing's site has a little moreto say about events planned for the day:

"At the Ubuntu Demo Day you'll be able to talk to Ubuntu users, try Ubuntu out, see videos showing common tasks, and take home a LiveCD to try on your own machine. You don't have to install it to try it; just boot from the LiveCD. You'll get a leaflet with information on finding out more and getting help.

Ubuntu is a community developed Linux operating system for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. All the basic software that you'll need is installed by default. In addition there are more than 16,000 packages which are available to you immediately, and more software is available from third parties.If you've used the internet, you've almost certainly already used Linux indirectly; about 60% of web servers (the computers that store web sites and send web pages to your PC when you type an address into your browser) are running a Linux operating system."

I've never actually had a chance to use Ubuntu, or any other version of Linux, but I've long wanted to. I have to admit, as a completely free OS with a host of applications it does sound like a better deal than Windows. Has anyone out there ever used Ubuntu, and how would you describe it compared to Windows XP? Is it actually that different, or does it work in more or less the same way? Is it easier or harder to use?
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Offline Simon

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2008, 10:25:54 AM »
I've only dabbled with Linux, and not really enough to make a judgement on whether it's better or worse than Windows, although that will depend a lot on what you want from it.

One thing I have observed though is that it's very different in some respects. The file system and the conventions on what belongs where are completely different - there's no Program Files or My Documents. And for some reason I seem to remember that any removable media (CDs, memory sticks etc) need to be "mounted" before you can access them, and then "unmounted" before you remove them. I never understood that.

And unlike Windows, file types aren't identified by their filename extension, so it can be very confusing trying to work out what a particular file actually is.

But it nearly always comes with some sort of graphical UI these days, so you can drag and drop and point and click just like in Windows, no messing about in terminal windows with those obscure Unix commands.
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Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2008, 11:24:59 AM »
What makes Ubuntu better than all of the other versions of Linux? How does Ubuntu compare to something like Windows XP or Vista?
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Offline Simon

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2008, 11:06:00 PM »
I really don't know enough about Linux and its various variations to say much about this, but...

What makes Ubuntu better than all of the other versions of Linux?

I gather Ubuntu's main selling point over other flavours of Linux is ease of use for people who aren't techies, i.e. the people who quite happily manage to use Windows in the daily course of their lives without understanding or caring how any of it works, as long as it works and does what they want. This has traditionally been a weak point for Linux - it sounds bloody brilliant but you either need to be a techie (and a Linux geek) to use it, or you need such a geek to set the system up for you so that you can use it without needing to worry about how it works.

Whether Ubuntu fulfills this promise remains to be seen.

Quote
How does Ubuntu compare to something like Windows XP or Vista?

Your guess is as good as mine on that point. I guess we'll find out next Saturday  :)

If any readers have any experience with Ubuntu or dyne:bolic or any other Linux distributions, please share them with us...
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 11:02:52 AM »
I'm doing a College assignment that requires me to compare two different operating systems, I chose Linux and Windows because they're current and both quite important. One of the things that I discovered about Ubuntu is that it is supposedly the easiest Linux distro to use; also, unlike some other distros, it is completely free.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2008, 04:33:02 PM »
Something I've just remembered about one of those Linux distros, not sure which one it was though...

It offers the ability to have all your user settings, documents and such like, on a memory stick rather than on the hard disc. So you can carry the CD and memory stick around with you, and have your own personal Linux environment on any PC, provided it's got a CD drive and a USB port (and provided you can get Linux to recognise the USB port of course  :bash: )

Now I don't think Windows offers anything like that.

I was under the impression that most Linux distros are free. Although there are some companies out there who operate by selling not really the Linux software itself, but their expertise in the form of contracts for installation, support etc.
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Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2008, 04:55:23 PM »
Yes, I've read that Linux can be heavily customised and that those customisations can be taken from one version of the OS to another. Another nice feature of Linux is that it does not need to be restarted when a new driver is installed. Using a special utility, you can even load and execute a new kernel without rebooting.

If a Linux distro is not completely free - if any parts of it are proprietary or are being charged for - then it is no longer free software. Ubuntu appears to be free software in the stricter sense of the definition. I don't know what you would call other versions - open source? I don't think that you could really call Linux GNU/Linux as certainly not all versions of Linux are free. Would that mean that Linus Torvalds would have to withdraw from the GNU licensing agreement?
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Offline Simon

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2008, 07:59:54 PM »
If a Linux distro is not completely free - if any parts of it are proprietary or are being charged for - then it is no longer free software. Ubuntu appears to be free software in the stricter sense of the definition. I don't know what you would call other versions - open source? I don't think that you could really call Linux GNU/Linux as certainly not all versions of Linux are free. Would that mean that Linus Torvalds would have to withdraw from the GNU licensing agreement?


Depends a lot on what you mean by "free". There are two different meanings here, and the best analogy I've seen is free-as-in-speech and free-as-in-beer

Free as in Beer

There are lots of applications out there that can be downloaded completely free and used without ever paying a penny. You can find a lot of them at download.com. But a lot of these aren't open source, so only the executable software is freely available, not the source code, While you can use it for free, you can't poke around in its internals, see how it works, modify it to suit your own needs, or include bits of it in your own projects.

Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, I use quite a few such applications myself.

Free as in Speech

This type of free-ness refers to the fact that something is open source, and that you can play with the source code to your heart's content. Such things are usually licensed under the GNU General Public License or something similar. Typical features of such a license are

* Protecting the author's right to assert their ownership of intellectual property, and not have it stolen and copyrighted by anyone else.
* Allowing other people to freely copy, re-use, modify and re-distribute the software or code, provided any redistribution is done under the same license



As far as I'm aware, there's nothing in the GPL to prevent people from taking open-source software written by someone else, bundling it in a nice shiny package and selling it in exchange for beer tokens (thereby making it still free-as-in-speech but no longer free-as-in-beer), although the license obliges them to supply the source code with it as well.

So a Linux distro that you have to pay for is still free-as-in-speech, provided the vendor is complying with all the terms of the GPL (which they'd have to otherwise they wouldn't be able to redistribute Linux), even if it's not free-as-in-beer. And hopefully it'll be bundled with all sorts of extra goodies (free tech support helpline?), otherwise nobody will buy it.
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Offline Keith

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2008, 09:58:34 PM »
What makes Ubuntu better than all of the other versions of Linux? How does Ubuntu compare to something like Windows XP or Vista?

Ubuntu is actually based on a different distribution of Linux called Debian. I only know this because I have been running Debian Linux myself for the last 7 years. Knoppix is another Debian based distribution which pretty much started the live CD concept, so if you are having problems with your DV camera it might be worth giving this a try Simon as the hardware detection is exceptionally good.

Debian based distributions use a package management system (apt-get) that ensures that you are always pulling down compatible versions of software and automatically upgrades other dependant components.
For example if you are writing a web site in PHP and upgrade your PostgreSQL installation, it will automatically upgrade the PHP PostgreSQL libraries as required. No make files, or compiling of source code is required.

If you use your PC for word processing, browsing the web and receiving e-mails then using Linux is a breeze. There is even software called Wine that will let you run Windows software on Linux. Linux distributions tend to use either KDE or Gnome for their desktop environment so you will find them pretty similar to what you are used to. KDE is my personal desktop preference and it has some nice features to scale back the level of animation and fluff, if you want to run a lower specification machine. Windows Vista is far too bloated in my opinion, requiring top end graphics cards to run your desktop is just taking the proverbial.

Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 07:36:50 PM »
I finally finished my College essay on the differences between Linux and Windows - I chose to compare with XP rather than Vista. I also managed to get along to the Ubuntu demonstration on Saturday. Nobody was interested in helping me so I just had a brief experiment on my own. The machine I used was loaded with Hardy Heron, the latest release. I had a play with some of the controls, and had a quick look into one or two of the applications. The applications I saw looked very capable and not vastly different from Windows. I was quite impressed with the GIMP Image Manipulation Program. This looked really powerful, light years beyond Windows Paint and I reckon it could produce some extremely good results. The default standard for the desktop environment is GNOME, and indeed I saw the footprint sign cropping up on several occasions.

It wasn't a bad morning, but more supervision and some personal tuition would have made it a lot better.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2008, 05:59:50 PM »
I couldn't make it in the end due to a last-minute change of plan, although it sounds like I wouldn't have got a lot out of it if people weren't too interested in helping.

GIMP is in a completely different class from MS Paint. Actually, any old image editing program that comes free with a camera or scanner is probably more useful than Paint. Photoshop would be a better application to compare it with, it's not quite as powerful as Photoshop although the bits that are missing probably wouldn't be missed by any but the most demanding users.

You can get GIMP for Windows as well here so you don't even need to switch to Linux to use it.
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Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: Ubuntu Demonstration Day Saturday 26th April 2008
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2008, 02:02:14 PM »
There were only three machines in use and a handful of people. There was also a large projection, which nobody was watching when I went there. They did give out free CDs with Ubuntu but it was 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, not the latest release, 8.04 Hardy Heron.
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