Friday, June 30, 2006

Ready for Linux? I think you are. Let's take a look at Ubuntu.

Maybe you've heard of Linux, maybe you haven't. If you have heard of Linux it may have gone by the name of Redhat , Suse or Slackware. The one I've taken a strong interest in after years of trying various distributions is called Ubuntu. You can go to and view the various distros. Ubuntu is the most popular. The picture below is a screenshot of my desktop and all of the distros shown at are free. My flash, java, multimedia and office applications work flawlessly . The time/date in the top right corner drops down to a nice calendar when you click on it. The bottom right has four boxes that are virtual desktops. That means you can have four or more desktops with various windows open on each separate desktop. All of the applications and systems info can be accessed in the top left corner and the panel at the top of screen has scores of applets that can be installed such as a search bar, weather, stock tickers, etc. Ubuntu is a single "live" CD. That means your PC boots an entire operating system off of a single CD without installing anything to your hard drive. That means you get to see if it's compatible with your hardware and if it is then you get to install it to your hard drive. You can choose to have your PC boot with Windows and Linux as I do. The install from the CD is minimal and everything else can be setup easily using text and scripts with the UbuntuGuide . Find Easy Ubuntu at the Ubuntu Guide to install Flash, Java, Multimedia and your graphics drivers. There is an almost unlimited selection of software for free. Fun and interesting things like Stellarium, Picasa and Google Earth. And don't forget the free Office Suite from Open Office and free VOIP from Skype. If you're interested in Ubuntu you can get all of the help and info you could ever need for free at Ubuntu Forums. When you're ready to try and run Ubuntu you can download the .iso file for free and burn it to a single CD or you can go to Ubuntu and have them ship you a CD for free. While you're thinking about Linux, take a look at how much more secure your machine can be and virtually virus free.

This is a screenshot of my Ubuntu Linux OS. My computer is only 1.5ghz with 500mb of RAM and a mediocre video and sound card.

A friends deck/dock drawn up with Rhino

A friend of mine did all the hard work and built this deck. Sweet deck...spared no expense!

I helped by using a CAD package called Rhino to create drawings for the deck. This was my first descent size 3D drawing using a CAD program about a month after a few days training. Trial by fire. By the time I was done I had used just about every command that Rhino offers.

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Like hiking? Check out the Sunrise side of Mt. Rainier.

There's lots of nice hiking to do on the Sunrise side of Mt. Rainier. I took these photos a couple of years ago and just discovered how easy it is to view and publish my photos with Picasa . It's a free piece of software from Google. It catalogs all of your emails, lets you make changes to the photos easily, let's you publish to your blog with a single click and let's you email from Picasa with your POP email account or directly through your Gmail account. Click on the photos for a full size photo.

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More photos of Murray & Paiton

This is Murray. He's 12 years old.

This is Paiton. He's 11 years old in this photo.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

These are photos of our dogs Murray and Paiton. They are both Maltese. The one with the big smile is Murray and the other two photos are of Paiton.