Going native

I’ve been used to the Windows way of PC life for too long. This means that I’m used to the brand and program names I use for each service. I don’t want to use WINE with Windows ports unless I have to, which means I’m looking to go native in Linux……this means relearning program names.

I have Mandriva Linux 2007 with the KDE desktop environment, and am looking to set up various programs. I want them to be as light in resources as possible, and they have to be GUI. I am new to active Linux, as I learn more….I will shift to command line stuff…..but not yet.

Many packages I’ve heard of over the years of Linux “book study” I like after trying them, even if they’re not native to KDE (like Evolution). I am open to ANY recommendations, remember though….I am a newbie at this stage.

  1. Browser – Mozilla Firefox. (with lots of extensions). I am a web designer, so I have Sea Monkey and Opera for testing my work on other platforms.

  2. Email – Evolution. It seems to have everything I’d want, I never used the calender, appointments, journal etc features of Outlook before, but I can see my needs developing in that area.

  3. PM – GAIM. I would like a “one-stop-shop” client for all the networks. Most of my contacts are on Yahoo, although for professional reasons I need the other networks too. I’d like the voice chat option, as it is handy. I’d also like a decent Yahoo chat room client, as GAIM is very basic. I used to use YahElite before it started playing up…..so far Gyach is the best I’ve found.

  4. RSS – Akregator. I’ve tried a few, and many seem quite slow in updating. I did like the simplicity of Yarssr but wanted the “into paragraph” shown instead of just the title.

  5. USENET (Newsgroup) – Pan. It seems to do what it says on the tin. I’ve tried a few, and Liferea seems to be decent too……I am eager for recommendations to narrow this one down. It’d be handy if it could handle Google and Yahoo groups too.

  6. IRC – Kconversation. I am new to the whole IRC concept, but know it to be a useful and versatile chat room environment. It has much more to learn than the Yahoo rooms I am used to. It’s also the likely place for support for Linux, Mandriva, OpenOffice etc…..so it is something I will need to learn. I have the Chat Zilla extension for Firefox, which appears to be very good……remember I am a newbie, and want as much GUI as possible at this stage.

  7. Bit Torrent – Ktorrent. I want something as detailed as possible with ipfilter support, again with GUI.

  8. Image Manipulation – GIMP. After giving the Windows version of GIMP a proper chance, I was VERY impressed with it. It’s just a case of adapting.

  9. Web Design – NVU. It’s a different interface to Dreamweaver….and so far, a little frustrating, but that will take time. I am writing my blog entries in NVU, which I then copy and paste the HTML code. I find that it refuses to wrap the code, meaning that it needs further editing after pasting. I’ve noticed when deleting a line of code, the program seems to think you want to be taken to the start of the document……it drives you nuts having to scroll down again and again.

  10. PHP Coding Environment – Blowfish. I just installed this, and I’m not sure if it’s what I need yet. I am just starting to learn PHP and would like a visual type of editor. I’ve been too busy to do much more than just check it works ok.

  11. XML Editor – Amaya. I have learned about the value of XML, and although I have no use for it as yet, I can see it being useful at some point.

  12. MP3 Player – Amarok. I like to listen to audiobooks while I work. These files are often between 4 and 6 hours long each. I also have no use for a fancy front end, but I do need it to be controlled by a system tray icon and shortcut “play” button on my keyboard. It would also help to be able to remember where it was paused on restart.

  13. AVI / MPEG / VCD Player – MPlayer. It seems to do the job ok, although I am having problems with the VCD functions.

  14. Web Server – Apache / PHP / MySQL. I’ve not yet installed or configured these. I need a test server accessible only from my PC to check my scripting….it’s easier than having to upload elsewhere to check.

  15. CHM Reader – Kchmviewer. I have several reference books in .chm format so this function is vital….although I am open as to which is the best program for the purpose.

  16. PDF Reader – KPDF. I used Adobe Acrobat Professional to both create and read .pdf files before. I know I can export to .pdf from the OpenOffice suite among others, but the ability to add bookmarks etc would be useful. That many be an OpenOffice edit before creating the pdf. I do like the idea that it keeps the place after closing.

  17. CBR Reader – Comix. I don’t read a lot of comics (mainly the Star Wars ones) but many are in .cbr or .cbz format. A program that’s easy to use for this would be handy. So far Comix looks decent enough in the short time I’ve played with it.

  18. Plain Text Editor – Kwrite. This is going to be a much used tool in Linux, and I use Kwrite now because it was installed by default in the KDE Mandriva. I want to use it for hand editing scripts (PHP to start with), and config files….so line numbering, color coded scripting and quick paste code would be very handy.

  19. Terminal – Kconsole. This will grow into possibly the most used tool on my system as I learn the command line. Kconsole was installed by default with the KDE Mandriva. It seems decent enough, but I am open to suggestions. I like the partial transparency and color coding of directories / files / hidden etc.

  20. Office Suite – OpenOffice.org. This seems to have everything I need in an office suite (including a very handy “export to .pdf function), but again it’s more about being installed by default, and the fact that it’s the best known open source office suite. There may be better.

I want to start experimenting with Wiki’s, as well as exploiting the power of blogs more. This means having a handy blog poster would be useful, although the few I’ve tried won’t post to the MU WordPress.com where my blog is currently hosted. I plan to move to another host at some point using Dupral….so that “easy poster” may be something I’ll have to wait for. I’ve kept Catkin QTM installed for now….with the idea that it will be useful when I switch hosts. I’d also like to have a desktop publisher program too, and have yet to see anything which fits the bill.

No doubt there will be more, but for now these are the things I’m trying to narrow down….and to go as native as I can. Any recommendations from Linux users would be appreciated. As I’ve pointed out on a few occasions….remember I’m a newbie at this stage, and need as much GUI as possible.


9 Responses to “Going native”

  1. jenac Says:

    Drivel works with wordpress. Just choose MovableType as your blog platform.

  2. Dirk Gently Says:

    I installed Drivel and it refused to connect to wordpress.com, no matter how I played with the settings. I think it’s the multi-user setup on the free hosting here which is stopping them. This is the same issue I had with other blog posters like QTM and BlogTK. If my blog was on the wordpress platform but on paid hosting, I reckon any of these packages would probably work fine.

  3. jenac Says:

    Drivel works for me with wordpress.com. I occasionally get an error message when trying to connect, give it a while and try later and its fine. ScribeFire add-on for firefox works for me too.

  4. Dirk Gently Says:

    A quick word, ScribeFire seems to work just fine, it found my MU account here, found all my categories etc. It also has a “justify” button too. I’ll be busy for the next little while but I wanted to say a quick thanks for that heads up, and I’ll prepare my next blog entry on it to test it.

  5. jenac Says:

    Glad it helped. A couple of things I use a lot that you might find helpful. Basket is great for organising notes and tilda is a terminal that hides away until you need it. drops down from the top of the screen with F1, disappears again when you’re done.

  6. Dirk Gently Says:

    Never heard of those two packages, but tried both. OMG the makers of Basket seem to have been reading my mind. I always liked the idea of a task bar note taker, and in Linux I knew of a couple, with simple text notes. I forgot about that feature in my run down.

    The packages I allow as start up or quick launch are very limited. Even to get an icon on the desktop it needs to reach a high level. I am very exclusive with this……but Basket is BRILLIANT, I can see that getting a lot of use. I love the idea of cropping a part of the screen and dropping it in as an image. I’ve only played with it for a few minutes so far, but it will get attention.

    My latest blog “blogging for the spiders” was written in ScribeFire, and went through perfectly. I did have to do some re-touching afterwards..but I reckon I could minimize them after exploring the settings.

    I tried Tilda, and while I can see a benefit later on, I’m not sure I’d use it just yet. I still thank you for pointing me to it.

  7. yoho Says:

    For your video player, try codeine : it’s pretty simple and well integrated in KDE. It uses xine (which is sometimes better, sometimes worse than mplayer).

    For the rest, I’m using almost the same apps as you except for number 1, 2 and 3 : konqueror, kmail and kopete are my favorites, but it’s a matter of taste (and integration with KDE and Kdepim).

    Also try dolphin (available in 2007.1) as your file manager : it’s quite usable, fast and efficient although still in beta stage (will be the default file browser with KDE4)

  8. yoho Says:

    Ho, while at it, try kblogger : it’s a little taskbar applet which is working with wordpress, but still being actively developed too 🙂 (as dolphin)

  9. Dirk Gently Says:

    I use konquerer, and kopete now. It took a while before I got my Googlemail accounts to sign in…(wrong settings). I now use both that and GAIM for different purposes. I did try kblogger..it was the obvious first choice since I’m in KDE, like the others it refused the MU set up here.

    I have registered eight new blogspot (google) free blogs, which I am in the process of styling. I can post to them or here with the Firefox extension ScribeFire…..it’s excellent. My last post here will be my goodbye to WordPress one, possibly in a few days. The access to the MU wordpress is no longer a requirement, so I guess these programs may work….I’ll need to give them a try with blogspot.

    Since I moved to Linux, I am redesigning my browser / file / folder set up for working rather than playing. This is taking a while, as it was a mess before. It’s a case of trying to make sure I just re-organize the important stuff and don’t delete it.

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