From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Using the Little Linux Computer

My Various Hobbies



The Win-XP computer is at the shop, so I'm writing from the little Linux computer in the back hallway tonight.

It's a small workspace, but pleasant. The desk is long and narrow to fit its space. I can see myself in the mirror at the other end of the hallway. I'm sitting on my straight-backed chair with a rosy paper lantern overhead and Casper curled at my feet.

Currently, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Thompson are taking turns singing in my ear. Next up is the Blackwood Brothers. The selection of music on this computer is limited, but enjoyable to me. (I chose it all.)

Linux mascotThis little Gateway computer used to have Windows 98 on it. When Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Win-98, I decided to install Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a free operating system, one of many varieties ("distributions") of Linux, all of which are free.

Linux is supposed to be a more stable and secure system than Windows -- that is, it rarely crashes and rarely needs rebooting, and it resists viruses. Many big commercial and government computers (often called "servers") use Unix which is sort of a big brother to Linux.

A helpful Linux user (a local person) coached me on partitioning the disk and installing Ubuntu. He even had me bring the computer to a high-speed internet connection in his office so I could download a bunch of stuff he thought I needed. (We can't get DSL where we live. Our telephone lines aren't good enough.)

I haven't learned many of the details of Linux yet, but that's my own fault. A tremendous amount of information is available on the internet. I've even been given at least half a dozen books about Linux. I just haven't been interested in studying it deeply.

Mainly, I use this computer when Isaac wants to play games on the other one. I type up some recipes or get on the internet. I didn't need to study how to do those things. The programs worked just as one might logically expect.

The Win-XP computer is still the computer of choice in this house, but I'm glad we have this one as a backup. Linux has extended its useful life.

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2 comments:

ptg said...

Its amazing how Linux can run so fast on pokey old computers. I have an old pentium classic machine that was brought back to life by Puppy Linux.

Genevieve said...

This was a good enough computer in its day, but of course, it would be totally hopeless to try running any of the new Windows products on it. But it gets around the internet pretty well with Ubuntu and Firefox. You're right, PT -- it is amazing.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.