Think Different!

Turning a Slogan on it's Head

Turning a Slogan on it’s Head

Just to set the record straight: I know this is wrong usage and the second word should be adverbial. „-ly“, you know. Apple surely knew how to make a slogan stick. Anyway, I want to turn this meme around today and talk about my experiences going away from Apple‘s walled garden. For me, this meant a return to Linux: I had used it as a desktop system until I changed over to Mac OS X while it was still in beta, ca. 1999. And it meant a change of hardware. The first laptop I bought explicitly for Linux was soon gone on to another user when my son killed his MacBook with a cup of tea to the keyboard. The weeks I had the ThinkPad X1, I appreciated it‘s responsive keyboard and the fast SSD. And I must admit, I actually enjoyed tinkering with the configuration of the not-quite-up-to-date Ubuntu Linux system on it. When my son got it, I had it up to almost mission-critical status, and he surprised me with capabilities I didn‘t know it had (videochats on Skype, anyone?).
Anyway, with it gone, I soon missed a Linux laptop and couldn‘t quite see myself returning shamefacedly into the Cupertino fold. So, after some deliberation, I bought another ThinkPad, this time a T520. It‘s a model with a 15.6 inch screen (that scared me with it‘s horribly blueish default color calibration. Luckily, a solution in form of a very ergonomic icc profile was soon found on a review site, of all places on the world wide web! Yet another example of how you can often bootstrap yourself out of difficulties on Linux. Provided you have web access. The lifeline of these postmodern times of ours…), a 1/2 Terabyte (spinning, ugh!) HDD and dual graphics cards (Intel integrated and a much faster (and voltage-guzzling) Nvidia one). The keyboard is even better as the one in the X1, and by that I mean clickier, more positive feedback.
For nostalgic reasons, I tried SuSE liniux 12.1 out on it at first, because that‘s what I had on my computers in the last century (ha, I always wanted to write a sentence like that!). Best regards to Nuremberg, but it is crap! It‘s rpm-based packaging system it recalcitrant and doesn‘t provide all programs I wanted. The Linux version of the Spotify music player is one case in point.
After that I got a CD burned with the current Ubuntu 12.4 (Precise Pangolin, love these alliterative monikers) system and had a running system in a few hours. In the first few days using it, I’ve been impressed with the diverse and well designed coding tools available on Linux now. And I don‘t mean Eclipse, no, no, no…
The graphics boost when switching to the Nvidia card (with Bumblebee installed, you just call the programm from the command line and prepose „optirun“) is astonishing, glxspheres run on the integrated card with 1-2 fps, about a hundred times faster on the separate Nvidia card. On the other hand: DVDs run fine on Intel‘s chips, it depends, I guess.
So, on this ascension weekend, I will be coding!

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3 Responses to “Think Different!”

  1. agplatt Says:

    I always find your posts interesting. You cover a wide area of subjects which seem to appeal to me.

    One question though: Have you found a good way to process images on Linux? I have been very impressed with Ubuntu 12.4 since I installed it on my son’s old netbook, and would use it more on the other machines if I had Lightroom or equivalent to manage my images.

  2. chammann Says:

    Well, for the moment, I use the laptop as a sort of image tank when “on the road” and shooting digitally (no prolem with the full film rolls, they’ll keep ;)) . For image import I use Shotwell and if I ever get the time, I could tinker with them with Gimp. Shotwell creates a logical folder structure on the HDD and imports RAW files wether it converts them or not.

  3. Not an Ardour « I Wanna Be A Shredder Says:

    [...] and getting it to run under Mac OS X was entirely not the problem! I’ve been setting up my Linux laptop for audio recording this week and I’m happy to report a measure of success. The objective was [...]

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