“The state of mind of the photographer creating is a blank. I might add that this condition exists only at special times, namely when looking for pictures. (Something keeps him from falling off curbs, down open manholes, into bumpers of skidding trucks while in this condition but goes off duty at other times.) ... This is a very special kind of blank. A very active state of mind really, it is a very receptive state ...”
Minor White

Installing Ubuntu/Kubuntu

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Until today I’ve been using a WUBI based installation of Kubuntu on my resurrected laptop. WUBI was very promising when I first encountered it, but now I believe it is not a reliable solution. For some reason (I suspect it’s a hardware issue) my computer sometimes freezes – and all I can do is brutally shut it off. Sometimes it reboots just fine, numerous time it has stopped at a GRUB error and other times nothing could be done to rescue it. From what I’ve been able to gather this is a vulnerability that is unique to WUBI (which is actually one huge file in the Windows operating system). So this time I decided to do away with the Windows and create a clean Kubuntu Installation.

I would have preferred to install Ubuntu (which I have installed on a desktop computer) but I found that the Ubuntu graphic engine doesn’t perform well on the old display adapter in my notebook. Kubuntu is much faster and more responsive.

This time I documented my installation process for future reference and I wrote it up in the hope others may find it useful too. Where possible I’ve added the terminal commands I used:

Core Operating System

  1. Install from CD (Ubuntu, Kubuntu)
  2. Check for updates over the internet (Ubuntu, Kubuntu)
  3. Add hebrew keyboard layout and set time zone.
  4. Install Dropbox
  5. Instal KeepNote
  6. Install the Ubuntuzilla repository (instructions) – required for Thunderbird and Firefox
    sudo echo -e “\ndeb http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/ubuntuzilla/mozilla/apt all main” | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list > /dev/null
    sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com C1289A29
    sudo apt-get update
  7. Install Firefox
    sudo apt-get install firefox-mozilla-build
  8. Install Firefox Add-ons (using the Firefox addo-n manager):
    • Weave: brilliant & private & secure plugin/service by Mozilla for syncronizing bookmarks, open tabs, browsing history & passwords between computers.
    • Charamel – a theme I like to for Firefox.
    • Firebug – helps me take apart and play around with HTML/CSS
    • ColorZilla – helps me select colors
    • MeasureIt – an on screen ruler
  9. Install Thunderbird
    sudo apt-get install thunderbird-mozilla-build
  10. Install Thunderbird Add-ons (using the Thunderbird add-on manager):
    • Charamel – same theme I like to use in Firefox works great for Thunderbird too.
    • Foxclocks – international clocks
    • Bidi – support for bi-directional texts, makes it possible for me to write hebrew emails from right to left.
  11. Install the GetDeb repository which makes it easy to install other useful programs.
  12. Install Adobe Reader (instructions)
    sudo apt-get install acroread
  13. Install Adobe AIR (instructions)
  14. Install Skype (which isn’t offered in the spirit of open source freedom and I hope to replace in the near future).

Multimedia Applications

  1. Install VLC Media Player
    sudo apt-get install vlc
  2. Install Songbird (music management – an open source alternative to iTunes)
    sudo apt-get install libgstreamer0.10-0 gstreamer0.10-x gstreamer0.10-gnomevfs gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev
    sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3
    sudo apt-get install songbird
  3. Install Ruby Ripper (for copying music CD’s) – requires additional packages:
    sudo apt-get install cd-discid cdparanoia flac lame mp3gain normalize-audio ruby-gnome2 ruby vorbisgain
  4. Install Audacity (for sound editing)
    sudo apt-get install audacity
  5. Install GIMP (an open source alternative to Photoshop)
    sudo apt-get install gimp
  6. Install Vuze (my favorite torrent client so far)
    sudo apt-get install vuze

Web Development Tools

  1. Install LAMP Stack (Apache, MySQL & PHP)
    sudo tasksel
  2. Install PHPMyAdmin
    sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin
  3. Install Filezilla (for FTP file transfers)
    sudo apt-get install filezilla
  4. On Ubuntu I will also install the Screem code-editor
    sudo apt-get install screem
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