Archive for February, 2013

It is amazing how quickly one’s mind can change.  I found Synapse after watching a podcast of Linux Action Show.  It is part of the Jupiter Broadcasting lineup.  You need to go to YouTube and do a search for them.  The show is great.  Synapse is a program launcher, file finder and so much more.  I never quite liked the way Ubuntu’s desktop searched for stuff.  With Synapse, you just type in the program name and hit return and voila!  The program executes.  I am still learning how to use it, but it has already demonstrated how computer life can go on without a desktop menu.  I like the way it launches the app, or document based upon the text you type. It tries to do an auto-complete on your typing.  The home page for Synapse is here :  There is also a wiki here:   To be honest it took me a while to “get” how it works, but I really like the app and find it very handy and more useful than the menu.  I still use a menu, but it does speed up many tasks.  I do wish it had a feature that would open a folder of my designation.  It probably does and I just don’t know the proper way to do that.

This is why I am loving Linux more and more.  It gives you options and you are not stuck with just one company’s philosophy about how to use computers.

You gotta try Synapse.  You really do.


It has been too long since I last posted.  Well, my life without Microsoft Windows has been great!  Since I am an experience Linux user, the total switch wasn’t difficult.  There are differences between Microsoft, Apple and the Linux operating systems.  Why?  Well, it has to do with development philosophies and market distinction.  Yes, I know that Apple’s OS is written from Linux.  Still, Apple has put their spin on Linux.  Most users that switch, or experience another operating system don’t realize how much they get used to one operating system and how it does what it does.  Many users think, “This is the way it needs to be.”  They don’t realize there are multiple ways to do things.  So, I you are thinking of switching, realize you will learn something new and be challenged to do things in a different way.

I switched from Ubuntu classic to xubuntu last January.  Why?  Well, I gave Unity a shot and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me.  Why did I make the switch to xubuntu rather than __________? (Fill in the blank yourself.)  Well, here are my reasons.  First of all, I wanted a traditional menu to choose apps.  I don’t want to search to find out what I have installed.  A menu is a quick way to find an application.  Second, I wanted to stay with Ubuntu based system for now.  Third, I always lean to a light, or rather lighter weight desktop environment rather than a full-featured environment like KDE.  Back when I was dual booting with Linux, KDE and GNOME were the two main desktop environments.  KDE was more resource hungry than GNOME.  I was a dedicated GNOME desktop user.  In fact, when Slackware went KDE only, I dropped Slackware in favor for Debian.  So with those choices xubuntu and lubuntu were the two choices.  I went with xubuntu because of XFCE, which has been around a while and has quite good features to it.  After tweaking XFCE a little by loading some things with Synaptic Package Manager, I am happy with my install.  I found xubuntu left a few features out and Synaptic allowed me to load the rest.

I chose a Ubuntu based distribution because Ubuntu has added the things that most people use, or at least, makes it easy to load the multimedia codecs that I really want to use.  Debian is the base for Ubuntu and Debian has the most packages available.  Ubuntu also has really improved package install and that is where I was frustrated in the past.  With Software Center and Synaptic Package Manager I can load anything that I need.  Also, I download packages from the source, like Libre Office and Eclipse.  What is good is that most sites include packages that load on Ubuntu systems.

Life has been great without windows.  You might find that it can be great for you.  Especially if Windows 8 is not to your liking.  There is a big community out there.  Check Linux out.