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WrongRoom? The Scourge of the Full-Screen Text Editor

Software-engineering is very often a balancing act. We're constantly trying to add more features, while also trying to reduce overall complexity.

Nowhere is this more important than in a text editor.

Everybody has their text editor of choice — one which they stick by. There are legions of people who are very passionate about the subject.

There are plenty of text editors to choose from. Some are focused on providing a bazillion features, some focus on making it lightweight, and some just focus on making it easy to use.

There's so much variation — it's impossible to make a text editor that pleases everyone.

And that's the point. Your choice of text editor is a very personal affair — even if it's just Windows Notepad. What works for one person might not work for another.

A niche in text editors

Which brings us nicely to today's topic of discussion: full-screen text editors. "Distraction-free writing" that's been the scourge of power users and the dreamboat of novelists.

Their premise is simple. Offer a completely uncluttered interface for users who want to focus on just their text. WriteRoom started it all.

In a way, they remind me of another phenomena. Netbooks. Full-screen editors are to text editors what netbooks are to computers.

  • Full-screen editors are **intentionally primitive**. Just like netbooks, which sacrifice basic features for portability (like an optical drive).
  • Normal editors can do everything a full-screen editor can do. This is just like regular computers, which can do everything a netbook can.
  • There are loads around. WriteRoom, DarkRoom, JDarkRoom, DarkCopy, Q10, and many more. They all basically do the same thing. Much like netbooks, all having the same specs.

However, there are people who seem to hate them. Mark Pilgrim, in a 2007 article, has more.

"These programs aren't for serious writers at all. They're for the writer's equivalent of script kiddies - people who want to go to Starbucks and pick up chicks with their MacBooks and their iPods and their glowing full-screen text editors.

No doubt they will be wildly successful. Meanwhile, if you need me, I'll be in the corner writing my next book with a real text editor. I think it even has a full-screen mode."

What is he talking about? Perhaps he is more used to the traditional Text Editing Solution®.

What Mark Pilgrim has made abundantly clear is that: full-screen editors are an acquired taste.

Full-screen text editors: Useful? Maybe

It's not hard to see the appeal. Imagine an editor that just gets out of the way.

They hide all distractions (no Twitter, no Facebook, no Google!), and they're great for quickly firing up a text editor to take down some notes in class.

Okay, maybe they're not for everyone — just like a netbook.

Parting Note

Maybe you want the extra features. Maybe you want the extra power. Maybe you can deal with the extra distraction. Maybe you need every conceivable feature a text editor might need. Before you know it — we can end up looking like this:

As stated earlier, it's all a question of balance.

Over to you

Do you use a full-screen text editor? Did you ever use one? Do you like it? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Full disclosure: I did indeed use a full-screen editor to write this post.

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Opera Mini 4 (featured freeware)

While the default web browsers on most mobile phones are getting better, they still don’t compare to the best alternatives.

Opera Mini is just such an alternative.

It’s much faster than the default browser on most phones, and doesn’t take up a load of space. It renders just like you’d expect, too.

How is it faster?

Because it uses compression. Opera’s servers will receive your request for data and compress everything down to byte-sized pages, then send it over to you.

Not only do pages load up much faster, but you also save on data costs (up to 80%).

Features Designed for Mobile

You can just tell that the Opera Mini team had usability and power in mind when designing the app.

  • Zoom in/out with just a tap of the 5 key.
  • Desktop-class rendering.
  • Speed-dial of bookmarks.
  • Auto-completion of websites you’ve already been to, plus one-click additions of “.com”, “.net”, etc.
  • Adding of custom search shortcuts (e.g. search).
  • Speed scrolling support, press 2, 4, 6, 8 to scroll through pages very quickly.

My only complaint is that it has no Flash support as of yet – but most Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 devices (Nokia E71 notably left out) can download Opera Mobile instead.


If you’re using a Java-enabled device, do yourself a favour a try out Opera Mini. It works on Blackberry, too.

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Macbook-like Two Finger Scrolling in Windows

A useful but often overlooked feature of the modern Macbooks is the multi-touch trackpad. This work horse is capable of recognising many gestures, including two-finger scrolling and tapping. Let’s bring that functionality to Windows.

This is a mildly technical post detailing how to enable Macbook-like 2-finger scrolling on your Windows notebook touchpad.

My Digital Life has outlined the way to do this. The process is pretty involved.

First, you’ll need to download some modified Synaptics drivers1 . Then, follow the installation instructions detailed:


  1. Uninstall all current Synaptics drivers from Control Panel’s Add and Remove Programs or Programs and Features.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Install the modded driver by running the setup.exe inside the ZIP archive.
  4. Windows should prompt a warning about unsigned driver. Continue to install the driver anyway.
  5. Restart the computer after installation is completed and Synaptics TouchPad driver is updated.
  6. In Device Manager’s Mouse and Other Pointing Devices” section, Synaptics PS/2 Port Touchpad should have driver version of 10.2.4.

When you’re done installing the modified driver, you have to install an open-source program called two-finger-scroll. There is no software to install, just double-click the executable file.

One last thing. In order for two-finger scroll to work properly, you need to disable all 2-finger commands, and all virtual scrolling except for horizontal (you might want to keep this on, since two-finger-scroll doesn’t work horizontally..

Disable 2-finger commands by going to: Control Panel > Mouse > Device Settings > "Two Finger Gestures and un-checking “Enable two finger gestures”.

Finally, disable virtual scrolling by going to: Control Panel > Mouse > Device Settings > Virtual Scrolling and un-checking “Enable vertical scrolling” and “Enable ChiralMotion scrolling”.

And you’re done!

Two-finger-tap = right-click

You can also enable a two-finger-tap to mean a right click using the same application. Here are the settings I’ve used.

1: Enable Multi-Touch Gesture (Finger Scroll, Momentum, and ChiralMotion on Synaptics TouchPad in Windows 7/Vista/XP/Server [My Digital Life]

Disclaimer: Try this at your own risk. It worked for me, but it might not work for you. Whatever happens, I’m not responsible. Thanks!

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Design Showcase:

It’s not often that I showcase another site around here. It has to be really special, really unique, and really different. Website design company checks all the boxes.

The site is beautifully arranged over a city scape, with a giant scrolling background sky. The content is in the “sky”. Different content is laid out on different portions of the sky. The intro page is against an early morning sky, the about page is set against sunrise, and so on.

The site utilises smooth automatic scrolling and has no page loading – since it’s all technically on the same page. It looks great in action. Here are some screen shots:

Check out their site at

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Get the Windows 7 Calculator in Vista

Before Windows 7, the Windows Calculator was an overlooked area of Windows. Used by so many people on a daily basis for minor arithmetic tasks, yet appreciated by so few people.

From the looks of it, Microsoft seems to have done a sterling job on their latest Operating System. All the previously-overlooked utilities, including: Wordpad, Calculator, and even Paint, have been completely redone for the new version of Windows.

Daily Gyan has posted a port of the Windows 7 calculator for Windows Vista. It works perfectly.

To replace the default Vista calculator with this one, replace the 2 files in the following two directories:


Replace the default System Calculator

It’s not particularly easy to replace system files on Windows. I’ve created a little script that will do this automatically. Follow the steps below.

  • Download the 2 files you need: calc.exe and calc.exe.mui (found under the en-US folder in the download above).
  • Place the 2 files in the same folder e.g. your desktop
  • Download the script, and place it in the same folder as the 2 files (e.g. your desktop).
  • Boot into safe mode, and double click the script.
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How To: Write an Essay

University life is challenging, what with loads of assignments and essays with looming deadlines, and boring lectures to attend.

Here’s a longish post which might help you with your next essay. It’s straight out of my personal notes so enjoy!

Read the question

Read the question carefully, and work out what exactly it is asking.

Work at your approach. How are you going to approach the problem/question?


Planning is important. Laying down all that you want to mention will help you structure the essay.

Plan which bits you want to include and which to leave out.

On the other type of planning – make sure you free up lots of time ahead. Trying to do it last-minute will make it appear rushed.


Choose a title that reflects an analysis and interpretation of the subject.


Restrict yourself to one point per paragraph. Every paragraph should be able to stand up on its own. You should be able to move paragraphs around.

Introduction and Conclusion

You should have an introduction which shows that you understand the question and shows how you plan to answer the question.

Your conclusion should contain an overall analysis of the problem, after you’ve answered it. See if your answer properly addresses the question, and to what extent. Sometimes the question might still be open-ended.

Don’t be so Opinionated

Try to provide some closure, but be open-minded to other possibilities.

Especially at the beginning, be open-minded and don’t overlook the opportunity to provide both sides of the argument. Do not reach your conclusion (the climax, the ultimate underlying point) early on, as it leaves no room for further argument on the topic.

Research and Interpret

Before you even start researching, make a list of places you actually plan to look for the information. Is the internet enough? Do you need to make a trip to the library? And do you plan to quote?

Plan to include about 10% of how much you research, so invest lots and lots of time in reading. Nothing feels better than getting that scrap of material that glues all your essay’s main arguments together, keep at it!

Quotations are a very useful tool for quickly getting your point across, but provide sufficient attribution. Don't plagiarise! This is normally an instant fail.

Base your work on more than one source to get a valid and balanced opinion. Using one source will generally make your work appear one-dimensional and too opinionated.

Your interpretation needs to reflect the research you’ve done. Anyone can supply an opinion piece; but it’s harder to show that you’re well-read in the area of discussion.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t supply an original opinion – be brave about your thoughts, and don’t be afraid to express them. It makes your work stand out.

Think about the question

Always keep the question in mind. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed by the information you read in your research and this could take you in a different direction. Make sure that the material that you’re using is relevant; don’t include miscellaneous information.

In Closing…

Writing an essay doesn’t have to be hell on earth. It’s time consuming, yes, but the rewards (a good grade/mark) might make it worth it.

Just set your mind to it, and good luck!

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Gmail comes to the rescue again, now with an “Undo Send” feature

The Gmail team are at it again, putting out more little features and tweaks.

Ever sent an email by accident? Sure you have! We all do it, and normally we realise the instant we hit the send button.

Never fear, Google comes to the rescue again. It basically withholds your email for five seconds, allowing you time to hit the new Undo link.

To get to it, go to Settings, then Labs, and look for the Undo option. You might need to enable Labs features first.

[Official Gmail Blog]

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Start Items from the Quick Launch Bar using a Keyboard Shortcut

Here’s another quick tip on how to be more productive. Many people have their Quick Launch Bar set near the Start button. A bit like this (without the big icons):

To launch these applications, all I have to do is press the Windows Key, and the corresponding number.

For example Win+1 will launch Firefox, Win+4 will launch iTunes, and so on and so forth.

Just organise your most frequent programs to the left to experience a nice little boost in productivity.

One more thing: many programs just add themselves to your Quick Launch Bar without warning. Clear out these if you don’t need them!

So, to recap…

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How to make your Laptop’s Touchpad work better in Firefox

After you’ve learned all the main keyboard shortcuts, it’s time to make your laptop touchpad work as great in Firefox as you do.

Most laptop trackpads use Synaptics touchpad drivers. This tutorial will teach you how to configure your trackpad’s settings to maximise efficiency when using Firefox. [photo by pzado]

Get to the settings

Go to Control Panel, then open Mouse, and click the Device Settings tab. Click “Settings…”.

Make sure you Enable Tap Zones, under the Tapping > Tap Zones item.

This will enable your touchpad to accept special commands if you click one of the 4 corners.

Switch tabs using Tap Zones

Wouldn’t it be great if you just tapped the top right corner to go to the next tab? Or the top left corner to go the previous tab?

Difficulty Level: Medium to easy

  1. Click the plus sign next to the Tap Zones item. Click Top Right Action.
  2. From the list, choose Record and play a sequence of keystrokes.
  3. Hit Configure

In the prompt that appears, enter the following:
{CONTROL_DN}{TAB}{CONTROL_UP} This will tell it to press Ctrl+Tab every time you hit the top right corner of your trackpad. Useful for switching tabs in Firefox!

To do the opposite when you hit the top left corner, do this:

  1. Click Top Left Action
  2. As before, choose Record and play a sequence of keystrokes.
  3. Hit Configure

In the prompt, enter:

Extra: Enable middle-clicking

Everybody knows that a middle-click will open a link in a new tab. It’s a great time saver.

To enable this functionality in your touchpad,

  1. Select either one of the bottom corners
  2. Select Middle click from the list

That’s a wrap. Hope this tutorial (and this one) will help make you more productive in Firefox!

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Use Keyboard Shortcuts to be more Efficient in Firefox

Browsing the web, especially on a laptop, is frequently bogged down by inefficient practices.

Besides often having a patchy Wi-Fi connection, you don’t want your browsing experience to be slowed down by the inefficiency of a laptop’s trackpad.

Use a keyboard as much as possible.

Here are some quick keyboard shortcuts to make using Firefox on a laptop faster (at least on Windows).

Learn the keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+T opens a new tab
    Shift+Ctrl+T re-opens a closed tab
  • Ctrl+F4 or Ctrl+W closes a tab
  • Ctrl+Tab switches to the next tab
    Shift+Ctrl+Tab switches to the previous tab
  • F5 or Ctrl+R reloads a page
    Ctrl+F5 refreshes the cache and reloads
  • F6 or Ctrl+L highlights the location bar
    Ctrl+K highlights the searchbar

And 3 mouse & keyboard tricks:

  • Ctrl+Click opens the link in a new tab
  • Shift+Click opens the link in a new window
  • Alt+Click downloads the link to your desktop

After you learn these, you can learn how to make your laptop’s touchpad work better in Firefox.

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Safari 4 beta arrives, is fast, but still not the fastest (review & screenshots)

Apple have made waves with a tentative update to Safari, their internet browser, pushing it up to Safari 4 beta.

Despite its beta label, the excitement surrounding it has been huge, with multiple blogs posting first-looks and reviews. Here’s my quick review and screenshot tour.

GUI / Appearance

First off, kudos to Apple for working hard to make it look a little more like a native Windows application. It has standard Windows-controls up top for minimise, close, etc. It now finally looks like it belongs on Microsoft’s OS.

Apple have made the decision to use standard Windows font rendering by default, meaning most users won’t be taken aback by Apple’s blurred font rendering (you can blur your fonts again by going to preferences).

Interface: Chrome-inspired, only sleeker

The interface itself reminds me a lot of Google Chrome.

Some parts are a complete ripoff – except that Safari has more visual polish and sleekness than Google’s browser.

Take a look at the new, top-mounted tabs (top is Chrome, bottom is Safari):

… and the similar side buttons:

… and the “Top Sites” page, borrowed from Chrome (and made pretty by Apple):



The tabs are now top-mounted, just like in Chrome. Combining the title-bar and the tab-bar makes perfect sense, and makes great use of space.

The open tab is a little larger than the ones around it, and this helps give it prominence. Favicons aren’t shown in the tab/title bar and this is a little annoying.

Two things annoyed me. Tab reordering is controlled by these little grab-things on the sides of the tabs, which requires unnecessary mouse movement.

The other thing that annoyed me was that a middle-click doesn’t close tabs, it treats it like a normal click (i.e. switches to that tab). I’m too lazy to move my mouse to the close button, so fix it Apple!

Overall tab control is fine – not quite as good as Chrome’s, but much better than Firefox’s. Naturally you can tear them off to make new windows, just like in Safari 3.


  • Feels about as fast as Chrome at loading pages.
  • If it has a chance to cache the page first, it makes a huge difference.
  • Starts up very quickly, but still not as quickly as Chrome.
  • Firefox takes an age to start up after switching on, but it’s handicapped by me, since it has around 12 extensions running.

Overall it’s very, very snappy

But my testing (using timers and everything) shows it’s still not as fast as the current benchmark, Google Chrome.

Chrome bested its performance on every count, including: page load times, start up time,  memory handling, and others.

I wasn’t impressed by…

The bookmark/history coverflow. For how I work, it just isn’t useful. But more eye-candy is always nice.

The lack of an import bookmarks function. This was present in Safari 3 so I can’t imagine why Apple left it out. (I just didn’t see it, it’s under the File menu, accessible by pressing Alt).

The constant crashing. I saw a lot of this:

It’s pretty serious, as it happens every few seconds or so. Even though for some reason it doesn’t appear to do very much. The program rarely actually closes when you choose either of these two options.

The lack of an extensions platform. It’s been missing for a while and Safari isn’t the only offender.

But seriously, Firefox pretty much wrote the book on extensions, and it’s the deal-killer that means I will stick with the Fox for a while longer.

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Open “Run as Administrator” Faster in Vista Using a Keyboard Shortcut

Just a quick post highlighting a trick that makes life a little more convenient.

We all know that certain programs need to be run as an administrator from time to time. This is normally a fairly simple affair, right-click and click “Run as Administrator”.

Time Saver

However if you want to save that extra second of time, hold down the Shift & Ctrl keys and click on the program directly. You’re welcome.

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How to Enable Emoji Icons, for free, and without Jailbreaking your iPhone

The Emoji icons are a cute, Japanese-style set of emoticons. This will help you enable them on your iPhone, but they will also work on the iPod Touch.

All iPhones and iPod Touches are perfectly capable of displaying them, but iPhones outside of Japan are not able to access this feature by default.

To display them, you normally had to either: buy a $0.99 app, or go through the tedious process of jailbreaking.

1. Download Spell Number from App Store

This is a free application available from the App Store. You might as well download it straight to your device.

It’s creator, Water Lou, makes no attempt to hide the fact that his application is capable of enabling Emoji icon use in all other apps.

2. Enter the number 9876543.21

The purpose of the app is indeed to spell out numbers for use in checks, etc. So go ahead and enter the number Nine Million Eight Hundred Seventy-six Thousand Five Hundred Forty-three dollars and Twenty-one Cents, i.e. 9876543.21

3. Enable Emoji from Settings and you’re done

You can now exit the app. Go to Settings, General, go down to Keyboard, International Keyboards, and finally select Japanese from the long list. Inside the Japanese sub-menu you can enable the Emoji set of icons.

You’re now ready to go. The icons will work in any place that your normal keyboard does, just click the new globe icon on the keyboard to switch between Emoji and your normal keyboard.


They work in Notes, Mail, and basically everywhere, even SMS.

But watch out, because they can only be read by iPhones and iPod Touches. Other phones cannot read them, and not even a mail application on a computer can read them – even though the Mail app can handle them just fine. [Apple iPhone Apps]

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140it reduces your Tweets to 140 characters

Continuing with the Twitter coverage, new service 140it promises to compress your tweets to squeeze them in the 140-character limit default in Twitter.

Let’s see how they convert the above paragraph, which is 11 characters over the limit:

Continuing wth the Twitter cvrg, new srvc 140it prmss 2 compress your tweets 2 squeeze them in the 140-character limit default in Twitter

140it did a great job, getting it to 3 characters less than the limit. The service is useful if you frequently extend the limit set by Twitter. It also will shorten URLs (using as part of the tweet shortening process – a handy tool.

There are other tweet shortening tools, but they all required you to visit their website. Often you either forget or find out it’s faster to do this by hand. 140it is available as a bookmarklet, which means that you can simply drag it to your toolbar and click it to do its work there and then.

Here’s the demo:

140it Demo from Vinicius Vacanti on Vimeo.

[140it – via TechCrunch]

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Interviewed about Apple's 2008 Success

I’ve been interviewed over at Matthew Mizzi’s blog. I was asked a few questions about Apple’s amazing financial success (pdf) over the year 2008. For the first time ever, they’ve made over $10b. Read a little about how they made so much money in 2008 in... the interview.

For any company, that’s a lot of money, but for a computer company, that’s phenomenal. It’s a combination of great products, great design, but also excellent marketing and branding.

[Apple’s success explained – by Matthew Mizzi’s Blog]

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Updating to OpenOffice 3.0 in Ubuntu 8.10

Unfortunately, even though Intrepid Ibex (Ubuntu 8.10) shipped quite a bit after the release of OpenOffice 3.0, the developers hadn’t quite finished testing Intrepid with the latest version. As a result, Ubuntu 8.10 ships with version 2.4 of the popular, free office suite.

The latest version of OpenOffice adds many new features, including an enhanced user interface, compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007’s XML formats (docx, pptx), and improved speed and reliability all round.

Softpedia outlines the proper way to update your OpenOffice suite. You just have to add the following to your list of software sources: deb intrepid main and then update via the Update Manager:

[How to Install 3.0 on Ubuntu 8.10 – Step by step tutorial with screenshots!Softpedia]

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Twitter Heralding New Age in Reporting

Taken by @jkrums with his iPhone less than 5 minutes after the Hudson River plane crash

Twitter and the "real-time web" as a whole are heralding a new age in reporting. This new age really fulfills the potential of the Web 2.0 promise of a few years back: user-generated content.

What is the real-time web? This term refers to services like Twitter and FriendFeed - micro-blogging services - short, instant updates letting people know what's happening, instantly.

Consider two very recent examples: Steve Jobs' extended stay away from Apple, and the plane crash landing in the Hudson River. Citizen reporting on a scale we've never seen before is likely to become the new standard.

As Robert Scoble put it:

What happened? While CNBC was reporting it on TV, the real-time-web
was going nuts. Passing along little tidbits. Stories. Links. Rumors. And all that. It was interesting, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

The Future of Reporting?

It seems likely that citizen reporting is going to increase dramatically in the next 5 years or so - as more and more people become technology-savvy and micro-blogging services (like Twitter) become increasingly mainstream.

As for me, speaking as someone involved in student journalism, this is very, very exciting. Your thoughts? [Scobleizer]

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iTweet: Twitter on steroids

iTweet iTweet is a web-based client for the popular micro-blogging service Twitter. The service was built by avid Twitter user colbypalmer. So what makes iTweet so special compared to the dozens of Twitter clients already out there?

Well, for one thing, it's web based - meaning all you need to run it is a tab in a browser. Despite the default Twitter client also being web-based, iTweet one-ups it in many ways. It has super-useful features built in, such as: url-shortening via, native and automated re-tweeting, auto-refresh, main-page searching, unicode symbol support, and support for hashtags, and much more.

It copies the basic layout of the main Twitter site, but with obvious provisions for the added features. The site has a utilitarian look that definitely has its draw (you can change it to your default Twitter colours).

itweet screenshot

The interface is heavy in its API usage and you can run down to your limit of 100 requests per hour really quickly. However the client has options to cater for this.

All in all, iTweet is a comprehensive Twitter client that can fully replace the default web interface.


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Installing Flock in Ubuntu 8.10 in 3 easy steps

This article will help you install the popular social web browser Flock on your Ubuntu  computer. The instructions are tested on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex, but they will probably work on most recent versions.

The instructions on the official Flock FAQ are outdated, so use this guide instead.

1) Download Flock. It should end in ".tar.gz". Place the fle in your home folder i.e. ~/

2) Open up a terminal window and type in:

tar -C /home/USERNAME -xzvf FILENAME.tar.gz

Substitute USERNAME and FILENAME for the real thing (case-sensitive)

3) We now need a nice launcher for Flock. Type in:

gedit /home/USERNAME/Flock.desktop

A new text editor window should open up. In the new window, copy and paste the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Flock Web Browser
GenericName=Flock Web Browser
GenericName[en_US]=Flock Web Browser
As before, replace all 3 instances of USERNAME with your actual (case-sensitive) username.

That's it! Flock is now installed on your computer! You can also copy and paste the shortcut to the desktop for easier access. If you want it in your Applications menu, right click the menu and edit it.

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Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

Today I installed Ubuntu 8.10. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution. The move came a few months after I was severely burned by v7.10, losing all my photos in a failed install.

Below are my first impressions from a Windows-user perspective…


A quick note on how I installed it

A lot of time has passed and I feel ready to jump back in to the wonderfully open and customisable world of Linux.

I didn’t actually physically install Ubuntu on my computer. The scars of 2 years’ worth of lost photosstill hurt.

So I used the excellent Wubi installer instead. The installer uses some sort of magic commands to install Ubuntu inside a Windows drive.

First Impressions

First impressions are mixed – the interface is undoubtedly pretty, but I’m feeling a little lost.

I’m considerably eased by the little commodities – like a preinstalled PDF viewer, it automatically detecting my printer and also automatically connecting me to the internet.

I can tell that whoever designed the UI really wants to appear warm and welcoming to migrating Windows users. After a couple of hours the strange disorientation disappears and I’m fully immersed in the experience.

Installing applications is extremely different to how I’m used to on Windows. Ubuntu’s way is undoubtedly more difficult, but it does bring most programs under one centralised location (making updates and new programs more prominent).

Installing applications

It’s also very easy to get lost playing with new applications and changing all the system settings. Everything is presented very nicely and graphically. Ubuntu is trying very hard to hide its command-line underpinnings.


The font rendering is very different from Windows. There’s no ClearType here in Linux land so it’s up to you to decide how you want your fonts. I found a way how to get font rendering to roughly resemble Mac OS X’s beautiful font rendering. In this regard it’s advantage to the free OS (more on that in a future article).


I wasn’t expecting miracles. My machine has a very modest 512MB RAM chip installed. 64 of that 512MB is reserved for video, since I also don’t have dedicated graphics.

The operating system itself, with all fancy features turned off, is not significantly faster than Windows XP. It does use a little less RAM though and Firefox is remarkably efficient on Ubuntu.

That’s all for now. Look out for future articles about my Ubuntu and Linux adventures.

[Ubuntu download page]

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