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Do You Ubuntu? - Your YouTube Moment of the Day
Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 08:33 AM EDT

We've started putting up useful or fun YouTube videos, one a day, to demonstrate the significant noninfringing use of the service. Also because we're having fun.

At first, I was putting them in News Picks, but this one is too great not to put right here. It's a librarian in Vermont, USA, who installs Ubuntu on two rickety old donated computers in less than an hour and then shows Ubuntu off. The computers didn't come with valid licenses to any operating system, so she tried Ubuntu. As you will see, she is impressed at all the applications that come with it, including OpenOffice, and she shows you how to save an OpenOffice document as Microsoft Word format. Here's the Ogg version of her video.

If you would like to do the same, and she does make it look fun, here are some instructions she posted afterwards, but as you will see in the video, Ubuntu does the ubuntuing without much input from you. You can even ask and they'll send you a free CD in the mail of Ubuntu, Edubuntu, or Kubuntu, if you don't want to burn your own. I use Kubuntu myself. Edubuntu is for schools. If you are a business, this page about applications tested to run on Ubuntu and where support is available will interest you. But Ubuntu, as they say, is and always be free of charge:

Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.

We issue a new desktop and server release every six months. That means you'll always have the the latest and greatest applications that the open source world has to offer.

That's what makes it perfect for librarians to put on donated computers in a little library in Vermont. She installed the desktop, but there is a server edition too, and if you're thinking of Linux because of security concerns, here's a handy page with things you will find useful, like setting up a firewall. Yes, it comes with Ubuntu. And if you are on a really old computer, you might be interested in Xubuntu. There are lots of other variations too, in various languages as well. Enjoy.


Do You Ubuntu? - Your YouTube Moment of the Day | 100 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: MathFox on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 08:50 AM EDT
non-anonymous, for those that hide anonymous comments.

If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: feldegast on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 08:51 AM EDT
Please make links clickable

i hate it when my cookie expires :(

My posts are ©2004-2007 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do You Ubuntu? - Your YouTube Moment of the Day
Authored by: feldegast on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 09:08 AM EDT
I personally use Kubuntu and when I saw there was no customised grub screen image (the image that is shown behind the menu that appears when you boot Linux that allows you to select which kernel/OS to start) I decided to make one, I then got requests to make one for each Ubuntu flavour, if you want one they are here. mp;action=contents

My posts are ©2004-2007 and released under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do You Ubuntu? - Your YouTube Moment of the Day
Authored by: PolR on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 09:13 AM EDT
What a contrast with that Russian teacher experience who tried to run Windows in
similar circumstances.

It is little stories like this librarian's that will make people realize they
don't really need Windows. Like Firefox before it, Ubuntu will keep picking
momentum and grow to an unstoppable phenomenon.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do You Ubuntu? - Your YouTube Moment of the Day
Authored by: Tsu Dho Nimh on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 09:20 AM EDT
There is a very good "how to customize Ubuntu desktop" video on there.

I also found some videos on how to do vatious oth tasks, like bathe the dog and
clean house.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Here's a Samba How-To if anyone wants one
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 10:14 AM EDT
This how-to works on Ubuntu or Kubuntu.

It assumes the following:

You use the same login name on your Windows and Linux computers.

You are using Static IPs behind your router

You use nano as your text editor. (Replace with whatever editor you like)

Basically, you need to do the following:

Install Samba packages
Create your smb password for your account
Create/Modify the smbusers file
Modify the smb.conf file to enter the information for your users and the shared
drives they will access.
Start the Samba Server

The process is really simple, it's just somewhat tedious.

First off, install your samba packages using Adept/Synaptic/whatever package
manager you use. Kubuntu 6.10 comes with the package “samba-common” installed by
default, but SAMBA is neither fully installed nor set up, so you need to grab
the packages.

Installing the packages:

samba-doc (so you can learn the finer points of tuning a SAMBA setup)

These additional packages may or may not be needed, but I installed them


Create/Set the smb password:

Then, you need to set your user's smb password to be the same between windows
and linux by performing the following command at the command line (Terminal

bob@bob-samba:~$ sudo smbpasswd -a bob

In the example above, bob is the person logged in and entering the command on
the machine called bob-samba.

By running the command above, bob will get prompted to create a password for a
user named bob. This username should be the same login name you use to access
your windows box and linux box.

Create/Modify the smbusers file:

Once you've set the smb password, you need to either modify or create the
smbusers file

bob@bob-samba:~$ sudo nano /etc/samba/smbusers

In the smbusers file, modify/add the following line:

USERNAME = "network username"

USERNAME = the name you are going to use to log into the machine with. Using bob
as an example, it would look like:

bob = "network username"

Save the file in your text editor and exit the editor.

Modify the smb.configuration file

bob@bob-samba:~$ sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

(You can use whatever editor. I use nano since it's present in both Kubuntu and

In the smb.conf file, make the following additions:

2. Locate the section titled


If the following entries do not exist, add them. If they do exist and are set to
something else, modify them to read:

workgroup = MSHOME (Enter your workgroup's name here in place of MSHOME)
netbios name = bob-samba (Enter the HostName here of your *buntu box)

3. Scroll down to locate the following entry:

; security = user

Remove the ; from the entry above and add the following line directly below it

username map = /etc/samba/smbusers

4. Scroll down to the section
#================ Share Definitions =================

in that section, locate the entry labeled


After the last entry for printers, enter the information for your shares.

(NOTE: I place my shared drive entries after the printer section because it
works for can put them anywhere in the Share Definitions section)

I named each of my shares in the smb.conf file to match the name of the drive as
it appears in the /media/ folder. I recommend using this method for the sake of

You can copy and paste the following bolded entries if you want. Just be sure to
modify them to reflect your drive names and user names ;)

# My Shared Folders

path = /media/DRIVE1/
browseable = yes
read only = no
guest ok = no
create mask = 0644
directory mask = 0755
force user = USERNAME
force group = USERNAME

path = /media/DRIVE2/
browseable = yes
read only = no
guest ok = no
create mask = 0644
directory mask = 0755
force user = USERNAME
force group = USERNAME

In place of the "USERNAME" entries above, make sure USERNAME is set to
the same username you use to log into the system on both Windows and Linux

The group name should be set to the groupname your linux login name is set to.

Once all these steps are complete, you can try starting up Samba and accessing
the shares.

bob@bob-samba:~$ sudo testparm


bob@bob-samba:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart

You should now be able to browse the network from your windows machines and
see/access/read/write to your shared Linux Drives.

[ Reply to This | # ]

98% *buntu
Authored by: cjk fossman on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 10:44 AM EDT
Both business computers: Kubuntu
Family internet terminal: Xubuntu

The lone thorn in my side is TurboTax, and it's why I keep
the one Windows partition around. Anybody got it working
with Wine?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Server Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 10:54 AM EDT
The server edition is what I would recommend for a library. The server should be a machine with a second network interface (NIC). The server can do all these things for you:
  • serve as a router/firewall for your whole system (all machines/users)
  • allow users on any old thing on your network to log in and run applications on the server where they can use disc storage, spare CPU cycles, memory, Internet, etc.
  • provide a web server to the outside world or to your users (stuff like databases, library management/search, image database (searchable), books (fully indexed stuff from for instance), local search engine like Swish-e or mnogosearch, time synch, local static pages, bulletin boards etc.
  • PXE booting so your old machines need no hard drive if they have the BIOS option to boot PXE
These functions really improve the usability of old machines because they only have to show the pictures and receive the clicks which they do well enough. All the hard work gets done on the server which can be new hardware with lots of power, RAM, disc, etc. These functions really improve the maintainability of the system since you only need to maintain the software on one machine, the server. Think 1/N of the work where N is the number of machines in the system. The server likely can install in 20 minutes as shown in the video and you only have to set up the BIOS or provide a boot loader on the client machines. It does require a bit of network hardware which you will need if the machines are networked anyway. See for how Linux terminal servers work. Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva, and lots of other distros have LTSP integrated. K12LTSP has done this for years for schools as has SkoleLinux/DebianEdu. Specialized software for libraries is at

[ Reply to This | # ]

Edubuntu for Kids
Authored by: Felix_the_Mac on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 11:54 AM EDT

Edubuntu Desktop version is not exclusively for schools.
I have it on an ancient PC (PII 266MHz) for my Kids.
It comes with lots of great 'edutainment' software and games.

The Edubuntu server version is definitely targeted at schools (or libraries)
since it offers 'thin client' support.

[ Reply to This | # ]

There's a Christian Ubuntu as well.
Authored by: TAZ6416 on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 12:09 PM EDT
Click here for the CE website


My MySpace

[ Reply to This | # ]

But this is not a good idea!
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 12:27 PM EDT

she shows you how to save an OpenOffice document as Microsoft Word format

Bad idea, because it gives naive users the impression that "Microsoft Word format" is some kind of standard that it's OK to use.

The problem with that shows up when Microsoft releases a new version of Microsoft Word. The naive users expect to be able to read the files that it generates using OpenOffice. (After all, the files are in "Microsoft Word format" by definition, right?). When it doesn't work (because Microsoft has added options to the format without telling anybody what they are) the naive users will blame OpenOffice.

Microsoft is a master at this strategy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Limitations of Ubuntu
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 01:02 PM EDT
I tried setting up Kubuntu on my network for my younger
brother, and my experience suggests that Kubuntu has
serious issues with handling anything that is somewhat out
of the ordinary. For example, the system I was setting up
refused to boot if I told it to use an LDAP server for
logins instead of the local files, and the system went
haywire when I had it use an NFS drive as /home.

Ultimately, I simply used Fedora on all the computers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Best hardware and package support is still SUSE though
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 01:33 PM EDT
Suse still has the best hardware support of any distro out there.

And still has the best package support of any distro too.

You want RPM, sure, got that.
You want debian packages, yup, got that.
want to use apt get whatever, yup, got that
want to use yum, got that too
want to use YAST (now fully open source), yes, that's here now too
or do you want to use plain source code, that you can do too.

it really is simply the best, and easiest linux to work with, yet has enough
power to cover any type of configuration, desktop, workstation, or server, even
enterprise or embedded appliances.

Much better hardware support than ubuntu or gentoo or debian have. and much
better package management and updates.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linux and Public Libraries
Authored by: grw on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 01:36 PM EDT
With some googling, I found a couple of free software/Linux websites related to libraries; I wish my local libraries would run Linux, or even add Firefox to their Windows install, however it seems that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is actively working to make sure libraries only run Windows.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do You Ubuntu? - NO, I Debian.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 02:07 PM EDT
Its like Ubuntu, except is more up to date, and less bug-prone. It also avoids
the Ubuntu habit of including non-free binary blobs by default.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 05:33 PM EDT
He, he. After installing flash (just by following the clicks) for Firefox, I
was able to see the video with Kubuntu that I just installed on a 4 GB
CompactFlash card. The installation was a breeze (including printer and DSL set
up), but I couldn't get Kubuntu to use my onboard sound (CMI8738 on an Iwill
KK266+R) even though it was recognized so I bought a $10 FM801 sound card that
works pretty much perfectly for Linux. The Adept Package Manager lets a
non-geek add programs (like Firefox) very easily.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't (K)ubuntu because I've a problem starting the Kubuntu disc
Authored by: johnzap on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 05:58 PM EDT
I've downloaded the Kubuntu disc and burned it on a CD. I put it on the
CD-drive, it starts, presents me with the initial screen and I choose to run it
(to check how it operates; maybe to install it later). After a few seconds, my
monitor (Samsung Syncmaster 710N) presents me with a moving window saying that I
should optimise the resolution to 1280x1024 @ 60Mhz and pretty much nothing
happens after that.

I've tried all the available options: start in VGA mode and safe graphics,
basically all the options I've available on the initial screen, all to no

Any ideas what the problem might be??? Or a good resource with answers to these

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is it really"non-infringing"?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 07:23 PM EDT
What about the soundtrack? A few people commented on that blog that they recognised the music and artist ... so I'm guessing that this was a commercial recording.

Did our heroine get permission to use the music for this video? I can't tell. I didn't notice any credits. Libraries have lots of exemptions in copyright law ... does this fall into one of those?

Really neat video. Loved the time-lapse segments at the start.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Also Look Into LinuxMint
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 11:50 PM EDT
While I was looking into Kubuntu, I also had a look at
Linux Mint; a fantastic *buntu-based distro, and the guys
working there seem to be determined to design a very easy
to use system that isn't simply a clone.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do You Ubuntu? - Your YouTube Moment of the Day
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 15 2007 @ 02:51 PM EDT
Not any more.

Saturday afternoon my Kubuntu decided to hose itself - or, more precisely, KDE -
or Konqueror, I'm not sure which - decided to hose itself.

I'm still not sure what happened, but KDE slowed down to the point of being
unusable, after running fine on Kubuntu for the last eight months or so.
Konqueror began stalling, causing other apps to freeze up. Running top showed
nothing unusual in terms of CPU or memory resources.

I hadn't intended to upgrade from 6.10 to 7.04 for a while until the bugs were
worked out, but decided to try to fix the problem that way, since debugging KDE
problems can be very hairy. First, the Live CD installer hung completely - the
Ubiquity installer is generally regarded as crap, so I decided to use the
alternate text installed.

Well, the upgrade did not solve the problem - the problems remained, and then
the lousy Adept package manager borks itself. WHY the Ubuntu people do not make
Synaptic the default package manager is beyond me. EVERYBODY prefers it to

So I switched to Mandriva One 2007 Spring.

Nope. Problems remained. That was interesting - system problems remained after a
new install of a completely different release. I tried to see if it was hardware
issues - memtest said everything OK, CPU still running at speed, one of my two
hard drives had some bad sectors (a hint). Then trying to add KSysGuard (a
system monitor) to the system panel crashed the panel. Okay, Mandriva, you're
out of here.

I decided the issue must be involved with the KDE settings in my /home profile
and decided to install Opensuse (that's right, Novell, I couldn't care less
about patent deals!) So I saved the home directory, and blew both / and /home
off with a clean install of Opensuse 10.2.

That mostly worked - especially when I determined that in fact the main problems
I was having involved one partition on my system - the one with the bad sectors.
I ran Western Digital Data LifeGuard diagnostics, which gave inconsistent
results, but claimed the bad sectors were fixed. I moved everything off that
partition and reformatted it anyway, since it was a FAT32 partition that was
heavily fragmented. I also suspected the Linux kernel - or Konqueror - was
perhaps sensitive to FAT32 fragmentation.

Then I spent most of yesterday and last night until 3AM getting the software I
use installed. Opensuse's package management system is FAR less efficient than
using Synaptic (and even Adept's notifier system), but it can be made to work
okay. I had to dump Novell's Zenworks updater since that junk spikes the CPU to
100% for twenty minutes after a reboot - thus enhancing the slowness of KDE.

Why is it that almost NO distro has the package management problem solved?

I STILL have issues with KDE's inability to open directories with a large number
of subdirectories in reasonable time - but I can live with that for the moment.

Kubuntu had several irritations, but I might have tried to continue to live with
it as it was an "adequate" distro (despite its blurring of the normal
user and root). I used to use Mandriva 2006 before the upgrade to 2007 borked my
system, so I might have tried to live with Spring had KSysGuard not crashed on

I'm not a newbie with Linux. The distros need to get their act together and
start testing things better.

And the KDE project needs to FREEZE ANY new "features" and retest and
correct the numerous bugs that remain. It's ridiculous that it still stalls on
copying large files for no known reason. I moved the Opensuse CD ISO files from
one directory to another last night - the first one took nearly fifteen minutes
to move, the next four moved in five minutes total. Very inconsistent (although
some of that might have had to do with the bad sectors in that partition.)

Worse, it stalls badly on opening directories with a large number of
subdirectories. Clicking "up" from a subdirectory with maybe four
subdirectories in it to the parent directory with perhaps fifty subdirectories
in it can hang Konqueror for 20-30 seconds and even up to a minute. Utterly

ALL the distros today have serious issues with quality control in their
installation and package management processes - the two processes that MUST work
for new users - as well as their wireless and laptop support. In addition, the
two main desktops have numerous obscure bugs that may surface at any time for no
known reason to trash the system.

This stuff needs to be fixed if Linux intends to take on new users en mass.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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