Tag: Linux

Flocked

Last night someone  on Twitter asked if there was a blogging software similar to Windows Live Writer in Ubuntu.  I didn’t know so I did some research.  The result of my findings was Flock. Flock is not a blog software only like Live Writer, instead it is a web browser based on Mozilla Firefox but with built in social media capability.  You could feasably get similar usability by adding large quantities of plugins to Firefox but Flock is sleek and smooth and all the media just works.  It is also available in ALL flavors from Windows to Mac to Linux.  If you, like me, find yourself juggling multiple open web browsers/tabs trying to keep track of writing projects, web pages in use, AND various social media sites, then you might want to look into it.

It has taken me most of the day to catch onto how it all works (though, if you are inclined, there are several video walkthru’s at the ready when you first open the browser.)  There are various settings you can adpat to your own needs plus it uses all the plugins for Firefox you feel you might need.

Pros:

  • The uploader for media works beautifully!  One of my biggest complaints about Flickr is that the apps are often hard to use and messy.  This one gives you a preview of everythign you are uploading, has all the info you might want to add, and is quick and easy to use and upload.  You can use the uploader for multiple media sites–Flickr, Youtube, and Photobucket just being a few.
  • The blog editor.  The blog editor is simple and concise.  If you blog on several sies you can enter your info for each site (which it saves), make your post, then choose which to upload it to.  It also saves drafts and has all the basic functionality you expect in a blog editor.  (I am posting this from Flock.)
  • All people things in one place.  I LOVE that you can see all your different chat mediums in one spot.  Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, etc all post to the same spot AND you can toggle between individual sites without opening them up if you like.  This really simplifies things for m (I have been avoiding posting due to issues with the image uploader in Flickr for Linux AND the uploader in the new version of WordPress iving me trouble.)
  • Feed reader.  The feed reader is built in and very well done.  You can view ALL the sites, put them in folders, see excerpts of each and how many posts in each folder.  It marks them as read as you open them but keeps them all so you can go back and see them if you missed somethign or didn’t have time.
  • I like that I can have this open with all my social media and work in a separate browser (Firefox.)  This way I am no longer confused about having multiple browsers and tabs open and trying to remember which is where and what is what.
  • It has a clipoard which is integrated into the browser AND the blogging software meaning I can grab links that I want to use later and save them easily (it also lets you email links easily.)

Cons:

  • It is a bit more clutter than I prefer.  It is beautifully themed and elegant but all the little buttons that alert you to different updates are a bit much.
  • I love that it saves my favorite sites but wish it would show me whr eit is making that my favorite and allow me to delete the ones that really aren’t.  It doesn’t.
  • It has a nice little pop-down media browser for photos and videos that I could totally do without. 
  •  I wish there were a weather widget–I keep opening Igoogle anyway to check the weather then stay since that is where my comfortable stuff all is.
  • I have to keep Igoogle in case I am on a different computer since Flock doesn’t store your settings online.
  • As far as I can see you have to manually go to twitter or facebook to actually post a comment.  I miss being able to do it from Igoogle–though granted Betwitered is down part of the time.
  • There are a few other nitpicks and some of the items may just be me not being used to the software or not having found out how to use everything. 
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Running Edubuntu from a Live CD

logo.pngFor screenshots of Edubuntu check this out.

So, with  all this talk about Edubuntu, I realized that maybe I should explain how to go about downloading and running it.  In fact, there is a bit of a trick to it which I have messed up more than a few times because I am a ditz like that–enough so that I went ahead and made a few cd’s for people who want them instead of explaining to my less technically-minded friends how to go about it.  (I have wasted plenty of cd’s because I “forget” how to burn an image.)

Before you download and run it there are two things you need to do.  (It doesn’t take much space to run so most people will not have issues with that.)

  1. Reboot your computer.  When it is starting up there will be a splash screen that tells you what type of processor you have.  As long as it doesn’t say 64 somewhere in there you should be good with the regular install.  (You can also check this by going into your control panel, system, and looking at your computer info.   AMD 64 requires a different setup which is the second one listed.)  Most people have a regular 32bit chipset and can run the first version.  If you can’t tell I suggest downloading and running the first chipset (or if you aren’t sure, email me and I will be glad to make you a cd and send it to you or you can order one from their site.)
  2. You need a cd burning software that can burn a cd image.  You are not burning data or an audio file you need to burn an .iso which is a disk image.  Nero Burning Rom can do this as can Sonic.  More than likely the program that came with your cd burner can burn a disk image but you need to tell it that is what you want.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to burn it as a data cd.  It won’t work.  I know because I ALWAYS forget and mess this up several times before remembering that I need to “Burn Disk Image”.

Now you can go the website and download.  You want the personal version, not the server.

Once you have downloaded and burned the cd all you do is put the cd in the cd/dvd player before rebooting.  Reboot and if your computer can boot from CD then it should automatically take you to the Edubuntu screen.  There it will give you several options but you likely won’t have to do a thing.  It will auto start in 30 seconds.  It will sit there a while–remember, you are running an entire OS from a cd, but it will start.  Just wait (probably about 3-5 minutes, on older machines like ours it takes a bit longer).  Once it boots you are good.  The screen looks quite a bit like a Mac (at least what I remember Macs looking like–it has been a while.)

Now you can play the games and run the programs without needing to install the software.  If you decide you love it you can install from there but I wouldn’t advise it unless you don’t mind losing what is already on computer or have everything backed up and I would recommend reading the docs on the site before doing so.  You can’t run Microsoft programs on an Ubuntu machine and have to convert your mp3s to .ogg format.  It is great if you don’t use Microsoft software and tend to use open source anyway or if you have a second computer for the kids (like us, we have 4 computers, two are old ones that belong to the kids.)

There are a few games that say they are missing bits.  If you install, it is easy to update those–they use other software that is normally already installed on a Linux machine.  If you don’t install you can’t update those but the rest is still well worth it.

I will talk a bit more about the games available in a future post.