Useful Infos For Novices (and many long-time users alike)
OK, so here's a small list of knowledge i have obtained over the years in the world of Linux (Ubuntu and Debian specifically):
Pronounciation: "Ubuntu" is properly pronounced oo-boon-too, not oo-bunt-oo. Just a pet peeve but still important :)
Specific Programs and Services:
MSN Messenger:- Proprietary to Microsoft (owned by them). They only make a MSN client (user program you're used to) for Windows. However, MSN has been mostly reverse engineered (hacked to work), and added to many common clients now such as Pidgin (comes with Ubuntu) and Kopete (my favourite for many chat protocols, comes with many KDE distributions.). However, if you want something more familiar to the "official" MSN (and more functional compared to the other Linux programs), try "amsn" from Synaptic. It's pretty much a complete clone ("copy" made from scratch) of MSN. It offers:
- webcam support (as long as your webcam works within Linux),
- voice conversations,
- voice clips,
- full custom smiley support,
- file transfers
- personal messages
and more. The only things missing are winks, games, and the inbuilt "screen sharing"(?) that comes with MSN 7.5 and above, not that many people use these.
Limewire (Gnutella Network):- Install "frostwire". It's in synaptic, if not google it and install the Ubuntu .deb package. You will also need to install the java runtime environment for this package; for some reason it isn't installed automatically ("sun-java6-jre" or similiar in synaptic.). Frostwire is pretty much a complete clone of Limewire.
Compiz Tips & Tricks:
- Enable Rotate Cube, this will enable the Desktop Cube instead of the Desktop Wall. It'll ask to disable the desktop wall as such, etc. I prefer it and it looks cooler, being 3D. :P
- Set the Cube to zoom out a little. Set the "Transparency while rotating" to something less than 100%, say 60 or 40. This will give you a better view of open windows and workspaces (desktops) when using ctrl+alt+click.
- Enable Cube Reflection and Deformation. This gives you a nice reflection underneath when ticked in the options for the plugin. Also, enable the Sphere deformation if you want to see something very neat happen to your cube.
- Enable Firepaint. Use Super(Windows Key) + Shift + Click to draw fire on the screen, Super + Shift + C to clear.
- Enable Scale. This will show all windows open anywhere on screen if you move your mouse to the top-right corner, in a Mac OSX-type fashion.
- Install Emerald from synaptic. Much nicer window borders, as well as many available from the likes of gnome-look.org and kde-look.org (use google)
- Install fusion-icon from synaptic. This will give you a tray icon on boot allowing you to turn compiz on/off quickly without having to navigate through Appearance and menus.
- Transparent window movement: Go into the "Move Window" plugin and set Transparency to something less than 100, say around 60. Now, if you move a window (by alt-grabbing or otherwise) it'll be transparent. Key Shortcuts: (Super means "Windows" Key)
- Ctrl+Alt+(Left/Right Arrow): switch workspaces
- Ctrl+Alt+Click: use the desktop cube and move around freely
- Super+Shift+Click: Draw fire across the screen, with Firepaint enabled
- Super+Shift+C: Clear fire drawings.
- Alt+Tab: Move through open windows
- Sauerbraten (3D FPS like Quake ish)
- AssaultCube (3D FPS like Counter Strike ish)
- AlienArena (3D FPS like Halo ish)
- Nexuiz (another 3D FPS)
- ManiaDrive (3D arcade driving)
- Chromium (2D arcade shooter)
- SuperTux (2D Mario-ish game with penguins)
- FretsOnFire (clone of Guitar Hero(!)) _do not_ install the one in Synaptic, download manually from Frets On Fire
- Commercial Games: (quality :) )
- DooM 3 (buy or demo) (3D "horror" FPS)
- Prey (buy or demo) (3D "horror" FPS)
- Quake 4 (buy or demo) (3D FPS)
To play DVDs and wmv/wma files, the easiest way (most likely) is to add the Medibuntu repository and install packages from there. All this means is, adding a couple of "software sources" to Synapic (apt) and clicking reload to enable access. This is as simple as running commands in a terminal (Apps -> Accessories -> Terminal) from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Medibuntu#Adding%20the%20Repositories. Be sure to use the one for the correct version of Ubuntu (the current latest is 8.10, 9.04 is launched in April 2009). Once this is done, click "reload" in synaptic, and install the packages "w32codecs" (unless you're on 64 bit in which case w64codecs), libdvdcss2, and finally "VLC" because its an awesome media player and pretty much always works. Once this is finished go into VLC, open, Disc, and select DVD (Menus) for a DVD, and just right clicking and "open in VLC" for a wmv file. WMA files should now Just Workâ„¢ in most media players (rhythmbox, amarok, etc.).
Anything similar to Microsoft Sam? I Want to laugh at horrible speech synthesis.
Sure. go to a terminal and type "espeak" and enter. Now enter words to be pronounced. This only works when other sound using apps are closed as eSpeak "hogs" the sound, unfortunately. Other applications cannot use sound whilst eSpeak is running.
I want to be a DJ, can you help me out here?
Yup, get package "mixxx" from Synaptic. This program allows you to speed up and slow down songs similiar to a record deck, also changing pitch. You can play two tunes at once and fade between them, beatmatching, etc. Go google for guides etc.
I compose my own tunes using "Fruity Loops" can I use this in Linux
You may, using Wine (Wine is not emulator) but Linux has a very similar native application called LMMS (Linux Multi Media Studio) it has many similarities to that of Fruity Loops and well worth a try.
Final Word: If you're stuck on something, search in synaptic! Failing that, GOOGLE the problem!! Google is your friend, and many many many great solutions to almost anything can be found via Google.