Archive for January, 2006

K3B and amaroK: Only KDE applications I use

Whatever Linus Torvalds might have to say, i am happy with the GNOME desktop manager. i have used KDE for far too long, before i switched to GNOME, and i had never liked KDE very much – for whatever reasons. i liked a lot of applications in KDE though, like KDevelop, Kate etc. but i could always install and use these applications from GNOME too, albiet they might load a little bit slowly in GNOME. the number of KDE applications that i would use in GNOME started to decrease everyday, and very quickly i found that i was not using a single KDE application any more. that is the reason why i never felt any discomfort while using the Ubuntu operating system, which is completely a GNOME based distribution(the kde version of it is called Kubuntu). but the situation did not last for too long…and i came to know about atleast two killer KDE applications, which have compelling enuogh features to make them must-haves even for a GNOME user: K3B and amaroK. whereas GnomeBaker has a simple interface, K3B makes it extremely easy to do a lot of operations, like making a cd-to-cd copy, multisession burning etc, that are difficult to do in other cd burning apps, or are not yet supported. K3B is a combination of ease of use and a great feature set. when it comes to amaroK, it simply rocks! its interface allows so much to be done and yet it is so simple to use. it allows searching and saving album covers over the internet, has features for digging up song lyrics and for looking up artists in Wikipedia. it can transform to a smaller window while it is playing aka xmms or can just play from the notification area. got good skins and presets too. so even if you are a GNOME user, you definitely need atleast these two applications from the KDE stable.


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Another system rescue story, using Ubuntu LiveCD

Adding to what i had written in one of my earlier posts about the rescue act using a gnu/linux live cd , here is a related story posted on the ubuntu-users mailing list:
(this is a trimmed version, full story here)

A horror story with a potentially happy ending.

So, I use PartitionMagic 8.0 to move a few things around for the
ever-expanding Ubuntu portion of my hard disk. Then the god-awful happens: in the middle of applying my changes, Partition magic gives one of its ever-helpful error messages (“Error #705 applying changes.”) and stops.
Now since I am primarily a Windows user (and all my software and work sits under Windows as a result), my natural reflex was to pull out my Windows recovery disk to see what I could do. What a damned joke. Apparently, to Sony, “recovery” means “erase everything on the whole disk and put back in the vanilla install”. There was no option of any kind to try and restore the MBR or any such thing. Just a snide “it is advised to back up your critical data before proceeding”-style message. Bastards!

Luckily I have Ubuntu. And, more specifically, I have my Ubuntu LiveCD. Which I booted and fired up GParted in. To see that I have…. nopartitions. Time to go hunting.

Having a fully-functional system despite not having a functional hard drive has its advantages. Sure it may be slow as all Hell on a CD, but it works. And it lets me surf the net to find possible solutions before giving up and losing literally years of data. Ordinarily I’d have to go to another computer (say in my classroom) to research solutions and download things and even mess with the hard drive (after removing it), but the Ubuntu LiveCD rendered that unnecessary. On the same crippled machine I could do whatever I needed to do.
So here’s where things stand now. GRUB is saved. Ubuntu works (with a few annoying glitches — I may just reinstall the system and restore my /home, taking the opportunity afforded to modify my partitioning scheme […]
‘ll do Sony’s version of “recovery”, restore my vital data (which is sitting on that handy external disk — the partition can’t be booted, but it reads just fine!), and then uninstall everything under Windows but for the few applications left which don’t have a suitable Linux alternative. (That list shrinks regularly and consists now of mostly games.) I’ll wind up with 5-10GB devoted to Windows and 30GB devoted to Linux. And Linux — Ubuntu — will be the OS I use most of the time now.

Ubuntu Live CD can be downloaded here.
You can also get it shipped to anywhere around the world, free of cost, from here.

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