Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New year 2012

Hey friends from a wannabe geek

Happy New year and a Bucketful of good wishes

May this new year bring you luck in all the endeavors and may the Open Source flourish.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

1 down, 1 to go...

Yippeee...

This post has been written on the newest addition to my Fedora family. I have installed Fedora 16 Verne successfully on my new Lenovo ThinkPad T520. This is the second laptop to get converted. I also have an old desktop which I converted to Fedora. The new laptop came preloaded with Windows 7 but Fedora was installed in a jiffy. This was by far the easiest installation ever. I usually remove all the traces of Windows. Everything seems to work out of the box. Startup, suspend, resume is also flawless which was a pain in my HP dv4 laptop.

The computer is a lot more zippier than what I have used before. All the transitions is a lot more smooth on this. Keyboard is a bit tough to feel but is very sensitive, so no complaints. It's great to work on it even for a long time. The placement of a few buttons are different than the the HP that I had but its nice and will get used to it. Love the keyboard light, lets me work without disturbing my room-mate. TrackPad is easy to find because of the change in the texture.

TrackPad works nicely too but two finger scrolling is a pain with it. I will have to tweak some settings I think to make it work. Two finger pinch zooming doesn't work. Trackpoint also works but middle button scrolling doesn't. I haven't used it as yet as this is my first ThinkPad but would love to have it. Please help me if anyone can, post the help in comments.

Today is just day 1 and I am loving it. Will post soon after a thorough workout of the laptop.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two computers, two distros

Hey guys I just got a peep of my future laptop. Its a Lenovo T520, brand new. It is gonna be used by my sis for next month but eventually its gonna be mine. Ever since Fedora 15 I am in love with Fedora. So its gonna be Fedora 16 on my new workhorse. I will post step by step account of my installation.

A very good friend of mine requested me to covert his old aging desktop to a linux desktop. I haven't seen the dino but have promised to give a Linux PC for him. He is a complete computer illiterate so are his kids. I am gonna install a noob-proof distro Linux Mint for him. I will post his experinces with it as soon as he uses it and likes it.

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Firefox vs. Opera - Tab Management

I used Opera first on my Windows XP PC a long time back before I came on to Linux. It was Opera 6 at that time and was ad-sponsered but still it was my primary browser for a long time, till 2004. I changed to Firefox in 2004 as it was new and exciting and offered a new way to discover web. After installing Fedora I never had to look away form the default browser Firefox.
Though I missed a lot of features of Opera which it brought on in-built but Firefox was much more comfortable. The variety of extensions brought the features to a level better as compared to Opera. The latest version of Opera, Opera 11.60, intrigued me enough to try again. I wished to try the innovator's newest beast.

Firefox 8.0 vs. Opera 11.60
Firefox, evolving a lot faster than in those days, has reached its 8th version while Opera is in its 11th version. Opera is a feature ladden but suprisingly is a light-footed browser. While Firefox is a easy to use browser, fast evolving, extensible as compared to Opera. It has, but a heavy over-head as compared to Opera and take a bit longer to load. Opera has more in-built features than Firefox but a lot of sites are not well supported (this has reduced a lot).
Let us compare tab management in both of them.

Tab stacking vs. Panorama
Tab management is a big issue, with over 20 - 30 tabs per session it is very difficult to manage. These two are the only browsers which tackle this problem head-on with an in-built mechanism.

Firefox panorama
Firefox was the first browser to tackle this problem with Panorama in version 4 in 2008. It evolved from Tab Candy which gave a similar way to manage tabs in version 3.6. It is a brilliant way to organize your tabs. Each group gives you a new browser window which can be organized according to the work you are doing. Groups show a preview of all the tabs in that group and an option to close the group, tab in the group. It's like having multiple browser windows open at the same time. Lets you hide your tabs from prying eyes if need be.

Opera's Tabs Stacking
Tabs stacking is the latest addition to the overflowing list of features that Opera has to offer. It was introduced in version 11 itself in 2010. It is vastly different to Firefox's approach. As oppose to having hidden groups all the tabs stack are visible on the tab bar. Stack shows the last open/viewed tab. Tab view shows all the tabs in the stack and the tab we wish to view can be chosen from it. This though solves the problem of excessive tabs but only to an extent. Still there is a limit to total number of tabs that can be opened. It crashes on trying to drag the tab to form a new window.

Personally I prefer Firefox's method of tab managment. It gives a cleaner display in which less important tabs can be hidden away from view so you can concentrate on the work in hand. Opera's way of management is open and everything on display. But tabs can get a bit mixed if too many stacks and free tabs are opened together. A lot of tabs or stacks and it too can become a bit cluttered.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Testing, testing

This is a test blog for Planet Fedora. I hope I have followed all the instructions...

Fingers crossed.

P.S. Successful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Post

Installing Java on Fedora

Java is not usually included in Linux. OpenJDK is great but sorry to say it doesn't seem to work on my net-banking website. I have complained but till the situation betters I have to use the JDK supplied by Sun. Which is a closed source option.
Installing Java on Linux is a bit different than on Windows. There is point and click option available on most of the newer Linux flavours for the OpenJDK. But for the Sun Java only commandline option is there. The command-line option is a quick way to do it cleanly. I have tried this on Fedora, Ubuntu. It should work on most.

1. Download latest Java
Go to the Sun java website to download latest java binary.
http://www.java.com/en/download/linux_manual.jsp?locale=en
Current version is Java 6 Update 29.



2. Install Java
First make the downloaded file to executable.

$ chmod u+x jre-6u29-linux-i586.bin

Go root and make a folder /usr/java

$ su
# mkdir /usr/java

Copy the executable to the above made directory. Run the executable.

# cp /<Download Directory>/jre-6u29-linux-i586.bin /usr/java
# ./jre-6u29-linux-i586.bin 

3.Configuring the computer

This will create extract the required files and install the files in the folder /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29. The executable for java is present in the folder /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29/bin. It is possible to install multiple versions of java in your computer at the same time and use it as needed. It is possible with the help of alternatives command.

# alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29/bin/java 120 --slave /usr/bin/keytool keytool /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29/bin/keytool --slave /usr/bin/rmiregistry rmiregistry /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29/bin/rmiregistr

# alternatives --config java

There are 4 programs which provide 'java'.

  Selection    Command
-----------------------------------------------
   1           /usr/java/jre1.6.0_27/bin/java
*  2           /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.6.0-openjdk/bin/java
   3           /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.5.0-gcj/bin/java
 + 4           /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29/bin/java

Enter to keep the current selection[+], or type selection number:

* shows the most appropriate choice, i.e. Open source Java ;-). Now you will have multiple Java installed and choice can be changed by alternatives --config java command. Most recently installed Java will be the lowest one and select it.


Installing Firefox Java plugin

This install also provides the latest java plugin for your favourite browser Firefox. Older plugin was named libjavaplugin.so or libjavaplugin_oji.so. The newer plugin is libnpjp2.so. Similar to the multiple versions of Java present in your computer you can have multiple versions of plugin installed and use whichever is appropriate for you. You install the plugin in a similar way with alternatives command.

alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin.so libjavaplugin.so /usr/java/jre1.6.0_29/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so 1
 
alternatives --config libjavaplugin.so
 

I hope this first post of mine helps you. Any comments will be helpful. If there is an easier way please add in the comments I will surely add it.

You can test the installation by visiting http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp 


In RPM based distros such as Fedora installation is simpler as the file jre-6u29-linux-i586-rpm.bin extracts RPM and installs the java at the above mentioned place /usr/java. Rest of the commands for configuring by alternatives remain the same.

These directions is for 32 bit Linux. I haven't tried 64 bit Linux as yet since I dont have a 64 bit computer, so any directions for that will be welcome. Or I will post it as soon as I get my hands on such a computer.