In my previous two posts (Installing Linux on a Netbook and Tweaking Lubuntu on my Acer Netbook), I initially created a dual boot option with Windows XP and Lubuntu, and then fought with the netbook’s BIOS that was in conflict with the Linux approach to power management stuff until I had both working, or so I thought. The last step for the one was to re-flash the BIOS and that accidentally took out my Windows install somehow (not too surprising, crap happens when you mess with the BIOS!). I could have tried reinstalling Windows, but really, who has the time for that? Like XP was worth the effort? 🙂
With dual-boot, it was almost 2 minutes to get Windows fully up and loaded, Lubuntu was about 55 seconds (or 1 minute 5 sec, if I let it run the wait delay of choosing Lubuntu to start). I hoped that after the reinstall, I might be able to get that 55 seconds down to something a little quicker considering part of the reason of doing all of this in the first place was to have “lighter (and faster) overhead” on the system when I was done in order to rejuvenate a tired netbook. After the complete re-install? Oooh, I got it down to 53 seconds. Still way better than Windows, but not quite what I had hoped for. I wonder if Puppy Linux would have been faster.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely looking a gift horse/processor in the mouth/CPU. I’m quite happy to have it up and running and looking stable. On to installing extra software! Well, once the software updater is done. Finger tap, tap, tap.
I’m only looking to run through installations once, so I might as well take a look at all the options now…
- Audio: I’m really only interested in options for playing back audio files from time to time, or at least having the option. Audacious and GNOME Mplayer are already installed, but I added Banshee and Musique just to give me a “full” and a “basic” option too for the future;
- Education: There’s no real reason for me to install Stellarium on this machine when I have a full laptop that has far more powerful stuff, but it’s free, and I have room. The grouping also includes a weather app, so why not?;
- Games: I’m not really looking for games, but from time to time, it’s okay to pass the time…like Neverputt for 3D golf, Mahjongg / Xmahjongg / Mastermind / Yahtzee just because, Pentobi which is like Blokus, AisleRiot Solitaire+Hearts+Tali for card games, skipped emulators for now, Berusky and Xsokoban for ones like Sokoban, Four-in-a-row aka Connect Four, Mines like Minesweeper, and Tetzle for odd-shaped jigsaw puzzles;
- Graphics: I already have Image Viewer and ImageMagick installed, don’t need anything else for now;
- Internet: I already have Sylpheed for email and Firefox for browser, but I snagged Thunderbird (for email), Filezilla (FTP), and Browser+Chromium (extra browsers). and QbitTorrent (just in case).
- System: I already had a FileManager, so I limited my additions to KDE partition manager (just in case).
For most of the other headings, the defaults are already installed, and that’s all I need. The big “open” area that was missing was office suites.
Now, since I’m mainly focused on word processing, I passed on calendars, charts, contact management, databases, dictionaries (no linguistic ones available, except maybe Verbiste), email, finance, flow chart, presentation, project management, and publishing. Under the viewer, I grabbed FBReader and Okular, but passed on Calibre even though I use it on my main PC. That left me with:
- Spreadsheet: I already had Gnumeric installed, which seemed sufficient for now; and,
- Word Processor: I already had AbiWord, TypeWrite, and two text editors, but I grabbed FocusWriter too as it is designed to be low overhead and distraction-free. I also snagged Freeplane / Labyrinth / VYM for mind mappers, but not really critical. And, just for fun, I grabbed Plume Creator too to give it a try.
Where does that leave me? With just about everything I need except a full office suite that is fully integrated together. I can use MS Office online or Google Docs, but far too often I am outside of wifi land nor do I want to always turn my data plan into a roaming hotspot burner. Calligra looks good, but more for a backup option at some point maybe. But since everyone and their brother recommended LibreOffice, of course, I had to grab that as the main suite.
Which seemed like a good start. And then I realized I also had two other lists where I had already looked at various apps and identified a few I wanted too. It seemed obvious to cross-reference the three lists — what I had, plus a list from LifeHacker, plus a list from MakeUseOf.com — and see if I missed anything.
There were a few:
- Substitutes: Chromium installed instead of Chrome (small differences);
- Extra options to add: Shotwell (for photos), Clementine (music), Deluge (bittorrent); and,
- Not available through Lubuntu auto-install so I will have to find them: Gimp, DigiKam, VLC, Dropbox, Peazip.
Oops, apparently the missing ones weren’t available through Software Centre, but ARE through Synaptic. Easy enough to find them that way and install. A little more “manual”, but worked okay for almost everything. Which just leaves me trying to figure out DropBox and/or integration for Google Drive, and PeaZip.
Over time, I’ll cut a lot of these out as either a waste of space or just not applicable to my needs, but for now, they’re installed. Now to do some actual work and see how it handles a real-life test.