Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Megaupdate: Movies and Linux

Sorry for not updating but I am currently up to my neck in work. Thanks god for Animal Crossing for Nintendo DS which at least allows me to play few minutes a day while riding in the subway.

Apart from the regular movie and videogame reviews, I am also currently translating Pixar's CARS for Czech theatrical release. I am not allowed to reveal any details about the movie itself (which is currently pretty much complete) but let me put it this way: Has Pixar ever released anything that wasn't utterly amazing?

My next translating projects will be X-MEN 3 and SUPERMAN RETURNS. And possibly HOSTEL (I'm not yet sure if I will be able to do this). It's really sick slasher movie which, apart from decapitations, popped eyeballs and cut tendons also features (un)healthy dose of psychological terror and extremely black humor. And, best of all, it was shot completely in the Czech Republic (although it's supposed to take place in Slovakia) and features several Czech actors in prominent roles and Czech and Slovak 80s hits on the soundtrack (Michal David!!!).

On the computer front, I was recently asked by a friend's girlfriend to install Linux on her Laptop. I am using Debian myself and I opted for Ubuntu Linux for her. And I must say I am VERY impressed! Although I love Linux, I don't think it can replace Windows for the average user yet ("average user" here means "someone who wants to browse, write documents, play music and movies, and tweak few things here and there"). However, Ubuntu comes VERY close. The first "shock" was that it immediately recognized and correctly configured US Robotics WiFi card (with which I had big trouble on Debian). And most of other stuff Windows people take for granted also works on Ubuntu "out of the box". And if you are more experienced, there is your trusty Debian "under the hood" of Ubuntu. I am seriously considering replacing my Debian with Ubuntu. Although I consider Ubuntu marketing campaign to be just a bit scary:

Also concerning Linux: After the installation, I wanted to configure some small things on her computer from my home. Unfortunately, she is behind NAT, with no public IP address, so I couldn't just SSH to her. Instructing her over the ICQ how to setup VPN seemed like overkill. But then I discovered this trivial method ("Reverse SSH tunnel"). It allows you to easily SSH to any computer (even behind NAT or firewall) if your computer has public IP address. I knew it could be done but I needed this short example to understand how easy it really is.

And today, both Albert and Chucky got their id microchips implanted. I guess that means they are now officially cyborgs.


Anonymous said...

I heard Ubuntu linux is meant to be compiled on the run to fit the actual configuration of your PC. Is that true?

I am planning to switch to linux these days and had some thouths about new Suse 10.

Could you give me a hint which distribution to choose? I am the beginner within the experienced users group :-)

Let's omit Mandriva and Fedora please.

Could you please comment on it a little bit?



František Fuka said...

filipek: That's not true. You probably mean Gentoo Linux (which is compiled "on the run" for your hardware). Ubuntu is basically Debian but I have distinct impression that more people are working on Ubuntu than Debian (or they are faster) - because Ubuntu has better hadrware drivers, more up-to-date packages etc... Anyway, if you have Ubuntu you can also use all Debian packages without problems (but not vice versa). Ubuntu is very reminiscent of the Windows' "it just works" philosophy. However, you still need to understand English (I THINK SuSe is better localized, if this is a factor for you).

I am perfectly happy with Ubuntu/Debian package system.

I am able to run Ubuntu with GUI on my 700Mhz 128MB RAM laptop.

Ubuntu uses GNOME with Metacity WM as a default but of course you can change this (and there is also "Kubuntu" version based on KDE).

The upgrading is without any problems whatsoever, the system just periodically tells you that there are new versions of software available and installs them after one click.

I cannot really compare Debian/Ubuntu with other CURRENT distributions because I didn't use any other distro for the last year or so.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I was wrong. Gentoo is the one I meant and let me appologize for this question.

The question about understanding English almost insulted me :-) but anyway. Let me ask you the last question.

Does Ubuntu (Debian) have some kind of upgrading software which handles dependencies (like apt or yum in Fedora)?

This feature is a "must have" for me since I am not so experienced to find all the library dependencies myself while installing whatever.



Anonymous said...

forget about debian, ubuntu, gentoo and stuff.

there is now distribution (although in pre-release only, but fully functional) for every user out there: PCLinuxOS:

František Fuka said...

filipek: Yes, dependencies are handled automatically. All libraries etc. are installed automatically and removed when you don't need them. You can control this from commandline ("aptitude") or from GUI ("synaptics").

Dusoft: Could you elaborate what makes PCLinuxOS different from many other live distributions that are not in beta anymore? That's not a rhetorical question, I'd really like to know...

Anonymous said...

filipek: just, that you know .. apt came from debian. it is original debian product for handling packages/dependencies.other distros took that (apt, not rpm, which came from red hat) over. or some ideas at least. ;-)

ubuntu is a good distribution to start. if you are unsure you can always try the LIVE CD versions of every release, before you "erase" your harddrive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot both of you. I will definitely try Ubuntu now (Kubuntu to be precise).

Stand by for "in-production" problems :-)


Anonymous said...

Re PCLinuxOS: it is user-friendly (friendlier than any distributions I've tried) and it just works...

Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: I use Slackware.