The scraps have already started appearing on orkut and a few messages posted on my Wall on Facebook. It is only a few hours since I start moving towards the beach – where most of the town along with a few from all over the country and some foriegn tourists – for welcoming the new year, I thought I would write the last post for this year. A lot has happened this year – good and bad. I learnt a lot of new stuff, did somethings that I have never done and much more. At this point, I would like to thank my readers once again for all the support in the form of comments, hits :D, references etc.
Lets hope for a new year with lots of goodness, love, peace and prosperity. I am not going to make any new resolutions. I never made any resolutions ever. But I have a few wishes which I think I could make come true. A lot of good, useful posts here would be one among them 🙂
Happy New Year
After trying out the Mandriva One 2009 KDE Live CD, I have installed it on my laptop as my primary OS. The installation was a snap. It took less than 10 minutes to install the system. But after the login, there were a few things that did not work quite as expected.
1. There was no CD burner software installed. Yes, it is in the repos but how can something so basic be missing from the default install. What will a person without Internet access do?
2. MP4 movies did not play on either Dragon Player or Movie Player. This was expected, but they did not play well even after installing the codecs. Fortunately there was a mention about this in the errata and I could get things playing now.
3. The laptop screen brightness kept dipping every 5-10 minutes. This one was a real annoyance and was solved with help from the Mandriva Forum.
4. There was no notification when I used the volume controls placed in the front of my Dell Inspiron 6400. The volume actually reduces, but I have no idea to check the current volume using these buttons. The volume control in the system tray shows only the PCM volume. Can PCM and the Front volume be synced somehow as it is done in Ubuntu? [Update: I actually figured this out. Right click on the speaker icon from the system tray and click on Select Master Channel. Select Front and then click on OK. Now the speaker volume levels increase or decrease every couple of key presses. But not for every press]
5. I have to start kpowersave manually to get suspend work when I close the laptop lid.
6. One positive thing I noticed is Mandriva never crashed at any time. I never had to do a hard boot anytime in the past three days.
In the past three days I have been using Mandriva One 2009 KDE4 as my only OS and I am just evaluating whether I can use it for my regular day to day work as an average user. I have this whole week to decide and next Monday I would make the call.
Though this is a topic that is widely documented, this is one of the searches that land people on this blog. So I thought it is only logical that I write a post on how to install Avant Window Navigator aka AWN on Ubuntu Hardy Heron. I would just stick to this version and keep the post simple.
Step 1: Add the repositories
Go to System > Administration > Software Sources.
Enter your password when prompted.
Click on the tab named Third Party Software Click the Add button
Add the below lines one at a time, clicking the Add Source button after each line
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-testing/ubuntu hardy main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-testing/ubuntu hardy main
Click Close button
Click Reload button on the new window that pops up and wait until the update is complete. Once this is complete, the Software Sources window would close on its own.
Step 2: Install AWN
Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal and type
sudo apt-get install awn-manager-trunk awn-extras-applets-trunk
Press ‘Y’ to confirm the installation
Step 3: Enjoy using AWN
Once the installation is complete, go to Applications > Accessories > Avant Window Navigator. The dock would start at the bottom of the screen. So you would have to remove the panel there (if you still have it there 😉 ) and move the items elsewhere.
You can drag and drop any program from its menu. For example, if you want to add Firefox to AWN, go to Applications > Internet > Firefox Web Browser and drag it to AWN and drop it once a “+” would appears on the cursor.
You can also install or change themes from the AWN preferences. To access preferences either right click on AWN and select Dock Preferences or go to System > Preferences > Awn Manager
1. AWN Wiki
2. Softpedia – With tips to install cool plugins
I have up to Adobe’s new Buzzword – Adobe’s new flash based online word processor and a suite of related applications. It comprises of
- Buzzword – A word processor
- ConnectNow – Free online meeting spaces
- Create PDF – Create up to 5 PDF documents
- Share – A easy way to share files
- MyFiles – An online storage area for files.
On a first look it gave me the impression that it would compete with Google Docs. But it has no spreadsheet or presentation capabilities right now. But the ConnectNow, the online meeting space is a killer feature for people who need to have meetings from different locations. The other applications are rather self explanatory.
Buzzword is flash based and provides a clean interface in black. The toolbars slide on top of each other taking up as little space as possible but requiring more clicks to access a particular feature. All the basic features like text formatting with fonts and colours, paragraph formatting, list and bullets, inserting images, tables, comments, headers and footers, end notes, spell checking, importing documents and versions are supported. The spell checker works in the background and lists the number of wrongly spelled words which can then be corrected.
Documents can be exported as PDF, Word Document in doc, 2003 XML and docx formats, HTML, HTML zipped, RTF, Text formats. No support for ODT format yet. But this available in Google Docs and Zoho Writer. Zoho Writer also allows exporting in formats like LaTex and Star Office SXW format.
I did not try the other applications yet. So once I am done with them I will post. Also I would like to see which among Zoho Writer, Google Docs and Adobe Buzzword has the most and the best features.
Adobe is late to the party and has a lot of catching up to do. But Buzzword is a perfectly usable application. If they continue to improve it by adding additional features it could certainly become a worthy competitor to Google Docs and Zoho Writer
Here is something non technical 😉 . Today, I got some spare time and I tried to take a couple of macro shots of the flowers in my home garden. Here we go…
1. Tabernaemontana heyneana
2. Crossandra infundibuliformis
3. Crossandra infundibuliformis
I will try to get some more shots in the coming days.