« links for 2006-06-30 | Main | links for 2006-07-04 »

Switch Block

What does Ubuntu have that covers these off?

  • w.bloggar
  • feeddemon
  • freemind (update: maybe)
  • visio (as clumsy as visio is, dia isn't at the races)
  • word screen split (this is what stops me from using Oo all the time)
  • snagit
  • tortoisesvn (update: if you'll use gnome/nautilus)
  • pwsafe (update: Gorrila)
  • fiddler
  • copernic
  • wireless (I keep hearing about "kernels" and "drivers")

On the upside because the second tool I install on a new windows box after winzip is cygwin, I have had a nix style home folder under version control since forever.

That said, unlike Mark Pilgrim, very little of my data that I care about is tied into an OS, getting locked in doesn't worry me. I also amn't pathologically or morally adverse to Windows desktop (servers are another matter). And windows on laptops Just Works.

And look at what I get anyway:

  • Emacs 21
  • UltraEdit
  • Bash
  • WinSCP
  • Winamp
  • WingIDE
  • Gaim
  • Java (and everything that runs on it)
  • Python (and Django, and 4Suite, and...)
  • Ruby (and Rails, and there isn't an and)
  • RealVNC
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • IDEA (it's an IDE dammit)
  • Eclipse (it's a platform dammit)*
  • ...and tons of stuff I don't have on the top of my head

No, the real problem is having to much to do. I haven't had the time to switch; at any point the last 2 years thinking about a switch would be a bad joke**. Switching would mean taking time off work as far as I can tell, or running 2 machines to move gradually, and I haven't figured out what the opportunity is versus the cost of getting up back up to speed on Ubuntu. Put it this way - if I can't get down to the Burlo to hang out in the bar with Steve Loughran, I don't have time to change OSes.

* I can't remember who asked me, but yes, I probably would try to develop Eclipse plugins in IDEA.

** unless there was some significant opportunity to offset switching costs. Short of getting a new box, I don't see it.

July 2, 2006 02:01 PM


Steve Loughran
(July 2, 2006 08:48 PM #)

You know you can switch to a vmware image with NT backup/restore? Host your legacy win32 stuff in a box under the real OS? Its how I run windows stuff at work. I still use the XP laptop because, well, somebody needs to test ant under windows. Wireless works pretty well in modern linux distros; bluetooth can be sometimes better than windows, though it lacks the headset profile yet.

Be warned that VMware-on-laptop is a bit patchy w.r.t networking. I had to bring my own router in case I needed to do any in-room development.

Next time in Dublin or Bristol,


(July 2, 2006 09:03 PM #)

They're working on http://naughtysvn.tigris.org/ which is explicitly inspired by TortoiseSVN.

http://nsd.dyndns.org/pwsafe/ (command line) and http://www.fpx.de/fp/Software/Gorilla/ (graphical, cross-platform) and http://www.semanticgap.com/myps/ (graphical, Linux-specific) are PasswordSafe-compatible password managers.

Ethereal is the original packet sniffer; there are many Linux frontends available. Also, http://livehttpheaders.mozdev.org/ is a Firefox extension of a similar vein (nowhere near as sophisticated, of course).


That's all I have after 5 minutes of Googling.

Bill de hOra
(July 2, 2006 10:43 PM #)

"That's all I have after 5 minutes of Googling."

I already have ethereal installed (what's my motivation there I wonder). Naughtysvn isn't enough to get me to use Gnome/Nautilus over KDE. A cmd line pwsafe doesn't sound nice, but Gorilla looks useful. Since you passed on livehhtpheaders, you might be in interested in tamper (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/966/). http://blog.siliconchaos.net/articles/2006/05/22/setting-up-freemind-in-ubuntu-dapper is news to me. There's me wondering how many lines of js that would take to put in a browser.

Glad to see you broke even on your book.

(July 3, 2006 01:21 AM #)

Googling for "visio wine" shows that you may have success running it under CodeWeavers. But honestly, if your primary focus is Java and your secondary focus is Visio (and features of Word beyond the data format), you're better off staying on Windows for a couple of years. I'm a natural fit for Linux at this point in my life; you, it seems, are not. Check back in a few years after Sun finally open-sources Java and Linux people start taking it seriously, and some smart 16-year-old writes a Visio clone. By then wireless might even work! (No promises. ;)

Steve Hutton
(July 3, 2006 02:45 AM #)

What's wrong with Umbrello as a visio replacement?

Nolan Eakins
(July 3, 2006 06:38 AM #)

Sorry for plugging my own app, but there's MyPasswordSafe. I just wouldn't try it on a big endian machine quite yet since I haven't got that perfected since I lack such a machine.

Andrew Hallam
(July 3, 2006 11:37 AM #)

I'm in the process of migrating a Dell Latitude D610 to Ubuntu. Windows taking 5 minutes to boot broke the camels back, but since I do both Windows and Java development I cannot toss Windows away.

So, I'm cheating and using VMware Workstation to run Win XP Pro. It works fine, even allowing copy and paste between Ubuntu and Windows.

A few comments:

Tried Gorilla, but MyPasswordSafe looks better. It opened my Password Safe v2 database.

FeedDemon will be tough to replace. Still working on that one. Not hopeful.

Intel Pro Wireless worked out of the box. The only tweaking I've had to do has been sound and touchpad settings.

Samba worked out of the box. Can see shares on my other Windows machines.

If your music is ripped to OGG then Rhythmbox will play it without a fuss.

Yes, it is time consuming, but I had to either reinstall Windows, or go with Ubuntu. Since I need to keep my Unix skills I chose the latter.

Oh, and IDEA is running. :-)

(July 3, 2006 12:31 PM #)

FeedDemon is my most sticky issue. I haven't seen any aggregator for X that has all the quirks worked out and thought off all the issues.

Also, GAIM never quite cuts it with how it looks. Trillian (Pro) is just beautiful (as is Adium, it seems).

Arve Bersvendsen
(July 3, 2006 04:50 PM #)

Concerning SVN, I've found that the easiest alternative to live with as a switcher is eSvn. Ok, it's not integrated into the file manager, but it lets me right-click and update several repositories at once, which is pretty sweet.

Concerning Snagit: I don't know which capability of Snagit you're after, but capturing to flash can be done with Wink. If you just want to capture to some movie format, there's istanbul, which should be in a repository near you, and there's PrintScreen/Ctrl+PrintScreen for some of the still image capturing.

If someone comes across an application that will let you grab entire web pages the same way, I'd be interested to know about them too.

Ken MacLeod
(July 3, 2006 06:51 PM #)

I did 'apt-get install freemind' a couple of weeks ago on Debian (unstable, not sure which section it's in though) without a hitch. Not sure why it's more involved than that on Ubuntu.

stephen o'grady
(July 3, 2006 10:33 PM #)

w.bloggar (gtkblog, but it's not stellar)
feeddemon (blam, straw, or better yet FeedLounge)
snagit (gnome-screenshot + gimp?)
fiddler (couple of firefox extensions that are similar, i think)
copernic (Beagle)
wireless (NetworkManager)

stephen o'grady
(July 4, 2006 12:45 AM #)

sorry, that should have been blogtk

stephen o'grady
(July 4, 2006 12:50 AM #)

one more thing.

on the subject of the GAIM's appearance, i agree, but check out guifications - makes a big difference.

Post a comment

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Remember Me?

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: