Rob's Project: Getting Ubuntu Doing What He Needs

Norm, VK3XCI vk3xci at
Sat Aug 14 02:07:58 BST 2010

Hey Rob,

FWIW, here's what I do, your mileage may differ! I have an Ubuntu dual boot XP 
SP3 box that I use for Ham Radio Stuff. There is lots of stuff that simply 
doesn't have linux equivalents. I too got sick of rebooting so I installed Wine. 
(from the Ubuntu repository)

Now, from Wine in Ubuntu, I can go to the "real" C:\ directory and run Windows 
stuff by clicking on C:\Program Files\whatever-program.exe. Haven't found one 
yet that doesn't work, since they appear to be using the native Windows API' and 
DLL files???

Only been doing it for a couple of weeks so haven't given it a real test yet. Be 
interesting to know other folk's experiences

73 de Norm, VK3XCI
Mildura, Australia
The Wintersun City

On 13/08/2010 20:43, Rob Farquhar wrote:
> Hi, everybody. Sorry for not posting in a while.
> A month ago, I blew my stack over some issues I was having with my
> current desktop PC setup. At the moment, I run a dual-boot of Windows XP
> SP3 and Linux Mint. There are some basic tasks I do in one OS that I
> seem unable to do in the other, and resetting the computer several times
> a day is winding me up.
> I'm hoping that you fine folks might (if you have the time, of course)
> give me some advice on getting one operating system doing as much of
> what I want as it can. Although I'm currently running Mint, I'm more
> than happy to skip back to Ubuntu should Linux wind up being the basis
> for my system.
> Now, I must warn you that I'm still very much a novice to the terminal
> and the like, and while I'm willing to learn, I'm still leery of
> solutions that seem overly technical, like OS emulation.
> Anyway, to kick things off, here's what I want from my PC, with some
> notes on how it's working (or not) right now:
> - I'm starting to get back into serious writing at the moment, so this
> is the main thing I want from my PC. I use OpenOffice under Windows as
> well as Linux and I've been using Dropbox to ensure I'm working on the
> most current version no matter which boot I'm running. However, if I
> want to use my Brother MFC-465CN multifunction unit (printer, fax,
> scanner) I have to boot under Windows; I have no idea how to set it up
> under Linux and naturally Brother's website isn't the most helpful.
> - While I'm writing I'd like to be able to listen to music. My main
> music collection is on Windows, managed by iTunes, which also manages my
> podcast subscriptions and syncs with my 8GB iPod Nano. I've bought a
> couple of tracks from the iTunes Store but I'm not too fussed if I lose
> access to these.
> - Naturally, I browse the web. In theory I can do this under either
> boot, but I've noticed that Windows seems to manage the multimedia side
> of the web a little better, especially when I'm trying to play high-def
> content.
> However, since mid-last year, Windows XP has had serious browsing
> issues. No matter whether I use Firefox or IE, it's a coin-toss as to
> whether any given site I go to will actually load:
>      * Sometimes the browser will load the page title then sit and think.
>      * Sometimes it'll partway load the page then sit and think.
>      * Sometimes it will give me a 404 or similar for a site other than
>        the one I was trying to get to.
>      * Sometimes it'll load the page source, sometimes for an entirely
>        different site than the one I was trying to get to.
>      * Sometimes it'll load a single graphic from the page and insist
>        that that's everything.
> Stopping the load and refreshing rarely works, either.
> Oddly enough, this problem started recurring within a week of the last
> time I reformatted my hard drive and reinstalled everything.
> - I use Thunderbird under Mint, but it's still version 2 and I have no
> idea when the Mint folks will be updating Mint 8 (Helena). I was
> starting to like using Version 3 under Windows, but I'm a little
> paranoid about having my correspondence under that platform.
> - I'd like to use Skype a bit more often than I do, as I can't get Linux
> to recognise the microphone that plugs into my SoundBlaster Audigy 4 and
> I have no idea whether there's some switch tucked away in alsamixer that
> I need to flip.
> - My mobile phone is a Motorola RAZRv9. In my ideal computing world, I'd
> like to be able to sync its address book up with Thunderbird, which I
> can't even do under Windows. I'd also like to access (and maybe even
> edit) the .amr format voice notes I can make on the phone.
> - The last thing I do with my PC is play games, like Dawn of War II,
> Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. This is becoming less and less of a
> priority (especially as I have an Xbox 360).
> Ultimately, I'd like an “at my fingertips” computing experience, where
> everything I want to do is a handful of clicks and a smattering of
> seconds away at any given moment. I'd be willing to tolerate a dual-boot
> setup if all I used Windows for was gaming, though.
> So what do you think? Can I accomplish my dream? What will I need to do?
> Cheers, folks,
> Rob Farquhar
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