[ubuntu-us-mi] Might switch; questions...

David Barnett dhbarnett at gmail.com
Mon Jan 12 22:01:17 GMT 2009

Hi Larry,

I'll answer what I can on your questions inline.

> 1. I am under the impression that Linux (ubuntu in particular) is
> much like the GUI-on-top-of-Unix OS that I loved at GM - only on my
> little laptop and not a $30k workstation, and its "GNU Not Unix", and
> its open source, etc.. - but the general idea is the same.  Is this
> the case?  (This aspect of OSX is the main thing I like about it,
> though the GUI is more than a bit overdone for my tastes.)

Linux its self is not really a GUI on top of Unix. It's the kernel.

Depending on what distribution of linux you run you will see a
different default GUI and regardless of what distribution you
run you will be able to try different GUIs. From the more
heavyweight and featureful Gnome and KDE to very lightweight
window managers like TWM and FVWM (there are dozens of
different options).

I find that linux works much better on older hardware then either
windows or OSX depending on what I expect it to do.

> 2.  Does ubuntu use less system resources for the GUI in particular,
> and generally have less bloat, than Windows and/or Mac OS?  (I am
> thinking about the built-in obsolescence of proprietary OS machines
> and hoping that a Linux machine will have a longer lifespan and be
> more tweekable to that end.)

I use ubuntu at home with Gnome and even though I run a lot of services on
it runs much smoother then just a barebones Windows installation. My mac
speedy with OSX, but I have a brand new mac so it should! If you are a
and it sounds like you are, then you can configure your linux installation
at a vast array of different efficiencies. Ubuntu is not the least resource
distribution, being designed more for ease of use, however it's really not
that heavyweight
and it's a great distribution to jump in with. Another advantage is that
will run off of the CD (just burn, plop it in and reboot from cd) so you can
try it out
without installing it to your hard drive if it doesn't suit your needs,
nothing lost. I'm
not sure however if ubuntu will run on ppc chips. Someone here must know.

> 3.  Is there a good web filter for Linux?  I use K-9 web protection
> on my macs and it seems to work fine (but they don't seem to have a
> Linux version, though it is freeware) - I like to have a filter to
> help me and my kids avoid all the crap I don't want to run into on
> the web...

Someone else will have to answer this one.

> 4.  Does anyone here do music on a Linux machine?  What SW/HW do you
> use?  Ardour looks cool, but its hard to believe that it could be
> really useful *and* free.  (I use DP 4 on my G4s with an 828mkII, I
> don't need all of its capabilities - but I do need a MIDI sequencer
> and 24+ tracks of audio, with plug-in capability - and the ability to
> use soft-synths would be nice too.)  I have checked the alsa and
> ffado sites for HW compatibility and all the devices listed seem
> several years old - and many of them are "unkown" or "untested",
> which makes me leery to be the guinea pig.  At this point I would
> still have my G4 desktop, but I am thinking about switching all my
> machines to Linux, since I don't want to buy a new machine/software
> every few years just to be able to do the same thing I could years
> ago.  (This question may best be taken off-list if people don't want
> to hear about it - I don't know how much traffic there is, etc.)

 There are no  lack of media players for linux and mac hardware is pretty
standardized. I'd be surprised if someone hadn't written a driver.

> Well if you've gotten this far, thanks for reading!
> Larry David

Good luck!

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