[NCLUG] advice for switchers?

Jim Hutchinson jim at ubuntu-rocks.org
Sat Nov 1 12:41:55 MDT 2008

On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 11:31 AM, S. Luke Jones <slukejones at gmail.com> wrote:

> (Although, on the Mac, the main programs I run are Terminal, Firefox, and
> vim.)

These are all available so no worries there.

> I'm looking for advice, particularly from people who are relatively recent
> switchers/switch-backers. What's been going on while I've been in Mac-land?
> Are there any new killer apps? In particular, if anyone has opinions about
> the nearest Linux equivalents of the Mac's consumer tools (Mail.app, iPhoto,
> iDVD, iMovie, iTunes, etc.) and office apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote)
> I'd appreciate hearing any tips.

I am a relatively new user (3 years). I'd say there are quite a few killer
apps but everyone will have a different idea about that. Not sure what
mail.app is but if it's just a mail app there is evolution and thunderbird.
I just use gmail so can't really comment. For photo, there is fspot and
picasa also works in Linux. There is also digikam and a few others. Non of
them seem outstanding or anything but I hate iPhoto so in my opinion any of
these is better. There is also GIMP of course, and I recently read about one
called Fotoxx but haven't tried it. iDVD and iMovie are a bit harder.
Avidemux lets you do quite a bit and there are a quite a few other DVD
authoring tools like DeVeDe, acidrip, and some others but all do somewhat
different things and most seem focused on transcoding. I have not found
anything yet that lets you cut and paste video and export it to a DVD or to
make a slide show movie. Cinelera might work but from what I understand it
has a pretty steep learning curve. I've not tried it. There are others too.
Several were discussed in a recent issue of Linux Journal or one of those
mags but I can't find it. Iirc, they were saying blender could do much of
this too. I'll keep looking for the issue. This is a strong bias, but iTunes
is a very limited POS. I can't stand it. There are several Linux apps that
do the same and more. Banshee is nice. GTKpod is supposed to be good too but
I've never tried nor have I used yamipod or something like that. Amarok is
also well thought of. Most or all of these can be made to work with an iPod.

For office apps I think it's pretty much Open Office which just released
version 3. It's a nice but not amazing upgrade. I'm not sure what disto you
are using but chances are the new version is not included. It can be
downloaded from their website.

You don't sound like you are new to Linux but maybe just not a recent user.
Again, I am quite biased but I think Ubuntu is one of the new killer "apps"
so to speak. For new users of Linux it is probably one of the easier ones to
install, use, modify, etc. It's pretty nice out of the box and in my
experience runs well on Dell hardware. Version 8.10 should also run well
with broadcom wifi which has been a topic of frustration. Download a live CD
and give it a try.

Anyway, hope that helps and isn't just a repeat of what you already know.

Jim (Ubuntu geek extraordinaire)
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

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