Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm a Linux!

Get out your video camera and tell the world why "you're a Linux!"  It's a contest for the best video showing why "you're a Linux" (much like Microsoft's "I'm a PC" ad campaign.)  It's sponsored by The Linux Foundation.  You can see entries here and enter here.

As the site explains, "If you've been alive and aware of mass media over the last twelve months, you've probably seen television commercials from Apple and Microsoft touting their operating system. From Apple's ubiquitous "I'm a Mac" to Jerry Seinfeld to Microsoft's "I'm a PC" retort, operating system commercials have been flooding the airways. Except one OS has been notably absent – Linux.  While the Linux Foundation would love to spend millions promoting Linux on TV, it's simply not our style (or in our budget). Even more importantly, Linux isn't a top-down, commercially controlled operating system. It's a grassroots product of mass collaboration. That's why we're sponsoring a community contest to create a Linux video that showcases just what Linux means to those who use it, and hopefully inspires many to try it.
The winner will receive a free trip to Tokyo, Japan to participate in the Linux Foundation Japan Linux Symposium in October 2009. The winning video will also be unveiled at the Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on April 8, 2009."

So, get out your video camera and good luck!

Get Linux. 

(By the way, if you need cartoons (like the one above) for your newspaper, magazine or newsletter, visit us at   We have great cartoon features for your web site or print publication.)

Friday, January 30, 2009

You Bought Windows. Do You Own It?

No.  You don't own Windows. It's that simple. You may think you own Windows, but in reality, you've only purchased a license to use it.

All you need do is read the EULA (End User License Agreement) that Microsoft  issues with each copy of Windows.

This site has a terrific breakdown of this EULA in plain English.  Just compare the legal language with the "Plain English" translation. It's an eye opener for sure.

One part of the MS EULA I recommend you read is section 1.1.  Section 1.1 states, "Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Software on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device ("Workstation Computer"). The Software may not be used by more than one processor at any one time on any single Workstation Computer." (emphasis is mine).

This section means you're allowed to install and use Windows on one computer.  If you install your licensed copy of Windows on a second or third computer,  you're in violation of the EULA.

Why have big Brother Microsoft looking over your shoulder restricting your use of their operating system?

Get Linux and get rid of the MS EULA!

Linux uses the GPL (Gnu General Public License). The GPL has four foundatonal priciples as stated on its web site:

"The Foundations of the GPL

Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four freedoms that every user should have:
  • the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
  • the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
  • the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
  • the freedom to share the changes you make.
When a program offers users all of these freedoms, we call it free software."

In short, it gives you the freedom to own and use Linux and give (or sell) Linux to others.  There's no activation code to enter.  You won't have anyone looking over your shoulder.  Your copy of Linux won't be de-activated because you installed it on more than one computer system in your home or office. 

Linux and the GPL give you REAL freedom to use your computer.  This is why community centers, schools, churches and other organization around the globe are switching to Linux.  They can install Linux on as many systems as they own without breaking any laws or licensing agreements.

So can you.

Get Linux.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Perfect Day for Linux!

At the time of this writing (Wednesday, January 28, 2009), Ohioans are finally seeing the end of a huge snowstorm. The wintry blast rolled through the state last night and into this evening.

The storm stretched from the east coast out into the plains states.  Schools, offices, churches, and community organizations either closed for the day or cancelled meetings.  It was a perfect day to stay inside and not have to fight the elements (as some of us had to do).  I was one of the brave souls who had to get to the office today.  But had work been called off, I know what I would have been doing today.  I would have been visiting the various Linux  distribution sites and downloading their Linux offerings.  Having these distros as a Live CD allows me to test drive their Linux OS and see what kinds of inmprovements or new features they may have added.

I'm happy with what I'm using now (Linux Mint and Freespire).  But, there's always the possibility I'll purchase a new computer.  Knowing what's available in Linux will make setting up a new system all that easier.

And you should, too!  Take the opportunity to try Linux when you have a "Snow Day."  So, the next "Snow Day" that rolls around, make it a "Linux Snow Day."  Download the Linux .iso file, burn it to disk, and pop it into your system. Your computer won't be affected, because Linux will run directly off the disk.   And if you choose to install, it can be done right from the Linux Live CD's desktop!

Here's just a few sites to get your started.

So, the next time Old Man Winter calls, take the opportunity to try Linux.  On a cold snowy day, you'll be surprised how cool Linux is.

Get Linux.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kompozer Composes Web Sites!

If you read this blog a couple of days ago, you were given a link to my web site where my cartoon work is being syndicated by

I needed to get a web site up and running. I wanted to do so without having to boot into Windows and rely on MS FrontPage, Dreamweaver, or some other high priced software product.  Although these products are good, I'm always between computers at the office and here at the studio.  Windows and Linux at the office, and Linux here at the home studio (with Windows running on Virtualbox). I wanted to have some compatibility between the different operating systems.

I decided to use Kompozer.  Kompozer is a free open source web building software program available for Linux, Windows and Mac.

The Kompozer  web site states, "KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing.  KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding."

Kompozer is easy to use and the best costs nothing.  And I can work on my web site regardless of which OS I'm running.  All I need is the program and my files.  In fact, I can also edit and publish the web site online in real time. So, I don't even have to have the files with me.  I simply log on to the web site's host, open the pages in Kompozer, and start editng. 

Kompozer is fairly straight forward and there's a ton of information on the web to help you get started. There's also a very helpful Kompozer user forum where I found a terrific group of frinedly users. thee folks really gave me a great deal of help when I first started using the program.

As a result, was built and published to the web  in just a few hours.

Kompozer does have alot of power and control over your HTML pages. It also supports CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Another nice touch is absolute positioning of blocks of text and images.  So, you can move web page elements around and build things in layers much like a desktop publishing program.

If you're looking for an alternative to all the high priced web building software programs, Kompozer will fit the bill. And because it's created and backed by the open source community, it's only going to get better.

Get Linux.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Gimp Photo Fun!

I love The Gimp!  I use it all the time.   The more I use it, the more familiar I become with its interface and the easier it becomes to use.  I know "all the moves", so to speak. And anything is possible.  So I decided to show you one more example.

Remember the photo of Walt Disney I use on my desktop? Well, I decided that Walt's jacket and tie needed a tune up.

It was easy to do with Gimp. You simply select the jacket area (I used the path select tool), copy this to a new layer, and fill in with whatever color you wish.  Then change the mode of this new layer to grain merge or overlay (experiment), and turn down the opacity a bit. And bingo!  Walt is wearing a new colored jacket and tie!

so why spend hundreds of dollars for Photoshop or similar software when Gimp is free with Linux?  (Gimp is also available for Windows and Mac).

Get Linux and Get Gimp.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Life And Linux

I've talked about multiple desktops in this blog before, but it deserves another visit.  The really neat thing about Linux (running the KDE desktop) is having the ability to set up these multiple desktops.   Each of these desktops can display  a different wallpaper image.

And where do you get these images?  Well, they can come from your own digital photos, but sometimes, you get these images from the web.

I learned from a cartoonist friend that millions of Life magazine photos from their archives are being hosted on Google.   You can see (and search) any of these terrific photos at:

Many of these images were never published and they include, of course, cartoonists.  These images are marked "For personal non-commercial use only."  Well, my Linux desktop qualifies as personal non-commercial use. You can see the image I grabbed and cropped so that part of the image is cantered on my desktop (I did this using The Gimp).  It's a photo of Walt Disney.  You can imagine how much this man and his work influenced me.  Which is why I'm so happy to be running Linux. i can set Walt on one desktop, the Eiffel tower on another desktop, the Golden Gate bridge on another, etc.

And the really neat thing about these Life photos is I can purchase a framed print (This one of Walt Disney is on my list!)  This way, I can see this inspirational photo of Walt Disney (without any cropping or resizing for a computer screen) all the time...even when my Linux system is off.

Get a nice photo for your home of office.  You'll be able to afford it if you run Linux....Because Linux is free.  You'll have some extra cash in your pocket.  Get Linux.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Viewing Images In Linux

I like to add a bit of art or graphic when I write these blog posts.  The challenge comes when needing to go through all the images I have on a disk or my hard drive.  I've found a terrific application in Linux that makes this task so very easy.  With just a couple of clicks, i can easily surf through all the images I have on a hard drive, CD-ROM, or flash drive.

GQview is the application.

It features A single click browser interface that allows me to quickly navigate through the various directories and folders on my system.  GQview supports all popular image formats.  So, I'm able to view .jpg photos taken from my digital camera or  .tif images of my cartoon strip that I've a scanned into the system.

You can set up the interface from any number of layouts. I use the default layout which has directories in the upper left pane, files in the lower left pane, and the selected file on display in the right pane.  You can also choose to float the various panes, if desired.

Like Linux, GQview is fully customizable.

Again, everything works with just a single click. you can also configure GQview to open a file in your favorite Linux graphics editor. I have mine set to use The Gimp. Once I find an image I like, I then open with Gimp, make my changes (if necessary), then save in my blog folder for uploading later (when I'm actually creating my blog post.)

GQview makes the entire process fast and easy.

Get a better image viewer.  Get GQview.  But first, Get Linux.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Little Fun

I draw five cartoon features for The feature at left is called "Word Pile."  It's pretty straight forward.  Simply unscramble the letters and combine them to make as many words as the directions call for.

Since this is a blog dealing with all things Linux, I thought I'd post this particular Word Pile cartoon from last year.  It was my way of helping to spread the word on Linux.

Feel free to print it out and share with family and friends.  Maybe it will inspire them to get Linux.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Viva La Linux!

The French government is moving towards Linux.

And why not? In these challenging economic times, every dollar (or franc) counts.  The French government will be using Ubuntu Linux.   Ubuntu Linux is the most popular Linux distribution worldwide.  Ubuntu is also used as the base code of many other Linux distributions including Linux Mint, the one I currently use.

Linux is stable, secure, loaded with tons of software and best of all, free.

I do wonder, however, why the French government doesn't give its own home grown Linux distribution a try.   Mandriva Linux is a terrific distribution.  Yes, it's one of the Linux distros which is sold.  But, it only costs $59.00 US, which is still much, much cheaper than Windows Vista (Windows Vista Home basic costs around $186.99.)

But, in true Linux form, you can also try Mandriva for free by downloading Mandriva One!

However, when you buy Mandriva, you get an entire corporation supporting you, the new Linux user.

Mandriva was the very first Linux distribution that I tried.  The company had a brilliant device known as The Globetrotter.   It was a version of their Linux OS on a portable hard drive.  All you would do is plug it into your computer, boot the system, and Linux would run off this hard drive.  Windows would not be touched. It was a terrific device and I really loved using Mandriva (at the time, is was called Mandrake).

You can run this OS the same way with a really neat new product from Mandriva called Mandriva Flash.   It's an entire Linux operating system on a flash drive!  In the same way as the Globetrotter, plug in the flash drive, boot the computer and Linux runs right from the flash drive!

So, its great to hear that the French government is giving Linux a go.  Ubuntu is great.  But Mandriva is terrific and I hope they (and you) give it a try, as well.

Get Linux.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Liberation Fonts

I just came across a great blog post regarding fonts on Linux machines!

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a great post on this subject at his blog on

Frankly, I was unaware of this little gem of information.  Kudos to SJV for sharing this with the Linux community.  (And, yes, I just checked and I have these installed on my Linux Mint 4.0 system).

Get Linux! Get cool, free fonts!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Linux Sticky Notes

Sticky note, Post It Notes, etc.  Whatever we call them, these little patches of paper sometimes find their way all over our computer monitors.  They remind us of appointments, meetings, phone calls, and other tasks that need to be taken care of.

But what if you could put a sticky note right on your computer monitor without ever having to write it on a piece of paper?  Enter KNotes!

Knotes allow you to create digital sticky notes right on your Linux KDE desktop.

Simply launch the application.  It sits in your system tray. When you want a note, click the little sticky note pad icon and a note appears on the desktop.type in your message. You can drag the note wherever you want.  You can leave it on the desktop or close it and open it later just by clicking the pad icon once more.

KNotes is one of those terrific little programs that you're deleighted to find comes with Linux!  if it's not installed by default, it is easily installed from your Linux distro's repository.

KNotes is fast and easy to use.  And once you launch it, you'll be surprised how much you make use of it.  KNotes is one more reason to get Linux! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Puppy Bowl and Gimp!

It's that time of year.   Time for the BIG game.  That's right!  In less than two weeks, The Puppy Bowl will once again be broadcast on the Animal Planet channel!

In getting this reminder post ready, I needed a piece of art to run with the text.  I happened to have some snapshots of puppies I took a few years ago.  The neighbors' Labrador gave birth to  a litter and I stopped by to see the little fellas.  I had my digital camera with me and got some really cute shots.  I posted one of these snapshots last year in reminding folks about the Puppy Bowl.

I took that photo and created the composite photo you see in this post.

I drew a quick cartoon football helmet.  I scanned it and then added color.  I selected the helmet area from this, then copied and pasted into the puppy photo.  I then did some resizing and "fitting" to the puppy's head.  I also added a slight drop shadow  to complete the effect that this little fella is actually wearing a cartoon football helmet.

All this was done with an open source application freely available.  The Gimp.  It's free, powerful, and comes with Linux.  Yes, you can download The Gimp for Windows and Mac, but I've found that the Linux version running on the KDE desktop to be so very easy to use.  In my opinion, Gimp runs best on Linux.

So, get Linux.  You'll get powerful software applications at a terrific price (free!)  Linux will let you be as creative as you want.

How creative?  Well, I'm a cartoonist and I use Gimp to create my cartoon features.

Get Linux.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Genuine Windows DIS-Advantage

Windows has a an annoying  system tray pop-up that reminds you to install "Windows Genuine advantage" or, WGA for short.  If you don't authenticate your copy of windows, WGA will lock you out and you won't be able to use your computer until you register Windows.

However, when you activate WGA, your problems may just be starting.

Check out this incident as chronicled on the blog Such a Downer.

When you get Linux, you don't have to register, authenticate or allow a company like Microsoft to constantly look over your shoulder at what you're doing on your computer with their operating system.

"Because that's what WGA does. It's a small sliver of code that watches your computer and tries to determine whether your copy of Windows is legit. If WGA determines your software doesn't have the proper credentials, it may offer you any of several options for paying up. In other words, WGA sets itself up as Big Brother, watching your PC for possible use of invalid or stolen product keys."

When you get Linux, you own Linux.  Linux is yours.   When you get Windows, well, it's belongs to Microsoft, not you.   They "allow" you to use it.   With WGA, they can lock you out at any time if they think your copy  of Windows isn't legit. Problem is, folks with legitimate copies of Windows have been locked out.

Get rid of Windows and get rid of Big Brother Microsoft.

Get Linux.   No one will be looking over your shoulder or locking you out of the operating system.  Your Linux system will be immune to Windows viruses, spyware, and malware.  You'll have a stable, secure operating system without ever having to punch in a code or product key to get it to work.

Get Linux.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

That Didn't Take Long.

This past Friday, I received a humorous email from a friend.  It contained the above photo. Well, it didn't take long before someone, somewhere decided to knock Windows Vista using the "Miracle On The Hudson" as the backdrop.

Before I go any further, I'd just like to say "Kudos" to the pilot, the co-pilot, the rescue crews on the Hudson river, and all involved that helped make this the "Miracle On the Hudson."

And because of their fast action, training, and success, folks are alive and well.  Again, kudos to all.

Okay, back to Windows Vista.  Let's face it, Vista has had a whole host of problems and becaue of these, gained a lot of bad press.  It gets tied to current events (like the above photo) and parodied all over the web.   Because of it's reported lousy performance, Microsoft is now pushing Windows 7 as the next great thing.  Windows Vista will join Windows ME as a a piece of MS history the company will want everyone to just forget.

My advice is to just get Linux.   You'll have a stable and secure operating system with a support community of millions of users.

When you run Linux, all your Microsoft problems disappear. No viruses, no trojans, no spy ware.  And MS won't be looking over your shoulder.   (More on this in a future blog post).

Get Linux.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How Cold Is It?

Yesterday, I blogged about Firefox and the really neat Forecastbar Enhanced Weather Add-On.  Just install on Firefox with a couple of clicks!  It sits in the bottom of your Firefox window and gives you all your local weather info!

At noon yesterday (Friday, January 16, 2009), Forecastbar was telling me the outside temperature was -6 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To illustrate exactly how cold it was, I took a mug, filled it with water, microwaved it to boiling, went outside, and threw it into the air.  The water instantly vaporized.

Yeah.  It's cold.

Stay inside where it's warm.  And since you're not going anywhere during this cold wave, you've got time to download Firefox, Forecastbar Enchanced and Linux!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Winter has arrived.  The coldest temperatures of the season are being recorded across the plains, Midwest, and eastern United States.  Luckily, I have a terrific tool to help me know how to best dress as I head out the door in the morning.  The Firefox browser!  Firefox has some incredibly useful (and easy to install) Add-Ons!

My favorite Add-On is the Forecastbar Enhanced.   This weather Add-On sits at the bottom of your Firefox browser window and gives you instant access to all weather info for your local area.  It displays the forecast for one, two or three days (or more) giving you temperature, current conditions (cloudy, snowy, rainy, sunny, etc.) and also lerts you to weather warnings.  You can see the severe weather alert for the Cleveland area in the top screen shot. (As of this writing, we are under a wind chill advisory).

In addition, Forecastbar Enhanced has a terrific real time radar function.  Just pass your mouse over the radar icon and an animated (or static) image pops up.  You can specify how the radar image displays.   View radar as a map, satellite or combo image.  You can also view tha radar as a static image or animated frames which show you how weather will be moving across the area.

Setting up Forecastbar Enhanced is easy.  After you install, just open "options" and plug in your zip code.  You can then set up how things will be displayed in the Firefox browser window.

Even if you don't run Linux, you can get Firefox for Windows and install this terrific Add-On as well as many others.

But, if you want a more stable and secure operating system and still have access to Firefox and all that it offers, then get Linux.   Firefox comes as the default browser for most (if not all) Linux distributions.  And Linux is immune to Windows viruses, spy ware and malware!

Get Linux.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Panes Make File Management Painless

One of the really great things about Linux and the KDE desktop is how efficient it is in moving files around.  Konqueror's (the file manager in KDE) greatest feature is being able to open new panes in an existing window.  You can then navigate in each of these panes to anywhere on your computer's hard drive.  And then move files from one pane to the other.  In effect, moving the file from one location to another location. No need to open up a new window each time. Just open as many panes as needed.

In the above screen shot, I've got three panes open to three locations. You can see how I'm moving a folder from the first pane to the second (simulated effect).  It's that easy!   Open a window, divide it into panes (use the pane icon tool bar in the upper left), navigate to the location within the panes, then move, copy, or link files from one pane to another.

I use this feature all the time!  It's a really time saver!  You can even bookmark hard drive locations so when you open panes, you simply select the bookmark and the pane goes instantly to that location.

Linux, KDE and Konqueror.   A better file management system!

Get Linux!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Installing Ubuntu EEE with Compiz on the EEE PC

Editor's note: Today we have a guest blogger on One Click Linux. Michael Szorady is a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in Computer Science. His computer expertise covers multiple platforms and computing languages. A Linux fan and advocate, his article discusses the installation of an Ubuntu distribution to his own Asus 701 netbook. We hope you find the information a helpful guide for customizing your own Asus netbook. 

There's a lot of computing power packed into the EEE PC 701 4G. Over the last year the 4G has been replaced by bigger and better models, but many still regard it as a pioneer in netbooks. I had used the default Xandros installation (with full desktop mode enabled) for quite a while, but recently I was tempted to try my luck at getting EEE Ubuntu installed. After some tweaking, I can say that I am greatly impressed by the functionality it provides on the EEE.  Keep in mind that this is a different distribution from Eeebuntu, and since I haven't tried the latter I can't really compare the two.

Anyway, through the process of switching OS's I found myself collecting information on the web from various sources, and the purpose of this post is to bring all of that together to provide a more concrete guide. My 701 4G is the stock specifications down to the 512 mb of ram. Regardless, this guide should be applicable to most EEE models. Below is a short video I made to demonstrate how Ubuntu EEE functions on my 701 (The first part of the video is the game "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis" running in ScummVM, one of my favorites):

 (If the video does not display, click here to see it on

OK, so you want your EEE to function the same? Here's how I did it:

  1. Visit this link. From here you can download the .iso file for EEE Ubuntu. You will need a flash drive with at least 1GB of space. There is a small utility that will properly extract the iso image to your flash drive for installation on the EEE PC on that page as well. Once extracted, go ahead and stick the flash drive in your EEE. Installation is a breeze, and is done by booting from the flash drive. I used the installation option that uses the whole disk and doesn't simply resize your EEE's partition. Once the installation is finished, remove the drive and boot into Ubuntu. You will first see the Netbook Remix desktop, which is nice, but isn't what we want for the purpose of utilizing compiz.

  2. You will need to switch from the Netbook Remix desktop to the full blown Ubuntu 8.04.1 desktop. This wiki entry describes how this process is done. Once you uncheck Maximus and UME Desktop Launcher, go ahead and reboot (I'm assuming you can just restart X via the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace method).

  3. Now that Netbook Remix is out of the way, you'll notice that the toolbar is on the top. If you want to move it, go ahead and do so. You can right click on the toolbar and add applets (such as the actual menu bar) and also remove unwanted ones. If they aren't positioned correctly you can right click them and select move. Play with it until you are happy on how it looks.

  4. Here is a little glitch I found off the bat. When I inserted my flash drive, Ubuntu told me that I needed to have superuser priviledges to mount it. If you are experiencing the same, I found the answer on this thread. All you have to do is open up a terminal and edit /etc/fstab. Find the line that reads "/dev/sdb1 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0" (most likely the last line) and remove it. Problem solved for me. Special thanks to B3n3v3nt3.

  5. Ok, let's install compiz. To do this correctly, follow the instructions here starting under the Installation section. After running the second apt-get command and installing all the packages (I ignored the Tweaks part, couldn't find anything that resembled it), I configured compiz the exact way it is described in the guide with the exceptions of some effects (for instance, I'm not a huge fan of wobbly windows so I left that off).

  6. After the test run and you are confident it is working correctly, set it to autorun at startup. This is done differently than the guide explains with my version of EEE Ubuntu. For my distro, you will find startup applications under System-->Preferences-->Sessions. Go ahead and put the command "compiz --replace" in there and it should boot every time.

The rest is all personal customization through the Compiz Config Settings Manager, and programs I added through add/remove applications.

If at any point you want to disable compiz, you can do so by going to
System-->Preferences-->Appearance and selecting the "Visual Effects" tab. Set this to "None" and Compiz will go away. The only reason I have found for disabling Compiz thus far is when playing Youtube videos in full screen. For some reason, full screen mode quickly jumps back out to the browser. In the meantime, I'll be looking for a solution to this. Also, my EEE's webcam wasn't functioning after I installed EEE Ubuntu. This is an easy fix, just make sure it is enabled in the bios as it disables during EEE Ubuntu's installation. The webcam works great, even with Compiz enabled! I hope this helps anyone who wants to get EEE Ubuntu installed on their netbook. I'll try to answer any questions you have, and if you have any other comments or solutions to problems please post a comment. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

24, Jack Bauer, and Linux.

The new season of 24 is off to a rousing start!  If you missed the first four episodes (Two on Sunday, the third and fourth last night), you missed one of the best television premieres anywhere!  (Actually, I'm typing this before episodes three and four...which is why this post is so short.  Getting ready to watch the show!  I'm confident Monday's installments will be as great as the opening two!)

Now for the Linux tie-in.  The screen shot at left has been floating around for some time.  I originally saw it a few years ago here.  You can clearly see the KDE launch button lower left.  Clear proof that 24 used Linux in at least one episode.

I'm looking forward to this new season and will keep my eyes peeled.  I'm hoping for other glimpses of Linux.  I'll post anything I find.  Please do the same.

Get Linux24 did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Who Needs Vista?

In an earlier post, I wrote about a friend having problems with his new computer.   It came with Windows Vista.  Long story short, he's downgrading to Windows XP in order to get all his devices and software to work.

I'm sure you know someone in the same situation. It's a great opportunity to show folks just how powerful Linux is. Check out this video of Linux running on an older system.  It's pretty amazing.

How old is the system?  Well, the video author states that he purchased the system in October of 2000, and lists the following specs:  PIII 800 Mhz, 128 MB RAM, GeForce 2 MX/400, and 32 MB RAM.

So, when one of your friends is having problems with their Windows Vista system, show them this video.  It's inspiring.  So much so, they just may dust off one of their own old computers and install Linux themselves. (It'll run better than Vista!)

Get Linux.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ripping Sinatra

If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you'll know that I'm a big Frank Sinatra fan.  I really enjoy his singing.  For my money, Sinatra was the best. and whenever I get a chance to talk about Linux or it's applications, I like to use Sinatra in the example.  This time is no different.

There's a reason why they called Frank Sinatra "the voice."  And Linux makes it easy to save Sinatra's music and voice to your computer. 

Right now, I'm running Linux Mint Daryna Edition.  It includes a neat little app called KAudioCreator.

KAudioCreator makes the process so very simple to rip tracks off an audio CD.

Pop in your CD.  The CD mounts and a window comes up asking for the action you wish to take. You select "Extract and Encode Audio Tracks" (this KaudioCreator. KAudioCreator launches.

You select all the CD tracks.  Then you choose the method of ripping and encoding. here's I've selected the open source .ogg audio format.  Then KAudioCreator takes over.  You can see the progress of the ripping and encoding in the jobs tab.

KAudioCreator creates an "OGG" folder in your home directory and then creates a sub folder for the audio tracks it's ripping.

It's all automatic!  In this last screen shot, you can see I've ripped the entire Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River and Other Academy Award Winners CD.

I have all the audio tracks in their own folder under my home directory.

So, get Linux and get a better way to rip and save audio tracks from your CD collection.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Upgrade, Downgrade Or Switch.

I called a good friend last night and during our conversation, he told me that just got a brand new computer.  His wife gave him this new computer as a gift.   And he's needed a new system for several years now.

He's had this new computer system less than 15 days.

His printer doesn't work with it.  Neither does his scanner or i-Pod.  WordPerfect loads and runs, but he's unable to save documents.

In order to get these devices and software to work, he'll have to upgrade all  of them.  The cost of doing this is roughly equivalent to the cost of the new computer.

That's nuts!

What operating system did this computer come with?  If you guessed Vista, you'd be right.

"Ever since Vista machines have been popping up in stores, we have had users perpetually asking how they can downgrade their Vista machines back to Windows XP."    And my friend is among the many Windows users who want to go back to Windows XP.

This appears to be the big problem with Vista.  It requires new devices, new hardware, new software, etc. 

I've emailed my friend information and links regarding the downgrade to Windows XP.   It turns out anyone with Vista can get a free downgrade to Windows XP.

'Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, responding to a question about the support for XP off the shelf, said that customers can buy Vista, then downgrade to XP for free. "I don't know how you can do better than getting both," Mr. Ballmer said Tuesday in Washington D.C.' 

Well, I know exactly how you can do better than getting both Vista and XP.  Get Linux!

Once you get Linux, You'll be getting off the "perpetual upgrade-cash grab treadmill."  Your hardware will work.  You'll have thousands of terrific, free open source software application to use.  And, if you really need to use programs like Photoshop or MSOffice, simply buy a copy of Codeweaver's Crossover  and install them to your Linux system. (or just run the free alternative Wine).

For my friend, who really needs WordPerfect, the solution is just as easy.  First let me explain that he LOVES WordPerfect.  I can well understand his attachment to WordPerfect.   For his needs (he's a history professor), Wordperfect is the Mercedes of word processor software.  He knows the keyboard shortcuts and is able to actually "get under the hood" of the document he's working on.  Wordperfect, in his opinion, is head and shoulders above MSWord.

All he need do then, is install Virtualbox on a Linux system, install Windows XP, and then install WordPerfect!  Voila!  Problem solved.  Virtualbox allows you to run Windows and it's applications at near optimum processor speed.   Given the fact that new computers are available with dual and quad core processors, the difference in speed would be negligible.  (an anonymous poster to this blog pointed out this solution for Photoshop.)

For instance, I run Intuit Quickbooks on Virtualbox running Windows XP.  I have a 64 bit dual core AMD Athlon Processor.  Quickbooks runs FASTER than when I run it on an actual Windows installation.  Why?  Because, I'm not installing all the patches, anti-virus software, spyware scanners, etc. that slow down a Windows system.  I simply make sure not to go out to the internet when I run Windows in Virtualbox.  I have Firefox, Linux, and their security for all my web surfing needs.

So, don't upgrade to Windows Vista only to find out you need to downgrade to Windows XP.  Switch to Linux.

Get Linux.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Linux, PhotoShop, And Disney.

Back in 2000, I took my first trip ever to Walt Disney World.  I  was the guest of my syndicate DBR Media. At the time, DBR Media was just launching and I was drawing my comic Strip George for them, as well as a few other cartoon features.  We made a day of it!  It was a wonderful time (especially for a cartoonist like me!) and the above picture is proof of my visit.

Who knew that almost nine years later I would be writing about Disney, Linux and Photoshop?

Yes, I admit that many folks out there really prefer Photoshop over every other graphics app.  Eve though the Gimp is as featured packed and as easy to use, folks just prefer Photoshop. I understand.  But the challenge was always that Photoshop was not being written for Linux. The folks at Adobe made Photoshop for Windows and Mac, but not Linux.  Enter Disney.

At around the same time as my trip to Walt Disney World (give or take a few years), the Disney animation studio was adopting Linux.  The animators wanted Photoshop running on Linux.  Since Adobe wasn't providing this, Disney decided to fund a project to port the Windows version of Photosop to run on Linux under Wine.  And that's why, thanks to Disney, Photoshop runs on Linux.

You can read a history of this here.

And that's the main point of today's blog post.  Photoshop runs on Linux!  Some folks out there may not want to make the move to Linux because they think they wouldn't be able to use Photoshop.  Not so. Photoshop runs on Linux!

The easiest way to run Photoshop involves a small investment.  Codeweavers makes a commercial version of WINE called CrossOver.  The standard version costs only $40.00.  You install Crossover, then you simply grab your Windows version of PhotoShop (version 6 and 7 run great!), install, and you're all set!  You're running Photoshop in Linux at optimum processor speed.

You can also download and install Wine from your Linux repository and then install Photoshop to this.  But, in speaking with Photoshop users, version 7 works best when running under Crossover.

Plus, Crossover and Wine support many other Windows applications (MSOffice, etc.).  So, if you want to move to Linux and  still be able to run some of your Windows applications, Crossover and Wine make it possible!

Get Linux!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Close, But No Cigar Yet.

Like the puppy in the above photo, Linux is really still in its infancy.  Despite it's "youth", great things are happening to Linux!

In my Linux predictions for 2009 blog post, I wrote, "Linux netbooks will outsell Windows netbooks."

Well, it's still too early to tell if I'm correct, but I'm on the right track.  Check out this headline from

"New Forrester Research analysis purports that the blossoming netbook market is driving the worldwide adoption of Linux, reports"

Again, I'm not ready to yell, "I told you so!" just yet.   But it's great to see a trend like this one.  And given the fact that the Linux community is releasing alternative Linux operating systems for netbooks, it's only going to help.

The great thing about Linux, as I've mentioned before on this blog, is it's ability to be run right from a Thumb drive. has a neat tutorial on running Eeebuntu from a thumb drive and then installing it to a netbook.

By the way, I hope to get a netbook this year.  I'm shopping and comparing prices, features, etc.   In looking at Linux distros, the latest Kiowa Linux   release that's almost ready.  I may just run Kiowa Linux on the netbook.  Hopefully, by summer, I'll have a netbook to show you all.

And before I forget, I just heard from my cousin via email.  When last we met, I encouraged him to download and install Linux to a used computer he's had sitting idle for a few years.  As I understand it, he's downloaded and burned Linux Mint Daryna Edition to disk.  He's planning on installing Linux and I hope to report on his progress in the coming days.

Get Linux.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Linux and Netbooks

One of the neatest developments to come along to personal computing has been the netbook.  Netbooks are small, ultra portable laptops (weighing in at about two pounds) that give you basic computing with long battery life (five to seven hours!).  You can surf the web, send email, type a document, watch youtube videos, etc.  And the price tag is pretty neat, too.  Netbooks cost anywhere from $250.00 to about $400.00 depending on the amount of memory, size and type of hard drive, and the size of the display.

Netbooks come with Windows XP installed.  But the really attractive option is that many netbooks come with Linux pre-installed.  While these Linux operating systems are quite good (and they boot incredibly fast!), many Linux power users want to "get under the hood" and really open up Linux.  They want to unleash its full power and customization qualities on a netbook.

To that end, many in the Linux community have stepped up and offered their own Linux operating system for netbooks. One such Linux OS is Eeebuntu. Based on Ubuntu, Eeebuntu is a full featured and powerful Linux operating system. It's fully optimized for Asus Eee PC netbooks and runs fully configured, ready to run "right out of the box."  It's pretty amazing to see it run on a netbook that has a screen measuring no more than eight to ten inches in size.  You can see a great video demo of Eeebuntu running on a netbook here.

Once again, Linux and its community of users demonstrate how powerful and adaptable this operating system is.

So, if you're considering buying an Asus Eee PC netbook (or bought one with Windows XP and want to try something really amazing) then get Eeebuntu.

Get Linux.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Six Out Of Seven Continents!

The latest activity map detailing visitors from around the world shows that One Click Linux has "landed" on six out of seven continents!

One Click Linux is being read from Russia to Hawaii, Australia to Canada, Europe to Africa, and everywhere in between!

I sincerely thank all the folks out there who are visiting this blog.  And all I have to say is...come on, Antarctica!  Surely, someone down at McMurdo Station runs Linux! (or is thinking about it)

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Top Five Linux Predictions for 2009!

2009 is in full swing and I'm reading list after list of New Year's predictions. These predictions are written and submitted by folks from all all walks of life. So it appears that the only qualification needed to make a New Year's prediction is to simply wet your finger and hold it in the air.

So, my chances are as good as anyone else's of getting one or more right.

Without further ado, I present my top five Linux predictions for 2009!

5.) A high profile school system somewhere in the United States will completely switch to Linux.  Having had their fill of Windows viruses and needing to trim expenses, this school system will put Linux in all their classrooms.  And they'll be extremely happy with the results!

4.) Linux netbooks will outsell Windows netbooks.  Netbooks are ultra portable laptops with 6-8 hour battery time.  Folks are going to discover that Linux netbook versions consume less power, come with more software and won't get Windows viruses or malware.

3.)  Everything old is new again (as in PCs).  The demand for used PCs is going to soar this year.  Families being squeezed by the ongoing economic crisis will be grabbing used PCS in record numbers and installing Linux rather than handing hundreds of dollars over to Microsoft for a new PC (and getting the same old virus/malware/spy ware headaches).

2.)  Linux will dominate home entertainment.  We'll find out that Linux will be powering most HD T.V.s, Blu-Ray players, recorders, etc.

And my number one Linux prediction for 2009...

YOU will try Linux this year...simply by starting here.

Get Linux.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words...Or A Nasty Virus. warned customers last week that a Samsung digital photo frame product may be infected with a virus. When the device is plugged in and the software loaded, a virus then infects your computer.

The San Francisco chronicle's SFGate is reporting, "Among the frames reported to be infected this holiday season were a Samsung 8-inch frame sold by, an Element 9-inch frame sold by Circuit City and a Mercury 1.5-inch frame sold by Wal-Mart."

Yes, customers were warned.  But which customers?   According to this article, the folks being warned were those "customers running Windows XP."

Windows XP.  So, if you run Windows XP and have one of these frames, my advice is to take it back to the store immediately.   Next, get an anti-virus progam and do a complete scan of your system.  This virus has the potential to do real damage to you Windows computer system and compromising your privacy and financial security  "carrying code that logs keystrokes, steals data and calls out to other malicious code once it's installed itself on a PC."

Once you've cleaned your system, get Linux.  Get a used computer and install Linux.  Do it now!  Linux is free and a used computer can be had for free or a minimal amount of money.  Start using Linux.  Linux is immune to Windows viruses and malware.

The next time a virus warning like this takes place, hopefully you'll be fully running Linux.  You'll be safe, secure and happy to that you got rid of Windows.

Get Linux.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Linux. A Computer Piggybank!

People are saving more.  Last year's economic downturn has resulted in folks becoming more frugal.  It's being reported that piggy banks are flying off store shelves.   If people are interested in saving money, the first place they need to look is their home computer.

Families, community centers, school systems, church organizations, and other groups can save hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars by simply switching to Linux and ditching Windows.

When you install Linux you get a safe, secure, and stable operating system.  Linux gives you a familiar and friendly user interface, thousands of free open source software programs, and a friendly community to help you along.

Once you get rid of Windows, you get rid of Microsoft licensing costs, additional software costs, and anti-virus subscription costs (Linux is immune to Windows viruses and spy ware).

Think of how much all this Windows software must cost for each and every computer you own.  PhotoShop Elements costs anywhere from $75.00 to around $100.00.    And don't forget the EULA (End User Licensing Agreements).  The EULA only allows you to install commercial software on one (maybe two if you're lucky) computers.

In contrast, Gimp in Linux is free.

Linux is free to download, free to give, and free to use.  When you use Linux, its like putting money in a piggy bank, because you won't be handing it over to Microsoft.

And you can install Linux on as many computers as you own.  You won't need to buy any additional software.   Linux has everything for basic computing already installed and ready to go.  Gimp for photo editing, OpenOffice for office documents, Kaffeine for video, Amarok for MP3s,  Firefox for internet, Thunderbird for Email to name just a few.

Get Linux.  Save money.  It's that simple.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gimp Keeps You Organized In 2009.

If you're like most computer users, you probably have a digital camera and scanner.  So, you're saving a lot of images and photos on your computer.  In addition, there are probably some bits and pieces of photos that you store in an image library so you can incorporate it into a new design or other image.

When I was using Windows, the graphics app I used had a built in image library.  I could drag and drop images and clippings into the library for future use.   The problem was, when I upgraded to a new computer and reinstalled the software, I had to move a specific folder within the Windows file system.  And the folder was always buried away some place. It took hours and a visit to the web to ask other users in order to locate it.  Worse still was if I ever reinstalled the program.  The reinstallation routine would overwrite the entire library.   If I didn't back it up, all those images were lost!

Luckily, The Gimp in Linux is much easier to use. You can customize and tailor it to your needs.  If you want to create an image library, simply create a folder and store the images there. That's it!  When you want to place an image into a photo you're working on, simply open the foler, grab the file thumbnail and drag it into the work area of The Gimp.  The Gimp creates the additonal image as a new layer.

As an example, remember the photo of me standing in front of the Perry Monument?   Well, I wanted to add an element to this photo.

I found a piece of clip art of a jet (from an old graphics app). Using Gimp, I added an an alpha channel and knocked out the background.  I then saved it as an .xcf file (Gimp's image file format which saves the transparent background) to my library folder.  It's a folder I have on my desktop called Gimp Blog Art.

I opened the Perry Monument photo. I opened the Gimp Blog Art folder and dragged the jet image into the current photo being worked on in The Gimp (the Perry Monument photo).  Gimp creates the new additional jet image as a layer.  Using the selection tools, I create additional layers and VOILĂ€!   The new composite image is at left!

The great thing is, I can take this image library folder to new systems, easily back it up, add new images to it, subtract from it, etc.

It's not required that you save images as .xcf files.  You can use any format you wish. I like to use those file formats that preserve a transparent background (.xcf, .psd, .tif, .png). This way, I don't have to do much editing as I composite photos.

With Gimp in Linux, you'll always know where your image library is and you'll always be able to take it with you.  Make 2009 the year you move to Linux and Gimp.  They'll help you keep that New Year's resolution you made about being more organized.

Get Linux.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! It Went Fast!

Happy New Year!  It's hard to believe that 2008 has ended and we're now starting 2009.  It felt like the past year just flew by!  It seems like everything moves fast nowadays...except a Windows computer.

For example, the other day, a friend mentioned how his son was going to tune up his Windows system.  The PC was moving slower for some reason. And it's not just his system.  It appears to be a common problem among Windows users. Windows slows down over time.  I hear this more than any other complaint.

Why does this happen?  Why does Windows slow down over time?  Well, the basic explanation is that the routine of installing and uninstalling software means you're writing/rewriting data to the hard drive.   If you do this enough, you then need to defragment the hard drive and possibly do a good cleaning of the Windows registry.  Data gets cluttered.

Not so with Linux! Linux will not slow down over time like Windows!  Using your Linux distro's GUI repository, you can install 50 software apps or 50,000! (provided you have the hard drive space).  You can also uninstall any app as needed.  You won't clutter the hard drive.  In turn, you won't need to defragment the  hard drive!  Linux does not need to be defragmented!

2009 may fly by fast.  Make sure your computer keeps up and doesn't slow down!  Get Linux!

Happy New Year!